Here are our blogs listed by author as at 2014-03-14

Removing the brown M&M's (29 Jan 2010) by Adam Walker

There's a tale of supposed rock star excess, originally told of Van Halen and since attributed to many other groups and divas, about brown M&M's. They would demand, so the story goes, a bowl of M&M's in their dressing room, but with ...

Pride and preference (02 Feb 2010) by Adam Walker

I once lived in a small village miles from the nearest town or city, out in 'the sticks', a backwater where everyone was on first name terms - principally because most shared the same surname. The village had few amenities, only a single ...

Meet Peter, 80 years old today (28 Apr 2010) by Adam Walker

You have to arrive at the office early in the morning to meet Peter. He arrives at 5am and by 8:30am he's gone. Peter has been a cleaner here for several years. He is 80 years old today. Peter was born only a couple of km from our offic ...

Young Rewired State at Red Gate (13 Aug 2013) by Alan Smith

The first week in August at Red Gate was certainly an odd one. While Red Gate are known in Cambridge for being a relaxed and friendly place to work, it doesn't typically involve a group of nine 11 to 18-year-olds taking over a meeting room ...

Hello world! (23 Feb 2009) by Alex Davies

I'm Alex, and I'm going to start writing blog posts when I think of something interesting to say. I've been working in the .NET division for five months now, developing ANTS Performance Profiler and ANTS Memory Profiler (and a little bit o ...

The devious tale of the profiler and the web server (03 Mar 2009) by Alex Davies

IIS is an interesting piece of software, which has gone from a fairly simple system to one with multiple levels of isolation and protection in the space of a few years. The version of IIS you might have is predetermined by which version o ...

Why following "Design Patterns" is a bad idea (19 Mar 2009) by Alex Davies

When I first started work, my manager decided that it'd be a good idea to make sure I was well trained enough to design good code. That sounds fair enough. So I was given a book (or told to read a website, I can't remember) about desig ...

So if you're not going to use design patterns? (20 Mar 2009) by Alex Davies

I realised my last post was a bit negative, so I thought I'd do a quick one with my 2c about what you should do instead of following patterns. There obviously needs to be a way by which you can judge how good code is, a "design principle" i ...

The "Singleton" Design Flaw (15 Apr 2009) by Alex Davies

In my earlier post I mentioned that there are a couple of design patterns that I think are wholly wrong. The one that I'm most convinced is an abomination is the singleton pattern . The basic idea is that you make a class that should on ...

Why I don't care where my objects are created (07 May 2009) by Alex Davies

Back when we were designing the new memory profiler last year, Andrew had realised that there was one thing that made all the exisiting memory profilers slow the profiled application to a crawl. That was remembering the place in the progr ...

Learning by doing - an experimental memory profiling tutorial (25 Jun 2009) by Alex Davies

Through the development of ANTS Memory Profiler 5, we realised that the most serious barrier to customers wanting to buy memory profilers was how complex and hard-to-understand memory profiling is. It happened that, for other reasons, ...

Decompile everywhere! (01 Sep 2009) by Alex Davies

Everyone knows that .NET Reflector is magic. It makes C# or VB code where there was no code before. Quite cool, I'm sure you agree. But when you have the source code to .NET Reflector, and products that need new features, you can really ...

Debugging your interaction with other people's code - Reflector Pro is in EAP! (22 Sep 2009) by Alex Davies

If you're read Bart or Clive 's blog recently, you might be as excited as I am about the next version of Reflector that we're working on. .NET Reflector is great for working out what on earth is going on in the framework or third party ...

Remote Debugging with Reflector Pro - It could have been so easy! (05 Jan 2010) by Alex Davies

.. but it isn't :( Visual Studio's remote debugger is a really neat bit of kit that lets people with a lot of patience and no firewalls debug processes on a test machine using a visual studio instance on a completely separate development m ...

Reflector Pro moves into beta! (20 Jan 2010) by Alex Davies

Reflector Pro's builds are getting pretty stable now. So we've decided to call this one a beta! Download it now from http://www.red-gate.com/products/reflector/downloadbeta.htm . There are two components to this project really, and we'r ...

Why not to use StackTrace to find what method called you (18 Feb 2010) by Alex Davies

Our obfuscator, SmartAssembly , does some pretty crazy reflection. It's an obfuscator, it's sort of its job to do things in the most awkward way possible. But sometimes, you can go too far. One such time is this little gem from the stri ...

What do you call an obfuscator that isn't an obfuscator? (15 Apr 2010) by Alex Davies

SmartAssembly, formerly {smartassembly}, version 5 is now available as an Early Access Build. You can get it here: http://www.red-gate.com/MessageBoard/viewforum.php?f=116 We're having second thoughts about the name change though. ...

A better way to do concurrent programming (18 Apr 2010) by Alex Davies

Programming to take advantage of multicore processors is hard. If you let multiple threads access the same memory, bad things happen. To avoid this, you use the lock keyword, but if you use that in the wrong way, your code deadlocks. It's a ...

Why lock statements don't scale (03 May 2010) by Alex Davies

We are going to have to stop using lock statements one day. Just like we had to stop using goto statements. The problem is similar, they're pretty easy to follow in small programs, but code with locks isn't composable. That means that small ...

Automated Error Reporting in .NET Reflector - harnessing the most powerful test rig in existence (17 Jun 2010) by Alex Davies

I know a testing system that will find more bugs than all the unit testing, integration testing, and QA you could possibly do. And the chances are you're not using it. It's called your users. It's a clich㪠that you should test so tha ...

Automated testing in Silverlight with Statlight (21 Sep 2010) by Alex Davies

I really like automated testing. Not just on any kind of religious basis, it just saves loads of time. I think it's best when the tests run automatically on or after each build. So I was disappointed to find that there isn't a way provid ...

Exploring Windows Azure - is it more than just hosting? (27 Mar 2011) by Alex Davies

Recently, I've been working on a side project in my spare time. It's a little facebook app to help you remember how much money you owe your friends: Visit my app: ToTuP Since the cloud seems so fashionable at the moment I though ...

SmartAssembly Sync for JIRA (12 May 2011) by Alex Davies

JIRA is a powerful bug tracking system, but it can't help you to actually collect error reports from your users. For that we've started using SmartAssembly (SA), but we quickly realised that there was no easy (or, more importantly, auto ...

A new toy - .NET Demon (16 Jan 2012) by Alex Davies

I'd like to present a new tool for .NET Developers that we've been cooking up in the Red Gate .NET team. It's only a beta at the moment, but it works for most people. .NET Demon Beta It's a Visual Studio extension that cuts the time ...

C# 5: At last, async without the pain (04 Mar 2012) by Alex Davies

For me, the best feature in Visual Studio 11 is the async and await keywords that come with C# 5. I am a big fan of asynchronous programming: it frees up resources, in particular the thread that a piece of code needs to run in. That l ...

C# async and actors (04 Mar 2012) by Alex Davies

If you read my last post about async, you might be wondering what drove me to write such odd code in the first place. The short answer is that .NET Demon is written using NAct Actors . Actors are an old idea, which I believe ...

Why lock-free data structures just aren't lock-free enough (19 Mar 2012) by Alex Davies

Today's post will explore why the current ways to communicate between threads don't scale, and show you a possible way to build scalable parallel programming on top of shared memory. The problem with shared memory Soon, we wil ...

AsyncBridge? Async on .NET 4.0 using VS11 (08 Apr 2012) by Alex Davies

I've just found something quite cool. It's a code snippet that lets you use the real VS 11 C#5 compiler to write code that uses the async and await keywords, but to target .NET 4.0. It was published by Daniel Grunwald (from SharpDevelop). ...

Joined twitter @alexdcode (09 Apr 2012) by Alex Davies

I reckon that I come across enough interesting C# and coding related stuff that I can keep a twitter account busy just with my thoughts on those subjects. I only have one follower so far, which makes me sad, so please follow me and make me ...

Super-simple way to send information home (17 Apr 2012) by Alex Davies

Today I needed a really lightweight way for a desktop app to send me information. What I came up with is quite neat, so I thought I'd share. Create a form using Google Docs with only one question with a text answer Find its fo ...

AsyncBridge - write async code for .NET 3.5+ (18 Apr 2012) by Alex Davies

Excited about the new async/await feature in C# 5? Can't run your application on .NET 4.5 yet? Well that's unsurprising, I'm not sure I'd want to use a beta version of the CLR in production. But I would be quite happy to use Visual Studi ...

.NET Demon support for VS 11 dark theme (10 May 2012) by Alex Davies

I'm pleased to announce that .NET Demon will be shipping simultaneously with Visual Studio 11, whenever it ends up being released. That means we're going to make sure that a version of .NET Demon is released very near to the Visual Studio ...

An experiment: unlimited free trial (15 Jun 2012) by Alex Davies

The .NET Demon team have just implemented an experiment that is quite a break from Red Gate's normal business model. Instead of the tool expiring after the trial period, it now continues to work, but with a new message that appears after ...

You can step over await (01 Jul 2012) by Alex Davies

I've just found the coolest feature of VS 2012 by far. I thought that being able to silence an exception from the "exception was thrown" popup was awesome, and the "reload all" button when a project file changes is amazing, but this is w ...

Web developers rejoice - .NET Demon can reload your browser (30 Jul 2012) by Alex Davies

I had a bit of spare time last week, so .NET Demon has a new feature for web developers. It's called LiveReload Integration, and it uses the existing tool,  LiveReload , which is popular with web developers on Macs. Every time .NET ...

A new tool in beta: Conflict Alert (17 Aug 2012) by Alex Davies

You know that manual merges are a real pain? Well, I've just released a Visual Studio extension that makes manual merges a thing of the past. No source control system can automatically merge two edits to the same line of code. Conflict ...

My book is released - Async in C# 5 (20 Sep 2012) by Alex Davies

I'm pleased to announce that my book "Async in C# 5" has been published by O'Reilly! http://oreil.ly/QQBjO3 If you want to know about how to use async, and whether it's important for your code, I thoroughly recommend reading it. I ...

Chunks of development work are like database transactions (07 Mar 2013) by Alex Davies

I noticed something recently, that I was using exactly the same logic in two seemingly unrelated aspects of my job. Database transactions and self-contained chunks of engineering work are exactly the same! Bear with me... First, you prob ...

SQL Data Compare 8 Early Access (01 May 2009) by Alice Easey

Get your static data under control with SQL Data Compare 8â_Ts early access build   Usability tests and research have shown us that maintaining database schema and static data in source control can be a real headache. Instead ...

What SQL Compare does for you: Defaults (04 Nov 2005) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Category: SQL Server internals SQL Server versions: 7, 2000, 2005 Level: Advanced   Well, this week I spent some time playing with defaults, and here is just a small taster of what SQL Compare version 4 does for you.   ...

A reason to avoid sp_rename (10 May 2006) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Category: SQL Server development SQL Server versions: 7, 2000, 2005 Level: Intermediate Naming stored procedures consistently is part of many organizational policies, still there are times when one needs to rename an already existing sto ...

Altering CLR assemblies in SQL Server 2005 (10 May 2006) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Category: SQL Server development SQL Server versions: 2005 Level: Advanced   SQL Server 2005 introduced support for .Net in SQL Server. While this is a very powerful feature, it does come with a high cost.   ...

Self deadlocking transactions in SQL Server 2005 SP1 (09 Jun 2006) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Until the release of SQL Server SP1 I though I had a good understanding of how deadlocks can occur in SQL Server. Well, SP1 has changed this view quite dramatically by introducing self deadlocking transactions. Let us look at a very simp ...

SQL Refactor 1.0 released (31 Oct 2006) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Following a very successful beta program we have now released the first version of SQL Refactor. SQL Refactor is an Add-In to Microsoft Management Studio, with a large number of features that include laying out SQL, rena ...

SQL Compare 6.0 beta - read and sync to and from SQL scripts (15 May 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

We have just released the first public beta for SQL Compare 6.0 . The full version of SQL Compare 6.0 is scheduled for release towards the end of June 2007. For the forum and download information visit http://www.red-gate.com/Mes ...

How to order creation SQL files in SQL Compare 6.0 Professional (21 May 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

It is a good practice to store creation scripts for the database organized in a way that there is a single SQL file for each database object. The problem starts when one wants a single script that creates all of these database objec ...

Databases and source control article (30 May 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

My current interest is focused on database evolution and on ways to manage changes to database schemata. This interest is reflected in my current project, SQL Compare 6. This version has the goal to help source control integration f ...

Do you need to be dbo to compare two databases using SQL Compare? (30 Jul 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

This question comes up time to time. SQL Compare compares two database schemata, and in order to do so it needs to read the system tables and system views. On the other hand, some organizational policies can be rather restrictive about w ...

Pivots with Dynamic Columns in SQL Server 2005 (14 Sep 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Pivots in SQL Server 2005 can rotate a table, i.e. they can turn rows into columns. PIVOTs are frequently used in reports, and they are reasonably simple to work with. However, I've seen quite a few questions about this operator. Most quest ...

The GO command can have a parameter? (24 Sep 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

I have mixed feelings about the GO command. It is not a T-SQL statement, it is just something that Management Studio and the other SQL Server tools understand as a batch separator command. Indeed, you can change it to whatever you wish in M ...

SQLBits in Reading and the British language (08 Oct 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

SQLBits was held in Reading this Saturday and it certainly superseded my expectations. There were over 300 people, excellent talks and plenty of opportunities to meet others. There were four parallel sessions, one for BI, Dev, ...

SQL Server 2008: Microsoft has given, and Microsoft has taken away (powersum) (22 Nov 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

SQL Server 2008 November CTP came out this week. This CTP finally contains many major features that are worth playing with. However, there are things that are no longer in SQL Server, things that I will be missing (and many things t ...

Some interesting, obscure (and absolutely useless) T-SQL syntax (28 Nov 2007) by Andras Belokosztolszki

/* Writing ugly SQL Statements is an art. Today I've spent a few minutes trying to break our parser as well as giving a grill to SQL Server's parser. So here is some extra syntax that is not behaving as I'd expect it to behave. */ selec ...

Can I redeclare a variable in T-SQL? Teaser for SQL Bits (15 Feb 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Variables in T-SQL behave differently from what people may be used to in languages like C or C#. The scope of a variable is the batch in which it is declared. This may not be intuitive to people who are used to local variables. So l ...

Type less in SQL Server 2008 (variable initialization and multiple row inserts) (28 Feb 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

  Among the large number of new features in SQL Server 2008 there are two, almost insignificant features, that I use almost constantly. These are variable initialization and the values clause of insert statements that now ...

SQL Server 2008 CTP6 takes a day off (29 Feb 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

SQL Server 2008 CTP6 does not work on February 29 th . Period. On one hand, it is really nice that Microsoft is releasing Community Technology Previews for its latest SQL Server. It helps developers and DBAs to test their solut ...

SQL Compare 7 Beta and peeking into SQL Server backup files (28 Mar 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

I want to restore only a single table from my database backup. We have been hearing this request from many of our SQL Backup customers. The problem is simple: Given a large database backup and a live database that has a partial â_oc ...

SQL Server 2008: New languages and older operating systems (21 Apr 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

SQL Server 2008 introduces a few new languages like Welsh, Tibetan and Norwegian. While these new languages map to the codepages in Windows Server 2008, in earlier operating systems (like XP) this is not so, and simple queries like â_ ...

SQL Server 2008: new data types and .Net 2 with and without SP1 (20 Jun 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

SQL Server 2008 has introduced a few new data types, among others the new date types, like date, time, datatime2 and datetimespan. Because .Net 2 was released before SQL Server 2008 has introduced these data types, there are no classes that ...

The unexpected behaviour of DirectoryInfo.GetFiles() with three letter extensions (01 Aug 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

There is a documented, but certainly counterintuitive issue with the DirectoryInfo.GetFiles() method in .Net. This method returns a list of files that match a particular pattern. For example in the following example it will return us all th ...

SQL Server 2008: Table-valued parameters (27 Aug 2008) by Andras Belokosztolszki

Table-valued types and parameters are among the many exciting new features of the recently released SQL Server 2008. These table-valued types allow you to pass table data to stored procedures and functions. But why is this us ...

Why should I rebuild a table after dropping or adding a column? (19 Feb 2009) by Andras Belokosztolszki

The amount of space used by table rows can be important, and there are good articles on the web that show ways to estimate the amount of space that a table row uses. However, the actual space used by a table row could be more than wha ...

Thick and Fast (07 Feb 2008) by Andrew Clarke

There is a great deal of activity on the Red-Gate forums at the moment. In fact, they are a fascinating read. Often, the threads take off in ways that nobody can really predict. My particular pleasure is in reading the 'off the cuff' remark ...

Coram magnificos manifeste scalpere nolis ... (26 Feb 2008) by Andrew Clarke

'Coram magnificos manifeste scalpere nolis Torquendo digitos naresâ_Ţ' Daniellis Becclesiensis c1200 AD (meaning: Do not pick your nose in front of managers) One of the delights of being Simple-Talkâ_Ts subeditor, ...

A Prompt Delivery (02 Apr 2008) by Andrew Clarke

I wandered into Red-Gate's offices the other day. I'd been momentarily distracted by the autumn leaves, thoughtfully strewn in the hallway, probably by a visiting Zen Buddhist to remind us of the sacred presence of nature even in the Tech ...

Pasting code into a Blog. (15 Jul 2008) by Andrew Clarke

One reason that I often hear for the apparent inability of certain people to blog is that there is no way for Community Server to display code. It isn't actually that hard. The obvious choice is to use Phil Factor's prettifier . It is the ...

The LSE TradElect incident: We all lose (12 Sep 2008) by Andrew Clarke

The crash of the TradElect trading system on the London, and Johannesburg, Stock Exchange for seven hours was a disaster that probably led to the loss of around Âť3bn   in trading.   The system was based on SQL Server 2 ...

Litigation, and the 'Production' of Documents. (24 Oct 2008) by Andrew Clarke

Several recent events have been unsettling for many IT Managers. The recent collapse of banks has led to FBI investigations in the States, and groups of shareholders in the both the States and the UK have threatened litigation. At the time ...

Winners of the Bejewelled Puzzle (03 Nov 2008) by Andrew Clarke

There are three winners: Timothy Walters - for his second solution with the offset table; He gets a $50 Amazon Voucher. Ryan Randall â_" for his first and second solutions; He gets a choice between a license for SQL Prompt ...

WebMatrix and SQL Server Compact Edition. Something for the rest of us? (23 Jul 2010) by Andrew Clarke

WebMatrix, currently in beta,  is Microsoftâ_Ts newest initiative aimed at those of us who take no pleasure in using the overweight Visual Studio, but need to develop websites easily. For  web-based applications such as blogs, for ...

RSS Feeds currently on Simple-Talk (14 Feb 2011) by Andrew Clarke

There are a number of news-feeds for the Simple-Talk site, but for some reason they are well hidden. Whilst we set about reorganizing them, I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the more important ones. The most important one fo ...

Opportunity Nokia's (17 Feb 2011) by Andrew Clarke

Nokiaâ_Ts alliance with Microsoft is likely to be good news for anyone using Microsoft technologies, and particularly for .NET developers. Before the announcement, the future wasnâ_Tt looking so bright for the â_~mobileâ_T version of Window ...

The Hot-Add Memory Hogs (15 Mar 2011) by Andrew Clarke

One of the more difficult tasks, when virtualizing a server, is to determine the amount of memory that Hypervisor should assign to the virtual machine. This requires accurate monitoring and, because of the consequences of setting the valu ...

Virtual Irony for Oracle (12 Apr 2011) by Andrew Clarke

Whereâ_Ts Oracle VM 3, and why should you be waiting for it? Here lies a puzzling story. On May 13, 2009, in the course of developing Oracle VM 3, Oracle acquired Virtual Iron Software Inc and with it, their rather good VM product Virtua ...

Cloud Cuckoo Land (10 May 2011) by Andrew Clarke

Does it strike you odd that, despite the outage of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Elastic Block Storage on April 21 2011, many of the customers who were affected are still so keen on the service? It puzzled me until I conside ...

The Cookie Crumbles (05 Jul 2011) by Andrew Clarke

Cookies were never intended to invade your privacy. Transient session cookies were invented out of necessity, by Lou Montulli at Netscape in June 1994, purely to make the use of a shopping cart possible on the stateless web. Permanent, or t ...

DevOps: Nostrums or Knowledge? (16 Aug 2011) by Andrew Clarke

There are good reasons for the management of the release of applications. Businesses see it as a safety-net to ensure the success of software deployment. This is a process that requires a different mind-set and set of disciplines to develop ...

Awful OAuth 2.0? When Standards go bad. (02 Aug 2012) by Andrew Clarke

â_~The noisiest of those competitive battles (between suppliers) will be about standards. The eyes of most sane people tend to glaze over at the very mention of technical standards. But in the computer industry, new standards can be the ...

On taking a more nuanced approach to Cloud services. (28 Jan 2013) by Andrew Clarke

Although it makes a lot of sense for an IT department to use the Cloud where possible instead of using its own IT infrastructure, you canâ_Tt just move everything and expect to be left with no task more taxing than twiddling a big dial mark ...

Towards Security as a Service? (26 Mar 2013) by Andrew Clarke

There's some fuss around the additional security risks of moving an existing service within a corporate data center, to a cloud-hosted virtual machine, with a shared infrastructure. I appreciate the caution, but I wonder if they aren't ov ...

How to Deploy to SQL Azure with Deployment Manager (09 Sep 2013) by Andrew Denty

This post originally appeared on The Future of Deployment . In this post Iâ_Tm going to show you how easy it is to deploy database changes to SQL Azure with Deployment Manager. Okay, Iâ_Tll start this post with a caveat â_" I ...

Commentary (08 Jun 2009) by Andrew Hunter

I write a lot of comments in my code: these days it's second nature. Every declaration I write has a comment describing what it's for and maybe some remarks describing things I think are the associated gotchas. Inside method definitions, I ...

ANTS Performance Profiler 6 Early Access (13 Nov 2009) by Andrew Hunter

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 ne ...

The Synchronisation Trap (23 Jan 2014) by Andrew Hunter

The original generation of PDAs, the ancestors of todayâ_Ts mobile devices, were notably limited in their connectivity. They relied on a regular, often daily, ritual of synchronisation where they would be connected to a desktop machine by a ...

Can you help me formulate a TOC for an ASP.NET MVC Cookbook (15 Jan 2010) by Andrew Siemer

Hey there everyone.  I was recently tasked to pitch a book to my publisher.  As a first step I need to come up with an outline for the Table of Contents.  This book is the standard cookbook style with an added focus on the MV ...

Getting Spark View Engine to work with ASP.NET MVC (31 Jan 2010) by Andrew Siemer

Method not found: 'Void System.Web.Mvc.ViewContext..ctor(System.Web.Mvc.ControllerContext, System.Web.Mvc.IView, System.Web.Mvc.ViewDataDictionary, System.Web.Mvc.TempDataDictionary)' I am finding that there are several complaints about g ...

ASP.NET MVC Cookbook - public review (19 Apr 2010) by Andrew Siemer

I have recently started writing another book.  The topic of this book is ASP.NET MVC.  This book differs from my previous book in that rather than working towards building one project from end to end - this book will demonstrate s ...

Evaluation Software (08 Mar 2006) by Arthur Fuller

Fullerâ_Ts Fifth Law: always bite the hand that feeds. In dutiful obeisance to my own laws, I have chosen  to vilify  the sponsor of  my blog,  Red Gate, whose evaluation software makes, in my opinion, a foolish mistake. ...

Dogs of War (14 Mar 2006) by Arthur Fuller

In Canada, specifically the province of Ontario (where I live), and in the USA, specifically the state of Ohio, various dog-attacks have caused the respective legislatures of these places to enact laws specifically forbidding the ownership ...

.NET Oddities #1 (11 Oct 2005) by Bart Read

Every now and then I come across something slightly bizarre in .NET, so I've decided to write about it, as much as anything else because I'm aware of having come across quite a few things like this, but find myself unable to remember what h ...

Performance of structured storage files. (11 Oct 2005) by Bart Read

We've been working on a new version of our DTS Compare tool for a couple of months now, and it's starting to look quite good. I've been working on the snapshot functionality today, which allows a user to take a snapshot of the state of all ...

.NET Oddities #2 (13 Oct 2005) by Bart Read

I had a feeling I'd be writing quite a few entries like this, but I must confess that even I would have been surprised if you'd told me I'd be writing #2 a mere two days after #1. So what is it this time? Well, it's StackOverflowExcept ...

.NET Oddities #3 (24 Nov 2005) by Bart Read

OK, so I'll admit this is a bit cheeky: this entry should almost certainly be .NET Oddities #2a because it's so closely related to #2, but there. You may have noticed, and in fact I already knew this, that OutOfMemoryException (like St ...

Happy New Year everyone! (03 Jan 2006) by Bart Read

Er... so what exactly was I working on two weeks ago? ...

.NET Oddities #4 (09 Jan 2006) by Bart Read

This is sheer genius: System.Math.Sin( double a ) System.Math.Cos( double a ) ...etc all take an angle in radians as their argument. However: System.Drawing.Drawing2D.Matrix.Rotate( float angle ) and System.Drawing.Drawing2D.Matrix. ...

SQL Prompt 3 - All Quiet On The Western Front? (03 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

Well no actually. After maintaining a stance of silence bordering on outright evasiveness for some weeks now, it seems about time to say something. SQL Prompt 3 Beta will be going out at the end of next week; actually some time on Friday 11 ...

Nothing To See Here â_" Move Along (10 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

Words I thought I would never have a legitimate reason to utter, particularly with respect to SQL Prompt 3. But then lifeâ_Ts full of surprises. Many of you will have noticed that late last week I finally decided to stick my head above the ...

Getting Rid Of The Pesky Automatic Update Nag Dialog (10 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

You know the one I mean: the one that comes up after you've gone through the wizard asking if you want to restart now or later... and then does the same thing over and over again every 10 minutes until you finally give in or go mad. Yester ...

Extended SQL Prompt 3 Special Offer (15 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

Some good news! We've decided to extend the $99 per license introductory pricing to all orders placed on or before October 20th 2006, which gives you another 3 weeks to get your orders in before it reverts to its full price of $195. Full de ...

Regex.Match - this might save you 5 minutes of head-scratching (15 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

I often make use of the Regex.IsMatch( string ) method to check if a regular expression finds a match in a given string, however I do not often use the Match( string ) method which, unsurprisingly, returns an instance of Match . Match ...

SQL Prompt 3 Beta - First Contact (16 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

Those of you that have so far signed up for the SQL Prompt 3 beta program, or at least those of you who signed up before about 11 o'clock this morning (British Summer Time), should now have received an email telling you a bit more about the ...

SQL Prompt 3 Beta Signup - A Small Change of Plan (16 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

Sometimes I feel like I should just wire up my brain directly to this blog. Like most people, I'm aware that blogs are supposed to have a moderately "stream of consciousness" feel about them, but this is getting daft... The game is now mos ...

SQL Prompt 3 Beta Signup is now *CLOSED* (22 Aug 2006) by Bart Read

After some problems with our mail server yesterday caused minor havoc, we have now harvested the second batch of SQL Prompt 3 Beta signups so the signup is now closed. Many thanks to those of you who've said you want to get involved in this ...

Another Body Blow For Freedom Of Speech (18 Oct 2006) by Bart Read

I need to apologise because we've had to disable anonymous comments on my blog due to the fact that for some reason this post in particular seems to be attracting an inordinate amount of spam advertising various "exotic" items, websites a ...

OK dude, cut the bull - where *IS* SQL Prompt 3? (24 Nov 2006) by Bart Read

I've recently become conscious of how much I've started sounding like the guys over at 3D Realms who are now infamous for stating the release date of Duke Nukem Forever as "when it's done." They have however also provided some comfort i ...

A Truly Thread-Safe Event Handler Collection (30 Nov 2006) by Bart Read

For quite a while after I moved into the world of .NET I was slightly bugged by event registration in that I had this nagging suspicion that one day it would all go horribly wrong and blow up in my face because I have this incredibly nasty ...

Hibernation - Insufficient system resources exist to complete the API? (11 Dec 2006) by Bart Read

Well not any more baby! Every now and again whilst casually browsing the net of a lunchtime I stumble across an absolute gem of an article, and this piece from Jeff Atwood is just such a precious nugget: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/a ...

SQL Prompt 3 Final Beta is available for download NOW! (11 Dec 2006) by Bart Read

The full announcement can be found here: http://www.red-gate.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=3811 Enjoy! And thanks to all of you who've been waiting so patiently for this. ...

**SQL Prompt 3 Released** (22 Jan 2007) by Bart Read

We're very pleased to be able to announce the release of SQL Prompt 3. Get it here: http://www.red-gate.com/products/SQL_Prompt/index.htm We've fixed quite a number of bugs since the final beta. Most notably the popup behaviour is signi ...

How to use SQL Prompt 3 without being dbo... (28 Feb 2007) by Bart Read

For anyone out there working with SQL Server on a large or mission critical system it's quite likely that, unless you're the DBA, you're not going to have dbo access to the databases you're working with, particularly if you're working direc ...

**SQL Prompt 3.1 Released** (23 Mar 2007) by Bart Read

We are very pleased to announce that SQL Prompt 3.1 has now been released. You can download it from: http://www.red-gate.com/products/SQL_Prompt/index.htm The most notable addition is support for SQL Server Management St ...

SQL Prompt 3.5 Release Candidate is now available! (17 Jul 2007) by Bart Read

Well that's pretty self-explanatory. We've had a few teething problems trying to get this thing ready and on the FTP site today so this will be a rather more brief post than I'd originally planned. I'd intended to talk about some of the new ...

The beginning of a more in depth look at SQL Prompt 3.5 (18 Jul 2007) by Bart Read

Well I said Iâ_Td post some more detailed information about the new version of SQL Prompt so I thought Iâ_Td better get down to it. I wanted to do this to coincide with getting the release candidate out there, which weâ_Td planned on bei ...

Visual Studio 2005 Support in SQL Prompt 3.5 (20 Jul 2007) by Bart Read

Well it's taken me slightly longer to get around to writing this than originally planned, however... Visual Studio 2005 support, along with cross-database/linked server support was one of our top two requested features for SQL Prompt 3.5. ...

**SQL Prompt 3.5 Released** (26 Jul 2007) by Bart Read

Well, this is it, it's finally out there. Download it from http://www.red-gate.com/products/SQL_Prompt/index.htm Improvements include: Visual Studio 2005 database project support Cross database queries Distributed qu ...

Why Automatic Software Updates Suck (28 Aug 2007) by Bart Read

Or, why doesn't the Red Gate "Check for updates" service automatically download and install software updates? Disclaimer: everything in this post represents my view only and does not necessarily coincide with the viewpoint of Red Gate ...

A Gift for Phil Factor (31 Aug 2007) by Bart Read

Look, temporary tables: This also works for normal tables created in the script, as well as stored procedures, functions and views, and it'll all be available in the next SQL Prompt release, which should be within about two week ...

**SQL Prompt 3.6 Early Access is now available** (07 Sep 2007) by Bart Read

The full announcement, including a list of major new features and bug fixes, can be found here: http://www.red-gate.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=5606 The short version is, if you've experienced some problems with 3.5 (exceptions, ha ...

Exception Hunter 1.0 â_" Find crashes before they happen (10 Dec 2007) by Bart Read

In many ways this has been a very long time comingâ_Ţ think Daikatana , but without the offensive advertising campaign, the disgruntled employees, or the wild expenditure on, uh, what Iâ_Tll loosely term as software development related ...

Win one of 10 free copies of ANTS Profiler (12 Feb 2008) by Bart Read

We're going to be working on a new version of Red Gate's award winning performance profiler over the next few months and we need your feedback to make it even better! Respond to the survey at https://www.surveymk.com///s.aspx?sm=AY9BjmF5 ...

The world is once again as it should be (12 Feb 2008) by Bart Read

Weeeeell... okay, so a cursory glance at today's news headlines would suggest that to be a rather bold claim, however a few days ago I noticed that The Daily WTF was back to its old self. I'm not the most avid reader, although I do stop b ...

What's up with 'using'? (28 Apr 2008) by Bart Read

Let me lay my cards on the table right from the start: I donâ_Tt like using , and I donâ_Tt use it any more (no pun intended). In fact I havenâ_Tt for quite some time. In this post Iâ_Tm going to try to explain why I donâ_Tt use it, and wh ...

Looking over the developers' shoulders: ANTS Performance Profiler 4 â_" our first proper early access build (12 May 2008) by Bart Read

For those of you with the stomach for this kind of thing, today, for the first time, weâ_Tve made available a bleeding edge build of a product in development. We did admittedly trial this with Exception Hunter 1.1, but we kept it pretty ...

New in ANTS Profiler 4 EA: ASP.NET support (05 Jun 2008) by Bart Read

I know a lot of you have been waiting for this, so Iâ_Tm pleased to be able to tell you that weâ_Tve now integrated support for ASP.NET web applications and web services into ANTS Profiler 4. This goes for both IIS and Web Developme ...

ANTS Profiler 4: Where are we now? (08 Jul 2008) by Bart Read

Over the past week or so there has been a definite sea change in the way weâ_Tve been working on the project. Up until now weâ_Tve been focussing on getting the major functionality implemented, collecting user feedback through the early ...

The last ANTS Profiler 4 early access build is out (15 Jul 2008) by Bart Read

A quick update; last night I posted the final ANTS Profiler early access build. You can get it from: http://www.red-gate.com/messageboard/viewforum.php?f=80 New features and updates include: Visual Studio add-in, supporting Visual St ...

ANTS Profiler 4 Beta: The facelift is almost complete (07 Aug 2008) by Bart Read

ANTS Profiler has shed forty pounds and had a boob job. With the bandages about to come off we take a closer look at the performance profiler, and why you need it, and weâ_Tll see that the changes are more than just cosmetic. This is no des ...

9 Top tips for ISVs to get me to (maybe) buy your software (27 Aug 2008) by Bart Read

Iâ_Tve been looking around, off and on, for a decent piece of test management software to replace the current piece of junk software that we use. This has involved visiting lots of ISV websites which have, frankly, made me miserable an ...

Close Encounters: The Making of ANTS Profiler 4 (02 Sep 2008) by Bart Read

Itâ_Ts out, itâ_Ts out, itâ_Ts out! After eight months of hard work ANTS Profiler 4 has figuratively hit the shelves, and if youâ_Tre reading this that means the product release team have put it up on our website at http://www.red-gate.co ...

A critical update for ANTS Profiler 4 â_" download version 4.1 now (21 Oct 2008) by Bart Read

Things have been going well since the release of ANTS Profiler 4, with most of our time spent planning for the new version of the memory profiler; more recently weâ_Tve also started looking at what we could do with .NET Reflector. The perfo ...

.NET Reflector update (15 Dec 2008) by Bart Read

Since we announced the acquisition of .NET Reflector itâ_Ts been pretty quiet, or at least I imagine thatâ_Ts how it seems from the outside. What weâ_Tve actually been doing is collecting and sifting feedback, and familiarising ourselves wi ...

Classic Marketing Boo Boos 101: accidentally including a screenshot of somebody elseâ_Ts product in your promotional materials (19 Jan 2009) by Bart Read

Yep. I donâ_Tt make this stuff up. Lionel originally posted this on our internal forums, and I cheekily decided it was well worth publishing more widely. Check this out: (Click the screenshot for a larger image.) The original ...

An end to IIS profiling woes (we hope)â_"an early access build of ANTS Profiler 4.3 is now available (19 Jan 2009) by Bart Read

Over the past few weeks weâ_Tve been trying to sort out the IIS support in ANTS Profiler to make it more reliable, and to deal with some of the scenarios it didnâ_Tt handle, or didnâ_Tt handle well. The result of all this work, mainly done ...

Laying the smack down on memory leaks with the first early access build of ANTS Memory Profiler 5 (16 Feb 2009) by Bart Read

Our first ANTS Memory Profiler 5 early access build is now available, and although it really is a very, very, early build, itâ_Ts still fantastic for finding memory leaks, as I discovered when I set it loose on the next release of Except ...

If you're investigating ASP.NET application performance, this is for you: ANTS Profiler 4.3 has been released (19 Feb 2009) by Bart Read

Technorati Tags: .NET , IIS , performance , ASP.NET As the title of this post suggests, we've done a lot of work on ASP.NET support, particularly for anyone profiling with IIS. Get the latest version from here: http://www.red-gate. ...

A new Visual Studio hosted debugging technology based on .NET Reflector (22 Mar 2009) by Bart Read

Weâ_Tve all been there. Youâ_Tre trying to debug a problem in your code and you step over a line only to realise that thatâ_Ts the line where it all goes pear-shapedâ_Ţ the problem is that itâ_Ts a call to a method that isnâ_Tt your code, ...

Last orders at the bar... well, until the next time anyway (24 Apr 2009) by Bart Read

Earlier on today Steve uploaded our last early access build for ANTS Memory Profiler 5: http://www.red-gate.com/messageboard/viewforum.php?f=92 We won't be making another build available until the official beta, hopefully within the next ...

T Minus 4 Weeks: ANTS Memory Profiler 5 and ANTS Performance Profiler 5 Betas Now Available (15 May 2009) by Bart Read

Red Gate's performance and memory profilers may have gone through a complex and protracted divorce, but they're still the best of friends... Within the next few weeks the new versions of our, now separate, performance and memory profile ...

ANTS Memory and Performance Profiler 5 Release Candidates Now Available (01 Jun 2009) by Bart Read

Both release candidates are now available, both work with CLR 4.0, and we've got a funky new YouTube channel containing tutorial videos for both. Check it out... Release candidates for both ANTS Memory Profiler 5 and ANTS Performance ...

Keeping it simple, not stupid: ANTS Memory Profiler 5 is out! (19 Jun 2009) by Bart Read

During our usability trials for ANTS Memory Profiler 5, one of our customers said that to do memory profiling "you'll need a PhD and two days set aside." Hmm... ANTS Memory Profiler 5? 2 days and a Phd?!? More like an hour and a half, and m ...

.NET Reflector Support: Can I decompile a whole assembly back to C# or VB source code? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

Yes, absolutely. You can use one of these add-ins to extract a .NET assembly to source: http://www.denisbauer.com/NETTools/FileDisassembler.aspx http://www.codeplex.com/FileGenReflector You could even use these add-ins to co ...

.NET Reflector Support: Where's the .NET 3.5 decompilation support? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

.NET Reflector actually does support .NET 3.5 decompilation; it's just not switched on by default. To enable this support use the main menu to go to View > Options , then click Disassembler in the list on the left, then select .NET 3 ...

.NET Reflector Support: How do I stop .NET Reflector from asking me to locate assemblies all the time? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

Open up .NET Reflector and go to View > Options on the main menu. Now click on Browser in the list on the left, and then check Automatically resolve assemblies . Click OK , and the prompt should go away. Bear in mind that if you ha ...

.NET Reflector Support: Is it possible to see XML documentation for members and types? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

Yes, as long as you have the XML documentation file for the assembly. If the assembly is yours, you just need to make sure you generate the XML documentation file as part of your build process. Many third party code providers will also s ...

.NET Reflector Support: .NET Reflector doesn't decompile some methods correctly - why not? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

There are various reasons why .NET Reflector might fail to decompile a particular method, generate source that does not match the original source code, or generate source code that will not compile without some modifications being made. I'v ...

.NET Reflector Support: How does .NET Reflector deal with indexers? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

As with other members, .NET Reflector does support indexers. However, if you're unfamiliar with the notation this may not be immediately obvious, because indexers are treated as properties of the form Item[<index typename>] : <ret ...

.NET Reflector Support: Is it possible to configure the visibility of members and types that .NET Reflector displays? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

The answer to this is, yes, to some extent. You can choose to either see only public members and types, or everything. To change this setting, go to View > Options on the main menu bar, then click Browser in the list on the left, and ...

.NET Reflector Support: Does .NET Reflector lock assemblies and/or PDB files? (30 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

No. If you're having problems with assemblies and/or PDBs being locked, the likely culprit is Visual Studio, assuming you have it open at the same time as .NET Reflector. The problem seems like it might be more prevalent with Visual Studio ...

.NET Reflector Support: Can I customize the appearance of the decompiled source code in the Disassembler pane? (31 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

Yes, to some extent. You can't customize the syntax highlighting, and so forth, as you can in Visual Studio, so at the moment it's not possible to make source code in .NET Reflector look the same as it would in Visual Studio, however you ...

.NET Reflector Support: Does .NET Reflector support unmanaged code? (31 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

The answer to this is, unfortunately, no. .NET Reflector will work with any managed assemblies from .NET 1.0 onwards, and other .NET implementations, such as Mono, but it will not support portable executables-i.e., DLLs and EXEs-containing ...

.NET Reflector Support: Can I view disassembled IL instead of decompiled source code? (31 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

Absolutely. Just select IL in the language dropdown on the main toolbar: Once you've done this, if you right-click on a member, or type, in the browser and click Disassemble on the context menu, .NET Reflector will show you the ...

.NET Reflector Support: Can I use .NET Reflector to extract the resources from a .NET assembly? (31 Jul 2009) by Bart Read

Yes you can, if you use the FileGenerator add-in, which you can find at: http://www.codeplex.com/FileGenReflector You may also find Denis Bauer's FileDisassembler add-in useful: http://www.denisbauer.com/NETTools/FileDisasse ...

.NET Reflector Support: I'm getting an error saying a path and/or filename is too long (05 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

You may see the error "The specified path, file name, or both are too long. The fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters, and the directory name must be less than 248 characters," under the following circumstances: ...

.NET Reflector Support: How do I refresh the assemblies list? (05 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

You might want to do this if you've got an assembly open, into which you've recompiled some changes. It's pretty easy, just hit View > Refresh via the main menu, hit the corresponding Refresh button on the toolbar, or just press F5 ...

.NET Reflector Support: How do I view decompiled source code? (07 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

You can view the decompilation output for both types and members in .NET Reflector. To view a decompilation for a type, right-click on the type in the explorer treeview, and click Disassemble . This is shown in fig. 1, with the resultan ...

.NET Reflector Support: How do I install add-ins? (11 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

Andrew Clarke has written an excellent article describing how to install .NET Reflector add-ins, as well as listing many of the available add-ins, along with the functionality they offer. You can find it here: http://www.simple-talk.com ...

.NET Reflector Support: How do I find out which add-ins I have installed? (11 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

To find out which add-ins you have installed, open up .NET Reflector, and click on the View > Add-Ins item on the main menu. The Add-Ins dialog box should pop up, showing you a list of the installed add-ins (see figure 1). ...

.NET Reflector Support: How do I report a bug in one of the add-ins? (11 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

The best way to report a bug in an add-in is to contact the add-in author directly. Andrew Clarke maintains a list of add-ins, along with links to their homepages here: http://www.simple-talk.com/dotnet/.net-tools/using-.net-reflector-a ...

.NET Reflector Support: How can I set breakpoints in the code I've decompiled when debugging? (19 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

I see this question come up from time to time in the .NET Reflector mailbox, so I'm going to make a stab at a sensible answer that's more than just a some marketing fluff piece, because there are alternatives, although it's debatable how re ...

.NET Reflector Support: How can I tell which overload of a method is being called in the decompiled source code? (19 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

Many methods in .NET code are overloaded. For example, the PipeStream method on the StreamPiper class, in figure 1, has four overloads. Figure 1. The .NET Reflector browser, showing overloads of the PipeStream method on the ...

.NET Reflector Support: Why does .NET Reflector auto-update itself? (21 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

We're asked about this fairly regularly, so I thought it was about time I posted up our position on it here. There are two main reasons: The auto-update means that we can roll out improvements to all users. So far, that's meant the ...

.NET Reflector Support: Is it possible to sort the list of assemblies? (21 Aug 2009) by Bart Read

Yes, it absolutely is, but you'll need to install Jason Haley's AssemblyCollection.Sort add-in. You can find this on Jason's site here: http://jasonhaley.com/addins/ If you're unsure how to go about installing add-ins, please refe ...

Advance warning: .NET Reflector download site will be unavailable overnight Sept 5th - 6th 2009 (03 Sep 2009) by Bart Read

Our hosting provider is moving, yes physically moving, the server that hosts the .NET Reflector download site between facilities. This means that it could be unavailable for up to 6 hours. Last time they moved one of our servers it was actu ...

.NET Reflector Support: Can I edit assemblies I've opened in .NET Reflector? (02 Oct 2009) by Bart Read

Yes, you can. There are two possible approaches, both of which utilise add-ins to .NET Reflector. The first, assuming that you've lost the source code, is to decompile back to source, edit the source code you need to change, and then rec ...

.NET Reflector Support: Why doesn't the analyzer work for enum values? (02 Oct 2009) by Bart Read

You may have noticed that the analyzer doesn't show anything useful for enum values. If you analyze the enum itself you can see, for example, where it is used (see figure 1), however, if you choose one of the values, all the nodes in the an ...

.NET Reflector 6 (and Mono compatibility), {smartassembly}, ANTS Performance Profiler, and more... yep, it's one of those New Year update things (04 Jan 2010) by Bart Read

2009 was a busy year for us: yet another complete rewrite with ANTS Memory Profiler 5 , a new profiling mode in ANTS Performance Profiler 5 , the {smartassembly} acquisition, most of the work done for .NET Reflector 6 and .NET Reflector ...

Heads-up on some end-of-life management: .NET 1.x support in Red Gate's .NET developer tools (06 Jan 2010) by Bart Read

End of life is a bit of a touchy subject, and is often either brushed under the carpet, or dealt with via the "stealth withdrawal" mechanism which, not surprisingly, often doesn't go down well with customers. [Confession time: yes, we have ...

An update on {smartassembly}, and the release of version 4.2 (14 Jan 2010) by Bart Read

Earlier today we released {smartassembly} 4.2. You can download it from: http://www.smartassembly.com/download/index.aspx This release, which has been available as a private build for a while, contains support for .NET 4.0 beta 2, a ...

More .NET tool releases: .NET Reflector Pro Beta, and ANTS Memory Profiler 5.2 (20 Jan 2010) by Bart Read

By far the most exciting of these releases is the .NET Reflector Pro Beta, but Alex has already blogged extensively about this at http://www.simple-talk.com/community/blogs/alex/archive/2010/01/20/87639.aspx , so to get the low-down ...

Nasty error: 'svchost' has been built with an evaluation version of {smartassembly}, which has expired... (21 Jan 2010) by Bart Read

There are a few other versions of this error doing the rounds, such as: 'svchost' has been built with an evaluation version of {smartassembly}, which has expired on Wednesday, 20 January 2010. You need to purchase a license of {smart ...

How much will .NET Reflector Pro cost? (09 Feb 2010) by Bart Read

Somebody asked about this on our beta support forum earlier, so I thought I'd mirror the information I posted in my response here as well. We're going to make full pricing information available with the product is released, but for now I ...

.NET Reflector 6, .NET Reflector Pro, TestDriven.NET, .NET 4.0 and Mono (15 Feb 2010) by Bart Read

By now you may well have noticed that .NET Reflector 6 and .NET Reflector Pro are out in the wild. The official launch happened today, although we actually put the software out last Thursday as part of a phased release plan to ensure that e ...

.NET Reflector Pro Support: How do I activate .NET Reflector Pro with my serial number? (16 Feb 2010) by Bart Read

This is actually very straightforward, once you know where to look for it. Open up a version of Visual Studio into which you've installed the .NET Reflector add-in. Now on the main menu bar click .NET Reflector > Choose Assemblies to De ...

.NET Reflector & .NET Reflector Pro 6.1 have been released (24 Feb 2010) by Bart Read

.NET Reflector 6.1 and .NET Reflector Pro 6.1 have been released. You can download them from: http://www.red-gate.com/products/reflector/index.htm .NET Reflector is a class browser and disassembler for .NET assemblies. .NET Reflect ...

Smartassembly 5: it lives! Early Access builds now available (22 Mar 2010) by Bart Read

I'm pleased to announce that, late last week, we put out the first early access build for Smartassembly 5, Red Gate's fantastic code protection and error reporting tool, which we acquired last September. You can download it via: http:// ...

Oi! What's going on with the .NET Reflector update mechanism? (12 Apr 2010) by Bart Read

Anyone who's been using .NET Reflector for any length of time will by now be used to its built-in update mechanism. Every 6 months or so it will ask you to upgrade to the latest version and, if you don't, will refuse to work after a few wee ...

.NET 4.0, Silverlight 4, F# decompilation in .NET Reflector, our crazy shipping schedule, and some prize draw winners (19 May 2010) by Bart Read

Yes, with a list of topics that broad, it can only be another update on what's happening in Red Gate's .NET Developer Tools division. .NET 4.0 and Silverlight 4 Support A lot of you have been asking about when we're going to provide ...

Red Gate .NET Tool Support for Visual Studio 2010 (21 May 2010) by Bart Read

24 hours after posting my last blog I realised I'd neglected to mention Visual Studio 2010. I must have hit the Beaujolais a bit too hard or something, but anyway... Three of our tools have some level of integration with Visual Studio ...

Win a copy of ANTS Memory Profiler! (26 May 2010) by Bart Read

Tell us about your experiences dealing with memory issues in .NET, and you stand a chance of winning a copy of the best memory profiler out there, along with a year's support and upgrades to ensure you can get the new version as soon as it' ...

Protect and Improve your Software with SmartAssembly 5 (09 Jun 2010) by Bart Read

SmartAssembly 5 has been released. You can download a 14-day fully-functional free trial from: http://www.red-gate.com/products/smartassembly/index.htm This is the first major release since Red Gate acquired the tool last year, and ...

SmartAssembly Support: How to change the error report maps folder (09 Jun 2010) by Bart Read

If you've set up SmartAssembly to store error reports in a SQL Server database, you'll also have specified a folder for the map files that are used to de-obfuscate error reports (see Figure 1). Whilst you can change the database easily enou ...

.NET Reflector Support: Does the .NET Reflector Visual Studio add-in work with Visual Studio Express? (22 Jun 2010) by Bart Read

Unfortunately the answer to this is no: the .NET Reflector add-in does not support Express editions of Visual Studio, and hence the Pro debugging functionality will also not work with these Visual Studio Editions. This is because Microsoft ...

.NET Reflector Support: Is it possible to load different versions of the same assembly at the same time? (22 Jun 2010) by Bart Read

Unfortunately the answer to this is no: you cannot load more than one version of an assembly in .NET Reflector at the same time. If you try you'll see the following dialog box: You will need to unload the first version of the ass ...

Shovell: An ASP.NET Demo Application for ANTS Performance Profiler 6 (28 Jul 2010) by Bart Read

Recently I've been doing a few demos of ANTS Performance Profiler 6 at user groups, and last week I did a talk entitled "Real World Performance Profiling" at The Developers Group Meeting down in London, for which I'll publish my notes later ...

The Future of .NET Reflector... Reloaded (10 Aug 2010) by Bart Read

Technorati Tags: dotnetreflector , reflector , .net , survey , prizedraw , future Last time we posted on this topic we were very much telling you what was going on. This time around it's your turn. We want to know what you think o ...

.NET Reflector Support: How do I integrate .NET Reflector with the Windows Explorer shell? (25 Aug 2010) by Bart Read

You can integrate .NET Reflector with the Windows Explorer shell so that you can open assemblies in .NET Reflector directly from Explorer. To do this open up .NET Reflector, then click Tools > Integration Options on the main menu. N ...

.NET Reflector Support: How can I decompile the implementation of an entire class or struct? (31 Aug 2010) by Bart Read

With .NET Reflector you don't need to decompile a type method by method. You can do the whole thing at once, although it may not be immediately obvious how. All you need to do is select the type you want in the assemblies list. If needs ...

How do we use the .NET Reflector twitter account (@dotnetreflector)? (13 Sep 2010) by Bart Read

This post is inspired by Guy Kawasaki's " How I Tweet " post, both in terms of its content and in terms of our approach to tweeting. His post reads almost like a twitter marketing "how to" in some ways so, frankly, Yah! Boo sucks! to all yo ...

ReSharper C# Live Template for Dependency Property and Property Change Routed Event Boilerplate Code (10 Nov 2010) by Bart Read

I don't know about you but it took me about 5 seconds to get royally fed up of typing the boilerplate code necessary for creating WPF (and Silverlight) dependency properties and, if you want them, their associated property change routed eve ...

WPF: How to get the bounds of a control in an automatic layout container, in the container coordinate space (24 Nov 2010) by Bart Read

Googling this the other day, I started to get the impression that this might be annoyingly tricky. You might wonder why this is necessary at all, given that WPF implements layout for you in most cases (except for containers such as Canvas ...

ReSharper C# Live Template for Read-Only Dependency Property and Routed Event Boilerplate (30 Nov 2010) by Bart Read

Following on from my previous post, where I shared a Live Template for quickly declaring a normal read-write dependency property and its associated property change event boilerplate , here's an unsurprisingly similar template for creating ...

ReSharper C# Live Template for Declaring Routed Event (30 Nov 2010) by Bart Read

Here's another WPF ReSharper Live Template for you. This one is for declaring standalone routed events of any type. Again, it's pretty simple:        #region $EVENTNAME$ Routed Event    ...

On Her Majesty's Secret Source Code: .NET Reflector 7 Early Access Builds Now Available (16 Dec 2010) by Bart Read

Dodgy Bond references aside, I'm extremely happy to be able to tell you that we've just released our first .NET Reflector 7 Early Access build. We're going to make these available over the coming weeks via the main .NET Reflector download p ...

More Big News: .NET Reflector 7 Beta, Integrating Jason Haley's PowerCommands Add-in is Now Available (10 Jan 2011) by Bart Read

I'm very pleased to announce the release of .NET Reflector 7 Beta. As ever, you can get it from http://reflector.red-gate.com/Download.aspx I've been holding off for a week or so because I wanted to be able to announce the great new ...

.NET Reflector 7.2 Early Access Build 1 Released (20 May 2011) by Bart Read

I've just posted up full details of this release on the .NET Reflector blog at http://www.reflector.net/2011/05/life-is-a-journey-not-a-destination-net-reflector-7-2-ea-1-has-been-released/ and, breaking with previous tradition, this incl ...

.NET Reflector 7.2 Early Access Build 2 Released: Performance Critical (31 May 2011) by Bart Read

I've just posted a write-up of some of the performance tuning I've done to improve .NET Reflector 7.2's start-up time here: http://www.reflector.net/2011/05/net-reflector-7-start-up-time-running-out-of-gas-or-pedal-to-the-metal/ You ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Keynote Part 1 - Steven Sinofsky's Introduction (28 Sep 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Keynote Part 2 - Julie Larson-Green's Windows 8 Experience Demo (29 Sep 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Keynote Part 3 - Antoine Leblond's Windows 8 Platform and Tools Presentation - Building an HTML5/JavaScript Metro App (30 Sep 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Keynote Part 4 - Antoine Leblond's Windows 8 Platform and Tools Presentation - The App Store & Converting a Silverlight App to Metro (03 Oct 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Keynote Part 5 - Michael Angiulo's Hardware Platform Presentation and Demos (04 Oct 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Keynote Part 6 - Windows 8 Professional Platform with Steven Sinofsky, and a Smidge of Cloud with Chris Jones (05 Oct 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Big Picture Session 1 - Jensen Harris on 8 Traits of Great Metro Style Apps (06 Oct 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Big Picture Session 2 Part 1 - Ales Holecek on the WinRT APIs (07 Oct 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Notes from BUILD - Day 1 - Big Picture Session 2 Part 2 - Kieran Mockford and Chris Sells on Tools for Building Metro Style Apps (10 Oct 2011) by Bart Read

This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft's recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they're somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often c ...

