Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wishing you all a very Happy 2012

I wish all my readers a very happy New Year. 2011 was a very mixed year with so many things happening all at the same time.

I decided to move out of New Jersey but was unable to sell the house due to the downturn in the housing market. It has become more of a distress sale. The writing of my 4th book took a very longtime, rewriting - after each announcement of a new beta. Microsoft rapidly announced the RTM soon after Beta 2.

Due to lack of time, I wrote fewer articles and made fewer posts to my blogs. I hope I will be able to correct this in 2012 and that will be my New Year resolution.

On the positive side I visited India and in particular my beloved city, Mysore where I grew up. I will blog about this city, a mysorian writing about Mysore, a bit of bragging; a lot of complaints and a bit of nostalgia. I also visited some famous cities in the North, Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. I hope to return to Hawaii soon where I am likely to spend a major part of my next few years.

Another thing I have been following in India is the cry of the masses against the all pervading corruption. It looks like the judicial system is tainted as well by this c word.

My best wishes to the activists who are trying to get the blessings of the constitution to put anti-corruption measures on a firmer ground through legislation.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winners of Bengaluru Web Camp 2011 raffle

Here is the list of winners of the raffle and the eBooks they will be receiving from Packt Publisher Inc.  Please visit Packt Publishing Technical & IT Book and eBook Store and review a wide range of books on cutting edge IT and web related books. Duane Moraes, Packt's Senior Marketing Research Executive sent me an email informing that the winners have been contacted.

Gautham Shetty :
Beginners Guide to SQL Server Integration Services Using Visual Studio 2005

Praveen Gowda :   
Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development

Learning SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Gururaj B        
Microsoft SQL Azure Enterprise Application Development

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Abandoned Angels of Bengaluru, India.

 LETS LIVE TOGETHER, A non profit organization seeking shelter for street dogs. 

This photo was taken in the recent fund raising event to provide homes for street dogs. A calender was released as a part of 
this campaign, to raise the awareness of the plight of street dogs which are often mistaken for dogs that would spread rabies.

Here is a picture of a beautiful dog that was recently adopted through the efforts of this organization.

There is nothing more beautiful than the innocent face of this puppy.

Pictures contributed by my nieces Sriraksha and Sridevi

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Microsoft Web Camps-Bengaluru Nov 3_2011

I managed to attend this event in Bengaluru and it was quite interesting. The Microsoft staff who made the presentations did quite a good job. The presentations were around HTML5 and Web Matrix. Deploying a web matrix application to Windows Azure was presented quite effectively. However I am not sure how many in the audience worked with Windows Azure. Here are some msdn blogs of those who presented:

I also took the opportunity to introduce myself briefly. I wanted to raffle one copy each (eBook version) to the audience but this practice does not appear common. In any case I spoke for a few minutes and explained that the audience could participate in a raffle.

Here is how you can enter the raffle:

Send me an email here ( In the subject line write one of the following:

If you want to check out the books you may follow the links:

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development
Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development

Microsoft SQL Azure Enterprise Application Development

Microsoft SQL Azure Enterprise Application Development

Learning SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

Learning SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

Beginners Guide to SQL Server Integration Services Using Visual Studio 2005

Beginners Guide to SQL Server Integration Services Using Visual Studio 2005

Apart from the above, if you are interested you can buy the books at deep discounts. I believe there is a deadline.Use the following:
Discount Codes:
      Print book : qdecpri
      E Book : qdecebk
The Packt web site is here:

That's all, thanks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Regarding my first book on Microsoft Business Intelligence

I came across this critique of my book on SQL Server Integration Services. I am reproducing this for the benefit of my blog readers.

"Critique du livre par la rédaction (Fleur-Anne BLAIN )

 A la recherche d'un premier contact avec SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), débutant, développeur souhaitant migrer de 2000 à 2005 en douceur ou même DBA avec une faible expérience, cet ouvrage est parfait pour vous.

Ce livre est très bien développé de la présentation de SSIS à des exemples d'utilisation plus particuliers. Il explore de nombreux cas pratiques que le lecteur peut suivre et reproduire pas à pas. En effet, cet ouvrage est réellement un guide très pédagogique qui permet de découvrir Visual Studio et plus particulièrement SSIS étape par étape. Une étape est souvent réutilisée par la suite dans un autre exemple ce qui permet d'ancrer dans l'esprit du lecteur les bonnes marches à suivre.

