Software development, .Net, SQL Server, TDD, Agile, Community and other Odds and Sods
Mitch Wheat has been working as a professional programmer since 1984, graduating with a honours degree in Mathematics from Warwick University, UK in 1986. He moved to Perth in 1995, having worked in software houses in London and Rotterdam. He has worked in the areas of mining, electronics, research, defence, financial, GIS, telecommunications, engineering, and information management. Mitch has worked mainly with Microsoft technologies (since Windows version 3.0) but has also used UNIX. He holds the following Microsoft certifications: MCPD (Web and Windows) using C# and SQL Server MCITP (Admin and Developer). His preferred development environment is C#, .Net Framework and SQL Server. Mitch has worked as an independent consultant for the last 10 years, and is currently involved with helping teams improve their Software Development Life Cycle. His areas of special interest lie in performance tuning
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Core .NET Reference Card
Jon skeet has produced a handy Core .NET refcard for some of those things you might commonly look up in MSDN. It’s 6 pages long and quickly covers:
Saturday, August 30, 2008
SQL Server 2008 Express
The release of SQL Server 2008 means that the Express version is also available. SQL Server 2008 Express edition comes in 3 flavours: Express, Express with Tools and Express with Advanced Services. You can get more details on the individual versions and download them here.
Free eBook: Data Structures and Algorithms
Granville Barnett and Luca Del Tongo are writing a free ebook with the aim of providing all developers with a core understanding of algorithms and data structures.
You can download the first draft from here.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Microsoft Urlscan Helps to Filter SQL Injection Attacks
Microsoft recently re-released an improved version of a security filter for IIS that is designed to help thwart SQL injection attacks by restricting the types of HTTP requests that IIS will process. UrlScan 3.0 is an IIS add-on that provides real-time validation of HTTP server requests, potentially blocking SQL injection exploits.
UrlScan has actually been available for several years, but Microsoft added some new features in this 3.0 release, including support for query string scanning.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Free SQL Server Tools
I meant to blog and bookmark this great list of SQL Server resources a while ago: Free SQL Server tools that might make your life a little easier by Mladen Prajdić.
Did you know there is a free SQL profiler available for SQL Express? It's just one of the very useful tools listed there (direct link here).
CAB WorkItem Visualisation Tool
This is probably old hat to those people familiar with CAB: there is a debugging aid hosted on CodePlex that can show the WorkItem hierarchy, Workspaces, SmartParts, Commands, Events, State and Items: http://www.codeplex.com/WorkItemVisualizer/. Only drawback is that it seems to slow things down a fair bit.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Management Studio Improvements in SQL Server 2008
Brad McGehee has posted a very useful article on the Management Studio Improvements in SQL Server 2008 over at the Simple-Talk blog.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Determining Poorly Performing Queries for Tuning from SQL Server Workload Trace Files
Whenever you gather workload traces to identify poorly performing queries, you need to import this data into a database table, and to "normalise" and aggregate this information to identify the worst offenders. This can be done in a variety of ways. One way is to define a regular expression such as this SQL CLR method based on work done by Itzik Ben-Gan and modified by Adam Machanic:
[Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlFunction(IsDeterministic = true)]
public static SqlString sqlsig(SqlString querystring)
@"([\s,(=<>!](?![^\]]+[\]]))(?:(?:(?:(?:(?# expression coming
)(?:[-+]?(?:(?:[\d]*\.[\d]*[\d]+)(?# precise number
)(?:[eE]?[\d]*)))(?# imprecise number
Recently I’ve been trying out ClearTrace, a free tool based around Read80Trace (described and downloadable here). Read80Trace was originally part of a Microsoft PSS engineer’s internal toolkit, but was released to the public in Dec 2007 (RML Utilities for SQL Server). ClearTrace is extremely simple to use, imports files (including rollover) very quickly and the results are good. The project is being supported so if you find a SQL statement that isn’t normalised/parameterised correctly, you can click a button and report it.
The larger RML Utilities toolkit for Microsoft SQL Server was released here.
If you decide to install and experiment with the RML Utilities toolkit, be warned that the tools are provided as is, and the install process is neither easy nor particularly pleasant!
The future of .NET Reflector
RedGate announced today that it has taken on the future development of Lutz Roeder's .NET Reflector: http://www.simple-talk.com/opinion/opinion-pieces/the-future-of-reflector-/
Red Gate will continue to offer the tool for free to the community, which is great news for developers.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
All your volcano are belong to us!
Brian Madsen recently blogged enthusiastically about Diskeeper ‘rocking’ the virtualisation world. Did you know that the CEO of Diskeeper Corporation, Craig Jensen is an active member of the Church of Scientology? In fact, Craig attributes the success of Diskeeper Corporation to the management system created by L Ron Hubbard.
Scientology have been notoriously heavy-handed in silencing any criticism, they even got Amazon to (temporarily) take down a link to a book critical of Scientology, before free speech prevailed. Head over to xenu.net if you’re interested in finding out about some of the facts surrounding the CoS.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Reminder: Readify RDN Event, Thurs 14th August
Date: Thursday 14 August 2008
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm (pizza and networking at 5:30pm)
Location: Cliftons, Australia Place, cnr St George’s & William, Perth
Presenters: Chris Padgett (Building WCF Services with WF) & Graeme Foster (Windows Communication Foundation)
If you haven't yet registered: http://www.readify.net/Default.aspx?tabid=288
Monday, August 11, 2008
Scott Allen has recently posted a blog entry on the pitfalls of premature optimisation; in this specific case, optimizing LINQ queries, but the advice is timeless and technology agnostic:
"The first step in optimizing any code is to take some measurements and
It's worth reading just for the image! (Now, if only that was Donald Knuth in the devil suit...If you're curious, check out Knuth's story of optimising the system idle loop...).
Donald Knuth popularised a quote which is sometime attributed to him, but is actually due to Sir Tony Hoare (probably best known for the development of Quicksort), "...premature optimization is the root of all evil." The Fallacy of Premature Optimization by Randall Hyde is worth a look over at the ACM site.
Perth .NET User Group: Agile Software Development
We had another great turnout at the Perth .NET User Group presentation last Thursday:
(A handful more people arrived after I took this photo)
Thanks to Dwayne Read for presenting on the topic of Agile and to everyone who attended, and helped out. Keeping to the theme of Agile software development, here are a few resources that you might be interested in:
The following books are worth reading:
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Meeting Reminder: Thurs 7th Aug: Agile in a .NET Environment
Join us at the Perth .NET Community of Practice, August 7th to hear Dwayne Read compare two of the more dominant agile methodologies, XP and FDD, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of both. Examples of the application of these techniques at Snowden Technologies in a .NET/TFS environment will be discussed. This presentation is aimed at highlighting the importance of shaping the process to fit the type of applications a company develops, the people/communication side of development and the technologies they utilise.
TOPIC: Agile in a .Net Environment with Dwayne Read
DATE: Thursday, August 7th, 5:30pm
VENUE: Excom, Level 2, 23 Barrack Street, Perth
COST: Free. All welcome.
More details here: http://perthdotnet.org/blogs/events/archive/2008/07/12/agile-in-a-net-environment.aspx.
There will be a door prize of a ReSharper license (courtesy of JetBrains), and a copy of the book “Practices of an Agile Developer” (courtesy of O’Reilly publishing).
MSN, Email: mitch døt wheat at gmail.com