Posts Tagged ‘sql-server’

The topic of a recent discussion, Doc-To-Help appears to be a documentation authoring tool. It does NOT appear to be a documentation generating tool. For documentation of .NET assemblies Doc-To-Help will take the output of Microsoft’s Sandcastle and add formatting, TOC’s, etc. As a quick reminder… “Sandcastle produces accurate, MSDN style, comprehensive documentation by reflecting over the source assemblies and optionally integrating XML Documentation Comments.”

The next question becomes whether Sandcastle can be run against Sql Server? The answer seems to be not exactly, based on this MSDN forum post. Fortunately, that post references the Sql XML Documentation article on CodeProject, which was mentioned during the discussion that started this post, and that details the intermediary tools required to extract the XML documentation and then import it into Sandcastle. The output of Sandcastle can then be fed to Doc-To-Help if something beyond the MSDN style output of Sandcastle is needed.

Reviewing the CodeProject article it quickly becomes apparent this is all very much a hack, even if it’s a thoughtful and best guess of what’s to come hack. The steps outlined in the article will of course need to be tested, and hopefully wrapped up into something easy to integrate with our development process. The MSDN forum post also suggests a tool I’ve previously reviewed, DocumentX!, but it’s currently unclear how well this tool handles the xml documentation most of the rest of the team would like to use.

As a disappointing final note, searching for “sql” onSandcastle’s CodePlex forum only returns one thread which suggests the same CodeProject article already discussed. Searching for the same on the official Sandcastle blog which has entries all the way back to 2005 returns “No Results”. I wouldn’t have thought Sql documentation would be so hard…

Sandcastle Project Blog
Latest Sandcastle Release on CodePlex

From Doc-To-Help’s website…

You only need one application to serve all your documentation and information needs. That is only one application to purchase and only one application to learn. With Doc-To-Help, you can write (or import), edit, and publish to multiple types of commercial quality desktop, print, and Web output right out of the box.

via Doc-To-Help Overview.

Microsoft’s Sandcastle utility automatically creates MSDN formatted reference documentation from .NET source code and XML comment files. Doc-To-Help integrates Sandcastle’s XML output into your projects, automatically creating topics, index, TOC, and other Help elements. You can build on this information by editing/adding your own topics, and linking to namespaces. This content integrates with the Help system in Visual Studio .NET (Help 2.0).

via Doc-To-Help Features.


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Another day, another Data Services issue. This time the error message was “Too many table names in the query. The maximum allowable is 256.” Turns out this is caused by my organization’s use of Sql Server 2005 rather than Sql Server 2008. Unfortunately, it’s not very feasible to reduce the number of tables being used as that number is dependent on the query being made against the ADO.NET Data Services web service by an end user. And as there are very valid reasons to make queries that require many tables it doesn’t make sense to place limits even if they were feasible.

See the object named “Tables per SELECT statement” for each version of Sql Server…

Maximum Capacity Specifications for SQL Server 2005 (256)

Maximum Capacity Specifications for SQL Server 2008 (Limited only by available resources)

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While listening to another .NET Rocks podcast this morning I caught mention of Sequential GUID’s, a feature introduced in Sql Server 2005. Given the use of GUID’s as primary keys I thought this a useful piece of information.

What are the performance improvement of Sequential Guid over standard Guid? – Stack Overflow.

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Like most applications, a database plays a critical role in what I’m working on. Fortunately, two higher-end versions of Visual Studio are supposed to provide a Microsoft security blanket for developing a database, managing and tracking changes to a database, and deploying those changes. (Among other things)


Unfortunately, Microsoft left the security blanket for getting these pieces all working on a dirty bus seat in downtown Seattle.

First, you need the Enterprise or Developer edition of Sql Server installed. If you upgrade from a previously installed version and change the instance name be prepared for an rather unhelpful error message.

A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces,  Error Locating Server/Instance Specified)

You’ll receive this error message if you don’t have the correct instance name specified.

Database projects require a connection to a local instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for design-time validation. To perform this operation, you must open the Tools menu, click Options and specify an instance of SQL Server 2005 that is running and to which you can connect in the Database Tools, Design-time Validation Database property page. When that is corrected, you must then refresh or reload the database project.

Or if you don’t have the correct version of Sql Server installed.

As it turns out, the error messages were a bit misleading. The actual problem was that I had the wrong edition of SQL Server installed on this machine. I had SQL Server Standard Edition installed, but to create a Database Project from within Visual Studio you must have either the Developer or Enterprise editions of SQL Server 2008 installed.

As with all software make sure to install the latest patches.

Although the name “GDR”, which stands for “General Redistribution Release”, implies otherwise, this really is a complete new release, based on a new architecture. We have taken the architectural changes from the Rosario project (Visual Studio Team System 2010) and rolled them forward in time. Rolling forward these changes help us align the GDR release with the upcoming Visual Studio Team System 2010 release and provide numerous new features and extensibility points in this release. If you would compare the GDR release with the “Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals” or “Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition” you will agree this is a completely new product!

And oh wait the latest patch just happens to remove that Sql Server requirement! Did I mention that you MUST use Sql Server 2005 if you don’t install this patch? And just ignore the fact that the references below to “SQL Express or SQL Server” should in fact be “SQL Server 2005 Developer or SQL Server 2005 Enterprise”.

Database Edition no longer requires a Design Database. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to install an instance of SQL Express or SQL Server prior to using Database Edition.

After all that fun the Validation feature seems to be broken but hopefully I’ll figure that out soon and everything will be downhill from here on out.

Yeah right. 🙂

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A reference to the master.dbschema (or similar, see below!) is necessary for database projects in Visual Studio that reference system objects. Here’s how to add those objects without slowing everything down.

In the March edition of MSDN we provided an overview of Server Projects and how to reference the master.dbschema file to resolve references to system objects. If you have a project that references the master.dbschema file, you may have noticed it takes a while to establish this reference. You may have also noticed the project may not load or deploy as quickly as it did before referencing the master.dbschema file. This is because when referencing the master.dbschema file you are adding all the system objects found in a typical SQL Server instance to your database model in Visual Studio. The number of system objects defined in the master.dbschema file greatly outnumbers the user created objects for many database projects. If you have multiple projects referencing the master.dbschema file this can be compounded as each projects reference to the master.dbschema has its own copy of the database model in memory.

via VSTS: DB Best Practices : Right sizing the master.dbschema file for better design time performance.

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I spent an embarrassingly long period of time trouble-shooting my Sql Server install only to find the problem was the Windows Firewall.

Firewall systems help prevent unauthorized access to computer resources. If a firewall is turned on but not correctly configured, attempts to connect to SQL Server might be blocked.

To access an instance of the SQL Server through a firewall, you must configure the firewall on the computer that is running SQL Server to allow access. The firewall is a component of Microsoft Windows. You can also install a firewall from another company. This topic discusses how to configure the Windows firewall, but the basic principles apply to other firewall programs.

via Configuring the Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access.

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This article describes how to identify your current Microsoft SQL Server version number and the corresponding product or service pack level. It also describes how to identify the specific edition if you are using Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or Microsoft SQL Server 7.0.

via How to identify your SQL Server version and edition.

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