Très facile à lire et bien illustré, il est impossible de s'y perdre si c'est votre premier contact avec SSIS.

Seul bémol, l'auteur ne fait aucune allusion à tout ce qui touche à la gestion d'erreurs ce qui est pourtant très important dans l'utilisation de SSIS. Toutes les situations présentées sont à considérer comme des cas exemplaires sans aucun problème et donc erreur possible. "...more

Friday, October 21, 2011

This one is too sweet to miss - Just take a look

I paid a bundle but you don't need to. Look at this,
HP Pavilion Desktop with Windows XP Media Center edition OS
LCD large screen Monitor
Original Keyboard
Original Recovery Disk
Desktop files/folders set to original condition
Recovery disc
Canon Pixma Printer with cable
Video Cam
Most original documents including two recovrey discs
Learning software programs in a carrying case
Printer table
Call for picture

In a hurry I did not get all the details. The price I set may be even much lower than what I wanted (what they are worth). But should you need call me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Published today: Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development

This book was published today (Sept 21, 2011).

Visual Studio LightSwitch or simply LightSwitch is the latest addition to Microsoft's VS Suite. I believe this is game changing software when it comes to data-centric applications for the Desktop, or the web, or for the Microsoft Cloud Platform.

I started writing this book during the Beta 1 period and finished soon after the RTM. Before RTM there was a Beta 2 which was almost a finished product.  Similar to my other books, each chapter builds upon the previous, and by the time you finish, I believe you will have learnt a lot about LightSwitch. Instead of taking a real business application and explain away how LightSwitch implements the application - a top-down approach, I have taken a bottom-up approach building bit by bit from scratch. Another reason for this approach was the fact that there are already very many online resources which utilize the top-down approach.

Of course, similar to my other books, this book is also replete with screen shots, and you can find codes both in VB and C# for most of the chapters. The projects created to describe the contents of the chapters can be downloaded from Packt site.
Here is the table of contents:
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Getting Started with Microsoft LightSwitch
  • Chapter 2: Microsoft LightSwitch IDE and Architecture
  • Chapter 3: Accessing Data from a VSLS Application
  • Chapter 4: Screens in VSLS application
  • Chapter 5: Working with Entities
  • Chapter 6: Querying and Filtering Data
  • Chapter 7: Writing Code in Microsoft LightSwitch
  • Chapter 8: Authentication and Authorization in Microsoft LightSwitch
  • Chapter 9: Deploying LightSwitch Applications
  • Chapter 10: Troubleshooting, Debugging, Custom Controls, and Extensions
  • Index
A sample chapter is available here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Would you miss this great opportunity of a great buy?

Packt has published a number of extremely useful and focused books, both Open Source and Microsoft besides others. You can get a list of over 90 Microsoft books here.

In fact I authored four of them:

This month Packt is giving great discounts on Microsoft books, an opportunity you should not miss. Here is a screen shot of Packt's ad on their site here.

Good luck

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You want to become a CloudMASTER or even a CloudGuru?

You can visit NJIT  which offers these courses after which you get the certificates. Well even universities are getting on the band wagon. We will have to look at the faculty which teaches these courses.

I suppose martial arts schools will start their CloudBelt program for the Cloud Ninjas.

Another alternative, quite simple, if you know already a little bit of SQL and Visual Studio is to read these books from Packt which will make you as good a CloudSomething as any other alternative paths.

Of course you can read other books as well and you can find them on amazon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Visual Studio 2010 does support LocalDB provided...

Visual Studio 2010 does support  LocalDB provided the new SQL Server Developer Tool (SSDT) is installed. After installing SSDT you need to create a SQL Server Database project  as shown.

The SQL Server Database that is used within the project is the LocalDB. Here you can call up the table designer using Add Table as shown.

This document was edited to remove the error which gave the impression that this is a C# project. It is actually a SQL Server project.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Visual Studio 2010 does not support Data designer for LocalDB

LocalDB is a feature of Denali CTP3 SQL Server Express. While you can connect to LocalDB, a file based database file, the designer data designer which is invoked from Data | Add New shown below does not support creating objects in SQL Server versions beyond SQL Server 2008 within the VS 2010.

