February 2006 Entries

MS Partner's Meeting about SQL Server 2005

Microsoft Italy tomorrow will start a 3 day meeting about SQL Server 2005 in-depth exploration dedicated to all the Microsoft Certified Partners.In these 3 days (1 - 8 - 15 March) we'll explore all the new SQL Server 2005 features (administration, monitoring, tuning, partitioning, development, disaster recovery etc.). If you're in Microsoft tomorrow, please give me a sign and I'll offer you a coffee...

posted @ Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:04 AM | Feedback (1)

Joined the Windows Vista Beta Program

This morning the chance promised me by Steve Carbone is arrived: I've received the invitation from Microsoft to join the Windows Vista Beta Program.I'll have the chance to install the last Windows Vista CTP and to provide feedbacks to Microsoft. Now the problem for me is where to test the last Vista CTP: Virtual PC or not? I've listened about some problems on installing the last Vista CTP under Virtual PC but this is a test that I'd like to do.Someone has tryed yet? Any advice? P.S. Now stop to the speculation... the official Windows Vista Product Lineup is unveiled. We'll...

posted @ Tuesday, February 28, 2006 9:24 AM | Feedback (2)

Google Calendar is on the air...

Yes, the rumours now are reality and seems that Google is ready to launch its new Calendar feature.Paul Stone, by checking the Gmail code, has discovered this link: http://www.google.com/cl2/It actually points only to the Calendar Login page (and you can't perform a login), but this is the sign that the future is ready and will be launched soon.I'm curious to see the features that a Google Calendar will have. Having it integrated into the Gmail console and having the chance to keep it synchronized with other Google Calendars (for example your employee or co-workers) could be really interesting.

posted @ Monday, February 27, 2006 9:22 AM | Feedback (1)

The new Microsoft's gadget is arriving?

There are lots of rumours around the new and misterious Origami Project registered by Microsoft. What could be around this name? The 2nd of March is the official day for the revelation, but the bets are open...What do you think that "Origami Project" will be? I'm thinking about a new mobile gadget... Update: someone has beat Microsoft on the revelation and Origami seems to be a new mobile device like this:   Really cool, Tablet PC and Pocket PC features combined together on a slim device. What about the price? Gates about an year ago promised that a future Microsoft-branded mobile device like...

posted @ Saturday, February 25, 2006 2:55 PM | Feedback (0)

70-306 passed!

Windows Forms programming is (from a lot of time) the field on all the .NET world where I'm most involved, so one of my main desire from the beginning of this "love" was that a day I'll have to be certified on Windows Forms development.This day is come: today I've taken the 70-306 exam (Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET) and the result was a surprise: 1000! I had 2 questions where I was unsecure but at the end the answer choosen was correct.The exam is not so easy but if...

posted @ Friday, February 24, 2006 8:54 PM | Feedback (4)

New Vista CTP: lots of wonderful things ready to use!

Microsoft has released Windows Vista Enterprise (February CTP) Edition and the good news is that it's feature complete: a good sign, Microsoft is ready to launch also its "Enterprise Version" under a public test. Now it's possible to stress all the new feature that we'll have on the final version (I'm sure that they will not change a lot) and what I love about Vista is (no, not the name... ) the extreme attention to improve all the operative system's particulars.Some examples?Security: now the "Least Privilege Account" philosophy seems to be totally adopted. Lots of years are passed by now...

posted @ Thursday, February 23, 2006 4:41 PM | Feedback (5)

Hack Windows, win $10,000

I'm not a fan of these types of ideas but iDefense Labs has launched its Quarterly Hacking Challenge: iDefense Labs will pay $10,000 for each vulnerability submission that results in the publication of a Microsoft Security Bulletin with a severity rating of critical.Why this type of competition? To demonstrate that Windows is extremely secure now? To demonstrate that Windows can be hacked? To keep up the "hacking movement"?Launching a competition (with money) for hacking a system could be extremely dangerous and I hope that at least (if a result will be reached) the results will be used with intelligence (to...

posted @ Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:16 AM | Feedback (0)

A present from Wiley

Some weeks ago I had a contact from a Wiley's employee and he gave me the chance to review some of their books about SQL Server 2005 Programming. The idea was extremely interesting and my response was "OK, I'm ready..."! Today the pack is arrived. Wiley has sent me these two interesting books:  I've not start to read them yet but I've appreciated a thing: the essential theory for the basic concepts and lots of real world code samples. These are the tipical books that is useful to have with you every day when you are programming.Thanks a lot Colleen...

posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2006 9:49 PM | Feedback (0)

Goodbye Frontpage

The PressPass out yesterday from Microsoft has signed a new era for Microsoft's based web authoring tool: Frontpage will be gradually discontinued and new products will see the light: SharePoint Designer 2007 and Expression Web Designer.As you can see on the announce, while both products are partially based on Microsoft Office FrontPage technologies, they are tailored to very different usage scenarios. SharePoint Designer 2007 is expressly designed for information workers in an enterprise who are creating and customizing Microsoft SharePoint Web sites and building workflow-enabled applications on SharePoint Products and Technologies. It provides these workers with versatile tools to produce...

posted @ Friday, February 17, 2006 2:23 PM | Feedback (2)

1000: what a pain!

This post cannot have a content different from this: the Posts counter signs an important milestone: 1000 posts!Numbers are not so important but having reached the "4 digits" is a satisfaction for me... So, happy 1000 and the blog's life will continue...

posted @ Thursday, February 16, 2006 10:02 AM | Feedback (0)

Office Live is starting but...

... but I'm not so excited for the new features!In these days Microsoft is launching the test phase for its new Office Live service and we can see the first feature added to this new web-based product, dedicated to improve the productivity and add online capabilities to the small business companies.The feature we've seen in this first beta are resumable as follow: A professional Web site with a free domain name, company-branded e-mail accounts hosted by Microsoft, and easy design and reporting tools to create and maintain your website;An online repository for organizing company documents and contact information in one...

posted @ Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:57 AM | Feedback (0)

A secret Firefox feature

There's an interesting post on Ben Goodger's Blog (one of the Firefox PM) that explains why Firefox leaks memory.This feature was previously undocumented but seems that, in order to improve performance when navigating (studies show that 39% of all page navigations are renavigations to pages visited < 10 pages ago, usually using the back button), Firefox 1.5 implements a Back-Forward cache that retains the rendered document for the last few session history entries.Firefox has a preference browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers which by default is set to -1 (a default value of cached pages that depends from your system memory)If you set this preference...

posted @ Wednesday, February 15, 2006 2:39 PM | Feedback (0)

Navision 4.0 SP1 and Clustered Indexes: a problem!

I've talked in the past about the importance of optimizing SQL Server Indexes and I've talked also about the new features that Navision 4.0 SP1 introduces to manage SQL Indexes.The new Clustered property that Navision 4.0 SP1 now has (when you open the Keys window for a table) permits you to determine whether or not the index is clustered.But seems that there's a terrible fact... Navision, since its first versions for SQL Server, has always created clustered indexes on primary keys (exactly like SQL Server does by default). This was not changeable from Navision but (obviously) you could change this from...

posted @ Wednesday, February 15, 2006 9:45 AM | Feedback (3)

Navision 5.0 news

Two days out of office for meetings and few times for blogging... Yesterday we had a Microsoft Partner meeting in Milan and we've seen the first images of Navision 5.0 (code name "Corsica"). I can say that the product has a total new look, more styled like Vista. The menu is similar to the actual menu introduced with the 4.0 release (the menusuite object is quite the same) but now Navision has a start page where you can place lots of informations, such as graphs, check the state of your orders, customers, balances etc. There's a new messaging system integrated into...

posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2006 9:36 PM | Feedback (0)

A Business Intelligence application with Excel and VSTO

Microsoft has published on the MSDN site a very interesting example of Business Intelligence application, a real world example on how to enhancing Excel Business Intelligence capabilities with Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office.The application works with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Microsoft Analysis Services and Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and shows how to manage analysis cubes and pivot tables directly from code.Really interesting... the bookmark is added!

posted @ Monday, February 13, 2006 9:04 AM | Feedback (0)

MSBuild Extras – Toolkit for .NET 1.1: the first bits!

With a surprise, the DDCPX Aftermarket Solutions Team today has released the first beta of the promised MSBuild Extras – Toolkit for .NET 1.1, an addition to MSBuild that allows developers to build managed applications in Visual Studio 2005 that target .NET Framework 1.1.This is a good news... we could be able to compile our .NET 1.1 project with the new Visual Studio 2005. I hope that this tool will be soon integrated as a feature (Powertoys??) for VS2005! 

posted @ Friday, February 10, 2006 3:20 PM | Feedback (0)

Taking the right decision...

