Friday, February 27, 2009

Microsoft 2019


Microsoft 2019


Predicting the future of technology is notoriously hard – but it didn’t stop our Business Division from coming up with a montage of how technology could be playing an even greater part in our lives in 2019. It was shown today for the first time when Stephen Elop presented at the Wharton Business Technology Conference.

You can also check out Stephen’s PowerPoint slides which are a welcome departure from the bullet point riddled slides you often see from Microsoft. Bravo Stephen.

I love these types of videos – all very Minority Report. When I look at some of the technology on display at Microsoft Research’s TechFest this week it makes me feel that this stuff is much closer than many of us expect and it’s great to see Microsoft continuing to invest in this type of research to build the future of technology.

Sure we’re behind in search and Apple has a lovely phone thing etc etc….but there are very few companies who are making these types of bets to build the future of technology in such a broad way.

Personally, I think our challenge is to take these bets and turn them in to more and more stunning products more quickly in the way we have with something like Microsoft Surface…and then gather up the pixie dust that comes from that computing magic and sprinkle it on the Microsoft brand. Make people love Microsoft with technology that stuns them. It’s a long and tricky road but one that I personally believe is possible.

Hmmm, we’re back to Blue Monster again aren’t we…. :)

Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : Microsoft 2019

Canvas for OneNote


Canvas for OneNote

Very cool new download from the OfficeLabs team - Canvas for OneNote. This allows you to do something I’ve always struggled with in OneNote – that is visualise all of content in a Seadragon style.

The video explains it better than I ever could and you can download for free now.

Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : Canvas for OneNote

Log Parser and SQL


Log Parser and SQL

I thought everyone who wants to know how to put the windows events or IIS Logs to SQL already know about it. But for my amazement it is not the case. Quick search on the web did not turned up a short tutorial. So how to move my window events to SQL? Here it is

Install the Log Parser on the box.

Get the Log Parser from

Create a database and a table in SQL.

Run the following Query

Use master


Create Database MyEventDataBase


use MyEventDataBase



[EventLog] [varchar] (255) NULL ,

[RecordNumber] [int] NULL ,

[TimeGenerated] [datetime] NULL ,

[TimeWritten] [datetime] NULL ,

[EventID] [int] NULL ,

[EventType] [int] NULL ,

[EventTypeName] [varchar] (255) NULL ,

[EventCategory] [int] NULL ,

[EventCategoryName] [varchar] (255) NULL ,

[SourceName] [varchar] (255) NULL ,

[Strings] [varchar] (max) NULL ,

[ComputerName] [varchar] (255) NULL ,

[SID] [varchar] (255) NULL ,

[Message] [varchar] (max) NULL ,

[Data] [varchar] (max) NULL



Make a directory called LogImport in C drive.

Make a bat file with the following entries:

copy \\LogMachineName\Logs\EventLog.evtx . /Y

"c:\Program Files (x86)\Log Parser 2.2\logparser.exe" -i:evt "select * into Audit from c:\logImport\eventlog.evtx" -iCheckPoint:CheckPoint.lpc -o:SQL -oConnString: "Driver={SQL Server Native Client 10.0};server=RAFAT20082;Database=DownloadEventLog;Trusted_Connection=yes;"

del *.evtx /Q

NOTE: Pay attention to the highlighted area and fix the path as per your environment.

Check help for LogParser and play with other options, it is a powerful tool; its numerous options will always give you a solution for your Log problems

Tech Crumbs : Log Parser and SQL

C# 4.0 : Optional Parameters


C# 4.0 : Optional Parameters

Days of creating multiple overloads to avoid parameters are gone. You no more have to create many methods and pass the default one there. C# 4.0 brings to us the concept of “optional” parameters.

How it works, let’s check it. Suppose you have a method like below,

public static class TestClass


public static void ParamMethod(string Name, double Salary,

string Department, int Age = 30)


Console.WriteLine("Name = {0}", Name);

Console.WriteLine("Age = {0}", Age);

Console.WriteLine("Salary = {0}", Salary);

Console.WriteLine("Department = {0}", Department);



Here you have mentioned the default value using “=” for the parameter “Age”.

Rule!!! You always have to put optional parameters after the “non-optional” parameters.

Now if you write the below code and call the method ParamMethod, you can omit the “optional parameter” Age.

class Program


static void Main(string[] args)


TestClass.ParamMethod("Wriju", 1000.00, "Software");



Will give you the below output,

Name = Wriju

Age = 30

Salary = 1000

Department = Software


Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009 2:44 AM by wriju

Wriju's BLOG : C# 4.0 : Optional Parameters

SQL Parser in Latest CodePlex Package


SQL Parser in Latest CodePlex Package

I know many have asked about this in the past. And now it’s finally here, a shiny new Microsoft SQL Tabular Data Stream Protocol or TDS as we often refer to it. Simple go to and install the latest release.

I’m sure some of you have left me already by clicking on the link, so I’ll stop blabbing and let you play. Just remember you need to enable the full parser set from Tools, Options, and the Parsers tab. Then click on the Windows line and make sure the “set” column reads as FULL. If this is not the case click the Stubs button at the top.