It is interesting however; one can create database objects in SQL Server Express 2011 (presently Denali CTP3 Express) as seen in this image.

One can conclude therefore that VS 2010 SP1 needs some kind of upgrade before it can provide UI support for designing database objects in LocalDB.


The LocalDB has to be created directly in the application that uses the application instance of this database and not via the the connection in the Server Explorer.

As the next post shows - you can use the table designer UI provided you have installed 'Juneau'

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

My book on Microsoft LightSwitch will be released soon

Microsoft LightSwitch holds great promise in application development. A great deal of effort has gone into this, crystallizing the many diverse Microsoft technologies such as SilverLight, Microsoft .NET Frame work, the Entity Model, the WCF RIA Services, LINQ to name only a few.

It is a quick and easy way to develop applications without writing a line of code in most cases. Once developed, the application can be deployed to desktop, web and Microsoft Azure Cloud platform under the expert guidance of well-designed deployment wizards. It has the same robust, ironclad security model based on ideas of securing ASP.Net applications.

 The extensibility frame work gives developers and third parties to develop extensions which enormously enhance the usability of this software in a myriad of ways. Extensibility offers and extends the idea of 'not writing a line of code' even more as developers write extensions to support this premise thus giving the users a painless way of developing applications.
I started writing this book during Beta 1 and completed it around March-April of 2011. It became apparent that I had to rewrite the book as Beta 2 appeared immediately in May. It took another three months of rewriting as Beta 2 was considerably different and what was written using Beta 1 would have been of little use. And as the Beta 2 came to an end and was released (Microsoft LightSwitch 2011), I was relieved to find that the projects built using Beta 2 compiled and worked without any problem in the release version. There were a few small changes that I incorporated in an appendix. All in all this was a difficult writing assignment as I had also some personal problems that needed urgent attention.

I will write more about the book as soon as it is released. I would like to thank Packt publishing in giving me this opportunity and generous help. I take this opportunity to thank  Microsoft, Microsoft employees and the members of the Visual Studio LightSwitch forums who educated me in more ways than one.
Read all my LightSwitch related posts here:

Read about LightSwitch Extensions here:   

Friday, September 02, 2011

Another SQL Express on the horizon

It is Denali CTP3 Express from none other than Microsoft. A lightweight edition of Denali CTP3 which will eventually be released as SQL Server 2011 Express (I guess) like the other express editions of this great software. This is a 'made for web developers and developers" edition and make sure you download and enjoy working with it.
From the MSDN link here, you can download Denali CTP3 Express edition which takes you to where you can make your choices as to version and language. Of course you need to register. The options are the same and one of the choices includes the tools as well.

The top features from the MSDN site are copied over here:

• Same database engine as other versions of SQL Server.
• Supports 10 GB of storage per database.
• Backup and restore with ease.
• Compatible with all editions of SQL Server and SQL Azure.
• Designed to work with Visual Studio and ASP.NET.
• Available with a graphical management tool.
• Offers reporting capabilities, full-text search, and spatial support.
What else do you need to test drive exccept the will?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Windows 7's cursed cursor bug

The cursor bug:This is the worst of the unfixed bugs in Windows 7. It must be quite well known to most Windows 7 users by this time (as famous as the blue screen of death). You are typing happily and suddenly you realize you are typing in another part of the screen. Sometimes while typing an email you suddenly realize your cursor has started placing letters in the subject line although you assume you are typing in the body. Todate there has been over 21000 posts complaining. Is Microsoft listening?
I don't think so. They should have had it under control by this time. BTW is the designer of this feature still works for Microsoft?
Search that does  not search:Besides this there is the problem of search not working very well. I have had this problem often enough to complain here. I had even have screen shots showing "it is not found" and juxta positioned with an actual directory view of the file (unfortunately I cannot find it now). I am referring to the Search box that shows up when you hit the Start button.

The search box next to the address bar at the top appears to work fairly well.

The creeping green line:One another thing I notice (which is frustrating) is the green filling while trying to bring up the control panel. Green color starts filling the bread crumb region ever so painfully slow you can only scream. This happens while searching as well.