Down Tools Week Cometh: Kissing Goodbye to CVs/Resumes and Cover Letters (22 Mar 2012) by Bart Read

I haven't blogged about what I'm doing in my (not so new) temporary role as Red Gate's technical recruiter, mostly because it's been routine, business as usual stuff, and because I've been trying to understand the role by doing it. I think ...

Google’s Working On A (Not So) New Programming Language & Platform For The Web: Dart… But Is It A Great Technology On The Road To Nowhere? (23 Apr 2013) by Bart Read

Last week I had the pleasure of watching Chris Buckett give a talk introducing Googleâ_Ts newish web programming platform, Dart , at a London HTML5 User Group meeting at Skills Matter down in London. Chris has been working with and b ...

Node.js Development in Visual Studio – Life After Visual Node with Node Tools for Visual Studio (22 Nov 2013) by Bart Read

By now you may have seen the first public alpha release of Node Tools for Visual Studio on CodePlex announced in Scott Hanselmanâ_Ts excellent overview of the suite . You may have noticed Red Gateâ_Ts name associated with this and, parti ...

New Features in Node Tools for Visual Studio’s December Dev Build (20 Dec 2013) by Bart Read

Download the latest Node Tools for Visual Studio dev build from: https://nodejstools.codeplex.com/releases/view/116275 Itâ_Ts only been a month since the first alpha, but a lot has happened since with fixes and improvements to intel ...

Combining xUnit.net and Selenium (01 Sep 2009) by Ben Adderson

There has been a fair amount of discussion about how to improve our test automation here in the Web Team at Red Gate. One of the avenues that we are keen to go down is browser automation. In the browser automation arena, the two big pl ...

Improving the xUnit.net [Browser] attribute (02 Sep 2009) by Ben Adderson

In yesterday's post I talked about an xUnit [Browser] attribute that wraps Selenium, taking care of setting up the browser objects we pass as parameters into our test methods. Where I left off, my example test case looked as follows: [ ...

[BrowserTheory] - Adding a [URL] attribute to the [Browser] attribute for xUnit.net (10 Sep 2009) by Ben Adderson

EDIT: After a request in the comments, the full solution can be obtained from here . After my last post it was suggested to me that I create a [URL] attribute to deal with the unnecessary repetition of the testStartPageUrl parameter ...

Regression testing with Selenium GRID (02 Jun 2010) by Ben Adderson

A lot of software teams out there are tasked with supporting and maintaining systems that have grown organically over time, and the web team here at Red Gate is no exception. We're about to embark on our first significant refactorin ...

Switching from Selenium 1.x to WebDriver/Selenium 2 and HtmlUnit (26 Aug 2010) by Ben Adderson

Recently I became aware of the work that is being done to merge the WebDriver and Selenium codebases. The result is Selenium 2, a project that aims to offer the best bits from both. For more details about the merge, see here . Havin ...

Learning to Xcode: thoughts of a C# developer (27 Jul 2011) by Ben Challenor

Here at Red Gate we've been running a "New Business" division for a while. The goal of New Business is to try things that Red Gate wouldn't normally try. With each idea we hope to succeed, of course, but if we fail we want to fail quickly. ...

Can desktop software be Lean? (24 Jan 2012) by Ben Challenor

Eric Ries and the Lean Startup movement seem to have become the hottest trend since Agile. The Financial Times already ranks Ries' book alongside Clay Christensen's Innovator's Dilemma and Geoffrey Moore's Crossing the Chasm for cha ...

Announcing the Beta of ANTS Performance Profiler 8 (24 Jan 2013) by Ben Emmett

We spend a lot of time talking to .NET developers, and over the last couple of months it's been really interesting speaking to so many people writing Windows Store apps. If that's you, I want to share something we've been working on for a w ...

Web Request Profiling in ANTS Performance Profiler (01 Feb 2013) by Ben Emmett

Weâ_Tve just shipped another beta build of ANTS Performance Profiler 8 , and itâ_Ts a big one. It adds new feature called web request profiling, which captures all web requests made by your application and displays them in the context of ...

Doh! This is why we run beta programs (06 Feb 2013) by Ben Emmett

I'm a big believer in sharing beta software with users as early as possible. For our users it means getting to try new functionality months in advance of when they'd otherwise get it. For us it means mountains of hugely valuable feedback ...

Join us for a bug hunt â_" there are prizes! (05 Mar 2013) by Ben Emmett

Join us right now on Google Hangouts:  https://plus.google.com/events/cq2p82jvkp7i0fsl9v8faq09qig Testers need to have creatively nefarious minds; abusing applications in ways which only the most sick caffeine-starved users might. At ...

ANTS Performance Profiler 8 released (17 Apr 2013) by Ben Emmett

ANTS Performance Profiler 8 has just shipped! We've been working on it for eight months, and there's a huge amount of new functionality to make it easier than ever for you to nail performance problems and write awesome-fast software. If yo ...

ANTS Memory Profiler 8 Beta Available! (07 Aug 2013) by Ben Emmett

This will be a short one: I want to let you know that ANTS Memory Profiler 8 is now available in public beta . The new version adds support for profiling .NETâ_Ts usage of unmanaged memory. If your .NET code consumes unmanaged APIs or l ...

ANTS Memory Profiler 8 released! (02 Oct 2013) by Ben Emmett

I'm excited to say that we've just released ANTS Memory Profiler 8 ! The big news is support for profiling .NET's usage of unmanaged memory. There are two main parts to this. Firstly you can see a breakdown of unmanaged memory usage by ...

New database profiling support in ANTS Performance Profiler (07 Oct 2013) by Ben Emmett

In May last year, the ANTS Performance Profiler team added the ability to profile database requests your application makes to SQL Server or Oracle. The really cool thing is that youâ_Tre shown those requests in the applicationâ_Ts call ...

Clever memory usage through the years (24 Oct 2013) by Ben Emmett

A friend and I were recently talking about the really clever tricks people have used to get the most out of memory. I thought I'd share my favorites, and would love to hear yours too! Interleaving on drum memory Back in the ye olde ...

Getting people the right information at the right time (19 Nov 2013) by Ben Emmett

I've just had a great week at St Louis Days of .NET conference. I talked to a lot of people about the product I work on, and something which stood out was the number of long-time users (one who'd been using it since 2005!) who said "I love ...

Saving your agile project: proper Post-it peeling (29 Nov 2013) by Ben Emmett

Step 1) Write task on Post-it Step 2) Peel Post-it from pack Step 3) Put Post-it in to do column Step 4) Post-it falls onto floor, gets helpfully tidied into bin Step 5) Sad trombone noise It all went wrong in ...

Killing memory usage with dynamically generated assemblies (20 Dec 2013) by Ben Emmett

There's a nasty memory leak which the .NET Framework can suffer from when using certain classes. Letâ_Ts say you instantiate a new XmlSerializer(Type). Behind the scenes, the framework will dynamically generate an assembly to serialize o ...

Continuous Integration for SQL Server using Red Gate Tools, Atlassian Bamboo and GitHub (21 Mar 2013) by Ben Rees

This post explains how to install Red Gateâ_Ts Automation License for Continuous Integration on Atlassianâ_Ts Bamboo CI Server so that you can start running Continuous Integration builds for your SQL Server databases. This will allow yo ...

Continuous Integration for SQL Server Part II - Integration Testing (25 Jun 2013) by Ben Rees

My previous post , on setting up Continuous Integration for SQL Server databases using GitHub, Bamboo and Red Gate's tools, covered the first two parts of a simple Database Continuous Delivery process: Putting your database in to a ...

Continuous Integration for SQL Server Part III â_" Deployment (10 Jul 2013) by Ben Rees

In this article, I'll describe the next stage in implementing a full Continuous Integration and Deployment process for SQL Server databases: Deployment. This post follows on directly from my previous post on Continuous Integration and t ...

Automating Deployment of Database Projects with Red Gate Tools (11 Feb 2014) by Ben Rees

Generally, when users are implementing continuous delivery for their databases, using Red Gate tools ( SQL Source Control , SQL Automation Pack , Deployment Manager â_" see here for an overview ), they are using Red Gateâ_Ts own script ...

Top four challenges for DBAs: Will they change in 2009? (29 May 2009) by Bob Cramblitt

With the kickoff of nominations for 2009's Exceptional DBA Awards about two weeks away, it's a good time to revisit the challenges faced by last year's nominees and solicit opinions on whether they are still valid. As a communications ...

A window into the world of DBAs (22 Jul 2009) by Bob Cramblitt

In late May, before nominations opened for this yearâ_Ts Exceptional DBA awards , I wrote about the top four challenges facing DBAs and wondered if the challenges mentioned in this yearâ_Ts nominations would be different from those in l ...

DBA in Red (28 Aug 2008) by Brad M McGehee

Careers donâ_Tt always go to plan. I never actually planned to have my face appearing in advertisements on SQL Server and ASP sites around the Internet and in printed publications. In fact, it still takes me by ...

Take Some Time this Fall to Boost Your Skill Set (29 Aug 2008) by Brad M McGehee

As DBAs, we have a lot to keep up with. While the most obvious new skill we need to master is SQL Server 2008 (including the Database Engine, SSIS, Reporting Services & Analysis Services), there is Windows 2008, server and SAN hardware ...

Get a Free Copy of My New E-Book: Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server 2008: The Top Ten New Features for DBAs (31 Aug 2008) by Brad M McGehee

I have just finished writing a new E-Book, and it is available free from Red Gate Software at the following URL: http://www.red-gate.com/specials/ToolbeltBradsure.htm The goal of my new 112 page book is not to teach you everything y ...

How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Presentation (02 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

In a previous post , I recommended that you attend a local user's group, code camp, SQL Saturday, or a national conference in order to boost your SQL Server skill set. In this blog entry, I want to make some suggestions that you can take i ...

Get Involved in the SQL Server Community (05 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

One key trait I see over and over again in successful DBAs is their willingness to share their knowledge with others. Instead of just focusing on what their profession can bring to them, these DBAs also consider what they can bring to their ...

How Can I Contribute to the SQL Server Community? (11 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

  In a previous blog entry , I talked about the benefits of getting involved in the SQL Server community. In this blog entry, I'll take a detailed look at many of the  different ways you can participate and contribute to the c ...

Is the Internet Hurting Your DBA Career? (16 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

In a recent survey conducted by Careerbuilder.Com , 22% of hiring managers said that they use social networking websites to research candidates for potential jobs, which is up from 11% in 2006. In addition, about one third of those said th ...

SQL Server 2008 Transparent Data Encryption (21 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

Whether we like it or not, DBAs are becoming security experts. It’s not a job we want, but it’s been thrust upon us as we are the protectors of the organization’s data. Whether required by law, or just for self-protection, ...

How to Script a Profiler Trace for Use as a SQL Trace Data Collection Set for the SQL Server 2008 Performance Data Collector (25 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

  In SQL Server 2008, a new feature called the Performance Data Collector was added. It has the ability to collect SQL Server-related performance data, store it in a database called the Management Data Warehouse, and then produce va ...

SQLPASS Has New Website (25 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

After a very long wait, SQLPASS has introduced its new website ( www.sqlpass.org ). If you were a previous member of PASS, you should have received an e-mail with your new username and password. If you thought you were a member, but did not ...

SQL Server 2008 Cumulative Update Package 1 Available (26 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

It seems it was almost yesterday when SQL Server 2008 went RTM. And now, less than 60 days after 2008 was released, Microsoft has released Cumulative Update Package 1, which includes 78 hot fixes. You can see the entire list here . As i ...

Can Social Networking Help Your DBA Career? (28 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

In previous blog entries, I have talked about the importance of managing your online brand . One important part of this is participation in social networking websites. If you are not yet familiar with the term, social networking refers to ...

Keep Up-to-Date on SQL Server with These RSS Feeds (29 Sep 2008) by Brad M McGehee

The Internet includes a huge amount of SQL Server content, but much of it is hard to find. One of the ways I try to keep up is to follow a large number SQL Server-related RSS feeds using a RSS Feed Reader. Some of these feeds are very ac ...

Career Guidance: Become a More Successful IT Professional by Managing Your Own Personal Brand Within Your Organization (15 Oct 2008) by Brad M McGehee

While you may not think of it this way, the impression you create on other people within your organization significantly affects your success as an IT Professional. In other words, how the people you work with view you as a person can make ...

Characteristics of the Exceptional DBA (30 Oct 2008) by Brad M McGehee

  In this blog entry, I'd like discuss and explore the characteristics that define an Exceptional DBA. Few DBAs will have all these characteristics, but the best DBAs will have most of them. Enjoys Technology If you are re ...

How to Hone Your DBA Skill Set (29 Nov 2008) by Brad M McGehee

In this article, we examine the various ingredients that will help you establish a successful career as a DBA, and then contribute to your long-term career success. Formal Education â_" you don't need a degree in database admin ...

2009 SQL Server Training Conferences (13 Feb 2009) by Brad M McGehee

Below is a list of some of the many SQL Server-related training that will be available in 2009. As you visit some of the websites, you may notice that the information may be a little old for some of them. This is because many of these event ...

Reasons Why You May Not Want to Use a Heap (27 Feb 2009) by Brad M McGehee

For a book project I am working on, I have started compiling a list of reasons why heaps aren't usually a good choice when designing a database. Now, I didn't say that heaps are always bad, but in most cases, I think they should be avoided ...

Summary of What PASS Members Want from the 2009 PASS Community Summit (04 Apr 2009) by Brad M McGehee

PASS recently conducted a survey of its members, asking them what topics they would like to see covered at the 2009 PASS Community Summit. A total of 304 people responded to the survey, and the entire survey can be seen at the PASS Speaker ...

PASS Call for Speakers Deadline Extended (08 Apr 2009) by Brad M McGehee

If you have been procrastinating about submitting a speaking abstract for the 2009 PASS Community Summit, you have been given a short reprieve. The Call for Speakers has now been extended until midnight on April 24, 2009. See this link for ...

SQL Server DBA Certifications: How Many People Have Which Certifications? (01 May 2009) by Brad M McGehee

According to Microsoft, as of April 2009:   153,130 people have received the MCDBA: SQL Server 2000 certification   51,445 people have received the MCTS: SQL Server 2005 certification 854 people have rec ...

SQLServerCentral.Com to Offer SQL Server Track at SQL Server Connections (04 Jun 2009) by Brad M McGehee

I have spoken at many conferences over the years, including the PASS Community Summit and SQL Server Connections , and one of the things I have noticed is that there is very little overlap between the DBAs and developers who attend each ...

15-25% Off SQL Server Microsoft Certification Exams (24 Sep 2009) by Brad M McGehee

Microsoft is offering from 15-25% off selected Microsoft Certification Exams. In order to receive the discount, you must register, schedule, and purchase the discounted exams by December 31, 2009. Visit here for more information . Here ...

Are Your Backups Really Safe? (16 Sep 2010) by Brad M McGehee

Imagine for a moment if you will. As a DBA, and as the protector of your organization's data, you have implemented many safeguards to protect your data. You have set up periodic jobs to back up your databases; you check daily to ensure that ...

Thanks for nothing! (05 Sep 2007) by Brian Donahue

When Fibonacci  introduced the number zero to Europe, it must have blown their minds. People in the Fertile Crescent had been using zeros, probably for centuries, but for the people of this continent the concept of a symbol that m ...

Learning to play the symbols (08 Sep 2007) by Brian Donahue

If you are ever tasked to figure out what's happening inside an application, one of the essential bits of information is the Program Database (.PDB) file. The PDB contains symbols, that is to say that it contains a list of methods, properti ...

Support's line in the sand (15 Sep 2007) by Brian Donahue

Some months ago, I took my car in for a safety inspection, and the garage found a small hole on the inside of the wheel-well. In order for the car to pass inspection, they said, that would need to be welded shut. Great, I said, can we do ...

How to rewind a SQL Server (20 Sep 2007) by Brian Donahue

I work for a company that sells software. And SOME people, because of their untrusing nature, need to be convinced that the software that we want to sell them actually works. This process, in some large, bureaucratic institutions, involves ...

Database backup: insufficient resources for cache withdrawal (30 Sep 2007) by Brian Donahue

Sometimes SQL Server can pose conundrums of such complexity that even the Riddler couldn't conceive of. In my mind's eye, a SQL Server is in fact its' own operating system, running on another operating system. For instance, SQL Server ...

One ringy dingy... (06 Oct 2007) by Brian Donahue

I should really count my blessings. Technical Support, to some companies, means a bank of Rhesus monkeys picking up telephones and telling customers to 'turn it off and then on again'. Previous to this prevalent statement, 'is it plugg ...

Using the kill to cure (14 Oct 2007) by Brian Donahue

I was watching a medical drama the other day, you probably know the one, where the diagnostician darn near kills the patient with bizarre tests in trying to figure out his illness, given a strangely conflicting set of symptoms. I've come ac ...

Need to loosen my bindings (13 Nov 2007) by Brian Donahue

Microsoft .NET's runtime provides an execution engine for Just-In-Time compiled code, but it also has the clandestine capability to pre-compile code and cache it on disk. This at first seems a little odd, since the point of environment ...

Exceptionally expensive (26 Mar 2008) by Brian Donahue

Many years ago, when switching from programming in plain old C to the managed environment of .NET Framework, I had discovered exceptions.  The idea was not completely new to me because I'd already seen try/catch blocks in JavaScript an ...

Optimize Prime (26 Mar 2008) by Brian Donahue

Ever since the dark ages of programming, certain tricks have been implemented in code compilers to eke out the maximum performance from the compiled code, the most important of which is inlining. Put simply, inlining is the process by which ...

Po man's patchworkin' (27 Mar 2008) by Brian Donahue

If you had come of age before Component Object Model as I have, the concept of COM registration seemed rather odd at first glance. Why is your system limited to exactly one application extension which is forced to be backwards-compatible, w ...

DOH! It's the DaftOperationHandler (05 Aug 2008) by Brian Donahue

   Probably my least favourite question in the world, professionally anyway, is "Does your software support <choose a technology>". Well, first off, define support. Dictionary.com provides for no less than nineteen definit ...

Man eats crow, film at eleven (12 Aug 2008) by Brian Donahue

Last week I'd had a bit of a rant here about not using software for anything other than what it is designed to do. Thinking back, though, I have done this quite a few times myself, particularly by employing a code profiler to do the jo ...

Object-level recovery from backup is here! (16 Aug 2008) by Brian Donahue

Version 7 of the Red Gate SQL Comparison SDK has finally brought the possibility of recovering individual objects from a Microsoft SQL Server backup to a live database. I found this an exciting opportunity to flex the old noggin ...

ASP .NET: when a crash is not a crash (24 Sep 2008) by Brian Donahue

In the mysterious viscera of Microsoft Internet Information Server, nothing is as it seems. When applications are designed to work over the web, they must bristle with all sorts of bits designed to make the stateless stateful and many ...

Arrrrgh! Wix! (21 Oct 2008) by Brian Donahue

This week's time-eater, for me, was to try to create an installer package (MSI) with custom actions that install databases on SQL Servers. Typically, I had grown to like Microsoft Visual Studio Deployment Projects, because I could easily kn ...

Installing databases using Wix (06 Nov 2008) by Brian Donahue

In the promised second half of my Wix installment, I am going to demonstrate how you can install a SQL Server database as part of a software deployment using Wix and SQL Packager from Red Gate. In my experience, your average software ...

Updating the managed debugging API for .NET v4 (24 Nov 2010) by Brian Donahue

In any successful investigation, the right tools play a big part in collecting evidence about the state of the "crime scene" as it was before the detectives arrived. Unfortunately for the Crash Scene Investigator, we don't have the bud ...

Anatomy of a serialization killer (19 Dec 2010) by Brian Donahue

As I had mentioned last month, I have been working on a project to create an easy-to-use managed debugger . It's still an internal tool that we use at Red Gate as part of product support to analyze application errors on customer's computer ...

My application had a WindowsIdentity crisis (17 Mar 2011) by Brian Donahue

The project I have been working on this week to test computer environments needs to do various actions as a user other than the one running the application. For instance, it looks up an installed Windows Service, finds out who the startup u ...

Event-Driven Debugging (15 Oct 2011) by Brian Donahue

Most application troubleshooting involves getting an error, analyzing the error message, and at worst, attaching a debugger to work out the real cause. What is not really covered is how to troubleshoot an applicaiton that is not errant, but ...

It always works on my machine. (18 Jan 2012) by Brian Donahue

Probably the most common question that the Red Gate developer tools support gets is "Does your X work with Y?" where X is your bit of software and Y is a bit of software made by a different company. This is probably the least answerable que ...

10 years of C# (24 Feb 2009) by Charles Brown

Next week we're interviewing Anders Hejlsberg - the father of C# - for our sister publication SimpleTalk. We were talking about what questions to ask him, and I suddenly realized how far production programming languages have developed in th ...

Programmatically uploading an image to a SharePoint Picture Library (21 Oct 2009) by Charles Lee

SharePoint's ability to store and maintain libraries of resources (such as images, documents and other files) is a very useful weapon in a SharePoint developer's arsenal. In this article I will show how you can leverage the power of a Pictu ...

Using a People Picker in SharePoint Workflow Initiation (28 Oct 2009) by Charles Lee

Creating a workflow from SharePoint Designer is limiting in many ways, but it's also very quick and easy, and it covers a large majority of every day scenarios. One of the major flaws for me has always been the inability to select 'Person' ...

SharePoint 2010 - What to look forward to. (04 Nov 2009) by Charles Lee

For many months now the intricate details of what's under the bonnet (that's the hood to all US readers) of SharePoint 2010 has been for a select bunch of SharePoint MVPs and Microsoft partners, and it has been protected by an NDA (Non-Disc ...

Using the JQuery dialog widget in a custom SharePoint web part (11 Nov 2009) by Charles Lee

If you have played around with the dialog widget in JQuery UI you may have noticed a couple of things. Like a lot of JavaScript libraries it messes with the DOM (Document Object Model) at what might be unexpected times and therefor ...

Initiate a SharePoint workflow from a button on the list view. (24 Nov 2009) by Charles Lee

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 wa ...

Deploying InfoPath templates within MOSS 2007 (14 Dec 2009) by Charles Lee

I am going to start with a quote that I want everyone to remember.  It should be in the mind of anyone developing InfoPath solutions for SharePoint. "Never, ever publish an InfoPath form directly from InfoPath into a productio ...

SharePoint: The security validation for this page is invalid (05 Jan 2010) by Charles Lee

Happy new year to you all.  I am starting off 2010 with an article I have been meaning to write for ages, it addresses an error that has come up several times whilst I have been developing solutions that operate outside of the paramete ...

The Upgrade Path to SharePoint 2010 (22 Jan 2010) by Charles Lee

If your looking at the public beta of SharePoint 2010 and thinking, "We are going to need to upgrade, but where do I start?" then hopefully this basic guide should help you on how to plan and what action to take in preparation for an upgrad ...

SharePoint: Where have my content types gone? (02 Feb 2010) by Charles Lee

Have all your SharePoint site columns and content types ever mysteriously vanished from your site collection?  What could cause this catastrophe to occur? At one time or another when you are developing solutions for SharePoint (MOSS ...

SharePoint: Numeric/Integer Site Column (Field) Types (01 Mar 2010) by Charles Lee

What field type should you use when creating number based site columns as part of a SharePoint feature? Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 provides you with an extensible and flexible method of developing and deploying Site Columns and Cont ...

SharePoint 2010 release date - is it that important? (10 Mar 2010) by Charles Lee

There has been lots of excitement in the SharePoint community over the last few days as Microsoft have announced the official release date of SharePoint 2010 . May 12th is the date for your diaries (RTM in April.) The twittersphere ...

Antenna Aligner part 1: In the beginning. (18 May 2012) by Chris George

Picture the scene, it's 9pm, I'm in my caravan (yes I know, I've heard all the jokes!) with my family and I'm trying to tune the tv by moving the aerial, retuning, moving the aerial again, retuning... 45 mins and much cursing later I succee ...

Antenna Aligner part 2: Finding the right direction (21 May 2012) by Chris George

Last time I managed to get "my first app(tm)" built, published and running on my iPhone. This was really cool, a piece of my code running on my very own device. Ok, so I'm easily pleased! The next challenge was actually trying to dete ...

Antenna Aligner Part 3: Kaspersky (22 May 2012) by Chris George

Quick one today. Since starting this project, I've been encountering times where Nomad fails to build my app. It would then take repeated attempts at building to then see a build go through successfully. Rob , who works on Nomad at R ...

Antenna Aligner Part 4: Role'ing in the deep (28 May 2012) by Chris George

Since last time I've been trying to sort out the general workflow of the app. It's fundamentally not hard, there is a list of transmitters, you select a transmitter and it shows the compass view. Having done quite a bit of ajax/asp.net/ ...

Antenna Aligner Part 5: Devil is in the detail (01 Jun 2012) by Chris George

"The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time and the last 10% takes the another 200%"  (excerpt from onista ) Now that I have a working app (more or less), it's time to make it pretty and slick. I can't stress enough how useful i ...

Antenna Aligner Part 6: Little Robots (07 Jun 2012) by Chris George

A week ago I took temporary ownership of a HTC Desire S so that I could start testing my app under Android. Support for Android was not in my original plan, but when Nomad added support for it recently, I starting thinking why not! So wi ...

Antenna Aligner Part 7: Connecting the dots (08 Jun 2012) by Chris George

The app is basically ready, so I eagerly started to sort out creating the application entry in iTu nes Connect. It's mostly intuitive actually, although I did have to create yet another icon for iTunes sized 512x512 pixels, damn lucky I d ...

Antenna Aligner Part 8: It's Alive!!! (18 Jun 2012) by Chris George

Finally the day has come, Antenna Aligner v1.0.1 has been uploaded to the AppStore and . "Waiting for review" .. . fast forward 7 days and much checking of emails later WOO HOO! Now what? So I set my facebook page to g ...

Antenna Aligner Part 9: Progress and Updates (16 Jul 2012) by Chris George

Itâ_Ts been a while since my last post, and things are going well. Iâ_Tve currently got over 260 users, and some really positive feedback! Iâ_Tve also had a few support emails what I have addressed in version 1.0.2. The most interesting iss ...

"It's only test code..." (09 Nov 2012) by Chris George

"Let me hack this in, it's only test code" , "Don't worry about getting it reviewed, it's only test code" , "It doesn't have to be elegant or efficient, it's only test code" ... do these phrases sound familiar? Chances are if you've worki ...

Antenna Aligner Part 10: Updates and emails... (13 Nov 2012) by Chris George

Since my last post back in July, I've not done huge amounts of work on my app for two reasons. Firstly, no time! Secondly, I wanted to leave it out in the wild for a while and see what happened. Well, what happened?  over 1,300 users, t ...

Agile Testing Days 2012 - My First Conference! (04 Dec 2012) by Chris George

I'd like to give you a bit of background first... so please bear with me! In 1996, whilst studying for my final year of my degree, I applied for a job as a C++ Developer at a small software house in Hertfordshire  After bodging up the ...

Agile Testing Days 2012 - Day 1 - The birth of the #unicorn... (04 Dec 2012) by Chris George

Still riding the high from the tutorial day, I arrived at the conference venue eager to get cracking with the days talks. The opening Keynote was "Disciplined Agile Delivery: The Foundation for Scaling Agile"  presented by Scott Ambler. T ...

Agile Testing Days 2012 â_" Day 2 - Learn through disagreement (05 Dec 2012) by Chris George

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180"] I think I was in the right place![/caption] During Day 1 I kept on reading tweets about Lean Coffee that has happened earlier that morning. It intrigued me and I figured in for a penny ...

Agile Testing Days 2012 - Day 3 - Agile or agile? (12 Dec 2012) by Chris George

Another early start for my last Lean Coffee of the conference, and again it was not wasted. We had some really interesting discussions around how to determine what test automation is useful, if agile is not faster, why do it? and a rather ...

Agile Testing Days 2012 - My Thoughts (21 Dec 2012) by Chris George

Way back in my first post about Agile Testing Days 2012, I tried to explain my thoughts and journey leading me to attending this conference. I didn't really know what, if anything, I would get out of this, but felt that I should at least tr ...

To Automate or Not To Automateâ_ŢIs that the Question? (22 Feb 2013) by Chris George

We all know that test automation i.e. the ability to run a bunch of tests automatically, not manually, and then release based on the results, is a good thing, don't we? Effective automated tests provide insurance that the areas of your p ...

SQL Monitor's data repository (23 Aug 2012) by Chris Lambrou

As one of the developers of SQL Monitor , I often get requests passed on by our support people from customers who are looking to dip into SQL Monitor's own data repository, in order to pull out bits of information that they're interested i ...

SQL Monitor's data repository: Alerts (11 Sep 2012) by Chris Lambrou

In my previous post , I introduced the SQL Monitor data repository, and described how the monitored objects are stored in a hierarchy in the data schema, in a series of tables with a _Keys suffix. In this post I had planned to describe ...

SQL Monitorâ_Ts data repository: Monitoring data - part 1 (16 Jan 2013) by Chris Lambrou

Okay, I had originally intended to blog about SQL Monitor on a fairly frequent basis. Unfortunately I got rather distracted towards the end of last year by a whole host of things, both personal and work related, and I ended up only writing ...

TOOWTDI (23 Sep 2010) by Chris Massey

PowerShell 2 is an integral part of Exchange Server 2010, and the latest Windows Server technologies, perhaps on the premise that ubiquity breeds familiarity. Exchange has now reached the point where some operations are only available to Po ...

The #1 Tip (21 Oct 2010) by Chris Massey

The best IT articles and suggestions come from the grizzled front-line veterans, and the best grizzled front-line veterans are the ones who are willing to listen to the suggestions of their peers. Wesley David may not be grizzled, but he is ...

A Bit Cloudy (18 Nov 2010) by Chris Massey

" Systems Administrators, I come in peace. You have nothing to fear from me " - Office 365 Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite recently absorbed a few other services and has been rebranded as Office 365, which is ...

Alan Turing Needs Your Help (22 Nov 2010) by Chris Massey

Well. sort of. Clearly, you are using a computer. If you are on this site, you are probably quite familiar with computers as artifacts of our modern society. Hopefully, you are also familiar with the fact that Alan Turing , logician and ma ...

No Rest for the Virtuous (16 Dec 2010) by Chris Massey

It has been an impressively brutal month in terms of security breaches, and across a whole range of fronts. The "Cablegate" leaks, courtesy of Wikileaks, appear to be in a league of their own. The "Operation Payback" DDoS attacks against Pa ...

Weather Control (14 Jan 2011) by Chris Massey

When the age of SaaS dawned, and the first wisps of the cloud started to condense above our heads, much hype was made of the fact that you could put your "stuff" in the cloud, and then never have to worry about it again . Sadly, that's ...

Simple-Talk Labs - Let the Science Begin (10 Aug 2012) by Chris Massey

In which I introduce a new project, explain the why and wherefore, and ask for a little help. Some Context â_" Publishing for Developers The Red Gate .NET team has been having some long and fruitful discussions with the Simple-Talk ...

Some Early Considerations (22 Aug 2012) by Chris Massey

Following on from my previous post, I want to say "thank you" to everyone who has got in touch and got involved - you are pioneers! An update on where we are right now: paper prototypes v1 To be more specific, we've picked ...

Web.NET event coming in October (30 Aug 2012) by Chris Massey

If you're a web developer in Europe (or would like an excuse to travel to Europe), you should definitely take a look at the Web.NET event coming in October. It's being organized by two Italian web maestros ( Simone Chiaretta and Ugo L ...

Content Weighting and Sociology (06 Sep 2012) by Chris Massey

Iâ_Tve had loads of fantastic feedback on the concept and early curation wireframes I posted on the labs, and itâ_Ts led to some further thoughts on the topic of voting. More specifically, thoughts about the kinds of behaviour and values ...

Web.NET is Closing Fast (12 Sep 2012) by Chris Massey

The voting for sessions has now closed, and sadly only half of the potential sessions could make it through. On the plus side, the sessions that floated to the top look great and, with the votes in, Simone and Ugo have moved right along and ...

Web.NET: A Brief Retrospective (16 Nov 2012) by Chris Massey

Itâ_Ts been several weeks since I had the pleasure of visiting Milan, and joining 150 enthusiastic web developers for a day of server-side frameworks and JavaScript. Lucky for me, I keep good notes. Overall the day went smoothly, with so ...

Here's your chance to help us develop the next version of SQL Backupâ_Ţ (18 Oct 2006) by Claire Brooking

A major development of SQL Backup is scheduled for the coming months and Jamie Gerig is looking for a lucky few to help influence the exciting changes ahead.   Red Gate's usability candidates come from a varied target ...

Calling all SQL Server database developers... (07 Nov 2006) by Claire Brooking

David Atkinson, a product manager at Red Gate Software, is doing some preliminary research around the area of database development processes, especially in relation to source control and versioning. If you are a SQL Server database de ...

The road ahead for SQL Compare (with a fine prize on the journey) (10 Nov 2006) by Claire Brooking

Jonathan Watts, SQL Compare Product Manager at Red Gate Software, has just let me know that he has released a SQL Compare survey with a cool prize for 10 lucky Simple-Talk participantsâ_Ţ If you include your e-mail address in the surve ...

Code Red: database missing in action! (24 Nov 2006) by Claire Brooking

Whoops. You scratch your head and wince as you peer at the screen through closed handsâ_Ţ   You just accidentally deleted some data in your database and suddenly all seems lost at sea.  I bet youâ_Tve wished there wa ...

Free eBook with SQL Server performance tips and nuggets (23 Oct 2013) by Claire Brooking

Iâ_Tve often found that the kind of tips that turn out to be helpful are the ones that encourage me to make a small step outside of a routine. No dramatic changes â_" just a quick suggestion that changes an approach. As a languages student ...

In search of database delivery practitioners and enthusiasts (06 Nov 2013) by Claire Brooking

We know from speaking with many of you at tradeshows and user groups that database delivery is not a factory production line. During planning, evaluation, quality control, and disaster mitigation, the people having their say at each step me ...

What a Job Opportunity... (20 Jul 2009) by Clive Tong

Life as a developer at Red Gate has many opportunities! One moment youâ_Tre finishing off code in the first release of a new tool and then you move into the .NET division to work with a group of talented but scary-looking individuals ...

Real-World Functional Programming (book review) (03 Jan 2010) by Clive Tong

I had been reading Tomas Petricek's blog for some time when he announced that he was going to be writing a book. I canâ_Tt remember when this announcement was made, and somehow the book seems to have taken a long time to come out, but Real- ...

Reflector Pro has now been released! (15 Feb 2010) by Clive Tong

After moving into the .NET division in May , and having a great time working on Reflector, I'm pleased to say that the results of that work are now available . Reflector Pro has now been released ! The old Reflector as you know and l ...

.Net Reflector 6.5 EAP now available (26 Mar 2010) by Clive Tong

With the release of CLR 4 being so close, weâ_Tve been working hard on getting the new C# and VB language features implemented inside Reflector. The work isnâ_Tt complete yet, but we have some of the features working. Most importantly, ther ...

Towards an F# .NET Reflector add-in (20 May 2010) by Clive Tong

When I had the opportunity to spent some time during Red Gate's recent "down tools" week on a project of my choice, the obvious project was an F# add-in for Reflector . To be honest, this was a bit of a misnomer as the amount of time in t ...

F# and the rose-tinted reflection (20 May 2010) by Clive Tong

We're already seeing increasing use of many cores on client desktops. It is a change that has been long predicted. It is not just a change in architecture, but our notions of efficiency in a program. No longer can we focus on the asymptotic ...

The Joy of Clojure (book review) (30 Sep 2010) by Clive Tong

It's been a long time since Lisp and Scheme have been in the news. Despite the abilities of these languages to enable fast prototyping of complicated applications, they got overlooked in the old days due to people's suspicion of garbage col ...

We've completed the first iteration (16 Dec 2010) by Clive Tong

There are a lot of features in C# that are implemented by the compiler and not by the underlying platform. One such feature is a lambda expression. Since local variables cannot be accessed once the current method activation finishe ...

Some notes on Reflector 7 (01 Feb 2011) by Clive Tong

Both Bart and I have blogged about some of the changes that we (and other members of the team) have made to .NET Reflector for version 7, including the new tabbed browsing model , the inclusion of Jason Haley's PowerCommands add-in and s ...

My Red Gate Experience (13 Sep 2012) by Colin Rothwell

I'm Colin, and I've been an intern working with Mike in publishing on Simple-Talk and SQLServerCentral for the past ten weeks. I've mostly been working â_obehind the scenesâ__, making improvements to the spam filtering, along with vari ...

Great Expectations (27 Jun 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Most bloggers start out with an overly idealistic view that their blog is going to contain Pulitzer quality coverage of current events and issues and that millions of people will flock to their site daily to hear the latest buzz.  That opt ...

Tools: RAD Regular Expression Designer (28 Jun 2006) by Damon Armstrong

The regular expression engine in .NET is an awesome technology for text processing and string manipulation and is definitely one tool you want to have in your development arsenal.  But Regex syntax is one of the more difficult language ...

In Loo of Technology (03 Jul 2006) by Damon Armstrong

I can imagine how the conversation must have gone.  A slick salesman stood in the board room staring down a room full of business savy executives.  "Just image how much money you will save," said the salesman, producing a break ev ...

Demoralizing a Table (11 Jul 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Even though I'm a web developer by nature, I find myself writing about databases fairly often.  At work I'm writing a proposal for building a reporting database with a denormalized structure for better query performance and I keep runn ...

Creating Class Instances from Type Strings (13 Jul 2006) by Damon Armstrong

If you've looked through the web.config or the machine.config then you've had to have seen various type strings strewn about the configuration.  But have you ever wondered how they use those type strings to actually make a useful class ...

The Innocuous NAD (17 Jul 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Language is a quirky thing.  Iâ_Tm from Texas, so I speak American, Texan, and my six years of classroom Spanish have given me the ability to ask for beer and directions to the bathroom.  I say that I speak American because Iâ_ ...

Prefixing Database Tables (26 Jul 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Reviewing a database with 400 tables is no easy task, especially when you didn't make the database.  It seems like it would make everyone's life easier is if people would prefix their database tables in a way that helps group tables lo ...

Date Errors Pulling DB2 Data into SQL Server (15 Aug 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Moving data from DB2 to SQL Server has been an experience and a half, fraught with lessons throughout.  My latest lesson is on dates.  While running a query to import data, I kept running into this particular exception:  ...

Expensive Primary Keys (A.K.A Hacking Your Car Key's SecuriLock) (30 Aug 2006) by Damon Armstrong

You may have thought this blog entry was about databases, but no.  It's about Ford fleecing me on a set of keys.  Actually it's more about me whining because I lost my keys and they are really expensive to replace, but whatever.&n ...

Kwitcherbitchin: Personal Phone Calls at Work (12 Sep 2006) by Damon Armstrong

I'm amazed at some of the things people have to put up with at work, especially when it comes to misguided policies designed to boost productivity when in fact all they really do is hurt morale.  Too often, people are resigned to accep ...

How Do You Find a Hit Man? (17 Sep 2006) by Damon Armstrong

A while back, I was reading the story of Susan Kuhnhausen, a nurse who came home one day to find a burglar in her home.  After she came in, the burglar attacked her with a hammer.  Apparently he got in at least one blow to her hea ...

Free eBooks from Apress (25 Sep 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Apress is offering a few eBooks free of charge on their website.  Just go to their free eBook page, enter your email address, and it's yours.  The titles they are currently offering include: Programming VB .NET: A Guide Fo ...

Almost Properly Set 100% Table Heights Using CSS (02 Oct 2006) by Damon Armstrong

I like making webpages that expand to fill the entire browser window, but ever since browsers started rendering in full-compliance mode it has been a chore because tables do not respond very well to their heights being set to ...

Accessing the Web.Config at Design Time for ASP.NET 2.0 Controls (20 Oct 2006) by Damon Armstrong

One of the things that has always bothered me about the ASP.NET validation controls is that it sometimes takes two or three of them to validate a particular field. Say, for example, that you have a password field you want to validate. Norma ...

More DB2 Date Conversion Issues Importing Primary Keys into SQL Server (25 Oct 2006) by Damon Armstrong

In a previous blog entry ( Date Errors Pulling DB2 Data into SQL Server ) I recounted some of the issues I had with date conversions from DB2 to SQL Server.  Another interesting issue came up.  We were pulling data from a producti ...

Mixed Drink Recipe - Bennigan's Pattio Punch (aka Paddy-O Punch) (15 Nov 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Simple-Talk is about technology and beer, but we're going to expand that a bit to include mixed drinks as well.  My wife and I frequent a local Bennigans and have been hooked on a drink called the Pattio Punch (or Paddy-O Punch).  ...

Tools: Visibone and Adobe Kuler (01 Dec 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Due to just about a complete lack of blogging over the last month, I've declared this tool review month.  I've got a bunch of random little FREE tools that I've been messing around with over the last little while and I figured I would ...

Tools: Password Keychain (03 Dec 2006) by Damon Armstrong

As a consultant, I deal with a lot of passwords.  Websites, databases, VPN's, logins to remote machines.  It seems like there's a never ending stream of passwords that I need to remember.  One way I've found to manage them al ...

Don't let management architect a solution... (04 Dec 2006) by Damon Armstrong

I've seen many cases where business people and technical people collide.  Part of building an effective business requires understanding and respecting the various departments in an organization and their individual areas of expertise.& ...

Gauging Success by Results and not by your Work Hours (05 Dec 2006) by Damon Armstrong

As we gathered around the board room table everyone on the project team noticed a glaring bullet point on the agenda:  Project Hours.  Apparently a member of our management team had returned from a meeting at 4:30 one day and n ...

Saving the Telerik RadSplitter/RadPane State (22 Dec 2006) by Damon Armstrong

Telerik makes UI controls for ASP.NET (and they are getting in Windows Forms controls too apparently) and they've done a great job.   But, everything has it's little quirks.  I was working with the RadSplitter, a control ...

Pro CSS Techniques (23 Dec 2006) by Damon Armstrong

As a developer, Iâ_Tve had to endure my fair share of designers lecturing on the virtues of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and maintaining a strict divide between content elements and their visual layout.  Itâ_Ts a noble pursuit, but for ...

Vengence via Google Ads (25 Jan 2007) by Damon Armstrong

I was reading an article today about how GoDaddy removed a customer's domain name from their registry at the request of MySpace.com.  You can view it here: GoDaddy Pulls Security Site After MySpace Complaints Apparently someo ...

It's Called Capitalism, and You're Just as Guilty! (15 Mar 2007) by Damon Armstrong

Action 19 News in Ohio was hot on the investigative trail of a Girl Scout cookie scalper today.  Apparently, the owner of a Valero gas station in Parma Heights, Ohio bought a LOT of Girl Scout cookie boxes and is selling them in h ...

Exciting New .NET Language Features (16 Mar 2007) by Damon Armstrong

If you haven't already, check out Scott Guthrie's blog about Extension Methods that will be available when the next version of the .NET framework.  It's always cool when they add a completely new feature because it opens up more opti ...

SharePoint Permission Names (23 Mar 2007) by Damon Armstrong

SharePoint 2007 has a new control called the SPSecurityTrimmedControl.  It's a container control that allows you to hide or display a section of your page depending on whether or not the currently logged-in user has the appropriate per ...

VS SDK Error Message: CTC : fatal error CTC2013: Can't start preprocessor (2) (11 Apr 2007) by Damon Armstrong

After watching some of the demo videos of the latest Visual Studio SDK, I was excited to get started and try out my own add-in.  I installed the SDK, fired up Visual Studio, created an integration package, compiled, and got a ...

Displaying Debugging Info for SharePoint Errors in Your Browser (17 May 2007) by Damon Armstrong

SharePoint does a good job of hiding errors from users.  Out of the box, unhandled errors in SharePoint result in a fairly non-descript page that says "An Error Occurred" (or something to that effect).  Although a good practice fo ...

Wordpad may corrupt your SharePoint (and other ASP.NET app's) Web.confg (18 May 2007) by Damon Armstrong

I was remoting into a SharePoint 2007 (MOSS) box yesterday because I needed to update the configuration on a few of the servers in the farm.  Like most production systems, the server did not have Visual Studio, so I was using Notepad t ...

Reclaim Microsoft Virtual PC Console that Displays Outside the Desktop (30 May 2007) by Damon Armstrong

I ran into a bit of a problem the other day with Microsoft Virtual PC staring outside of my viewable desktop area.  And it turns out that it wasn't just a fluke, because it's happened a couple of times since then.  And R ...

ADFS - Cookie Error (16 Aug 2007) by Damon Armstrong

I've been knee deep in Active Directory Federation Services for the past three months now, and when helping one our clients deploy a single-sign-on (SSO) application, we ran into a nasty error: The request has been rejected because it ap ...

Performance: Caching vs. Reading from an In-Memory XML Document (22 Aug 2007) by Damon Armstrong

I've been working with a number of XML documents recently.  Basically I'm trying to expose configuration values stored in XML configuration files in an object-oriented structure.  I'm using an in-memory XML document and just refer ...

Simple Code Performance Testing (24 Aug 2007) by Damon Armstrong

After posting Performance: Caching vs. Reading from an In-Memory XML Document , there have been some questions about how I actually do the performance testing.  My approach to performance testing is really simple... I just write some ...

WPF: WindowsFormsHost Control Error (04 Sep 2007) by Damon Armstrong

I had the code base for my first WPF application ready to go, so I compiled a release version of software and tried to run it from the .exe instead of directly from Visual Studio.  I was promptly greeted with the following error: ...

Disabling an ASP.NET Button when Clicked (20 Dec 2007) by Damon Armstrong

I was answering a question in the ASP.NET forums on Simple-Talk.com ( click here you want to check it out ) about how to avoid the issue of users submitting multiple page requests when they click on buttons.  My first inclination was h ...

Avoid Parenthesis in VS 2005/2008 Web Site Project Paths (19 Apr 2008) by Damon Armstrong

I was developing against a web site project -- you know the ones in Visual Studio 2005/2008 where you can just point to a directory and do your thing (as compared to a web application project with an actual project file) -- and I noticed so ...

Recursive Anonymous Methods (01 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

I was having a lively discussion with a friend the other day on the finer points of anonymous methods and lambda expressions. Yes, at Cogent Company this is actually what we do for fun.  I had basically said that an anonymous method was ...

Avoiding Local Authentication Issues with SharePoint Sites using Host Headers (02 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

All of my VPCs are children from a base VPC that I happened to name Win2k3R2Base.  At the time, it seemed pretty reasonable because I was building a base VPC for Windows 2003 R2.  But when you're developing SharePoint web applicat ...

Fixing the 'Name ActiveX Control' Message on SharePoint Sites (03 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

SharePoint sites normally have a 'Name ActiveX Control' used to communicate you're online presence back to the Office system.  If you've ever seen a site where it shows you who is 'online' and who is 'offline' then know that this is th ...

Disable XML Comment Warnings for a File (04 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

I'm a big fan of enabling XML comments when you're working on a project (either alone or as a team) because it helps you quickly identify what has and what has not been documented.  When you have XML comments enabled, the compiler will ...

Speeding up Windows Virtual PC Performance (on Windows 7) (07 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

I recently upgraded to Windows 7.0 and I have to say that I'm liking it and it's a heck of a lot better than Vista.  I can't really put my finger on it, it just seems easier to navigate through stuff and get to what I want.  But o ...

VSeWSS 1.3 - Getting around the "Unable to load one or more of the requested types" Error (14 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

I hate packaging SharePoint solutions by hand.  Once you've got it working, it's not a big deal, but it takes a lot of reading and remembering each time you start one anew.  VSeWSS is a nice tool that integrates with Visual Studio 2008 an ...

Access Denied for "User Profile and My Sites" Links in an SSP (17 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

SharePoint is great about hiding permissions.  I was working on a Shared Service Provider (SSP) and was greeted with an access denied page when I went to edit some of the profile settings under the "User Profile and My Sites" section.& ...

.NET on the iPhone? (18 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

Ty Anderson just shot me a link to MonoTouch ( http://monotouch.net/ ), a product that allows you to develop IPhone software using Microsoft's .NET Framework.  You'll still need a Mac, the Apple iPhone SDK, and to be a member of the A ...

TechFest Houston Slides and Source Code (28 Sep 2009) by Damon Armstrong

TechFest Houston was a blast, and if you came out to my presentation on Simpliyfing Web Part Development or dropped by the Cogent booth, then I would like to say thank you! The presentation slides and demo source code can be downloaded bel ...

Resolving the Access is Denied Error in VSeWSS Deployments (04 Feb 2010) by Damon Armstrong

Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 1.3 (VSeWSS 1.3) tends to make my life easier unless I'm typing out the words that make up the VSeWSS acronym - really, what a mouthful.  But one of the problems that I routinely enc ...

Creating an ITemplate from a String (17 Feb 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I do a lot of work with control templates, and one of the pieces of functionality that I've always wanted is the ability to build a ITemplate from a string.  Throughout the years, the topic has come up from time to time, and I never ...

Exposing an MVC Application Through SharePoint (04 Mar 2010) by Damon Armstrong

Below you will find my presentation slides and demo files for my SharePoint TechFest 2010 presentation on Exposing an MVC Application through SharePoint.  One of the points I forgot to mention goes back to the performance and licensing ben ...

SharePoint Web Part Constructor Fires Twice When Adding it to the Page (and has a different security context each time) (14 Mar 2010) by Damon Armstrong

We had some exciting times debugging an interesting issue with SharePoint 2007 Web Parts.  We had some code in staging that had been running just fine for weeks and had not been touched or changed in about the same amount of time.  ...

Debugging JuniperSetupClientInstaller.exe Problems (27 Mar 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I recently moved from Windows 7 to Windows 2008 server so I can run SharePoint on my physical machine and not through a VPC, so I've been trying to get everything re-installed on my system.  As part of that process, I tried re-establis ...

Avoiding Flicker with JQuery Tabs (07 Apr 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I am a huge fan of JQuery because it seems like every time I want to do something it has a plugin that already does it.  Adding a tabbed interface to a web page was always quite an annoyance, but JQuery UI offers a pretty descent tabs ...

Another VSeWSS Error Resolved (List Template not installed on Farm) (19 Apr 2010) by Damon Armstrong

Ran into a minor snag today trying to deploy a project with VSeWSS 1.3 - during the deployment it gave me the following error: Error    32    VSeWSS Service Error: Feature '2ade6552-200e-4425-8af5-f1f50c115b ...

Thoughts on C# Extension Methods (23 Apr 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I'm not a huge fan of extension methods.  When they first came out, I remember seeing a method on an object that was fairly useful, but when I went to use it another piece of code that method wasn't available.  Turns out it was an ...

Security Issues When Creating Pages in SharePoint (25 May 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I was speaking (or rather IM'ing) with Ben Collins a while back and he came across an interesting problem that I wanted to document for the sake of posterity.  If you have a SharePoint user who has permissions to create a page in a pag ...

SharePoint and COMException (0x80004005): Cannot complete this action (26 May 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I ran into a small issue today working on a deployment.  We were moving a custom ASP.NET control from my development environment into a SharePoint layout page on a staging environment .  I was expecting some minor issues to arise ...

Performance Considerations: Binary Serialization Efficiencies (29 Jun 2010) by Damon Armstrong

We were meeting with a client recently who was experiencing some major issues with performance with one of their key applications.  Their staff had identified the issue as being a disk performance issue - there was simply a ton of data to ...

Default Inner ITemplate Property is NEVER NULL in a Web Control (09 Jul 2010) by Damon Armstrong

Randomly came across an interesting problem today.  I'm building out a a template web control that allows you define your template in one of two ways - either as an ITemplate property that can be defined directly in your markup or by r ...

Writing a Byte Array to a Hexadecimal String (17 Jul 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I was finishing up work on a hashing library and started testing my hash values against other sources to ensure I was doing everything right.  Unfortunately, my hashes were off.  Long story short, I was converting the hashed byte array in ...

Handling Hot Keys in a Windows Application (16 Aug 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I'm mostly a web developer, but there are occasions when I find myself developing WinForm or WPF applications.  On those occasions, I have often needed to handle key combinations that include the ALT, SHIFT, or CONTROL (CTRL) keys. ...

Resolving an Initial 404 Error with Ninject's MVC Extension (17 Aug 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I'm about to begin working on an MVC application so I went out and bought a copy of Pro ASP.NET MVC 2 Framework from APress to brush up on my nearly non-existent MVC skills.  The author recommends using the Ninject dependency inj ...

Static Property Behavior with Generics and Inheritance (20 Aug 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I'm in the midst of writing some classes that use generics so I figured I would blog about the way static properties work in different situations.  This is not ground breaking stuff, but it's good to be aware of so you know exactly wha ...

System.DirectoryServices Unknown error (0x80005000) Resolution (21 Sep 2010) by Damon Armstrong

This seems completely ridiculous.  I needed to write some queries against Active Directory so I made a quick console application to thresh things out before putting them inside SharePoint.  After getting everything working, I drop ...

VSeWSS Bin Folder File List (01 Oct 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I had an earlier post about how to avoid the dreaded Unable to load one or more of the requested types I mentioned that you can put DLLs into the VSeWSS bin folder.  I had an issue today, however, where I needed to clean out that dir ...

Using SharePoint 2010 as a DataSource: Presentation and Source Code from the Tyson Developerâ_Ts Conference (25 Oct 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I wanted to thank everyone who came out to my presentation. Below you will find the source code and the presentation slides from the talk. ...

Where is the Site URL property of a SharePoint 2010 Project? (06 Nov 2010) by Damon Armstrong

I ran into an issue today opening up an ASP.NET page from a SharePoint 2010 sample project from MSDN today: The Site URL property of the project does not contain a valid URL. To ensure that designers work as expected, set the Site URL p ...

SPUtility.SendMail and the 2048 Character Limit (14 Dec 2010) by Damon Armstrong

We were in the middle of testing a web part responsible for gathering information from visitors to our Client's website and emailing it to someone responsible for responding to the request.  During testing, however, it was brought to o ...

Resolving an App-Relative URL without a Page Object Reference (19 Dec 2010) by Damon Armstrong

If you've worked with ASP.NET before then you've almost certainly seen an application-relative URL like ~/SomeFolder/SomePage.aspx.  The tilde at the beginning is a stand in for the application path, and it can easily be resolved using ...

Obscure SPUtility.SendMail Behavior When Manually Passing in Mail Headers (17 Jan 2011) by Damon Armstrong

There are two ways to send mail in SharePoint: you can either use the mail components from the System.Net namespace, or you can send email using SharePoint's SPUtility.SendMail method.  One of the benefits of the SPUtility.SendMail met ...

SQL - Joining to a Single Row (23 Mar 2011) by Damon Armstrong

If you have a one-to-many relationship, and you are performing a join on the tables but you only want one record from the "many" portion of the relationship, then this is a very helpful link: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2281551/t ...