Published Friday, February 27, 2009 11:29 PM by PaulELong

Network Monitor : SQL Parser in Latest CodePlex Package

Excel Financial functions in F#, version 2.0 released


Excel Financial functions in F#, version 2.0 released

When Luca Bolognese does a 2.0 release, he only fixes one bug - amazing! If you take a look at the testing he did for this library (with F# Interactive), you can see why.

I simply fixed a bug related to the Rate function (wrong name for parameters).

It is here:

Published Friday, February 27, 2009 3:55 PM by dsyme

Don Syme's WebLog on the F# Language and Related Topics : Excel Financial functions in F#, version 2.0 released

InfoPath Introduction Part 2


InfoPath Introduction Part 2

Continuing my series of InfoPath demos. This video shows how quick and easy it is to create an InfoPath form with rich functionality - without needing to use code.

This is not a guide on how you should build forms, but an example of what can be done.

Published Friday, February 27, 2009 1:48 PM by JessMeats

Geeky Girl : InfoPath Introduction Part 2

InfoPath Introduction Part 1


InfoPath Introduction Part 1

The first in a series of video demos introducing the capabilities of InfoPath 2007. This video shows an example of a form to give an idea of some of the rich functionality offered by InfoPath. 

Published Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:12 AM by JessMeats

Geeky Girl : InfoPath Introduction Part 1

Books for GP


Books for GP

Published 27 February 09 12:06 PM | ukdynamics

I sometimes get asked about books that can help new partners and customers get up to speed with GP, and have found some great titles out there.

Accolade Publications has some good books including

  • Dynamics GP for newbies
  • Confessions of a GP consultant
  • Version 10 unleashed

There is also one of the “dummmies” guides, Dynamics GP for Dummmies which are always helpful and a quick search on Amazon always brings up a few titles.

Then again if all you want is the standard manuals that are all available electronically, you can always order hard copies from us from here.

Posted by Tom Brookes

Microsoft Dynamics GP UK Blog : Books for GP

Exploring the WSUS Windows Internal Database


Exploring the WSUS Windows Internal Database

When installing WSUS you have the option to connect to a SQL instance or to use the Windows Internal Database which ships with WSUS 3.0 SP1. The Windows Internal Database is just a limited version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 which can be connected to using the standard SQL console.

If you want to open the database created by WSUS (SUSDB) you can download and install SQL Management Studio Express on the WSUS server.

Note: SQL Management Studio Express will not install SQL Express or any SQL database engine. It is simply an MMC snap-in.

Note: Before installing, you must install MSXML 6.0 or higher. You can download MSXML 6.0 from here.

  1. Download Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express from here. Make sure you select the x86 or x64 version depending on your server architecture.
  2. Install SQL Management Studio by selecting all defaults.
  3. Open SQL Management Studio by selecting Start – All Programs – Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and selecting SQL Server Management Studio Express.
  4. At the “Connect to Server” dialog, in the Server name field enter the  following string:



    Select Windows Authentication and click Connect.

  5. At this point SQL Management Studio Express will make a connection to the Windows Internal Database using a named pipes connection (one of the limitations of Windows Internal Database).
  6. Expand Databases and select SUSDB to explore tables, views, permissions, etc as you would as if you were using full SQL.image
  7. It is important to remember that editing the SUSDB tables, is not supported by Microsoft.

If you are interested in querying the WSUS database, it is recommended and supported to use the documented WSUS SQL Views which is defined in this MSDN article.

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 1:49 AM by gborger

Gerry's System Center Blog : Exploring the WSUS Windows Internal Database

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How to Access the Company Directory


How to Access the Company Directory

Did you know that you can search your company directory on your phone?  All you need is a Windows Mobile phone and an Exchange account.

How do I get to the company directory?

Open Contacts->Menu->Company Directory


What can I do in the Company Directory?

You can enter a name, email address, or office location and search the company directory. Notice also that your successful searches are saved in the search history below.


A list of resulting contacts will appear. You can view a contact’s detailed information via View. You can also take specific action on this contact. In this case for Kim Abercrombie, we can Call Work, Send e-mail, Save to Contacts, Save to SIM, or Send Text Message. Also, if you need to speak with Kim Abercrombie in person, the Office Location field can help you find her.

clip_image006 clip_image008

You can refine your search via Menu->New Search in the event that

a. You find no contacts

b. You receive a notification that you matched more than 100 contacts, and only 100 contacts are displayed.

c. You simply want to narrow your search results down.

You can also save this contact to your contacts list via Menu->Save to Contacts.

clip_image010 clip_image012

Stay tuned for a future post detailing other ways to take advantage of the company directory!

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 1:52 AM by Outlook Mobile Bloggers

Outlook Mobile Team Blog : How to Access the Company Directory

“Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2008: T-SQL Querying” RTM’d today


“Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2008: T-SQL Querying” RTM’d today


Just a quick post to add another title to the list of nine we blogged about earlier this week.

Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2008: T-SQL Querying (Microsoft Press, 2009), by Itzik Ben-Gan, Lubor Kollar, Dejan Sarka, and Steve Kass, is an update of Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying, which, you can see by its 29 Amazon reviews (most of them 5 stars), is a very effective and popular SQL Server book. Book excerpts and other detailed information about this book will be coming to the blog soon.

