Saturday, August 31, 2013

Do you need to connect to SQL Anywhere 16 from OpenOffice 4.0?

Sybase Central 16 is a very nice interface and I never encountered any problem from its earliest version (I jumped in at version 9, may be). However, if you want to connect to a database and create tables; run queries; create views; create forms and reports you can use OpenOffice 4.0 which is very simple to use.

Main content is temporarily removed.

Sorry for the inconvenience,


I am restoring the original post for the following reasons:
1. It  is an opportunity to get a feedback from the larger audience.
2. The described procedure is not wrong, but the 'odbc' confusion is not completely resolved. If and when this is resolved, the procedure will be useful in its entirety.

When you install SQL Anywhere 16 it comes with a 'demo' database and incidentally this has not changed from the earliest version to which I was exposed.
You can connect to the 'demo' server and create an ODBC connection as shown in the next image (note that you will be using a 32-bit driver):

Now launch OpenOffice 4.0 from its shortcut on the desktop and click Database as in the earlier post. You are already in Step 1.
In Step 2 select the demo ODBC connection and click OK.

In Step 3 provide 'dba' as username.

Click Test Connection. Provide 'sql' as the password.


Click OK.
You will see that you easily get connected.

In Step 4, save and proceed. For this example it was saved as SAP16.odf.

Click Finish. Now you see the Group O tables in the saved database.

Note added in this reinstatement:
This looks great. But what is the problem and why did I try to retract?
Well the problem with this is none of the tables can be opened to see what they contain. There is a cryptic error message but no clue. My guess is that the ODBC driver that is installed with the software produces can architectural mismatch and therefore results in an error. I have posted this to OpenOffice forum, but I think the problem is the ODBC driver (probably not having the correct one). If I find some explanation, I will edit this post.  I invite readers for suggestions.


Do you want to create a report with Report Builder using data from SQL Anywhere 16 ?

Report Builder 3.0 is the present version shipped at the same time as SQL Server 2012. It is a one-stop report authoring tool which can even be launched from Report Manager or from a Reporting services Integrated SharePoint Site. Of course you can download and launch it after installing on your desktop.

Report Builder is described in great detail here:
Creating reports using Report Builder 2.0 is described here

Report Builder 3.0 is described exhaustively in my latest book

Out of the box it can connect to a variety of vendor products and the inclusion of ODBC and OLE DB makes it extremely convenient to connect to many other (not out of the box supported) products.

Case in point is SQL Anywhere Server 16 for which you can set up an ODBC connection.

This post shows you some of the steps that you can follow to turn out a report from SQL Anywhere 16. The following assumes that you have already started the SQL Anywhere Personal server. The procedure has still some unanswered questions, please read the last section.

The following screen shows how you connect to an ODBC source for a connection embedded with the report.

The next slide shows an ODBC System DSN 'demo' created using the SQL Anywhere 16. In reality this ODBC DSN gets registered when you install SQL Anywhere 16.

The next slide shows that connectivity is OK with 'dba' as username and 'sql' as password.

The final connectivity screen after testing the authentication is shown in the next image.

The Credentials for this connection are shown in the next image.

In order to create a dataset for your report use of Query Designer is not possible as it is not supported. You need to have this information on your hand to insert into the Report Builder's data set page.

The next image shows the InteractiveSQL tool in which a SQL Select statement is used to choose a all the fields from the Contacts table.

The dataset will be created using this embedded connection as shown.

For this, the query contacts.sql created in Sybase's InteractiveSQL is used and persisted to the desktop. This is imported into Report Builder's data set interface as shown using the import button

The next image shows the report designer interface taking in a few columns from the data set shown on the left.

This last image shows the report being displayed in Report Builder 3.0

While the above procedure is correct you may find problems while repeating this procedure and this will be mainly due to the odbc32 and odbc64 problems as I understand it

However, take a look at my bug report to Microsoft connect here

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Training Course in Honolulu: SQL Server Reporting Services 2012

This hands-on course will provide you with the ability to create cutting edge reports using Microsoft's latest reporting services product, SQL Server 2012.