The considerations I've done yesterday on when using SQL CLR features against T-SQL must be read with the right sense. What are the keys to decide for a technology or to take a project decision?Obviously, performance is one of the most important key when you've to decide the technology to use and user's satisfaction comes as a consequence. But this is not all.When building applications for business there are other factors that must be take into considerations, such as the scalability of the solution (if over time the application's load is growing, are you ready?), the maintainability of the solution you're building over...

posted @ Friday, February 10, 2006 11:40 AM | Feedback (0)

.NET Stored Procedures vs T-SQL in SQL Server 2005

One of the extremely new features of SQL Server 2005 is the CLR integration into its core engine: now you can write stored procedures with any .NET language and use them directly into your SQL Server engine.Writing a SQL Server stored procedure with Visual Studio 2005 is quite simple. The steps are summarized as follow:1) Open Visual Studio 2005, select New Project, select Database an the right hand pane of the new project dialog choose SQL Server Project.2) Now you've to choose the database where you want to work (a SQL Server 2005 database) and after this choice you're project...

posted @ Thursday, February 09, 2006 3:27 PM | Feedback (9)

Extract the content of a .MSI file

Today Greg Duncan has signalled a tool that exactly feets the needs that sometimes I had: extracting a single file from a Microsoft's .MSI installer file.The tool is called Less MSIèrables and it's a little program written with .NET Framework. It permits you to choose a .MSI file, view its contents and extract the files you want simply by selecting them. A useful utility that sometimes can help you to save time...

posted @ Wednesday, February 08, 2006 11:30 PM | Feedback (15)

Visual Studio Team System: the "Ferrari" of development?

Today is the official day where Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Release Candidate is out and this was the key of a discussion: all that are waiting for Visual Studio Team System's family but... do you really always need it?If you're a large company that develops software in team, needs advanced source code control, code profiliing and analysis, integrated unit testing, project management and test case management features, maybe Visual Studio Team System is the right choice for you.But if you're a small company or a single developer, are you sure that you've to place your money on VSTS?This is...

posted @ Wednesday, February 08, 2006 3:57 PM | Feedback (1)

Gmail and Google Talk together: now reality!

This morning the access to my Gmail account has give me a big surprise: the union of Gmail service and Google Talk will be soon a reality.A new "Chats" button is actually present on Gmail and here you will be able to keep in touch with your contacts directly from the email client interface.Finally, a real cool use of the Google's chat system...

posted @ Tuesday, February 07, 2006 9:22 AM | Feedback (0)

Exam 70-229 cleared

In the days where all the attention about certifications is around the new SQL Server 2005, I'm moving on the opposite side and in these period I've taken the exams about SQL Server 2000. After passing the administrative one (70-228), today I've passed the 70-229 (more focused on development).The score was 908 and I've found tricky questions about when using CHECK contraints and Triggers and about tuning. However, it's passed... I've a plan for my next step but for the moment... it's a secret!

posted @ Friday, February 03, 2006 9:14 PM | Feedback (2)

SQL Server 2005 and Error Management

In these days I'm porting an application that runs under SQL Server 2000 under the new SQL Server 2005 environment and one of the things that I love about SQL Server 2005 development is the possibility to handle errors on your stored procedure, exactly like on your managed code. With SQL Server 2005 now you have a wonderful TRY/CATCH error management function and you can intercept erros on your stored procedure execution and handle it by taking the proper actions. You can now write code like this:BEGIN TRY  INSERT INTO Customers (CustId, CustName, CustCity)  VALUES (1, 'Mark', 'Milan')END TRYBEGIN CATCH  /* handle your error...

posted @ Thursday, February 02, 2006 9:15 PM | Feedback (0)

All against IE7

I've always thinked that releasing a beta product to the general public could be the best way to extremely test it, and the facts are giving reason to this.The Beta 2 version of Internet Explorer 7 was released only two days ago to the public and all forums, blogs, newsgroups, Microsoft itself are full of segnalations about possible bugs, CSS and other things that doesn't work etc. All are working hard to discover bugs on the new "little" IE, only to demonstrate and claims to the public that it's buggy! Is this a problem for Microsoft? Is IE7 really so buggy...

posted @ Thursday, February 02, 2006 8:58 PM | Feedback (0)