Published Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:20 AM by devonm

Microsoft Press : “Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2008: T-SQL Querying” RTM’d today

OCS R2 Planning Tool is released


OCS R2 Planning Tool is released

The Planning Tool is great for helping you with an initial design for OCS R2. The wizard will guide you through the process including discovery of design parameters such as web conferencing, enterprise voice, VoIP gateway, Mediation, etc.


It uses this to draw a topology for you such as the one below. This one was for 10,000 users with Group Chat, Web Conferencing, Enterprise Voice, External users and Federation, Archiving and Monitoring. When hovering over each server it gives you the recommended hardware specs needed for deployment. The tools also gives you links to planning guides as well as useful information such as our server user model to understand the params we use to profile user base for the modeling.


You can download the tool here.

Published Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:20 AM by gkatz

The Three UC Amigos : OCS R2 Planning Tool is released

What’s New in Office Communications Server 2007 R2


What’s New in Office Communications Server 2007 R2

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 introduces not only a number of brand-new features, but also some significant enhancements to existing functionality.

In the March 2009 issue of TechNet Magazine, which is available online, Stephanie Pierce gives an overview of some of the most important new features and functions you’ll find in OCS 2007 R2.

Find out about:

  • Call Delegation
  • Team Ring
  • Group Chat
  • Desktop Sharing
  • Server Applications to Extend Voice and Conferencing
  • Response Group Service
  • Outside Voice Control
  • SIP Trunking
  • Enhanced Media
  • Simplified Firewall Configuration for the A/V Edge Server
  • Presence Enhancements
  • Archiving, CDR, and QoE Enhancements
  • Simplified Management

Filed under: Office Communication Server, OCS 2007

TechNet Magazine Blog : What’s New in Office Communications Server 2007 R2

NIC teaming and VMM


NIC teaming and VMM

Greetings folks,

NIC Teaming, also called “Load Balancing and Fail-Over” (LBFO) or “Link Aggregation” or “IEEE 802.1AX-2008”, groups multiple interfaces to provide fault tolerance and load balancing for Network Interface Cards (NIC) connecting Windows Server to the network.  This aggregation combines the individual capacity of multiple interface cards to form a high performance virtual link so the failure of an individual port or adapter does not cause a loss of connectivity.  Below is a picture from on how a typical NIC teaming looks like:

Basic NIC Teaming (source:

The Microsoft support position on NIC teaming for Windows Server 2008 (deployed either in a physical environment or virtualized environment with Hyper-V) is that hardware and driver support is provided by the hardware manufacturer as outlined in KB Article 254101

Alex, one of our test engineers, spent some time researching Broadcom Advanced Control Suite (BACS) version 11.6.10 with Broadcom Advanced Server Program (BASP) NICs, and found out that he could actually make NIC teaming work with his Hyper-V hosts and have VMM manage the BASP NICs.

Here is the blog he posted for what he has experimented and his step-by-step notes on how he made it work for him.

Hope this is useful information for you!

Enjoy your reading,


Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:14 PM by Cheng Wei

Cheng's Random Thoughts on System Management : NIC teaming and VMM

How to download the MDOP 2008 R2 / App-V 4.5 from MSDN


How to download the MDOP 2008 R2 / App-V 4.5 from MSDN

So your a partner/IT Pro or just a developer that has access to MSDN but no access to Volume Licensing! hmmmmmm How do I get the MDOP 2008 R2 for testing!? I want to test App-V?? I want to test AGPM?? etc etc

I hear this a lot, and get emailed a lot with this question so i thought i would blog it!

Firstly you need to get msdn access (in other words you need to buy a subscription!)

1. Go to

2. Click to My MSDN Subscription and click the subscription Benefit “Download and Product Keys – VS Pro with MSDN Premium (Retail)


3. Log-in using Passport account

3. Once logged in, look under the Search Products section on the left hand side


4) Now under the categories we are looking for the Server section, under this section you will see the Desktop Optimisation Pack.


5) Once you select that you will have a new pane on the right under Downloads, the latest version of this is Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2008 R2 (x86 and x64) - DVD (English) , click the download to the right and that’s it! away you go!!


Now you should be able to download the MDOP and start playing and testing all the cool MDOP 2008 R2 tools. Which Includes App-V 4.5!


Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:31 PM by Justin Zarb

The World Simplified is a Virtual World : How to download the MDOP 2008 R2 / App-V 4.5 from MSDN

Quick Tip: Back up your NTFS security permissions


Quick Tip: Back up your NTFS security permissions

Here is a simple command that you can run right now in order to save you from some down-time the next time your file system permissions get set back to the Windows defaults.  Proactively running this from time to time (think: task scheduler) can save you a lot of time and money the next time disaster strikes.  There are multiple backup solutions and utilities that you can use for this purpose, however this one is easy to use and the price is right. (free)


Here is example syntax that you can use to proactively back up your NTFS permissions:

Subinacl /noverbose /output=c:\ntfs_perms.txt /subdirectories "Path to the Folder whose NTFS permissions we have to Backup"