Enabling Web Editor Support in Class Library Projects (08 Apr 2011) by Damon Armstrong

One of the things that has bothered me for a while is that it's tough to edit web files (.aspx / .ascx files) in non-web projects.  I think you can edit them if they are in the root directory (I may be recalling wrong, it's been a whil ...

How to Check if a Binary File Has Been Updated in an SPItemEventReceiver (02 Aug 2011) by Damon Armstrong

I've been dealing with a number of item event receivers in SharePoint and I ran across the need to figure out whether or not the binary file associated with an item in a document library is being updated during the ItemUpdating event. ...

SharePoint 2010 HierarchicalConfig Caching Problem (29 Oct 2011) by Damon Armstrong

We've started using the Application Foundations for SharePoint 2010 in some of our projects at work, and I came across a nasty issue with the hierarchical configuration settings.  I have some settings that I am storing at the Farm le ...

Retrieving Passwords from Managed Accounts in SharePoint 2010 for C# (06 Jan 2012) by Damon Armstrong

I was looking for a way to retrieve a password from a managed account when I ran into a post titled How to: Get Your Managed Account Passwords When They are Changed Automatically by SharePoint 2010 by Jason Himmelstein.  It was written f ...

Getting the URL to the Content Type Hub Programmatically in SharePoint 2010 (07 Feb 2012) by Damon Armstrong

Many organizations use the content-type hub to manage content-types in their SharePoint 2010 environment.  As a developer in these types of organizations, you may one day find yourself in need of getting the URL of the content type hub ...

SharePoint Scenario Framework (21 Feb 2012) by Damon Armstrong

I've worked with SharePoint for some time now, and I like to think that I know all there is to know about it.  Deep down I know that's not true, but it's a fun delusion.  However, I found out yesterday that there is a mechanism in ...

Showing "Failed" for a SharePoint 2010 Timer Job Status (05 Mar 2012) by Damon Armstrong

I have been working with a bunch of custom timer jobs for last month.  Basically, I'm processing a bunch of SharePoint items from the timer job and since I don't want the job failing because of an error on one item, so I'm handing erro ...

IE HTML Debugger Causing Issues with IE Enhanced Security (07 Mar 2012) by Damon Armstrong

In an effort to debug a Silverlight component on a page in SharePoint I opened the Developer Tools in Internet Explorer.  After choosing the Find > Select Element by Click option my page refreshed for some reason and a small bar ...

VB Myth - Case Insensitivity is Awesome! (08 Mar 2012) by Damon Armstrong

I was reading Andy Brown 's article 10 Reasons Why Visual Basic is Better than C# and the first claim is that VB is superior because of case insensitivity.  I think the reasons he outlines are basically as follows: Your finge ...

PowerShell Script for Deploying All Assemblies in a Folder to the GAC (16 Apr 2012) by Damon Armstrong

As a SharePoint developer, I find it a lot easier to manually deploy files to the GAC during development instead of allowing Visual Studio to do a complete retract / redeploy.  There are tools out there like CKS Dev that give you the " ...

PowerShell Script for Removing All Assemblies in a Folder (17 Apr 2012) by Damon Armstrong

You may have seen my blog post on how to add all of the assemblies from a folder into the GAC.  Here is a quick PowerShell script to do the reverse - it looks through a list of assemblies in a folder and removes them from the GAC: $ ...

Hierarchical Queries with Common Table Expressions (24 Apr 2012) by Damon Armstrong

I wanted a simple example of a hierarchical query using a common table expression in SQL Server.  MSDN had an example called Recursive Queries Using Common Table Expressions , but it relied on the Adventure Works database and was join ...

Building a List of All SharePoint Timer Jobs Programmatically in C# (12 Jun 2012) by Damon Armstrong

One of the most frustrating things about SharePoint is that the difficulty in figuring something out is inversely proportional to the simplicity of what you are trying to accomplish.  Case in point, yesterday I wanted to get a list of ...

Microsoft Access as a Weapon of War (25 Jun 2012) by Damon Armstrong

A while ago (probably a decade ago, actually) I saw a report on a tracking system maintained by a U.S. Army artillery control unit.  This system was capable of maintaining a bearing on various units in the field to help avoid friendly ...

Browser Item Caching and URLs (25 Jun 2012) by Damon Armstrong

Ultimately you want the browser to cache things like Flash components, Silverlight XAP files, and images to avoid users having to download them each time they hit a page.  But during development it's very useful to NOT have things cach ...

Setting Boolean Values in a SharePoint SPItemEventReceiver (27 Jul 2012) by Damon Armstrong

One of the confusing things about implementing an SPItemEventReceiver that modifies properties on an SPListItem is that while you are given an actual SPListItem with which to work, youâ_Tre really not supposed to use it. Instead, you ...

Optionally Running SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrivileges with Delgates (30 Aug 2012) by Damon Armstrong

I was writing some SharePoint code today where I needed to give people the option of running some code with elevated permission.  When you run code in an elevated fashion it normally looks like this: SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrivil ...

SharePoint, HTTP Modules, and Page Validation (20 Oct 2012) by Damon Armstrong

Sometimes I really believe that SharePoint actively thwarts my attempts to get it to do what I want.  First you look at something and say, wow, that should work.  Then you realize it doesnâ_Tt.  Then you have an epiphany and see a workar ...

Interactive Office 2010 Command Reference (28 Dec 2012) by Damon Armstrong

I believe it was Office 2007 that did away with the old menu system and toolbars in favor the Ribbon, which is really just a toolbar on steroids.  Upgrading from a pre-2007 edition of Office to 2010 or 2013 can be fairly traumatic for ...

Showing All Pages in a SharePoint Wiki Library (28 Jun 2013) by Damon Armstrong

Opening a SharePoint wiki takes you to the wiki homepage, which is what most users want and expect.  Administrators, on the other hand, will occasionally need to see a full list of wiki pages in the wiki library.  Getting to this ...

Setting the Default Wiki Page in a SharePoint Wiki Library (28 Jun 2013) by Damon Armstrong

Iâ_Tve seen a number of blog posts about setting the default homepage in a wiki library, and most of them offer ways of accomplishing this task through PowerShell or through SharePoint designer.  Although I have become an ever increasi ...

SQL Query for Determining SharePoint ACL Sizes (23 Jul 2013) by Damon Armstrong

When a SharePoint Access Control List (ACL) size exceeds more than 64kb for a particular URL, the contents under that URL become unsearchable due to limitations in the SharePoint search engine.  The error most often seen is The Parame ...

Finding the IP Address of a Specific Network Adapter in Windows (and a rant about Hyper-V) (29 Jan 2014) by Damon Armstrong

We just recently made the switch from VMWare over to Hyper-V and I have found two things a bit surprising: 1.) Hyper-V performs better on my laptop than VMWare.  I was having issues with my computer locking up and moving to Hyper-V ...

.NET Combo Boxes (28 Oct 2005) by Dan J Archer

It occasionally strikes me as hilarious that in the 21st millenium with Windows Vista near on the horizon with all kinds of spangly UI likely to result, we're not only still using some of the oldest Windows UI primitives every day, but enco ...

Wing Dings (22 Nov 2005) by Dan J Archer

Occasionally when developing software you come across really absurd or bizarre bugs. The user interface for the application I'm currently developing recently exhibited one of these: a propensity for beeping periodically, for no readily e ...

Cowboy filenames (02 Dec 2005) by Dan J Archer

If you ask me, and I take it as implicit by your visit that you do (sorry about that, but it's Friday afternoon and I need a weekend), Windows is far too facist about filenames. Most notably in terms of the characters one can put into a ...

Super size me (12 Dec 2005) by Dan J Archer

Having fixed all the outstanding "Oh my [deity/dictator of choice], we have to fix this now or people will be really rather unhappy" issues (as they're referred to under our bug tracking system. Or is that my imagination? You know, I thin ...

Trivial Persuits (07 Feb 2006) by Dan J Archer

Once again I find myself penning a missive on trivia, rather than matters of import. Still, now we're here... Regular expressions. To a large extent, I hate them. To begin with, they are a complete misnominer. They are neither reg ...

Wheels within wheels (28 Feb 2006) by Dan J Archer

I hate to depart from my usual ranting and raving and actually post some useful code, but the below is too lovely to ignore. Before I proceed to take credit, I have to thank Google and the following poster(s): http://forums.microsoft ...

Making Tracks (28 Mar 2006) by Dan J Archer

Feeling as we did that it was time to take longer strides (ah, the Killing Game Show. A fine example of early 90's computer gaming) Red Gate has just released the beta version of our shiny new SQL Dependency Tracker. This is, in man ...

The game's afoot (10 May 2006) by Dan J Archer

I'd like to squeeze in another reference to the Killing Game Show, or other Amiga classics, at this point. I really must wind up the emulator and dig out the ADFs I made of my old games, at some point. Sadly I lost the original machine w ...

1mL Adrenaline, stat (12 Jun 2006) by Dan J Archer

It is a balmy summer evening in a suburb of Cambridge, England. Young gentlemen play cricket on the village green. Young ladies walk the country paths, shielded from the sun's rays with fashionable parasols. An iced cream vendor perambulate ...

Hoop jumping (14 Jul 2006) by Dan J Archer

Although this may come as a surprise to some, as I work at a company which happens to produce simple tools for database professionals, I am not the world's biggest fan of databases. "Don't get me wrong", as the poet said: they are extraordi ...

Exceptional service (28 Jul 2006) by Dan J Archer

A constant niggle in the arena of computing is the way in which nobody takes responsibility. If your computer crashes whilst you're, say, playing an online game, and you call the manufacturer, they'll explain it's probably a software proble ...

Transforming parrots (12 Oct 2006) by Dan J Archer

Whilst I agree with luminaries such as Paul Graham on a reasonable number of points he makes about our industry and profession, I generally disagree with him on the subject of typing. He doesn't believe in compiler-enforced strong types, wh ...

The timeout period elapsed prior to obtaining a connection from the pool. (15 Mar 2007) by Dan J Archer

As I believe I have already opined, dealing with databases is not one of my all time favourite activities. It's not right up there with drinking, skiing and World of Warcraft, for example. For someone in my position, dealing with databases ...

Strong Naming + Remoting = Noth'g but ye liveliest Awfulness (30 Aug 2007) by Dan J Archer

"What you sente, did not Worke, whether because of Any Thing miss'g, or because ye Wordes were not Righte from my Speak'g or yr Copy'g. I alone am at a Loss...Certainely, there was Noth'g but ye liveliest Awfulness in that which H. rais'd u ...

Step up to Red Alert! (05 Feb 2008) by Dan J Archer

"Step up to Red Alert!" "Sir, are you absolutely sure? It does mean changing the bulb..."                           ...

SID. Vicious? (17 Mar 2008) by Dan J Archer

Some activities on any operating system fall into that category of "should be extraordinarily simple, and yet is full of the sort of pitfalls that cause headaches, confusion and (at least in my case) bouts of cursing and ran ...

If you see SID, tell him (17 Mar 2008) by Dan J Archer

As a small addendum to my previous blog on the subject of authenticating users, and checking for administrator privileges, under Windows 2000, XP and Vista, I should add this little note. It turns out, thanks to the sort of heavily indust ...

Educational Programming (20 Jan 2012) by Dave Convery

At last, weâ_Tve woken up to the worrying fact that there just arenâ_Tt enough good programmers to go around. Instead of aiming to get a generation of students interested in building their own software, education has instead been compelled ...

To Serve Man? (30 Mar 2012) by Dave Convery

Since the announcement of Windows 8 and its 'Metro' interface, the .NET community has wondered if the skills they've spent so long developing might be swept aside,in favour of HTML5 and JavaScript. Mercifully, that only seems to be true of ...

Deploying changes to SQL Server with SQL Packager is now a lot more powerful (17 Oct 2008) by David Atkinson

We've recently released a new feature in Red Gate SQL Packager 6 that enables any script to be packaged, not just those created by the tool. A side-effect of this is that it makes the tool far more powerful and flexible. Earlier ver ...

Red Gate consults the Oracle (developers and DBAs) (12 Jun 2009) by David Atkinson

We know that Oracle developers and DBAs face many of the same challenges as those who work with SQL Server. We know it's frustrating to compare and deploy database schemas across different environments. And we know that we can help â_" but ...

What is Database Continuous Integration? (12 Apr 2012) by David Atkinson

Although not everyone is practicing continuous integration, many have at least heard of the concept. A recent poll on www.simple-talk.com indicates that 40% of respondents are employing the technique. It is widely accepted t ...

Using a SQL Prompt snippet with template parameters (20 Apr 2012) by David Atkinson

As part of my product management role I regularly attend trade shows and man the Red Gate booth in the vendor exhibition hall. Amongst other things this involves giving product demos to customers. Our latest demo involves SQL Source Contro ...

Ever wondered what the Object Explorer Details window is for? (24 Apr 2012) by David Atkinson

Typically, when I install SQL Server Management Studio and run it for the first time, the first thing I do is to close the Object Explorer Details window. After all, it doesn't seem to serve a useful purpose, duplicating information that al ...

Database continuous integration step by step (24 Apr 2012) by David Atkinson

This post will describe how to set up basic database continuous integration using TeamCity to initiate the build process, SQL Source Control to put your database under source control, and the SQL Compare command line to keep a test databa ...

How the "migrations" approach makes database continuous integration possible (26 Apr 2012) by David Atkinson

Testing a database upgrade script as part of a continuous integration process will only work if there is an easy way to automate the generation of the upgrade scripts. There are two common approaches to managing upgrade scripts. The ...

SQL Server source control from Visual Studio (30 Apr 2012) by David Atkinson

Developers have long since had to context switch between two IDEs, Visual Studio for application code development and SQL Server Management Studio for database development. While this is accepted, especially given the richness of the databa ...

List of resources for database continuous integration (09 May 2012) by David Atkinson

Because there is so little information on database continuous integration out in the wild, I've taken it upon myself to aggregate as much as possible and post the links to this blog. Because it's my area of expertise, this will focus on SQL ...

The emergence of Atlassian's Bamboo (and a free SQL Source Control license offer!) (21 May 2012) by David Atkinson

The rise in demand for database continuous integration has forced me to skill-up in various new tools and technologies, particularly build servers. We have been using JetBrain's TeamCity here at Red Gate for a couple of years now, having re ...

How to restore your production database without needing additional storage (28 May 2012) by David Atkinson

Production databases can get very large. This in itself is to be expected, but when a copy of the database is needed the database must be restored, requiring additional and costly storage.  For example, if you want to give each deve ...

Plug and Play Database Continuous Integration with TeamCity (23 Jul 2012) by David Atkinson

In a previous blog I describe in twenty one easy steps how to set up continuous integration using a combination of TeamCity and Red Gate tools. Okay, itâ_Ts easy only in a relative sense, giving that until recently database continuous ...

SQL Support for OSS Projects (25 Sep 2013) by David Atkinson

We recently blogged about two new open source websites, OSS Zero to Sixty and OSSPerks. Set up by Nik and Anthony, founders of Glimpse , theyâ_Tre two sites dedicated to helping anyone looking for help, tips, resources and tooling for op ...

Windows Keyboard short cuts (04 Nov 2005) by David Connell

Here is a list of some of the windows key board short cuts (thanks to Tilman): Keyboard Meaning Windows key Start menu Windows key + D       Minimize all windows to Desktop Windows ke ...

Common Controls and "invalid window class name" (09 Nov 2005) by David Connell

Last week came across a weird issue. A .NET 1.1 program was throwing up a weird exception when running on XP SP1, with a manifest. (The problem disappeared if the manifest was removed). We were sent the stack trace exception name: System. ...

XP SP1/SP2 system DLL's (09 Nov 2005) by David Connell

Last week I found out that sometimes XP SP1 dlls are labelled as xpsp2. A client had DLLs that were labelled xpsp2 for example comctl32.dll  6.0 (xpsp2.050831-1533) c:windowswinsxs x86_microsoft.windows .co ...

Testing for empty String (18 Nov 2005) by David Connell

I was speaking with James a few days ago about strings and testing for them being empty, and as usual we had an interesting discussion. At the end of it I thought I better go off and write some test code to find out some real numbers. I inv ...

Always set Warnings as Errors (18 Nov 2005) by David Connell

How many of us have developed some code only to find the compiler outputs some warnings such as unused parameter, or unreachable code and just thought â_oyup, Iâ_Tll fix it tomorrowâ__. Unfortunately tomorrow never comes and the warning jus ...

Explorer and Environment variables (23 Nov 2005) by David Connell

You can type environment variables into the the Explorer Address bar and it is expanded into its full path. Typical examples include:   Environment Variable  Meaning Example %TEMP% Temp directory ...

Debugging Arbitrary thread stacks in .NET (23 Nov 2005) by David Connell

Check out John Robbins November 05 Bugslayer article. . He has ported his excellent SUPERASSRT code from native C++ into C#. Part of his solution uses CDB.(a command line version of WinDBG) I have previously found producing minidump files ...

Wild card registering COM dlls (23 Nov 2005) by David Connell

When developing a COM based application sometimes itâ_Ts sometimes useful to register all the DLLs/OCX at once. From a command prompt C:develepprojectrelease> for %i in (*.dll,*.ocx) do regsvr32.exe %i /s This will try to register all ...

Visual Studio & Zoomin..... (24 Nov 2005) by David Connell

I used to like the old Zoomin utility that came with Visual Studio 6.... Anyway looks like this little applet is no longer shipped in Visual Studio 2003 or Visual Studio 2005. I have recently come across a replacement utility at code proje ...

Mapping of .NET Assembly attributes to File Version Information Attributes. (30 Nov 2005) by David Connell

.NET automatically generates a FileInformation resource when building the assembly. Here is a mapping of the .NET attribute to the corresponding named element in VersionInformation and the name that Windows Explorer puts on its UI. ...

Copying File Security Attributes (20 Dec 2005) by David Connell

Last week I was investigating writing out files and what happens if I over-write an existing file.   I remembered back from my MFC days that CDocument makes up a little internal C++ class called CMirrorFile. This is a ver ...

Adding your own .NET exceptions to Visual Studio (09 Jan 2006) by David Connell

You can easily add your own exceptions into Visual Studio so that you do not need to add them in each time into your project when debugging your code. I have only checked this against Visual Studio 2003, but it looks like it would works th ...

Performance and Multiple Assigment in C# (25 Jan 2006) by David Connell

I was recently thinking if I really liked to use the Multiple assignment in 'C#' or if it was less readable. In 'C' this syntax was popular as it tended to lead to smaller and quicker code. So I wondered in C# if the multiple assigment also ...

SQL Data Generator 1 (Beta) - Adding UK Style Address Generators (10 Jan 2008) by David Connell

We are currently running a Beta of SQL Data Generator, and some people have requested UK style data generators. So I have put together a small zip file that generates the following data:- UK Post Codes UK Counties UK Cities UK Towns In o ...

How to write a Generator for SQL Data Generator 1.0 Beta (15 Jan 2008) by David Connell

In this article we will develop our own generator and understand the basic concepts and ideas behind developing generators for SQL Data Generator. Specifically we will write an ISBN number generator for SQL Data Generator 1.0 Beta, that can ...

How to add to the list of available SQL Servers (10 Mar 2008) by David Connell

Have you ever wanted to add to the list of SQL Servers found in Red Gate's SQL Compare, SQL Data Compare, SQL Doc or even SQL Data Generator? If so, here goes. All you need to do is add the name of the SQL Server instance to the reg ...

Introducing the Red Gate SSMS Ecosystem (22 Nov 2013) by David Pond

The Red Gate SSMS Ecosystem is a framework that makes it easy to develop, share and manage SSMS add-ins. We aim to help add-in developers build everything from homegrown solutions and community-driven projects to commercial solutions prov ...

False Economies (15 Apr 2009) by Doctor Dionysus

A couple of years ago, the small dot com company I work for embarked on a cost-cutting drive. In light of the company's commitment to the highest coding standards in their products, it was decided that a proper customer services department ...

The Defaced Masterpiece (27 Apr 2009) by Doctor Dionysus

'I asked for a ****ing big button! Where the **** is my big button?!?' thundered my CEO, his face shifting seamlessly from its usual pale and unhealthy complexion to an alarming red. The atmosphere in the office changed abruptly; we scramb ...

The Strategic Vision (20 May 2009) by Doctor Dionysus

To the huddled masses of men it was as if the God of war himself had stage-managed the scene. As the thunder of the guns died away, a light breeze suddenly sprang up and began to carry away the clouds of smoke obscuring the battlefield, rev ...

The Shareholders Report (22 Jun 2009) by Doctor Dionysus

In the boardroom that morning it almost seemed as if our company was staging a re-enactment of a Stalinist show trial. Across from me sat my beleaguered colleagues, their sullen and despondent faces trembling in terror as my CEO digested th ...

Microsoft radically re-design the Office UI (11 Oct 2005) by Dom Reed

Microsoft's new Office UI This could be an unmitigated disaster if those mighty Microsofteees misjudge how their users use the various office applications.  In theory, it's a great idea - like one big context sensitive menu for whate ...

NEDS (14 Oct 2005) by Dom Reed

Ever heard of NEDS? It's another handy acronym in a world full of HIMPERs (An acronym I just made up, but it looks pretty convincing if you ask me).  So NEDS stands for: New Economy Depression Syndrome and it's something that is ...

Aesthetically usable (26 Oct 2005) by Dom Reed

If thereâ_Ts something that eats at the very nub of a usability guyâ_Ts reason to be, itâ_Ts that usability is something a consumer frequently overlooks during their purchasing process.   If you ask them if they think itâ_Ts impor ...

World Usability Day (01 Nov 2005) by Dom Reed

Thursday 3rd November is World Usability Day . A day that is hugely anticipated.  Millions will take to the streets, trying to catch a glimpse of their favourite usability guru, sagely administering sermons on the woes of unusable pr ...

Humbling times (15 Nov 2005) by Dom Reed

It's that time again. Time to leave the comfy confines of the office, brave the real world and meet the most important people who work for Red Gate: our users. With a bunch of design ideas stashed on a laptop, we venture off to ...

Cat detective (25 Nov 2005) by Dom Reed

Ahhh... now... er... that shouldn't happen.  Oooh, yup, that's not at all clear.  Purrr, Meow, Purrr.   Hmmm... they're not finding that and why are they trying there?  Reviewing a usability trial recording is ...

Filtering foibles (08 Dec 2005) by Dom Reed

There are times when you're striving for a usable design, and no matter what you try, your attempt just fails to cut the mustard.  Everyone has a difference of opinion as to what should be done to fix it and you're stuck there tryin ...

The usability curse (09 Jan 2006) by Dom Reed

When I did my degree, nobody told me that my life would forever be cursed. Not once was I taken aside, sat down, and told in clear and simple words that my life would never be the same.  Like hyperactive kittens faced with a vat of ...

It all went wrong (04 Feb 2006) by Dom Reed

Things weren't going swimmingly.  In fact, you could say it was an unmitigated disaster.  That might sound overly dramatic though, so let's just say things were somewhat less optimal and keep it quiet.  Nobody needs to know.& ...

S.P.L.I.N.K. (13 Feb 2006) by Dom Reed

OK.. this has nothing to do with SQL, and for that I apologise.  But it does have some relevance to usable design and application development: Watch the video and hurry on back.... SPLINK OK.. so it's a road s ...

Getting to know you... (12 May 2006) by Dom Reed

We're a friendly bunch here at Red Gate - always looking to make new friends.  Whilst it's true that we dearly love sitting in front of our pooters and seeing who can grow the best chilli plants, sometimes we just want to get out, m ...

War correspondant (28 Jun 2006) by Dom Reed

At times, Red gate is a dangerous place to work.  It's not that the volcano in the first floor meeting room erupts very often, or that the crocodiles have managed to break free from the car I managed to trick them into.  No.  ...

Vaporising users (28 Sep 2006) by Dom Reed

Developing a usable application requires that you pay particular attention to who you're designing for.  That statement isn't exactly rocket surgery, but it becomes rocket surgery when you begin to realise that everyone ha ...

Objects or instances (17 Aug 2011) by Dom Smith

Why we renamed some features in ANTS Memory Profiler 7 When you are designing a complex product, it is important to ensure that terminology is both consistently used and unambiguous. This helps to avoid confusion amongst users and so co ...

The ANTS Memory Profiler Filter help panel (31 Aug 2011) by Dom Smith

In my last blog post , I discussed the features that were renamed in ANTS Memory Profiler 7.0 . In this post, I present another aspect that I worked on in the same product: the 'Filter help panel'. Like many of the changes we make in o ...

It's just HTML (22 Sep 2011) by Dom Smith

This blog post is based on a lightning talk I gave at the Technical Communication UK conference in Oxford on 22 nd September 2011. The theme was ' If I ruled the world ', and the topic was ' authoring tools that limit the way we work '. ...

Glimpse: Open Source Web Development (06 Sep 2012) by Elizabeth Ayer

Weâ_Tre delighted to announce that Red Gate will be backing Glimpse ! For those of you who arenâ_Tt familiar with the project, Glimpse is an open source tool which does for the server what Firebug does for the client. Itâ_Ts been in beta f ...

Compare To Backup in SQL Compare (21 Jul 2008) by Elliot Matthew

SQL Compare 7 was an exciting release for us; not only did we manage to add full support for SQL Server 2008 (before Microsoft released it !) and fix loads of bugs, we managed to find enough time to implement Compare to Backup functionalit ...

Welcome to Jackstown (12 May 2010) by Fatherjack

I live in a small town, the population count isn't that great but let me introduce you to some of the population.   We'll start with Martin the Doc, he fixes up anything that gets poorly, so much so that he could be cla ...

Is this table replicated? (17 May 2010) by Fatherjack

Another in the potentially quite sporadic series of I need to do ... but I cant find it on the internet . I have a table that I think might be involved in replication but I don't know which publication its in... We know the table ...

How do you use blog content? (20 May 2010) by Fatherjack

Do you write a blog, have you ever thought about it? I think people fall into one of a few categories when it comes to blogs, especially blogs with technical content. Writing articles furiously - daily, twice daily and reading dozen ...

Using LogParser - part 1 (24 May 2010) by Fatherjack

I have mentioned LogParser before on my blog and have decided to create a series of walk-through style articles to show someone new to LogParser what it can do and how to use it. It is appropriate to all sorts of job roles in IT, whether yo ...

Using LogParser - part 2 (02 Jun 2010) by Fatherjack

PersonAddress.csv SalesOrderDetail.tsv In part 1 of this series we downloaded and installed LogParser and used it to list data from a csv file. That was a good start and in this article we are going to see the different way ...

Watching the oil slick (02 Jun 2010) by Fatherjack

Having dominated the news for the last month or more BP's problems with one of their oil exploration endeavours is a problem that will affect the whole planet. Now I dont know the whole story, either how it all happened or what is being ...

An update process that is even worse than Windows updates (09 Jun 2010) by Fatherjack

I'm sorry EA but your game update process stinks. I am not a hardcore gamer but I own a Playstation3 and have been playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 (BFBC2) a bit since I got it for my birthday and there have been two recent updates ...

Using LogParser - part 3 (10 Jun 2010) by Fatherjack

This is the third part in a series of articles about using LogParser, specifically from a DBA point of view but there are many uses that any system administrator could put LogParser to in order to make their life easier. In Part 1 we down ...

Using LogParser - part 4 (28 Jun 2010) by Fatherjack

Welcome to part 4 of this series of blog post about LogParser and apologies for the long gap since part 3, here we are are going to look at continuous data extraction. Previously we have covered starting with LogParser in part 1 , how to ...

Using LogParser - part 5 (05 Jul 2010) by Fatherjack

So here we are at the last of the series on using LogParser , before we start here is a list of what you may have missed: Part 1 - getting started with LogParser Part 2 - selecting and filtering data Part 3 - mult ...

Keeping a track of database changes (14 Jul 2010) by Fatherjack

If you are anything like me you work as part of a small team managing databases, doing a bit of web development, handling calls for technical support, attending countless meetings and about a hundred other things. Its long been a constant c ...

Defensive Database Programming with SQL Server (17 Jul 2010) by Fatherjack

(written by Alex Kuznetsov, published by Simple Talk Publishing 2010) I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book, mostly because I don't think of myself primarily as a database programmer, I know how to write procedures and f ...

If you are reading this blog . . . (21 Jul 2010) by Fatherjack

Or, more accurately, if you have read this blog and especially the series about using LogParser and asked a question last week. It was a good question that I wanted to publish and then answer. Sadly I am not entirely competent with the C ...

Seven times world champion returns to previous job (26 Jul 2010) by Fatherjack

I am a keen follower of Formula 1 racing, it could be the speed, the danger, the money, the politics, the glamour, I don't know, but it keeps my interest. I had a brief break a few years ago for various reasons that I might blog about at ...

Breaking news: New technology means you can now "re-charge" batteries (29 Jul 2010) by Fatherjack

I know, it sounds crazy doesn't it? Up until now you buy a battery and put it in your game of Operation or your cine-camera and once they have run out you have to throw them away and put new ones in. Well, no more my friends, the boffins at ...

Fitting in maintenance (05 Aug 2010) by Fatherjack

NextScheduledJobs.txt I have several regular feeds of help and advice regarding SQL Server and one of those comes from Integrated Services Inc, in the form of the SQLRx Tip of the Month (web: http://www.sqlrx.com / blog: http://sqlr ...

Encouraging Comments (18 Aug 2010) by Fatherjack

Do you hate it when you open a piece of script and there are no comments? There is something comforting about seeing some lines of green text when you are up to your neck in a problem. Knowing that someone, probably the person that wrote th ...

The hidden benefits of SSMS (02 Sep 2010) by Fatherjack

Every good DBA/developer writes their code with some comments/instructions at the top. Now in many cases this is important to have visible when running the code as it may give advice on the results or what certain column values will mean. N ...

As simple as anything (07 Sep 2010) by Fatherjack

I am not a regular in the SSIS development arena but have recently taken on work that requires data extraction from one system by SSRS into Excel format and then importing that into local a SQL database for in depth analysis. So, I cracked ...

Where do you think you are going with that update? (16 Sep 2010) by Fatherjack

In our development systems we have scripts that we use to reset the database so that we can test and retest our code. Obviously this is sensible and very useful in order to ensure a good deployment of new procedures and so forth. Now it doe ...

SQLBits 7 - A conference top ten. (20 Sep 2010) by Fatherjack

Well, it's 10 days until SQLBits 7 starts in York, UK. In order to celebrate the countdown of these  few days I have gathered together a list of facts(*) you might not know about the SQLBits Conferences. Ten things you may not know ab ...

A thousand "thank you"s (22 Sep 2010) by Fatherjack

Today was a good day for me. I have been a member of a SQL Server support forum since late last year and at the start of this year I set myself a target. I decided that rather than just posting questions and getting solutions out of the ...

Wasted effort (26 Sep 2010) by Fatherjack

I have mentioned putting comments in your code previously on this blog - Encouraging Comments - but I have just happened across a blog where there is a function that does date manipulation and could be handy for a project I am working on. ...

Getting hold of another PC (07 Oct 2010) by Fatherjack

Being able to access servers and PCs from where-ever you are can be a great bonus if you happen to be at all mobile in your job or don't happen to live in your office. If you travel between locations then getting on any PC and being able to ...

Dynamic Management Views (High Performance SQL Server) (14 Oct 2010) by Fatherjack

(written by Louis Davidson (@DRSQL ) and Tim Ford( @SQLAgentMan ), published by Simple Talk Publishing 2010)   Firstly, this is a review of a book that I have only partly read. At the time of writing I am in the middle of chapte ...

Looking for long term friendship (28 Oct 2010) by Fatherjack

No, this isn't some cheesy Singles column advert posted in the wrong place. I am seriously looking for some friends. People that, like me, share my interests and want to have conversations about hard drive partition alignment, index fragmen ...

SQLBits 7 - The Disappointment (02 Nov 2010) by Fatherjack

Did you go to SQL Bits 7 in York this year? The Saturday was a 'community day', a free to attend day of sessions from some of the finest minds that use SQL Server, for anyone who wanted to come along. All you had to do was: Enter you ...

SQL Monitor - behind the scenes (03 Nov 2010) by Fatherjack

"Hi Jonathan, my name is Adam, I work for Red Gate, on the SQL Response team. I am wondering if it would be possible to arrange a user experience session with you please? It should only take about 10 or 15 minutes, if you could help us out ...

Using SQL Sentry Plan Explorer (25 Nov 2010) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: How To , SSMS , Tips and tricks , Execution Plans This is a quick tip that I hope will help you use SQL Sentry's Plan Explorer tool. It's a really great tool for viewing Execution Plans - something that SSMS isn't too g ...

Getting baseline and performance stats - the easy way. (20 Dec 2010) by Fatherjack

OK, pretty much any DBA worth their salt has read Brent Ozar's ( Blog | Twitter ) blog about getting a baseline of your server's performance counters and then getting the same counters at regular intervals afterwards so that you can track ...

OK, I have my database ready, now what's missing? (29 Dec 2010) by Fatherjack

During the life of any database there will be times when the development makes a change that breaks functionality of an object somewhere else in the database. SQL Server does a good job in some places of making this impossible, or at least ...

Getting the right results with bcp and DTS with multiple versions of SQL Server installed. (04 Jan 2011) by Fatherjack

I was using SSIS for the first time on an instance the other day and came across this error when I executed a package Package migration from version 3 to version 2 failed with error 0xC001700A. The version number in the package is n ...

One eye on my dinner and one eye on SQL server (10 Jan 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: RedGate , Work Life Balance , Tips and Tricks , SQL Server This is somewhere between a Tweet and a proper blog article - would that be a Bleet? Anyway, I was at a local restaurant yesterday and after placing my o ...

Resolving IIS7 HTTP Error 500.19 - Internal Server Error (17 Jan 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: RedGate Tools , SQL Server , Tips and Tricks How To The requested page cannot be accessed because the related configuration data for the page is invalid. As part of my work recently I was moving SQL Monitor from th ...

Where did I hide my TSQL mojo? (24 Jan 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: How To , SQL Server , Tips and Tricks , TSQL , Reporting Services A little while ago I wrote a piece about finding database objects that rely on other objects that no longer exist - OK, I have my database ready, now ...

My wife has left me . . . (31 Jan 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: Leaving , Colleagues She announced it before Christmas, in a letter, giving the exact day she intended to leave and what she had planned for her future. We met 8 years ago. We were looking for a data administrato ...

How to make sure you see the truth with Management Studio (23 Feb 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: TSQL , How To , SSMS , Tips and Tricks Did you know that SQL Server Management Studio can mislead you with how your code is performing? I found a query that was using a scalar function to return a date and want ...

Don't even believe SSMS when you think it's telling the truth (28 Feb 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: how To , ssms , tips and tricks , tsql This is in follow up to my last post How to make sure you see the truth in Management Studio which explained that the time that you see at the bottom of a Management Studio windo ...

What spins your disks? (08 Mar 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: TSQL , How To , Tips and Tricks , DMV , File Usage I'm not asking what makes you mad - that's what grinds your gears; I am asking what activities on your servers make your hard drive spindles get spinning. Do you ...

Hello, can you just send me all your data please? (15 Mar 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: Security , SQL Server Our house phone rang on Saturday night and Mrs Fatherjack answered. I was in the other room but I heard her trying to explain to the caller that they were in some way mistaken. Eventually, ...

It's worth finding me for a chat at SQLBits8 (25 Mar 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: RedGate Tools , Reflector , .Net , License Give Away A while ago RedGate grabbed a whole lot of attention by changing the licensing model for their .Net Reflector product. The whys and wherefores of their decision ha ...

I'm at SQL in the City (28 Mar 2011) by Fatherjack

Yesterday RedGate announced the SQL in the City events to be held in London (15th July) and Los Angeles (28th Oct), all the details are here http://sqlinthecity.red-gate.com . It promises to be an awesome event where you can come and see h ...

Comments - What's that?!! (31 Mar 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: tsql , comments , tips and tricks , how to This blog entry is not one of mine. I have the pleasure of sitting back and letting someone else do the work! Ladies and gentlemen, this blog is written by ..... my wife! ...

11 word story meme (04 Apr 2011) by Fatherjack

Attend SQL Bits, Hope to come back smarter, Prove it to your Boss.   I hope a haiku fits in with the rules. http://thomaslarock.com/2011/04/welcome-to-meme-monday/ ...

SQLBits and beyond ... (14 Apr 2011) by Fatherjack

Well SQLBits was a brilliant event. There was a record attendance, an extra track and an early morning session to fit in all the sessions and I got a chance to speak in a lightning session. The details of the conference are all over th ...

When my 6 beats your ten. (20 Apr 2011) by Fatherjack

I started this blog post on some rambling story about UNION and Datatypes and IMPLICIT and EXPLICIT conversions and took an age to get anywhere so I scrapped it and you now get this abridged version. It's a quick run through the SQL Server ...

CSI - TSQL (28 Apr 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: tsql , numbers table , chain letters , tsql super hero , csi OK, it's not really a crime scene (although that depends on your opinions on Facebook I guess) but I got this in the middle of my Facebook news feed strea ...

I got 99 problems but a disk ain't one (02 May 2011) by Fatherjack

Part of the MemeMonday blog series, started by Thomas LaRock : "The idea is for you to list out the things that can go wrong with SQL that are NOT a result of disk issues. No, you don't need to do 99, try to think of nine (9) ...

Make someone's Monday (10 May 2011) by Fatherjack

LiveJournal Tags: community , career , reputation , honesty , recomMonday , PayItForward Everyone hates Mondays, it's pretty much a universal feeling. The weekend is over, you had a good time gardening, decorating, cooking, spending ...

A shameless plug for the SQL community (12 May 2011) by Fatherjack

Last night I made my debut as a speaker at a user group meeting in Southampton, UK. As I have mentioned before, I have been invited by Red Gate to talk at their SQL in the City event in July so I was looking for an opportunity to practi ...

Yesterday (19 May 2011) by Fatherjack

Wednesday 18th May 2011 - That's a date that will stay in my memory for a long time. I need to go back a little to put this in context. Brent Ozar ( Twitter | Blog ) was working for Quest and he mentioned on his blog or tweeted that he w ...

From 0 to MVP in 4 weeks (07 Jun 2011) by Fatherjack

You may know from my previous posts that I have just started a local SQL Server User Group. 3 weeks ago there was no such group within 100 miles and then we had a meeting. Now, in eight days time, there is going to be a second meeting and I ...

Alerts are good, aren't they? (27 Jun 2011) by Fatherjack

It is accepted best practise to set some alerts on every SQL instance you install. They aren't particularly well publicised but I have never seen any one not recommend setting up alerts for Error 823, 824 and 825. These alerts are focussed ...

It's good to be a little bit scared (08 Jul 2011) by Fatherjack

How many times have you read or heard that phrase from someone about to embark on some endeavour? A stand-up comedian, a stunt-man, a sports person, each preparing for a big event where they are putting themselves at some risk, challenging ...

SQL in the City in retrospect - part 1 (19 Jul 2011) by Fatherjack

The journey, the build-up and the day The Journey We left Devon early on the Tuesday. Very early. We had plenty of time for me to tweet during the time allowed for connections. Anyone following me on Twitter will know how much I enjo ...

SQL in the City in retrospect - part 2 (21 Jul 2011) by Fatherjack

My session and the things that I will remember for a long time. My session Neil Hambly was speaking before me and had a flurry of questions right at the end of his talk that meant he over-ran a little. Now I have mentioned in a pre ...

Where do all the cool DBAs hang out? (15 Aug 2011) by Fatherjack

Online is of course is the answer. We are a pretty solitary breed of employee. Some companies don't have a DBA, many will have one and a half (i.e. the half is someone else from IT that covers for the DBA's leave etc.,) and a few may have a ...

Coordinating schedules (23 Aug 2011) by Fatherjack

I'm moving a SQL Server off old hardware at the moment and one thing that makes life easier if to have the same schedules on the new server, all ready to pick from the UI when you are creating new jobs. Having to create a new ...

So, you are doing a system upgrade (05 Sep 2011) by Fatherjack

I have just completed the upgrade of our main CRM system from old hardware to new. It all started just as we started the new year and we identified that the existing hardware was going to be 5 years old in September 2011. Company policy sta ...

If you see Sid, tell him. (12 Sep 2011) by Fatherjack

I am wholly showing my age with the title of this blog post. The title of this post is quote that may or may not mean anything to you. It will, sadly, mean even less to you if you were not in the UK during the 1980's. Apologies for that b ...

SQL Relay - Building the Community (19 Sep 2011) by Fatherjack

Currently there are 16 user groups in the UK connected with SQL Server, they cover a lot of the UK spanning from Exeter (The one that I run) to Edinburgh and from Cardiff to Maidstone. We all run regular meetings that are free to attend and ...

PASS UK Regional Mentor (26 Sep 2011) by Fatherjack

I have just had an email from Mark Ginnebaugh welcoming me to the role of PASS UK Regional Mentor. This was a role previously carried out by Simon Sabin but he has recently stepped down due to other pressures on his time so Chris Testa O'Ne ...

SQL Bits 9 and SQL Relay 2011 (10 Oct 2011) by Fatherjack

A very quick post to say how proud and happy it made me to be involved with these two events. I was a helper and speaker at SQL Bits and, as I am a user group leader, one of the organisers of the SQL Relay event. My code samples and tes ...

SQL Relay - G is for GO (11 Oct 2011) by Fatherjack

At the SQL Relay event last week all the UK user group leaders did a combined session - The A to Z of SQL - where we all took two letters of the alphabet and gave a 2 minute (it was strictly timed) talk on something SQL related beginning wi ...

62 miles up (12 Oct 2011) by Fatherjack

RedGate are known for being a software company with a big personality and having a huge presence in the SQL Community. They run the annual Exceptional DBA competition , having held a party at the PASS summit last night to celebrate this ...

Jobs - are your SQL Agent jobs talking to you enough? (20 Oct 2011) by Fatherjack

Most DBAs will have at least a couple of servers that have SQL Agent jobs that are scheduled to do various things on a regular basis. There is a whole host of supporting configuration settings for these jobs but some of the most important a ...

What job is most similar to being a DBA? (24 Oct 2011) by Fatherjack

As long as I have worked with computers, and that's a length of time that may be easier on the eye when converted to dog-years, computers have been compared with cars. I guess the car was the most complicated thing in our lives until the PC ...

Bringing Alerts and Operators together with Notifications (08 Nov 2011) by Fatherjack

I have covered SQL Server Alerts ( Alerts are good, arent they? ) on this blog before and I more recently did a post regarding Notifications ( Are your Jobs talking to you ) and how they should be configured. Now we need to check that these ...

How to stop Office 2010 changing " and ' to smart quotes (09 Nov 2011) by Fatherjack

I have recently upgraded to Office 2010 at work and there are a few things that are a real problem for me. As a T-SQL developer and SQL Server DBA I copy and paste code to and from various applications and if Word gets involved it can has d ...

Time to Check Your Servers (24 Nov 2011) by Fatherjack

Do you know how to find the time that your SQL Server started? Since SQL Server 2008 you can use: SELECT sqlserver_start_time FROM sys.dm_os_sys_info On one of my servers this gives me: This is great, and can be use ...

TSQL development (05 Dec 2011) by Fatherjack

or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Word* Microsoft Office Word is useful. There, I have confessed it, it's useful to me while I am working with TSQL. It's possibly only the search and replace function that I like but ...

How many indexes is the right amount? (14 Dec 2011) by Fatherjack

I would be deafened by the chorus of DBA's shouting "It depends" at me after a question like that in person, I somehow feel safer from the far side of Live Writer. I have recently been looking at the number of indexes in one of my databas ...

New Year resolution: A better diet and some home cooking (02 Jan 2012) by Fatherjack

Many people reflect on their diet at this time of year and decide to make changes and I would suggest that all DBAs should do the same. This is not because I think any DBA is over-weight (although I'd like to be a bit lighter than I am) but ...

Indexing - take the hint and leave it to the experts (10 Jan 2012) by Fatherjack

The most common T-SQL command in use has to be the SELECT statement, it is the bedrock of any SQL Professional's day. Sometimes it's used to snatch some data from a table or two while some quick investigation is done, other times it is at t ...

From nowhere to somewhere in no time at all. (07 Feb 2012) by Fatherjack

I am pleased to introduce another guest post from my wife, Annette ( @mrs_fatherjack ) (this also partially explains the cat picture). 2 years ago I'd never heard of SQL Bits, I wasn't into 'the community' in any way and just plodded alo ...

I'm blogging again, and about time too (12 May 2012) by Fatherjack

No, seriously, this one is about time. I recently had an issue in a work database where a query was giving random results, sometimes the query would return a row and other times it wouldn't. There was quite a bit of work distilling the ...

TSQL formatting - a sure fire way to start a conversation. (29 May 2012) by Fatherjack

There are probably as many opinions on ways to format code as there are people writing code and I am not here to say that any one is better than any other. Well, that isn't true. I am here to say that one way is better than another but this ...

A quick look at: sys.dm_os_buffer_descriptors (12 Jun 2012) by Fatherjack

SQL Server places data into cache as it reads it from disk so as to speed up future queries. This dmv lets you see how much data is cached at any given time and knowing how this changes over time can help you ensure your servers run smoothl ...

Make your TSQL easier to read during a presentation (22 Jun 2012) by Fatherjack

SQL Server Management Studio 2012 has some neat settings that you can use to help your presentations at a SQL event better for the attendees if you are willing to spend a few minutes making some settings c ...

Database IDs (27 Jun 2012) by Fatherjack

Just a quick post, mainly to test out the new blog format but related to a question on the #sqlhelp hashtag. The question came from Justin Dearing ( @zippy1981 ) as: So I take it database_id isn't an ever incrementing value.  # ...

Database Mirroring - deprecated (29 Jun 2012) by Fatherjack

Do you use mirroring on any of your databases? Do you use mirroring on SQL Server Standard Edition? I do, as a way of having a stand-by server ready to take over if there is a problem with the live server so that business can continue ...

A quick look at: dm_db_index_physical_stats (03 Jul 2012) by Fatherjack

A quick look at the key data from this dmv that can help a DBA keep databases performing well and systems online as the users need them. When the dynamic management views relating to index statistics became available in SQL Server 2005 t ...

It's time that you ought to know what you don't know (09 Jul 2012) by Fatherjack

There is a famous quote about unknown unknowns and known knowns and so on but I'll let you review that if you are interested. What I am worried about is that there are things going on in your environment that you ought to know about, i ...

SQL Server Query Time Out when referencing data on a Linked Server (16 Jul 2012) by Fatherjack

I recently had an issue where an overnight job that had a history of working successfully on a reliable basis suddenly started failing more often than being successful. We had recently imported a lot of data into the database (about a 10% i ...

SQL in the City 2012 - London (17 Jul 2012) by Fatherjack

Redgate software first ran their SQL in the City event in 2011 in London and I was highly honoured to be asked to speak at the event, it was a success and so was the following event in Los Angeles. Sadly I wasn't invited to speak at that on ...

SQL In the City â_" What an event! (25 Jul 2012) by Fatherjack

A guest blog from @Mrs_Fatherjack Well to repeat Mr Fritchey â_" WOW, what an event. They went. . . They saw . . . They conquered â_" (Red Gate that is) What more can I say!! ...

Keeping the Scary DBA from your door. (03 Aug 2012) by Fatherjack

Have you seen the video from Grant Fritchey regarding database backups for the impatient people that are as yet to see it or for those of a strong enough constitution to watch it again you can watch it here but i would say hold on a momen ...

A quick look at: dm_db_index_usage_stats (08 Aug 2012) by Fatherjack

I recently wrote a post with a similar title, reviewing the dm_db_index_physical_stats so it seemed logical to pick a closely linked dmv for this post . Once again, let's start off by looking at this in it's most basic form SELECT ...

Customising your monitoring (13 Aug 2012) by Fatherjack

If you are anything like me you've always been the sort of person that likes to take things apart and see how they work. For me it started with my first toys and then my bikes and then my cars. Customising these things made them better and ...

48hrs in Cambridge. (20 Aug 2012) by Fatherjack

In just over 2 weeks something pretty big in the SQL Server Community in the UK is taking place. We are going to witness the first SQL Saturday on these shores. The event is running in Cambridge, the home of the SQL Cambs user group an ...

Write TSQL, win a Kindle. (27 Aug 2012) by Fatherjack

So recently Red Gate launched  sqlmonitormetrics.red-gate.com  and showed the world how to embed your own scripts harmoniously in a third party tool to get the details that you want about your SQL Server performance. The site has a way t ...

Free SQL Server training? Now you're talking. (24 Sep 2012) by Fatherjack

SQL Server user groups are everywhere, literally all over the globe there are SQL Server professionals meeting on a regular basis, sharing ideas, solving problems, learning about how to do new stuff and new ways to do old stuff and it's all ...

Fragmented Log files could be slowing down your database (13 Nov 2012) by Fatherjack

Something that is sometimes forgotten by a lot of DBAs is the fact that database log files get fragmented in the same way that you get fragmentation in a data file. The cause is very different but the effect is the same - too much effort re ...

Coping with infrastructure upgrades (19 Nov 2012) by Fatherjack

A common topic for questions on SQL Server forums is how to plan and implement upgrades to SQL Server. Moving from old to new hardware or moving from one version of SQL Server to another. There are other circumstances where upgrades of othe ...

The best, in the West (08 Dec 2012) by Fatherjack

As many of you know, I run the SQL South West user group and we are currently in full flow preparing to stage the UK's second SQL Saturday. The SQL Saturday spotlight is going to fall on Exeter in March 2013. We have full-day session on ...

Keeping sysinternals up to date (05 Jan 2013) by Fatherjack

Pretty much anyone in the IT business should know about sysinternals tools. They are a set of tools written by Microsoft staff that give administrators and support staff an inside edge on system management and diagnostics. You can get the f ...

Two days of the best SQL Server training that money doesn't need to buy. (08 Jan 2013) by Fatherjack

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] Chocolate Money by T Gibbison, on Flickr[/caption] Date :8th and 9th March 2013 Location : Exeter, UK Event : SQL Saturday Exeter ( http://sqlsouthwest.co.uk/SQLSaturday.htm ) ...

Database management survey (10 Jan 2013) by Fatherjack

  This is an appeal for some of your time to help a member of the UK SQL Server Community. Victoria Holt is a good friend of mine and is currently working towards her Phd and needs a whole load of people to fill out a survey on data ...

What is the best way to say you are speaking at a SQL Saturday? (22 Jan 2013) by Fatherjack

Why, with a logo that says "I'm speaking at a SQL Saturday" of course. SQL Saturday Exeter is the first that can offer its speakers a logo for their blog, website or email signature that shows everyone that they are on the schedule of ...

Looking for some women (28 Jan 2013) by Fatherjack

A guest blog from Annette Allen UK based female speakers â_" Where are you? You may be aware but Iâ_Tm helping to organise SQL Saturday Exeter, the second SQL Saturday to be held in the UK, following the success of SQL Saturday ...

Enjoying your lunch? (22 Feb 2013) by Fatherjack

As I write this it is lunch time on Friday 22nd February. In two weeks time it will be Friday 8th of March and we will be half way through running the pre-con training day at SQL Saturday Exeter. Everyone there will be having lunch and t ...

SQL Saturday Exeter is next weekend (03 Mar 2013) by Fatherjack

  There is still time to register for the Friday and/or Saturday, follow the links below and join us for 2 days of great SQL Server training (8th and 9th March). If you are already registered then you you may be interested in thi ...

Speaking, Listening and Speaking again (25 Mar 2013) by Fatherjack

It seems a very brief two weeks ago that I was in the middle of the team running SQL Saturday Exeter as that was right before my final week at my old job. I gave a session there on Event Notifications that was possibly the most action packe ...

Getting to know about SQL Server. (27 Apr 2013) by Fatherjack

A lot of SQL professionals will be having a short working week this week. SQL Bits starts on Thursday and almost 700 people will be learning about SQL Server from some of the best speakers on the planet. Take a look at the agenda here if y ...

SQL Monitor Alerts in Outlook Without Configuring Email Settings (04 Jun 2013) by Fatherjack

SQL Monitor is a Red Gate tool that I have a long history with and I have worked closely with the development team from a time before it was called SQL Monitor. It is with that history in mind I am a little disappointed in myself that I hav ...

Working With Extended Events (18 Jun 2013) by Fatherjack

SQL Server 2012 has made working with Extended Events (XE) pretty simple when it comes to what sessions you have on your servers and what options you have selected and so forth but if you are like me then you still have some SQL Server ins ...

News From EAP Testing (08 Jul 2013) by Fatherjack

There is a phrase that goes something like "Watch the pennies and the pounds/dollars will take care of themselves", meaning that if you pay attention to the small things then the larger things are going to fare well too. I am lucky enou ...

Keeping an Eye on Your Storage (15 Jul 2013) by Fatherjack

There are plenty of resources that advise you about looking for signs that your storage hardware is having problems. SQL Server Alerts for 823, 824 and 825 are covered here by Paul Randall of SQL Skills: http://www.sqlskills.com/blogs/paul ...

SQL Relay 2013 R2 - your second chance to get some free SQL Server training (09 Sep 2013) by Fatherjack

SQL Relay  has historically been an annual event but 2013 sees a break in this tradition with a second chance for anyone in the UK to get a complete day of free SQL Server training at a choice of venues from Newcastle to Southampton. Brand ...

SQL Server Policy Based Management â_" Creating a custom condition (16 Sep 2013) by Fatherjack

I have recently been looking at Policy Based Management with a view to using it to rapidly review servers in our domain to ensure they meet our configuration requirements. One of our tests is that every server login must only have a default ...

PASS Summit â_" looking back on my first time (21 Oct 2013) by Fatherjack

  So I was lucky enough to get my first experience of PASS Summit this year and took some time beforehand to read some blogs and reference material to get an idea on what to do and how to get the best out of my visit. Having been ...

I thought everyone did it like this - Training Session Code Management (04 Nov 2013) by Fatherjack

One of an occasional series of blogs about things that I do that perhaps others don't. From very early on in my dealings with SQL Server Management Studio I started using Solutions and Projects. This means that I started using them when wri ...

It's all a numbers game (14 Nov 2013) by Fatherjack

Just recently I have been using this small amount of code an awful lot so I thought I would share it here. A lot has been written about using a tally or numbers table and I'm not about to re-write any of that. This is simply how to creat ...

SSRS Table Cells with Mixed Formatting (28 Nov 2013) by Fatherjack

In this quick post I'll show you how to create and format a report so that you can configure individual table cells to display their contents with a mixture of text formatting. I have heard many people asking how to achieve this and it wasn ...

If you could give an aspiring DBA just one piece of advice what would it be? (10 Dec 2013) by Fatherjack

This post is part of a collection of content masterminded by John Sansom, please see the reference section at the end for the details of how to get all the other thoughts and contributions   Prioritise, and Socialise. I have ...

I Thought Everyone Did It Like That - SSMS Templates (12 Dec 2013) by Fatherjack

One of an occasional series of blogs about things that I do that perhaps others don't. SSMS â_" the default TSQL code editor that comes with SQL Server has many faults and my Twitter stream is often the scene of DBAs and developers venti ...