The course is offered by the Pacific center for Advanced technology Training:

Report writing is one of the most important IT related jobs in an enterprise. This course if for you if you would like to master report writing/authoring using SQL Server Reporting Services. The course begins with a presentation of essential technical background, after which you will work through guided hands-on exercises. At the end of the course you will have gained:
• A solid understanding of how to interact with SQL Servers
• Knowledge and experience installing and configuring reporting Services
• A working knowledge of using Report Builder to author reports and deploy them to report server
• A working knowledge of Report Manager's ability to carry out administrative tasks related to all aspects of reports; creating shared data sources, folder and folder hierarchies on the report server, and report models; managing security and subscriptions; and configuring data driven subscriptions
• An understanding of how to embed report viewer controls in windows and web projects.

Course code: 134F1TSQL003A

Venue: Honolulu Community College Honolulu Community College
874 Dillingham Blvd Honolulu, HI 96817-4598 Phone: (808) 845-9211
Official Website:

Section 1 - Nov 6 - Dec 16; MW; 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm; 12 mtgs.

I will be using my latest book on SQL Server Reporting Services for this course:


Monday, August 26, 2013

Good job Bing, Well done!

Bing translator is awesome

I just added an HTML gadget to my blog which serves up the Bing Translator. It looks great. I tried to see how well it translates the languages with some of the languages that I am somewhat familiar with  (Portuguese, French, German, Japanese and Hindi) and found it pretty good. Of course certain things are language specific and idioms are not easy to translate. Translations to western languages are perhaps more successful than into non-European languages.  I am sorry to say, the run of the mill translating jobs will slowly disappear. The bright side is editing jobs will increase.

You have an option of some 41 languages to choose from to read my blog. Just click the drop-down control on the Translate with Bing and choose the language. It can be set to change manually or set automatic in which case it will open in the browser's language.

With just a click you can add this functionality to your blog, get it from here,

Here is an example of my blog translated into Japanese.

While most of the translated material is some what verbatim and therefore does not have the  natural touch, the meaning is easily discernible.

Note how 'walk in the park' is translated verbatim into 'Koen de Sanpo'.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Connecting to SQL Server 2012 from OpenOffice 4.0 is a walk in the park

It just takes 4 easy steps as you will see presently.

It's assumed that you have set up an ODBC DSN to connect to SQL Server 2012. If you want to know how you can set up this file access the following link:

Click open OpenOffice 4.0 from its shortcut on desktop to display the following:

Click on Database in the displayed list.

The Database wizard is displayed as shown with four steps and it is already in Step 1 -Select Database.

Click Connect to an existing database and click the drop-down list to view how you want to connect.

Choose the last one, ODBC. Click Next. You Step into step 2 - Set up an ODBC Connection.

The accessible ODBC sources are displayed as shown.

Click on sql11 and Click OK. Click Next. You move into Step 3 - Set up user authentication. Enter credentials to the SQL Server. The windows authentication is used.

Place check mark for Password required. Click Test Connection.

Enter Password field and click OK. You should see a positive response as shown.

Click OK and click Next to move to Step 4 - Save and proceed as shown.

Read instructions. Save the OpenOffice database with a name as shown, Aug 25.odf.

The file opens in the OpenOffice 4.0 user interface as shown.

Now you can start working with Northwind database in OpenOffice 4.0

Perhaps, if you find connecting to SQL Server 2012 using SSMS is a bit taxing and somewhat intimidating try Apache OpenOffice 4.0. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Training Course in Honolulu: Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)

You are welcome to attend my course at the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training (PACTT).
Databases, organized repositories of information, have become indispensable in today's world. In this introductory course you will learn about databases and the basics of Structured Query Language (SQL) including sorting, distinct, and aggregate functions and grouping of data. All SQL statements will initially be written from one table. Most practical, modern and relational databases will include a large number of tables. SQL queries have to access information from several tables. This course will then introduce you to querying more than one table. With this skill you will be able to query two or more tables in a database. This is a hands-on course.

Dates: (Section 1) Nov 5 - Dec 10; Tuesdays and Thursdays; 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm; 10 meetings.
Venue: Honolulu Community College;

Course code: 134F1TSQL001A
Note: SQL Server 2012 Express will be used and a knowledge of SQL Server is not assumed. Students will be using the free version.

For details : Access and look up the course or write to: with course name in the Subject line.

Friday, August 16, 2013

HTML5 and browser support

Looks like Google Chrome acquits itself admirably!