To backup the permissions of the folder, subfolders and files on folder called Data on the G: drive:

subinacl /noverbose /output=c:\ntfs_perms.txt /subdirectories G:\data\

If you wanted to just backup the NTFS permissions for the entire drive, the command would look like this:

subinacl /noverbose /output=c:\ntfs_G_drive_perms.txt /subdirectories G:\*.*

Most of you will probably not be concerned with backing up down to the file level, and are satisfied with just backing up the permissions at the directory level.  Backing up the permissions for just the directories can be achieved with the following syntax:

subinacl /noverbose /output=c:\G_driveNTFSperms.txt /subdirectories=directoriesonly G:\*.*


The contents of the file created by subinacl are viewable in your favorite text editor:


To restore the permissions on the drive using the file that you backed them up to:

Subinacl /playfile c:\G_driveNTFSperms.txt


Test it out thoroughly in your lab environment before rolling it out to production.

Thanks for reading,

Justin Turner

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 6:09 AM by justintu

Active Directory, Cluster and other fun stuff... : Quick Tip: Back up your NTFS security permissions

Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides: Microsoft SQL Server 2008


Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

The Infrastructure Planning and Design team has released a new guide, Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
This guide, when used in conjunction with product documentation, will help companies confidently plan the implementation of a SQL Server 2008 infrastructure. Fundamental tasks are addressed to help the reader identify which SQL Server roles will be needed as well as to determine the infrastructure's components, server placement, and the fault-tolerance configuration to meet necessary requirements. This IPD guide will help you get the most out of new features in SQL Server 2008, such as policy-based management and best practice design alerts, when planning your infrastructure. Other benefits of using this guide include best practice design guidance from the product group and an optimized infrastructure to best meet the business requirements.
Download the guide by visiting and selecting "Microsoft SQL Server 2008" under the Guidance section, toward the top of the page.

Published Thursday, February 26, 2009 11:31 AM by aralves

[MSFT-BE] Arlindo's Blog - IT Pro Evangelist : Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

14 lessons to get you started in C# and .NET


14 lessons to get you started in C# and .NET

On you can download a 338 pages long PDF ebook that can help you get started in .NET programming using the C# language. The ebook if free for you to download it.

Chapters cover the following topics:

  • C# Language Fundamentals
  • Classes and Objects
  • Inheritance & Polymorphism
  • Structures, Enumeration, Garbage Collection & Nested Classes
  • Abstract Classes & Interfaces
  • Arrays, Collections & String Manipulation
  • Exception Handling
  • Delegates & Events
  • WinForms & Windows Applications
  • More Windows Controls & Standard Dialog Boxes
  • Data Access using ADO.Net
  • Multithreading
  • The File System & Streams

Published Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:14 AM by mapo

Scattered Notes : 14 lessons to get you started in C# and .NET

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Want to make your Outlook 2007 client scream?


Want to make your Outlook 2007 client scream?

Install this February 2009 Cumulative Update for Outlook 2007:

1. Install the update – Download page (e-mail registration required)

2. Read about What’s in the update – February CU Whitepaper

3. Read about Outlook Team post on the update – Outlook Blog

I would say it is a massive world of performance difference after installing this. I launch Outlook in a few seconds now and switching between folders is wickedly fast now. Searching for emails is even faster. Kudos to the Outlook team for updating Outlook 2007.

Published Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:46 PM by markga

The Three UC Amigos : Want to make your Outlook 2007 client scream?

New Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide: Microsoft SQL Server 2008


New Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

The Infrastructure Planning and Design team has released a new guide, Microsoft SQL Server 2008. When used in conjunction with product documentation, this guide will help companies confidently plan the implementation of a SQL Server 2008 infrastructure. Fundamental tasks are addressed to help identify which SQL Server roles will be needed as well as to determine the infrastructure's components, server placement, and the fault-tolerance configuration to meet necessary requirements.

If you’re already familiar with the IPD Guides series, the Infrastructure Planning and Design Team wants to hear your thoughts. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey.

More to come,


Subscribe to the TechNet Flash newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Published Wednesday, February 25, 2009 3:29 PM by mitchirs

TechNet Flash Feed : New Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Office Live Workspace Updated


Office Live Workspace Updated

Office Live Workspace logo

I’ve not looked at OLW for a while but it got some updates today that made me look again. For those late to the game OLW is free a web based collaboration tool from the Office team. From with Office applications you can save direct to your cloud based workspace and collaborate with others you invite. Check out this screenshot to give you a good idea of what it can do. Did you know for example that it allows you to share you screen and work with another person on documents in realtime?

So what’s new?

  • Storage space increased to 5GB
  • Folders: The ability to create folders in your workspaces for your documents and files
  • Cut/Copy/Paste your docs and files between folders and workspaces
  • Eight new languages supported

For me the languages is a big deal as I’m glad to see our services rolling out in Hungarian, Romanian, Lithuanian, Serbian-Latin, Ukrainian, Slovak, Latvian, and Slovenian. That makes 28 languages in 52 countries.

There is also a new community support site at and the team has a blog with way more info.

All in all, good to see OLW getting a refresh and adding to the global software plus services story.

Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : Office Live Workspace Updated

Deciphering the Command Line Configuration of the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder


Deciphering the Command Line Configuration of the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

One of the features of Windows 7 that consistently gets rave reviews from the IT Pros I demonstrate it to is the Problem Steps Recorder. But as I look at it, you have a rather strange set of requirements, involving walking users through how to start the thing, where to save it to, and how to send what it collects back to you.

What if you could automate some of that?

It was at this point that I noticed a tool that already did that – the Send Feedback link on my desktop. It lets you fire up the Problem Step Recorder when filing a new issue! So, I naturally got curious – what is it doing?

“When in doubt, use Process Monitor.”

And it turns out you only have to look at the very first entry (the one for process creation) – psr.exe accepts command line arguments! Here’s what our bug reporting tool uses:

"C:\Windows\system32\psr.exe" /output "C:\Users\cjacks\AppData\Local\Temp\WER130B.tmp.ft\" /maxsc 25 /exitonsave 1

So, it looks like I can fire up the tool from my own app, system32 is in the path so I don’t need to hard code, and I can store my zip file someplace my launching tool can find, and grab it later on.

I can think of all kinds of uses for this…

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:15 PM by Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson's Semantic Consonance : Deciphering the Command Line Configuration of the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

Excel Financial functions 2.0 released


Excel Financial functions 2.0 released

I simply fixed a bug related to the Rate function (wrong name for parameters).

It is here:

Published Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:55 AM by lucabol

Luca Bolognese's WebLog : Excel Financial functions 2.0 released

Exam 70-432 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance


Exam 70-432 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance

Microsoft likes for its people to be certified in as many technologies as possible. Personally, I find certifications useful since they help me focus my study, but I don't think that certification = expert. It's just one part of the puzzle.

To that end, I got one of the earliest certs Microsoft had (long before I worked here) and then went on to get my MCSE and then MCDBA. Again, they are just good ways to help me round out the study I do and the real-world experience I gain on the job. So now I'm starting the process to pass this exam:

A lot of people study for a couple of weeks and then just jump in to the tests - and that's great. My friend Sean McCown just breezed in and took the test and passed it. I take a long time for my studies, since I fold them into everything else I'm doing. I find that taking longer helps it "sink in" better for me.

I thought I would share the notes I have as I go along. Normally I use this process:

  1. Find out what's covered on the test
  2. Locate those topics in Books Online and read them
  3. Practice (implement the feature, etc)
  4. Find a practice test somewhere and take it, gauge where I'm weak
  5. Find any extra books, especially those written for the test (if they are good) and read those
  6. Take the real test - and Pass!

So with all that in mind, here are the notes I've made so far - a forum link and then the topics from the test, along with Books Online links. I'll modify this list and add to it from time to time, and then post it here. If you have any comments on the test (but not the questions from it or any answers, please) feel free to comment on the article.



Install SQL Server 2008 and related services - file locations; default paths; service accounts

Configure SQL Server instances - sp_configure

Configure SQL Server services - configuration manager; SQL browser

Implement database mail - set up and configure

Configure full-text indexing - enable/disable, index population

Manage SQL Server Agent jobs - create and schedule jobs; notification of job execution; disable/enable jobs; change job step order; logging

Manage SQL Server Agent alerts - performance condition alerts; SQL event alerts; Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) alerts

Manage SQL Server Agent operators - operator schedules; fail safe operator; add a new operator; notification methods

Implement the declarative management framework (DMF) - create a policy; verify a policy; schedule a policy compliance check; enforce a policy; create a condition

Back up a SQL Server environment - operating system-level concepts

Manage logins and server roles- create logins; disable/enable logins; security model (authentication mode); password policy enforcement; fixed server roles; alter logins

Manage users and database roles - user mapping; user-defined roles; fixed roles; guest, public, dbo; creating and deleting user roles

Manage SQL Server instance permissions- logon triggers; permissions vs fixed role membership; cross-database ownership chaining; impersonation

Manage schema permissions and object permissions- manage schema ownership

Audit SQL Server instances- use DDL triggers and logon triggers; C2; common criteria; login failures; event notifications

Manage transparent data encryption- impact of transparent data encryption on backups

Manage and configure databases- files, file groups, and related options; database options; recovery model; attach/detach data

Manage database snapshots- create, drop, revert

Maintain database integrity- DBCC CHECKDB; suspect pages

Maintain a database by using maintenance plans- Maintenance Plan Wizard; Maintenance Plan Designer

Import and export data- BCP; BULK INSERT; OPENROWSET; GUI tools

Manage data partitions- switching data from one partition to another; add a filegroup; alter a partition function; alter a partition scheme

Implement data compression- sparse columns; page/row

Maintain indexes- create spatial indexes; create partitioned indexes; clustered and non-clustered indexes; XML indexes; disable and enable indexes; filtered index on sparse columns; indexes with included columns; rebuilding/reorganizing indexes; online/offline

Manage collations- column collation; database collation; instance collation

Identify SQL Server service problems- DB Engine service; SQL Agent service; SQL Browser service

Identify concurrency problems- blocks, locks, deadlocks, activity monitor; relevant Dynamic Management Views

Identify SQL Agent job execution problems- proxy accounts; credentials; job history

