A review: "Learning SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services” by Jayaram Krishnaswamy

A while back I got asked if I’d review this book, but as they could only get me a copy in PDF format, it’s taken a while to get to it. Whilst I like having electronic copies of books, I generally prefer to read them in paper form, and just have the electronic copy for reference. But anyway – this book calls itself “A step-by-step guide to getting the most of Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 2008”. At 536 pages, I remember my first thoughts being that it seemed awfully long for the level that it’s aimed at. However, as … Continue reading A review: "Learning SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services” by Jayaram Krishnaswamy

Counting consecutive instances with DENSE_RANK

It’s hard to think of a practical use for DENSE_RANK(), but here’s one. It’s one of the ranking functions that was introduced in SQL Server 2005, along with RANK(), NTILE(n) and the incredibly useful ROW_NUMBER(). But apart from producing reports, it’s quite hard to find genuine uses for some of them. Yesterday I answered a question at StackOverflow (first time – I often answer questions at Experts Exchange and on the MSDN Forums, but never at StackOverflow before). It’s at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1176011/sql-to-determine-minimum-sequential-days-of-access/1176255#1176255 The problem is trying to find runs of consecutive days of activity. I solved it using ROW_NUMBER() and the … Continue reading Counting consecutive instances with DENSE_RANK

Annoying SharePoint error about features and templates

Following a successful installation of SharePoint (WSS) and making a new web application using a content database restored from another server, this annoying error appeared when on one of the sites. Feature ‘75a0fea7-2d1e-451a-b445-16bc346d78e’ for list template ‘1’ is not installed in this farm. The operation could not be completed. I say “annoying” because it seemed really hard to fix – hence this blog post. By Binging for that GUID, I could see that it was related to the BugList template. That made sense, because the site in question is focussed on that. But I couldn’t see how to get the … Continue reading Annoying SharePoint error about features and templates

A really good book on BI

Business Intelligence is so much more than the technologies involved. Doing BI well is about delivering the right solution for the client, and being able to plan accordingly, about finding a match between the technologies and the business needs, and about being able to come up with a good design that incorporates not only the data warehouse, but also the OLAP database and client interfaces. When I first picked up Smart Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2008, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know whether it would be design heavy, or technology heavy. I suspected it … Continue reading A really good book on BI

Hey Microsoft – let me restrict my network connections better!

I’m sure you know the feeling… you jump online by tethering to your mobile because you want to check a particular website, and all of a sudden you find your connection is being flooded by a Windows Update, or Live Mesh download, or a Sync Framework thing. Perhaps even Outlook is downloading your Junk Mail folder for you. But all you wanted was to check what the weather was – but it’s just cost you a fortune in download fees. Situation is that running applications will check for an internet connection, and then take advantage of it – with no … Continue reading Hey Microsoft – let me restrict my network connections better!

Four speaking engagements coming up

I’m just going to list them… This Saturday (July 18th), at Code Camp SA. I’m going to be talking about functions in SQL, particularly those that involve BEGIN and END. At the end of the month, at the ACS Branch Conference. I’m going to be part of a panel discussing Open Source v Closed Source. In August, I’m going to be speaking at SharePoint Saturday (Adelaide), about the integration of Reporting Services and SharePoint. In September, I’m going to be a presenting at TechEd Australia, about SQL Azure. Be nice if there was more of an overlap in topics…

DeepZoom fixoutlook – and a tip on hosting SilverLight

I haven’t done much SilverLight development – I’ve dabbled at best. And I don’t really count using DeepZoom Composer as proper SilverLight, but it makes a SilverLight application. So I’ve got one at http://www.lobsterpot.com.au/fixoutlook The background is that there’s a group of people who feel very strongly that Outlook should use proper standards for rendering emails. I understand that Microsoft have made a conscious decision to use Word for rendering emails, but I’m certainly part of the crowd who agree that Microsoft may have got this one wrong. They made a large image, and I thought this image would made … Continue reading DeepZoom fixoutlook – and a tip on hosting SilverLight

The new brand is Microsoft SQL Azure

It used to be SQL Server Data Services. Then SQL Data Services. Then we started hearing about SQL Services, and now (I hope finally), we have Microsoft SQL Azure instead of SQL Services, and the Microsoft SQL Azure Database instead of SQL Data Services. http://blogs.technet.com/dataplatforminsider/archive/2009/07/08/microsoft-sql-services-is-now-microsoft-sql-azure.aspx I think this is a sensible move. For a while now, whenever refer to SQL Services, I have to make it clear that it’s not the Windows Services that run SQL on your server, but that it’s the “in the cloud” offering that Microsoft are bringing out. Now, I can talk about SQL Azure, and … Continue reading The new brand is Microsoft SQL Azure

Excel dates counted differently and a reliable way of working out the day of the week

Following my recent post about 40,000 days, I got a couple of emails telling me that Excel disagrees about when the 40,000th day is. And this is true – Excel counts Day 40000 as July 6th 2009, not July 7th. Unfortunately for Excel users, they’re wrong. And it’s down to the fact that Excel thinks that 1900 was a leap-year, when we all know it wasn’t. You see, leap-years only fall on the century year if the year is divisible by 400. So 2000 was a leap-year, but 1900 wasn’t, and 2100 won’t be either. What’s more, this has been … Continue reading Excel dates counted differently and a reliable way of working out the day of the week