Monday, November 30, 2009

Rivalry in the clouds

With deep pockets Microsoft is able to fight it out on multiple fronts. With Azure, in the coming months, it will take on as a formidable cloud platform provider. It's no more just software as service; it will be framework as a service at the finishing line. Read up this article to get a picture of what is brewing.

Here is Microsoft market place positioned to start any time soon:

Here is the opponent with a big repertoire:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do you need to send data in XML? Use SQL Server Integration Services

Integrating data into applications or reports is one of the most important, expensive and exacting activities in building enterprise data warehousing and reporting applications. SQL Server Integration Services which first appeared in MS SQL Server 2005 and continued into MS SQL Server 2008 provides a one-stop solution to the ETL Process. The ETL Process consists of extracting data from a data source, transforming the data so that it can get in cleanly into the destination followed by loading the transformed data to the destination. Enterprise data can be of very different kinds ranging from flat files to data stored in relational databases. Recently storing and exchanging data in XML  has become common as exchanging data in XML format has many advantages.

This article describes how you may extract data in XML from your database using a stored procedure and persist it to the file system in either XML or text formats using Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services.

Writing XML data to the File System with SSIS

You may also want to read these recent articles on SSIS:

MySQL Data Transfer using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

Ground to SQL Azure migration using MS SQL Server Integration Services
Read my book and get a handle on many other package tasks:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Connecting to SQL Server Compact from SQL Server 2008 R2 Nov_CTP

The database file is in the installation directory but you need to modify permissions. You can work on it in SSMS once you connect to it.

Review the following blog post:

SQL Server 2008 R2 Nov CTP installs easily on Windows 7

I had problems installing on Windows XP SP3 but it was very easy on
Windows 7 Ultimate Evaluation copy (build 7100). If you have Visual Studio
2008 you may need to apply SP1 before you complete installation on
Windows 7.

I installed a named instance Hodentek\KUMORI (ver 10.50.1352) which is a minor
upgrade to SQL Server 2008 RTM. If you want to work with a database in the cloud
(SQL Azure) you need SQL Server 2008 R2 Nov-CTP.

SSMS treates Cloud based database like a second (poor) cousin by not offering the full
support like it does for the on the premises database. Well, well the SQL Azure looks like it is still 10.25. Is it becasuse I used the October CTP?

Notice the missing green color. For the ground based databases it provides the
full GUI but for the Cloud based database you get mostly script support that means
sharpen up your TSQL scripting skills.

Ground based database options for Users

Users options for Cloud based database

Click New User.. and you don't get a GUI window but a script template like this:

But this is a great improvement over the previous version of SQL Server 2008.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On installing/Upgrading SQL Server 2008 R2 Nov_CTP

On a Windows XP Professional with XP3 attempts to upgrade/install SQL Server 2008 failed. The correct authentication was not recognized and only a few files were created.


First attempt: To upgrade an existing SQL Server 2008 Enterprise (evaluation) [Mysorian] failed in the last step of the upgrade. However the following files were added to the SQL Server folder on the machine. It appears that the upgrade process created not only Upgrade files but also install files as shown here.

Second attempt: Tried to install a new server[Ganga]: failed.

Later in the maintenance mode, the repair option to repair the failed fresh install worked but cannot connect to the named instance of SQL Server 2008 R2 Nov CTP.

Named instance Ganga of the fresh install

Error Message:


A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: -1)

For help, click:

The splash screen of the SQL Server 2008 in Management Studio appears to belong to R2 November CTP as well as the short cut for the CTP programs. However the following files were added to the SQL Server folder [MSSQL10_50.GANGA] on the machine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IE 8.0 going over to IE 9.0

I thought IE 8.0 was work in progress!

It looks like Microsoft will be talking about IE 9.0 soon. If that is the case, what about IE 8.0? The frequent hanging of the browser driving you crazy is one of the most exasperating experiences I have ever had. The funny thing is, if you click on a new tab and go back to the one that stalled it refreshes faster. But wait, Google Chrome is no better either. It hangs, and after a while the screens refresh, crawling from top to bottom soooooo slow that you wish you had clicked open  IE 8 instead. Also several of the videos I have recently viewed have pushed Chrome to crash.
May be Firefox is the sure thing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Retrieving data on New York Times and Twitter

There is a wealth of information (tons of it) in New York Times and  the micro-blogging leader Twitter and it will be very useful and could be even remunerative to access data on them.

In this article, I look at two APIs, the Twitter API and the New York Times API and see how we can access data on them using the JavaScript libraries available on the Microsoft Edge Content Network also know as Microsoft Content Delivery Network (CDN). While jQuery is used to access API retrieved data on the intranet web server, the Microsoft AJAX client templates are used in displaying them.

Data in JSON objects are retrieved from New York Times and Twitter using jQuery and pushed into  Microsoft AJAX templates.

