Sunday, February 22, 2009


Kick Start Database Schemas

If you are about to start a new project, Barry Williams' DatabaseAnswers contains some good 'kick-start' database schemas to get you thinking about your Domain. Ten of his designs are available as the SQL Server 2005 Express Starter Database Schemas.

Friday, February 20, 2009


XAML tip for Visual Studio

I'm not currently working with WPF, but I came across this tip that I wanted to make sure I could find when I am: Life changer XAML tip for Visual Studio!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Why is UI design so hard for some Developers?

Despite being reasonably active on StackOverflow, I wonder if it will eventually go the way of most forums when the noise level becomes too high? One thing’s for certain, its search ability is as bad as another high-profile programming site I probably shouldn’t mention (and I don’t mean the Symbol developer site, which is certainly a candidate...).

Once in a while, there are questions and answers on SO that really stand out, such as this answer to the question “Why is UI design so hard for some Developers?”.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


SQL Server Management Studio Tools Pack

Every so often in the middle of a task, you can get stymied by the simplest of things and by the time you've spent 15 minutes looking for a shortcut, you give in to temptation and go off at a tangent to try and solve the minor problem yourself.

Some time ago I wrote a simple and easy to use generic tool to script out a Table/Database as INSERT statements. Well, I couldn't find it today! After downloading 2 scripts that wouldn't work for some undiscovered reason(!), I resisted the temptation to knock something up, did a quick search and found Mladen Prajdić's SMSS Tools Pack 1.5. Not only does it have the generate a table as INSERTS as a right-click action within SSMS but a whole lot of other really nice to have features (the full feature list is here), including Window Connection Coloring.

It's available for SQL Server 2005 and 2008 in full or Express versions.


SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Performance Guide

This white paper, SQL Server 2008 White Paper: Analysis Services Performance Guide, describes how application developers can apply query and processing performance-tuning techniques to their SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services OLAP solutions. This white paper is organised into three sections: Enhancing Query Performance, Enhancing Processing Performance and Tuning Server Resources.

These may also be of interest:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Guide

The SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Technical Reference Guide has been designed to achieve a smooth transition, and emphasises the need for sufficiently planning for the upgrade. This 490 page document covers the essential phases and steps involved in upgrading existing SQL Server 2000 and 2005 instances to SQL Server 2008 by using best practices. These include preparation tasks, upgrade tasks, and post-upgrade tasks.

It gives an overview of the technical issues and decisions that are involved in an upgrade to SQL Server 2008, as well as recommendations for planning and deploying an upgrade. It also contains a table of allowed SQL Server 2008 version and edition upgrade paths, as well as an upgrade planning checklist.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


MVP Certification Program

Apologies for posting this info late (there was a hiccup obtaining the promotion code):

From now till March 31, 2009, Microsoft Certification are running a program where you receive a 10% discount on the cost of an exam and free retake offer.

You can use this Promotion Code AU2CDE16 to obtain the discount (valid only in Australia; talk to your local MVP(s) if you're in another country).

The Exam Voucher Code is valid for exams taken by May 31, 2009 in Australia. Note that the limited time offer is valid for Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) exams only.

More information on how to obtain the vouchers and the Terms & Conditions of Usage are available at


Free SQL Server Profiler eBook

Learn how to diagnose and resolve SQL Server performance issues with Brad McGehee's 'Mastering SQL Server 2005 Profiler' 283-page guide. Download here.


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