Well there is also this constant 'Windows trying to find a solution' thing coming up often and often finds no solution.

These were all observed on my Windows 7 (x32) Ultimate on Acer Aspire desktop.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Is India a poor country?

The black money ( in Swiss banks kept by corrupt Indians  ( these are the high and the mighty) is something unfathomable. No country is without corruption but some or better than others.

Estimated summary of Indian black money in Swiss Banks from an email I received recently,


I often wonder whether Indians ever take any action against such atrocities, but unfortunately they are both the perpetrators and the victims at the same time. It used to be 'Mamool', the usual money that corruption demanded for any service, like scheduling a meeting with an official or get a priority position to get something done, get a contract, get some extra lighting for a wedding, anything at all etc. But over the years it must have grown into a full fledged operation applying modern methods of financial operations, the Internet, and political manipulations.

This money belongs to the people and should be returned to them.

This is a screen shot of a grass roots organization's bill to get rid of this pestilence.

I wonder,

Will it pass?

What kind of assurance is there that the business will not return to business as usual?

How can we be sure that these consolidated organizations will not be corrupt, because after all they grew in these conditions and they are conditioned?

Will India ever get rid of corruption?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

RSSBus Data Provider for LightSwitch

Extensions are being created very fast to integrate external data with LightSwitch applications. The following link to the Video shows a demo. It runs very fast but you get the idea.

* You use the same LightSwitch wizard to bind to data
* The data provider provides you with data that look like SQL Tables
* Supports CRUD operations

The following data providers were listed:
1. QuickBooks Data Provider for LightSwitch
Should be great for those who manage money and the bean counters
2. Google Data Provider for LightSwitch
Mining the Google stuff
3. Data Provider for LightSwitch
Use your competition to make money
4.PowerShell Data Provider for LightSwitch
This should be fun for the scripting guys.

Welcome, more extensions!

Note the comments in red are not from the above site.

Error messge regarding corrupted SQLEXPRESS database in Microsoft LightSwitch

The following message still shows up sometimes while creating and building Microsoft LightSwitch applications. This has not been rectified in the recently released RTM version as seen in the next paragraph.
Error    1    An error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server instance '.\SQLEXPRESS'.
Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server due to a failure in starting the process for the user instance. The connection will be closed.    C:\Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\LightSwitch\v1.0\Microsoft.LightSwitch.targets    157    10    BusinessTypeTest

However a work around exists which works very well. Here is the work around as suggested by Steven Hoag in his forum post.

  • Stop SQL Express from Control Panel
  • Close all LightSwitch apps
  • Move to the following location:
C:\Users\jay\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data\SQLEXPRESS
  • Delete all the files in the SQLEXPRESS Folder.

However when you come to the step of deleting the files you may still get an error, that the files are being used by the SQL Server (despite the fact that you stopped SQL Express in the Control Panel).

To remove them go to the task master (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and bring up the WindowsTask Master window as shown.

Click End Process.

Click End Process for sqlserver.exe in the next window.

Now you can delete all files in the SQLExpress folder

After this start SQLEXPRESS and the previous application which threw the error should build without this error.

Monday, August 08, 2011

This is an important link if you are working with SQL Servers

You often come across a problem in your interaction with SQL Servers and you may often wonder where to go for help. This link gives you a list of other links that points in the right direction. Google, Bing or Yahoo search may ultimately lead you to the correct place, but why not look this one up first.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

On errors and mistakes, both public and private

The errors committed by various organizations, both public and private are quite appalling. Is it because the agencies (organizations) do not screen their employees? Is it because of corrupt databases? Or is it because off software bugs? Just watch one of the most popular TV (news) channels’, news that streams into your TV at the bottom of the screen and you can have a hilarious day with the type of mistakes they make. You wonder if they had too little time to edit them or what?
 The recent $2 trillion mistake (later corrected providing a reason) is only one of the many things that hit the headlines. There are property inspection reports that are erroneous, date of birth mistakes, mistakes in SSN, errors in bank withdrawals etc. In a recent application prepared especially for me, as the cover letter stated, my birth date was 9/2/3194 and of course the SSN was wrong too. I am sure you have found the errors in many of your transactions too.  
It is unbelievable that organizations can let this happen in this age of improved communications and streaming data at the speed of light.