Locate error information- error log; agent log; job execution history; event logs

Implement Resource Governor

Use the Database Engine Tuning Advisor

Collect trace data by using SQL Server Profiler

Collect performance data by using Dynamic Management Views (DMVs)

Collect performance data by using System Monitor

Use Performance Studio

Implement database mirroring- monitoring, configuring, failover

Implement a SQL Server clustered instance- monitoring, configuring, failover

Implement log shipping- monitoring, configuring, failover

Implement replication- monitoring, configuring, failover

Published 25 February 09 07:46 by Buck Woody

Carpe Datum : Exam 70-432 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance

announcing the release candidate of Windows Server 2008 and Windows vista service pack 2 (SP2)


announcing the release candidate of Windows Server 2008 and Windows vista service pack 2 (SP2)

Hello everyone, Justin Graham here again! We’ve been hard at work here in Redmond on Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. I'm happy to share today the Release Candidate (RC) of SP2 is available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers via the TechNet and MSDN websites! Next week, the RC of SP2 will be made available to the general public via the same web properties next week. I encourage you to download and install the RC build and give us feedback. We want to make sure Windows Server 2008 continues to be the best server operating system for your needs!

The next question is usually "what's in it for me?" We've made some great improvements in SP2, a few are:

· Easier Virtualization: Hyper-V RTM is in the Service Pack. That’s right, you no longer have to download and install it separately

· More Green: increased power efficiency through improved processor power management

· Unified: We will be delivering one package for 32-bit and one package for 64-bit that cover both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Less packages, less testing, easier deployment for IT Administrators

If you want the full list of improvements, please download and read the Notable Changes document

Happy downloading and testing everyone! As you know, changes to our product are based on feedback, so please share your thoughts with us.


Justin Graham

Windows Server Team

Windows Server Division WebLog : announcing the release candidate of Windows Server 2008 and Windows vista service pack 2 (SP2)

How do I get out of this SharePoint Site Collection?


How do I get out of this SharePoint Site Collection?

Within SharePoint, you can create new Site Collections or Sub Sites, which can look exactly the same to the end user, but which have some significant differences to the administrator.  I won’t cover the differences here, but you can read more here or here.

One drawback to Site Collections is the fact that they do not maintain common navigation settings with parent site collections within the portal.  This can lead to a jarring experience for the end user who clicks on a link, appears to just go down a level within the site hierarchy (looking at the URL), but all of a sudden has no link back to where he or she just was.

Fortunately, there is a feature to give them a path back :)  At the root of the new Site Collection, click on Site Actions –> Site Settings –> Modify All Site Settings.


Under the Site Collection Administration column, click on Portal site connection


On the resulting page, click on “Connect to portal site”, enter an address and name for your portal, and hit “OK”.image

Now, at the top-left of all pages in that Site Collection, you have a breadcrumb that will take them back to the parent portal, restoring sanity to the end-user experience.


Published Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:10 PM by smearp

The Sean Blog : How do I get out of this SharePoint Site Collection?

New Hotkey in win7 beta1


New Hotkey in win7 beta1

Windows 7 beta 1 includes some handy new shortcut key combinations that allow you to navigate and manage the Windows workspace more efficiently. Here are 10 new Windows 7 shortcuts that will help you speed up your workflow (“Win” means the Windows Key):

Win+Home: Clear all but the active window

Win+Space: All windows become transparent so you can see through to the desktop

Win+Up arrow: Maximize the active window

Win+Down arrow: Minimize the active window or restore the window if it's maximized

Win+Left/Right arrows: Dock the active window to each side of the monitor

Win+Shift+Left/Right arrows: If you've got dual monitors, this will move the active window to the adjacent monitor

Win+T: Shift focus to and scroll through items on the taskbar

Win+P: Adjust presentation settings for your display

Win+(+/-): Zoom in/out

Shift+Click a taskbar item: Open a new instance of that particular application

Qiweiye's Blog : New Hotkey in win7 beta1

Free MS Press E Book on C#. Start programming now!


Free MS Press E Book on C#. Start programming now!

For those of you just learing to program or wanting to better your C# skills, there is a Free MS Press E-Book on offer now.  MS Press will be offering a new book to download every month.  Find out more here.  You can also download the free Visual Express for C# to get you going here.  Happy Learning! Fin

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:59 PM by ausdev

The MSDN Australia Blog : Free MS Press E Book on C#. Start programming now!

TechNet Webcasts for System Center Virtual Machine Manager


TechNet Webcasts for System Center Virtual Machine Manager

A great set up resources for you to enjoy.

Building on Your Existing Virtual Environment (Level 300)

In this webcast, we look at how to use Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 to manage virtual environments and migrate to an environment based on Hyper-V.

Consolidation and Rapid Provisioning (Level 300)

Learn how to use Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager to move production servers into a virtual environment. We also cover the creation of a self-service provisioning environment that allows groups to create and manage their own virtual machines without the help of the IT department.

Introduction to System Center Virtual Machine Manager

In this demo, Edwin Yuen spends most of his time in System Center Virtual Machine Manager, showing how it can manage Hyper-V, Virtual Server and VMware virtual machines from the same console. He also gives a sneak peek at Live Migration of VM's and Hyper-V server.