This site (link) tests browsers for the support they provide for
HTML5. The following quoted from the site describes the
criteria for testing.

"The score is calculated by testing for the many new features
of HTML5. Each feature is worth one or more points. Apart from
the main HTML5 specification and other specifications created
the W3C HTML Working Group, ...etc.

The test also awards bonus points for supporting audio and
video codecs and supporting SVG or MathML embedding in a plain
HTML document. These test do not count towards the total score
because HTML5 does not specify ...etc."

Please access the site for further details here:

These are some of the browsers I use and I am not sure they are
the latest.

Looks like Google Chrome acquits itself admirably while Safari is trailing. Firefox is catching up fast.

Little over a year ago, things were different and IE (8) was trailing Chrome by a large margin,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Looking at SQL Anywhere after a long break

In fact after having been acquired by SAP, I have not looked at this Sybase product. Here are the links to my previous SQL Anywhere articles. Looks like SQL Anywhere 10 was the last version I looked at. Here is a list of articles I wrote on the older versions. It is possible some links are broken. I wrote few more articles during that time, I will have to search for them.

Deploymentof the MobiLink Synchronization Model Wizard in SQL Anywhere 10

MobiLink Synchronization Wizard in SQL Anywhere 10

Using Data Access Pages to Access Data on a SQL Anywhere 10 Database

Introducing Jasper (SQL Anywhere 10 Beta)

Migrating from Oracle 10G XE to SQL Anywhere 10

How to Access a SQL Anywhere Database with ColdFusion

Migrating an MS Access Database to SQL Anywhere with Migration Wizard

Using SQL Anywhere Database With a Web Services Server

Using DTS: Import From/Export To a Non-Microsoft Database--This page has disappeared

Creating Database Projects with SQL Anywhere Studio, Part 2

Creating Database Projects with SQL Anywhere Studio, Part 1

This is Sybase Central 10.

Sybase Central is like SQL Server's Management Studio, an interface where you can do most things. There was no Cloud Services when SQL Anywhere 10 was released but now with SQL Anywhere 16 you can connect to Cloud servers as well.

This is the Sybase Central 16 here:

SQL Anywhere 16 is the latest version, You can download from here:

To install SQL Anywhere 16 run the Setup.exe (805 KB) from the download location. The following programs /Items will be added to Start | All Programs as shown.

It has most programs for both x36 and x64 versions. 

RelayServer 16 is the new addition to the 10 version. This is where you should start your exploration. Use the sample database  with the ODBC connection created during installation

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hyperloop is doable, but...

PayPal (EBAY)
Tesla (TSLA)
SpaceX (Private)
SolarCity (SCTY)

and now Hyperloop.

Could it be the next disruptive technology",  is it doable?
Well the possibility of a system was demonstrated even as far back as 1867.

Since that time we have come a long way in technology, power, electrical machines; superconductivity; solar energy etc. It stands to reason that it is doable but would require enormous investment. Elon has tons of cash and should be able to pull off. His resume is par excellence. The fact that he has in-house capability in many of the required technologies (aerodynamics, electrical propulsion; storage batteries) makes it lot more doable.

There are technical challenges which start off from basic physical limitations and range across several material science related issues. Several of these have been discussed in the pdf document above.

I will be looking forward to see some more details after this initial proposal and perhaps a working model of modest track length. Of course, the economic aspects of it will be lot more interesting.  What provisions would be there for a breakdown event in the 'middle' of the tube?  

The group I worked with at Northrop Grumman's Advanced Research Center at Princeton in NJ and Bethpage, NY did work on a MagLev (Magnetic Levitation) based design and came up with a proof of principles proposal which unfortunately did not get funded. That was back in late 70's.

I would like to thank my friend and colleague, Dr. Michael Foster Reusch for sharing some of the thoughts and the links.

Interested, contact

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Where can you buy 'Bitcoins'? 0r, Do you hate transaction charges?

Guys, this is the future currency, BOA, PNC, BOH, C etc. etc. will be a thing in the past, history. Why pay transaction charges?, why settle for 'not so good' service?

buy 'bitcoins'.

Well, easier said then done.

I tried PayPal to buy bitcoin. No way, unless I buy from another PayPal guy. Guy is neutral, him or her, OK.