Monday, August 01, 2011

SQL Azure: July 2011 Service Release

In order to improve performance and scaling an update is in process spanning all the global data centers. The upcoming enhancements are not released but will be announced towards the end of the year. This is an important release as it targets the underlying engine. It is also important as it provides a common ground for SQL Azure and the near future release of SQL Server 11 - presently known with the code name  'Denali'.

The new release will support multiple data base administrators (Ye! Windows Azure is not going taking away your jobs, you just need to upgrade your skills). Also much better support for spatial data types making it a perfect fit for location aware apps both mobile and immobile.

The one thing that needs to be done on your side is the following: you should get hold of the latest version of SQL Server Management Tools, because the version number will change. Many users of lower versions might have already noted this while trying to connect to 'Denali' from older versions. The links to get the latest updates available in SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 are:

    * SQL Server Management Studio (
    * SQL Server Management Studio Express(

If you are using SMO (SQL Server Management Objects) then you should get the
Cumulative Update package 7 for SQL Server 2008 R2                                                              (
When all is said and done your version of SSMS should have a version greater or equal to 10.50.1777.0 in order not to have connectivity issues.

This one is for SSMS that came with SQL Server 2008 R2: No good!

This one is for SSMS installed when CTP1 'Denali' was installed:

Clearly if I use the above I should not have any connectivity problems.

If you are a DBA trying to upgrade your skills to understand SQL Azure, my book is a must read. You could get a free copy by sending an email to me at with 'SQL Azure' in the subject line. Who knows you may be lucky and get a book or a ebook in the raffle.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thank You Atif and Marc for your insight in reviewing my book

Marc Delisle lead developer of phpMyAdmin provided the help by meticulously going through the draft and made numerous suggestions which helped me to arrange the book for better presentation. Through this post, I would like to salute him. It was truly un travail bien fait. Merci beaucoup monsieur.

Atif Shehzad was a technical reviewer of my book. I sincerely thank him through this post for his DBA insight which added great value to my book thereby helping my readers. آپ کا بہت بہت صاحب کا شکریہ ادا

A lot of credit goes to the reviewers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Installing Microsoft LightSwitch RTM, Problem & Solution

Microsoft LightSwitch RTM which became available for public download, a 90 day evaluation copy presented an unusual installation problem. It took over a day and half of working on it and finally was solved. 

The problem:

This may not happen on all computers but may happen on some in both x32 as well as x64 bit architectures. The typical message one would get is that the installation will not proceed unless an existing Beta 1 is removed as shown in the next image.

This sounds an unreasonable message as the Beta 1 is removed from these computers; there is no indication of a Beta 1 in the Control Panel | Programs and Features (Windows 7); and no trace of a 'LightSwitch' component in the Registry.

Most of the reported cases, perhaps came from users who had installed Beta 1 some time or another in the past and who had removed it to accommodate Beta2 (which could not be installed if Beta 1 were present). It was a kind of given that if Beta 2 was on a machine, Beta 1 could not have been present. One user who never had Beta 1 just removed Beta 2 and it worked without any problem.

The Solution:

Finally Robert Schoen, a Microsoft Employee suggested among other suggestions to remove the following two keys in the Registry (refer to associated command, Regedit). For details follow this link,

ON x64 machines go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\10.0\STD and remove this STD key (this will be for Beta1)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\10.0\vslscore and remove this vslscore key (this will be for Beta2)

On x86 machines go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\10.0\STD and remove this STD key (this will be for Beta1)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\10.0\vslscore and remove this vslscore key (this will be for Beta2)

This is the one that worked for me, and later many others reported success on both architectures. After deleting these keys, the installation went very smoothly as in the following screen shots.

Compared to Beta 2 only three components seen in the screen shots were downloaded and installed.

Expanding Universe of Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch -VSLS for short has come of age with the RTM release yesterday. I tried to install it on my Windows 7 Ultimate (x32) but failed. That will be the subject of another post.

This post is about how this product will evolve in the future and surely it has all the ingredients. Microsoft showcased some of the extensions built by third party and this post is about those extensions.

