SQLAnswers Review

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/hscott/sqlanswersreview.asp

  • We use a program called Blat.exe, which is free, and can be found at http://www.blat.net

    I call it from xp_cmdshell, and it works great.

    Best regards

    Henrik Staun Poulsen

    Stovi Software, Denmark

     

  • ...and what happens to this product when everyone realizes that Database Mail is SMTP based in 2005?  Hmmm, invest in this or sock the money away for SQL Server 2005?

  • How does this compare to reporting services?

    [font="Tahoma"]Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD[/font]
    Business Intelligence Administrator
    MSBI Administration Blog

  • I just use Microsoft CDOSys.  No 3rd party tool.  It's part of Windows and works great.  See any of the sample TSQL scripts or articles on this site.

    Francis

  • Hello,

    My name is Evgueni Tsygankov. I am the developer behind SqlAnswersMail. I just wanted to say that appreciate your feedback, and I wanted to address the issues raised in this thread:

    - Blat.exe seems to be a good SMTP tool, but the main difference is that it doesn't support sending results of a SQL query. Also, since SqlAnswersMail runs as an out-of-process exe you can use DCOM to secure its permissions, which can be a great plus when running on “public” SQL Servers. The same applies to CDOSys -- no query results generation and lack of security. The "meat and potatoes" of SqlAnswersMail is in its ability to generate output in PDF and HTML formats straight from SQL queries.

    - Database Mail in 2005. This comment is right on the money. Microsoft came out with this addition in the July Community Preview. The functionality is very similar to SqlAnswersMail. The two things I can say are better in SqlAnswersMail is that it's 99% compliant with xp_sendmail (Database Mail will require a migration) and SqlAnswersMail supports PDF generation from SQL.

    - SqlAnswersMail is a quick way of sending well-formatted email from SQL Server. It's easy to setup, configure and use. Reporting Services is a great tool but it's designed to email reports, which means more work -- these reports need to be designed, developed, tested, deployed, etc.

    Evgueni Tsygankov

    http://www.sqlanswers.com

     

  • Hi Evgueni,

    The Out-of-process feature is indeed a major difference.  PDFs as well. Thanks for spelling it out clearly.

    Henrik

     

  • Database Mail in 2005 is also very weak in formatting the results of a query sent via email. Basically, you get pure text only. If you want to actually transmit structured information or have your emails look pretty, you have to manually massage the query output to make it happen.

    Also, aside from the HTML which Database Mail only partially supports (it doesn't make HTML; it just sets the emails content-type), and the PDF format which has already been mentioned, SQLAnswersMail supports a number of other formats, such as Excel and Word. It also has a variety of automation tools which can save development time such as combining multiple emails together and compressing attachments in ZIP format (with optional password).

    Another feature is the ability to send web pages in the email. I don't mean HTML-formatted text, I mean actual remotely-retrieved web pages. Thus you can keep your HTML generation OUT of SQL and on the web where it belongs. Although I admin to using it in our environment (since we didn't have SQL Answers at the time), it doesn't seem like best practice to use SQL to cobble together an HTML document.

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