Tribal SQL Awards (23 Dec 2013) by Fatherjack

This is likely to be my last blog for 2013 and it is one that is going to give you something to do. Yep, you actually HAVE to click a link and do some thinking. Don't Panic though, it will take maybe 1 minute and a load of people that have ...

Backup to the right location, by default. (13 Jan 2014) by Fatherjack

How do you configure where your database backups are created? Do you have problems updating all of your backup jobs if the backup location needs to change? In this blog we will look at how you can make use of Windows settings and a few l ...

Quick Tip: Windows directory file list (30 Jan 2014) by Fatherjack

In a previous version of Windows (circa Windows95 or older) there was a button in the toolbar of itâ_Ts equivalent of Windows Explorer that generated a list of files in the open directory, in a text file. Despite searching through http://t ...

Learning by doing (or not) (06 Feb 2014) by Fatherjack

I have spent a lot of today repeating steps that I followed months ago and it is hopefully through writing it down here that I will remember the steps needed if it happens again. I was building a VM environment on my laptop (using VMWare ...

A Galaxy not so far away... (02 Nov 2010) by Gareth Marlow

We've had four Samsung Galaxy Tabs on order from Amazon for the last few weeks. They were due to show up this morning, but we got an email first thing to say they'd be a few weeks late. Undeterred, Ben and I went on a mission to Phones4U in ...

I'm Seeing Red (09 Mar 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Hello World! My move into the world of Red Gate is more and more complete with my shiny, new, red, blog. The goal of this blog is not to compete with, or replace, my blog over at ScaryDBA . Instead, this blog is where I can share th ...

Azure (10 Mar 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I've been tasked to learn SQL Azure, as well as test all the Red Gate products on it. My one, BIG, fear has been that I'll receive some mongo bill in the mail because I've exceeded the MSDN testing limit. I know people that have had that pr ...

Restoring Databases (11 Mar 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I like the way Mike Walsh phrased it: You're Only As Good as Your Ability To Restore . Ain't it the truth. You may be taking backups, incrementals, and log backups of your databases. You may have DBCC in place, and all that fun stuff. But ...

How Do You Get Answers? (17 Mar 2011) by Grant Fritchey

We all learn differently. Some people really prefer to sit with a book. Others need class room time, with an instructor. Still others just want to do things themselves until they figure them out. And sometimes, it's all of the above. Since ...

SQL Saturday 67 (28 Mar 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Red Gate sent me out to SQL Saturday 67 where I was able to present a session ( more on that here ) and promote Red Gate. The picture to the right here was taken when I drew the prizes at the end of the day. One of the biggest things abo ...

Learning Stuff (08 Apr 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Yeah, I work for Red Gate. For some reason people seem to think that means I know everything there is to know about all their products. Let me break the news, I don't. But I'm learning. My previous employer had me do an evaluation of S ...

SQL Rally (12 Apr 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Are you going to SQL Rally in May? The whole idea of SQL Rally was to provide a sort of mini-Summit on the East Coast so that people who can't afford all the time for a full week in Seattle have an alternative. It's also going to be ve ...

Tracking Azure Costs (18 Apr 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I posted this morning over on the Scary DBA blog about the costs of SQL Azure. It's a confusing model and hard to track. I've mentioned this before here, but I think it bears repeating. Red Gate has a cloud based app that will monitor you ...

SQL Azure Backup (19 Apr 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Have some important information stored out there on the cloud? Want a way to get a copy of it down to your local machine? Here you go. A nice neat little backup tool from Red Gate, SQL Azure Backup . Let me talk about this a bit. First ...

SQL Azure Deployments (25 Apr 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Over on ScaryDBA.com I posted about the new Data-Tier Application (DAC) and DAC packages (DAC pac) this morning. You might be thinking, "Oh, now he's on the Red Gate blog he's going to rip it apart." And you'd be wrong. I want to work fro ...

SQL Azure Differential Deployments (02 May 2011) by Grant Fritchey

If you read my other blog, Scary DBA , you may be aware that I've been doing a series of experiments with SQL Azure, learning about the costs , learning how to deploy databases to it , and most recently, learning that I can't deploy dat ...

Query Anywhere (03 May 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Learning SQL Azure has been a lot of fun. Learning how all the tools we have at Red Gate work with SQL Azure has also been fun. In addition to a mechanism for getting your accumulated SQL Azure costs and backing up your SQL Azure databa ...

Emergency Database Restores (04 May 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I was reading a good article by Brent Ozar ( blog | twitter ) on a DBA Nightmare where I came across this section: If you decide to restore the system databases, you should try this ahead of time.  Restoring the master databas ...

Brush Your Teeth and Clean Your Room (12 May 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Hello, Grant Fritchey here, one of these Scary DBAs. Tony isn't around at the moment so I stopped by to talk for minute. Yeah, I could go on about some of those cool and controversial topics that Tony always brings up, but I'm a DBA. By def ...

Tools for Cloud Construction (20 May 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I've been reviewing the tools coming from Microsoft that help you deploy and manage your SQL Azure database over on Scary DBA . Over here, quite frankly, I've been pointing out that we have a selection of tools that are already working bet ...

Monitoring Baseline (30 May 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Knowing what's happening on your servers is important, that's monitoring. Knowing what happened on your server is establishing a baseline. You need to do both. I really enjoyed this blog post by Ted Krueger ( blog | twitter ). It's not en ...

SQL Cruise Alaska 2011 (13 Jun 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I had the extreme good fortune to get sent on the last SQL Cruise to Alaska. I love my job. In case you don't what this is, SQL Cruise is a trip on a cruise ship during which you get to attend classes while on the boat, learning all ab ...

SQL Excursions (20 Jun 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Not everyone likes boats. Some people like hanging out, on dry land, maybe sipping a good wine. Interested in doing that AND learning some new stuff about SQL Server? Then you might want to check out SQL Excursions . Denny Cherry ( blog | ...

SQLIO Writes (28 Jun 2011) by Grant Fritchey

SQLIO is a fantastic utility for testing the abilities of the disks in your system. It has a very unfortunate name though, since it's not really a SQL Server testing utility at all. It really is a disk utility. They ought to call it DiskIO ...

Hanging Out (29 Jul 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Google+ is introducing a number of new ways to interact with people. They're so new, there's not really a good set of documents on how to use them. One of the new bits of functionality that intrigued me was the Hangout. You send out an inv ...

Guy In A Red Gate Shirt (09 Aug 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I just finished my second "Guy In a Red Gate Shirt" hangout on Google+ (or are we calling it G+?). Both instances were just experiments that I wanted to perform because I've got a new toy, G+, and I feel the need to try it out. I also had t ...

Google + Hangouts (11 Aug 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I just finished hosting my third hangout on Google Plus . I've also attended one hosted by Andy Leonard ( blog | twitter ) and one hosted by Tom LaRock ( blog | twitter ). I am blown away by how useful these things are. I'm actually strugg ...

SQL In The City I and II (15 Aug 2011) by Grant Fritchey

The first ever SQL In The City event has come and gone. Well over 300 people showed up at the Royal Society of Medicine (and what an excellent place to hold the meeting) to get a full day of free training on various SQL Server topics. T ...

Exploring SQL Azure (23 Aug 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I'm spending a little bit of time each week trying out a few things in SQL Azure. I'm convinced that we're going to be spending time tuning our SQL Azure databases much the same way as we tune our regular SQL Server databases. That is to sa ...

Google+ Hangouts With a Purpose (25 Aug 2011) by Grant Fritchey

The other morning I held my first G+ Hangout that had an actual agenda. Mind you, my agenda was defined as follows: Database Deployments, how do you do them, how do you control them, best practices, worst practices, horror stories, a ...

Hybrid Cloud (30 Aug 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Someone from the Productivity team at Microsoft sent me personally a tweet (squee!) asking what I thought about this article on the idea that companies are going to take a hybrid approach to the cloud. My immediate response, which I tweet ...

SQL Azure, the bacpac & Storage Containers (20 Sep 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Silly me. I thought it would be easy. I grab a copy of the latest SQL Azure Backup and I show how to use the new import/export routine in SQL Azure. Ha! NOTE: These difficulties are all on the Microsoft side of things. Our nifty little ...

SQL Azure Backup and the BACPAC (21 Sep 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Our new tool, SQL Azure Backup, is constantly undergoing changes just as SQL Azure itself does. Here's a link to a video I've done demoing our tool and talking about the importance of backups , even in the cloud. ...

Micro Training (23 Sep 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I've been using Google+ quite a lot over the last few weeks. I've been most impressed with the Hangouts that you can do there. You get 10 people together and, if they have cameras and microphones, you can have real conversations as opposed ...

SQL Azure Backup and the Command Line (26 Sep 2011) by Grant Fritchey

SQL Azure has no scheduling capabilities at all. If you want to schedule something like, oh, I don't know, a backup, you need to use SQL Agent or some other utility. In order to make that work, you need to use a command line. I've recorded ...

Signal to Noise (03 Oct 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Out of the box SQL Monitor has a number of alerts configured for you. You can just install the software, set up an SMTP account for it and walk away. Suddenly, you'll start receiving emails from Monitor because some of your systems will hit ...

Sharing My Thoughts on Space Flight (18 Oct 2011) by Grant Fritchey

This went out in the DBA newsletter from Red Gate, but I enjoyed writing it so much, I thought I'd share it to a wider audience: I grew up watching the US space program. I watched men walk on the moon for the first time in 1969, when ...

Last Chance At Space (16 Nov 2011) by Grant Fritchey

All entries for the DBA In Space contest have to be in by Tuesday the 22nd, 12 noon GMT. Iâ_Tm so jealous of all of you who can enter this contest. Just think about it. Youâ_Tre getting a chance to take a sub-orbital rocket ride. Bu ...

Unit Testing TSQL (30 Nov 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I went through a period of time where I spent a lot of effort figuring out how to set up unit tests for TSQL . It wasn't easy. There are a few tools out there that help, but mostly it involves lots of programming. well, not as much as ...

Finalists for DBA In Space (06 Dec 2011) by Grant Fritchey

I'm not supposed to say this and I promised I'd be good, but. I AM SO JEALOUS! Here they are, the fifteen finalists for the DBA In Space contest. These people have been selected from the thousands that took part in the first phase of the ...

SQL Test How-To Videos (06 Dec 2011) by Grant Fritchey

Getting started with the new SQL Test is really easy, but once you get started knowing where to go can be a little difficult. I've recorded two, quick little videos showing a couple of pieces of functionality. Please check them out. Here' ...

Tuning Red Gate: #1 of Many (09 Feb 2012) by Grant Fritchey

Everyone runs into performance issues at some point. Same thing goes for Red Gate software. Some of our internal systems were running into some serious bottlenecks. It just so happens that we have this nice little SQL Server monitoring tool ...

Tuning Red Gate: #2 of Many (13 Feb 2012) by Grant Fritchey

In the last installment , I used the SQL Monitor tool to get a snapshot view of the current state of the servers at Red Gate that are giving us trouble. That snapshot suggested some areas where I should focus some time, primarily in which ...

Tuning Red Gate: #3 of Lots (22 Feb 2012) by Grant Fritchey

I'm drilling down into the metrics about SQL Server itself available to me in the Analysis tab of SQL Monitor to see what's up with our two problematic servers. In the previous post I'd noticed that rg-sql01 had quite a few CPU spikes. ...

Tuning Red Gate: #4 of Some (23 Feb 2012) by Grant Fritchey

First time connecting to these servers directly (keys to the kingdom, bwa-ha-ha-ha. oh, excuse me), so I'm going to take a look at the server properties, just to see if there are any issues there. Max memory is set, cool, first possible sil ...

Tuning Red Gate: #5 of Multiple (04 Apr 2012) by Grant Fritchey

In the Tuning Red Gate series I've shown you how to look at a current load on the system and how to drill down to look at historical analysis of the system. I've also shown how you can see the top queries and other information from the curr ...

Monitoring Your Servers (17 Aug 2012) by Grant Fritchey

If you are the DBA in a large scale enterprise, you're probably already monitoring your servers for up-time and performance. But if you work for a medium-sized business, a small shop, or even a one-man operation, chances are pretty good tha ...

PowerShell & SQL Compare (24 Aug 2012) by Grant Fritchey

Just a quick blog post to share a couple of scripts for using PowerShell to call SQL Compare. This is an example from my session at SQL in the City on setting up a sandbox development process. This just runs a compare between a set of scrip ...

Introduction to Agile Development (31 Aug 2012) by Grant Fritchey

Even though my current job is a little weird, I still consider myself to be a DBA. I didn't start that way in IT. I came through support and into development. I loved development. There was a constant struggle to attempt to improve your cod ...

Databases in Source Control (10 Sep 2012) by Grant Fritchey

Iâ_Tve been working as a database professional for quite a long time. But originally, I was a developer. And I loved being a developer. There was this constant feedback loop of a job well done, your code compiled and it ran. Every time this ...

Getting a Database into Source Control (17 Sep 2012) by Grant Fritchey

For any number of reasons, from simple auditing, to change tracking, to automated deployment, to integration with application development processes, youâ_Tre going to want to place your database into source control. Using Red Gate SQL Sourc ...

Hosted Monitoring (25 Oct 2012) by Grant Fritchey

The concept of using services to take the place of writing a lot of your own code goes way, way back in computing history. The fundamentals of the concept go back to the dawn of computing with places like IBM hosting time-shares for computi ...

Offsite Backup (26 Nov 2012) by Grant Fritchey

There was a recent weather event in the United States that seriously impacted our power grid and our physical well being. Lots of businesses found that they couldn't get to their building or that their building was gone. Many of them got to ...

Advantages of SQL Backup Pro (29 Jul 2013) by Grant Fritchey

Getting backups of your databases in place is a fundamental issue for protection of the business. Yes, I said business, not data, not databases, but business. Because of a lack of good, tested, backups, companies have gone completely out of ...

SQL Backup 4.0 BETA is ready! (21 Nov 2005) by Helen Joyce

Phew... on November 15th an email went out to a select group of SQL Server DBA's, Developers and other potential SQL Backup users to let them know of the SQL Backup version 4.0 beta program. The beta version is pretty much  ...

Count down to SQL Backup 4.0 release (07 Dec 2005) by Helen Joyce

  We are now â_~feature completeâ_T and only have a few weeks until we have code lock off. The beta program has in the region of 75 customers signed up, many of which are actively posting feedback on the private forum. The comments ...

SQL Backup 4.0 and beyond (15 Mar 2006) by Helen Joyce

Phew...with SQL Backup 4.1 released attention has now turned to supporting 64 bit versions of SQL Server. There is no let up and testing already underway, with a beta planned for 24th April 2006 . Please email me ( helen.joyc ...

SQL Backup on 64-bit servers (06 Jun 2006) by Helen Joyce

The server components of SQL Backup have now been compiled to run on 64-bit versions of SQL Server. The beta (which is feature complete) is public and can be downloaded from the Red Gate forums: http://www.red-gate.com/MessageBoar ...

Relentless testing article (26 Jun 2006) by Helen Joyce

I recently wrote an article for the simple talk website about software testing. I should have put a link from my blog straightaway but must have got side tracked with SQL Backup and test team duties! The article can be found at: ...

SQL Backup goes 64-bit... (06 Jul 2006) by Helen Joyce

SQL Backup 4.5 (released 5th July 2006) now supports 64-bit versions of SQL Server. We've had a public beta program running for a couple of months, which has been well used but now it's released in earnest. Hooray. It's the sa ...

Have your chance to influence the next version of SQL Backup (17 Jul 2006) by Helen Joyce

If you want to be one of the privileged few people who will get chance to influence the development of the next version of SQL Backup then please email me ( helen.joyce@red-gate.com ) for more details. There's a major upgrade of SQL Bac ...

A new version of SQL Backup (21 Aug 2006) by Helen Joyce

There are exciting times for Red Gateâ_Ts SQL Backup development team at the moment. We have just released a minor version (4.6) which includes support for more keywords. Specifically PAGE level restore is now supported along with the KEEP_ ...

If SQL Backup isn't top in performance tests, I'll eat my hat (17 Oct 2006) by Helen Joyce

Compared to using native SQL Server to perform database backups, third party tools can create fast backups which are compressed and encrypted. This is the main premise for SQL Backup, performance. How quickly are your backups create ...

A public beta of SQL Backup 5.0 out now (07 Dec 2006) by Helen Joyce

As an early Christmas treat, we have decided to release the beta version of SQL Backup 5.0 as a public beta. It's out now, please download it from the forum at http://www.red-gate.com/messageboard/viewforum.php?f=57 . SQL Backup is the ...

Weâ_Tre going on a bug hunt (30 Apr 2007) by Helen Joyce

One Monday lunchtime not so long ago we ran a bug hunt for SQL Backup 5. During the hour and a half session 12 participants (all willing Red Gate employees) paired up to try and break the application with the promise of wine and chocolates ...

SQL Backup 5.0 has been released (01 May 2007) by Helen Joyce

SQL Backup 5.0 is a major upgrade including a complete redesign of the user interface.   Whatâ_Ts new in 5.0?   Complete redesign of the UI including a timeline feature for monitoring past backup activity and fut ...

SQL Backup to MTF Converter (12 Jun 2007) by Helen Joyce

A little known application exists for converting your backup files created by SQL Backup (*.sqb) into MTF (Microsoft Tape Format) files. The command line version ( sqb2mft.exe ) is shipped with the product. This utility makes it possi ...

Keep Log Shipping in shape (10 Jul 2007) by Helen Joyce

The Log Shipping Monitor is an unsupported, free product available on the Red Gate Labs . If you are running log shipping jobs between servers you can now set up this application to collate the log shipping activity.   A summa ...

SQL Multi Script v 1.0 - Alpha release. Just one click to run scripts on all your SQL Servers (05 Sep 2007) by Helen Joyce

There's a working application available for download FREE which allows you to execute a script (or set of scripts) against multiple servers.  Thatâ_Ts pretty much it! It's called SQL Multi Script and you can download the al ...

SQL Backup 5.2 released (03 Oct 2007) by Helen Joyce

A minor release of SQL Backup is now available, and is a free upgrade from version 5.0 or 5.1. I put an annoucement on the SQL Backup 5 forum. See http://www.red-gate.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=5726 To make it eaiser for new ...

Free utility for converting Backup tasks in Maintenance plans to use SQL Backup (09 Nov 2007) by Helen Joyce

To cut down a potentially laborious task of converting backup tasks in several maintenance plans to use SQL Backup we now have got a utility for doing it for you. It's not part of the install of SQL Backup, but it may be included in a ...

Single-click script execution on multiple SQL Servers (21 Nov 2007) by Helen Joyce

New SQL Multi Script tool for DBAs After talking with DBAs who look after multiple SQL Servers, it was clear that one of their most common tasks is to deploy scripts, query databases and collect aggregated results across their enterpri ...

Continuous profiling for websites (20 Dec 2011) by James Gilmore

The .NET division at Red Gate have been working on a new way of profiling ASP.NET applications. Traditional profiling tools live on the developer's workstation and run in short bursts while the developer wrestles with a particular perfo ...

Profiling PowerShell cmdlets with ANTS Performance Profiler (13 Mar 2013) by James Gilmore

Following the early lead of Exchange Server 2007, Citrixâ_Ts XenDesktop SDK (which I was fortunate enough to work on), and now the Azure platform, PowerShell is being used more and more to provide the scriptable interface to proprietary sys ...

Freeze Painting (29 Oct 2005) by James Moore

We use a large amount of thrid party controls in our UIs however some of these do not always behave as expected and ignore BeginInit/BeginUpdate/SuspendLayout. I came across this work around for this problem the other day:   ...

Lock Free Datastructures (02 Nov 2005) by James Moore

Hidden away in the System.Threading namespace is the class Interlocked . This class provides atomic operations on variables. The method System.Threading.Interlocked.CompareExchange  is the .NET equivalent to the Compare and Swa ...

Breaking changes between Beta 2 and the RTM of .NET 2.0 (09 Nov 2005) by James Moore

David C sent me an interesting link about the breaking changes between Beta 2 and the RTM, you can find the original summary at The Server Side.NET and Microsoft's in-depth document here [.doc] ...

An interesting article about ASP.NET and SQL Server Performance (15 Nov 2005) by James Moore

While reading through the excellent http://blogs.msdn.com/  I noticed this post by Todd Carter  talking abount ASP.NET and SQL Server Performance, in it he talks about compiler locks slowing down stored proceedure ex ...

SQL Data Compare: Comparing Views (22 Nov 2005) by James Moore

In case you havenâ_Tt come across this before you can actually compare two views in SQL Data Compare. The only pre-requisite is that the view has an index defined on it. As an example lets create and compare an indexed view on pubs. Firs ...

SQL Server Documentation (07 Dec 2005) by James Moore

Brian Welcker has posted that the December 2005 updates of SQL Server Books online, SQL Server Samples and Sample Databases and the Express Editions documentation and samples are now available to download from the following links: S ...

WinForms FAQ (18 Jan 2006) by James Moore

If you have programmed with Windows Forms for long it is most probable that you have come across one or two (or three or four ) "quirks" in how WinForms works however a little help is at hand. I found this FAQ the other day whi ...

SQL Data Compare Version 5 Beta (27 Feb 2006) by James Moore

[Edit] ***** The beta has now been released. Please visit http://www.red-gate.com/messageboard/viewforum.php?f=35  and sign up to get download instructions ******** [/Edit] Next week we will begin to roll out the beta for SQL Bundl ...

Pro .Net 2.0 Windows Forms and Custom Controls (14 Jul 2006) by James Moore

As a developer you come into contact with many different technical tomes, some are better used as monitor supports where as others become so invaluble that they very quickly begin to fall apart. I have always been very frustrated at the ...

Regular Expressions (18 Jul 2006) by James Moore

I have just spent the last hour or so trying to get a .NET's regular expression to do what I want (matching a one of several possible keys followed by an = followed by a quoted string with possible escape chars in i ...

Microsoft Research (24 Jul 2006) by James Moore

I thought the Microsoft Research site deserved a mention as there are some great little projects on there. A pick of my favourites must include: AbsIL - the Abstract IL SDK - basically this gives you a AST of your assembly a ...

Paint .NET v3 (07 Aug 2006) by James Moore

Rick Brewster has put up a post on his blog about Paint .NET v3 which will now support MDI - my one and only gripe with the current version of this wonderful little tool. I love this tool it is great to see what can be achived wit ...

Enumerating local 64 bit and 32 bit instances of SQL Server (02 Nov 2006) by James Moore

When checking for local instances of SQL Server its normally best enumerate the value of the registry key HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftMicrosoft SQL Ser ver and then look at the value on installed instances.   However on a 64 bit machin ...

Sysinternals @ Microsoft (10 Nov 2006) by James Moore

I dont quite know when this appeared but Microsoft have added the sysinternals stuff to technet - If you havn't used sysinternals tools before then you are missing a real treat - I have lost count of the amount of times they have helped me ...

The four second cutoff (10 Nov 2006) by James Moore

There was an article about some research which Akamai has done on userâ_Ts experiences of online stores â_" mainly with respect to loading times - on Slashdot yesterday and it appeared on BBC News this morning as well.   Thei ...

The Managed Stack Explorer (23 Nov 2006) by James Moore

Its always nice as a developer when you find a new tool to make your life easier - understanding what is actually happening during the execution of your application (rather than what you think is happening) is key to fixing those hard to fi ...

Announcing SQL Backup 5.0 Beta! (07 Dec 2006) by James Moore

After what seems like an age I am pleased to announce the release of the Backup 5.0 beta. Its a highly exciting time for all of us on the SQL Backup team and we are looking forward to seeing what you have to say about the new version of SQL ...

SQL Server 2005 SP2 - Someone bogged up big time (01 Mar 2007) by James Moore

Thought I better post this incase you havn't seen it - If you are using SQL Server 2005 maintainance tasks and upgrade to sp2 be ready for a nasty suprise. If you have a Maintenance cleanup task or a history clean up task your unit ...

Grayscaling transparent gifs and pngs (29 Mar 2007) by James Moore

I find that I end up custom painting a lot of the controls in Red Gate products, this is normally due to some gripe from our usability engineers - I was doing this today and wanted to gray scale some of the pngs when I need to show the ...

Welcome to my world...SQL Backup 5 (01 May 2007) by James Moore

A year and a little bit ago, I sat down with Tom (head of development at Red Gate) to talk about what was next on the cards after SQL Data Compare. Tom asked that I join Helen and the rest of the SQL Backup team to act as technical lead on ...

In Response... (29 Aug 2007) by James Moore

There has been plenty of response to my interview a few days ago with Simple-Talk â_" rather than trying to cram all of my thoughts into the size of a comment box I thought I would spend a little more time and try and respond to peopl ...

.NET Framework Sourcecode Released (03 Oct 2007) by James Moore

Wow, Lionel pointed me towards some news today announced on Scott Gutrie's blog.. Microsoft are to release the framework libraries source code with Visual Studio 2008. Seems like my usage of reflector will be going down! ...

A little bit of Genius (09 Nov 2007) by James Moore

Over the years I have installed Linux distro's many many times - the first was sometime around Red Hat 4 and it has never been a pleasant experience, that is until I came to do it this morning. With trepidation I downloaded a copy of Ubu ...

A Proliferation of New Technologies (22 Oct 2008) by James Moore

Over the past few years weâ_Tve seen a proliferation of new technologies from Microsoft. We have WPF, WWF, WCS, WCF, Silverlight, ASP.NET MVC, The entity framework, LINQ, Expression Studio, TFS, DLR, DSLâ_Ţ The list already appears endless, ...

Cloud Computing == Bubble 2.0? (19 Nov 2008) by James Moore

So Microsoft has jumped on the Cloud bandwagon. I doubt there was a single person in the room who was surprised when Ray Ozzie got up on stage and announced their new Cloud OS, Windows Azure; but Iâ_Tm sure many of us were interested to see ...

Whatâ_Ts cooking? (16 Dec 2008) by James Moore

In the most recent issue of the economistâ_Ts â_oTechnology Quarterlyâ__ there is an article about one of the oldest inventions ever â_" the humble cooking stove. Why was this important, but decidedly "low-tech", device being featured along ...

Adopting Scrum (28 Jan 2009) by James Moore

We kicked off a new project a few months ago: rewriting ANTS Memory Profiler.  As part of the project, we decided to give Scrum a try. The team was already reasonably Agile without explicitly adopting Scrum principles, as we had o ...

A trip back to the sharp end (04 Aug 2011) by James Moore

On 1st August, James Moore, head of the team at Red Gate who brought to the world the likes of SQL Prompt, SQL Compare and SQL Source Control, and responsible for the future strategy for SQL developer tools at Red Gate, set off on a "walkab ...

Using the Exception Hunter Command Line to find All Methods that throw a given Exception (31 Jan 2008) by Jason Crease

Red-Gate's new .NET tool - Exception Hunter - shows you the exceptions that can be thrown by a .NET method. However, many users would like to see this the other way round, i.e. pick an exception and see which methods throw that exception. W ...

Order of Construction (02 Jun 2008) by Jason Crease

  For me, inheritance is often a headache.   In particular, in what order is everything initialized?   Consider this short C# program.    It creates an instance of Dog , which derives from Animal .   B ...

ANTS Performance Profiler 4 = Sexy Software!? (03 Jun 2008) by Jason Crease

I sit next to this guy called Stephen Chambers. He is the Usability Engineer working on our next version of our code profiler, ANTS Performance Profiler 4. He is completely revising the UI of ANTS Profiler, and spends most of his time phoni ...

A Quick .NET Puzzle (17 Jul 2008) by Jason Crease

Just a quick .NET puzzle.  Does this application ever throw that ApplicationException?  If so, why? using System ; using System.Threading ; class Program {      static l ...

Testing the speed of ANTS Profiler 4 (16 Sep 2008) by Jason Crease

Profiling and debugging code inevitably adds overhead, and I know that it can be really frustrating. The overhead can either be small, e.g. the Visual Studio debugger, or massive, as with most performance profilers. A developer may invest i ...

Nullable Structs - An interesting 'Gotcha' (26 Nov 2008) by Jason Crease

One of the interesting new features in C# 2.0 was nullable valuetypes.   Using these, you can set valuetypes to a value, or null.   Their usage is entirely straightforward.   For instance, to use a nullable int simply decl ...

Scrum: Keeping Kosher doesnâ_Tt make you Jewish (08 Dec 2008) by Jason Crease

Our development team has started using Scrum.   Weâ_Tre only 4 weeks in, so it would be premature to make a judgement on whether it's working for us.   Iâ_Tve investigated how itâ_Ts practised elsewhere, and there seems to be a ...

How big is a string in .NET? (16 Jan 2009) by Jason Crease

How big is a string in .NET? Typically the size of an object is 8 bytes for the object header plus the sum of the fields.  Consider this simple object:     class ThreeFields     {   & ...

Breaking through the class sealing (26 Apr 2010) by Jason Crease

Do you understand 'sealing' in C#?  Somewhat?  Anyway, here's the lowdown. I've done this article from a C# perspective, but I've occasionally referenced .NET when appropriate. What is sealing a class? By sealing a class in C#, y ...

New spreadsheet accompanying SmartAssembly 6.0 provides statistics for prioritizing bug fixes (18 Mar 2011) by Jason Crease

One problem developers face is how to prioritize the many voices providing input into software bugs. If there is something wrong with a function that is the darling of a particular user, he or she tends to want action - now! The develope ...

SmartAssembly Error Reporting: with the bug-finding power of more than 20 testers (08 Sep 2011) by Jason Crease

At Red Gate, we use the SmartAssembly automated-error reporting system in the applications we sell.  When an error or exception occurs 'in-the-wild', it is reported back to Red Gate HQ, along with details about the error (stack trace, ...

Metrics - A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing (or 'Why you're not clever enough to interpret metrics data') (03 May 2012) by Jason Crease

At RedGate Software, I work on a .NET obfuscator  called SmartAssembly .  Various features of it use a database to store various things (exception reports, name-mappings, etc.) The user is given the option of using either a SQL-Server da ...

Deliberate Practice (26 Oct 2012) by Jeff Foster

It's easy to assume, as software engineers, that there is little need to "practice" writing code. After all, we write code all day long! Just by writing a little each day, we're constantly learning and getting better, right? Unfortunately, ...

Learn Many Languages (15 Nov 2012) by Jeff Foster

My previous blog, Deliberate Practice , discussed the need for developers to "sharpen their pencil" continually, by setting aside time to learn how to tackle problems in different ways. However, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, a contested a ...

Speeding up your application with the IIS Auto-Start feature (05 Mar 2013) by Jeremy Jarrell

Red Gate recently polled the ASP.NET developer community for tips on improving the performance of ASP.NET web applications.  The result was an excellent free e-book entitled â_o50 Ways to Avoid, Find and Fix ASP.NET Performance Issuesâ_ ...

My First Weeks at Red Gate (25 Sep 2012) by Jess Nickson

Hi, my name's Jess and early September 2012 I started working at Red Gate as a Software Engineer down in The Agency (the Publishing team). This was a bit of a shock, as I didn't think this team would have any developers! I admit, I was a li ...

NHibernate and Stored Procedures in C# (27 Sep 2013) by Jess Nickson

I was recently trying and failing to set up NHibernate (v1.2) in an ASP.NET project. The aim was to execute a stored procedure and return the results, but it took several iterations for me to end up with a working solution. In this post I a ...

Using Deployment Manager (14 Oct 2013) by Jess Nickson

One of the teams at Red Gate has been working very hard on a new product: Deployment Manager. Deployment Manager is a free tool that lets you deploy updates to .NET apps, services and databases through a central dashboard. Deployment Man ...

November 22 (22 Nov 2006) by Jesse Liberty

some dates simply should not pass without mention. In my life those include november 22 (1963) and september 11 (2001).   ...

Book Review (22 Nov 2006) by Jesse Liberty

For the moment, my contribution to Simple-Talk is to write fortnightly opinion pieces; thus I'm not quite sure what to do with my blog... so I thought I'd start off with reviewing a few books that I found particularly valuable and that I th ...

Small technological wonders (27 Nov 2006) by Jesse Liberty

Obviously, of all the technology that has come along in my lifetime (and there is an awful lot of it) the one that has had the biggest impact on my day to day life is the personal computer and all that goes with it. The crusher, of cour ...

Times Reader (29 Nov 2006) by Jesse Liberty

Have you seen the new Times Reader ? This is a beta product from the NY Times that will knock your socks off; it shows what can be done with .NET 3 and it is beautiful (not to mention free).   When .NET 2 arrived there was no push ...

These are a few of my favorite things (01 Dec 2006) by Jesse Liberty

Holidays are coming, so here is a list of some of my favorite, can't live without 'em software utilities Exam Diff Pro - best software I know for examining differences in files and directories. Incredibly easy to use, to customize and ...

Dictation Software Revisited (03 Dec 2006) by Jesse Liberty

A number of years ago, I entertained the idea of dictating my articles and or books. Dragon NaturallySpeaking seemed to be the most popular and perhaps most effective software at that time. I foundthat the accuracy was shockingly high. B ...

Thinking about words visually (11 Dec 2006) by Jesse Liberty

What could be more boring, less innovative than an online thesaurus? But the same kind of thinking that went into ThinkTank ( Dave Winer's brilliant outlining program developed in 1988!) has gone into VisualThesaurus The goal of this ...

A new way to blog - non linear (14 Dec 2006) by Jesse Liberty

I have moved my political blog over to TiddlyWiki  which describes itself as a "non-linear personal web notebook." One limitation of traditional blogs is that each entry is a stand alone mini-article. That can be fine, but f ...

Dilbert Stumbles (19 Dec 2006) by Jesse Liberty

Fanatic : noun: a person who can't change his mind, and won't change the subject. A jerk : someone who can't take a joke, doesn't know when to let a wise crack slip by, turns everything into political commentary. Scott Adams : one o ...

Free Video on Ajax (02 Jan 2007) by Jesse Liberty

Self promotion warning I've just posted a 15 minute quick video on AJAX technology. Now, to be up front, the point of the video is to interest potential readers in my up coming books, but that said, the video may be of interest to some f ...

Next column: the tradeoff between innovation and a constantly changing environment (02 Jan 2007) by Jesse Liberty

The following message was posted to my web log on O'Reilly... Learning new tech. is fun - However, we have to learn things very well and make a living out of it. I guess MS does not really care about the developer who had to run after e ...

Times have changed (02 Jan 2007) by Jesse Liberty

When I was a kid my dad told me "nope, no TV when I was a boy, crystal radio. We just had our friends from college here for New Year's with their kids....Among the 8 of us (the four kids were 17, 15, 11 and 10), we had 7 digital cameras ...

Does Your Database Contain Sensitive Data? (23 Sep 2008) by John Magnabosco

On the surface, the question of whether or not a database contains sensitive data may seem like a rather simple one to answer. Most people recognize that a Federal identification number or a credit card number is and should be recognized as ...

Data In The Cloud (29 Sep 2008) by John Magnabosco

Back in 2001, I attended a seminar in which Microsoft introduced the .NET Framework. I distinctly remember the discussion surrounding the concept of software being offered as a service via the Internet. Over the years there has been many of ...

Understanding Master Keys (03 Oct 2008) by John Magnabosco

At the heart of encryption are keys. These allow you, the authorized user, to unlock the subsequent key in a key hierarchy or the cipher text contained within a database. This hierarchical relationship in SQL Server 2008 is illustrated at ...

Encryption Alternatives (10 Oct 2008) by John Magnabosco

Databases often contain sensitive information and cell-level encryption is a very effective method to protect this information from those who should not have access to it. Although, encryption is not without its challenges. There is a perfo ...

Releasing the Pigeons (15 Oct 2008) by John Magnabosco

I receive a daily feed from http://datalossdb.org/latest_incidents.rss which provides very basic information in regard to data loss events. These data loss events are not situations where a database crashes and data is lost, these are eve ...

TDE: Under The Hood With Master Key (23 Oct 2008) by John Magnabosco

Recently at an IndyPASS meeting I facilitated a general question and answer session preceding our regularly scheduled feature presentation for the month. There was a lot of great questions covering many aspects of SQL Server; but I was mo ...

TDE: Under The Hood With Database Encryption Key (31 Oct 2008) by John Magnabosco

There is a scene in the 1955 Looney Tunes short called " Sahara Hare " in which Yosemite Sam is attempting to enter a castle in the desert. After various failed methods of forced entry he encounters a secret entrance in the wall o ...

TDE: Under The Hood With TempDB (07 Nov 2008) by John Magnabosco

The tempdb system database can be found in any SQL Server instance. It is a database that is utilized by all user databases that are created within the instance. This system database is where temporary user objects such as temporary table ...

TDE: Under The Hood With Backup (14 Nov 2008) by John Magnabosco

If you have worked with SQL Server for a given period of time chances are that you have experienced, witnessed, or at least familiar with the concept of backing up a database. This task is a primary staple in the DBA diet and should always ...

TDE: Under The Hood With Disabling TDE (21 Nov 2008) by John Magnabosco

It is indeed that time of the year when the love of American Football can be reflected through using its terms in metaphors for everything from life, politics, relationships, and in this case... Transparent Database Encryption (TDE). L ...

Exploring HashBytes (01 Dec 2008) by John Magnabosco

The word "encryption" is often used to describe the process in which plain text is converted into cipher text and later transformed back into plain text for disclosing the data. For example: Cell-Level Encryption is the term use ...

Salting Hashed Values To Improve Security (08 Dec 2008) by John Magnabosco

In nature the mineral called salt is a preservative. Prior to the age of refrigeration, mankind utilized this valuable resource to slow the decomposition process and increase the opportunity to consume the preserved food. This valuable mine ...

Biometric Data Sensitivity (15 Dec 2008) by John Magnabosco

It is very common to classify data such as a Federal Identification Number as sensitive. It is considered such because it is unique to the individual and is often used to gain access to additional data. Biometrics, in many cases, also uniqu ...

Documenting Data Classification with Extended Properties (19 Dec 2008) by John Magnabosco

Data classification is an important process of securing data. Without it there cannot be a consistent security policy implemented. At the end of this process each target object is assigned a level the indicates its classification. This clas ...

Protection for the Data Journey (01 Jan 2009) by John Magnabosco

The touch of a human finger to a keyboard begins a journey. A journey in which the data that is born of this minor action must navigate with caution; for there in wait are gremlins, goblins and pirates waiting to disrupt or prematurely term ...

Blog Thoughts (07 Jan 2009) by John Magnabosco

It was a glorious Indiana Autumn in 2007 when I decided to begin blogging. My first blog was located on my own domain tucked away in a dusty corner of the Internet. The visits were minimal; but this allowed me to shake off the rust from my ...

Honeycombing Databases (14 Jan 2009) by John Magnabosco

Those who are familiar with setting up a secure server environment will recognize the term " honeypot server ". This type of server is setup for the sole purpose of attracting, identifying and studying the behavior of those pesky ...

Searching Encrypted Data (23 Jan 2009) by John Magnabosco

Frank is a DBA. He maintains a database that contains many columns of data that has been classified as sensitive. He has been assigned the task of protecting this data and has been instructed to use encryption to do so. "No problem&quo ...

Tampa SQL Saturday (27 Jan 2009) by John Magnabosco

This past weekend (January 24th) I attended SQL Saturday #10 in Tampa, Florida. This event was organized by Pam Shaw, the leader of the Tampa SQL Server User Group . The attendance that was a healthy 175 - 200. For those who may not be ...

Security: A Grand Illusion? (06 Feb 2009) by John Magnabosco

Security is something that I spend a lot of time writing about. We hear about security every day on the news. There are loads of money being spent in the effort of security. Federal departments are created to focus on security. Without a se ...

Malpractice (10 Feb 2009) by John Magnabosco

On February 9th the Associated Press reported that the Federal Aviation Administration's systems were accessed by hackers. These systems contained the Social Security and names of 45,000 employees. While break-ins such as these occur on a ...

Negligence (13 Feb 2009) by John Magnabosco

In my previous blog, I discussed the accusation of malpractice in regard to Information Technology Professionals that occurred in a recent sensitive data loss event. It was my conclusion that malpractice is an extreme term that does not f ...

Things To Know (18 Feb 2009) by John Magnabosco

I was recently tagged in a blog entry from Tim Mitchell titled " Things I Wish I Had Known ". The concept appears to have started with an entry of a similar, but lengthier, title by Mike Walsh and passed along to other SQL bloggers. The ...

Dress in Layers (25 Feb 2009) by John Magnabosco

In my hometown of Indianapolis the Winter weather can get very cold. Earlier in this season we had a day where the temperatures dropped to -12 degrees Fahrenheit. The strategy that is employed when voyaging out into the frozen tundra is to ...

Getting a Jumpstart (02 Mar 2009) by John Magnabosco

Over the past month I have working on a collection of training videos. These videos cover various "how-to" topics related to encryption and data security. These videos are available through my profile on JumpstartTV . This mo ...

Observing Hash Variance (06 Mar 2009) by John Magnabosco

I saw their smiling faces on the latter pages of the comic books that I enjoyed in my youth. The whole family of strange looking, and yet extremely happy, creatures called Sea-Monkeys . Next to the extraordinarily intriguing x-ray glasses ...

Encrypting Large Values (12 Mar 2009) by John Magnabosco

Federal identification numbers and credit card numbers are regulars when it comes to encrypting data. The US plain text version of the prior is eleven characters. The latter is typically sixteen characters. When these are encrypted using a ...

Keys and Passwords (23 Mar 2009) by John Magnabosco

Recently my video titled " Create an Asymmetric Key in SQL Server 2005 / 2008 " was featured on JumpstartTV . A superb feature of JumpstartTV is that the viewers of the videos can leave feedback and questions in which the author ...

Your Digital Footprint (31 Mar 2009) by John Magnabosco

In the energy circles there is a common reference to what is called the " carbon footprint ". This is an individual's or business's direct contribution to climate change resulting in greenhouse gases. In the environmentalist circl ...

Take Me Out To The Ball Game! (07 Apr 2009) by John Magnabosco

Ah yes, it is that time of year again when the cold grip of Winter loosens and the boys of summer take the field. Baseball season has begun. I am hardly one that could be labeled a sports nut. I don't follow any team so closely that I can t ...

SQL Experience: The BI Project (20 Apr 2009) by John Magnabosco

Many of us play a specific role within a project. We may architect a schema based upon requirements that have been gathered by another person. Once the schema is complete, the specifications of that schema is passed on to another group who ...

Scraped and Bruised (26 Apr 2009) by John Magnabosco

The content of blogs certainly do not fall into the category of sensitive data. They are a collection of thoughts, ideas and bits of shared knowledge that are placed in a very public location. Despite not being considered sensitive the info ...

Requirement 3 of PCI DSS (16 May 2009) by John Magnabosco

There are many good reasons to protect the sensitive data that is in your database: government regulation, corporate policy, managing legal liability and simply being a good steward of the information that has been entrusted to you. There a ...

Laptops with Wings (28 May 2009) by John Magnabosco

I have been subscribing to the OSF Data Loss Feed for well over a year. This feed provides me with brief blasts of information about data loss events that are reported around the world. These data loss events consist of sensitive data tha ...

The Hidden Aspects of ISNUMERIC (11 Jun 2009) by John Magnabosco

I was recently strolling through some of my old blog entries from my pre-Simple-Talk days for inspiration. I ran across an entry on the ISNUMERIC function that I thought that worth re-posting. Enjoy! SQL Server 2005 Books Online desc ...

Deprecated Symmetric Algorithms (21 Jun 2009) by John Magnabosco

Creating a symmetric key for the use of protecting other keys or directly encrypting sensitive data is accomplished through the execution of the CREATE SYMMETRIC KEY command. One of the arguments to this command is WITH ALGORITHM which pr ...

Encryption and Backup Files (01 Jul 2009) by John Magnabosco

In the efforts to protect sensitive data there are some considerations that expand beyond its storage within database; more specifically, the backup files that are generated through the database backup process. Backup files are often kept o ...

Storage Allocation for NULL (10 Jul 2009) by John Magnabosco

A friend of mine approached me the other day and asked a great question: "W hen a NULL value is stored in a varchar data type, how much memory is allocated in its storage. " My friend, being of the scientific mind that he is, then added ".. ...

Random Numeric Variance (29 Jul 2009) by John Magnabosco

In the efforts of preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data, scrambling production data for testing, staging and development environments is a recommended practice. There are many ways to approach data scrambling. One option for nume ...

Varchar and NVarchar (21 Aug 2009) by John Magnabosco

Another trip with Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine unearthed a valuable blog entry that I posted before my Simple-Talk blogging days. This one is somewhat of a "Back to the basics" style blog entry that I thought would be worth sharing ...

Let's Do The Time Warp (02 Sep 2009) by John Magnabosco

Back in November of 2008, I blogged on the topic of Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and its affects on the tempdb database. Within that post I mentioned that the tempdb is dropped and recreated when the instance of SQL Server is restart ...

Protecting SQL Server Data (12 Sep 2009) by John Magnabosco

It was late in 2008 and I had been blogging for over a year in my dusty corner of the Internet on various SQL Server topics when an opportunity arose to move my blog to Simple-Talk.com . With this opportunity I decided to focus my blog top ...

Strong Password Generator (30 Sep 2009) by John Magnabosco

Frank, the DBA, has been asked to create a series of passwords that will be used to protect a collection of symmetric keys. These keys will in turn be used to protect some sensitive data in a database. Frank knows that the expectation i ...

SQL Server MVP (10 Oct 2009) by John Magnabosco

On July 13th I received an e-mail that stated " I wanted to let you know that you have been nominated  for an MVP award for your exceptional contribution to the Microsoft technical community !". I was thrilled with this prospect; but k ...

Less Than Desirable Reads (14 Oct 2009) by John Magnabosco

Once again, firing up Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine unearthed a valuable blog entry that I posted before my Simple-Talk blogging days. The post below was originally published on March 2008 and maintains its relevance. Enjoy! I wa ...

Louisville SQL Saturday (25 Oct 2009) by John Magnabosco

It was early morning on Saturday, October 24th when some of my friends and I piled into my Jeep, with coffee in hand, for an enjoyable road trip from Indy to the Louisville SQL Saturday event. Enroute we all enjoyed great conversations rang ...

Sensitive Data in Memory (06 Nov 2009) by John Magnabosco

SQL Server offers many cryptographic methods such as one-way encryption (hashing) and cell-level encryption. These methods all are designed to protect data while it is stored in the database. To utilize encrypted data it must be decrypted. ...

Shades of Schemas (21 Nov 2009) by John Magnabosco

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 te ...

NCDM Conference (13 Dec 2009) by John Magnabosco

Last week I jetted of to Las Vegas, Nevada with my co-workers to attend the National Center for Database Marketing (NCDM) Conference. This conference was not like the conferences that we as database professionals typically attend. Rather ...

Comparing WHERE and FROM Filtering (04 Jan 2010) by John Magnabosco

I am kicking off the new year with a quick jaunt back in time through Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine . The blog entry below was published on April 30, 2008, during my pre-Simple-Talk blogging days. The topic below is something that I ...

Leadership for the DBA (23 Jan 2010) by John Magnabosco

Recently I read a book titled " The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership " by John Maxwell . In this book, Maxwell categories the qualities that creates a great leader. As I read this book I thought about the many managers and leaders that I ...

Tough Decisions (27 Mar 2010) by John Magnabosco

There was once a thriving business that employed two Database Administrators, Sam and Jim. Both DBAs were certified, educated and highly talented in their skill sets. During lunch breaks these two DBAs were often found together discussing b ...

Chicago SQL Saturday (18 Apr 2010) by John Magnabosco

This past Saturday, April 17, 2010, I journeyed North to the great city of Chicago for some SQL Server fun, learning and fellowship. The Chicago edition of this grassroots phenomenon was the 31st scheduled SQL Saturday since the program's ...

To Bit or Not To Bit (24 Apr 2010) by John Magnabosco

'Twas a long day of troubleshooting and firefighting and now, with most of the office vacant, you face a blank scripting window to create a new table in his database. Many questions circle your mind like dirty water gurgling down the bathtu ...

IndyTechFest Recap (26 May 2010) by John Magnabosco

The sun had yet to rise above the horizon on Saturday, May 22nd and I was traveling toward the location of the 2010 IndyTechFest . In my freshly awaken, and pre-coffee, state I reflected on the months that preceded this day and how quickly ...

Database Owner Conundrum (05 Jun 2010) by John Magnabosco

Have you ever restored a database from a production environment on Server A into a development environment on Server B and had some items, such as Service Broker , mysteriously cease functioning? You might want to consider reviewing the d ...

What If TDE Was Available In Standard Edition? (21 Jun 2010) by John Magnabosco

Imagine a database that contained information about a company's customers. Many employees depend upon this information to perform their daily duties. This information flows into this database like a waterfall of data. Reports are pulled to ...

EncryptByKey in Large Quantities (05 Jul 2010) by John Magnabosco

Most publications that discuss encryption, including my own book , demonstrate the use of the EncryptByKey function as follows: -- Opens the symmetric key with certificate OPEN SYMMETRIC KEY SampleSymKey  &# ...

The Database Artist (31 Jul 2010) by John Magnabosco

This past Friday I journeyed to the local bookstore and picked up a copy of Seth Godin's   latest book titled " Linchpin ". This book explores the concept of work and how we can become truly valuable. In this book Seth encourages us t ...

OUTPUT Clause Saves The Day (28 Aug 2010) by John Magnabosco

Frank, the DBA, pecked at his keyboard with feverish rapidity. His tongue pointed from his lips caused his tense breathing to be audible to the entire department. His eyes were glazed with that " don't bother me I am deep in code " look tha ...

Return to Sender: Identity Values and Triggers (03 Oct 2010) by John Magnabosco

In my previous post I wrote about using the OUTPUT clause of an INSERT statement to obtain the auto-generated identity value of a row. Quickly and easily obtaining the identity value will allow the application to immediately reference the ...

Databases and Beer (13 Nov 2010) by John Magnabosco

It is a bit of a no-brainer: Include the word "beer" in a subject line of an e-mail or blog post title and you can be certain that it will be read. While there are times this practice might be a ploy to increase readership, it is not the ca ...

Converting Encrypted Values (28 Nov 2010) by John Magnabosco

Your database has been protecting sensitive data at rest using the cell-level encryption features of SQL Server for quite sometime. The employees in the auditing department have been inviting you to their after-work gatherings and buying yo ...

Embracing Imperfection (04 Dec 2010) by John Magnabosco

The pursuit of perfection is a road on which we often find ourselves traveling. It is an unpaved road filed with pot-holes and ruts that often destroy our stride. The shoulders of this road are lined with the bones and rotting carcasses o ...

SQL Prompt Easter Egg (14 Jan 2011) by John Magnabosco

Having Red Gate's SQL Prompt installed with SQL Server Management Studio has saved me many headaches over the years of its use. It is extremely nice to type in a table name and see not only the column names, but also their data types and ...

Expanding Influence and Community (25 Jan 2011) by John Magnabosco

When I was just nine years of age my father introduced me to the computer. It was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer (aka: CoCo). He shared with me the nuances of writing BASIC and it wasn't long before I was in the back seat of the sc ...

Moving Dates (24 Apr 2011) by John Magnabosco

At the loading dock, hard working individuals load a semi trailer with your new television, stereo system and personal computer. There is a dependency in this process: it is that your favorite electronics store has a loading dock that will ...

SQL Saturday and Exploring Data Privacy (29 Jun 2011) by John Magnabosco

I have been highly impressed with the growth of the SQL Saturday phenomenon. It seems that an announcement for a new wonderful event finds its way to my inbox on a daily basis. I have had the opportunity to attend the first of the SQL Sat ...

SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Vol. 2 (30 Sep 2011) by John Magnabosco

The confetti and silly hats, which are quintessential standards of the celebration of a new year, had just been freshly packed away when an email popped up in my inbox. It was Kalen Delaney announcing the call for submissions for upcoming ...

The Legend of the Filtered Index (06 Oct 2011) by John Magnabosco

Once upon a time there was a big and bulky twenty-nine million row table. He tempestuously hoarded data like a maddened shopper amid a clearance sale. Despite his leviathan nature and eager appetite he loved to share his treasures. Multitud ...

Tip 2 expanded: Remove unused View Engines (27 Feb 2013) by KevinGriffin

Recently, I submitted a tip to Red Gate for their â_o50 Ways to Avoid, Find and Fix ASP.NET Performance Issuesâ__ e-book.  If you havenâ_Tt had a chance to download it, you should because itâ_Ts free. My tip was called â_oRemove Unus ...

Monitoring Table Growth with PowerShell (29 Sep 2009) by Laerte Junior

I have quite a few SQL servers, and monitoring the growth of tables on them is a real hassle. I finally got tired of it and decided to build my own solution which, given my scenario, had to have these features: All the collected data ...

Encrypting your SQL Server Passwords in Powershell (20 Apr 2010) by Laerte Junior

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine who is now bewitched by the seemingly supernatural abilities of Powershell (+1 for the team) asked me what, initially, appeared to be a trivial question: " Laerte, I do not have the luxury of b ...

On Sharing - A Personal Note (21 Jul 2011) by Laerte Junior

I got into Powershell a few years after I saw a post mentioning it, here on Simple-Talk, by Ron Dameron (another person who's knowledge and writing I'm a fan of). Having seen the technology mentioned, I then saw a presentation on the topic ...

My Debut SQLBits Session (05 Aug 2011) by Laerte Junior

I do not have the words to thank everyone who voted for my session, nor to thank the SQLBits team for offering my this opportunity. I've worked towards this for a long time, so you can be sure that I will do my best to honor the awesome spe ...

Storing Windows Event Viewer Output in a SQL Server table with PowerShell (31 Aug 2011) by Laerte Junior

My good friend Marcos Freccia ( blog | twitter ) asked me for a simple and fast way to save the output of running the Get-EventLog cmdlet on a SQL Server table. Well, the quickest and easiest way that I know is to use Chad Miller's Ou ...

List updates, hotfixes, and Service Packs with Simple Commands (08 Sep 2011) by Laerte Junior

A friend on the Brazilian SQL Server mailing list recently asked what the best way was to list all the updates applied to servers, complete with dates and descriptions. (including Service Packs, Hot Fix and all updates applied by MSI). At t ...

LiveMeeting - Troubleshooting SQL Server with PowerShell (02 Jul 2012) by Laerte Junior

Guys, I was honored with two invitations to demonstrate the power of PowerShell for the real world DBA and its use for day to day administration and troubleshooting. It will be in English, so please make allowances for this. Iâ_ ...

Has Microsoft seen the Silverlight? (20 Mar 2009) by Laila Lotfi

Clearly, Microsoft is putting a lot of energy into Silverlight. The product, best described as a cross-browser, cross-platform implementation of the .NET Framework, is growing up. It gives the appearance of having been produced by a more ...

DLR Delight (24 Apr 2009) by Laila Lotfi

Just occasionally, Microsoft produces something so radical and neat that you can't help but gasp in amazement at the implications. How on earth did that happen? So it has been with the Dynamic Language Runtime. The .NET Framework has been ...

How Slow is 'Slow'? (21 May 2009) by Laila Lotfi

One of the most interesting throw-away lines at the recent TechEd show was that Entity Framework was about four times slower than LINQ for SQL, because Entity Framework was a generic solution that could be used with a variety of data stores ...

