September 2005 - Posts
Alex Thissen gives a summary on his weblog from what he has heard at the SQL Pass 2005 conference about SQL Server Express (SSE).
First and foremost, SSE will be free! Comparing it to MSDE2000, that version had a limit of 10 connections, where SSE will be able to share more, although Alex doesn't tell us how much. Probably because Microsoft is still figuring out how many they'll provide, as with more options Alex describes. The .NET CLR will be hosted in SSE and you'll be able to do in SSE what you're able to do in SQL Server 2005. SSE has some limits on memory and CPU-s, so it's not as scalable as the full product, but that won't be needed. When you're in need of scalability, you'll probably want the full product. Also the SQL Express Manager is a stripped down version of the full SQL Server Manager, and SSE will also support Reporting Services, although with less functionality than the full product. Other things like replication, Service Broker and more is supported.
This seems like an ideal product for small companies that aren't always willing to pay top dollar (or euros) for a product of which most functionality they'll never use. I'm currently at a client that'll probably want to use some sort of database. But it only has so few customers who'll use the application (to be written) only a few times per week or so, that it doesn't need SQL-Server 2000. Backups are created on tape, no need for mirroring or anything. SQL Server Express seems the ideal solution here. Worth spending some more time investigating it.
To celebrate their 5th anniversary, DivX is giving away their normally $19.95 DivX Create Bundle software for free today only. Fill in your e-mail address (of course an address they can spam 'till the end of time) and you'll get a serial and a download.
The DivX Create Bundle lets you create and play the DivX media format, which adds interactivity to your video files with menus, chapter points, multiple subtitles and alternate audio tracks. The DivX Create Bundle includes a converter to transition digital video files to DivX and the DivX Player. The free download today is available for Windows only.
Get the anniversary offer here.
I've recently seen Never Scared, the HBO show of Chris Rock, which was very very funny. I've just read on LifeHacker that his tv-show "Everybody hates Chris" will be on GoogleVideo the next four days. So be sure to watch it as soon as possible! I hope it's as funny as the man himself is.
The episode first ran last Thursday on UPN, and it’s an entertaining look at Rock’s teenage experiences growing up in Brooklyn in the early 80’s. There’s no viewer to download, no commercials included, and Google Video’s screen will size to fit your screen.
Check the announcement here on GoogleBlog and watch the video here.
I created this small internet application where people are able to register themselves for an event within our company. I persist the data in a database so I can place some filters over the data and see who registered and what they entered. No big deal. All registrants get a confirmation e-mail that they have been registered and one is sent to a corporate e-mail address with all data in a nice readable format.
Then a week of vacation came and a lot of people registered while I was away. Now I'm back and asked the organisation what kind of lists they would want, for example registrants, or people they can bring along. They just stared at me with those big eyes and told me that they were copy-n-pasting a list from every e-mail received. They asked me why they didn't know sooner such a list could also be generated! I then just created a list within 30 seconds for them, to show them how nice a guy I am.
Don't you just love information technology, shifting around bits and bytes, creating lists and reports for clients!?
Eric Sink, one of the principles of SourceGear, just introduced a new product called Teamprise. Here's what's on the official website:
Teamprise is a suite of client applications for accessing Microsoft Team System from outside the Visual Studio environment. Previously codenamed "Allerton", Teamprise enables developers to use the source control and item tracking features of Team Foundation Server from other platforms, including Linux and Mac OS, and from within the Eclipse IDE.
Eric already had blogged some about 'Allerton' being linked to Team System, but that it's a replacement for Team System and works on different environments like in Eclipse, on Linux and Mac, is something new. Microsoft is probably very pleased with this, as this brings the power of Team System to many other developers. I can already see our companies Java developers logging into Team System, sharing projects side-by-side with us Microsofties ;-)
I just watched a part of the keynote of the PDC05 via the webcast. I got in while Don and Chris were presenting Avalon, currently names the Windows Presentation Foundation. More info on WinFX and all it's APIs at Microsoft.
Anyway, some guy came in to give a demonstration of a demo application called "Max". He showed how to share photos with friends. I cannot say enough how much I like the new Microsoft user interfaces they keep coming up with. Especially those sexy icons they keep using for Avalon based presentations like Max. Max itself also looks really smooth, which is also made possible with Avalon. Once you've created a gallery you can shared these with friends. Those galleries are shared through Indigo, or the Windows Communications Foundation.
Besides that, it can update itself with new security patches and features, although it has to be seen if Microsoft will add more features to Max. Not many starter-kit applications have gotten any upgrades after they were released.
At the PDC05 you can visit two sessions about Max. One where they talk about how they did the user interface, and one where they'll walk through code. The presenter said the app was build by pure web developers without any knowledge of Windows Forms applications or 3D graphics, they all learned that within 6 weeks. Have your own thoughts about the statement, it's extremely cool to see your pictures sliding past you in 3D, as you can see in the screenshot. Click it for a more detailed view, where you can pay close attention to the realtime reflection of the images.
I tried to grab a video with Fraps, to show the 3D sliding images. Microsoft says Avalon runs on DirectX, if I'm correct. Fraps should be able to notice DirectX and be able to grab the pictures, but it failed on this app.
A second note is the blog of the Max developers. It's based on Communtiy Server but has a most excellent customized look, based on the PoisonIvy skin. Can't wait to get my hands on some css!
I've been busy in Microsoft Excel for a few weeks now. It's just a minor application I have to finish and once that's done I can start over again, but then I'll have to do an application that's a lot like this one, in C#. Some architectural challenges are in the next application, but I hope they make up for the lack in this one. Man, is Excel boring!
Also the fact that I could not practice Test Driven Development has again made clear you think about your objects and your design much better with TDD, then without.
So as I was bored doing this VBA code to fill up some crazy cells, ranges, worksheets and what more, I decided to create xlUnit. xlUnit is just some more VBA code, but this time I had fun writing it. It's nothing groundbreaking, I bet even my mom could come up with this. But the fact that I can practice TDD and see if everything's working with the click of a button, has made development even in Excel a little bit more fun.
I'll go write some more smart VBA code now! :-)