June 2006 - Posts

Thanks to Frans Bouma who mentioned a plug in for firefox which allows you to modifyin css on the fly, i.e. at the client and see the results.

To do this you need to use Chris's Web developer toolbar for firefox which you can get from http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/.

I had a problem with my blog (which you may have noticed if running FF), I solved it in seconds due to this toolbar.

Really great tool, and its free.


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Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

Steve Jones recently interviewed me for http://SQLServerCentral.com, the interview is now live.

If you read the interview with Paul Randal  a few weeks ago you will see that we both had Acorn Electrons as our first computers. This made me chuckle as the electron was the baby of the bbs

I guess this this goes to show our age but also how the use of BBC influenced many people in the late eighties. I will say that I never went to the level of programming assembly as Paul did, but I guess thats why Paul develops SQL Server and I use it :)

I wonder how many other people working in the SQL Team or using SQL started their life (programming that is) working with the Acorn


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Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

In my presentation last night I went through a process by which you can create Raw files so that you can append to them in a for each loop as there is no "Create once for the package" setting for a Raw file. I knew Jamie had covered this in his blog but I was doing a slightly different approach and Jamie raised this in the presentation. As I hadn't read his post properly I dismissed his comments as a heckler from the front row. Well I guess I will be eating humble pie for a while, as Jamie did, when I got home I tested what Jamie had proposed and it worked.

Simply put, the "Append" option will create the file if it doesn't exist. If you need to use the Raw file eslewhere in your package then you will have to create the raw file so that SSIS can determine the columns that will be in the Raw file and as Jamie pointed out this does only need to be done at design time. Jamie has explained with pictures here

Whilst my solution creates an empty file every time the package runs, with Jamie's solution you need to make sure that your package deletes any raw files that already exist.

As for the presentation it went ok towards the end, as Jamie put it "...He comes across as being utterly unprepared..." which was very true for the start. I made the fundamental mistake of moving everything to a machine the night before which screwed everything up. Lesson learnt.


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Posted by simonsabin | with no comments
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This has to be one of my favourite features in SQL 2005 and I almost missed it. Well I actually did and had to be told about it by Erland Sommarskog.

In SQL 2000 you right a huge piece of SQL, 100 lines of code. You run it and get

Msg 102, Level 15, State 1, Line 1
Incorrect syntax near '('.

How useful is that? Well in SQL 2005 it changes to

Msg 102, Level 15, State 1, Line 67
Incorrect syntax near '('.

Notice the difference, yep the line number actually refers to the line in the SQL with the error.

How cool, its amazing how something so small can be so great.

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Posted by simonsabin | with no comments
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I'm a buge fan of Local.Live.com since its days as virtualearth. This is growing know it does UK aerial and birds eye photos.

You can now get a plug in for outlook to get maps in Outlook http://outlook.local.live.com/minisites/local/outlook/default.aspx. However it only works for the US english version of outlook.

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Posted by simonsabin | with no comments
You can read the latest news on LINQ, DLINQ Entities, ADO.NET, data consistency and much more here-
Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

Well Microsoft.com do.

I mentioned the Tech Ed webcasts a few days ago. I unfortunately only caught the end of the Microsoft.com webcast. Well I've just finsihed watching the on demand version and wow. I previously highlighted a talk about amazon.com (Are you running a high volume website) this is another webcast that you should watch.

Its a great insight into what needs to be done to run a high end internet operation. The numbers they are talking about are just scary, 120Gigabits/sec bandwidth, ok so many sites won't be needing this level of scale. However they do provide some great points on,

  • Load balancing, NLB v hardware
  • SQL HA solutions, Peer to Peer, Mirroring, log shipping
  • Clustering
  • Global Load balancing

On interesting statement was on testing. I agree that it is very difficult to simulate Live usage, for 3 reasons, generating the amount of traffic is difficult, generating the traffic in a realistic manner is even more difficult, finally can you afford to duplicate your live hardware. So there is a valid reason for doing load testing in a Live environment.

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Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)
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I noticed with SQL Server Integration Services if I use the SQL Server Destination and my data flow doesn't provide rows quick enough to the destination a timeout can occur. Bill has blogged about a FIX for a similar issue in .Net that refers to ADO adn SqlBulkCopy.

The FIX does not mention SSIS but I guess it would be the same issue.

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If you ever visit the forums you will learn many ways to manage your SQL Server. Some of these are good some of them not so good. Some may result in your bank stealing your money if they followed these procedures.

Paul Randal continues his great storage engine blog by explaining the impact of rebuilding your transaction log. Paul is trying to clean up alot of the misconceptions about SQL Server that have evolved over the past 10 years. Many people still think some of the issues that existed in SQL Server 6.5 still apply to SQL Server 2005. What is the length of an empty string. in 6.5 it was 1 as it was stored as a space, this was changed in SQL Server 7.0

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Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

If you want to re-organise your package by seperating a data flow into multiple data flows. Then you are better to copy the data flow task and remove the components in the flow you don't want rather than creating a new data flow task and copying the components between the data flows.

Why is that?

Well the main reason is that copying components results in components having numbers appended i.e. "lookup" becomes "lookup 1", which is very annoying

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Posted by simonsabin | with no comments
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