The Exceptional DBA - A Developer's Perspective (22 Jun 2009) by Laila Lotfi

What makes an exceptional DBA? It depends on who you ask. In his book, How to become an Exceptional DBA , Brad McGehee gives his perspective on what it means to be a DBA, and the skills and traits that distinguish the exceptional DBA. ...

Functional Programming for the Working .NET Programmer (20 Jul 2009) by Laila Lotfi

We've already had some emails sent to us with a gentle reproach that we are not giving enough coverage to the F# language (F for Functional). F#, if you're not familiar with it, is likely one of the great pleasures of Visual Studio 2010. It ...

Models, Views, and Controllers: ASP.NET MVC (13 Aug 2009) by Laila Lotfi

The poor application programmer, chipping away contentedly in Winforms or Webforms, is often heard to groan whenever a new Microsoft product is announced. Silverlight (Groan), WPF (Groan), MVC (Groan) Hah! They caught you out there: what th ...

Losing Your Memory (11 Sep 2009) by Laila Lotfi

Most so-called memory leaks in .NET applications aren't really leaks. After all, if an object has a valid reference to it within the current scope, then the object is being used, even if you didn't intend it. The Garbage Collector will shru ...

Speeding up AJAX Applications (08 Oct 2009) by Laila Lotfi

Microsoft's recent release of Doloto reminded me of the pain of the AJAX Programmer. Doloto is a tool for optimizing an AJAX application by analyzing its workload and splitting the code so that the application will start by transferring onl ...

Back from the Dead - Recovering your Source (05 Nov 2009) by Laila Lotfi

In this guest editorial, our very own Chris Allen brings us the first of hopefully many Thoughts from the Help Desk . As Halloween has just gone by, he decided it would be appropriate to discuss black magic, a frightening thought, and how ...

What should you use to build a large scalable website? (03 Dec 2009) by Laila Lotfi

If you were required to build a high-performance website with a great deal of traffic, what technology would you use? What is the most effective way to build a website? One's initial thoughts are about the scripting language to use. Whe ...

The Browser That Ate My Memory (04 Jan 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Have you noticed occasions when your browser suddenly starts eating memory? Even the latest versions of Firefox, Opera or Internet Explorer can cause a PC to grind to a halt by grabbing all available memory. Browsers are greedy by their nat ...

How do you measure and analyse the performance of your .NET application (15 Jan 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Are you programming in .NET? I would like to understand how important application performance is to your organisation, and how you measure and analyse performance. I would really appreciate it if you could take 1 minute to answer 3 simple ...

Nurturing .NET Reflector (28 Jan 2010) by Laila Lotfi

The very best software is almost always originally the creation of a single person. Readers of our 'Geek of the Week' will know of a few of them.  Even behemoths such as MS Word or Excel started out with one programmer.  There com ...

Back-sliding into Unmanaged Code (26 Feb 2010) by Laila Lotfi

It is difficult to write about Microsoft's ambivalence to .NET without mentioning clichăŞs about dog food.  In case you've been away a long time, you'll remember that Microsoft surprised everyone with the speed and energy with which it ...

Analysing and measuring the performance of a .NET application (survey results) (08 Mar 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Back in December last year, I asked myself: could it be that .NET developers think that you need three days and a PhD to do performance profiling on their code? What if developers are shunning profilers because they perceive them as too ...

Making the WPeFfort (26 Mar 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 will be launched on April 12th. The basic layout looks pretty much as it did, so it is not immediately obvious on first inspection that it was completely rewritten in the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). ...

The .NET Rocks! Visual Studio 2010 Road Trip (26 Apr 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell, esteemed hosts of the .NET Rocks radio show, have decided to set off in their DotNetMobile (a 30 foot RV) to 15 US cities between April 19th and May 7th. What for, you ask? To meet up with .NET develo ...

Design a T-shirt for .NET Reflector Pro (21 May 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Win a .NET Reflector Pro license, a box of Red Gate goodies, and a t-shirt printed with your design! Red Gate likes t-shirts. Each of our teams has one. In fact, each individual person has one, numbered according to when they joined t ...

.NET Reflector Pro T-shirt contest - and the winner is... (15 Jun 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Three weeks ago, I kicked off a T-shirt design contest . We've been eagerly poring over the results and today, it's finally announcement time! Although many of you raced to design some great t-shirts for us, we ended up with a clear win ...

Will HTML5 make Silverlight redundant? (18 Jun 2010) by Laila Lotfi

One of the great features of Adobe AIR v2 that was launched this month was its support for some of the 2008 draft of HTML5. The HTML5 specification was started in 2004, but the full spec will probably not be approved by W3C until around 202 ...

iWorry (16 Jul 2010) by Laila Lotfi

It is an interesting time for any .NET developer wanting to develop software for mobile phones. We've always taken it for granted that there would be a good .NET platform for mobile phones. The first anxiety was the delay and feature-drop i ...

The end of the 'Iron' age? (12 Aug 2010) by Laila Lotfi

The â_~unfundingâ_T of IronRuby and Jimmy Schementiâ_Ts subsequent departure from Microsoft has caused some twinges of anxiety amongst developers who use the Dynamic Language Runtime , because the companyâ_Ts motives werenâ_Tt easy to u ...

How to debug SharePoint with .NET Reflector Pro (01 Sep 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Renowned SharePoint trainer, author, and consultant, Sahil Malik has just posted a new video at Pluralsight OnDemand! on how to debug a SharePoint application with .NET Reflector Pro. For those of you who don't know what .NET Reflecto ...

Don't miss Devscovery 2010 (02 Sep 2010) by Laila Lotfi

If you happen to be attending September's Devscovery event in Redmond, then I've got two pieces of great news for you: - Red Gate will be attending (sort of - it's a virtual session), and we'll be giving a deliciously technical presentat ...

A trip to the ePub (14 Sep 2010) by Laila Lotfi

The EPUB standard is a very convenient way of publishing information. The more we experiment, the more potential we find in it. Because the technology is all familiar (zip compression, xhtml, CSS and so on), it is easy to understand, and yo ...

Devscovery 2010 - the Red Gate Man Hunt! (14 Sep 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Devscovery is upon us, plans have been laid, and brains have been prepared to absorb vast amounts of .NET know-how. Of course, this also means it's time for our first game to start - The Hunt! Specifically, a hunt for a man! Meet Paul. ...

Devscovery 2010 - Today is Quiz Day! (15 Sep 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Congratulations to yesterday's Master Hunter, Mike Treadway - we'll be in touch about your prizes. I hope you all had fun tracking our man down. Now, on to today's game! Today is Quiz Day - our expert team of quiz-masters have labo ...

Devscovery 2010 - Last Day (16 Sep 2010) by Laila Lotfi

It's the last day of Devscovery and time to wrap up the Red Gate games by announcing the winner of yesterday's quiz, and the Red Gate Games Champion, winner of our Grand Prize. Our quiz winner is ... David Lambert! David, congratula ...

Orchard? No harvest quite yet. (07 Oct 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Microsoft announced last week that it was scrapping its Windows Live Spaces blogging technology, and would make Automattic's WordPress the default blogging platform for Windows Live. Couldn't Microsoft's Orchard, the three-year open-source ...

Take part in a short survey on Software Error Reporting (19 Oct 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Are you programming in .NET? I would like to get your opinions on error reporting. I would really appreciate it if you could take 5 min to answer a short survey on the topic. Click here to take the survey: https://www.surveymk.c ...

Silverlight: less cross-platform, more cross developers (05 Nov 2010) by Laila Lotfi

Much has changed since Silverlight first saw the daylight. Microsoft has realized for some time that they can't possibly maintain their ambition to support the use of Silverlight as a runtime that runs consistently in all popular OSs, in di ...

Automated Error Reporting = More Robust Software (17 Jan 2011) by Laila Lotfi

I would like to tell you how to revolutionize your software development process </marketing hyperbole> On a more serious note, we (Red Gate's .NET Development team) recently rolled a new tool into our development process which ...

A Fresh Start (24 Feb 2011) by Laila Lotfi

As you may already be aware, I'm no longer responsible for the .NET Reflector newsletter. That publication is now in the very capable hands of the Reflector team. But fear not; starting in early April, I'll be launching a brand new .NET ...

Monopolytics: Porting the .NET framework (20 May 2011) by Laila Lotfi

.NET was originally conceived as a portable framework that would run on any number of platforms. Microsoft has gradually diminished their ambitions for .NET and Silverlight, but as long as Mono and Moonlight lived, there was proof that th ...

Windows 8 and the future of Silverlight (03 Jun 2011) by Laila Lotfi

After Steve Ballmer's indiscrete 'MisSpeak' about Windows 8, there has been a lot of speculation about the new operating system. We've now had a few glimpses, such as the demonstration of 'Mosh' at the D9 2011 conference, and the Youtube ...

Sunshine after the iCloud release? (15 Jun 2011) by Laila Lotfi

"Why should I believe them? They're the ones that brought us MobileMe? It was not our finest hour, but we learned a lot." Steve Jobs June 6 th 2011 Apple's new cloud service has been met with uncritical excitement by industry ...

Turnkey with LightSwitch (30 Jun 2011) by Laila Lotfi

Microsoft has long wanted to find a replacement for Microsoft Access. The best attempt yet, which is due out in, or before, September is Visual Studio LightSwitch, with which it is said to be as 'easy as flipping a switch' to use Silverligh ...

Do you work with ASP.NET and IIS? (05 Aug 2011) by Laila Lotfi

Do you work with ASP.NET and IIS? Maybe you're a dab hand at installing ISAPI extensions, or maybe you like to keep your production servers pristine and free of anything you didn't hand-craft yourself. Maybe you're using IIS 7's modules to ...

Gadgeteer (12 Aug 2011) by Laila Lotfi

Microsoft Research, from Cambridge, is about to release what has the potential to become one of the most fun ways of programming in .NET you could think of. It is called ' Gadgeteer ' (well, officially Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer ) and is bas ...

The Metro Surfaces (22 Sep 2011) by Laila Lotfi

Our perceptions of Windows 8 are currently based on the live tiles of Windows Phone 7.5 'Mango' and the touch-based 'Metro' User-Interface supported by WinRT. The buzz is of a clean, well-designed, but decidedly retro user-interface based o ...

How to make software development decisions based on facts (06 Oct 2011) by Laila Lotfi

We love to hear stories about the many and varied ways our customers use the tools that we develop, but in our earnest search for stories and feedback, we'd rather forgotten that some of our keenest users are fellow RedGaters, in the same ...

Finding bugs is difficult, right? (17 Oct 2011) by Laila Lotfi

Something I hear developers tell us all the time is that they take pride in being a developer.and that bugs are a dent in that pride. Someone once told me "I know I have found bugs years later, and it's the worst feeling in the world." So h ...

Modernizr Rocks HTML5 (25 May 2012) by Laila Lotfi

HTML5 is a moving target.  At the moment, we don't know what will be in future versions.  In most circumstances, this really matters to the developer. When you're using Adobe Air, you can be reasonably sure what works, what is the ...

Calling all developers building ASP.NET applications (26 Jun 2012) by Laila Lotfi

We know that developers building desktop apps have to contend with memory management issues, and weâ_Td like to learn more about the memory challenges ASP.NET developers are facing. To be more specific, weâ_Tre carrying out some explorat ...

Automated error reporting: the beginning of a beautiful relationship? (03 Aug 2012) by Laila Lotfi

Whether recognized or not, customer relations is embedded in the fabric of every software development and IT organization.  Automated error reporting is not a silver bullet, but itâ_Ts a good start toward engendering customer loyalty and a ...

Jeffrey Richterâ_Ts Tip for Faster ASP.NET Applications (23 Sep 2013) by Laila Lotfi

Itâ_Ts been a while since Iâ_Tve last posted on my blog, but last week I realised that I have tons I still want to share with you. But Iâ_Tm not much of a Facebook or Twitter fan (I struggle a little bit with ultra-short-form writing), so ...

New Developer Conference in London (06 Dec 2013) by Laila Lotfi

The Norwegian Developer Conference (NDC Oslo) has made a name for itself over the years, and is known as the biggest software developer conference (or festival) in Europe. And for the first time ever, the NDC organisers have decided to orga ...

Do you want a better work/life balance this 2014? (06 Jan 2014) by Laila Lotfi

[caption id="attachment_4857" align="alignright" width="112"] Fig 1: â_oI want more time for myselfâ__[/caption] Do you often work late nights or weekends, and feel burnt out as a result? Or do you feel stressed at work because you sim ...

A Sql Puzzle for you all (28 Oct 2005) by Lionel Clarke

/* To try and help everyone get a little better at sql I am setting a little puzzle for you all to do based on a problem that Richard had with the check for updates site. The puzzle is simple. We have a version table that holds all the ...

Sql Puzzle 2 (04 Nov 2005) by Lionel Clarke

/* Todays puzzle comes from Andras who incudentally got the best solution so far to the last puzzle. We have two tables a letters table and a numbers table. The letters table is a letter followed by three numbers. The idea is to write a q ...

Sql Puzzle 3 (22 Nov 2005) by Lionel Clarke

/* This puzzle is simple. Given the table below you have to output the words of the famous Christmas carol using a single select statement. Each line must be a separate row of the results set. I am also adding the restriction that you ...

Sql Puzzle 4 (16 Dec 2005) by Lionel Clarke

/* Sorry for the delay putting up this puzzle but I was going to post a different puzzle for this week but failed to get a solution for it :) When queuing for our food at the Christmas party, I noticed that several of us had already over ...

A Sql Game (30 Dec 2005) by Lionel Clarke

There seems to be computer game written in almost every language out there but I havenâ_Tt yet found one written in Transact SQL. I thought that poor old DBAs should have some form of game to play so I have written a litt ...

Sql Puzzle 5 (30 Dec 2005) by Lionel Clarke

/* I hope that everybody had a good Christmas. I apologize for the lack of new puzzles but I have been using up the remains of my Holiday. Since it is the New Year I thought we should start it off with a nice easy but fun puzzle. Recently ...

Sql Puzzle 6 (28 Jun 2006) by Lionel Clarke

/* Just because I can't take another day of hassle for not posting up another puzzle here is a world cup themed one.  This puzzle is by a friend of mine called Tom Sillence. 1) The first puzzle is to produce the group tables as seen ...

SQL Puzzle 7 (26 Oct 2007) by Lionel Clarke

/* Well, it has been a while since I posted up a puzzle. I  blame this on the very unflattering picture of myself attached to the blog. This causes me a natural reluctance to put it in a position where people might see it! It is t ...

SQL Puzzle 8 (27 Nov 2007) by Lionel Clarke

/* So I thought it was just about time for another puzzle but I was having great difficulty in coming up with a new challenge.  Luckily Andras has posted a blog entry about how the POWERSUM function has been removed from SQL Server. h ...

SQL Puzzle 9 (07 Jan 2008) by Lionel Clarke

/* Happy New Year everybody! To help with the January blues, I thought it was time for another puzzle. The inspiration for this one comes from a SQL question posed by my girlfriend. She is a geologist and, on a recent field trip to Iceland, ...

What Counts for a DBA: Passion (20 Jan 2011) by Louis Davidson

One of my first questions, when interviewing for a DBA/Programmer position, is always: â_oWhy do you want this job?â__ The answers I receive range from cheesy hyperbole (â_oI want to enhance your services with my vast knowledgeâ__) to deadp ...

What Counts for a DBA: Skill (15 Feb 2011) by Louis Davidson

â_oPractice makes perfect:â__ right? Well, not exactly. The reality of it all is that this saying is an untrustworthy aphorism. I discovered this in my â_oyoungerâ__ days when I was a passionate tennis player, practicing and playing 20+ ho ...

What Counts for a DBA: Humility (10 Mar 2011) by Louis Davidson

In football (the American sort, naturally,) there is a select group of players who really hope to never have their names called during the game. They are members of the offensive line, and their job is to protect other players so they can d ...

What Counts for a DBA: Adventurousness (01 Apr 2011) by Louis Davidson

This post (hopefully obviously) was my April Fool's day post. I assume that was quite obvious as everything in this post was opposite of the common reality (and really, is adventurousness even vaguely a word?)   The fact ...

What Counts For a DBA: Failure (16 Apr 2011) by Louis Davidson

My family and I enjoy sitting down together to watch the TV show called " Wipeout ". The contestants try to run wacky obstacle courses filled with various bizarre and fiendish obstacles in the fastest possible time. Failure is a guaranteed ...

What Counts For A DBA: Curiosity (06 May 2011) by Louis Davidson

It is a well-known saying that â_ocuriosity killed the cat,â__ but is this really not as true as it might sound; right up to the end of our devoted catâ_Ts long life, she constantly poked around into places we didnâ_Tt want her to, but alwa ...

What Counts for A DBA - Logic (09 Jun 2011) by Louis Davidson

"There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who will always wonder why there are only two items in my list and those who will figured it out the first time they saw this very old joke."   Those readers who will give up imme ...

What Counts For A DBA: Education (12 Jul 2011) by Louis Davidson

There comes a point in many people's lives where they stop adding new knowledge and become stuck at a point in time. My father-in-law worked with technology for many years with a telecommunications company until he retired. He was an "early ...

What Counts For A DBA: Blindness (12 Aug 2011) by Louis Davidson

Anyone who remembers the rock opera Tommy might have guessed that this blog will describe my forthcoming rock opera about a coder with hysterical blindness who becomes a Relational Wizard. Watching him, I jealously start singingâ_Ţ ...

What Counts for A DBA: Observant (14 Nov 2011) by Louis Davidson

When walking up to the building where I work, I can see CCTV cameras placed here and there for monitoring access to the building. We are required to wear authorization badges which could be checked at any time. Do we have enemies?   O ...

What Counts For a DBA: Practicality (15 Dec 2011) by Louis Davidson

As a data architect, and writer on the same subject, I am completely entrenched in learning and applying the discipline of normalization. When I set my course down the road of great database design, my motto is " Fifth Normal Form or bust " ...

What Counts For A DBA: Humbug! (20 Dec 2011) by Louis Davidson

If you have seen the movie â_~The Christmas Carolâ_T, you will remember that the evil bank owner Ebenezer Scrooge is not a proponent of the holiday season, claiming Christmas to be "a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fift ...

What Counts For A DBA: Foresight (26 Apr 2012) by Louis Davidson

Of all the valuable attributes of a DBA covered so far in this series, ranging from passion to humility to practicality , perhaps one of the most important attributes may turn out to be the most seemingly-nebulous: foresight . A ...

What Counts For a DBA: Imagination (11 May 2012) by Louis Davidson

"Imaginationâ_ŢOne little spark, of inspirationâ_Ţ is at the heart, of all creation." â_" From the song "One Little Spark", by the Sherman Brothers I have a confession to make. Despite my great enthusiasm for databases and programmi ...

What Counts for a DBA: Time (20 Jul 2012) by Louis Davidson

As far as I know, nobodyâ_Ts last words, when their time was up, were â_oI wish I had worked more.â__ Perhaps a better time in oneâ_Ts life is when there is still an opportunity to benefit from the insight.  It dawns on many of us.  I kno ...

What Counts For a DBA: Tenacity (07 Aug 2012) by Louis Davidson

By â_~tenacityâ_T, I mean working passionately at some task until you complete it, it kills you, or what you were working on isnâ_Tt needed anymore. The goal of tenacity is successful termination of the task and not about gaining estee ...

What Counts For a DBA: Ego (11 Sep 2012) by Louis Davidson

Leaving aside, for a second, Freud's psychoanalytical definitions, the term "ego" generally refers to a person's sense of self, and their self-esteem. In casual usage, however, it usually appears in the adjectival form, "egotistical" (most ...

What Counts For a DBA: Simplicity (01 Oct 2012) by Louis Davidson

Too many computer processes do an apparently simple task in a bizarrely complex way. They remind me of this strip by one of my favorite artists: Rube Goldberg . In order to keep the boss from knowing one was late, a process is devised wh ...

What Counts For A DBA: ESP (18 Oct 2012) by Louis Davidson

Now I donâ_Tt want to get religious here, and Iâ_Tm not going to, but what Iâ_Tm going to describe in this â_~What Counts for a DBAâ_T installment sometimes feels like magic. Often  I will spend hours thinking about the solution to a desig ...

What Counts For a DBA: Fitness (09 Nov 2012) by Louis Davidson

If you know me, you can probably guess that physical exercise is not really my thing. There was a time in my past when it a larger part of my life, but even then never in the same sort of passionate way as a number of our SQL friends.  F ...

What Counts For a DBA: Replaceable (11 Dec 2012) by Louis Davidson

Replaceable is what every employee in every company instinctively strives not to be. Yet, if you're an irreplaceable DBA, meaning that the company couldn't find someone else who could do what you do, then you're not doing a great job. A goo ...

What Counts For a DBA: Amnesia (07 Jan 2013) by Louis Davidson

As we rush headlong into 2013, many of us prepare the annual document of self-deception otherwise known as our "New Year's Resolutions". Most people don't intend to lie to themselves; it just often ends up that way. If you are lazy then the ...

What Counts for a DBA: Realism (14 Feb 2013) by Louis Davidson

"I need a database designed, which will not only clear up our current order processing issues, but will make our processing 1000% more efficient â_Ţ" The manager had that charismatic gleam in his eye that makes you just about believe any ...

What Counts for a DBA: Laziness (26 Mar 2013) by Louis Davidson

On the face of it, laziness is not the first character trait to whip out before an interviewer when asked, "What can you bring to our company?" However, I'm willing to bet that a relatively small handful of lazy people have done more for th ...

What Counts For a DBA: Bravery (19 Apr 2013) by Louis Davidson

As a DBA, you have the opportunity to act like a firefighter. In fact the term â_~fire-fightingâ_T is very often used to describe those tasks needed to find the root cause of a system outage because there are a lot of similarities.  When f ...

Good DBAs Do Baselines (12 Jul 2013) by Louis Davidson

One morning, you wake up and feel funny. You can't quite put your finger on it, but something isn't quite right. What now? Unless you happen to be a hypochondriac, you likely drag yourself out of bed, get on with the day and gather more "ev ...

What Counts for a DBA - Patience (21 Aug 2013) by Louis Davidson

One day, you are sitting at your desk, minding your own business. Your DBA colleague walks up and exasperatedly tells you that there is a query running 5 hours every day, and that the code is simply awful. After just a few hours of refactor ...

What Counts for a DBA: Deduction (11 Dec 2013) by Louis Davidson

â_oYou see, Watson,â__ he explained in the early hours of the morning as we sat over a cup of tea in Baker Street, â_oit was perfectly obvious from the first that the explanation for this query's sudden poor performance was elementary". ...

What Counts for a DBA: Hats (06 Jan 2014) by Louis Davidson

It was not long ago that the hats that people wore at work signified their roles in society.  Two people wearing similar clothes with two styles of hats might have vastly different jobs in the business hierarchy.  It is still the case wit ...

What Counts For a DBA - Dreams (11 Mar 2014) by Louis Davidson

"When I was younger, I dreamt of being an astronautâ_Ţ" "When I was younger, I dreamt of being a doctor â_Ţ" "When I was younger, I dreamt of being a DBA â_Ţ" Eh? What was that last one again? No, you didn't, not really. Perhaps y ...

ASP.NET MVC & Twitter Integration - getting inside 'Hello' (03 Sep 2009) by Matt Lee

I recently teamed up with Ryan Carson , Keir Whitaker and Mike Kus from Carsonified to write an application called 'Hello', with the catchy tagline "Turn to your neighbour and say..." , geddit?! The motivation behind the project was ...

Why ASP.NET MVC is better - using 'Hello' as an example (30 Sep 2009) by Matt Lee

In this second post about Hello (the first can be found here ), I'm going to use one of the more complex portions of the app, the event front page, to illustrate some of the various parts of MVC which make writing web apps more intuitive ...

Maxx Dopp at Tech Ed: Dispatch 1 (05 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here.   TechEd 2007 began this morning in Orlando, Fl. The sun was shining and the weather perfect. But like most good geeks, instead of hanging around the pool or the parks, over 12,000 of us gathered in the dark c ...

Maxx at Tech Ed: Dispatch 2 (05 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here.   TechEd is in full swing now. Thousands of attendees have passed by, getting free stuff, asking questions, attending sessions, and much more. Lunch is just starting and there is a live band playing in the bac ...

Maxx at TechEd: Dispatch 3--An Exhausting Day at TechEd Finally Ends (05 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here. Wow, today has been exhausting, and it is still only Monday, with four more days to go. TechEd is an overwhelming experience, with almost more than the senses can easily process.   This afternoon, I roamed t ...

Maxx at TechEd: Dispatch 4--Day Two at TechEd (05 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here. Today is day two of TechEd. When compared to yesterday, it seems much slower paced. I donâ_Tt know if too many people partied last night, or if the initial excitement is already over. Or, maybe it is because most of the swag ...

Maxx at TechEd: Dispatch 5--What DBAs Are Asking (05 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here. Lunch has just been served, but no live band today. As I mentioned earlier, activity is much quieter today at TechEd. At least today, I got to eat lunch. On Monday, I was a little late, and virtually all the food was gone wh ...

Maxx Dopp at TechEd: Dispatch 6--TechEd is Picking Up (06 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here. This morning, activity at TechEd has picked up. We have been getting lots of questions about SQL Server. Some of the questions have included:   How do permissions on linked servers work?   How d ...

Maxx Dopp at TechEd: Dispatch 7 (06 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

[imageattachment] Maxx Dopp here. TechEd has continued to pick up today. It seems odd to me that Monday and Wednesday were busy days, while Tuesday was so slow. Maybe this is normal, but since this is my first TechEd, it is new to me. ...

Maxx Dopp at TechEd: Dispatch 8--TechEd is Winding Down (Slowly) (07 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here. TechEd was bustling today. A lot of vendors were giving away big prizes, and swag trolls were getting the last goodies they could before TechEd ends tomorrow. Most of the vendors have already run out of give-aways. I think e ...

Maxx Dopp at TechEd: Dispatch 9--Final Day (08 Jun 2007) by Maxx Dopp

Maxx Dopp here. This is the last day of TechEd, and people are already leaving to fly home, and things are winding down.   Yesterday, when the vendor section ended at 3:00 PM, within a few seconds of making the closing announ ...

An eBook by any other name, would be just as useful (13 Mar 2013) by Melanie Townsend

UPDATED March 26 The Red Gate team is compiling an eBook of SQL performance tips and we want YOUR help. Weâ_Tre looking to compile 50 of the best tips to improve database performance and help developers write fast SQL code, and who b ...

Butâ_ŢIâ_Tm between the chair and the keyboard (23 Apr 2013) by Melanie Townsend

In my more paranoid moments, I think Outlook is waging a sophisticated and subtle campaign to convince me Iâ_Tm going insane. In my calmer moods, Iâ_Tm disgusted with my apparently innate assumption that the application must be working, the ...

TribalSQL - A First for Everyone (19 Sep 2013) by Melanie Townsend

TribalSQL is coming out in October â_" 15 first-time authors each wrote one chapter on what they thought you should know about databases. This is a community project by MidnightDBA and Red Gate who have both donated quite a chunk of time t ...

Get a copy of the Red Gate Post (05 Dec 2013) by Melanie Townsend

We recently put together a newspaper of some of the best articles from Simple-Talk and SQL Server Central, complete with a dash of advice, playful ads, and letters to the editor. It only seems fair to allow the newspaper to be downloadable ...

State of the Tribal Awards (11 Dec 2013) by Melanie Townsend

The Tribal Awards are underway! I wanted to give everyone a quick update on the progress of the awards and some of the nominations weâ_Tve received. If you havenâ_Tt done so already, get your choices in at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Tr ...

Recognizing Community Leaders - Tribal Awards Finalists (19 Dec 2013) by Melanie Townsend

The time has come, voting is now open for the Tribal Awards finalists. Letâ_Ts recognize the people who go over and above for the technical community in the following 11 categories. Article that saved my bacon in 2013 Break la ...

Exchange 14: Times are Changing (02 Mar 2009) by Michael Francis

Times are definitely changing for the users of Email clients such as Outlook. Exchange 14 (E14), the internal name of the next version of Exchange, brings with it a greatly enhanced premium version of OWA (Outlook Web Access), now renamed ...

Webinar - Understanding Virtualization and Windows Hyper-V (02 Mar 2009) by Michael Francis

When : Tuesday March 24th, 16:00-17:00 GMT Presenter : Rob Atkinson, IT Manager, Mentorn and Sunset + Vine Register : https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/894678900 Intended Audience The intended audience for this webinar is Wind ...

@Kilroy_was_here (07 Apr 2009) by Michael Francis

Right, own up! Whoâ_Ts been writing graffiti on the bathroom wall? Was it you Fry? Peter Gabriel wrote a song called Games without Frontiers in which he cast countries as kids punching the daylights out of each other and nicking each ot ...

We finally did it! (19 May 2009) by Michael Francis

We’ve finally done it! We’ve released our Exchange archiving tool after 18 months of research, development, usability studies and testing. 219,115 Lines of code 19,485   Subscribers to Simple Talk Exchange 15,144 ...

Exchange 2007 and the GUI Mess (18 Jun 2009) by Michael Francis

There've been a lot of interesting articles about PowerShell on Simple-Talk lately, but when I brought the topic up in conversation with our SysAdmin here at Red Gate, I discovered that not all technical masterminds think in command-line ...

The 'Evidential Weight' of Emails (07 Jul 2009) by Michael Francis

In European, and American law, there is a wisdom that can, on first glance, look perverse. You take a digital photo of a person vandalizing your car. You then give the image to the police. They shake their heads and have to tell you that, a ...

Why Archive Email? (30 Jul 2009) by Michael Francis

It is easy for IT People to forget the long time-span that some businesses have to work to. It is not uncommon now to find Companies that are keeping, and referring to, emails that are at least fifteen years old. In fact, the IT Industry se ...

When the Law Moves More Slowly than the Problem (28 Aug 2009) by Michael Francis

Emails are causing problems. Based on a survey of 220 large US companies in 2008, 43% reported that they had investigated an email-based leak of confidential information, and nearly a third had terminated the employment of an employee for v ...

Water Pity: Planning for the Worst (24 Sep 2009) by Michael Francis

Few SysAdmins would have watched the recent Youtube video of the sudden flooding of Vodafone's data center In ă_stanbul (Istanbul), Turkey, without feeling considerable alarm. A CCTV camera captures the moment when employees start to resp ...

Virtual disks for the flop-buster (22 Oct 2009) by Michael Francis

Vista Service Pack 3, as we like to call Windows 7, is worth getting if you are stuck with Vista.  Why?  Well, Vista was Microsoft's first real product failure since Windows ME.  Windows 7 repairs the damage. It is not as fas ...

We're not Reflex-Upgraders. (19 Nov 2009) by Michael Francis

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 ru ...

The ClimateGate Debate Warms Up (17 Dec 2009) by Michael Francis

Whatever else one concludes from reading the 'ClimateGate', or 'CRUtape' files, it is a fascinating archive for System Administrators to study. Despite the lurid and absurd tales from the established media of sinister Russian hackers interc ...

Six years older in a day (14 Jan 2010) by Michael Francis

After the much-hyped millennium bug failed to do much damage, nobody was really expecting a 'Decennium' 'Y2K16' or 'Decade-change' bug. At the beginning of January, there were some embarrassing failures. The most publicized failure occurred ...

SMTP POP3 & PST. Acronyms from Hades. (12 Feb 2010) by Michael Francis

A busy SysAdmin will occasionally have reason to curse SMTP. It is, certainly, one of the strangest events in the history of IT that such a deeply flawed system, designed originally purely for campus use, should have reached its current dom ...

The Politics of Junk Filtering (11 Mar 2010) by Michael Francis

If the national postal service, such as the Royal Mail in the UK, were to go through your letters and throw away all the stuff it considered to be junk instead of delivering it to you, you might be rather pleased until you discovered that i ...

Some Problems Can't Be Outsourced (07 Apr 2010) by Michael Francis

More and more companies are becoming attracted to the idea of Infrastructure as a Service (or IaaS). It would seem that you can outsource the provisioning and management of your services, encompassing everything from Email, through to your ...

F1 Pit Pragmatics (07 May 2010) by Michael Francis

"I hate computers. No, really, I hate them. I love the communications they facilitate, I love the conveniences they provide to my life. but I actually hate the computers themselves." - Scott Merrill, 'I hate computers: confessions ...

Overload Avoidance (03 Jun 2010) by Michael Francis

A little under a year ago, Matt Simmons wrote a rather reflective article about his terrifying brush with stress-induced ill health. SysAdmins and DBAs have always been prime victims of work-related stress, but I wonder if that predilecti ...

2010 Pseudo-Archiving (05 Jul 2010) by Michael Francis

You've probably gathered that Exchange Server 2010 has introduced the "personal archive". It sounds exciting, but it is essentially just a second user-accessible mailbox, designed to take the storage pressure off primary mailboxes. ...

See, Manage, Relax (27 Jul 2010) by Michael Francis

There's no rest for the wicked. Or the SysAdmin, it seems. Either your infrastructure is evolving, your pesky users are throwing spanners in the works, or your first visit to a new client reveals a mind-bending mess of policies and PST file ...

An Agile House of Stone (14 Apr 2011) by Michael Williamson

A couple of weeks ago, Tony discussed why complex databases can't be created in the Agile way . As someone that works on code from the database right up to the user interface, I wonder what makes a database so different from application co ...

Simple-Talk development: a quick history lesson (11 Jul 2012) by Michael Williamson

Up until a few months ago, Simple-Talk ran on a pure .NET stack, with IIS as the web server and SQL Server as the database. Unfortunately, the platform for the site hadn't quite gotten the love and attention it deserved. On the one hand, in ...

Code reviews at Red Gate (12 Jul 2012) by Michael Williamson

A couple of other Red Gate developers, namely Mat Burton and David Conlin, and I were tasked by Jeff Foster , our head of software engineering, to try to improve the communication between the developers. We quickly came to the idea of code ...

Simple-Talk development: sites and modules (01 Aug 2012) by Michael Williamson

In the last post , I described Simple-Talk's original architecture: four .NET applications sharing the same database with very little separation between the applications. The problems we had gave us a set of goals for any change in archite ...

Down Tools Week Project: Red Gate Coders (14 Aug 2012) by Michael Williamson

It's Down Tools Week at Red Gate, which means that for one week, I'll stop working on my usual projects and do something else for a week. In the spirit of trying new things, I'm going to stop writing code and chat to other Red Gaters abou ...

Red Gate Coder interviews: Peter Cowan (14 Aug 2012) by Michael Williamson

Having just finished a Computer Science degree at Cambridge University, Peter is spending this summer being an intern here at Red Gate. We chatted about his relationship with PHP and C# , whether the Raspberry Pi will ins ...

Red Gate Coder interviews: Jeff Foster (17 Aug 2012) by Michael Williamson

Jeff Foster is a software engineer at Red Gate, and also happens to be the current Head of Software Engineering. Among other things, we talked about his first job writing code for furnaces , debugging using assertions , and why we ...

Red Gate Coder interviews: Alex Davies (20 Aug 2012) by Michael Williamson

Alex Davies has been a software engineer at Red Gate since graduating from university, and is currently busy working on .NET Demon. We talked about tackling parallel programming with his actors framework , a scientific approach to d ...

Lightning talk: Sam Blackburn â_" Coderetreat (24 Aug 2012) by Michael Williamson

In the spirit of trying to encourage more deliberate practice amongst coders in Red Gate, Lauri Pesonen had the idea of running a coderetreat in Red Gate. Lauri and I ran the first one a few weeks ago: given that neither of us hadn't even ...

Lightning talk: Joachim Cassel - Making Stuff Shiny on the iPhone (03 Sep 2012) by Michael Williamson

In one of last week's lightning talks, Joachim spent five minutes telling us about graphics and animation on the iPhone, and shared his experience, code and some demos with UIImage, CoreAnimation and OpenGL. ...

Replacing "if"s with your own number system (14 Sep 2012) by Michael Williamson

During our second code retreat at Red Gate, the restriction for one of the sessions was disallowing the use of if statements. That includes other constructs that have the same effect, such as switch statements or loops that will only be e ...

Modularity through HTTP (27 Sep 2012) by Michael Williamson

As programmers, we strive for modularity in the code we write. We hope that splitting the problem up makes it easier to solve, and allows us to reuse parts of our code in other applications. Object-orientation is the most obvious of many at ...

Lightning talk: Tom Lewin â_" Team Fortress 2 for fun and profit (15 Oct 2012) by Michael Williamson

Last week, Tom Lewin taught us all about arbitrage by giving the lightning talk "Team Fortress 2 for fun and profit". Watch it below in all its glory. ...

Lightning talk: Michael Williamson â_" Simple isn't easy, or how to design the electrical mains in your house (24 Oct 2012) by Michael Williamson

If you've ever wanted to see me take an excellent article on why electrical plugs should have three prongs and turn it into a lightning talk, then here's the video (with apologies to the original author of the article): ...

Red Gate Coder interviews: Robin Hellen (08 Nov 2012) by Michael Williamson

Robin Hellen is a test engineer here at Red Gate, and is also the latest coder I've interviewed . We chatted about debugging code , the roles of software engineers and testers , and why Vala is currently his favourite programming l ...

Lightning talk: David Simner - Security 101 (15 Feb 2013) by Michael Williamson

In one of our recent lightning talk sessions, David Simner explained one of the many reasons why security is hard: We're publishing videos every week, so feel free to subscribe to the RedGateTalks channel on YouTube to catch mo ...

Lightning talk: Kevin Boyle â_" Hybrid Mobile Apps (20 Feb 2013) by Michael Williamson

Kevin Boyle, one the people behind the Nomad extension for Visual Studio , recently gave a lightning talk telling the rest of Red Gate about hybrid mobile apps: We're publishing videos every week, so feel free to subscribe to t ...

Previewing image uploads with FileReader in HTML5 (18 Apr 2013) by Michael Williamson

If a user is filling out an HTML form, and that form happens to include an image upload, it would be nice to show them a preview of the image. Using FileReader in HTML5, this turns out to be reasonably straightforward. The code below looks ...

ASP.NET performance: is it all about the database? (25 Jan 2012) by Michaela Murray

Developing ASP.NET applications with a data layer, you may be well aware of the pain that performance issues can cause. Perhaps your apps response times drag, connections lag, and the overwhelming user experience is of watching the "page lo ...

ANTS Performance Profiler 7.0 has been released! (16 Feb 2012) by Michaela Murray

Please join me in welcoming ANTS Performance Profiler 7 to the world of .NET. ANTS Performance Profiler is a .NET code profiling tool. It lets you identify performance bottlenecks within minutes and therefore enables you to optimize ...

Upcoming Webinar: Practical Performance Profiling presented by Jean-Philippe Gouigoux (13 Mar 2012) by Michaela Murray

Hot on the heels of releasing his new book, Practical Performance Profiling , I'm delighted that Jean-Philippe Gouigoux will be joining us on April 3 rd to present a free webinar on optimizing .NET code performance. He gave me a sneak ...

Next-Gen Profiling (13 Jul 2012) by Michaela Murray

Dear .NET community, Iâ_Td like to introduce you to the newest version of ANTS Performance Profiler: 7.3. With a version number like that, it might sound like a minor release, but the reality is far more exciting. Weâ_Tve packed a to ...

Application Performance: The Best of the Web (15 Nov 2012) by Michaela Murray

Wisdom A deep understanding and realization [â_Ţ] resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions. It is also the comprehension of what is true coupled with optimum judgment as to action. - Wikipedia The r ...

Application Performance Episode 2: Announcing the Judges! (27 Nov 2012) by Michaela Murray

The story so farâ_Ţ Weâ_Tre writing a new book for ASP.NET developers, and we want you to be a part of it! If you work with ASP.NET applications, and have top tips, hard-won lessons, or sage advice for avoiding, finding, and fixing pe ...

Free eBook: 50 Ways to Avoid, Find and Fix ASP.NET Performance Issues (25 Jan 2013) by Michaela Murray

Back in November, I started asking for your top tips on ASP.NET and SQL Server performance. In case you havenâ_Tt seen it yet, weâ_Tve now published 50 of our favourite in a free, brand-spanking new eBook â_" 50 Ways to Avoid, Find and ...

50 Ways to Avoid, Find and Fix ASP.NET Performance Issues: The Next Generation (22 Mar 2013) by Michaela Murray

The super-short version 11,000 of you have already grabbed a copy of the first edition of 50 Ways to Avoid, Find and Fix ASP.NET Performance Issues , so weâ_Tre doing a second edition to include MVC 4, SignalR and WebAPI. That means ano ...

25 Secrets for Faster ASP.NET: the Eagle has landed! (02 Jul 2013) by Michaela Murray

On Friday we launched our new free eBook, 25 Secrets for Faster ASP.NET Applications ! Heading for 1000 of you have picked it up already, but if you havenâ_Tt got your copy yet, you can grab it from http://www.red-gate.com/25secrets . ...

To the cloud! (06 Aug 2012) by Neil Davidson

In 1984, John Gage â_" the 21 st employee of Sun microsystems â_" coined the phrase â_~the network is the computerâ_T. In 1996, an article in Wired called this â_~a truismâ_T. Now, in 2012, it finally looks like Gageâ_Ts vision mig ...

Are you a failure? We might want to hire you (08 Aug 2012) by Neil Davidson

Are you a failure? We might want to hire you. We fail at things for all sorts of reasons. We make dumb mistakes, say stupid things and embark on foolish ventures. But does failing at something â_" at many things, maybe â_" make us â_~fa ...

Introducing Glimpse - Firebug for your server (06 Sep 2012) by Neil Davidson

Here at Red Gate, we spend every waking hour trying to wow .NET and SQL developers with great products.  Every so often, though, we find something out in the wild which knocks our socks off by taking â_oingeniously simpleâ__ to a whole new ...

Do you yield? (31 Oct 2007) by Nigel Morse

Yay! Iâ_Tve actually used the C# yield statement for the first time. Iâ_Tve wanted to use it ever since I read about it, but never really had a use for it until today. I was writing some code to read a SQL Server error log and eventuall ...

Anonymous delegates rock (18 Mar 2008) by Nigel Morse

I'm finding I really like C#'s anonymous delegates. I've used them several times now in various ways. Normal delegates are already a Good Thing, however basically they are C(++) function pointers with a much nicer syntax. Anonymous delegate ...

The Making of SQL Response : Battle of the Testers (12 Sep 2008) by Nigel Morse

Iâ_Tve just closed my last bug on SQL Response (or at least the last one thatâ_Ts left on my plate for this version). Code freeze is tomorrow after which it gets a complete going over by the testers ...

New way to use up time (20 May 2008) by Nigel Rivett

Hello all, My first attempt at a blog. Well second actually - I've just created another one for myself at http://nigelrivettblog.blogspot.com/ . Anyway I'm trying to concentrate a bit more on contributing to this fine site. I recentl ...

Powershell - script all objects on all databases to files (18 Oct 2013) by Nigel Rivett

.style2 { font-family: "Lucida Console"; font-size: 9pt; color: #006400; margin: 0; } <# This simple PowerShell routine scripts out all the user-defined functions, stored procedures, ...

Search SSIS packages for table/column references (07 Nov 2013) by Nigel Rivett

A lot of companies now use TFS or some other system and keep all their packages in a single project. This means that a copy of all the packages will end up on your local disk. There is major failing with SSIS that it is sometimes quite ...

Generate a merge statement from table structure (12 Nov 2013) by Nigel Rivett

/* This code generates a merge statement joining on the natural key and checking all other columns to see if they have changed. The full version deals with type 2 processing and an audit trail but this version is useful. ...

Split csv entries from a column in a table (13 Dec 2013) by Nigel Rivett

This is all in a single query without having to create a function. The separator is in a cte so doesn't need to be declared separately. For longer separators include the length in this cte and use it for the length adjustments in the query. ...

Let Active Directory Manage It Please (12 Mar 2013) by Nirmal Sharma

Time Synchronization for Virtual Domain Controllers running on either Hyper-V or VMware Virtualization Platforms should be managed by Active Directory. There are several reasons as to why we should let Active Directory manage Time Sync ...

Active Directory Naming Information Could Not Be Located Becauseâ_Ţ (29 Apr 2013) by Nirmal Sharma

Sometimes when you open an Active Directory tool, you might get hit with the â_o Active Directory Naming Information Could Not Be Located â__ error message. The error does not provide more information as to what â_oNaming Informationâ__ the ...

Querying Any Registry Information on Remote Computers via Script (22 Aug 2013) by Nirmal Sharma

You can automate a number of manual tasks using scripts, a  command line operation is always faster than a GUI operation. Windows Registry has functioned as a big repository for the Operating System to store its static and volatile info ...

How Scalable is Windows Server 2012 Compared to Windows Server 2008 R2? (11 Feb 2014) by Nirmal Sharma

Every new Hyper-V release provides new features or improvements over existing features. As part of the improvement, Microsoft also keeps scalability in mind. Scalability is required by large organizations to make sure the production load ca ...

Understanding each other in web development (15 Nov 2012) by Pete Hotchkin

During my career I have been lucky enough to work in several different roles within web development with many extremely talented people, from incredible designers who were passionate about the placement of every pixel right through to serve ...

Unreadable code (04 Jan 2006) by Phil Factor

Producing unreadable Transact SQL is something of an art form. We all know that the best Transact SQL Style is to make everything elegant and obvious, with explanatory identifiers, liberal comments and deft formatting. It doesn't always hap ...

Monthly Calendars in Transact SQL (10 Jan 2006) by Phil Factor

/* I have been seized with the novel idea of writing something useful in a BLOG entry. My eye was caught by the rather fetching calendar in the top right of the BLOG. I've had to write Transact SQL code that produces calendars like this in ...

A SQL Limerick (13 Jan 2006) by Phil Factor

It wasn't my idea at all. However someone set me the challenge of writing executable code that rhymed and scanned in the form of a limerick. Obviously, the easy trick is to just to write the limerick, assign it to a string and then do text ...

Getting Stuff Into SQL Server (20 Jan 2006) by Phil Factor

Often, Newbies to SQL Server are left feeling puzzled by the difficulty of 'Getting stuff in and out' of data tables. At first it does seem daunting, and I have to admit that I'm still a bit vague on some aspects myself. How, (or why ...

"Documentation is the castor oil of programming" (23 Jan 2006) by Phil Factor

As prizes for the little occasional competitions on this BLog, we will be giving out copies of one or other of a couple of rather old books. They just happen to be two of the best books ever written about developing software. I'd be fascina ...

If you go down to the woods today... (29 Jan 2006) by Phil Factor

--On the drawing of  teddy-bears /* I have been gently reproached for making my blog too developer-oriented, and geeky; thereby making managers feel neglected. We therefore introduce Teddy, our foray into unashamed  nostalgia ...

Sir! My dog ate my database. (09 Feb 2006) by Phil Factor

In asking various colleagues about the disasters or near disasters they have had with databases, I find to my astonishment that I am the only one who has ever, in a moment when my attention wandered, deleted a live database. It is odd, thou ...

I could do it in my sleep (23 Feb 2006) by Phil Factor

Like many other programmers, I have adapted to a rather cat-like lifestyle of intense activity followed by relative languor. This coincides with the cyclic nature of the industry: Either there is too much work or too little. At the moment, ...

Palindromic Transact SQL (01 Mar 2006) by Phil Factor

Palindromes are words or phrases that read the same backwards and forwards. By the same token, Palindromic SQL executes just as well backwards and forwards A phrase such as ... "Did I do, O God, did I as I said I'd do? Good, I did" ...

How to Succeed in IT Part 1: How to prevent Initiatives (04 Mar 2006) by Phil Factor

The Devils Manual for IT Managers Part 1: How to prevent Initiatives The IT Manager must do all he can to prevent initiatives happening within his department, whilst, at the same time, maintaining a general atmosphere of innovatio ...

How to succeed in IT Part 2 Irregular verbs for IT managers (08 Mar 2006) by Phil Factor

The Devils Manual for IT Managers Part 2: Irregular verbs for IT managers The way you describe events, decisions and actions in IT development depends on who you are. The following chart should give the general idea on the way thin ...

Spoofing Popularity-A warning to Webmasters (13 Mar 2006) by Phil Factor

In which Phil tries to warn you of the dangers of over-valuing Website-traffic Stats. A friend who runs a local history website in a rural area of England surprised me by saying that he values a single letter of interest or appreciatio ...

The Incident of 'The Two Johns' -an IT Manager confesses. (20 Mar 2006) by Phil Factor

...in which Phil Factor takes advantage of the cloak of anonymity to confess to an embarassing mistake As an IT Manager, I used to love doing staff appraisals. These rituals come by different names in different companies, â_~performa ...

Avoiding the TSQL 'Convert' styles. (26 Mar 2006) by Phil Factor

A recent blog was extolling the advantages of being able to use the CLR routines in SQL Server 2005 to do Microsoft-style date formats, instead of having the fuss and bother of remembering the CAST or CONVERT styles for the various represen ...

Selling Oneself Short (13 Apr 2006) by Phil Factor

A long time ago, I was transformed from resolute geek into a salesman. Iâ_Td written an application, commissioned by an international software publisher that subsequently disappeared in a spectacular way. It was an MSDOS program for managin ...

Getting data to the browser (20 Apr 2006) by Phil Factor

Slowly, all the necessary components are slotting into place to allow the developer to bypass the requirement to write traditional PC-based applications, or escape the tyranny of the all-encompassing n-tier distributed systems. AJAX ( ...

The Pub Lunch and Programming. (04 May 2006) by Phil Factor

"Werry good poer o' suction, Sammy," said Mr Weller the elder, looking into the pot, when his first-born had set it down half empty. "You'd ha' made an uncommon fine oyster, Sammy, if you'd been born in that station o' life," Charles Dicke ...

SprintFfing :Leaves from a programmers notebook: (17 May 2006) by Phil Factor

/* There are dangers to using the xp_sprintf system call in SQL Server 2000. . Firstly, it has a 256 character limit, and . secondly, it suffers from a buffer overflow bug in some versions which can cause all sorts of unpredicatable damag ...

The Sudoku Puzzle Generator (18 May 2006) by Phil Factor

/* Even now, I can think of no rational explanation for writing this Sudoku puzzle generator other than a bout of insomnia whilst programming too hard on a difficult website. Basically, it just popped out. Sudoku is a poular number puzzle ...

Eggy Peggy :Leaves from a programmer's notebook (25 May 2006) by Phil Factor

/* Eggy Peggy Language is a secret language rather like Pig Latin or Cockney Rhyming slang. It takes a while to master, but was once used, in particular, by schoolgirls to talk privately when there was a chance of being overheard by ou ...

ObenGlobish: Leaves from a programmer's notebook (29 May 2006) by Phil Factor

In my last blog entry, 'Eggy Peggy', I gave an example of how one might replace into text from an entire table in one SQL command. As well as producing Eggy Peggy language, the technique has a variety of real uses. Just the other day ...

spWhereIsItUsed: Leaves from a programmers notebook (03 Jun 2006) by Phil Factor

I felt a pang of conscience after having inflicted Obenglobish on an unsuspecting SQL Server fraternity. I decided therefore to provide something useful instead. Here is a way of seaching all your routines (stored procedures, triggers, func ...

The Stepford Geeks (10 Jun 2006) by Phil Factor

I was getting stuck into writing an article on interviews for IT jobs the other day. You know the sort of thing, what to wear, how to prepare your self, what to say when asked the typical questions, and the sort of questions to ask at the e ...

The DBA's Demise: a recitation. (13 Jun 2006) by Phil Factor

On a doorway in Dover I once stumbled over a programmer wrapped in a sheet This poor prostrate nerd didn't utter a word as he lay there half-blocking the street "From your face I can see that you work in IT what has brought you to this ...

Third-party tools for the Database developer (28 Jun 2006) by Phil Factor

I suspect that many database developers use other applications to extend the use of the SQL Server system. I like using Windows Scripting resources such as the Scripting.FileSystemObject COM objects within stored procedures, and find such m ...

The Simple-Talk SQL Prettifier (13 Jul 2006) by Phil Factor

(n.b. The prettifier is now on version 1.5 and is used by the editor and other contributors on this site to prepare code for publication. the link below has been updated to lead you to the latest version) With this BLOG entry we l ...

Had Tennyson been a technical Author... (16 Jul 2006) by Phil Factor

The Index: An Elegy (I have always wondered why nobody has written a book on SQL Server in verse.  To correct this lamentable gap in the market, I have been penning some stanzas. Here, as a sample, is a short verse on indexing) ...

The Joy Of IT Meetings (03 Aug 2006) by Phil Factor

As the average concentration span of the adult human is less than forty minutes, I have always puzzled over the reason why meetings last any longer than this, particularly in IT where the concentration span strains to reach these giddy leng ...

The Septic Tank (28 Aug 2006) by Phil Factor

Once, whilst I was working for a large international enterprise, I received a company edict, from the IT director, that two megabytes of memory were sufficient to run Windows-based PCs. So firm was this edict that it was made it part of cor ...

The Sticking Page-Down-Key Incident (01 Sep 2006) by Phil Factor

Most software projects seem to go on an emotional roller-coaster voyage. Initial euphoria soon fades into confusion, followed by despair. If a project is going to succeed in reaching port, despair is followed by a consensus decision to save ...

The Acronym Playpen (13 Sep 2006) by Phil Factor

Sometimes, one of the most relevant skills that a developer needs to have, when working in the corporate environment, is to know how and when to bend the rules. A major high-street bank once offered me a completely impossible design bri ...

The Fireside Fun of Decapitations (19 Sep 2006) by Phil Factor

You will be surprised to learn that, in the nineteenth century, they got on perfectly well without television or computer games. Actually, in the evenings they were accustomed to organise all sorts of entertainments we have since forgo ...

The Fireside Fun of Word Squares (22 Sep 2006) by Phil Factor

Here is another SQL puzzle, based on an old idea. I must confess that my investigations into 'Fireside Fun', are motivated by an urge to explore ways of whiling away the time during boring meetings and seminars. It is, I fear, ...

Lament (20 Oct 2006) by Phil Factor

It was just after I'd written the 'Yancey Men' article for Simple Talk that I came across the following verses which, I think, first appeared in Punch magazine. It was written after the poet,Wyndham Lewis, came across a court report in whic ...

Airhead Weather-girlies and blood-sucking leeches. (27 Oct 2006) by Phil Factor

For some time past, I have been taking data from a Huger weather station, and importing it into SQL Server. I then use the data to run up graphs, calculate trends and to attempt to predict the weather. It is a wonderful source of real data ...

The Terror of Technical Tests (03 Nov 2006) by Phil Factor

After all the years Iâ_Tve spent working with databases, I am continually shocked by how little I know. The power and facilities of relational databases have increased enormously, and we struggle to keep up. One has, of necessity, to spend ...

Confessions of an IT Strategist (16 Nov 2006) by Phil Factor

In the new Simple-Talk spirit of â_~coming outâ_T, I have to confess I used to be a practicing IT strategist. In fact I gave up and went back to being a database developer after a number of almost identical conversations with IT Agencies. ...

The Right to Advertise (20 Nov 2006) by Phil Factor

When the news broke that Red-Gate had purchased SQLServerCentral, there followed a fascinating, and generally positive debate in one of their forums over the possible ramifications. It all seemed extraordinarily mature and sensible until a ...