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 8:00 AM by awbennett

The World Simplified is a Virtual World : TechNet Webcasts for System Center Virtual Machine Manager

Options for taking SharePoint files offline


Options for taking SharePoint files offline

UK SharePoint Team - blog of the SharePoint Team from Microsoft Consulting Services, UK has been publishing interesting posts since its launch in Jan 09. Latest is the post by James Kemp on options available for taking SharePoint files offline.

Taking SharePoint Files Offline – What are the options?

"This blog post aims to compare how Outlook 2007, Groove 2007 and OneNote 2007 enable users to take files offline from SharePoint. This is based on the Offline Working Strategy Guide which will soon be available on for free (link will be provided when available). This post is targeted at people who work offline and want to view, edit and update documents and/or list items stored in SharePoint without using a VPN... "

Great work! James. Looking forward to the guide getting published.

My other favorite posts from the blog are:

SharePoint Ports, Proxies and Protocols .... An overview of farm communications

Top Tips for InfoPath form development with SharePoint: Part 1

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 5:54 AM by Vedant Kulshreshtha

Vedant's Blog : Options for taking SharePoint files offline

Craftsmanship, Quality, Dogma, and Pragmatism


Craftsmanship, Quality, Dogma, and Pragmatism


In the last year or so, there has been an increasing amount of discussion on software craftsmanship, and what it means and whether or not it’s a good thing.  There’s an online email list, a conference with the same name, and at least one user group devoted to the subject (in related news, I’m helping to organize a similar group in Hudson, Ohio).  There is some good discussion going on in this sphere about what it means to be a craftsman, but there are other discussions (mostly happening elsewhere) that question the value of craftsmanship with equally valid reasoning.  I’ve heard from several successful business owners that they don’t want to hire artists and craftsmen devoted to making beautiful and elegant code, they want programmers who can get the job done with a minimum of fuss so they can move on to the next task.  At issue here is the notion that some of the values held by those who believe quality is of great import don’t always fit in with the business needs of the day.


Recently, Bob Martin took issue with some remarks by the StackOverflow team on their podcast.  In it, the SO guys stated that quality “isn’t that important” which, taken completely out of context like I’m doing here, sounds like blasphemy, especially to those who prize the quality of their work (as I try to), like Robert Martin (they later mostly made nice).  However, as a business owner myself, I also realize that sometimes quality can be sacrificed in order to meet business needs today.  And, on a related note, some “best practices” for building quality enterprise software present unnecessary overhead for small and/or one-off applications, either in terms of time necessary or due to the skillset required.  We frequently employ college interns to help with our software development work, and if need be we can task them with simple projects that don’t require a deep understanding of complex business problems.  The amount of rigor that we apply to this code is proportional to its importance to the business, and we accept that if we do need to revisit this code it will have technical debt that we’ll need to pay if we want to maintain it and build upon it.  This is an acceptable tradeoff and one that we are able to make knowingly.


I also overheard recently in the context of the current economic climate that the first developers to go during a layoff should be the ones who eschewed simply getting the job done in favor of using their latest favorite developer methodology (insert a TLA here).  The implication being that their unwillingless to cave on their principles was costing their employer money in the form of extra time and complexity added to projects that simply didn’t require any additional formality or structure.  Related to this is the common theme on twitter or various mailing lists for experts to describe the “right” way to do things, often with some degree of condescension for those who would do things another way.  This is where dogma comes into the discussion, and is rightly seen as getting in the way of solving business problems.


Personally, I think craftsmanship implies quality, but a craftsman is also one who can provide the right amount of quality to meet the customer’s needs.  As a very real example, I’m getting some work done on a building to which (hopefully soon) we’ll be relocating our offices.  I got a quote from a contractor whom I was referred to because they do very good work, to do some pretty simple remodeling of a tenant’s space.  It was a bit higher than I expected and after further discussion, I (just today, in fact) got a quote that was about 35% lower with, among other things, the following bullet point describing the difference:

Savings from a relaxed “degree of finish”

What does that mean?  It means less quality, but at lower cost.  It means I might have to get the space remodeled again sooner than if I were willing to spend a little more, or it might not look quite as nice, but it will cost a little less.  As the customer, I appreciate having this as an option.  The contractor is showing that he understands his job is to meet my needs, not to necessarily maximize the value of the job or perform the best work of his career (building architects, in particular, like to make designs they can be proud of and show off to other clients, so you need to be extra careful with how much you let them expand upon what is functional).

A software craftsman takes pride in his work, but more than that they should take pride in delivering value to the customer.  If a particular piece of code is not written using their favorite framework or methodology, but it got the job done and the customer is happy, then they should be pleased with themselves.  It’s important to be aware of how to overcome complexity and avoid future technical debt using appropriate patterns and practices, but it’s just as important to be able to objectively describe to the customer what the costs are (both short and long term) of implementing these practices so they can decide whether or not they are worthwhile for a given project.  In many cases, as Bob Martin says, building quality software makes everything go faster, so trading quality for speed makes no sense.  However, in my experience this is only true if the team already has all of the necessary skill to do so.  If some or all of the team requires training, and worse, if they are resistant to changing their typical modes of writing code, then trying to deliver higher quality is likely to require significant investment in time and energy.  The customer should be the one who gets to choose if this is a worthwhile investment for the project at hand.