OLAP for VSLS from

Radial Gauge Control

NetAdvantage for VSLS

This video is cool and shows how much Infragistics has invested on this product and I am sure it is going to pay off. Replacing the vanilla Data Grid in VSLS by Infragistics' DataChart make the whole page come to life.

Of course Infragistics has leveraged their Silverlight controls to customize them for VSLS and there are lots of them. No code is necessary. Isn't that great, putting developers out of work (no kidding!).

First Floor Software

Document Toolkit which enables Viewing Documents and Reports in LightSwitch

Enjoy reporting with XtraReports Suite

This is just the beginning guys!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Microsoft's Help Library Manager is really cool

I recently installed Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and at that time I clicked on the link on the final installation page pointing to documents and it was a nice experience. The Help Library Manager showed up and I downloaded a computer full of documents on most Microsoft software programs including 'Denali' and Windows Azure and a whole lot more.

Here are some screen shots of the Help Library Manager. If you are working on Microsoft products make sure you get this stuff.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The first computer bug

The first computer bug was a real bug (organic as organic can be). Follow this link to see the picture here,

Now you see lots of bugs, but mostly developer created life forms (?).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Visual Studio LightSwitch Goes RTM

The long awaited event will take place on July 26. Launch date is barely two weeks from now. It has awesome capabilities. Connecting to data is a breeze. Most used business related screens are ready to go needing no more than a click. What is not in the out-of-the box product will be provided by a spate of third party vendors/developers writing extensions. Microsoft Extensibility Framework is the under pinning technology and already third parties have moved in to reap the bonanza ( With built-in capabilities augmented by custom controls leveraging all that is (good and ) invested in Silverlight 3, Silverlight 4, can imagine how far it can go. Extensions will surely take to higher dimensions. What is remarkable about this product is you create an application once and you can deploy to the desktop, or web, or to the  cloud all published from within the IDE. I have watched it go from Beta 1 to Beta 2 and I cannot wait to savor the RTM

Monday, July 04, 2011

Review of my SQL Azure book from a SQL Azure developer

Anton Staykov ( was a frequent visitor to the SQL Azure Forum when SQL Azure appeared on the web. Anthony is a Microsoft MVP from Bulgaria. I was also a frequent visitor trying to learn from others about SQL Azure. Recently, I saw his review of my book ( which described some positive aspects of my book. He was kind enough to permit me to reproduce his review to the visitors of my blog.

Here it follows:
SQL Azure: Enterprise Application Development reviewed
"As I blogged earlier this year, there are two books on Windows Azure from Packt publishing. I was personally involved as technical reviewer with one of them, and now I am sharing my feedback on the second.
Microsoft SQL Azure: Enterprise Application Development, is the second one from the "Azure" series. Published right after the "Microsoft Azure: Enterprise Application Development" the book is the perfect complement to it. Reading Microsoft SQL Azure, you will learn the basics of cloud services (i.e. what is a Cloud, what types of clouds are there and who are the big players). You will, of course catch up with Windows Azure, as it is briefly described, in case you missed the "Microsoft Azure" book.
Focusing on the SQL Azure service it self, the book covers all the steps required for you to leverage a cloud based RDMS. All the information you find there is well structured and accompanied with good number of screenshots and sample SQL statements. You will not miss any of the features delivered from SQL Azure. All the answers are there – what is the security model of SQL Azure; how to connect and execute queries against the cloud (how to use Sql Server Management Studio); how can you use Sql Server Integration Services (a.k.a. SSIS) and what are the limitations; how to sync your cloud data with on-premise data; what are the tools supported by SQL Azure; and more and more questions and answers. I could hardly find a question for SQL Azure that this book does not answer!
I would highly recommend this book as a complement to the "Microsoft Azure: Enterprise Application Development". These two books are the complete guide to develop application for the Microsoft's Cloud! "

It is still not too late you may enter the raffle and win a hard copy or a eBook. Just send a email to with SQL Azure in the subject line.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

SQL Azure is getting beefed up

SQL Azure Updates have been regularly paced and surely enriching the user experience from the day it entered production not too long ago.

