March 2010 - Posts

I was at Redgate last week and say plastered all over the canteen wall flip chart sheets with ideas scrawled over them. I was going to take a photo but thought it might not be allowed. I asked what it was all about and they told me that ALL the development team are going to stop working on what they are doing and do whatever they want.

Whatever they want? yes

So thats the whole team working on something? No, it can be individual or in groups.

Having worked in product teams before I and the others around me have often found frustration in having ideas but not being able to do anything with them. You’ve got to build a business case blah blah blah. How does a dev build a business case for something that is going to make the end users life a bit easier, how can they prove it? They haven’t got UX labs they can run simulations and can’t perform surveys to find out if its something that users really want. And definitely quantify any change in a fiscal manner, i.e. Doing this change will cost x to develop and support and will generate y revenue in year 1 and z in year 2. Come on this is a dev not someone wanting to go on Dragons Den.

So I find this idea from Redgate really cool.


What I imagine is that due to all the other tools Redgate do, they have some great frameworks they can build upon so that during this week everyone can focus on developing features because they don’t have to worry about the plumbing as thats already done for them.

I saw some great ideas on the walls, the one I remember was a query history window, that I would like, especially if it could cache the query results.

If you want to read more go to and

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

I recently got an email from a fellow MVP about single user mode. It made me think about some features I had just been looking at and so I started playing.

The annoyance about single user mode for SQL Server is that its not really single user, but more like single connection mode.

So how can you get round it, well there is extension to the -m startup option that allows you to specify an application name, and only connections with that application name can connect. This is very useful if you have sharepoint or reporting services running as they often get the single connection and that leaves you without a connection.

However this approach still only restricts the single user connection to a specific connection with a specific application name.

What if you want to be able to use management studio, that uses multiple connections.

Well the answer is logon triggers. You can implement a logon trigger that checks some property of the connection and rejects if it isn’t valid. Something like this

create trigger tr_login

on all server

for logon



    if APP_NAME() <> 'Simons super app'





You can now only connect if the application name of the connection string is “Simons super app”.

How do you do that in management studio? its easy you just set an additional connection property when you connect and heh presto.


To get to the Additional Connection Parameters tab you need to click on the options button on the first screen.



This isn’t a security feature as anyone can set the application name. It might however be useful if you are doing an upgrade or something else and you wish to stop people connecting.

The new feature in SQL Server 2008 to have your query window status bar colour coded to the server you are on is great. Its a nice way to distinguish production from development servers. Unfortunately it was pointed out to me by a client recently that it doesn't always work.

To me that sort of makes it pointless. Its a bit like having breaks that work some of the time. Are you going to place Russian roulette every time you execute the query.

Whats more the colour doesn't change if you change the connection. So you can flip between dev and production servers but your status bar stays the colour you set for the dev server.

It really annoys me to find features that sort of work. The reason I initially gave up on SQLPrompt was that it didn't work 100% of the time and for that time it didn't work I wasted so much time trying to get it to work I wasted more time than if I didn't have it. (I will say that was 2-3 years ago).

If you would like to use this feature but aren't because of these features please vote on these bugs.


Posted by simonsabin | 5 comment(s)

If you filled in the registration form for SQLBits VI and haven't received an email requesting you to confirm your registration then you are not confirmed and we will be assuming you aren't coming. You need to get that email and click on the confirmation link to confirm your registration

We currently have 30 people that have not confirmed.

So if you haven't seen an email then please check your spam folders for the email. If you still don't get any luck then please contact us (contactus(at)

If you are not confirmed and turn up on the day then you will only get in if we have room, and it looks like we wil be over subscribed.

you can check your registration status by loggin in to the site and going to the Check their is a confirmation data at the bottom.

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

Don't forget there is a SQL Social event this evening with Brad M. McGehee founder of and now works at Red Gate.Brad is a fascinating guy and amazingly lives in Hawaii. Can you imagine working with SQL Server and living in Hawii. How cool.

We might also be graced by the one and only Steve Jones editor of Steve's got a great insight into building your career and lots of the stuff that you don't often hear at usergroups so hopefully he can make it and we can discuss some of the things like what makes a good data person during the open Q&A session.

Both are fellow SQL MVPs and so the evening should be good.

You can still register for the event by going to If you have any problems let me know.


Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

After a mad rush for registrations to SQLBits VI we ahve now hit 400 registrations. We still have places yet but don't expect then to be available long. At the current rate you've got 7 days until we will have filled up.

So get registering, also if you can't make it please make sure you un register.

Finally if you haven't received an email saying your registration is confirmed then you won't be confirmed. We currently have 40 registrations that are uncomfirmed. If in doubt please contact us.

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

PASS have given use a number of prizes for SQLBits. We have registrations for PASS Europe and PASS North America as well as DVD sets of the sessions from the North America summit last year to give away.

Not only that, if you want to go to PASS Europe and you are a SQLBits user then you can get a promotion code that not only gives you the best price it also raises money for SQLBits.

To get the promotion code login and then visit the community page


Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

The title says it all

Registration for SQLBits is now open.

We expect this to be very very popular so make sure you register quickly.

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

The details of our acommodation deal have been announced. We are going to be using the Park Paza on Westminster Bridge.

The speakers are going to be based there so why not join us, its a short walk from the venue.

We have a promotion code SQL6 which gives you a greatly reduced rate of £139 + VAT.


If you want cheaper then consider using Laterooms
Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

Register Now for UK Tech Days: Windows Phone 7 Series


Come and join us to learn how to build applications and games for Windows Phone 7 Series.


Be amongst the first in the UK to learn how to build applications and games for Windows Phone 7 Series. We’ll introduce you to the development platform and show you how to work with the Windows Phone 7 Series development tools.  Each session will ramp up your knowledge and help you become skilled in developing games and apps for Windows Phone 7.


This will be a fun and practical day of detailed Windows Phone 7 Series development sessions covering the new Windows Phone 7 Series specification, applications technologies and services.


Posted by simonsabin | with no comments
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