Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway!

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Figure 1 & 2 from the site https://logs.msdn.microsoft.com

Check it out!   Tons of Free Microsoft eBooks.  The list of all books and the download selection is located at the link below.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2017/07/11/largest-free-microsoft-ebook-giveaway-im-giving-away-millions-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-again-including-windows-10-office-365-office-2016-power-bi-azure-windows-8-1-office-2013-sharepo/ 

Note from Eric:

It’s that time of year again, and today I am kicking off my annual FREE MICROSOFT EBOOK GIVEAWAY extravaganza! And this time, I’m posting MORE FREE EBOOKS in this post than I ever have in any of my previous giveaways! Based on this, you will notice something different about this year’s post… In previous years, I included images of the eBook covers next to each item; however, I would also get feedback from people on the amount of time to load all of the images. So, this year I decided to streamline the list to make it easier to get to the eBooks you want. You will now find a simple list, organized by category, with the download links in the Format column so you can choose which format you want to download.

  1. How many can you download?
    • ANSWER: As many as you want! This is a FREE eBook giveaway, so please download as many as interest you.
  2. Wow, there are a LOT listed here. Is there a way to download all of them at once?
    • ANSWER: Yes, please see the note below on how to do this.
  3. Can I share a link to your post to let others know about this giveaway?
    • ANSWER: Yes, please do share the good news with anyone you feel could benefit from this.
  4. I know you said they are “Free,” but what’s the catch?
    • ANSWER: There is no catch. They really are FREE. This consider it a, “Thank you,” for being a reader of my blog and a customer or partner of Microsoft.
  5. Ok, so if they are free and you’re encouraging us to share this with others, can I post a link to your post here on sites like Reddit, FatWallet, and other deal share sites to let them know, or is that asking too much?
    • ANSWER: Please do. In fact, I would encourage you to share a link to this post on any deal site you feel their users could benefit from the FREE eBooks and resources included below. Again, I WANT to give away MILLIONS of FREE eBooks!
  6. Are these “time-bombed” versions of the eBooks that stop working after a certain amount of time or reads?
    • ANSWER: No, these are the full resources for you to use.
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Create a SQL Server Utility Control Point

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Figure 1 – SQL Server Utility Configuration Steps that show up on the Utility Setup

You may have read my previous post – Solving – WMI Provider Error, and how the issue was solved by creating the Utility Control Point (UCP). 

The Utility Tool has some excellent features that track the health of SQL Server.  So, what do you need to know about it?

Benefits of the SQL Server Utility

The SQL Server Utility models an organization’s SQL Server-related entities in a unified view. Utility Explorer and SQL Server Utility viewpoints in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) provide administrators a holistic view of SQL Server resource health through an instance of SQL Server that serves as a utility control point (UCP). The combination of summary and detailed data presented in the UCP for both underutilization and overutilization policies, and for a variety of key parameters, enables resource consolidation opportunities and resource overutilization to be identified with ease. Health policies are configurable, and can be adjusted to change either upper or lower resource utilization thresholds. You can change global monitoring policies, or configure individual monitoring policies for each entity managed in the SQL Server Utility. – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/sql-server-utility-features-and-tasks

The information below describes that an organization can have many SQL Server Utilities. 

An enterprise can have multiple SQL Server Utilities, and each SQL Server Utility can manage many instances of SQL Server and data-tier applications. Every SQL Server Utility has one and only one utility control point (UCP). You must create a new UCP for each SQL Server Utility. Each managed instance of SQL Server and every data-tier application is a member of one and only one SQL Server Utility, and is managed by a single UCP.+

The UCP collects configuration and performance information from managed instances of SQL Server every 15 minutes. This information is stored in the utility management data warehouse (UMDW) on the UCP; the UMDW file name is sysutility_mdw. SQL Server performance data is compared to policies to help identify resource use bottlenecks and consolidation opportunities.  – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/create-a-sql-server-utility-control-point-sql-server-utility 

The listing of requirements and recommendations is list at the same hyperlink noted above.

