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2009 November

Tony Davis

The Road to RIA


Tools such as Visual Basic (VB) and Visual FoxPro succeeded and became wildly popular because they provided simple and effective abstractions of a programming language. This allowed relatively inexperienced developers to rapidly prototype and produce small business applications. The .NET languages and platform that superseded them have grown rapidly in complexity and this sort of […]

26 November 2009 6:05 am by
Charles Lee

Initiate a SharePoint workflow from a button on the list view.


I came across a scenario recently where a project required that a list of items could have a button or link on a list view, which would cause a workflow to start. Essentially the users involved were not happy using the out-of-the-box way that SharePoint (WSS 3.0) allows users to manually initiate workflows. They believed […]

24 November 2009 1:00 am by
Roger Hart

What if bad documentation gets there first?


I read an interesting blog snippet a while ago about information visualizations and their capacity to set change our view of the world. It asks whether we as information designers have a moral responsibility to our users that governs how we model their worlds (“First, do no mimetic harm.”). I feel like that about documentation […]

23 November 2009 9:06 am by
John Magnabosco

Shades of Schemas


I am sure that some of the database nomenclature that is used might be a bit confusing to those who are entering into the wonderful world of SQL Server. An example would be the varying use of the word “schema”. In a general database terms a schema is the organization and definition of the tables […]

21 November 2009 11:22 am by
Rachel Potts

What can web analytics do for a help & support website?


Background Web analytics is often used in Internet marketing to understand the success of advertising or determine why customers aren’t completing the purchase process on a website. Although the technique is less often used to understand the success of online documentation, I believe that such data could become a powerful tool in developing and maintaining […]

20 November 2009 8:14 am by
Michael Francis

We’re not Reflex-Upgraders.

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The reality of life in the server room isn’t always as it is imagined at Microsoft. We’re not reflex-upgraders. Many administrators harbour the guilty secret of a server contentedly puttering away in the corner, with an aging application running SQL Server 6.5 on Windows NT. In many such cases any thought of upgrade is unrealistic; […]

19 November 2009 10:58 am by
Roger Hart

Email? Pah – pointless! It’s just boobs and Nigerian banking scams


There’s a technical communications email discussion list I’m part of. It has a bit of bickering about commas, sure, but also interesting things. Some of those things make me cranky. Recently, discussion turned to social networking, and I got quite, quite cross indeed. Essentially, there are technical authors who don’t see the point of Twitter […]

17 November 2009 5:46 am by
Phil Factor

Visibility, the art of being noticed.


When I started work, more years ago than I care to think about, there was a more relaxed approach to vituperation in the workplace. Of course, the nineteenth century was the classic era for the art. Brunel in 1842, for example wrote a memo to one of his employees who had messed up a technical […]

15 November 2009 3:17 pm by
Andrew Hunter

ANTS Performance Profiler 6 Early Access

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The Early Access Program for ANTS Performance Profiler 6 has begun. You can get the new version from the EAP forum, here. There are three major new features in this early build, with more to come in the future: Sampling This new profiling mode is available from the session setup dialog. Sampling works by periodically […]

13 November 2009 6:03 am by
Tony Davis

Do Scalar UDFs give SQL Server a Bad Name?


Many developers seem to regard SQL Server as if it were a science-fiction alien planet where unsuspecting crew-members in blue jumpers occasionally die horribly; everything is suddenly unsafe, and potentially malicious: nothing really works properly and so any serious code should be kept well away from it. Is this developer ignorance, or is their fear […]

13 November 2009 4:24 am by
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