The Sayings of Phil Factor (27 Nov 2006) by Phil Factor

"Too many developers run their lives as though there was a celestial 'Undo' button." "The IT Manager's job is to produce long words to cover up the mistakes of his staff" "Developers have knowledge but can't express it, whereas traine ...

Much ado about Null (04 Dec 2006) by Phil Factor

One of the best ways to test the knowledge of a database programmer is to ask very simple questions. I was reminded of this the other day whilst trying to put an explanation of a Relational Database into language which the proverbial Man in ...

Santa's SLA (05 Dec 2006) by Phil Factor

For reasons too personal to be interesting, Christmas brings out the worst in me. My happiest Christmas was spent covering for a DBA colleague. I was on double time, and sitting in a nice quiet spot in the Server Room where only swipe-card ...

Old Philip Factor's Almanac (28 Dec 2006) by Phil Factor

My annual new-year's present to the SQL Server community is the Philip Factor Almanac of Prophesies for the coming year. Along with this blog will be an article which explains how it all came about, but here I'll explain a bit about the tec ...

The TSQL of Verticons and Anime Emoticons (09 Jan 2007) by Phil Factor

Well there I was trying to think of an idea for a blog (u_u) when it suddenly occurred to me (*_*) that I should do a nice little SQL function on Emoticons. It was a happy thought (^_^) which made me smile (n_n) . I was amazed (^.^) ...

Click-A-Crematorium (21 Jan 2007) by Phil Factor

During the last dotcom boom, I had a most agreeable job advising investment bankers on the value of some of the propositions that were put to them for funding. It was part of my role in a company, an â_~Internet Incubatorâ_T, which speciali ...

'The C Language is a toy'. (05 Feb 2007) by Phil Factor

A good question to ask in any interview with one of the high and mighty in IT is 'What is the biggest mistake you ever made'. Few of us will have made a mistake as easy to sympathise with, but with such far-reaching consequences as the one ...

Finding possible 'dead objects' in databases (12 Feb 2007) by Phil Factor

ALTER PROCEDURE spNoDependencies /* this is a stored procedure to list out the user tables, views, functions and procedures that are not dependent on any other user object and have no dependencies Obviously, each needs to be inves ...

The march of time (28 Feb 2007) by Phil Factor

Tony was a systems analyst and programmer. For many years, he'd worked for a large insurance company in London. He'd spent all his working life there, in fact, seeing their IT systems grow from simple Cobol-based accounting systems to their ...

Using User-defined functions in aggregations (28 Feb 2007) by Phil Factor

/* Using User-defined functions in aggregations I've never used functions in aggregations, simply because I assumed that they would slow them down too much. However, I really wanted to simplify some code that did a whole lot of a ...

Object-Level Backups (06 Mar 2007) by Phil Factor

It was last year that I was forcefully reminded that regular backups are not always enough. I was working on the database of a live website. I had attached to it remotely across the internet via Query analyser, and was deleting a customer. ...

Doing things- The Manual (08 Mar 2007) by Phil Factor

In the past, in order to get something done, you did something. This normally involved taking off your jacket; possibly even loosening your tie. It could be you needed gloves and goggles, maybe a mate to hold your tools, but generally, you ...

Twiddling the knobs: The Default Backup directory (22 Mar 2007) by Phil Factor

Whenever I attempt to set myself up as an expert on anything,  a Higher Being seems to belabour me with a metaphorical baseball bat for my lack of humility. In consequence, this Blog entry is really more of a question than a ...

Powerpoint Pointlessness: You read it here first! (28 Mar 2007) by Phil Factor

Professor John Sweller, from the University of New South Wales School of Education, first came up with 'Cognitive Load Theory' in the 1980s. Most of his reasearch has been in the effectiveness of current teaching techniques. He has now ...

At Half-past three, it's time for tea... (15 Apr 2007) by Phil Factor

'Look, see what I mean?', the manager said, as a dishevelled DBA stumbled past his pig pen grunting inconsequentially to himself.   'Good morning', said the manager to him, forcing a beam from ear to ear with a rather strained ...

The ballad of the tuple relation (10 May 2007) by Phil Factor

I was peacefully pottering away at my workstation, contentedly spawning a daughter thread or something similar, when Robyn popped in. She'd been wrestling with the Grouping Workbench and trying to come up with a copper-bottomed explana ...

Why do we call them 'Bugs'? (01 Jun 2007) by Phil Factor

I've read a great deal about the origin of the word 'Bug' in computer software. You'd have thought the argument was settled ages ago when everyone agreed that In 1947, the Harvard Faculty at the Computation Laboratory traced an error in the ...

How to Write (21 Jun 2007) by Phil Factor

The editor recently returned exhausted from TechEd. He tells everyone who will listen that he has worn himself out trying to persuade the great and the good of the SQL Server world to write articles for Simple-Talk. I can believe it, th ...

Love amongst the computers (29 Jun 2007) by Phil Factor

I love to go around junk shops and second hand bookshops looking for quirky second-hand books. It was whilst browsing through all the more dog-eared fiction (always a sign that the contents are good), I once came across a book of romantic f ...

Using BCP to export the contents of MAX datatypes to a file (13 Jul 2007) by Phil Factor

/* It should be easy to save a VARCHAR or XML variable to a file. When we use the Scripting.FilesystemObject, it is reasonably easy, but there is the bugbear of the fact that the COM interface was never updated to understand Varchar(MA ...

The Interview with the Psychometric Test (25 Jul 2007) by Phil Factor

I knew there would be trouble the moment she walked in the room. Like many IT people, I have an instinctive aversion to HR people. She looked briskly at me and waddled importantly to the desk.   I'd come for an interview with a f ...

DBAs and the moral dilemma (10 Aug 2007) by Phil Factor

DBAs are often put in a difficult moral position in the course of doing their work because they have a uniquely privileged access to corporate data. The ridiculous stories that have recently been put about by security firms concerning the d ...

Wonko the Sane and Gubble-Gubble. A software opportunity? (24 Aug 2007) by Phil Factor

You know how it is? You're reading a paragraph, reach the end, and then ask yourself what, in the name of Beelzebub, that last damned paragraph was about. You shrug in reply and go back to that twilight zone between animal and vegetable, wh ...

In praise of old technology (13 Sep 2007) by Phil Factor

I'd suggest this as a good question for the next pub quiz. "What popular computing device has been manufactured and sold by a major IT manufacturer continuously for the past 26 years, is still considered 'best in class', a ...

"Brown Shoes Don't Make It" (18 Sep 2007) by Phil Factor

I once made the terrible mistake of going to an interview for an IT job at the head office of a bank in London whilst improperly dressed. I forget what the job was exactly; some IT management role that was customer-facing (in other ...

Enumerating Group Members (25 Sep 2007) by Phil Factor

/* Problem: You have a table like this, recording what people eat. jane   pie fred   sandwich fred   sausage fred  &nbs ...

On the trail with the Cowboy Coders. (24 Oct 2007) by Phil Factor

One of the signs of increasing age in the IT industry is that of 'dăŞjă  vu'. New things that are laboriously explained to you ring all sorts of bells. The past flashes before one's eyes. I visited a company developing Internet-based ap ...

A temporary inconvenience (12 Nov 2007) by Phil Factor

Here is an interesting interview question. You have a PC in front of you, switched off,  with a database on it. You donâ_Tt know any of the passwords and you want to get at the database. Is this possible? If so, then how? This happ ...

Taking the Soup (02 Jan 2008) by Phil Factor

A while back, I had to review a book by an â_~award-winningâ_T author. It was an excellent book. I phoned the writer to get some background information and to try to ascertain whether my assumptions about the authorâ_Ts background knowledge ...

A great programmer. (18 Jan 2008) by Phil Factor

I sat back in my chair the other day, and my eye happened to fall on a bookshelf with some old A4 binders in it. The brain works in mysterious ways, well mine does certainly. I'd been brooding recently on the thought that the real breakthro ...

The Three Little Pigs in Java (22 Jan 2008) by Phil Factor

Once upon a time, in a land .far off   to the west of Krakatoa called Java, .there lived three little pigs. They were called by the unique identifiers John, jOhn, and johN. The first little pig was known to his devoted parents as pigl ...

Microsoft Boy announces his School Homework (27 Jan 2008) by Phil Factor

Continuing in our series of attempts to imagine how Microsoft Marketing people relate to their fellow men outside work, we give you a glimpse of Microsoft Boy at school, before the start of his splendid career at Redmond. Scene: The ...

Actionable waffle (04 Feb 2008) by Phil Factor

One of the funnier malapropisms that have recently emerged from Microsoftâ_Ts Marketing arm is the word â_~ Actionable â_T . You can see how it happened. They wanted a word that sounded vaguely a â_~good thingâ_T without being too precise. ...

The Technically minded subclass, and the fog of misperception. (06 Feb 2008) by Phil Factor

I spent several years in a team that advised a large international manufacturing company on their software-purchasing strategy. It always amazed me how far the software companies misunderstood our core requirements, but never really took th ...

The Glittering Concrete (02 Apr 2008) by Phil Factor

I called in to Red-Gate the other day to see Andrew Clarke, the Simple-Talk subeditor. As I arrived, he was excitedly rummaging in Tony Davis's shoebox. This shoebox contains several contributions that time forgot. When Tony forgets one of ...

TSQL Spam-killer (11 Apr 2008) by Phil Factor

It's very refreshing to take a break from a tedious bit of routine code to try out something unusual or tricky. Sometimes one can be quite startled by finding out how easy it is to do in TSQL. Jonathan Snook's blog is my favourite "devel ...

When the fever is over, and one's work is done. (29 May 2008) by Phil Factor

There comes a time in the life of anyone working with databases when they are struck with a peculiar mental aberration. For want of a better term, it is usually called â_~One True Lookup syndromeâ_T or OTLS. It is in the same league as the ...

Common Law, and The need for restraint. (09 Jun 2008) by Phil Factor

Iâ_Tll never forget the best DBA I ever appointed, because he thoughtfully taught me an effective technique for removing wheel-clamps from cars. It was after the interview, I seem to remember. We walked together to his car to get a file. ...

The biggest secret? (13 Jun 2008) by Phil Factor

The first programmable computer was invented by Charles Babbage and Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. Charles Babbageâ_Ts story is so well known that I donâ_Tt need to relate it to you. I also believe that it isnâ_Tt completely ...

A decent chair for the IT worker. (12 Sep 2008) by Phil Factor

The computer chair is one of the abominations of the age. It is a design that embodies the savage dehumanising brutalism of the late twentieth century. My loathing of â_~computer chairsâ_T comes from an incident with a fat programmer I ...

The DOS Batch File from Hell: a confession. (22 Sep 2008) by Phil Factor

A while back, I was chatting to an IT Support person weâ_Td recently taken on. I discovered that heâ_Td come from a large multinational company that Iâ_Td also once worked for. â_oIt was interesting work.â__ He said, â_oThere was one cu ...

Never say 'never' to the WHILE loop. (02 Oct 2008) by Phil Factor

/* download the test text file  Moby-Dyck.zip  here */ /* You might notice that I refer to Moby **** in this blog. This is because the busybodyish nanny software cannot allow me to refer to my test data, the 1851 ...

On Being Paid in Trousers (02 Oct 2008) by Phil Factor

It was so long ago that I got fed up with the glacial slowness of commercial software development, and wrote a public-domain text-processing program. The premise was that spreadsheets were namby-pamby things, and that what one really needed ...

To the next generation (07 Oct 2008) by Phil Factor

Whenever I try out software, I always, out of habit, send the vendors a report that says exactly what I thought of it, in a considered and, I hope polite, way; but frank. Often, I'll add my opinion of their marketing efforts, and, nowadays, ...

Cold Turkey with SSMS (14 Oct 2008) by Phil Factor

Someone came up with the laughable suggestion that I ought to stop using SSMS for a fortnight just to see how I'd cope. He turned it into a challenge. With some trepidation, I accepted. I coped fine. In fact, the more I did the more I e ...

PDC and the Nightmare of Over-Egging the Pudding (17 Oct 2008) by Phil Factor

I've always been warned not to read highly technical books late at night, especially after a day in which I was trying to work out what best to attend at PDC. I was reading some thick tome about ASP.NET MVC and TDD. One moment I was reading ...

Technology and Testosterone (24 Oct 2008) by Phil Factor

Like every other IT manager, Iâ_Tve always been instinctively attracted to technologies that I donâ_Tt really understand.  Iâ_Tm not sure why this is. Is it part of the human condition?  I suspect that it may be due to one of the ...

The Devil's IT Manual: Part 3 - Phrases with which to discourage ideas (28 Oct 2008) by Phil Factor

The Devils Manual for IT Managers Part 3: Phrases with which to discourage ideas This is the third in my series of hints for aspiring IT managers. Here, we give you put-down phrases for discouraging ideas. No IT Manager really like ...

Feeling Grown Up in the Pretend Office (07 Nov 2008) by Phil Factor

Now that Christmas approaches, Iâ_Tm thumbing through the catalogues for presents to give my young descendents. Whatâ_Ts this? â_oTime to go to work! Children will feel so grown up having a day at the office with this 75 pi ...

The Devil's IT Manual: Part 4 - Initiating a project with a Strategy one-pager (14 Nov 2008) by Phil Factor

The Devils Manual for IT Managers Part 4: Initiating a project with a Strategy one-pager. This is the fourth in my series of hints for aspiring IT managers. Here, we give you the template for the one-page strategy document requir ...

The Devil's manual for IT Managers: Part 5. Looking busy. (23 Nov 2008) by Phil Factor

The Devils Manual for IT Managers Part 5: Looking Busy This is the fifth in my series of hints for aspiring IT managers. Here, we tell you how to look busy and efficient, Note the previous four blogs in the series Part ...

The art of lifting things (30 Nov 2008) by Phil Factor

As part of the mystical â_~inductionâ_T process for my latest job, I was given instruction on how to lift weights. I admit to being puzzled by this. Has todayâ_Ts youth managed to survive to adulthood without grounding in this simple art? ...

The Institutionalisation of the Chair Man (06 Dec 2008) by Phil Factor

â__Ere mate,â__ came the voice from behind me, â_oyouâ_Tre sitting in my chair. I want it back.â__ He looked at me, red in the face and indignant.  He didnâ_Tt actually say it, but the look he was giving me spoke volumes. You are piss ...

A Chilling Prophesy (17 Dec 2008) by Phil Factor

When I was a schoolboy with fantasies about being a successful businessman, I went to a lecture given by one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the time. The white-haired gentleman who gave the lecture was the complete antithesis of ...

Publishing to the multitude. (21 Dec 2008) by Phil Factor

'And The Lord  spake unto Moses face-to-face as a man speaketh unto his friend' Exodus XXXIII: 11 JKV   It wasnâ_Tt the cool wind on top of Mount Sinai that caused Moses to shiver, it was panic. As the smoke that en ...

How to Insult People in Forums (09 Jan 2009) by Phil Factor

Should you insult posters on newsgroups, forums or online discussions?  This may be a strange question to ask, and the answer is generally "no". It is a bad idea, even though your target is usually too far away to exact retributi ...

Clinging to the Flotsam. A survivor's tale. (12 Jan 2009) by Phil Factor

I sharpened my metaphorical pencil and brooded. I decided to write some simple tips on how a software company could survive in a recession, and make best use of it. As always, I sat down in front of a blank screen and stared at it. I waited ...

Calculating Easter: The longest scientific Project ever? (18 Jan 2009) by Phil Factor

On Friday, I'd managed to work myself into a rage about something. I then sat down and wrote the following function in TSQL that tells you the date of Easter for any year you wish. Afterwards, I felt sublimely at peace with the world. Per ...

Technical Interviews, and tests, have got to stop! (22 Jan 2009) by Phil Factor

â_~Technical Interviewsâ_T have got to stop. They are a disgrace to the IT profession.  Two MVPs who I asked the question â_~Have you ever passed a technical interviewâ_T have admitted â_~Neverâ_T.  Iâ_Td like more successful deve ...

How to Write Blogs (04 Mar 2009) by Phil Factor

It is with huge embarrassment that I offer advice on how to Blog. Blogging is not an elitist thing; there is no right or wrong way of doing it. As you can legitimately blog to yourself in private with â_~Dear Diaryâ_T confessions, blogs d ...

'Cha': Tea-Drinking for IT Developers. (06 Mar 2009) by Phil Factor

Tea drinking is important to developing software. It matters how you drink it, as well as how you prepare the tea. It was a very long time ago, whilst working in a development team with a well-known computer company in Japan that I firs ...

The Escape from Developer Hell (20 Mar 2009) by Phil Factor

"C'mon Phil! You can't blame developers all the time! You must have encountered a really bad DBA at least once in your working life!" The developer flushed angrily as I rambled on, recounting some of the hilarious mistakes that developer ...

Knowing when your website is attacked. (30 Mar 2009) by Phil Factor

When you make your house secure, you might want to do the obvious things such as putting good locks on the doors, and fasteners on the windows, but you are still interested on peeping through the curtains to watch for suspicious activ ...

The 'Do Not Disturb' Hat? (05 Apr 2009) by Phil Factor

Right. Peace at last. Inbox down to zero, nitpick forms filled in, back to the code. Iâ_Tve got the code all cached in my skull. I know every variable. Every ounce of concentration is focused on stepping through the code or working out w ...

Never Alienate your DBAs (01 May 2009) by Phil Factor

A tip for managers: never alienate your DBAs. If you do, it is liable to lead to painful consequences. I speak from experience. Having suffered one of those occasional "reverses in career fortune", I wound up taking an appointment as a Team ...

We Don't Need Another Hero (22 May 2009) by Phil Factor

Stan, the SQL Hero, had a meteoric career at the large Financial Services Company where I worked. He burned red-hot when he hit the upper atmosphere of the company, and caused a brief flash before hitting the ground. Stan â_~the manâ ...

Stolen Pages, Ad-hoc queries and the sins of dynamic SQL in the application. (03 Aug 2009) by Phil Factor

/* One of the great advantages of doing development work on SQL Server machines with very modest hardware specifications is that mistakes are visible. The mistake of doing ad-hoc dynamic queries from an application will  soon reve ...

Drawing Block-graphs from Stored Procedures. (23 Aug 2009) by Phil Factor

â_~Ridiculous,â_T he commented, â_~youâ_Tll be saying it is possible to draw graphs from stored procedures next!â_T Iâ_Td been talking to the guy about keeping an open mind about what was possible at the database level. He didnâ_Tt like my ...

Moving Down in the World of Work (19 Oct 2009) by Phil Factor

You know how it is, youâ_Tre racing to finish a nice software product that you feel sure is going to be a hit. Then the phone rings â_oHi. Bruce here at PersonnelFinder International. How are you doing?â__ â_oOh go boil your head, Br ...

Visibility, the art of being noticed. (15 Nov 2009) by Phil Factor

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 mem ...

On Becoming Engrossed by the Technology (07 Dec 2009) by Phil Factor

Sometimes, one sits back from the screen, pushes back the keyboard, and thinks 'I've done a good job there'. But is a victory over technology always going to cut any ice with the customer? It often seems to take the participants by surpr ...

The Seven Phases towards Craziness in IT Development Groups (11 Jan 2010) by Phil Factor

Project managers in IT departments have well-established ways of describing the different phases of a development project, depending on the methodology. It all looks very scientific, but forgets the fact that project teams are just gr ...

When Your Boss Doesn't Want you to Succeed (07 Mar 2010) by Phil Factor

You're working hard to get an application finished. You are programming long into the evenings sometimes, and eating sandwiches at your desk instead of taking a lunch break. Then one day you glance up at the IT manager, serene in his mys ...

Ada and 'The Book' (23 Mar 2010) by Phil Factor

Despite Ada Lovelace's fame as the inventor of the computer program, we apparently have no idea of the real subject of the mathematical work that engrossed Charles Babbage and Ada for nine years; a project they referred to only as 'Th ...

Spolskism or Twitterism: A Doctor writes... (30 Mar 2010) by Phil Factor

"I never realized I had a problem. I just 'twittered' because it was a social thing to do. All my mates were doing it. It made me feel good to have 'followers'; it bolstered my self-esteem. Of course, you don't think of the long-te ...

Exitus Acta Probat: The Post-Processing Module (09 Apr 2010) by Phil Factor

Sometimes, one has to make certain ethical compromises to ensure the success of a corporate IT project. Exitus Acta Probat (literally ' the result validates the deeds ' meaning that the ends justify the means) It was a while back, whilst ...

Justifiable Perks. (07 Jun 2010) by Phil Factor

    I was once the director of a start-up IT Company, and had the task of recruiting a proportion of the management team. As my background was in IT management, I was rather more familiar with recruiting Geeks for techno ...

The 'Turkey' principle and the 'Tethered Goat' trick. (25 Jun 2010) by Phil Factor

Judith, a young manager, sounded very aggrieved when she spoke. â_oHere am I, wanting to prove my abilities as a manager, and nobody has told me what I should be doingâ__. I took a thoughtful sip of my Theakstonâ_Ts Old Peculier. We sat ...

Sherry Time, the neglected break (06 Aug 2010) by Phil Factor

For once, Shakespeare put it fair and square. It is just like that... â_~A good sherris-sack hath a twofold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain, dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy vapours which environ it, mak ...

Exploring foreign key relationships with system views (23 Sep 2010) by Phil Factor

/*When you are exploring a database, it is interesting to check out the foreign key constraints. These will only tell you the relationships between tables if they have been properly filled-in. However, if they have been, then it becomes abs ...

Musings on the launch of SQL Monitor (15 Nov 2010) by Phil Factor

For several years, I was responsible for the smooth running of a large number of enterprise database servers. We ran a network monitoring tool that was primitive by todayâ_Ts standards but which performed the useful function of polling e ...

Listing common SQL Code Smells. (22 Nov 2010) by Phil Factor

Once youâ_Tve done a number of SQL Code-reviews, youâ_Tll know those signs in the code that all might not be well. These â_TCode Smellsâ_T are coding styles that donâ_Tt directly cause a bug, but are indicators that all is not well wi ...

Sniffing out SQL Code Smells: Inconsistent use of Symbolic names and Datatypes (10 Dec 2010) by Phil Factor

It is an awkward feeling. Youâ_Tve just delivered a database application that seems to be working fine in production, and you just run a few checks on it. You discover that there is a potential bug that, out of sheer good chance, has ...

IsNumeric() Broken? Only up to a point. (13 Jan 2011) by Phil Factor

In SQL Server, probably the best-known 'broken' function is poor ISNUMERIC() . The documentation says 'ISNUMERIC returns 1 when the input expression evaluates to a valid numeric data type; otherwise it returns 0. ISNUMERIC returns 1 for ...

The Presentation Isn't Over Until It's Over (14 Feb 2011) by Phil Factor

The senior corporate dignitaries settled into their seats looking important in a blue-suited sort of way. The lights dimmed as I strode out in front to give my presentation.   I had ten vital minutes to make my pitch.   I wa ...

A brief nod at reality: Who was that masked man anyway? (04 Apr 2011) by Phil Factor

A database chum recently told me that he was giving up the drudgery of being a front-line DBA in order to become a database consultant. My face contorted in the rictus of polite grief. â_~Thatâ_Ts very sad for you; Iâ_Tm so sorry that you a ...

A breathing-space for Software corpulence (28 Apr 2011) by Phil Factor

A guest editorial for Simple Talk The greatest struggle for anyone designing, building or maintaining applications is the fight against complexity. It chokes the lifeblood from any application. Chuck Moore, one of the founding fathers of ...

Some Original Expressions (27 May 2011) by Phil Factor

Guest Editorial for Simple-Talk newsletter In a guest editorial for the Simple-Talk Newsletter, Phil Factor wonders if we are still likely to find some more novel and unexpected ways of using the newer features of Transact SQL: or maybe i ...

Sitting Pretty (08 Jun 2011) by Phil Factor

Guest Editorial for Simple-Talk IT Pro newsletter 'DBAs and SysAdmins generally prefer an expression of calmness under adversity. It is a subtle trick, and requires practice in front of a mirror to get it just right. Too much adver ...

Using Live Data in Database Development Work (10 Jun 2011) by Phil Factor

Guest Editorial for Simple-Talk Newsletter ... in which Phil Factor reacts with some exasperation when coming across a report that a majority of companies were still using financial and personal data for both developing and testing databa ...

Presentations: On snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. (29 Sep 2011) by Phil Factor

Ah, SQL Pass is imminent; and all over the world, people are preparing their presentations. There is great satisfaction to be had through facing a specialist audience. For the rest of the year, even devoted friends and family tire quickly o ...

Table Variables: an empirical approach. (27 Oct 2011) by Phil Factor

It isnâ_Tt entirely a pleasant experience to publish an article only to have it described on Twitter as â_~Horribleâ_T, and to have it criticized on the MVP forum. When this happened to me in the aftermath of publishing my article on T ...

Smart Storage Server for a Dumb Curmudgeon (05 Dec 2011) by Phil Factor

(Guest Editorial for the SysAdmin/ITPro Newsletter) It's been many years since I had to set up and maintain the network servers for a large office LAN; for it is an activity that requires youthful optimism and a high toleranc ...

Using XML to pass lists as parameters in SQL Server (05 Jan 2012) by Phil Factor

(Updated 14th Jan 2012, and again 26th Jan 2012) Every so often, the question comes up on forums of how to pass a list as a parameter to a SQL procedure or function. There was a time that I used to love this question because one c ...

Hadoop, NOSQL, and the Relational Model (10 Feb 2012) by Phil Factor

(Guest Editorial for the IT Pro/SysAdmin Newsletter) Whereas Relational Databases fit the world of commerce like a glove, it is useless to pretend that they are a perfect fit for all human endeavours. Although, with SQL Server, weâ_Tve ...

Curing the Database-Application mismatch (14 Feb 2012) by Phil Factor

If an application requires access to a database, then you have to be able to deploy it so as to be version-compatible with the database, in phase. If you can deploy both together, then the application and database must normally be deplo ...

Normalisation and 'Anima notitia copia' (Soul of the Database) (17 Feb 2012) by Phil Factor

(A Guest Editorial for Simple-Talk) The other day, I was staring  at the sys.syslanguages   table in SQL Server with slightly-raised eyebrows . Iâ_Td just been reading Chris Dateâ_Ts  interesting book â_~SQL and ...

Database Migration Scripts: Getting from place A to place B (28 Feb 2012) by Phil Factor

Weâ_Tll be looking at a typical database â_~migrationâ_T script which uses an unusual technique to migrate existing â_~de-normalisedâ_T data into a more correct form. So, the book-distribution business that uses the PUBS database has gr ...

A Slice of Raspberry Pi (13 Mar 2012) by Phil Factor

Guest editorial for the ITPro/SysAdmin newsletter The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done a superb design job on their new $35 network-enabled Linux computer. This tiny machine, incorporating an ARM processor on a Broadcom BCM2835 multi ...

Source-control 'wet-work'? (08 Jun 2012) by Phil Factor

When a design or creative work is flawed beyond remedy, it is often best to destroy it and start again. The other day, I lost the code to a long and intricate SQL batch I was working on. Iâ_Td thought it was impossible, but it happened ...

At times, you need to hire a professional. (03 Jul 2012) by Phil Factor

After months of increasingly demanding toil, the development team I belonged to was told that the project was to be canned and the whole team would be fired.  Iâ_Td been brought into the team as an expert in the data implications of a busi ...

The SQL Looks good but does it parse? (06 Aug 2012) by Phil Factor

In honour of Dave Ballantyne's excellent article ' Cleaning Up SQL Server Deployment Scripts ', here is a PowerShell routine that checks to see if your text-based SQL scripts parse properly. If you've checked them in from SQL Source Control ...

When things go awry (09 Nov 2012) by Phil Factor

The moment the Entrepreneur opened his mouth on prime-time national TV, spelled out the URL and waxed big on how exciting â_~hisâ_T new website was, I knew I was in for a busy night. Iâ_Td designed and built it. All at once, half a milli ...

Mr Flibble: As Seen Through a Lens, Darkly (18 Nov 2012) by Phil Factor

One of the rewarding things about getting involved with Simple-Talk has been in meeting and working with some pretty daunting talents. I'd like to say that Dom Reed's talents are at the end of the visible spectrum, but then there is Richard ...

Microsoft Marketing Man wakes up (12 Feb 2013) by Phil Factor

On waking up this morning, I re-imagined the idea of having a bath, which turned out to be a deeply immersive experience. A good scrub realized transformative benefits from the backend to the interface; my teeth lit up from an extensive and ...

Big Data and the Slough of Despond (26 Feb 2013) by Phil Factor

"This miry Slough is such a place as cannot be mended; it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore is it called the Slough of Despond: for still as the sinner is awakened ...

A PowerShell RSS Reader using an OPML file (18 Mar 2013) by Phil Factor

To celebrate the announcement of the planned   demise of Google Reader, Iâ_Tve done a PowerShell script that gives you the   items from the OPML collection of feeds that you import or export between your feed readers. Basica ...

SQL Server JSON to Table and Table to JSON (26 Mar 2013) by Phil Factor

One of the surprises that I got from writing for Simple-Talk was the popularity of my article Consuming JSON Strings in SQL Server .   I hadn't really expected it to be so appreciated; in fact I was nervous about posting it at ...

Azure Explorer: Cause for Cerebration. (26 Apr 2013) by Phil Factor

Untitled 5 span.STBold {font-weight:bold; } span.STItalic {font-style:italic; } Iâ_Tve been taking various grumpy tentative steps towards using Azure, but my experience has been made a delight b ...

Who's afraid of the big bad data type (26 Apr 2013) by Phil Factor

Guest Editorial Data types seem so innocuous, but mistakes in their use can creep up on you like a flesh-eating zombie and destroy your project just when you least expect it. Dealing with strings seems so trivial, what could go wrong? An ...

Learn Many Languages (20 Jun 2013) by Phil Factor

Around twenty-five years ago, I was trying to solve the problem of recruiting suitable developers for a large business. I visited the local University (it was a Technical College then). My mission was to remind them that we were a large, lo ...

Software Tuned to Humanity (18 Jul 2013) by Phil Factor

I learned a great deal from a cynical old programmer who once told me that the ideal length of time for a compiler to do its work was the same time it took to roll a cigarette. For development work, this is oh so true. After intently lookin ...

Taming the spirit of the machine (01 Aug 2013) by Phil Factor

Often, a programmer will wrestle with code stubbornly; expending herculean effort to conquer a problem of relatively minor significance. This is OK. Sometimes, developing an application is like training a wild animal, when it defies you and ...

Methodology Agnostic (12 Sep 2013) by Phil Factor

I once went for an interview at one of those software houses in the east end of London, serving the many financial institutions around the City. It wasn't an easy interview. I've forgotten all of the questions except one. "Have you ever ...

Getting to the Commissars (26 Sep 2013) by Phil Factor

Recently, I've been told, repeatedly, that few organizations have a clear and consistent idea of what they want from an IT project, and that businesses have scant understanding of the business domain, in other words the processes and data, ...

How to get SQL Railroad Diagrams from MSDN BNF syntax notation. (28 Sep 2013) by Phil Factor

On SQL Server Books-On-Line pre {margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Courier New"; margin-left: 0cm; margin-right: 0cm; margin-top: 0cm; } On SQL Server Books-On-Line, in the ...

A Knights Tale (25 Oct 2013) by Phil Factor

There are so many lessons to be learned from the story of Knight Capital losing nearly half a billion dollars as a result of a deployment gone wrong. The Knight Capital Group (KCG N) was an American global financial services firm engag ...

TSQL code to explore keys in a database. (02 Dec 2013) by Phil Factor

p.MsoNormal {margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:0.0pt; margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; }     /*These queries are all to explore and investi ...

IT Aphorisms (19 Dec 2013) by Phil Factor

An aphorism is a concise or laconic statement that expresses an element of truth, and maybe a sting in the tail. such as â_~Iâ_Tm an atheist, thank Godâ_T, or â_~The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigne ...

The Joy of Program Chrestomathy (31 Jan 2014) by Phil Factor

After days spent wrestling with an intractable mess of code, with the winter rain beating on the windows, I sometimes find it difficult to maintain my keenness for development work. Is it like this for everyone? You read of cool startup ...

Converting Roman Numerals: More TSQL Program Chrestomathy. (03 Feb 2014) by Phil Factor

p.MsoNormal {margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; } As part of my series on TSQL Program Chrestom ...

Getting normally-distributed random numbers in TSQL (07 Feb 2014) by Phil Factor

When you are creating test data, you will, at some stage, hit the problem of simulating a distribution. There are plenty of different distributions. In the real world, variables such as height, rainfall, or examination   results c ...

Sundown on Markdown? (28 Feb 2014) by Phil Factor

Markdown is a way of using plain text to create markup, usually, but not exclusively, HTML. It is based on the plain-text email message conventions. It has never been a formal standard. If you're a developer or DBA, and use StackExchange, ...

Including timings, I/O and XML Execution plans in your SQL Test rigs (14 Mar 2014) by Phil Factor

p.MsoNormal {margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:0pt; margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; } Sometimes, when developing SQL code, you need to run an a ...

Model Based Testing at Red Gate (02 Dec 2013) by Phil Scrace

Agile Software development techniques results in fast and frequent development cycles in which the pressure mounts on us, the Test Engineers, to be able to "cover" an area of functionality quickly and in depth. As a result, we need testing ...

Designing help from the inside out (14 Apr 2009) by Rachel Potts

Red Gate is all about ingeniously simple tools. What does all this mean to those of us involved in making sure our users have all the information they need to be able to use these tools? To begin with, what it definitely doesn't m ...

Filling domain knowledge gaps: the ANTS Memory Profiler help system (11 Aug 2009) by Rachel Potts

A project I worked on recently brought up an interesting communication problem: how to supply help with using software, when the main thing getting in the way is the lack of domain knowledge. The problem The product in question is ...

What can web analytics do for a help & support website? (20 Nov 2009) by Rachel Potts

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 t ...

How do you know your site search is working? (29 Jan 2010) by Rachel Potts

For a while now lots of people have been telling me that the Red Gate site search is not so good. So we've got together a team of people to fix it, but before we could do that we had to work out what exactly is wrong with it. All the feedba ...

Help yourself (if you like) (26 Mar 2010) by Rachel Potts

At Red Gate we enjoy talking to our customers. Really! If you've read recent blog posts by members of some of our customer-facing teams, you'll have spotted the pleasure they take in their work. In case you missed those posts, here they ...

Exceptional DBA Awards 2011 (31 May 2011) by Rebecca Amos

From today, weâ_Tre accepting nominations for the 2011 Exceptional DBA Awards. DBAs make a vital contribution to the running of the companies they work for, and the Exceptional DBA Awards aim to acknowledge this and make this contribu ...

Got that Friday feeling? (03 Jun 2011) by Rebecca Amos

Saturday is just around the corner, and weâ_Tre all starting to wrap up for the weekend. If youâ_Tre the DBA that â_~Friday feelingâ_T might be as much about checking and preparing your SQL Servers for the next two days, as about looking ...

Do your good deed for the day: nominate an exceptional DBA (10 Jun 2011) by Rebecca Amos

Do you know an exceptional DBA? Think they deserve recognition at the worldâ_Ts largest technical SQL Server conference? Nominate them for the Exceptional DBA Award 2011, and they could be accepting the prize at this yearâ_Ts PASS Summit. ...

5 ways the Exceptional DBA Award could boost your career (17 Jun 2011) by Rebecca Amos

Winning the Exceptional DBA Award wonâ_Tt just get you full conference registration for the PASS Summit â_" it could also change your life and career. With a little help from our past winners, here are the top 5 ways the Exceptional DB ...

4 Top Tips from the Exceptional DBA Award judges (23 Jun 2011) by Rebecca Amos

There's still time to celebrate your achievements as a DBA â_" or those of a DBA you know â_" by submitting a nomination for the Exceptional DBA Awards 2011. To help you get started, here are some top tips from the judges on what they're ...

Last chance to enter! Exceptional DBA Awards 2011 (29 Jun 2011) by Rebecca Amos

Only 1 day left to enter the Exceptional DBA Awards! Get started on your entry today, and you could be heading to Seattle for the PASS Summit in October. All you need to do is visit the Exceptional DBA website and answer a few que ...

Thank you to all entrants! Finalist announcement coming soon... (01 Jul 2011) by Rebecca Amos

We had a fantastic response to this year's Exceptional DBA Awards. A big thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to make a nomination - it's great to see so many DBAs being appreciated for the hard work that they do. We'r ...

Finalists announced! Exceptional DBA Awards 2011 (19 Jul 2011) by Rebecca Amos

Thank you again to everyone who entered this yearâ_Ts Exceptional DBA Awards. We had a record number of responses this year, and we really appreciate the time everyone took to enter. We're delighted to announce this year's five finali ...

Jeff Moden wins Exceptional DBA Award 2011 (15 Sep 2011) by Rebecca Amos

The judges have judgedâ_Ţthe SQL Server community votes have been countedâ_Ţand weâ_Tre delighted to announce that the winner of the Exceptional DBA Award 2011 is: Jeff Moden Lead application DBA and data architect DiscoverReady ...

An interview with Jeff Moden - Exceptional DBA 2011 (27 Sep 2011) by Rebecca Amos

He may call himself an "Accidental DBA", but the many SQL Server professionals who have benefited from Jeff Modenâ_Ts knowledge and experience would agree that heâ_Ts more of an expert than he gives himself credit for. Jeff â_" Lead ...

Weâ_Tre having an exceptionally good party â_" and youâ_Tre invited! (05 Oct 2011) by Rebecca Amos

Are you coming to the PASS Summit? Then join us to help Jeff Moden celebrate his Award of Exceptional DBA of the Year . Join us and SQLServerCentral for the Exceptional DBA Awards party on 11 October. Weâ_Tve booked a casino and bar ...

Red Gate and the Community (07 Feb 2012) by Red and the Community

I was lucky enough to join the Communities team in April 2011, having worked in the equally awesome (but more number-crunchy), Finance team at Red Gate for about four years before that. Being totally passionate about Red Gate, and easily ...

Red Gate's on the road in 2012 - Will you catch us? (21 Feb 2012) by Red and the Community

Annabel Bradford, our Communities and Events Manager, tells all about her experience of our 1 st SQL Saturday of the year. The first stop this year was SQL Saturday #104 Colorado Springs, back in early January. I made the trip across f ...

Taking our Friendships to the next level. (22 May 2012) by Red and the Community

Red Gate have been running the Friends of Red Gate program for years now, and over that time we've built some great relationships with some truly awesome members of the SQL and .NET communities. When I took over the running of the pro ...

Exceptional DBA 2011 Jeff Moden on why you should enter in 2012 (19 Jun 2012) by Red and the Community

My "reign" as the Red Gate Exceptional DBA is almost over and I was asked to say a few words about this wonderful award. Having been one of those folks that shied away from entering the contest during the first 3 years of the aw ...

SQL in the City â_" a Newbieâ_Ts Experience (03 Aug 2012) by Red and the Community

Having joined Annabel and Hannah on the Communities team 4 months ago, it has been a busy and exciting time. Earlier in the month, I had the opportunity to work on my first event with Red Gate at SQL in the City London, and I couldnâ_Tt hav ...

Thatâ_Ts a wrap! Almost, thereâ_Ts still one last chance to attend a SQL in the City event in 2012 (23 Oct 2012) by Red and the Community

The communities team are back from the SQL in the City multi-city US Tour and we are delighted to have met so many happy SQL Server professionals and Red Gate customers. We set out to run a series of back-to-back events in order to meet, ta ...

Welcome to the Red Gate BI Tools Team blog! (22 Jun 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

Welcome to the first ever post on the brand new Red Gate Business Intelligence Tools Team blog! About the team Nick Sutherland (product manager): After many years as a software developer and project manager, Nick took an MBA and tur ...

The Birth of SSAS Compare (27 Jun 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

Noemi Moreno, Red Gate Business Intelligence Specialist Software vendors - even Microsoft - tend to forget about the needs of business intelligence developers. We are a rare and rather invisible species. For example, BIDS remained i ...

The five steps of business intelligence adoption: where are you? (04 Jul 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

When I was in Orlando and New York last month, I spoke to a lot of business intelligence users. What they told me suggested a path of BI adoption. The userâ_Ts place on the path depends on the size and sophistication of their organisation. ...

Testing SSAS Compare (11 Jul 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

By Jonathan Watts I try to pretend I am not a geek, but with fifteen cameras (film and digital), three android devices and a lifetime subscription to Sci-Fi Magazine, I haven't been able to convince anyone. I am also a test engineer at ...

XMLA script execution: a new feature is born! (18 Jul 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

By David Pond I'm the lead developer on SSAS Compare. Which is to say, it's me (and an intern!) doing the programming. So when you find a bug, I'm the one whoâ_Tll fix it â_" and to be honest, Iâ_Tm probably the one to blame in the firs ...

Self-service BI and SSAS Tabular (26 Jul 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

By Nick Sutherland Most of the BI professionals Iâ_Tve spoken to use enterprise BI â_" that is, they create analysis databases and reports on behalf of their business users, rather than letting the users explore the data warehouse thems ...

UserVoice and SSAS Compare (31 Jul 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

By Brian Tufnell If youâ_Tve been following our blog, youâ_Tll know Red Gate is developing SSAS Compare to simplify deployment in the world of SQL Server Analysis Services. Youâ_Tll also know weâ_Tre keen to get your feedback while th ...

Business Intelligence Adoption Survey Results (09 Aug 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

A month ago Nick published a blog post  about the path to adopting common business intelligence practices. At the same time, we published a survey asking for feedback on current BI trends and processes. We asked these questions: ...

SSAS Compare: an intern's journey (29 Aug 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

About a month ago, David mentioned an intern working in the BI Tools Team. That intern happens to be me! In five weeksâ_T time, Iâ_Tll start my second year of Computer Science at the University of Cambridge and be a full-time student agai ...

New site - and a special offer (06 Sep 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

SSAS Compare has a  brand new website ! The old page was thrown together in the way that most Red Gate labs sites tend to be â_" as experimental sites for experimental products. Weâ_Tve been developing SSAS Compare for a while now, so we d ...

SSAS Compare version 1.0 released (21 Nov 2012) by Red Gate Software BI Tools Team

Weâ_Tre pleased to announce that SSAS Compare version 1.0 has been released as a free tool . Version 1.0 includes: Comparisons of live databases and XMLA or Analysis Services Project files MDX syntax diffs and highlightin ...

How to make friends â_" by Red Gate (24 Jun 2008) by red@work

Red Gate, to the untrained eye, looks a lot like other companies. We are departmentalised, we are spread over multiple offices, and we sometimes donâ_Tt know what other areas of the company are up to (note to Sara â_" when do we find out wh ...

Thank you to the .NET Developer Group in Braunschweig (24 Jun 2008) by red@work

At Red Gate we have a â_~Memory Wallâ_T that proudly displays a number of Red Gateâ_Ts finest (and not so finest!) moments over the past eight years. We have some super photos of our joint CEO, Neil Davidson, looking like a fresh-faced univ ...

From Waterfall to Scrum (01 Jul 2008) by red@work

From Waterfall to Scrum How do you scale your development processes?   Once upon a time Red Gate had a single development team. It was small enough to write software for a new product by doing a f ...

Marketing from the ground up (21 Aug 2008) by red@work

How do you market a product that doesnâ_Tt exist to people that you donâ_Tt know, in places you canâ_Tt find? This has been our basic problem in marketing Exchange Server Archiver . As a newly-arrived summer intern, I was pretty conf ...

New Kid on the Block (29 Sep 2008) by red@work

I only recently joined Red Gate, and when I found out I was being offered the job I was already pretty excited. After all, theyâ_Tve actually got awards for being a great place to work. But then, something happened which completely chang ...

Simply different: ingenious! (30 Sep 2008) by red@work

Having seen Chrisâ_T post yesterday, I thought Iâ_Td bring another perspective to the table. I joined Red Gate a few weeks ago, and from all Iâ_Td learned before joining I thought it was a cracking company, doing things in a different way. ...

Power to the (Right) People (08 Oct 2008) by red@work

The best way of leaning to swim is to get thrown in the Deep(er) End of the pool. Preferably by someone with the inclination to come rescue you if you start to drown. You either learn to tread water remarkably fast, or you get fished out, c ...

All Your Kitchen Are Belong To Us (09 Oct 2008) by red@work

Apropos of nothing, weâ_Tve just moved into a new office to house our ever-burgeoning workforce, and naturally there are a few important tweaks that need to be made to make the place fit for use. Like upgrading how much sweet, sweet caffein ...

Being a gorilla rocks (14 Oct 2008) by red@work

And I should know... I was a gâ_Trilla back in 2006 and it was beyond brilliant. I even got a medal for it. So when it came to 2008, I was already getting itchy elbows to become a gâ_Trilla again. Thereâ_Ts nothing quite like that fee ...

Introducing your PDC 2008 team... (23 Oct 2008) by red@work

Microsoft PDC is upon us again for the first time in three years. There is a packed 5-day agenda running from Sunday October 26 th through to Thursday October 30 th . I always get excited about going away with Red Gate. Itâ_Ts such a ...

Female developers, we need you! (04 Nov 2008) by red@work

Where are the female developers? The development department have some very talented technical testers who happen to be women, and are used to programming test harnesses and debugging applications. We also have female project managers, pro ...

It Takes a Crazy to Recognise a Crazy (18 Nov 2008) by red@work

Red Gate recently attended the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, CA, and when we weren’t consuming copious numbers of oysters and steaks, we found a lot of time to chat to attendees. I always seem to find m ...

Red Gate's first Blood Brother (20 Nov 2008) by red@work

Being a Community Marketeer can be a tough road some days, but I think the highlight of my career arrived in my inbox today. We like to show love for our friends â_Ţ and this friend returned the passion in spades, and permanent spades a ...

PASS Potpourri (25 Nov 2008) by red@work

Our expert team of conference-goers recently returned from PASS, and laughed in the face of jet-lag to fill us in on a varied taste of what went on during these last few non-stop days in Seattle. Iâ_Tll open to floor to the lovely Clai ...

Splash Screen Psychology (24 Apr 2009) by red@work

We don't generally design splash screens for Early Access Builds. But, with our Memory Profiler coming out as an Early Access Build , one of my developers unleashed his pent-up artistic energy on the ANTS Performance Profiler splash screen ...

CSR. Several days in the life of... (17 Jul 2009) by red@work

It's not every day at work that you are serenaded by Santa Claus* playing a ukulele. It's not every company in which you find yourself in a jester's cap being shouted at by the Mad Hatter to swap places with the person sixteen places along ...

A Radical Start (22 Jul 2009) by red@work

When I applied to work at Red Gate, I was well aware that it was a revolutionary software company, working on the front line of product development. But nothing could prepare me for the images evoked as I had my first experience of a Red Ga ...

Check us out... (27 Jul 2009) by red@work

Many of us are cautious before applying for a job, especially in an office. When I was fresh out of University, my only experience of a workplace had been the Coffee House where Iâ_Td worked as a waitress serving people their afternoon t ...

Red Gate is 10! (16 Oct 2009) by red@work

Weâ_Tve never been known to miss out on a chance to celebrate, so we had an office birthday party. We kicked things off with a company group photo. Now, getting 150 people into one shot isnâ_Tt easy, but Dom our resident photographer/Usa ...

Marketing Day Out (22 Oct 2009) by red@work

Imagine waking up with the knowledge that the day ahead will be one to remember, but not being entirely sure what to expect. This was certainly the case for the Marketing team who looked forward to their day-out on 15 th October 2009. ...

Something Spooky at Red Gate (30 Oct 2009) by red@work

Itâ_Ts not unusual to be sitting at your desk at Red Gate and hear a cheer erupt from a post-lunch game of foosball that has been played with the momentum of an Olympic match, or indeed, the rhythmic patter of a table tennis ball going from ...

The Front line of Communication (22 Jan 2010) by red@work

There may be a few blog posts around on customer contact from a sales and marketing point of view, but not so many on the other points of contact a company has with their customers, which can be overlooked. Not everyone who deals with custo ...

Finance: Friends, not foes! (19 Feb 2010) by red@work

After reading Phil's blog post about his experiences of working on reception, I thought I would let everyone in on one of the other customer facing roles at Red Gate... When you think of a Credit Control team, most might imagine money-hu ...

Itâ_Ts official â_" Red Gate is a great place to work! (04 Mar 2010) by red@work

At a glittering award ceremony last week, we found out that weâ_Tre officially the 14th best small company to work for in the whole of the UK! This is no mean feat, considering that about 1,000 companies enter the Sunday Times Top 100 be ...

What if you could work on anything you wanted? (30 Mar 2010) by red@work

This week weâ_Tve downed our tools and organised ourselves into small project teams or struck out alone. Weâ_Tre working on whatever we like, with whoever we like, wherever we like. Weâ_Tve called it Down Tools week and so far itâ_Ts a blas ...

Such thing as a free lunch (21 Apr 2010) by red@work

There is a lot of hard work goes on in Red Gate, no doubt. And then there are things we're asked to get involved with, that aren't hard and don't feel much like work. What? Give up our free lunch at Red Gate for a free lunch in a pub? ...

Swapping a spreadsheet for a sledgehammer (25 Jun 2010) by red@work

When the opportunity to help for the day at Darwin Nurseries came up, the main thing that attracted me was the chance to smash things up. Working in the Finance department at Red Gate, the opportunity to smash stuff up doesn't arise of ...

Living the high life at Red Gate (26 Jul 2010) by red@work

I think it was the moment when, 1500 metres above the fields of South Cambridge, sitting in the front cockpit of a yellow 1939 Tiger moth biplane in a flying jacket and goggles, the voice of the pilot came through my headphones to tell me " ...

How to redesign a website in 5 weeks (10 Aug 2010) by red@work

You will need : A dedicated room - a usability lab or 'war room' if you like A dithering of designers. Pick and mix any five or six from: Information architect Interaction designer Usability e ...

11 ways to celebrate a birthday (18 Oct 2010) by red@work

Another year flies by and Red Gate reaches the grand old age of 11. Hereâ_Ts what we got up to on our big day: At the crack of dawn we decorated the office. Cara on Reception was then wished a happy birthday by visitors to Red Gate towe ...

Five go to Oxford (then cycle back to Cambridge) (08 Nov 2010) by red@work

It all started a few months ago when Chris Morgan got all enthusiastic about the London-Cambridge bike ride. While planning that he also came up with the idea that we should do the Oxford-Cambridge ride in October. It sounded like a crazy ...

Reg Gets a Job at Red Gate (and what happens behind the scenes) (17 Dec 2010) by red@work

Mr Reg Gater works at one of Cambridgeâ_Ts many high-tech companies. He doesnâ_Tt love his job, but he puts up with it because... well, it could be worse. Every day he drives to work around the Red Gate roundabout, wondering what his boss i ...

Cooking up a Storm (14 Jul 2011) by red@work

I recently moved from Red Gateâ_Ts Finance team to The Agency, where the Marketing magic (And all the colouring in), happens. Every year each Red Gate team is given a generous budget and a free day out of the office to go and spend having ...

Technology Ventures Conference (15 Jul 2011) by red@work

Red Gate attended the Technology Ventures Conference (TVC), held at the Cambridge Student Union on the 8 th June, and we had a great day.   The TVC is an event to showcase start-ups in the local area and to allow them to pitch for ...

SQL in the City London (27 Jul 2011) by red@work

Last Friday I was made to wake up obscenely early, which is something that I generally avoid. On this occasion, however, I was excited enough to spring out of bed when my alarm went, rather than hitting snooze three times before rousing, ...

Interview with Jonathan Watts, Head of Test (08 Aug 2011) by red@work

How did you come to be in your current role at Red Gate? I got into testing in my first job after university, at a blue chip company in Hertfordshire â_" I took a 'summer job' as an auditor running scripts to test photocopiers, whilst app ...

Interview with Geoff Bones, developer on SQL Storage Compress (14 Nov 2011) by red@work

How did you come to be working at Red Gate? I've been working at Red Gate for nine months; before that I had been at a multinational engineering company. A number of my colleagues had left to work at Red Gate and spoke very highly of it ...

Interview with Sarah Grady, Red Gater and Paralympic Basketball Player (12 Dec 2011) by red@work

Weâ_Tve always known that most Red Gate employees have a hidden talent or two, and Sarah Grady, our Media and Events Coordinator, is no exception. Having competed at the Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) Paralympic Games as part of the GB Wom ...

Red Gate does Burns Night 2012 (02 Feb 2012) by red@work

Whilst we have our fair share, as a company, of native Scots, somehow none of them managed to attend Red Gate's recent Burns Night celebration. Troublingly, this didn't seem to trouble us. A Burns Supper should not, in theory, be hard t ...

World Backup Day (29 Mar 2012) by red@work

Here at Red Gate Towers, the SQL Backup development team have been hunkered down in their shed for the last few months, with the toolbox, blowtorch and chamois leather out, upgrading SQL Backup. When we started, autumn leaves were falling. ...

Red Gate does Byte Night 2012 (18 Oct 2012) by red@work

On the 5 th of October 2012, a team of nine plucky Red Gaters braved the howling wind and the driving rain to sleep outside. No tents or mattresses were allowed â_" all we took for protection were sleeping bags, groundsheets, plastic sacks ...

Issues with a detailed test description (16 Feb 2009) by Reka Burmeister

In the Exchange Server Archiver team we recently had a series of discussions among our testers in order to get a common understanding about the form and detail level of a test case. Interestingly, the first issue we hit was the terminolog ...

Testing search (02 Mar 2009) by Reka Burmeister

As Exchange Server Archiver slowly but steadily heads towards launch, we have completed more and more components. Recently the Outlook Add-in for Outlook 2003 was finished and became available for testing. Iâ_Tve been assigned to test the s ...

Who am I? (15 Nov 2005) by Richard Mitchell

This is the first post in my Red Gate Blog so I think I'd better introduce myself a little bit. I'm the main programmmer on the SQL Data Compare engine one of our suite of best selling SQL Bundle tools, currently I'm working on the latest ...

Type safe collections (23 Nov 2005) by Richard Mitchell

I must admit that creating a nice type safe collection for a new feature in one of our products took me a little time. There are some very good resources online on how to setup your own type safe collection so I thought I'd contribute a ...

The new SQL Data Compare beta (29 Nov 2005) by Richard Mitchell

The new SQL Data Compare beta is about to be released and I hope you all get a chance to have a good look at it and send me your opinions. There are a few features that we are quite proud of mostly of course these are surrounding our new ...

New Check for Updates Client too (09 Dec 2005) by Richard Mitchell

Well not only have we got the currently running SQL Data Compare Beta - well SQL Tools beta really but that's the important bit ;). We have the new DTS Compare Beta, we're going to be starting work on the next update of our brilliant SQL Lo ...

Red Gate Scream AKA SQL Compare snapshot comparison tool for source control integration (08 Feb 2006) by Richard Mitchell

One of the things that seems to be missing from large scale database development is the ability to really see the differences from one version of the database to the next. Now of course SQL Compare can take snapshots and these snapshots c ...

