Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Open Source Project's Report Designer

fyiReporting Software RDL Project (Apache License Vesion 2.0) may be downloaded from:

It has a few problems like internal validation etc but it is a easy tool to use and it is free. It can connect to a lot of data sources including iTunes, mySQL, PostGres etc. It has some non-compatible schema elements which makes its display impossible with Report Builder 2.0. Once those are taking care of, it should be possible to view them and deploy them to Report Server.

Here is a screen shot of a Report created using the above with the backend SQL Server 2008 providing data.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The NetFlix's Silverlight Connection

With your regular membership fees to NetFlix you can watch most movies instantly and for this to happen you need to install a Netflix viewer to you browser. Well this is where the problem comes in. You try to down load the NF_Movie_Player_211.msi and play a movie, you get this error right away.

Then you make a couple of phone calls, harass the poor help desk guy at Netflix ( I did, I confess and I am ashamed) and he will say you can fix it and he may also say it is cross-browser. Well it is not and it hangs-up on FireFox. But he will ask you to execute the ResetDRM.exe in your Netflix folder in MyDOcuments.

Read this carefully

Next he will ask you reboot and you come back and voila it does not work.

Now he will ask you to agree to the upgrade by abandoning the WMA viewer and go for SilverLight. Netflix uses Silverlight 2.0 beta but works great. Hats off to Microsoft.

Get smart programming a hand-held

In years to come the desktop will turn to dust and the mobile will reign. Right now the enemy is the battery and if you can get it charged from the cloud (?) we may very well have embarked on a new frontier.

Jump start your programming skills by getting a spoon feed from this article on device programming. It does not do much, perhaps a tad better than a 'Hello World' but it sure gives you an insight as to how you may program it, and what tools you can use.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lists aligned at design time but not at run time in Report Builder 2.0

You can take steps to make lists well aligned at design time (using the blue guide lines ). At run time they could be different.

Initial arrangement

Good case:

Bad case:
They are well aligned at design time as shown

But not any more when rendered

Probably the GUI provisions extra spaces as you add controls and where you add them in the lists. May be if the lists are larger at design time, they will be aligned well at run time as well.

Try on

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do not believe McAffe's Site Advisor. Shame on you McAffe'!!!

You will be ill advised to believe McAffe's Site Advisor. I have seen the following in the emails and the least McAffe' can do is to apologize for spreading advise which is incorrect and damaging.

Hodentek does not collect personal information. It is not in the Stealing business. You do not even need to register to browse this public site


Sunday, November 09, 2008

On WritingMode Property for TEXT in Report Builder 2.0

This is further to my previous post on obtaining vertical orientation of characters in Report Builder 2.0. As I mentioned there is a WritingMode property for text only in Report Builder 2.0.
The WritingMode vertical mode makes 'D' in 'Design' to the top but it also rotates the individul letters by 90 degrees. This is to do with the Glyph-Orientation in CSS3 and can be specified by an angle attribute. Refer to the figure as what it will display when applied to the word 'Design'. You would get the correct orientation for glyph-orientation-vertical with the angle set to 0 deg. The default is what you see when you use the WritingMode: Vertical in Report Builder.

The expression can provide you correct orientation and if you want to have D at the bottom then instead of the string 'DESIGN' start with 'NGISED' to get for D to start from the bottom. In this case there is no need to worry about the glyph orientation.
It is interesting to note that while CSS is not supported in Report Builder only one of its features (WritingMode) is supported.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Working with XML in SQL Server 2000?

SQL Server 2008 has been in RTM for the past couple of months. But I do know that there are folks ( a large number) using SQL 2000.

Perhaps the following articles will help in getting in understanding XML in SQL 2000.

1. The following aspects of XML support for SQL 2000 will be discussed in this article:

* T-SQL support for for XML
o Retrieving Data in XML formats, for XML
o From XML document to Table structure, open XML

* Overview of XML support in IIS for SQL 2000 Server

* Configuring the IIS Virtual Directory Management for SQL 2000 Server

2. The focus o this article is on URL Queries and Template files.

3. SQL 2000 server's support for XDR schemas provide the ability to specify Xpath queries against these schemas. In order to facilitate the derivation of these XDR schemas, Microsoft also provides an XML tool: XML View Mapper (not bundled with SQL 2000 Server, but a separate download). The bulk of the tutorial is about the basics of using this tool to create XML views that can be used in Xpath queries and using Xpath queries to query the database.

4. The focus of this article is on accessing XML data using Visual Studio .NET 2003 IDE. With the introduction of SQLXML3.0, the capabilities of XML data retrieval are vastly extended. The article discusses this topic using the Visual Studio.NET 2003 IDE and provides help on detailed coding. Specifically, it explores the SqlXmlCommand class in depth, delineating its properties and methods.

You may want to look up these 'mini tutorials' on SQL Server 2008

These are from my other blog. Mini tutorials are short and gives only the most essential stuff. Who has time to read four pages to get something done.

Setting up a Data Connection to SQL Server 2008 in Visual Studio 2008

On Using Query Designer Tool

Creating a new login to the Server

Partial answer to an ASPNET forum question on Report Generation

The ASPNET forum user wanted to display the following using Reporting Services.

Well the answer found was to put the data into an XML Document and using Report Builder 2.0 you can fashion a Matrix report. This would give the report to look like the above but the 'Aggregation' part fails. The report generated (I have used only two rows, but it can be made towork for more) is shown in the next figure.
I am now looking at why aggregation failed. Protection Status