[theforum] Happy New Year, Happy New Site

Seb seb at poked.org
Mon Jan 10 11:24:24 CST 2005

David Kaufman wrote:

> Seb Potter <seb at poked.org> wrote:
>>> David Kaufman <david at gigawatt.com> wrote:
>>> The last time I spoke to him about getting this data, he was
>>> *willing* to do so, but unable to think of a way to "export" it from
>>> Microsoft SQL Server 6 to a format that would preseve the multiline
>>> text and "funny characters" into a format we could import into
>>> another db.  And I didn't (and still don't) know enough about MS SQL
>>> Server 6 to suggest a solution.  Maybe if we have some MS-SQL6 guru
>>> around here that can provide him with a simple step-by-step
>>> procedure that he can follow to export the data, he would be
>>> responsive to that request.
>> Well, either output as a MS SQL backup database or as an SQL dump of
>> the data.
> I asked for a SQL dump, and his replay was that Microsoft SQL Server 6 
> does not "do that" such that the binary data would be preserved.  He 
> said that in MSSQL you can only dump the DDL (i.e. the schema, or 
> create-db statements), which would only allow you to recreate the 
> database empty, not repopulate the data.

MS SQL Server 6? Well, it's been about 7 years since I used it (and 
about 4 years since MS dropped all support for it), but I'm sure I 
remember that you can dump it out through ODBC as an Access database. (I 
know this because I have a fully-functional export of the DB in Access 
2003 format that Judah did for me back in the summer.) As I said, this 
is extremely easy to do, and there's no need for Jeff to be using a lot 
of time worrying about this issue.

>> If Jeff hasn't got the time to do this, there are several people in
>> this particular forum who are more than capable of extracting out the
>> data from MS SQL if given appropriate access rights. This route might
>> be a viable alternative.
> I asked for remote access to the the server, and he was not willing to 
> open up remote access to the db, ad he claimed that was a security 
> hole. And as this was right about the time someone did a screen-scrape 
> for drupal, he claimed that the box was already under some sort of 
> attack, and used that as further justification for not granting any 
> remote access rights to the box, implying that it also hosts his own 
> (or his clients') production sites.

The problem is that extracting the data for evolt seems to have been 
mistaken for being a request with optional compliance. Setting up secure 
access to the data is astonishingly easy. Let's please stop making poor 
excuses about the security of an open DB connection. I assume this box 
is behind a firewall of some description. Give somebody pass-through 
access on the firewall, either by IP address or by username, allow an 
open ODBC connection, and let us get the data out.

> I don't know if "the database file" on MS SQL Server 6 is a single 
> file that Jeff could simply burn onto a CD for us but I suspect it is 
> not. My limited experience with Sybase and MSSQL6 was that you cannot 
> simply move the db file onto a new server running the software and 
> "open it". Transaction logs and so on must be carefully moved as well, 
> and the process was difficult and error-prone.  If there is a MS SQL 
> server backup utility, that might do the trick.  But we'd need someone 
> with the proper software and skill set to document the procedure and 
> provide Jeff with a detailed exact set of step-by-step instructions on 
> what we want him to do, as he seemed to suggest that he did not know 
> or remember how.

The process of getting data out of MS SQL is neither difficult nor error 
prone. It's something that thousands of DBAs do on a daily basis across 
the planet. The issue is of Jeff's reluctance to perform a simple task 
(the last time we did this on the server it took less than an hour).

Jeff, if you're reading and want to contact me offlist to discuss 
options directly, my email address is seb at poked.org



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