Telekinisis doesn't exist (29 Mar 2006) by Richard Mitchell

Me and a few friends went bowling last night which is all well and good but it got me to thinking about telekinisis. I mean all of this energy put into willing the bowling ball onto track and willing that last pin to fall over. There are ...

What is SQL? (07 Apr 2006) by Richard Mitchell

OK now to most of you reading this blog, well all 3 of you at least this would seem like a simple question. SQL is a programming language for querying databases. Well, it isn't. SQL is a Query Language, as such it is not meant to be used ...

Red Gate Scream v0.2 - SQL Compare 5.1 snapshot support (14 Jun 2006) by Richard Mitchell

It's taken me a while but I've finally rebuilt Scream to work with the newer version of the SQL Compare engine. No other changes really apart from the fancy new progress bar (if you have snapshots large enough anyway). I've been working o ...

ANTS Profiler TNG and Barcelona (23 Nov 2006) by Richard Mitchell

Just a heads up that we're about to start work on the next version or our profiler tool. I am wondering if people have tried our old product, especially those who have had problems with it can get in touch and let me know what sort of probl ...

The hills are alive (04 Dec 2006) by Richard Mitchell

With the sound of people writing about those utilities that they find oh-so-useful. So I thought I'd join in the fray with my own little pick of programs that I find indispensable. All of the following tools are free (of course). ...

The good life (11 Dec 2006) by Richard Mitchell

It's amazing just how easy programming is nowadays. For the past 2 years-ish I've been working almost exclusively in C# and I forgot quite how much of a pain it can be when you have to code in C++ for a while. You have to remember all these ...

Scream 0.3 - SQL Compare 5.3 Snapshot support (18 Jan 2007) by Richard Mitchell

Just to let you all out there now I've compiled a new version of the Scream tool for you that supports SQL Compare 5.3 snapshots. You can download the new version from the same place off Red Gate Labs . I'm not sure it has been mentioned ...

How many 64bit coders does it take to screw in a lightbulb? (19 Jan 2007) by Richard Mitchell

1050 - or thereabouts. OK I must admit that's not entirely the question, but it is however the answer. As some of you out there know I'm working on the new version of ANTS Profiler (gratuitous link to product, marketing would be so proud ...

Which came first the static chicken or the static egg? (24 Jan 2007) by Richard Mitchell

Came across an interesting thing to do with static constructors in the course of the development of ANTS Profiler 3. We got around to talking about static constructors across multiple files and wondering what would happen if you attempted t ...

ANTS Profiler 3 BETA (05 Feb 2007) by Richard Mitchell

As some of you who have been reading my blog know we're working on the next version of ANTS Profiler for all you lovely people. As part of our product development we normally release a beta so that people can use it in their environment ...

ANTS Profiler 3 BETA now available for download (14 Feb 2007) by Richard Mitchell

For those of you waiting you can now download the ANTS Profiler 3 beta from the following location (up until the end of February)... ftp://ftp.red-gate.com/AntsProfilerBeta/ Support for the beta will be via the support forums on the Red ...

That makes a lot more sense now (03 Apr 2007) by Richard Mitchell

I'll admit it, I never really got the yield statement in C# before today. However there's a very good article I've just read on msdn that takes you through it step-by-step. It's certainly an interesting read and with luck will help you ...

It's like being stoned to death with marshmallows (12 Apr 2007) by Richard Mitchell

It's amazing what you learn reading MSDN. It has recently been my joy to have to discover everything I've never really wanted to know about the internal system tables of SQL Server 2005. I don't mean those lovely system views that they've c ...

Cut-n-paste your code nicely (17 May 2007) by Richard Mitchell

One thing that has annoyed me quite a lot lately is the way that cut-n-paste code from visual studio 2005 fails to look nice in emails. Your tabs dissappear you very large line gaps for every new line in your code and it sets the text to be ...

SQL Data Compare 6 Alpha on the horizon (18 Jun 2007) by Richard Mitchell

In between the bouts of champagne for new product launches, eating the yoghurts and drinking the smoothies from the 'feel good fridge'. In between the free Thursday lunches and punting on the Cam we manage to get a surprising amount of work ...

The trials of usability trials of SQL Data Compare 6 (22 Jun 2007) by Richard Mitchell

Don't you just love them. You write your UI, you think you design you code you fix you bug fix again when testers break everything in sight you perform usability trials on people and they don't even find that feature you worked on for 2 wee ...

How to tell you've created something truly special. (09 Jul 2007) by Richard Mitchell

In my history as a programmer there are a few occasions that stand out when I feel I've written something truly special (yes there's a Red Gate bit but that comes later). The difficulty I generally find is how to quantify special . Mainl ...

Beware ye of ancient columns (12 Jul 2007) by Richard Mitchell

I'm sure you all make changes to your schema over time adding columns to tables and occassionally dropping them. But were you aware that even though you drop a column from a table the space in the row continues to be taken up by the ghost ...

SQL Data Compare 6 Alpha due out next week (26 Jul 2007) by Richard Mitchell

After over 3 months of hard graft we're getting ready to give you the chance to get your fingers on the Alpha of the next version of SQL Data Compare. We're currently just doing some final install testing and hope to release it next week. ...

SQL Data Compare 6 Alpha - Out Now (01 Aug 2007) by Richard Mitchell

Fresh off the presses and with the ink still drying we've pushed SQL Data Compare 6 Alpha out of the door. There are full release notes available here which tells you how to download it and the issues we know about. The product is suppo ...

What's in a name? (13 Sep 2007) by Richard Mitchell

Until recently I wouldn't have said much. I'm talking about software release names rather than personal names - I quite like my name, it was the name my Grandad on my dads side who died when my dad was still quite young. But apart from that ...

iPodtastic (21 Sep 2007) by Richard Mitchell

Just to let you know that we're contacting the people who've helped out with the SQL Data Compare 6 Alpha and are in the process of getting your likkle iPods to you as I speak. Thanks to everybody who helped out, the release is looking rea ...

SQL Data Compare 6 RC1 - oh yes indeedy! (26 Sep 2007) by Richard Mitchell

You've been waiting for it, we've been working on it and finally the day has arrived. SQL Data Compare 6 RC1 is available for download Right Now! Download RC1 here... We've very proud of what we've achieved with this release. You can co ...

SQL Data Compare 6 API (12 Nov 2007) by Richard Mitchell

OK I admit it. During the development of SQL Data Compare 6 in order to get the product out on time we had to sacrifice doing the SQL Toolkit 6 help ( it didn't involve chickens). So I thought I'd write a little bit to get you started on th ...

SQL Data Compare 6.1 - row level restore comes of age (24 Jan 2008) by Richard Mitchell

It took a little longer than expected but "By George I Think We've Cracked It!". Towards the end of last year a bunch of us went out to go ice skating and otherwise spending the company's money - which was nice, earlier in the morning I man ...

Remoting and common classes (12 Feb 2008) by Richard Mitchell

I've been playing a bit lately with .NET Remoting and I must say that so far I'm deeply un-impressed. The documentation seems to be sparse at best and downright misleading at worst. So I thought I'd put a few of my discoveries here so that ...

Serialization - that annoying little problem (21 Feb 2008) by Richard Mitchell

 As I've been doing a bit of work on remoting ( see my previous blog post ) I'm necessarily looking quite a bit into the serialization of messages. Yesterday I found quite a good article on the CodeProject website with a good set of re ...

Been a bit busy lately (22 May 2008) by Richard Mitchell

What I learned lately - by Richard Mitchell Aged 32 3/4. 1. When you're managing a large project team don't expect to get 4 days coding done a week. 2. Designing a UI that people can use is much harder than it seems. 3. Hire the right peop ...

When is a Bug NotABug (23 Jan 2009) by Richard Mitchell

So we're coding away - as you do - on our lovely new product (Blatant Plug : Exchange Server Archiver ). Things are going well code monkeys are ooking nicely, testers are being evil as only they know how. Now I'm all for thoroughly tested ...

Red Gate Labs on a shoestring (02 Nov 2010) by Richard Mitchell

In the Beginning Red Gate in the past has always produced lovely tools, however sometimes things are created which are never quite good enough to become products. So instead of keeping these things to ourselves we started putting them on ...

A weekend with the Samsung Galaxy Tab (15 Nov 2010) by Richard Mitchell

This weekend I took one of the Samsung Galaxy Tabs we have lying around the office here home to see how I got on with it as I've been thinking of buying one. Initial impressions The look and feel of the Tab is quite nice. It's a lot s ...

SQL Monitor and "The Cloud" (23 Nov 2010) by Richard Mitchell

So, how can we demo this thing? In the beginning there was a product, and it was a good product for the testers had decreed it so, and nobody argues with a tester. But then comes the inevitable question of how can somebody test it out wi ...

5 Reasons why I hate WPF (16 Jun 2011) by Richard Mitchell

I decided to use writing a new tool as a way to learn WPF and MVVM and I thought I'd write down a few of my problems as a way of cathartic release. I decided to read a book before attempting WPF for the first time as I've heard others co ...

SQL Azure Down - how I got labs.red-gate.com back up (23 Jun 2011) by Richard Mitchell

11:06am - Currently SQL Azure in western europe is down How do I know this? Well on labs.red-gate.com (my Azure website) I have elmah installed which started sending me e-mails about connection failures from 10:40am when trying to ge ...

Windows 8 inspired website (05 Jul 2011) by Richard Mitchell

Download the zip here Working in New Biz As I work in Red Gate's new business division much of what we do isn't very visible. So along with Marine Barbaroux I decided to try to create an engaging website to capture what we're doing ...

How "not" to update SQL Azure - updated (08 Aug 2011) by Richard Mitchell

For an update to this article please read my new blog post. How "not" to update SQL Azure - continued Well what an eventful day in "The Cloud" yesterday was, and I don't reckon today is going to be much better. On Friday 5t ...

Save hours-get a command prompt (15 Aug 2011) by Richard Mitchell

Recently somebody showed me a little trick to get a command prompt in any directory. Simply hold down SHIFT whilst pressing right-click on the folder and the menu option containing " Open command window here " appears as if by magic. ...

How "not" to update SQL Azure - continued (09 Sep 2011) by Richard Mitchell

So a month ago now I wrote a blog post in a state of fury at Microsoft for updating SQL Azure without a proper announcement, it's time for an update. After the blog post I was e-mailed by somebody in Microsoft to talk through my issues ...

5 reasons why I almost loved WPF (13 Jan 2012) by Richard Mitchell

Before you read this you should probably read my original post 5 Reasons why I hate WPF . Also "Qwertie" wrote a nice article detail about his overview of why WPF sucks . 1 - Binding There is something so nice about setting a button ...

Red Gate Cloud Services - something new (19 Apr 2012) by Richard Mitchell

For the past several months I've been working on something new. This is a hosted service for maintaining cloud applications cunningly named Red Gate Cloud Services . It's been live since the beginning of the year and it's free to try it o ...

DIVs of equal height (29 Apr 2012) by Richard Mitchell

It's the same old old problem you want to make a set of columns the same height but life it too short for the CSS only version. It's technically possible to do but nowadays you can't run the web without having javascript turned on. There mu ...

3 tips for SQL Azure connection perfection (31 May 2012) by Richard Mitchell

One of my main annoyances when dealing with SQL Azure is of course the occasional connection problems that communicating to a cloud database entails. If you're used to programming against a locally hosted SQL Server box this can be quite a ...

Want to get your name in a free Azure tips eBook? (17 Apr 2013) by Richard Mitchell

As I've been working with Windows Azure for a few years now there's a few things I wish I knew when I started out. If you've got similar tips that you'd like to share we're putting together a free eBook of 50 tips for Azure Storage and we ...

Design Reboot: 10 things to kick-start User Experience design (06 Apr 2011) by Richard Muscat

Red Gate is a very UX-centric organisation but for one reason or another one of our divisions was short of UX for a while. Over on our UX blog I wrote about my experience of the first two months in our SQL Tools division. At my first m ...

Where I disagree with Alan Cooper (or why bits are no different to atoms) (04 May 2011) by Richard Muscat

Cross-posted from the Red Gate UX Blog . Alan Cooper was, and still is, one of my heroes. Reading his book The Inmates are Running the Asylum almost ten years ago was a call to arms; a rallying cry saying that design was much mor ...

The Running Cost of Azure - MSDN Offer (24 Nov 2010) by Robbie Th'ng

Richard recently blogged about getting the Red Gate Labs website onto Azure; it's been running awhile now and, as Richard makes sure the cogs are all turning, I've been trying to track the cost. We decided to launch on Windows Azure ...

What's on Azure right now? (18 Jan 2011) by Robbie Th'ng

If you speak to Microsoft, they'll give you a number of active accounts, but what are those accounts actually running? It could be a collection of Hello World ASP.NET sites, or perhaps small exciting web start-ups, or maybe even the beginni ...

Say hello, static constructor? (03 Aug 2007) by Robert Chipperfield

When does the static constructor of your .NET class actually get called? Sounds like it should be pretty obvious really - at least going on the side of "how late can it possibly be called". Most of us are used to the idea that static const ...

Random names and the Birthday Paradox (07 Sep 2007) by Robert Chipperfield

I'm currently in the middle of giving Red Gate's sample "Widgets" database a bit of a face lift, in preparation for the new version of SQL Data Compare 6 that's coming soon. As part of this, I wanted to populate a pretty generic "Contacts ...

Can you Break The Code? (19 Sep 2007) by Robert Chipperfield

Fancy winning some cool goodies? Red Gate has just launched its "Break The Code" prize draw, where you can win one of the following prizes: A year's subscription to Safari Books Online (worth $550) One ANTS Profiler Pro license ...

The (slightly obscene) way to speed up loops (03 Oct 2007) by Robert Chipperfield

Last night as I wandered around some sites on Java optimization, I came across an example of loop optimization that felt so wrong, yet unfortunately does work! The reasoning goes as follows: both C# and Java perform array bounds checking, ...

It's a <strike>boy</strike> new version of SQL Data Compare! (08 Oct 2007) by Robert Chipperfield

Well, after five months of design, development, testing, documentation, training, and countless other activities that I've almost certainly forgotten to list, SQL Data Compare 6 is out. Richard 's been blogging quite a bit about the relea ...

Should you always use a clustered index? (17 Dec 2007) by Robert Chipperfield

In one of his recent editorials , Steve Jones of SQLServerCentral wondered about whether every table evar should have a primary key, and in doing so, mentioned the often-quoted advice of also making sure every table has a clustered index ...

The pain of software installation (08 Jan 2008) by Robert Chipperfield

At Red Gate, we have a big focus on usability - we try and make all our products as easy as possible to use, on the basis that if someone is trying to solve a problem, we should be helping to solve the problem rather than giving them more p ...

Event, sit! Event, staaaay... (08 May 2008) by Robert Chipperfield

One of the great features in .NET is its event model. I came from a Java world before I started developing C#, and whilst they achieve the same effect using "listeners", I think C# definitely does it more slickly. That's not to say I wouldn ...

Phew... we made it! (Well, the first half at least) (12 Nov 2008) by Robert Chipperfield

A little over a year ago, as I was finishing up on SQL Multi Script, Colin, our head of Product Management wandered over for a chat about what we were going to get up to next... something completely different... Over the course of the next ...

Test-driven scalability in Exchange Server Archiver (15 Dec 2008) by Robert Chipperfield

Iâ_Tve recently been working on Red Gateâ_Ts new Exchange Server Archiver tool. Earlier on in the development process, I was developing part of the Archive Service (the component responsible for extracting messages from Exchange Server ...

Cloning objects the quick and dirty way (25 Sep 2009) by Robert Chipperfield

Working in .NET, a lot of the objects I use implement ISerializable - very handy when it comes to throwing them around using .NET Remoting and the like. In my slightly more evil (or is it lazy?) moments, I tend to "re-purpose" this for a li ...

Coding By the Sea: The story of SQL Search (10 Nov 2009) by Robert Chipperfield

SQL Search is a new tool from Red Gate that allows you to search SQL Server database schemas, instantly locating objects. This is the story of its development. Back at the start of October, Neil Davidson, one of Red Gate's CEOs, pos ...

.NET to iOS: From WinForms to the iPad (01 Dec 2010) by Robert Chipperfield

One of the great things about working at Red Gate is getting to play with new technology - and right now, that means mobile. A few weeks ago, we decided that a little research into the tablet computing arena was due, and purely from a numbe ...

Accessing SQL Server data from iOS apps (14 Jan 2011) by Robert Chipperfield

Almost all mobile apps need access to external data to be valuable. With a huge amount of existing business data residing in Microsoft SQL Server databases, and an ever-increasing drive to make more and more available to mobile users, how d ...

Hypnagogic Somnambulance and SQL (05 Apr 2006) by Rodney Landrum

I have been reading A Short History of Nearly Everything this past month. Yes, it took me a month, not because I am a slow reader, but because I typically find myself reading right before sleep and when the words begin to blur, the book f ...

Old Bands and Almost Famous and Working (10 Apr 2006) by Rodney Landrum

 As I type this I am resting on the gluteus trying to work on an exciting BI project that should bring to the surface otherwise fossilized remnants of data. This ozone friendly data, as it is touted in almost every BI webcast, will emp ...

Oncallogist (19 Apr 2006) by Rodney Landrum

I thought about titling every blog entry " FunnyTitle... and SQL" but judging from the responses thus far, which would equate to NULL, I am changing my approach. I was speaking to a colleage just now about the things you talk about whe ...

When When Situation (28 Feb 2007) by Rodney Landrum

I have been pondering best and worst SQL practices lately. When I was a younger man, I had a mentor tell me one time, specifically about a COBOL program he was writing, "As long as it works and works quickly...who gives a rat's ass?" I have ...

SQL Server Secret Agent Holds its Secret as to Why It Won't Start (01 Mar 2007) by Rodney Landrum

SQL Server Agent and SQL Mail for SQL 2000 Server requires a MAPI client (out of the box) to begin with -- a simple, yet unavoidable fact. MAPI, for those who like to time travel is the Messaging Application Programming Interface. To s ...

Pre Occupied or Post Orbital (12 Mar 2007) by Rodney Landrum

I have professed or confessed or prefessed or postfessed previously that I would inscibe the ways I misuse or abuse the trust of the torch beaers of T-SQL best practices by myself practicing the black arts of inefficiency.  Even more, ...

Once Upon a Day to Day Basis (14 Mar 2007) by Rodney Landrum

This past weekend, after spending an unusually lengthy amount of time coding (as a DBA, I have trained myself to avoid extensive coding at all times) I noticed my brain had begun to juxtapose the iterative loops from the code I was wor ...

Mass Produced Beer and SQL (26 Mar 2007) by Rodney Landrum

I was on vacation last week. Ok, you may call it Holiday...but with four kids in tow to Orlando, FL to spend as yet un-tallied sums of cash, it is hard to call it relaxing.  The trip did afford me the ability to see the convention ...

Kill or Be Shamed (28 Mar 2007) by Rodney Landrum

Every tidbit of knowledge gleaned over years of working with a product comes at a price and that price is sometimes shame at not having known such slacious info beforehand. So it is with shame I admit that today I learned something I s ...

sp_helptext squared (09 Apr 2007) by Rodney Landrum

As I sat at my desk, like most days, pondering what a partial database restore truly is in regards to object-level restores and filegroups and noting that though this sentence will go on longer than I intended I will not finish it prior to ...

Too Much HR, Not Enough Guts and Glory (18 Apr 2007) by Rodney Landrum

At some point in a DBA's career, assuming he or she has had the mettle to withstand the onslaught of mediocrity and ineptness in its various forms (I may qualify this bold statement in a future post), there comes a time when said DBA i ...

If ONLY (administrator = TRUE) BEGIN... (22 May 2007) by Rodney Landrum

It has been a full two weeks, actually more, since my last post. You may recall my last entry dealt with my inability to find quality DBA's after months of searching. I am happy to report (and recant part of my frustrated recitation on not ...

How Much Space Would An Index Take If An Index Did Take Space (12 Jun 2007) by Rodney Landrum

This would be my TechEd post.  I was at TechEd for all of one day, on the first day. The only relationship I can make to the title of this blog and TechEd is the word space. The Orange County Convention Center is incredibly large. ...

SQL Server and The Holy Grail (21 Jun 2007) by Rodney Landrum

That title should garner some comments, I suspect, or if not then the following questions should: Does there exist a way to provide real-time - or a close proximity thereof - replication from a SQL production database to a repo ...

AD and SQL and Mark Twain Shall Meet (18 Jul 2007) by Rodney Landrum

What does Mark Twain have to do with SQL Server? If the atoms that comprised his living flesh did not succumb to entropy he most probably would have been a SQL user and would have had a Windows domain account somewhere.  Really, I j ...

Funny thing about a fractured hand for a blogger/author/coder.... (16 Aug 2007) by Rodney Landrum

They tend to not write as much and make very long titles to their blog entries.  Though I have about 35 ideas right now that I want to get down from my recent travels to a Houston SQL PASS chapter meeting, I can only effectively g ...

MSDB and the History of the World (05 Sep 2007) by Rodney Landrum

A few weeks ago I was tasked with moving SQL Agent jobs from one SQL box to another.  In my life as a DBA, these types of requests come up several times a year.  On a server with 2 or 3 jobs, even 5 to 10, it is easy enough t ...

Diagnosis....More Diagnostics. (01 Oct 2007) by Rodney Landrum

Sometimes in my career as a DBA I feel like a doctor. Actually, this started before my stint as DBA...way back in my help desk days. Someone on the other end of the phone begins to impart their symptoms and like an ER intern, I listen inten ...

Weekly Status Report and How DBA Managers Lose Their Edge... (24 Apr 2008) by Rodney Landrum

So each week, I am required to turn in a weekly status report that demonstrates in summary fashion what I have accomplished the previous week. In a smoothly running SQL infrastructure of even 90+ servers, DBA managers may find themselves in ...

SQL Saturday Thoughts and SQL Alphabet (05 May 2008) by Rodney Landrum

With gas prices here in the panhandle of Florida where I comfortably reside soaring to over $3.60 per gallon, I knew I would spend at least $110 toting myself and my beautiful fiancee from Pensacola to Jacksonville, host city of the most re ...

Spiderlings and Kiting in a Hurricane (02 Sep 2008) by Rodney Landrum

So it has been several months since my last blog entry. And this one is going to ramble a bit after a long day of vigilantly overseeing many SQL Servers come back up after a hard shutdown in the middle of the night when UPSs and generators ...

DBA Decision #1 - New Hardware, Index Tuning or Application (16 Oct 2008) by Rodney Landrum

So I am sitting here doctoring (not nursing) a beer listening to Jimmy Eat World and Nerf Herder and thinking about a huge decision I had to make this week.  The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to pose this scenario, this qu ...

Keywords, Brackets, Identifiers and Ridiculous. (08 Dec 2008) by Rodney Landrum

One of my DBAs recently reported to me that our indexing job was failing because a database included in the re-indexing code was actually named after a T-SQL keyword. I think I actually guffawed, not because it was impossible, but just ...

The Holy Scrolling NO WAY Gold Nugget (Script Data) SSMS 2008 (08 Dec 2008) by Rodney Landrum

Tonight, I set about blogging about something I thought was interesting, funny and marginally useful (IFmU)...or wait...funny, useful and marginally interesting (FUmI). Part of the blog post I had envisioned would be to create a databa ...

Competitive Communities: Ring Generalship and SQL (12 Feb 2009) by Rodney Landrum

I was invited to a press conference a few days ago where Roy Jones Jr., Pensacola, Florida native and at one time considered to be the pound for pound best boxer on the planet, talked about his upcoming fight with Omar Sheika on March 21 st ...

New SQL Code Deployment Book and Damn I Need to Blog More (24 Mar 2010) by Rodney Landrum

Select datediff ( d , '02/19/2009' , getdate ()) This value returned from the above SELECT statement  is 398 and that is the number of days since my last blog post.  As I was formulating my ...

SQL Alphabet and Friday Nights (27 Aug 2010) by Rodney Landrum

So, it is Friday night in Lake Mary, Florida, our new home. I get off work at 3:30 on Friday and after a soothing cold Hazed and Confused IPA from our new favorite watering hole, it is time to play some SQL Alphabet. If you have ever b ...

Power of 2 - Installing SQL Server 2005 on an odd number of processors. (08 Sep 2010) by Rodney Landrum

Today I received an email from a buddy of mine who happens to be a MVP for System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). I had asked him for some info a few weeks back about SCCM and he responded with some great insight as I would have e ...

MVP Trading Cards and War Games (21 Mar 2011) by Rodney Landrum

I had planned to blog tonight about the MVP Summit and all of the great new friends I met, mostly XNA and Direct X MVPs for some reason, but I could not wrap my brain around how I would deliver the idea I had without offending nearly every ...

Going to the Score Cards - Exceptional DBA Awards 2011 (16 Jun 2011) by Rodney Landrum

This year marks my 4th year as a judge for the Exceptional DBA Awards, founded by Red Gate in 2008 to "recognize the essential but often overlooked contributions of DBAs, the unsung heroes of the IT community." As a professional DBA myself ...

Denali-runner: Do DBAs dream of readable replicas? (21 Jul 2011) by Rodney Landrum

Several years ago, I sat attentively in my new boss' office, as he described a constant and painful thorn in the side of our company. The problem was with one particular highly visible and critical OLTP system that was now firmly rooted in ...

High Jinks, Hi Jacks, Exceptional DBA Awards and PASS (07 Oct 2011) by Rodney Landrum

The countdown to PASS has counted down.  The day after tomorrow I will board a plane, like many others, on my way for the 4th year in a row to SQL PASS Summit.  The anticipation has been excruciating but luckily I have this little thing c ...

Disaster Recovery Discovery (08 Sep 2012) by Rodney Landrum

Last weekend I joined several of my IT staff on a mission to perform a DR test in our remote CoLo center in a large South East city of the US. Can I be more obtuse? The goal was simple for me as the sole DBA in a throng of Windows, Storage, ...

2013 and the Impossible Challenge (03 Jan 2013) by Rodney Landrum

I am consistently amazed when I read on twitter the exploits of DBAs who compete in marathons, endure triathlons, or simply run every single day. For me: impossible . The furthest I have ever run in one go was 3 miles. I was 9 years old, b ...

From DBA to Data Professional and back again (31 Jan 2013) by Rodney Landrum

One of my periodic tasks in the department I lead, "IT Data Services", is to produce summary reports on the current state of my team's projects, as well as statistics on our SQL Server infrastructure. For efficiency, I normally just write a ...

Dear Microsoft Access: I Love You (28 Mar 2013) by Rodney Landrum

Five weeks ago, I was on a phone call talking about problems our users were having with an MS Access application. Up until this point in my career, I had successfully fended off "database" questions or issues in MS Access because I was not ...

DEF CON SQL (12 Aug 2013) by Rodney Landrum

On Saturday July 27 2013, 10:37 AM EST, I was sitting with a small clan of DBAs at the SQL Saturday in Cocoa Beach, Florida (you know, the place where actual rocket scientists live and work). A colleague had a serious issue with his laptop, ...

4 Future Inventions We Will Wonder How We Lived Without (26 Sep 2013) by Rodney Landrum

I have always wanted to be a Science Fiction writer. I am enthralled by the invention and imagination of writers such as Douglas Adams and Robert Heinlen. One day I will transmogrify my technical writing into something much more prosaic, an ...

Crime Scene Investigation: SQL Server (07 Nov 2013) by Rodney Landrum

"The packages are running slower in Prod than they are in Dev" My week began with this simple declaration from one of our lead BI developers, quickly followed by an emailed spreadsheet demonstrating that, over 5 executions, an extensive ...

Video for user assistance, a few questions (24 Mar 2009) by Roger Hart

Working on SQL Compare 8, I spent some time thinking about video. It's a bit different, it's fun, and it's a good excuse to watch things on YouTube and call it "research". As a way we communicate (technically) with our users, it's also an a ...

When to be quiet: does video need audio? (27 Mar 2009) by Roger Hart

Yesterday I gave a rather bumbling presentation to the Cambridge ISTC group on video for user assistance. The first thing I did was apologise to anybody who had read my previous blog, since the talk repeated most of it. Reciprocally: if you ...

Words like things (09 Apr 2009) by Roger Hart

<p>Did anybody go to the Information Design Conference last week? If not, you missed a fascinating presentation by <a href="http://www.infodesign.org.uk/2009-conference/speakers/wong.php">Michă¨le Wong</a> on semantic, mim ...

How to Recognise Different Types of Trees from Quite a Long Way Away (30 Jun 2009) by Roger Hart

At last night's Information Design Association presentation , David Sless talked about benchmarking research for credit card statements. This was quite interesting. Almost as interesting was that he seemed at near circumloquitous pain to a ...

Technical communications - the business of eliminating poetry? (25 Sep 2009) by Roger Hart

I just got back from the Technical Communication UK conference . It was pretty good, with excellent presentations from (among others) Chris Atherton, Gordon McLean, Matthew Ellison, and Kath Straub. Looking back over my notes, for Kath ...

Slouching towards content strategy (09 Nov 2009) by Roger Hart

Over the weekend, I read Anne Gentle 's book Conversation and Community: the Social Web for Documentation. It's quite good, although since I'm writing a blog, and you're reading a blog, we may not be the demographic to extract the most v ...

Throwing a Windows 7 launch party - stealth user assistance? (12 Nov 2009) by Roger Hart

Ironic or unironic, the Windows 7 launch party video has been roundly mocked, for smugness, sentimentality,  pageant diversity, and the paper-thin disguise of humanity it seeks to drape over glib corporate twaddle* It also went viral ...

Email? Pah - pointless! It's just boobs and Nigerian banking scams (17 Nov 2009) by Roger Hart

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 go ...

What if bad documentation gets there first? (23 Nov 2009) by Roger Hart

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 ...

Money and mouth, together at last: content strategy in action, part I (15 Dec 2009) by Roger Hart

I've talked a lot about content strategy lately. Let's do some. Here's a whistle stop example of drilling into some of our web content using Google Analytics, and asking those questions: what's it for, and is it any good at it? Today's v ...

Mouth and trousers, back in proportion: content strategy in action, part II (17 Dec 2009) by Roger Hart

In my last post , I offered a quick example of how to spot misbehaving content. Analytics are a great tool for showing you the suspects, but it takes a bit of work to pick the really bad content out of the line-up.  To overload the me ...

On the etiquette of flashing: support sites and Flash interfaces don't mix (04 Jan 2010) by Roger Hart

The discipline of theodicy is a branch of theology and philosophy. It attempts to reconcile various belief systems with the existence of evil. By way of a simple - if fatuous - example, it addresses questions like why a god might allow ba ...

Survey design: just try to write clearly (11 Jan 2010) by Roger Hart

Most surveys suck. Think about how many you've seen and just sighed, or clicked away from in frustration, or struggled to understand. They suck. Partly, this is because survey design is hard - requiring sound statistical and research method ...

What is a "technical communicator" anyhow? (02 Feb 2010) by Roger Hart

"Technical communications" is, let's be honest, quite a vague term. I think this is fantastic. More than that, I think it's important. Some folks don't agree. I'm deeply baffled as to why. What a technical communicator isn't In a disc ...

Supporting users if they're not on your site (12 Feb 2010) by Roger Hart

Have a look at this Read Write Web article , specifically the paragraph in bold and the comments. Have a wry chuckle, or maybe weep for the future of humanity - your call. Then pause, and worry about information architecture. The sho ...

Kill a tree, save your website? Content strategy in action, part III (19 Feb 2010) by Roger Hart

A lot has been written about how driving content strategy from within an organisation is hard . And that's true. Red Gate is pretty receptive to new ideas, so although I've not had a total walk in the park, it's been a hike with charming s ...

Google, typography, and cognitive fluency for persuasion (04 Mar 2010) by Roger Hart

Cognitive fluency is - roughly - how easy it is to think about something. Mere Exposure (or familiarity) effects are basically about reacting more favourably to things you see a lot. Which is part of why marketers in generic spaces like ...

Ad-hoc taxonomy: owning the chess set doesn't mean you decide how the little horsey moves (17 Mar 2010) by Roger Hart

There was one of those little laugh-or-cry moments recently when I heard an anecdote about content strategy failings at a major online retailer. The story goes a bit like this: successful company in a highly commoditized marketplace succeed ...

Video games, content strategy, and failure - oh my. (14 Apr 2010) by Roger Hart

Last night was the CS London group's event Content Strategy, Manhattan Style . Yes, it's a terrible title, feeling like a self-conscious grasp for chic, something sadly commensurate with the venue. Fortunately, this was not commensurate wi ...

What was missing from the Content Strategy Forum? (13 May 2010) by Roger Hart

In April, Paris hosted the first ever Content Strategy Forum . The event's website proudly proclaims: 170 attendees, 18 nationalities, 17 speakers, 1 volcano... Content Strategy Forum 2010 rocked the world! The volcano was in I ...

Pub banter - content strategy at the ballot box? (14 May 2010) by Roger Hart

Last night, I was challenged to explain (and defend) content strategy. Three sheets to the wind after a pub quiz, this is no simple task, but I hope I acquitted myself passably. I say "hope" because there was a really interesting question I ...

Must-see sessions at TCUK (12 Jul 2010) by Roger Hart

Technical Communication UK 2010 ( #TCUK10 and @TCUK_conf for twitter folks) is, unsurprisingly, a large conference about tech comms. It's hosted by the ISTC, and last year is was diverse, informative, and generally moderately awesome. ...

Your docs are wrong. Maybe. (19 Aug 2010) by Roger Hart

Last week, over on a blog called Flyosity, there was a post: Your design is wrong I liked it, I liked it a lot. Although many of the errors it cites may seem like rather small things, I absolutely buy the idea of objective design mista ...

UA Europe 2010: whistle-stop account (21 Sep 2010) by Roger Hart

Last week (16th â_"17th Sept) saw the UA Europe conference in Stockholm (a lovely city, by the way). I was speaking , but since this is one of my few blog posts that isnâ_Tt self-aggrandizing codswallop, Iâ_Tll gloss over that. It was ...

Lorem ipsum, 18th century novels, and a new Red Gate website (27 Oct 2010) by Roger Hart

I came across three things a while back that made me smile: Nation Shudders At Large Block Of Uninterrupted Text An article in the Onion, gently needling the atrophy of reading and attention Big Graphic Blueprint ...

Stop using Paper.li (08 Nov 2010) by Roger Hart

Or at least find a way to use it right. Last week, a blog I read went off on a bit of  a rant about Instagram . The post seems to be suffering from a little data vs information befuddlement, and a slight miss-location of the value of ...

Rockmelt, the technology adoption model, and Facebook's spare internet (23 Nov 2010) by Roger Hart

Regardless of how good it is, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to make snide remarks about Rockmelt . After all, on the surface it looks a lot like some people spent two years building a browser instead of just bashing out a Chrome ...

Keep taking the tablets (03 Dec 2010) by Roger Hart

A guest editorial for the SimpleTalk newsletter. So why would Red Gate build an Ipad Game ? Is it just because tablet devices are exciting and cool? Ok, maybe a little. Mostly, it was seeing that the best existing tablet and smartphone ...

Tron: Legacy, 3D goggles, and embedded UA (21 Dec 2010) by Roger Hart

The 3D edition of Tron: Legacy opens with embedded user assistance. The film starts with an iconic white-on-black command-prompt message exhorting viewers to keep their 3D glasses on throughout. I can't quote it verbatim, and at the time ...

The spork/platypus average: shameless self promotion (22 Dec 2010) by Roger Hart

This is the video of presentation I gave at UA Europe and TCUK this year. The actual sub-title was "Content strategy at Red Gate Software", but this heading feels more honest. For anybody who missed it, or is just vaguely interested, ...

Don't feed the ducks: can we harness the power of nonsense? (12 May 2011) by Roger Hart

A fair bit has been written about novelty error messages, particularly web 404 pages . Opinion seems broadly split about whether they're charming or unprofessional, but lots of them are pretty memorable . In the cases of a 404 page, I' ...

Must-see sessions at TCUK11 (15 Jun 2011) by Roger Hart

Technical Communication UK is probably the best professional conference I've been to. Last year, I spoke there on content strategy , and this year I'll be co-hosting a workshop on embedded user assistance. Obviously, I'd love people to co ...

Content auditing - let's fix it (08 Aug 2011) by Roger Hart

Recently, I got an email about content inventories. This is not habitually a joyous occasion. Anybody who's had to compile one - and that's anybody who's serious about the web - will attest that it's a miserable experience. Making a content ...

Pandas: below "C-level", and drowning (26 Sep 2011) by Roger Hart

Last week, at the Technical Communication UK conference , I did a little lightning talk. It wasn't very nice. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the session was billed as "rants" - an opportunity for people to get things off their ch ...

Who writes the words? A rant with graphs. (11 Nov 2011) by Roger Hart

If you read my rant , you'll know that I'm getting a bit of a bee in my bonnet about user interface text. But rather than just yelling about the way the world should be (short version: no UI text would suck), it seemed prudent to actually ...

Another Marketing Conference, part one - the best morning sessions. (19 Oct 2012) by Roger Hart

Yesterday I went to Another Marketing Conference . I honestly canâ_Tt tell if the title is just tipping over into smug, but in the balance of things that doesn't matter, because it was a good conference . There was an enjoyable blend ...

Another Marketing Conference, part two - the afternoon (22 Oct 2012) by Roger Hart

In my previous post, I've covered the morning sessions at AMC2012 . Here's the rest of the write-up. I've skipped Charles Nixon's session which was a blend of funky futurism and professional development advice, but you can see his s ...

Pebbles and Gears and market share - what's up with smart watches? (05 Sep 2013) by Roger Hart

To nobody's enormous surprise, I've spent a chunk of this morning bickering on Twitter . In this case, largely in the wake of the Galaxy Gear smart watch. Clayton Christensen was famously wrong about the iPhone the first time around. N ...

Windows Phone 8, possible tablets and what the latest update might mean (14 Oct 2013) by Roger Hart

Microsoft have just announced an update to Windows Phone 8 . As one of the five, maybe six people who actually bought a WP8 handset I found this interesting. Then I read the blog post about it, and rushed off to write somewhat less than a ...

Developing Schema Compare for Oracle (Part 1) (15 Apr 2010) by Simon Cooper

SQL Compare is one of Red Gate's most successful SQL Server tools; it allows developers and DBAs to compare and synchronize the contents of their databases. Although similar tools exist for Oracle, they are quite noticeably lacking in the u ...

Developing Schema Compare for Oracle (Part 2): Dependencies (20 Apr 2010) by Simon Cooper

In developing Schema Compare for Oracle, one of the issues we came across was the size of the databases. As detailed in my last blog post, we had to allow schema pre-filtering due to the number of objects in a standard Oracle database. Unfo ...

Developing Schema Compare for Oracle (Part 3): Ghost Objects (22 Apr 2010) by Simon Cooper

In the previous blog post, I covered how we solved the problem of dependencies between objects and between schemas. However, that isnâ_Tt the end of the issue. The dependencies algorithm I described works when youâ_Tre querying live data ...

Developing Schema Compare for Oracle (Part 4): Script Configuration (26 Apr 2010) by Simon Cooper

If you've had a chance to play around with the Schema Compare for Oracle beta, you may have come across this screen in the synchronization wizard: This screen is one of the few screens that, along with the project configuration fo ...

Developing Schema Compare for Oracle (Part 5): Query Snapshots (30 Apr 2010) by Simon Cooper

If you've emailed us about a bug you've encountered with the EAP or beta versions of Schema Compare for Oracle, we probably asked you to send us a query snapshot of your databases. Here, I explain what a query snapshot is, and how it helps ...

Why enumerator structs are a really bad idea (19 May 2010) by Simon Cooper

If you've ever poked around the .NET class libraries in Reflector, you probably would have noticed that the generic collection classes all have implementations of their IEnumerator as a struct rather than a class. As you will see, this de ...

Why enumerator structs are a really bad idea (redux) (20 May 2010) by Simon Cooper

My previous blog post went into some detail as to why calling MoveNext on a BCL generic collection enumerator didn't quite do what you thought it would. This post covers the Reset method. To recap, here's the simple wrapper aroun ...

Developing Schema Compare for Oracle (Part 6): 9i Query Performance (03 Jun 2010) by Simon Cooper

All throughout the EAP and beta versions of Schema Compare for Oracle, our main request was support for Oracle 9i. After releasing version 1.0 with support for 10g and 11g, our next step was then to get version 1.1 of SCfO out with support ...

Implementing method override covariance on C# (Part 1) (14 Jul 2010) by Simon Cooper

It has been said by many people that C# is 'Java done right' - it has many features that Java has, but implemented in a more sensible fashion (for example, generics) or concepts that wrap common coding patterns (properties and events). Howe ...

Implementing method override covariance on C# (Part 2) (16 Jul 2010) by Simon Cooper

So, C# doesn't allow us to change the return type when overriding methods. Could we do it in IL? For reference, here is a C# version of the initial example in my previous blog post , and the resulting IL class & method signatures ...

Implementing method override covariance on C# (Part 3) (19 Jul 2010) by Simon Cooper

To recap from my previous post , we're trying to create a class that has the same behaviour as an explicit interface implementation, in which we can change the return type to a more specific type, but for class overrides instead of interfa ...

Introduction to open instance delegates (27 Jul 2010) by Simon Cooper

Creating a delegate to a method is normally quite a cheap operation. However, there are some reflection-based situations where you have to create a delegate dynamically using Delegate.CreateDelegate . As you can expect, such a method is ...

Modifying built-in Visual Studio project templates (17 Aug 2010) by Simon Cooper

As some of you may know, executable projects created in Visual Studio 2010 now default to the x86 build target rather than AnyCPU, as was the case in VS2008. I personally am quite annoyed by this decision, and so I looked for ways to chan ...

There's only one ThreadExceptionHandler (07 Oct 2010) by Simon Cooper

There can only ever be one Application.ThreadException handler. Yes, you read that correctly. To give some context, the core of our error reporting code in SmartAssembly adds event handlers to AppDomain.CurrentDomain.UnhandledExcep ...

Subterranean IL: Introduction (01 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

Today, I'll be starting a new series of blog posts on 'Subterranean IL' - a look at the low-level IL commands available to .NET compilers, what each command does (or at least the more interesting commands) and why each command does what it ...

Subterranean IL: Calling methods (02 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

Next in my 'Subterranean IL' series, I'll be looking at method calls, and in particular, the difference between reference and value types. To help, I'll be using the following types (definitions given in C# for brevity) 1 : public class ...

Subterranean IL: Callvirt and virtual methods (05 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

Next up is a look at the details of callvirt and what happens when you call a virtual method. However, in order to do that, we first need to understand some of the low-level CLR datastructures, and what exactly an object instance is. ...

Subterranean IL: Callvirt and generic types (08 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

In this post we finally get on to how basic generic methods are implemented in IL. First of all, we should briefly cover how a generic method is declared in IL. Declaring a generic method The basic syntax for a generic method is f ...

Subterranean IL: Generics and array covariance (11 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

Arrays in .NET are curious beasts. They are the only built-in collection types in the CLR, and SZ-arrays (single dimension, zero-indexed) have their own commands and IL syntax. One of their stranger properties is they have a kind of built-i ...

Subterranean IL: Constructor constraints (17 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

The constructor generic constraint is a slightly wierd one. The ECMA specification simply states that it: constrains [the type] to being a concrete reference type (i.e., not abstract) that has a public constructor taking no arguments (t ...

Subterranean IL: Volatile (24 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

This time, we'll be having a look at the volatile. prefix instruction, and one of the differences between volatile in IL and C#. The volatile. prefix volatile is a tricky one, as there's varying levels of documentation on it ...

Subterranean IL: Custom modifiers (26 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

In IL, volatile is an instruction prefix used to set a memory barrier at that instruction. However, in C#, volatile is applied to a field to indicate that all accesses on that field should be prefixed with volatile . As I mentioned in ...

Subterranean IL: Pseudo custom attributes (30 Nov 2010) by Simon Cooper

Custom attributes were designed to make the .NET framework extensible; if a .NET language needs to store additional metadata on an item that isn't expressible in IL, then an attribute could be applied to the IL item to represent this metada ...

Subterranean IL: Exception handling (13 Jan 2011) by Simon Cooper

Today, I'll be starting a look at the Structured Exception Handling mechanism within the CLR. Exception handling is quite a complicated business, and, as a result, the rules governing exception handling clauses in IL are quite strict; you n ...

Subterranean IL: Exception handling control flow (17 Jan 2011) by Simon Cooper

Control flow in and around exception handlers is tightly controlled, due to the various ways the handler blocks can be executed. To start off with, I'll describe what SEH does when an exception is thrown. Handling exceptions When ...

Subterranean IL: Compiling C# exception handlers (25 Jan 2011) by Simon Cooper

An exception handler in C# combines the IL catch and finally exception handling clauses into a single try statement: try { Console.WriteLine("Try block") // ... } catch (IOException) { Console.WriteLine("IOExceptio ...

Subterranean IL: Fault exception handlers (09 Feb 2011) by Simon Cooper

Fault event handlers are one of the two handler types that aren't available in C#. It behaves exactly like a finally , except it is only run if control flow exits the block due to an exception being thrown. As an example, take the fo ...

Subterranean IL: Filter exception handlers (14 Feb 2011) by Simon Cooper

Filter handlers are the second type of exception handler that aren't accessible from C#. Unlike the other handler types, which have defined conditions for when the handlers execute, filter lets you use custom logic to determine whether t ...

Subterranean IL: Exception handler semantics (21 Feb 2011) by Simon Cooper

In my blog posts on fault and filter exception handlers, I said that the same behaviour could be replicated using normal catch blocks. Well, that isn't entirely true... Changing the handler semantics Consider the following: ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - PE Headers (15 Mar 2011) by Simon Cooper

Today, I'll be starting a look at what exactly is inside a .NET assembly - how the metadata and IL is stored, how Windows knows how to load it, and what all those bytes are actually doing. First of all, we need to understand the PE file for ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - CLR metadata 1 (16 Mar 2011) by Simon Cooper

Before we look at the bytes comprising the CLR-specific data inside an assembly, we first need to understand the logical format of the metadata (For this post I only be looking at simple pure-IL assemblies; mixed-mode assemblies & other ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - CLR metadata 2 (18 Mar 2011) by Simon Cooper

Before we look any further at the CLR metadata, we need a quick diversion to understand how the metadata is actually stored. Encoding table information As an example, we'll have a look at a row in the TypeDef table. According to t ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - CLR metadata 3 (21 Mar 2011) by Simon Cooper

To recap from my previous posts , .NET assemblies are built on top of the PE file format, which is used for all executables and dlls in Windows. The PE file is split up into sections , and the data read by the CLR is all inside the . ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - Methods (24 Mar 2011) by Simon Cooper

Any close look at the method definitions in a .NET assembly has to start off with the method's information in the metadata tables - the MethodDef . So lets do that. MethodDef The MethodDef entry for the entrypoint method in my ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - The DOS stub (28 Mar 2011) by Simon Cooper

The DOS stub at the top of the file is the first thing you notice when you open a .NET assembly in a hex editor. But what do those bytes mean, and what do they do? As I discussed in a previous post , the first 64 bytes are the DOS header, ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - The CLR Loader stub (28 Mar 2011) by Simon Cooper

In Windows XP and above, the OS loader knows natively what to do with .NET executable assemblies, and fires up an instance of the CLR. However, .NET also runs on Windows 98, ME, NT 4.0, and 2000. When you run a .NET assembly on the older op ...

I'll be at TechEd Atlanta 2011 (10 May 2011) by Simon Cooper

Just a brief note here - I'll be going to TechEd Atlanta next week as part of a huge Red Gate contingent. My profile and session schedule is public on the TechEd directory if you want to come find me & have a chat, otherwise I'll likely ...

Visual Studio vNext (19 May 2011) by Simon Cooper

At TechEd this year, there's only a few sessions and expo booths aimed squarely at devs rather than sysadmins and DBAs, but one of the things I picked up on was what's going into Visual Studio vNext. There's no shiny new UI features (t ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - Signature encodings (27 May 2011) by Simon Cooper

If you've just joined this series, I highly recommend you read the previous posts in this series, starting here , or at least these posts , covering the CLR metadata tables. Before we look at custom attribute encoding, we first nee ...

Inside Red Gate - Introduction (31 May 2011) by Simon Cooper

I work for Red Gate Software, a software company based in Cambridge, UK. In this series of posts, I'll be discussing how we develop software at Red Gate, and what we get up to, all from a dev's perspective. Before I start the series pr ...

Inside Red Gate - Divisions (01 Jun 2011) by Simon Cooper

When I joined Red Gate back in 2007, there were around 80 people in the company. Now, around 3 years later, it's grown to more than 200. It's a constant battle against Dunbar's number ; the maximum number of people you can keep track of in ...

Inside Red Gate - Project teams (02 Jun 2011) by Simon Cooper

Within each division in Red Gate, development effort is structured around one or more project teams; currently, each division contains 2-3 separate teams. These are self contained units responsible for a particular development project. ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - Custom attribute encoding (03 Jun 2011) by Simon Cooper

In my previous post, I covered how field, method, and other types of signatures are encoded in a .NET assembly. Custom attribute signatures differ quite a bit from these, which consequently affects attribute specifications in C#. Custo ...

Inside Red Gate - The Office (15 Jun 2011) by Simon Cooper

The vast majority of Red Gate is on the first and second floors (the second and third floors in US parlance) of an office building in Cambridge Business Park ( here we are! ). As you can see, the building is split into three sections; the t ...

Inside Red Gate - Be Reasonable! (24 Jun 2011) by Simon Cooper

As I discussed in my previous posts, divisions and project teams within Red Gate are allowed a lot of autonomy to manage themselves. It's not just the teams though, there's an awful lot of freedom given to individual employees within the co ...

Inside Red Gate - Testers (07 Jul 2011) by Simon Cooper

Developers might write good code, but no matter how good they are the result will always have bugs in it. It's up to the testers in the team to make sure the final product is as bug-free as it can be. Deciding what to test Within ...

The .NET Dictionary (16 Sep 2011) by Simon Cooper

To many people, System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary<TKey,TValue> is just a useful collection. In this post, I'll be looking inside that collection and see how it really works. Dictionary is based on a hashtable; for the res ...

SortedDictionary and SortedList (05 Oct 2011) by Simon Cooper

Apart from Dictionary<TKey, TValue> , there's two other dictionaries in the BCL - SortedDictionary<TKey, TValue> and SortedList<TKey, TValue> . On the face of it, these two classes do the same thing - provide an IDict ...

Some non-generic collections (21 Oct 2011) by Simon Cooper

Although the collections classes introduced in .NET 2, 3.5 and 4 cover most scenarios, there are still some .NET 1 collections that don't have generic counterparts. In this post, I'll be examining what they do, why you might use them, and s ...

The SmartAssembly Rearchitecture (14 Nov 2011) by Simon Cooper

You may have noticed that not a lot has happened to SmartAssembly in the past few months. However, the team has been very busy behind the scenes working on an entirely new version of SmartAssembly. SmartAssembly 6.5 Over the past fe ...

Inside Red Gate - Exercises in Leanness (15 Nov 2011) by Simon Cooper

There's a new movement rumbling around Red Gate Towers - the Lean Startup . At its core is the idea that you don't have to be in a company with single-digit employees to be an entrepreneur; you simply have to (being blunt) not know what yo ...

Inside Red Gate - Experimenting In Public (21 Nov 2011) by Simon Cooper

Over the next few weeks, we'll be performing experiments on SmartAssembly to confirm or refute various hypotheses we have about how people use the product, what is stopping them from using it to its full extent, and what we can change to ma ...

Subterranean IL: Explicit overrides (12 Dec 2011) by Simon Cooper

Normally, virtual method overrides in .NET are done implicitly; if a subclass has a virtual method with the same name and signature as a virtual method in a base class, then the method in the subclass overrides the method in the base class: ...

Anatomy of a .NET Assembly - Type forwards (23 Dec 2011) by Simon Cooper

If you've ever had a poke around System.dll or System.Core.dll in Reflector, you may have noticed TypeForwardedToAttributes applied to the assembly: [assembly: TypeForwardedTo(typeof(Lazy<>))] [assembly: TypeForwardedTo(typeof ...

Inside the Concurrent Collections (05 Jan 2012) by Simon Cooper

The concurrent collections, located in the System.Collections.Concurrent namespace, were introduced in .NET 4 as thread-safe collections that could be used without locking, and there are plenty of posts and articles out on the interwebs g ...

Inside the Concurrent Collections: ConcurrentStack (12 Jan 2012) by Simon Cooper

The first concurrent collection we'll look at is ConcurrentStack . This is conceptually the same as System.Collections.Generic.Stack , but is geared towards occasional concurrent modifications. Now, in these posts I won't be looking ...

Inside Red Gate - Experimental Results (17 Jan 2012) by Simon Cooper

As a brief interlude from my Concurrent Collections series, I thought I would give an roundup of how the lean startup experiments have been progressing. As you can expect, there's been some good aspects and some bad aspects. The experi ...

Inside the Concurrent Collections: ConcurrentQueue (24 Jan 2012) by Simon Cooper

ConcurrentQueue is, like ConcurrentStack , a lockless collection, in that it is implemented without using any locks at all. However, the semantics required for a queue impose a quite different approach; unlike ConcurrentStack , which has ...

Inside the Concurrent Collections: ConcurrentDictionary (22 Feb 2012) by Simon Cooper

Using locks to implement a thread-safe collection is rather like using a sledgehammer - unsubtle, easy to understand, and tends to make any other tool redundant. Unlike the previous two collections I looked at, ConcurrentStack and Concur ...

Oh no! My padding's invalid! (28 Feb 2012) by Simon Cooper

Recently, I've been doing some work involving cryptography, and encountered the standard .NET CryptographicException: 'Padding is invalid and cannot be removed.' Searching on StackOverflow produces 57 questions concerning this exception; it ...

Why you shouldn't add methods to interfaces in APIs (08 Mar 2012) by Simon Cooper

It is an oft-repeated maxim that you shouldn't add methods to a publically-released interface in an API. Recently, I was hit hard when this wasn't followed. As part of the work on ApplicationMetrics , I've been implementing auto-repor ...

DevWeek 2012 (26 Mar 2012) by Simon Cooper

For those interested, myself and a few other people from Red Gate will be going to DevWeek 2012 in London this week. I'll be mostly around the .NET and C# talks, but may drop into the architecture and agile talks as well. I'll be blogging ...

Inside the Concurrent Collections: ConcurrentBag (26 Mar 2012) by Simon Cooper

Unlike the other concurrent collections, ConcurrentBag does not really have a non-concurrent analogy. As stated in the MSDN documentation , ConcurrentBag is optimised for the situation where the same thread is both producing and consumin ...

.NET vs Windows 8 (28 Mar 2012) by Simon Cooper

So, day 1 of DevWeek. Lots and lots of Windows 8 and WinRT, as you would expect. The keynote had some actual content in it, fleshed out some of the details of how your apps linked into the Metro infrastructure, and confirmed that there woul ...

Obfuscation is not a panacea (16 Apr 2012) by Simon Cooper

So, you want to obfuscate your .NET application. My question to you is: Why? What are your aims when your obfuscate your application? To protect your IP & algorithms? Prevent crackers from breaking your licensing? Your boss says y ...