The May 2011 Service Update enriches even further. The following are the recent improvements.
Read full story here,

   1. SQL Azure Management REST API – a web API for managing SQL Azure servers.

REST API are great to work with and it makes automating SQL Azure managment a lot easier than through the portal. Now the guys who click will be replaced by guys who code as this is a programmatic approach. REST API is an open protocol, well documented and there is not too much to learn.

   2. Multiple servers per subscription – create multiple SQL Azure servers per subscription.

The servers could be anywhere North America or Singapore (is it?).  Makes distributing servers across the globe for truly golbal enterprises.

   3. JDBC Driver – updated database driver for Java applications to access SQL Server and SQL Azure.

DotNet is great but don't under estimate the power of JAVA. The JDBC driver 3.0, a Type 4 driver can handle both SQL Azure and SQL Server and what is more it is free. Now on premises JAVA Apps can capture the data from the Azure clouds.

   4. DAC Framework 1.1 – making it easier to deploy databases and in-place upgrades on SQL Azure.

Here is completely free article on DAC if you want to sample the experience.

DAC is a thing I personally love and the DAC Framework 1.1 takes it a little further. DAC makes it so easy to  import/export data it is truly amazing.

By the way, my book on SQL Azure was recently published and you may avail yourself of a free copy by sending an email to me, with the subject line, SQL AZURE. Your named will be entered into a raffle and the winner gets a copy of my book on SQL Azure(1st Winner hardcopy and 2nd Winner an eBook)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A day to watch on the Internet

Not too far away, June 8 ( is the 24-hour stress test day for the IPV6 appropriately called the World IPV6 day. IPV6 will surely take us from the unavialability of IPV4 address space. New changes bring new problems. On June 8, this Internet Society sponsored event features many participant companies to run their main websites on IPV6 protocol. Many of the stake holders, the ISPs, hardware and networking equipement makers, OS vendors, etc will be able to see how they size up against this big change. The guys with black hats will also be busy to see how they can continue to remain in business. You may want to know whether your computer is ready for this change. I checked mine by going to this site here  which I got form here  . This is a very informative article. Pasted below is how my computer would stack up.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What is common to Microsoft, Ford and Diabetes?

We are entering the next phase in human industrial evolution by bringing in health monitoring into our most cherished and useful device, the car. Ford is now equipped with devices to check the blood sugar count and advice the driver appropriately to take a sugar pill if the sugar falls below a certain level. A reduced sugar count implies a negative effect on driving ability. Well this is where Microsoft comes in with its Voice-activated communication system synced to Ford. May be Ford should also provide a pill delivery system. This is good especially for emerging countries, most specifically India, the largest producer and consumer of sugar with perhaps the largest number of diabetics in the world.

If this is possible why not eliminate drunken driving altogether by stopping the engine when it detects traces of alcohol. I am not sure which is the biggest killer, Sugar (the lack thereof)  or alcohol.

Read full story here;

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Microsoft LightSwitch Database Wizard stopped working! Why?

Steve Hoag has covered a lot of ground in troubleshooting LightSwitch Beta 2 related problems. Still there are problems that may arise due to various interactions. This post is regarding one such problem.

What was the problem?

LightSwitch can source data not only from SQL Servers, SharePoint lists and WCF RIA Services but can also obtain its data from MySQL and Oracle albeit limited to certain versions. By installing the MySQL Connector (Connector/Net 6.3.6) from here  and executing the msi you can start seeing the MySQL Provider in the Change Data Source Window after the Connection Properties window  in LightSwitch. After which it is real easy.

Due to some corruption problems with the LightSwitch it was reinstalled which required reinstalling VS2010 SP1. After these changes it became clear that the Database Wizard on the reinstalled Beta 2 was broken (could not connect to any databases) as it came back with this error,

This was followed with this error,
Microsoft Visual Studio Message:
"An unexpected error occurred in the .NET Framework Data Provider for MySQL. Please contact the provider vendor to resolve this problem"
Now the Connection Properties Window does not show up anymore.

I ran the msi file (mysql-connector-net-6.3.6.msi) once again choosing to repair. The operation completed but did not add the required DbProviderFactories entry in the machine.config file. The problem persisted.

Finally, I uninstalled the MySQL Connector and now the LightSwitch Database Wizard is happy and I see the Connection Properties Window popping-up. Of course to connect to MySQL Databases I will have to install the connector again. Protection Status