Solving – WMI Provider Error Invalid Namespace in SQL Reporting Services Setup

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Figure 1 – SSRS error during setup of SQL Reporting

You’ve installed SQL.  Everything went well and you have all the different tasks showing as being successful.  Then you go to install SSRS Reporting Services, and you get the message….

I keep getting ‘Cannot connect to SERVERNAME’, ‘Report Server WMI Provider Error: Invalid namespace

The answer to fixing this error, at least the answer that worked for me, is:

To install/reinstall/repair SSRS, run the SQL Server setup utility and choose the advanced or custom option which will allow you to choose only the components you wish to install.

Big question – what does the Utility Control Point do?

The SQL Server Utility is managed through a utility control point using Utility Explorer in SSMS. The UCP is configured on an instance of SQL Server. It provides the central reasoningpoint for the SQL Server Utility using SSMS to organize and monitor SQL Server resource health.

1. To create the SQL Server Utility begin with opening the SQL Server Management Studio.  I am using SQL 2014.

2. Then click on VIEW, and find UTILITY EXPLORER, as below.

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3. Click on UTILITY EXPLORER to open up the next window, and click on CREATE UTILITY CONTROL POINT.

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4. This opens up the window below which gives you very clear steps to follow to create the Utility Control Point.  

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The process of creating and validating the SQL Server instance cleared up the issues that I had with WMI not distinguishing instance names, and solved my problem.  I was able to install Reporting Services, and to configure SSRS reporting to suit my requirements.

Sandbox Applications for Window 10

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Figure 1 – Visual image of what a Sandbox environment looks like when a Sandbox is installed on a PC (Image from Comodo.com)

I have some testing that I want to do on my laptop, and I was looking for the safest way to create an environment for completing this testing.  I know that I can use the Hyper-V on my Windows 10.  However, I am finding that it is not so user friendly.  I wanted something really easy.

I found a great article on www.maketecheasier.com called “5 of the Best Sandbox Applications for Windows 10” https://www.maketecheasier.com/best-sandbox-applications-windows10/.

If you are wanting to create a Sandbox environment to test out software, take a look at the article.

Let me know which sandbox app that you choose with some feedback on how it works for you.

Microsoft offers free Windows Server 2016 licenses to VMware switchers

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The title above is also the HEADLINE for Mary Jo Foley’s blog of August 25 … you can see her blog here http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-offers-free-windows-server-2016-licenses-to-vmware-switchers/?ftag=TRE624278d&bhid=24421659496900511552450458228080

This is great news for Microsoft Partners and clients that wish to set up data centers.  Here is the feature differentiation comparison from the article.

Check it out to see if this will make a difference to your organization.

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Update On Microsoft Certifications

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For those of you that are thinking about certifying in Microsoft SQL Server, the information below is worth reading. 

And, if you want to learn about Microsoft’s plans for the future, watch the video under Full Microsoft Keynote at Computex 2016.

This information comes from the Microsoft Learning Team.

Certifications and Exams

Microsoft Exam Price Adjustments: July 18, 2016

Price adjustments on Microsoft certification exams will go into effect globally on July 18, 2016 – an adjustment from the previous announced date of July 15, 2016. Please visit any exam detail page to see the new exam price in your region. This list of FAQs will address questions you may have about these exam price changes: https://aka.ms/epfaq16.

Free Upgrade Exams: Offer ends June 30!

Earn your MCSA certification in either SQL Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012, between May 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016 and you’ll be eligible free upgrade exam for SQL Server 2016 or Windows Server 2016. Take advantage of this opportunity, and don’t wait another minute to get your MCSA certification! Get the details.

Full Microsoft Keynote at COMPUTEX 2016

Microsoft talks about opening Windows Holographic for a new era of mixed reality. Join key Microsoft executives as they reveal new devices, innovations and trends coming to the Windows ecosystem during the Microsoft keynote at COMPUTEX 2016. Watch the video here.

Original Publication Date: 06/16/2016