Posts Tagged ‘sql’

Caught a fascinating .NET Rocks podcast this morning discussing MongoDB, a NON-relational dbms. Kind of like honest politicians, the possibility of such a thing is theoretically possible but not something you expect to ever actually see. I’m still not sure I have my head wrapped around how to best use it, but it’s hard to argue with the (claimed) vastly improved performance and scalability over traditional RDBMSes!

Interesting little sidenote, apparently the original paper that described the relational database model was published 40 years ago, maybe it is time to look at more advanced approaches…

Combining the best features of document databases, key-value stores, and RDBMSes.

MongoDB (from “humongous”) is a scalable, high-performance, open source, schema-free, document-oriented database. Written in C++, MongoDB features:

* Document-oriented storage (the simplicity and power of JSON-like data schemas)

* Dynamic queries

* Full index support, extending to inner-objects and embedded arrays

* Query profiling

* Fast, in-place updates

* Efficient storage of binary data large objects (e.g. photos and videos)

* Replication and fail-over support

* Auto-sharding for cloud-level scalability

* MapReduce for complex aggregation

* Commercial Support, Hosting, and Consulting

MongoDB bridges the gap between key-value stores (which are fast and highly scalable) and traditional RDBMS systems (which provide structured schemas and powerful queries).

via Home – MongoDB – 10gen Confluence.


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Want to programmatically access your Sql Server Reporting Services Server? (SSRS) Turns out there’s an app for that! Or more precisely, a SOAP web service.

The Reporting Services SOAP API provides several Web service endpoints for developing custom reporting solutions. The endpoints currently fall into two categories: management and execution. The management functionality is exposed through the ReportService2005 and ReportService2006 endpoints. The ReportService2005 endpoint is used for managing a report server that is configured in native mode and the ReportService2006 endpoint is used for managing a report server that is configured for SharePoint integrated mode. The execution functionality is exposed through the ReportExecution2005 endpoint and it is used when the report server is configured in native or SharePoint integrated mode. The following topics show how these endpoints can be used for developing reporting solutions in Microsoft Windows, SharePoint, and Web applications.

via Integrating Reporting Services Using SOAP.

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I’ve used SSRS multiple times in the past and know of at least one instance where I’ll be using it again in the future so I was quite pleased to stumble upon Paul Litwin’s recent article regarding the current state of SSRS.

We’ve all heard that version 3 of a Microsoft product is when that product really hits its stride. And while I’m not sure of the truth of that software urban legend, I do have to say that Microsoft, with the release of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (which happens to be its 3rd major version), has released a gem of a reporting solution that is sure to please users of prior versions and bring more converts into the Reporting Services fold. The newest version of SQL Server Reporting Services is faster, can handle larger reports, supports a wider variety of browsers, and is more flexible thanks to the new Tablix data region, support for rich text content, and Microsoft Word as an output format.

One of the biggest, yet mostly invisible, changes Microsoft has made to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) for SQL Server 2008 is that it has decided to ditch Internet Information Services (IIS).

I was dismayed to find that Reporting Services still doesn’t support a form-based security model out of the box.

One of my favorite improvements to SSRS is hardly mentioned by Microsoft but I know it will be very exciting for organizations like mine that need to support multiple browsers and platforms: the HTML rendered by Reporting Services renders nicely in most major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari.

Speaking of rendering, Microsoft made a number of other improvements in this area too, including improved output to Excel and Text formats.

However, the big story here is the newfound support for the Microsoft Word format.

The Visual Studio-hosted report designer has gotten a significant makeover in this version.

Reporting Services textbox control now supports rich text formatting… Now imagine using the rich text support in SSRS to replace all of your desktop-based mail-merge solutions. In fact, when combined with SSRS support for scheduled subscriptions and the Word output format, one can easily envision a mail-merge operation that runs in the middle of the night and e-mails the “merged” documents to users or drops the documents in a network share folder. The only thing left to do is to print the documents!

A number of new chart types are also supported by the new release including stepped line, polar, Gantt, funnel, pyramid, histogram, and box charts.

via CODE Magazine – Article: SQL Server Reporting Services Hits its Stride.

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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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Given the amount of time it seems I spend working on data access related code I’d be very interested in what solutions the community is coming up with as an alternative.

Enthusiasts Convene To Say No To SQL, Hash Out New DB Breed

via Slashdot Technology Story | Enthusiasts Convene To Say No To SQL, Hash Out New DB Breed.

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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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