We recently released the SQL Server Best Practice Analyzer (BPA). This little tool allows you to check a SQL Server 2000 instance to see if it is following best practices - best practices that we have identified in the product groups, in our support organisation and in our daily interaction with our customer and partners. This is a good v1 tool - and importantly (for me!) has two groups of best practices which focus on 1) warning you if you are using deprecated features and 2) warns you if you are using any features which will cause you problems when you upgrade your database to SQL Server 2005. So... I recommend you download it to make your 2000 instances run great AND be in good shape for 2005. (Download is linked from http://www.microsoft.com/sql/)

BPA allows you to:

  • Decide which servers to check and which database on these servers
  • Decide which of the 70 (many parameterized) rules to apply
  • Kick off the check remotely with no local install on the target server required
  • Run reporting service reports to see where problems were found
  • Schedule the checks by invoking the accompanying command line tool

The rules are very varied - everything from "SELECT *" is bad to Backup Frequency and use (or not) of Fibers. For SQL Server 2005 readiness it covers off removed system sps/tables, WITH hint requirement etc... The plan is to expand this list of "ready for 2005" checks out - so there is more to come.

Give it a whirl :-)