Read this article brought to you from Packt Publishing company at
Hacking New York Times and Twitter with Microsoft AJAX and jQuery

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Printing to Canon MP 210 printer using Windows 7 Ultimate

The printer driver to print a document from a Windows 7 Ultimate computer to Canon MP 210 must be upgraded with a new driver before you can print. After installing the new driver whose download details given here it is easy to print from a computer running Windows 7 Ultimate RC.

However to print to a Canon Printer MP 210 connected to a Windows 7 computer from a WiFi networked computer you may face some problems. This notes describes in detail how you may successfully print from the networked computer.

Computer network details
  • Acer Laptop computer running Windows 7 Ultimate RC. The MP210 Canon printer is connected to this computer.
  • The Toshiba Laptop (Satellite P105-S6134) is WIFI networked with the Acer as well as several other desktops.

Follow these steps:
  • Verify that you can print from the Acer computer to the connected Canon MP 210.
  • When you Add a printer on the Windows XP the program prompts that a suitabe driver will be downloaded to the machine. If you go ahead it will indeed discover the MP 210 on Acer after some time as in Figure 1. However you will not be able to print.
  • Use the Canon diagnostic tool and enter into Troubleshooting window and choose the option to download a new driver. It will take you to Canon site where you can download the driver. After downloading and installing the driver restart your computer so that the changes can take effect.
  • First of all the discovered printer in step 2 would have disappeared and you need to browse for a printer again. This time it will discover the printer (make sure that Acer computer is on and running). Now you will be able to print from the Windows XP.
Here are some screen shots of the various steps above.

Figure 1: Shared Printers

Figure 2: OS Compatibility of printer

Figure 3: Downloading the driver

Figure 4: Installing the driver

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Opera browser upgrades from 9.1 to 10.01

It has a nice look and easy to install or upgrade. I did a fairly easy install. The file size is small around 6.8MB. It has quite a few new features that includes a bunch of gestures: Window, mouse, navigation, link, and wheel which allows various kinds of movements. I suppose if one is using this browsers daily one will get used to it. If you are like me who is whimsical then you may get confused. SpeedDial gets you the page you want with one click. It is turbo-charged and getting to there should be super fast. Here is a screen shot of the speed dial. It worked quite well with several web sites but when it came to showing my intranet it did slow down a bit for some of the pages. Perhaps there is some more configuration involved. What I did was an out-of-the box experiment.

p.s: While I upgraded from 9.1 there may be a later version aswell.

Here is a screen shot of a new window in Opera10.

Here there are 9 place holders. Five of them are taken up. Click on the sixth and you get a drop-down pick list of various web sites previously visited. Pick the one you want and you are done.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Open Source Surge (Google Closure Tool)

Javascript has suddenly matured and perhaps these are its best of times. There is a large number of JavaScript libraries vying for your attention and capture your heart. Review the article describing the various libraries on Wikipedia.

It all really started with the introduction of Dynamic HTML[DHTML] when Javascript provided the scripting ability to interact with the web page which had remained mostly static till that time. With the support of CSS and Javascript the stage was set for the web pages to take the users to the next level. The next big push came in with the introduction of AJAX. The concurrent effort by developers to somehow address the display disparity with the existing browsers and make the user experience uniform across different existing browsers and versions resulted in packaging the various libraries. Of course Microsoft Visual Studio also worked hard on making this uniform user experience across browsers a priority and the applications developed using this IDE fulfilled this wish mostly.

Most recently Google made available its toolset, the Closure Compiler. It is supposed to make Javascript to download and run faster according to Google. It is more like a refactoring tool for Javascript. It also checks for script coding errors etc. Moreover it is integrated with Firefox's PageSpeed and you can see for yourselves the gain in performance using the Google Tool. The tool can be used from command line as well as a simple web application.

The above Google URL also has links to examples of the tool's usage. One such example shows optimizing code by removing white spaces. Review this example here.
In the above example, it took in the script shown here:
function hello(name){
//Greets the user
alert('Hello, ' + name);
hello('New User');
and the Closure Tool optimized it to the following after removing white spaces (as well as the comments) :
function hello(name){alert"Hello, "+name)}hello("New User");

Parse errors with line number and character position are provided by the tool but you will have to go and count those on your input code. Also there is no color coding or error position highlighting.

How to access the Closure compiler?

Click on this URL and you are ready, set and go.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Regarding IE 8.0 and jQuery

Microsoft has chosen jQuery from among the different javascript libraries and has been giving increasing attention to it in its programming software regardless of this  IE 8.0 still does not render all of jQueries selectors.

I read on the internet about other IE 8 problems vis-a-vis jQuery. The following figures show how different IE 8.0 renders the same content (I threw in a lot of selectors) when compared to other browsers. It appears that IE 8 can render the ID tag selector well but none of the others. I tried it out in the latest issue of Microsoft Blend Super Preview but it appears that rendering (interpretation) has remained the same from IE 6.0 to IE 8.0.

This is in IE 8.0

This one in Firefox

This one in Opera

This one in the latest issue of Super Preview. The left one is IE 6.0 and the right one is IE 8. I am not sure if the Super View is supposed to render css styles. Protection Status