Best place to buy is from your Mama!!

Well, not exactly your Mama. But from

Go here, if you want to buy bitcoin,

Well, you can use your credit card to buy. Don't stay static, suit-up and run.

If I find time, I will write again, stay tuned to my blog,

I don't own bitcoins and I am not paid by coinmama.

Here is a picture (logo) of bitcoin copied from an internet site:


Windows update breaks a Window 8 Phone project

Fix for the "No exports were found that match the constraint: ContractName" error.

This error cropped up while modifying a Windows 8 Phone program using Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone. It was just a simple multi-page program which brings up details of my books from the main screen. The program was working correctly as shown in the screen shots:

The links on the MainPage.xaml would bring up the linked pages as shown for one of them:

While trying to access the pages, the above error would show up. This happened right after a Windows Update. Interestingly opening the project in Blend for Visual Studio 2012 allowed modifications to the pages but when opened in Visual Studio always resulted in the above message.

This error and some remedies can be accessed here:

One of the fixes calls for deleting a folder , ComponentModelCache which is supposed to be present at a certain location. However depending on the build, version etc. it can be in different places. For the program used here (highlighted),
Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone
It is found at this location:
Directory of C:\Users\<username.\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VPDExpress\11.0

08/09/2013  01:00 PM    <DIR>          .
08/09/2013  01:00 PM    <DIR>          ..
08/09/2013  12:44 PM    <DIR>          1033
08/09/2013  12:43 PM    <DIR>          Extensions
08/09/2013  12:44 PM    <DIR>          ComponentModelCache
08/09/2013  12:15 PM            19,248 VPDExpress.exe.config
08/09/2013  08:52 AM                38 vspdmc.lock
08/09/2013  01:00 PM    <DIR>          VTC
               2 File(s)         19,286 bytes
               6 Dir(s)   5,137,149,952 bytes free
Surprisingly this folder could not be removed as access was denied even with elevated permissions. The Windows 8 OS used here is on a second partition of Windows 7 x64 bit lap top.

Finally the problem disappeared after upgrading the Visual Studio 2012 Express with Update 3 which updated the current version: 11.0.50727.1 to 11.0.60610.01

The only reason for the error appears to be the Windows Update.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Connect to SQL Azure using OpenOffice

In my 2011 book, I have described the procedure for connecting to SQL Azure using OpenOffice Version 3.2.1. Basically OpenOffice supports this connectivity using ODBC. Follow this link:

Download Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server (windows) here:

This should let you create an ODBC connection which allows connection to SQL Servers.

Once you have this you can follow the procedure in "Microsoft SQL Azure: Enterprise Application Development,2011, ISBN:978-1-849680-80-6, Chapter 10: Recent Developments #OpenOffice access to SQL Azure"

Please note that I have not tested this with new version of Apache OpenOffice and the new ODBC driver.

The above example shows running reports using SQL Azure Data.

Lenovo Yoga 11 is history, buy Lenovo 11S

Yoga 11 is discontinued buy Yoga 11s. It is all a question of chip architecture and OS. Read the differences here:

Monday, August 05, 2013

Short of cash, get Apache OpenOffice 4.0 free


Tons of features with over million downloads at the time of this post.

Download Apache OpenOffice 4.0  from here:

Review these features copied from the above site:

•Cross platform (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X)
•170+ Languages
•Extensions and Templates available
•Commercial support available
•New Sidebar
•Interoperability Improvements for Text Documents, Spreadhseet Documents, Presentation Documents and OOXML file format in general
•DrawObject Improvements/Enhancements
•New Color Palette
•New Gradients
•New Gallery Themes and Gallery enhancements
•Refined the Selection Handles User Interface
•Refined Selection Visualization
•Better Print Preview
•Enhanced conversion to Bitmap Graphics
•Enhanced Copy/Paste
•Enhanced Drag&Drop
•Adapt LineStart/End to LineWidth
•SVG Export enhancements
•SVG/Metafile Break improvement
•SVG Import improvements
•Picture Crop mode offers preview
•Unified visualization of ColorPalette popup
•Transparency support for pixel formats (PNG)
•Connectors support rotation
•Corrected Hatch fill style visualization
•Better gradient support in metafiles
•Calc and Chart Improvements/Enhancements
•Support relative Pie Chart Height
•New Functions: AVERAGEIFS, COUNTIFS, SUMIFS, XOR, LEFTB, RIGHTB, LENB, MIDB and RAND (reimplemented to use the Mersenne-Twister algorithm)
•Extensions Improvements/Enhancement
•New Toolbar management
•Unified menu API
•Performance Improvements/Enhancements
•Many resource leaks were fixed
•Speedup of Graphic Rendering
•Additional Language Support
•Changes that Impact Backwards Compatibility
•Module binfilter removed (legacy StarOffice file formats (.sdw, .sdc, .sdd, etc.)
•Python support updated
•Support for system C++ STL