Subterranean IL: The ThreadLocal type (03 May 2012) by Simon Cooper

I came across ThreadLocal<T> while I was researching ConcurrentBag . To look at it, it doesn't really make much sense. What's all those extra Cn classes doing in there? Why is there a GenericHolder<T,U,V,W> class? What's ...

Inside Red Gate - Ricky Leeks (04 May 2012) by Simon Cooper

So, one of our profilers has a problem. Red Gate produces two .NET profilers - ANTS Performance Profiler (APP) and ANTS Memory Profiler (AMP). Both products help .NET developers solve problems they are virtually guaranteed to encounter at s ...

.NET vs Windows 8: Rematch! (29 May 2012) by Simon Cooper

So, although you will be able to use your existing .NET skills to develop Metro apps, it turns out Microsoft are limiting Visual Studio 2011 Express to Metro-only. From the Express website : Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 prov ...

PostSharp, Obfuscation, and IL (31 May 2012) by Simon Cooper

Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) is a relatively new programming paradigm. Originating at Xerox PARC in 1994, the paradigm was first made available for general-purpose development as an extension to Java in 2001. From there, it has quickl ...

Inside the DLR - Callsites (23 Jul 2012) by Simon Cooper

The DLR was introduced in .NET 4 to allow dynamic languages, like Python or Ruby, to run on the CLR. The DLR is also used by C# 4, released at the same time, to implement dynamic binding via the dynamic keyword. In this post, I'll be look ...

Inside the DLR - Callsite binders (03 Aug 2012) by Simon Cooper

So, we've looked at how the C# compiler produces a CallSite object for every dynamic call that is made, and provides it with everything it needs to resolve the call at runtime. How is this information used when the callsite is invoked? ...

Inside the DLR - Invoking methods (20 Aug 2012) by Simon Cooper

So, we've looked at how a dynamic call is represented in a compiled assembly, and how the dynamic lookup is performed at runtime. The last piece of the puzzle is how the resolved method gets invoked, and that is the subject of this post. ...

Subterranean IL: ThreadLocal revisited (18 Apr 2013) by Simon Cooper

Last year, I looked at the ThreadLocal type as it exists in .NET 4. In .NET 4.5, this type has been completely rewritten. In this post, I'll be looking at how the new ThreadLocal works in .NET 4.5. I won't be looking at all the implem ...

Inside Portable Class Libraries (19 Apr 2013) by Simon Cooper

Portable Class Libraries were introduced with Visual Studio 2010 SP1 to aid writing libraries that could be used on many different platforms - the full .NET 4/4.5 framework, Windows Phone, Silverlight, Xbox, and Windows Store apps. You simp ...

.NET Security Part 1 (02 May 2013) by Simon Cooper

Ever since the first version of .NET, it's been possible to strictly define the actions and resources a particular assembly can use, and, using Code Access Security, permissions to perform certain actions or access certain resources can be ...

.NET Security Part 2 (07 May 2013) by Simon Cooper

So, how do you create partial-trust appdomains? Where do you come across them? There are two main situations in which your assembly runs as partially-trusted using the Microsoft .NET stack: Creating a CLR assembly in SQL Server ...

.NET Security Part 3 (16 May 2013) by Simon Cooper

You write a security-related application that allows addins to be used. These addins (as dlls) can be downloaded from anywhere, and, if allowed to run full-trust, could open a security hole in your application. So you want to restrict what ...

.NET Security Part 4 (28 May 2013) by Simon Cooper

Finally, in this series, I am going to cover some of the security issues that can trip you up when using sandboxed appdomains. DISCLAIMER: I am not a security expert, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you actually are writ ...

Why unhandled exceptions are useful (03 Jun 2013) by Simon Cooper

It's the bane of most programmers' lives - an unhandled exception causes your application or webapp to crash, an ugly dialog gets displayed to the user, and they come complaining to you. Then, somehow, you need to figure out what went wrong ...

C# via Java: Introduction (08 Nov 2013) by Simon Cooper

So, I've recently changed jobs. Rather than working in .NET land, I've migrated over to Java land. But never fear! I'll continue to peer under the covers of .NET, but my next series will use my new experience in Java to explore the des ...

C# via Java: Primitive types (26 Nov 2013) by Simon Cooper

So, what is a primitive type? According to the Incompleteness Theorem , there will always be things in any mathematical system, and therefore any computational system, that cannot be defined using the rules of that system. These rules form ...

C# via Java: Arrays (03 Jan 2014) by Simon Cooper

The one primitive type that hasn't been covered is the array. An array contains a fixed number of items, and each item is a value of the array's element type. The array elements are individually indexed starting from zero. In comparison ...

Big Data: Size isn't everything (10 May 2013) by Simon Elliston Ball

Big Data has a big problem; it's the word "Big". These days, a quick Google search will uncover terabytes of negative opinion about the futility of relying on huge volumes of data to produce magical, meaningful insight. There are also many ...

Open Letter to the SQL Server Community about SQL Prompt (26 Jul 2006) by Simon Galbraith

There have been quite a few posts on the SQL Server Central forums about SQL Prompt, our tool for providing Intellisense for the leading SQL Server editors. There are still concerns about whether v2 is truely free and also about the quality ...

England will never win the (Soccer) World Cup (28 Jul 2006) by Simon Galbraith

(As you can tell from the title, this post has nothing to do with SQL Server or running a business. I've put it here because if you can't write a random, opinionated piece on your blog where can you write it?)   The England ...

How can you spot that you are working with Software Developers? (02 Aug 2006) by Simon Galbraith

Using our coffee machine earlier I couldn't help but notice that rather than the rather primitive interface saying "milk" it now says "milky milky". Some unknown person (?) has taken the trouble to understand the bizarre interface and wo ...

Board-Level Agile - Using Agile with my Leadership Team (30 Jul 2013) by Simon Galbraith

Next week, Iâ_Tll be speaking at Agile 2013 . As a CEO, I go to plenty of conferences, but most of them are domain-specific: meeting Red Gateâ_Ts customers, or other CEOs and senior leaders, or seeing whatâ_Ts going on in the SQL Server an ...

Going for Gold (23 Nov 2012) by Simple-Talk Editorial Team

There was a spring in the step of some members of our development teams here at Red Gate, on hearing that on five gold awards at 2012's SQL Mag Community and Editors Choice Awards . And why not? It's a nice recognition that their efforts w ...

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Tester and Other Festive Arrangements (21 Dec 2012) by Simple-Talk Editorial Team

I don't know what it's like in your offices right now, but at the Simple-talk HQ, it's that time of year when things start to wind down for a week or so. There is often a final flurry of blogging activity before all goes quiet until the New ...

Introducing the Tribal Awards (08 Dec 2013) by Simple-Talk Editorial Team

When musicians play, you clap. When a player scores a goal, you cheer. When an architect designs a concrete building, it gets awards. When someone does outstanding work in our technical community, there is a deafening silence. It is time we ...

Victors of the Tribal Awards (06 Jan 2014) by Simple-Talk Editorial Team

Throughout December, Simple-Talk and SQL Server Central hosted the Tribal Awards.  With these awards, we let the technical community choose members who they felt deserved recognition by opening up both nominations and voting to the public. ...

Roundup from Simple-Talk and Beyond - March 14 2014 (14 Mar 2014) by Simple-Talk Editorial Team

Simple-Talk Updates ...in which we give a short review of the latest articles on Simple-Talk  in the past fortnight, dig up some old favourites, and mention some of our favourite articles and blogs from around the InterWebs. This w ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 2 - Max Trinidad Sells PowerShell on the Puerto Rican Seashore (29 Jun 2012) by SQLBeat

In this episode, Max Trinidad, Powershell MVP lets me bait him into predicting the future of computing and helps me understand a thing or two about cultural misconceptions around locked menâ_Ts restrooms at busy cantinas. We are in beaut ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 1 - Capturing a SQL Rockstar (29 Jun 2012) by SQLBeat

This is the first permissible (waiting for signed disclaimers) episode of the SQL Beat Podcast featuring the gracious and famous Thomas La Rock. We talk about gay marriage, abortion, SQL community and a 9 inch pipe with a hole in it at t ...

SQLBeat Podcast Episode 3 - Buck Woody: Former Nun and Windows Azooray Solutioner (20 Sep 2012) by SQLBeat

So here it is after so many anticipated months, Episode 3. I almost feel like having an American-style hot dog in a jar to celebrate. Buck Woody and I talk about that. And we talk about moms and a Woody tattoo,  Jehovah's Witness ins ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 4 - Mark Rasmussen on Machine Guns,Jelly Fish and SQL Storage Engine (27 Sep 2012) by SQLBeat

In this this 4th SQLBeat Podcast I talk with fellow Dane Mark Rasmussen on SQL, machine guns and jelly fish fights; apparently they are common in our homeland. Who am I kidding, I am not Danish, but I try to be in this podcast. Also, we ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 5 - Kevin Kline Talks With Me About SQL, Professional Development and Book Writin' (02 Oct 2012) by SQLBeat

I thought I would be a ball of intimated nerves when Kevin gladly agreed to speak with me on the podcast this past weekend.  After all, he is Kevin Kline of SQL in a Nutshell fame ! As it turned out,  we had a comfortable and enlighte ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 6 - And the Winner is...Meredith Ryan from Albakerkee. (15 Oct 2012) by SQLBeat

In this episode I speak with the winner of the Exceptional DBA Award for 2012, Meredith Ryan.  We talk about a lot of things, but mainly attending the PASS Summit, first timers (this is PASS related too) and SQL Saturdays. Meredith has ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 7 - Niko Neugebauer, Linguist, SQL MVP and Hekaton Lover (16 Nov 2012) by SQLBeat

In this episode of the SQLBeat Podcast I steal Niko Neugebaur away from his guarded post at the PASS Community Zone at Summit 2012 in Seattle to chat with me about several intriguing topics. Mainly we discuss Hekaton and in memory databases ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 8 - Interviewing Patrick LeBlanc On Interviewing (26 Nov 2012) by SQLBeat

In this episode of the SQLBeat Podcast (@SQLBeat on twitter) I had a chance to speak with Patrick LeBlanc, currently with Microsoft and former SQL Server MVP. We spend a good amount of time talking about his current gig and his apparent fas ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 9 - Spider Monkey Spiders and Two SQL Nuts (09 Mar 2013) by SQLBeat

When you've known someone as long as I have known Shawn McGehee, you have a tendency when conversing to finish one another's sentences, to read ahead and know where each other is going in the conversation. This did not happen once in this h ...

SQLBeat Podcast - Episode 10 - Brian Knight, Speaking Pragmatically on Pragmatism and Robots (14 Aug 2013) by SQLBeat

I tracked Brian down at a recent SQLSaturday event in our home state of Florida and forced him into an empty dining room to talk about himself for almost 30 minutes. And to make matters worse, I recorded some of it and am posting it here. ...

SQLBeat Episode 11 - Ted the Fred Krueger Halloween SQL (01 Nov 2013) by SQLBeat

In this episode of the SQLBeat Podcast I speak conversationally (Ok I will just say I converse) with Ted Krueger about Elm Street, where he works as a DBA who stores nightmares in SQL Server database tables. The joke about it being BLOB sto ...

SQLBeat Podcast Episode 12 - The Case of the Disappearing SQL - Rob Volk Talks Unicode Fun (26 Nov 2013) by SQLBeat

If you think listening to two DBAs talking about some interesting and funny SQL hacks is entertainment, especially if the conversation dances around what Rob calls Unicode P o r n, then you are in for an enlightening 30 something minutes. A ...

We'd like to talk to you about SQL Response version 2 (04 Sep 2009) by The Future of Monitoring

Actually, we'd rather listen. We're keen to hear your views (and see your ideas!) about what you'd like from SQL Response version 2. About SQL Response SQL Response is Red Gate's SQL Server monitoring and alerting tool. Version 1 was ...

What does the future of monitoring look like? (13 Oct 2009) by The Future of Monitoring

We recently announced that we'd like to to talk to you about version 2 of our SQL Response alerting and monitoring tool. After all, you know best what you want to see in your ideal monitoring software, and we want to build a tool to your re ...

Sharing configuration settings between Windows Azure roles (16 Mar 2011) by Theo Spears

If you are working on a medium-large Windows Azure project it's likely it will involve more than one role, for example separate web and worker roles. Unfortunately although all the windows azure configuration settings are stored in a single ...

Slaying Man-Months: Building SQL Tab Magic in 5 days (10 Aug 2011) by Theo Spears

Every three months, all work at Red Gate stops. Projects are suspended, and the developers, testers, user experiences specialists, and technical authors here spend a week working on projects of their choice. It's a great way to get back ene ...

Introducing: SQL Tab Magic (11 Aug 2011) by Theo Spears

Yesterday I wrote about Down Tools Week and trying to build a working product in 5 days. I also released the first version of the tool to a group of people in our early access program, and they have spent the last 24 hours trying it out, re ...

Learnings from trying to write better software: Loud errors from the very start (11 Oct 2011) by Theo Spears

Microsoft made a very small number of backwards incompatible changes between .NET 1.1 and 2.0, because they wanted to make it as easy and safe as possible to port applications to the new runtime. ( Hereâ_Ts a list .) However, one thing ...

.NET Demon 1.0 Released (03 May 2012) by Theo Spears

Today we're officially releasing version 1.0 of .NET Demon , the Visual Studio Extension Alex Davies and I have been working on for the last 6 months. There have been beta versions available for a while, but we have now released the firs ...

It's PASS 2007 Arg! (19 Sep 2007) by Tim Ford

Volunteer meetings, PASS business, PASS SIG Quizbowl, Welcome Reception, SQL Server Central Party and the subsequent after party and after-after party, General Session and four breakout sessions and man is my brain tired! It's all j ...

PASS Day Two: You Can't Get There From Here (A Geog-DUH-phy Lesson) (21 Sep 2007) by Tim Ford

Here it is day two and I am finally starting to get adjusted to the time difference. Wimp. Sure, I thought I had it bad.  Two entire time zones between my native Michigan and Denver.  I always lose touch with just how ...

PASS Day 3: Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (23 Sep 2007) by Tim Ford

Here it is, the last day of PASS 2007 and I find myself in a melancholy that comes with the last day of summer camps from many years past.   We are all far past the stage of being exhausted, yet not ready to seek out the family come t ...

Do I Ask Too Much of My Beloved RDBMS? (16 Oct 2007) by Tim Ford

OK Simple-Talkers I have a interesting situation driving be nuttier than squirrel poo. I have the following 2 steps in a scheduled SQL job I use to backup logs.  If for some reason a log file does not exist it will throw the er ...

Oracle and 3rd Party Tools (08 Jul 2010) by Tom Crossman

We knew before we started to create Schema Compare for Oracle that weâ_Td need to work hard. It is a different technology and a different market. Also, there is less interest amongst Oracle users for third-party tools. Less inte ...

How much is a subscriber worth? (30 Oct 2012) by Tom Lewin

This year at Red Gate, weâ_Tve started providing a way to back up SQL Azure databases and Azure storage . We decided to sell this as a service, instead of a product, which means customers only pay for what they use. Unfortunately for us, i ...

Beer, SQL Server and .NET (26 May 2006) by Tony Davis

There is a line in the book "London Fields" where the main character is asked why he only drinks lager when playing darts and not real ale. His answer is (I'm paraphrasing and omitting a lot of swear words -- this is Martin Amis after all): ...

Simple-Talk, Live from Tech Ed Boston (07 Jun 2006) by Tony Davis

Tech Ed in Boston is just around the corner and the Red Gate offices are a feverish hive of activity (carefully coordinated around numerous swag boxes). I will be at the event, trying to dig out the latest news and views and hopefully, sc ...

To SP or not to SP in SQL Server? Alway SP (08 Jun 2006) by Tony Davis

I have had a lot of emails following Adam Machanic's recent SP article on Simple-Talk. A few of the correspondents expressed frustration that they couldn't air their views on the article publicly (a limitation that will be removed on the ...

Tech Ed 20006: pre-match warm up (11 Jun 2006) by Tony Davis

As an Englishman Iâ_Tm well used to the experience of leaving some gloriously sun-kissed location and returning home to greyness and drizzle. But rarely the opposite. However, so it was on Friday as we swapped a sweltering, blue-skied Londo ...

Tech Ed 2006: Power to Microsoft People (12 Jun 2006) by Tony Davis

Well, your intrepid ST hack made it (almost) all the way through the opening 2.5 hour â_" yep readâ_Tem and weep â_" keynote. It was a tough 130 mins, and reminded me more than anything else of the oft-asked question: â_oHas Microsoft forgo ...

Tech Ed 2006 Beer Break: The Miracle of Science (13 Jun 2006) by Tony Davis

While taking a spot of lunch in Cambridge (Boston), I noticed in my trusty guidebook a place called â_oThe Miracle of Science Barâ__. It was not far away and apparently served â_ogood beer in laboratory beakersâ__ in honor of the many MIT s ...

Tech Ed 2006: Meeting good people on Day 3 (14 Jun 2006) by Tony Davis

I met a lot of good people today at Tech Ed yesterday. I know that may seem a rather trite thing to say, but I just canâ_Tt come up with a better way to summarize my day. In the morning, I had a nice chat with Bob Beauchemin, whose written ...

Tech Ed 2006 Snippets: FoxPro lives (14 Jun 2006) by Tony Davis

In the press room, Mary Jo Foley (from Microsoft Watch) was expounding on how hard it was to predict which articles would really take off and which would bomb. She would write controversial pieces on the latest hot topics, such as SharePoin ...

Good beer in unexpected places (07 Jul 2006) by Tony Davis

As part of an occasional series on odd places to get good beer, on Friday last week Red Gate sent me on a fact-finding mission to Cornwall to investigate â_oThe Watering Holeâ__ pub at Perranporth.   Now this pub is actually on t ...

Beer and victory celebrations (12 Jul 2006) by Tony Davis

During the recent World Cup a couple of my friends in the US sent me this clip from an English newspaper claiming (boasting, more like) that English fans were "drinking Germany dry":   http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=1 ...

Testing LiveWriter for blogging (14 Aug 2006) by Tony Davis

Wandering around Sharpreader today, I stopped off (as I usually do) at my old friend Tom Kyte's blog and saw his entry about the new Windows  LiveWriter , a free blogging tool. It sounded like it might help me get round some of th ...

Developer vs. Tester vs. PM (16 Aug 2006) by Tony Davis

In a recent blog, Todd Bishop  highlighted the fact that Microsoft had hired "more than 10,000 people worldwide in the fiscal year ended June 30, bringing the total to 71,553 (â_Ţ the biggest annual increase in the company's histor ...

A visit to the Bilbao Guggenheim (30 Aug 2006) by Tony Davis

After getting this new Simple-Talk website out of the door, my wife and I took off to Northern Spain for a well-earned and very pleasant 2-week vacation. Spain is a bit of a default holiday destination for us â_" occasionally we break away ...

This Web 2.0 thing (16 Sep 2006) by Tony Davis

Browsing around Dr Dobb's, I read Mike Elgin's take on the Web 2.0 malarkey . I liked his simple definition of Web 2.0 as "all the Web sites out there that get their value from the actions of users". He also makes the interesting contrast ...

The Joy of Simple-Talk Editorial Meetings (19 Sep 2006) by Tony Davis

Phil Factor's recent blog on The Joy of IT Meetings contains a lot of good advice, but if you really want your meetings to be productive, I can only suggest you adopt the Simple-Talk approach. All you need are some good peopl ...

Bamkraxler (04 Oct 2006) by Tony Davis

A grand day out in Vienna a few Saturdays ago finished in the 19th district at the fantastically-named Bamkraxler pub. I had no real expectations of the place, but it turned out to be so much more than an amusing name (althou ...

Simple-Talk at SQL PASS (06 Nov 2006) by Tony Davis

I just wanted to provide everyone with a "heads-up" on Simple-Talk's plans for SQL PASS in Seattle. If you're at the show and are interested in talking â_" maybe about writing an article, doing a short interview, to tell me how great Simple ...

PASS 2006: Still giving power to Microsoft people (16 Nov 2006) by Tony Davis

Well, no-one can accuse Microsoft of giving out mixed messages. The framework for Steve Ballmer's keynote this morning was exactly the same as the one used by Ray Ozzie et al. at Tech Ed 2006 in Boston. You'll be relieved to here that Micro ...

Douglas Reilly (12 Dec 2006) by Tony Davis

Douglas Reilly is a software developer, and a brave and exceptional man. I first had the pleasure of working with him when he submitted his Coming out as a Cancer Survivor article for the Simple-Talk website. In this article, he detailed ...

"Jargon busting" competition (06 Feb 2007) by Tony Davis

What, in your opinion, are the worst, most annoying cases of IT jargon that are currently in vogue? At Simple-talk we're on a drive to stamp them out. The top five words/phrases that you will not hear around Simple-Talk are:   ...

Simple-Talk "mission statement" competition (20 Mar 2007) by Tony Davis

How many people have admired the current "mission statement" for Simple-Talk.com ? If you take a look at the top of the Home Page you'll see itâ_Ţ   SQL Server and .NET put simply   How does that grab you? Exa ...

Competition: The Great Advances in SQL Server (30 May 2007) by Tony Davis

The real advances in IT are seldom the ones that are heralded by great noise or media hype. So many of the technologies that have become part of our lives, such as browsers, Email and 'texting' came surreptitiously, almost by accident. Tech ...

MSVSBS (05 Jun 2007) by Tony Davis

Keynote address, Bob Muglia, Tech Ed 2007, Orlando   Greetings from Tech Ed Orlando. What do Orlando and Microsoft keynotes have in common? Lots of hot air. Boom Boom! I'm sure I'm not the first or last to crack that lame gag. ...

What do you want to see on Simple-Talk? (12 Jun 2007) by Tony Davis

At Simple-Talk, we're always looking for new and innovative ways to present practical technical content to our readers, and to stimulate discussion. Whilst sharpening our pencils, we dream of capturing some of the glorious, anarchic pooling ...

SQL Server Myths (27 Jun 2007) by Tony Davis

The whole area of "SQL Server myths" is an interesting one. One of the fascinations of working with SQL Server is that, the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. To the beginner SQL Server is presented as a series of black-an ...

SQL Server Performance Bugbears (11 Jul 2007) by Tony Davis

Whilst trying out Robyn and Phil's excellent TSQL Newsfeed , some of the first articles that I saw was Linchi Shea's fascinating Blog entries about the performance impact of not using owner-qualified stored procedure calls. I had no know ...

Registering for PASS: the deadly game (18 Sep 2007) by Tony Davis

MONDAY, 17 September 2007 On a slightly overcast Denver Monday morning, I strolled into the Colorado Convention Centre, intent on registering for the PASS conference. I stared in wonderment at the distinctive blue bear, entered the bu ...

What are the most innovative .NET tools? (31 Oct 2007) by Tony Davis

We all have our favourite websites. Not the ones we read as part of our job, but the ones we scan whilst munching sandwiches at the desk or, surreptitiously, during an application build process. I'm hooked on giveawayoftheday.com at th ...

LINQ and vNext (15 Nov 2007) by Tony Davis

The history of IT is littered with the corpses of software companies that assumed that a solution that worked well in particular circumstances would necessarily become a generic panacea. Who, for example, now remembers the past giants of th ...

The Future of .NET: Visual Basic, the CLR and Managed JScript (18 Dec 2007) by Tony Davis

Visual Basic v9 appeared on November 19. In the past, the new release of Microsoftâ_Ts longest-running language might have caused a stir, but it was part of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and there were plenty of other distractions. The chang ...

TSQL and the Tower of Babel (08 Jan 2008) by Tony Davis

It is always a bit of a strain to program in several languages at once. A simple task like writing a database-driven website will involve you in at least three, maybe more. The experience of diving into JavaScript, VB.NET, and TSQL, all at ...

The Decline of IE and the rise of browser-based desktop applications (22 Jan 2008) by Tony Davis

Until recently, the Internet Explorer V8 group had been a pretty taciturn bunch. However, a few weeks ago, Dean Hachamovitch suddenly popped up with a blog entry announcing that the new IE8 browser had passed the Web Standards Project 'A ...

Katmai: Ship date or ship-shape? (29 Jan 2008) by Tony Davis

By now, most of you will have read the news of the delay in releasing SQL Server 2008. It all seems fairly typical Microsoft, though I wouldn't want to be overly critical, even if the bizarre blog announcement, written in strangled Dalek- ...

SQL Server Diagnostics (12 Feb 2008) by Tony Davis

SQL Server diagnostics are a mess. To monitor the well-being of a server, you need to be able to inspect all logged errors, have a whole raft of performance information, WMI data, and be able to study the history of backups and scheduled jo ...

How should you layout code? (27 Feb 2008) by Tony Davis

It is strange to see the heat generated over arguments about how code should be formatted. With Visual Studio, of course, it isn't much of an issue, as it is done for you, but the closer you get to the 'live free and die' communities of the ...

Not the right place (17 Mar 2008) by Tony Davis

Many orthodoxies, or 'truisms', exist in IT; rules of programming that emerge in the light of shared experience and are then passed on from programmer to programmer and instilled as "the right way" to tackle a certain problem. The difficult ...

That ain't a database, it's a spreadsheet! (01 Apr 2008) by Tony Davis

"That ain't a database, it's a spreadsheet!" From the Sayings of Phil Factor   There is a world of difference between an enterprise-level relational database and a 'repository of persistent data'. Until you've had the ex ...

The best and worst ways to optimize your code (16 Apr 2008) by Tony Davis

I was chatting to Phil Factor the other day about the slow start-up of some CLR applications. He started telling me, with apparent irrelevance, how he once, a long time ago, developed a database system in Z80 assembler code and a large eigh ...

Bad Database Security (29 Apr 2008) by Tony Davis

The Daily WTF recently reported that the Sexual and Violent Offender Registry of Oklahoma had to shut down its website for 'routine maintenance'. It turns out that this routine maintenance was necessary because 10,597 social security numb ...

The DBA Daily Checklist (13 May 2008) by Tony Davis

The average DBA has to perform many routine checks on his or her servers. There will be daily checks, weekly checks and, probably, monthly checks. A short while ago, we were having quite a debate about what items would be on the DBA Daily c ...

The Object-oriented Orthodoxy and the DBA (27 May 2008) by Tony Davis

Server Management Objects (SMO) is a very impressive product. SMO (and its previous incarnation, SQL-DMO) is essentially an object-oriented interface into the management of SQL Server installations and databases. It provides an intuitive wa ...

CLR, beer and turkey (06 Jun 2008) by Tony Davis

It is strange that two important programming techniques in a SQL Server Database can't be done in TSQL. The first is, of course, being able to read multiple results from a stored procedure. You can do it in ODBC/ADO and so on, but not in TS ...

SQL Server Tumbleweed Awards (24 Jun 2008) by Tony Davis

Several parts of SQL Server look as though they were started and then suddenly abandoned. The classic example is the TEXT datatype. Phil Factor has a theory on most things, and in this case it's that the programmer responsible for implement ...

VB.NET: The Ugly Duckling (08 Jul 2008) by Tony Davis

One of the greatest pleasures of programming in C# is that wonderful, giddy, feeling of superiority one has over VB.NET programmers. In C#, one has a vague awareness that what one is doing has elegance and style. It must be the effect of th ...

The myth of over-normalization (21 Jul 2008) by Tony Davis

Iâ_Tve always been suspicious of denormalizing an OLTP database. Denormalisation is a strange activity that is supposed to take place after a database has been normalized, and is assumed to be necessary in order to reduce the number of join ...

Anxiety, Dissent and the Entity Framework (06 Aug 2008) by Tony Davis

There is trouble afoot amongst the MVPs who are specialising in Object-Relational mapping (ORM). When the NHibernate mafia, a.k.a. ALT.NET, released their ADO .NET Entity Framework Vote of No Confidence , many of us despaired. Suddenly, it ...

SQL Server 2008: Refinement but no Fireworks (18 Aug 2008) by Tony Davis

The SQL Server platform expanded substantially with the arrival of SQL Server 2005, introducing many features that people now rely on every day (Try-Catch error handling, DDL triggers), as well as a few that captured people's attention but ...

Application Usability and the JFDI Button (02 Sep 2008) by Tony Davis

It is strange how we, as software developers, get caught up in using conventions in applications that seem to be designed merely to irritate the users. Why do we do it? I think that it is because we tend to think that whatever Microsoft doe ...

Application Usability and Standards (16 Sep 2008) by Tony Davis

Office 2007's 'ribbon UI', now optimistically renamed 'Office Fluent User Interface', was an act of strange corporate madness by Microsoft. This may seem an unfair statement, since it looks like a genuine attempt to make the application ...

And so it came to PASS... (30 Sep 2008) by Tony Davis

On 18-21 November this year, in the great city of Seattle, PASS will be holding their 10 th annual conference . If you work with SQL Server, you should attend if you possibly can. It's an independently-organized summit, but with the hand ...

What's Up With SSDS? (14 Oct 2008) by Tony Davis

What's up with SQL Server Data Services (SSDS)? Presumably, we'll get to hear more at PDC on October 27 th , when the SSDS team present their plans, but the current signs aren't encouraging.   When Microsoft announced their "da ...

Reasons to Deprecate (24 Oct 2008) by Tony Davis

I'm happy to see features and services of SQL Server deprecated by Microsoft if it is for a good reason. Good reasons include conformance with SQL Standards or rejection by the community of users; I consider Microsoft's commercial convenien ...

Building Technical Communities (11 Nov 2008) by Tony Davis

The SQLServerCentral technical forums have matured and evolved over the course of many years. They were initially stoked by the sweat and toil of a small number of experienced DBAs, including Steve Jones, who were willing to dedicate a subs ...

PASS 2008 Keynote, Part 1: Wayne Snyder (19 Nov 2008) by Tony Davis

This is the first full day of the PASS 2008 conference in the wonderful city of Seattle. After a great pre-con with Bob Beauchemin, a lively SQLServerCentral party and a severe attack of jet lag, I emerged bleary-eyed for the Wednesday morn ...

PASS 2008 Keynote, Part 2: Kilimanjaro, Madison and Gemini (19 Nov 2008) by Tony Davis

Ted Kummert opened by reiterating the message of Microsoft's increased level of support for the PASS conference, and introduced members of the SQLCAT team who were in attendance. Ted's data storage division needed to consider four main "pil ...

The Battle Against Lawless Database Design (25 Nov 2008) by Tony Davis

One of the most entertaining sessions I attended at the recent PASS conference was "Much Ado: A Panel discussion about Nothing". I never fail to be amazed by the passion and energy that a bunch of database guys will put into a debate about ...

Microsoft and the Grid (09 Dec 2008) by Tony Davis

David DeWitt and his team at Microsoft have been exploring the 'next frontier' of architectures for building the parallel and scalable database systems that will be needed to support the "petabyte" data warehouse. The way forward is the "sh ...

Bar-Poo for DBAs and Developers (19 Dec 2008) by Tony Davis

DBAs and Developers seem to live in parallel universes. If and when they talk to each other, the air is often thick with misunderstanding. It seems that what we have here is a deep-seated communication problem. Although the two groups share ...

Running before you can walk (13 Jan 2009) by Tony Davis

Everyone here knows what a nested loop join is, right? However, I am still willing to bet that if you ask three different people, you will get four subtly different answers.   I admire a person who can take a subject that has ...

Beg, Borrow, Steal before Build (26 Jan 2009) by Tony Davis

The art of developing an application, or maintaining a database server, really consists of finding ways of postponing or avoiding programming. As Phil Factor points out, most good DBAs and developers are marked out by a propensity for " bon ...

The Publishing Maul (03 Feb 2009) by Tony Davis

Over recent years, Agile development and Scrum have been championed by some developers, and various consulting firms, with a quasi-religious fervour. Initially, I was sceptical but Scrum has taken hold among the Red Gate development a ...

In Pursuit of Simplicity (17 Feb 2009) by Tony Davis

Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) are an incredibly valuable addition to the DBA's troubleshooting armory, laying bare previously unavailable information regarding the under-the-covers activity of your database sessions. Why, then, aren't all ...

The Greasy Pole (04 Mar 2009) by Tony Davis

Programmers often have an old-fashioned view of their trade. They enter the profession imagining that they will spend most of their time puzzling over complex algorithms, developing dazzlingly creative and compelling applications, writing o ...

Developer Burnout (17 Mar 2009) by Tony Davis

One of the sure signs of a dedicated and passionate programmer, sys admin or DBA, is that their passion inevitably invades their private life. Writing code, monitoring server-based systems or looking after databases, is not something they t ...

Multi-core Mania (31 Mar 2009) by Tony Davis

When the market is slack, nothing succeeds better at tightening it up than promoting serial group-panic within the community. As an example of this, a wave of multi-core panic spread across the Internet about 18 months ago. IT organizations ...

What is "maintainable code"? (14 Apr 2009) by Tony Davis

"Maintainable code" does not mean the same thing to a DBA as it does to a developer. Production Support staff will want something altogether different from either. These differing perspectives on maintainability have always been a cause of ...

Why Most Developers are Rubbish at Estimating (28 Apr 2009) by Tony Davis

Recently, a local builder handed me an estimate for some construction work on my home. Once my eyes had stopped watering, he calmly explained to me that I wasn't paying him for what he could do , so much as what he knew . He'd been in the ...

One Shell to Rule Them All (and in the darkness bind them) (14 May 2009) by Tony Davis

It has been obvious for a while that Powershell 2 was going to be strongly supported as the natural scripting language for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. It comes with interesting new features, such as the ability to execute scripts ...

Raisin the Game: SQL Server 2008 Release 2 (29 May 2009) by Tony Davis

Microsoft's recent policy of Glasnost has meant that we now enjoy direct, technical communications about their products from the people responsible for building them. In the bad old days, when all communication was filtered through the obfu ...

In Praise of the Common DBA (11 Jun 2009) by Tony Davis

DBAs, like many other IT professionals, often take instruction in how to do their job from people who have no recent experience in their profession. How has this come about? Such is the huge task of assimilating and ordering facts about any ...

The Fall and Rise of Log Shipping (25 Jun 2009) by Tony Davis

When Database Mirroring was introduced in SQL Server 2005, it seemed reasonable to assume that log shipping would gradually go out of fashion. Mirroring is a way of introducing high-availability to SQL Server by allowing the secondary serve ...

Working within Constraints (09 Jul 2009) by Tony Davis

There are many good reasons for building your data integrity logic into constraints . When such business rules become part of your DDL, they can never be circumvented. Any change to a rule can be enforced by a single update to a constraint ...

The Horse's Mouth (23 Jul 2009) by Tony Davis

It was one of those wonderful moments when a task that was, a moment ago, frustrating and nigh-impossible, suddenly became less daunting. I'd been wrestling with Powershell. We were checking and editing a Powershell article for Simple ...

Database Trampled by Godzilla View (06 Aug 2009) by Tony Davis

For the older generation of SQL developers, discouraging the use of views is tantamount to accusing a respectable aging dowager of immorality. No way! They've always been such benign and conventional database objects. Views are virtual t ...

In Defence of Defensive programming (21 Aug 2009) by Tony Davis

The relational data model is 40 years old this month, and SQL is not much younger. By any standards, it is a mature, well-documented and well-understood language. So why do we still find SQL code in production that lacks resilience, is so v ...

The ORM Brouhaha (03 Sep 2009) by Tony Davis

What is wrong with benchmarking software? Not much, you’d have thought. A while back, Laila Lotfi wrote an editorial on the need for a standard benchmark for Object-Relational mappers, such as Entity Framework and nHibernate. By how ...

SQL Server Rootkits: Security Scare or Nightmare? (17 Sep 2009) by Tony Davis

How many DBAs, I wonder, really know how to go about detecting potential rootkits in their SQL Servers? To install a simple database rootkit is an easier task than you might imagine, and once it's there it can be very difficult to uncover, ...

Index Fragmentation Anxiety: a Doctor Speaks (01 Oct 2009) by Tony Davis

Do you suffer from Index Anxiety? Do you lie awake, worrying about whether you are neglecting to defrag your indexes? We’ve all heard the chestnuts: rebuild all indexes that are over 30% fragmented; reorganize those that are between 1 ...

The SSRS 2008 Minefield (16 Oct 2009) by Tony Davis

One of the big advances in Microsoft's "2008 platform", with regard to Reporting Services, was that there would be a single, consistent Report Definition Language (RDL) across all the products. This means that reports developed in ...

SQL Server Sheep Ticks (28 Oct 2009) by Tony Davis

The doggedness with which certain SQL Server "myths" cling to the coat of the SQL Server community is really quite astonishing. They are the proverbial "sheep ticks"; very annoying and incredibly difficult to dislodge. A ...

Do Scalar UDFs give SQL Server a Bad Name? (13 Nov 2009) by Tony Davis

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: nothin ...

The Road to RIA (26 Nov 2009) by Tony Davis

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 a ...

Paradoxical T-SQL (11 Dec 2009) by Tony Davis

I've always taken comfort in the fact that T-SQL belongs to an enlightened age of computer languages in which the operations that were specified were close to real language. When one sees a command called DBCC_CHECKDB, then one could feel p ...

Reckless Drivers (07 Jan 2010) by Tony Davis

When I first joined the industry in the late 90's, Microsoft was in the process of shunting the ODBC driver into the background in favour of OLE-DB and ADO. The ODBC driver was still included in Microsoft' Windows MDAC framework, but it had ...

Life at the F# end (21 Jan 2010) by Tony Davis

In a fascinating interview in this issue of Simple-Talk, Don Syme discusses his work on the F# programming language, its journey from it academic roots in ML and Ocaml, to its burgeoning status as the hottest new thing in .NET. A central pi ...

A Plea for Plain English (05 Feb 2010) by Tony Davis

The English language has, within a lifetime, emerged as the ubiquitous 'international language' of scientific, political and technical communication. On the one hand, learning a single, common language, International English, has made it mu ...

Inappropriate Updates? (18 Feb 2010) by Tony Davis

A recent Simple-talk article by Kathi Kellenberger dissected the fastest SQL solution, submitted by Peter Larsson as part of Phil Factor's SQL Speed Phreak challenge , to the classic "running total" problem. In its analysis of th ...

Music before bells and whistles (04 Mar 2010) by Tony Davis

Why is it that Windows has so much difficulty in finding content on its file system? This is not an insurmountable technical problem; on my laptop, I have a database within which I can instantly find text or names within millions of records ...

On Writing Blogs (19 Mar 2010) by Tony Davis

Why are so many blogs about IT so difficult to read? Over at SQLServerCentral.com, we do a special subscription-only newsletter called Database Weekly. Every other week, it is my turn to look through all the blogs, news and events that migh ...

The clock hands of the buffer cache (01 Apr 2010) by Tony Davis

Over a leisurely beer at our local pub, the Waggon and Horses, Phil Factor was holding forth on the esoteric, but strangely poetic, language of SQL Server internals, riddled as it is with 'sleeping threads', 'stolen pages', and 'memory swee ...

From NaN to Infinity...and Beyond! (13 Apr 2010) by Tony Davis

It is hard to believe that it was once possible to corrupt a SQL Server Database by storing perfectly normal data values into a table; but it is true. In SQL Server 2000 and before, one could inadvertently load invalid data values into cert ...

Need to Know (29 Apr 2010) by Tony Davis

Sometimes, I wonder whether writers of documentation, tutorials and articles stop to ask themselves one very important question: Does the reader really need to know this ? I recently took on the task of writing a concise series of artic ...

Access Denied (13 May 2010) by Tony Davis

When Microsoft executives wake up in the night screaming, I suspect they are having a nightmare about their own version of Frankenstein's monster. Created with the best of intentions, without thinking too hard of the long-term strategy, and ...

Sweet and Sour Source Control (27 May 2010) by Tony Davis

Most database developers don't use Source Control. A recent anonymous poll on SQL Server Central asked its readers "Which Version Control system do you currently use to store you database scripts?" The winner, with almost 30% of t ...

DAC pack up all your troubles (09 Jun 2010) by Tony Davis

Visual Studio 2010, or perhaps its apparently-forthcoming sister, " SQL Studio ", is being geared up to become the natural way for developers to create databases. Central to this drive is the introduction of 'data-tier application ...

The Land of Milk, Honey...and Blancmange (25 Jun 2010) by Tony Davis

For many migrant Oracle DBAs, SQL Server, or at least its support structure, must seem like the Promised Land: here is a well-documented database, supported by a vast landscape of practical, community-contributed content. It's a credit to M ...

Virtue in the Virtual (06 Aug 2010) by Tony Davis

Everyone knows the difference between a live SQL Server database file and a backup file. However, it seems that this distinction is being eroded, gradually, by the third-party tool providers. First, we saw tools that could compare live data ...

Oslo at rock bottom (20 Aug 2010) by Tony Davis

Back in 2003, Microsoft launched a project that they hoped would "capture people's ideas, requirements and hopes for software" and turn them into distributed applications. It was variously described as the "Excel" of the ...

The VSS Mess (02 Sep 2010) by Tony Davis

Microsoft's Visual SourceSafe (VSS) will soon cease to exist. Mainstream support will end in April 2011, and so users will be forced to make the leap to an alternative: But which one? Visual SourceSafe was bought by Microsoft to fill in ...

Oracle whistles a different tune (01 Oct 2010) by Tony Davis

It is sometimes refreshing to crawl out from the hothouse of SQL Server to take a look at other platforms. I returned from the recent Oracle Open World show with my head full of all the hottest new features in Oracle 11g, but what struck me ...

Best Practice and Judgement (19 Oct 2010) by Tony Davis

Until the recent promise of generally-available broadband, the industry had to wrestle with the task of providing a solution to the problem of company staff with portable computers who have to view and update information in databases to w ...

SA no more! (28 Oct 2010) by Tony Davis

Despite it being such an obvious security problem, developers still use the sa login, or assign sysadmin privileges to their Windows login, during their development work. Some take rather belligerent stance on this ("it's my server ...

Copy wrongs and Copyright (29 Nov 2010) by Tony Davis

Recently, a Chinese blog website copied, wholesale and without permission, a Simple-Talk article on troubleshooting locking and blocking . Our initial reaction was exasperation and anger, tempered slightly by the fact that there was, at ...

Emoti-phrases (09 Dec 2010) by Tony Davis

Surely the next radical step in the development of User-interface design is for applications to react appropriately to the rising tide of bewilderment, frustration or antipathy of the users. When an application understands that rapport is l ...

Head in the Clouds (07 Jan 2011) by Tony Davis

We're just past the second anniversary of the launch of Windows Azure. A couple of years' experience with Azure in the industry has provided some obvious success stories, but has deflated some of the initial marketing hyperbole. As a gen ...

Hype and LINQ (02 Feb 2011) by Tony Davis

" Tired of querying in antiquated SQL ?" I blinked in astonishment when I saw this headline on the LinqPad site. Warming to its theme, the site suggests that what we need is to " kiss goodbye to SSMS ", and instead use LINQ, a modern ...

Going by the eBook (03 Mar 2011) by Tony Davis

The book and magazine publishing world is rapidly going digital, and the industry is faced with making drastic changes to their ways of doing business. The sudden take-up of digital readers by the book-buying public has surprised even the m ...

New Wine in New Bottles (17 Mar 2011) by Tony Davis

How many people, when their car shows signs of wear and tear, would consider upgrading the engine and keeping the shell? Even if you're cash-strapped, you'll soon work out the subtlety of the economics, the cost of sudden breakdowns, the pr ...

An Agile House of Straw (31 Mar 2011) by Tony Davis

The ideal Agile application developer welcomes changing requirements, even late in development. The DBA or Database Developer doesn't. Why is that? You can't create complex databases in the Agile way, by breaking tasks into small increme ...

Cloud Backup: Getting the Users' Backs Up (24 Jun 2011) by Tony Davis

On Wednesday last week, Microsoft announced that as of July 1, all data transfers into its Microsoft Azure cloud will be free (though you have to pay for transferring data out). On Thursday last week, SQL Azure in Western Europe went d ...

Bug Me Not (08 Jul 2011) by Tony Davis

Bug metrics are a notoriously erratic way to judge the performance of a development team and project, but despite this almost all software projects use them. There is a lot of data you can get from an electronic bug-tracking system, from bu ...

A DBA's best friend is his tempdb (18 Aug 2011) by Tony Davis

There is a saying amongst welfare agencies that one can tell how well a family is functioning by looking at their dog. If the dog is neurotic, neglected or maltreated, one fears for the welfare of the children. Likewise, you can tell a lot ...

SQL Code Reuse: teaching a dog new tricks (01 Sep 2011) by Tony Davis

Developers, by every natural instinct and training, strive to make their code reusable and generic. Dissuading them from doing so, in certain circumstances, is akin to trying to persuade a dog not to fetch a stick. However, when Gail Shaw ...

The ALMs Race (16 Sep 2011) by Tony Davis

How did we get to the point where Visual Studio, and Team Foundation Server, so strongly influences our way of developing applications? Visual Studio's history is convoluted, and it is still expanding its remit. Microsoft originally boug ...

Time for a rethink on SQL CLR? (29 Sep 2011) by Tony Davis

It is almost seven years since Microsoft announced the sensational news that, with their new SQL Server 2005, you could do data manipulation in Visual Basic or C# as well as SQL. The marketing people got overexcited, stabbing out clichăŞs f ...

A temporary disagreement (28 Oct 2011) by Tony Davis

Last month, Phil Factor caused a furore amongst some MVPs with an article that attempted to offer simple advice to developers regarding the use of table variables , versus local and global temporary tables, in their code. Phil makes clear ...

Fair Comments (10 Nov 2011) by Tony Davis

To what extent is good code self-documenting? In one of the most entertaining sessions I saw at the recent PASS summit , Jeremiah Peschka ( blog | twitter ) got a laugh out of a sleepy post-lunch audience with the following remark: &q ...

A suitable present, whatever one's past (15 Dec 2011) by Tony Davis

Even DBAs have devoted aunts. They are probably also oblivious to the mental anguish they cause to their relatives in the run-up to Christmas. What would be a suitable gift for someone so deeply in the grip of technophilia that they can tel ...

SQL Server's Big Red Buttons (06 Jan 2012) by Tony Davis

One of the most reassuring aspects of watching a vintage James Bond film is the comfort of knowing that, just when there seems no further hope that the villain's plans for world domination will be thwarted, Bond will glance up at the wall a ...

To Not CI to Eye (03 Feb 2012) by Tony Davis

Many developers, including Troy Hunt , here on Simple-Talk, have argued persuasively that each database developer in a team needs to work as sole user of a dedicated database-development environment whilst creating or updating databases. ...

A Community Cure for a String Splitting Headache (02 Mar 2012) by Tony Davis

A heartwarming tale of dogged perseverance and Community collaboration to solve some SQL Server string-related headaches . Michael J Swart posted a blog this week that had me smiling in recognition and agreement, describing how an inqu ...

Concurrent Affairs (16 Mar 2012) by Tony Davis

I once wrote an editorial, multi-core mania , on the conundrum of ever-increasing numbers of processor cores, but without the concurrent programming techniques to get anywhere near exploiting their performance potential. I came to the. con ...

Going Metro (13 Apr 2012) by Tony Davis

When it was announced, I confess was somewhat surprised by the striking new "Metro" User Interface for Windows 8, based on Swiss typography, Bauhaus design, tiles, touches and gestures, and the new Windows Runtime (WinRT) API on w ...

IT Admin for Thrill Seekers (27 Apr 2012) by Tony Davis

A developer suggested to me recently that the life of the DBA was, surely, a dull one. My first reaction was indignation, but quickly followed by the thought that for many people excitement isn't necessarily the most desirable aspect of the ...

The long road to bug-free software (25 May 2012) by Tony Davis

The past decade has seen a burgeoning interest in functional programming languages such as Haskell or, in the Microsoft world, F#. Though still on the periphery of mainstream programming, functional programming concepts are gradually seepin ...

On the art of self-promotion (22 Jun 2012) by Tony Davis

I attended Brent Ozar's Building the Fastest SQL Servers session at Tech Ed last week, and found myself engulfed in a 'perfect storm' of excellent technical and presentational skills coupled with an astute awareness of the value of prom ...

When done is not done (05 Jul 2012) by Tony Davis

Most developers and DBAs will know what it's like to be asked to do "a quick tidy up" on a project that, on closer inspection, turns out to be a barely working prototype: as the cynical programmer says, "when you're told that ...

Automating Sanity Checks for Database Deployments (02 Aug 2012) by Tony Davis

Although development teams are inching closer toward their ideal of a fully automated build and deployment strategy for their applications, a stage remains that is obstinately resistant to automation. Database deployment, and the handover t ...

Fear of the Unknown Codebase (17 Aug 2012) by Tony Davis

It is inevitable that anyone who inherits responsibility for an application will experience that feeling of nagging apprehension. Some signs of doom are universal, the same whether it is a legacy code base, a bought-in system, or group of S ...

Aptronyms: fitting the profession to the name (31 Aug 2012) by Tony Davis

Writing a recent piece on the pains of index fragmentation, I found myself wondering why, in SQL Server, you can't set the equivalent of a fill factor, on a heap table. I scratched my headâ_Ţwho might know? Phil Factor, of course! I approac ...

Monitoring the Application alongside SQL Server (14 Sep 2012) by Tony Davis

Sometimes, on Simple-Talk, it takes a while to spot strange and unexpected patterns of user activity, or small bugs. For example, one morning we spotted that an article's comment count had leapt to 1485, but that only four were displayed. W ...

Data Model Dissonance (12 Oct 2012) by Tony Davis

So often at the start of the development of database applications, there is a premature rush to the keyboard. Unless, before we get there, we've mapped out and agreed the three data models, the Conceptual, the Logical and the Physical, then ...

So it comes to PASS... (02 Nov 2012) by Tony Davis

How does your company gauge the benefit of attending a technical conference? What's the best change you made as a direct result of attendance? It's time again for the PASS Summit and I, like most people go with a set of general go ...

SQL Server Optimizer Malfunction? (06 Dec 2012) by Tony Davis

There was a sharp intake of breath from the audience when Adam Machanic declared the SQL Server optimizer to be essentially "stuck in 1997". It was during his fascinating " Query Tuning Mastery: Manhandling Parallelism " ...

Getting backs up about backups (17 Jan 2013) by Tony Davis

I've been leafing with interest through the book, Pro Data Backup and Recovery , by Steve Nelson. For anyone predisposed to consider backup strategy largely from the perspective of a SQL Server database administrator, there are some revela ...

Making PASS tick… (05 Feb 2013) by Tony Davis

On the final day of a hectic PASS Summit 2012, in Seattle, I caught up with Bill Graziano ( @billgraziano ), Douglas McDowell ( @douglasmcdowell ), and Thomas LaRock ( @SQLRockstar ) and quizzed them on all things PASS; what it means t ...

Aversion to Version Control (28 Feb 2013) by Tony Davis

Why shouldn't we enjoy the benefits of distributed version control systems (DVCS) on Windows? I agree that we've made a start, now that, at last, we have a measure of integration into TFS and Visual Studio of Git, and with Atlassian porti ...

Why use a hammer when you already have a rock? (15 Mar 2013) by Tony Davis

Is it ethically "sound" to invite people to pay money for a tool when there is a documented, validated and free alternative? This debate came up on Red Gate's private forums this week after one of the developers wrote, in a state of high en ...

HTML5 and JavaScript: Worse is Better? (12 Apr 2013) by Tony Davis

HTML5, by which I mean the combination of HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3, is in the place where Java originally wanted to be. It is truly cross platform and if not quite "write-once-run-anywhere", then it is much closer to that ideal than anyth ...

Cheating on Technical Debt (23 May 2013) by Tony Davis

One bad practice guaranteed to cause dismay amongst your colleagues is passing on technical debt without full disclosure. There could only be two reasons for this. Either the developer or DBA didn't know the difference between good and bad ...

What's the use of code reuse? (06 Jun 2013) by Tony Davis

All great developers write reusable code, don't they? Well, maybe, but as with all statements regarding what "great" developers do or don't do, it's probably an over-simplification. A novice programmer, in particular, will encounter in t ...

Comparing Apples and Pairs (04 Jul 2013) by Tony Davis

A recent study, High Costs and Negative Value of Pair Programming , by Capers Jones, pulls no punches in its assessment of the costs-to- benefits ratio of pair programming, two programmers working together, at a single computer, rather tha ...

Taming the SQL Beast (15 Aug 2013) by Tony Davis

The recent articles 10 Common Mistakes Java Developers make when Writing SQL and the follow-up, Ten More Mistakesâ_Ţ highlight some common crimes against SQL and offer sound advice. These mistakes aren't restricted to Java programmers ...

Going with the Flow (30 Aug 2013) by Tony Davis

Every so often, a new programming model or framework emerges, promising to tackle the burgeoning complexity of the software development process. This week, the potential savior of the sanity of web developers everywhere is an " Arcane Codin ...

It's the thought that counts... (09 Oct 2013) by Tony Davis

I recently finished editing a book called Tribal SQL , and it was a fantastic experience. It's a community-sourced book written by first-timers. Fifteen previously unpublished authors contributed one chapter each, with the seemingly simple ...

PASS 13 Dispatches: Memory Optimized = On (16 Oct 2013) by Tony Davis

I'm at the PASS Summit in Charlotte for the Day 1 keynote by Quentin Clarke, Corporate VP of the data platform group at Microsoft. He's talking about how SQL Server 2014 is "pushing boundaries" and first up is SQL Server 2014's ...

PASS 13 Dispatches: moving to the cloud (16 Oct 2013) by Tony Davis

PASS Summit 13, Day 1 keynote by Quentin Clarke and we're hearing about "redefiniing mission critical in the cloud". With a move to the Windows Azure cloud comes the promise of capacity on demand, automatic HA, backups, patching an ...

What the Hekaton? (25 Oct 2013) by Tony Davis

Hekaton, the power behind SQL Server 2014's In-Memory OLTP technology, is intended to make data operations run orders of magnitude faster on SQL Server. This works its magic partly by serving database workloads entirely from main memory, us ...

Cloud Insecurity (22 Nov 2013) by Tony Davis

Often, one sees the views of those raising reasoned doubts about cloud security dismissed as fogeyish and cloud-phobic. Of course, it's a persuasive argument that cloud security is actually a non-issue, since under-investment means that the ...

Should IT Managers Code? (17 Jan 2014) by Tony Davis

In one of his first ever Simple-talk articles , Phil Factor tells the story of a freelance Sybase programmer who created a reporting system using exquisitely complex dynamically compiled stored procedures, and then promptly departed when h ...

DevOps Dilemma (14 Feb 2014) by Tony Davis

The term 'DevOps' has been widely misunderstood because the different teams within any really substantial development project understand the work of the other teams so poorly. There will be several teams, including business analysts, techni ...

Build, Buy or Rent? (14 Mar 2014) by Tony Davis

In the pioneering years of the PC industry, people mainly created for themselves whatever tools they needed, because there wasn't much of an option. I've lost count of the number of developers who claim to have invented their own text edito ...

AngularJS on top of ASP.NET: Moving the MVC framework out to the browser (16 Oct 2013) by Varun Chatterji

Heavily drawing inspiration from Ruby on Rails, MVC4â_Ts convention over configuration model of development soon became the Holy Grail of .NET web development. The MVC model brought with it the goodness of proper separation of concerns betw ...