This is not all. There are over 650 extensions and over 2000 templates.

Java is required for complete OpenOffice ( functionality.  Herein, Java version 7, Update 25 was used.

Download JRE from here:

The following worked after the JRE install:

The Excel file in the previous post ( was saved as type XML Spreadsheet 2003(NwindEmp). This was then opened in OpenOffice's Spreadsheet document as shown.

Check it out. Why spend a bundle!!!


Friday, August 02, 2013

Converting EXCEL Spread Sheet to XML format using Open XML SDK 2.0

Binary encoded WORD, EXCEL, Power Point presentations can be implemented by multiple applications on different platforms, adding to portability.This decoupling will be of great value to render existing documents into a portable open format.

You can get immediately into the heart of the matter by downloading Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft office from here:

These are the kinds of stuff you can ho:

The download will bring in two MSI files:
OpenXMLSDKTool.msi(106.4 MB) and OpenXMLSDKv2.msi(3.8MB)

You need to run these MSI files to work with document conversions.

Now if you have Visual Studio (VS 2012 is used for this post) then you can work with WORD, EXCEL etc after installing the MSIs as shown in the previous link.

For example, I tried to create XML from EXCEL using one of Microsoft's examples quoted here (the comment is from Microsoft,'s how to convert EXCEL to XMl module)
/****************************** Module Header ******************************\
* Module Name:  ConvertExcelToXml.cs
* Project:      CSOpenXmlExcelToXml
* Copyright(c)  Microsoft Corporation.

* This class is used to convert excel data to XML format string using Open XMl
* Firstly, we use OpenXML API to get data from Excel to DataTable
* Then we Load the DataTable to Dataset.
* At Last,we call DataSet.GetXml() to get XML format string 
* This source is subject to the Microsoft Public License.
* See
* All other rights reserved.

When you open this file in Visual Studio,

and run by hitting F5 you can display a user interface where you can insert a EXCEL file reference and generate XML as shown.

I browsed to Simplest.xlsx (Microsoft Excel 2010) and it converted as shown.

The problem with this is the conversion is not correct. The Simplest.xlsx file is the following:

If I add one more row below with values 7,8,9 I get the following.

I suppose the code needs some fix.

Even more weird was how the following EXCEL,

was converted to XML.

May be I need to go into the C# file and find out what is happening.

Look at details of code  in object browser:

Once in VS2012, Object Browser is your best friend to get acquainted with the required information:

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Learning to build Windows 8 apps on MVA

What is MVA?

MVA is Microsoft Virtual Academy and you can learn building apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 free of cost. That is right, at no cost to you (Well, that is mighty generous). Of course you can learn a whole lot of others besides Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone.

Form factors is an important difference between these two platforms. Issues / concerns are described.

Check it out here:

For example, this particular course has 4 modules:
  • Comparing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
  • Basics of View Models
  • MVVM
  • Sharing Code
This paraticluar module (Comparing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8) is neither about building apps for the two platforms nor it is going to show code that works for both platforms.
Code reusability is explored between the two operating systems.

Application Life cycle is explored:

Each platform has its own XAML Controls
UI reuse is not a thing that you can look forward to, but data model is the one that makes reuse easier. Data Model APs are portable (specifically read/write) across these two paltforms.

*Windows Phone 8 SQL CE
*WIndows 8 has no specific built-in database api
*MVVM helps porting code between the two platforms. Review Portable Class Libraries project template in Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate (non-express edition is needed).


The screen shots are captured from the video at the above site. The last screen shot is from Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate. Protection Status