Craftsmanship, Quality, Dogma, and Pragmatism : Steve Smith's Blog

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Server Joining the Windows server family


New Server Joining the Windows server family

You may have heard that earlier today Steve Ballmer referenced we are working on an addition to the Windows server Family named Foundation Server.

While we don’t have any details to share now, we are very excited about the opportunity this entry-level server will bring to our customers and partners. 

Look for more information coming in the next few months!  

Windows Server Division WebLog : New Server Joining the Windows server family

The Crisis of Credit Visualized


The Crisis of Credit Visualized - Part 1


The Crisis of Credit Visualized - Part 2

Open XML Tools Index


Open XML Tools Index


It's great to see the adoption of Open XML accelerating. The Compatibility Pack for Open XML has been downloaded more than 70 million times*. Countless large organizations have taken that single download and deployed that across their organizations. These numbers continue to improve in favor of Open XML.

There are a number of tools available for manipulating, processing, scanning or otherwise handling Open XML documents. As I read the forums on, I think I can be of service by providing a list of the tools that I know about today. There may be others, but this will help folks get started who might be looking for an entry point:

Some of the available tools

Open XML Format External File Converter

Binary to Open XML Translator

Open XML to ODF Translator


Open XML to UOF Translator

Open XML to DAISY Translator

Open XML Power Toys

Eric White's Home Page for it


And a good post about it, MSDN Documentation


Eric White's post about it

Word 2007 Content Control Toolkit

Andrew Coates' Tutorial for it

Office Fluent™ User Interface Customization Tool

And a great post about it

Altova XML Spy

Trial Version

Open XML Code Snippets for VS2005

Some of the Articles & Training Content

Open XML Implementer's notes for Office 2007

ODF Implementer's notes for Office 2007

MSDN Technical Articles

XML in Office Developer Portal

Solution Samples From

For Python, LINQ, Java, System.IO.Packaging

Office 2007 Developer Map

How do I videos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Eric White

Word Team Blog

Brian Jones Open XML Blog

There are a few additional tools here:

If you're looking to understand the nature of Open XML development today, reading the OpenXMLDeveloper forums will give you a great view. I caveat the tools / training with "some of" because everywhere I go, I run into new tools, training, solutions, examples in use by folks for various reasons. Open XML development is a vibrant, active and productive community.

*the count for downloads of the compatibility pack is pessimistic in the sense that not all successful downloads are recorded. The attempted number is well over 120 million… and likely closer to reality in terms of adoption.

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 4:56 PM by Gray Knowlton

Gray Matter : Open XML Tools Index

Using PowerShell to Discover Login Failures on SQL Server


Using PowerShell to Discover Login Failures on SQL Server

If you have PowerShell installed (even if it isn’t the SQL Server 2008 provider), you can and should check your servers each day to see if you have login failures. This is very useful to help ensure that your server is safe and secure. Whenever someone tries to log in to SQL Server and fails, the server records event number 18456 in the Windows Application log. You can use the PowerShell command-let called get-eventlog to check for that number by opening the event log and reading it, sending the results to another command-let called where-object, using the piping symbol:

   1: get-eventlog application | Where-Object {$_.EventID -eq 18456}

But this command brings nothing back if there is no failed logins – and I want a little something more. I take the “if” command to test for any issues, and report back merely that there were failed logins or not – if there are, I know I need to look in the logs anyway, and do a little more investigations about what else is going on at that same time:

   1: if (get-eventlog application | Where-Object {$_.EventID -eq 18456}) { write-host "Bad logins detected" } else { write-host "No bad logins detected."}

As always, you mileage may vary, use a test system, don't run with scissors, etc.

Published 24 February 09 09:02 by Buck Woody

Carpe Datum : Using PowerShell to Discover Login Failures on SQL Server

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) CTP


Microsoft SQL Server Release Services

The Global Release Services team within the SQL Server organization is a central team providing a variety of services to one of the biggest development organizations in the world. We drive a lot of processes and business decisions which significantly impact both, our internal operations as well as our customers world wide. This blog is intended to share some of this information with you straight from the source, drive interaction as well as to solicit your feedback on particular topics for us to make better decisions for you!

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) CTP

Today we are excited to announce the availability of our Customer Technology Preview (CTP) for Service Pack 1 of SQL Server 2008.    This scheduled servicing release addresses feedback received from many of you who have deployed SQL Server 2008 since our release back in August 2008.    

We take every update to SQL Server very seriously and we are especially pleased that in reviewing the changes being made with this service pack that we have reinforced our confidence(and hopefully yours!) in the quality of the initial release of SQL Server 2008.    We know that some of you are accustomed to wait for the first service pack of any new software that enters the marketplace, and hopefully with this update you can get even more insight and confidence in our engineering and quality practices. 

We remain committed to our plans to keep service packs contained, focusing on essential updates only, primarily a Roll-up of Cumulative Update 1 to 3, Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) updates, as well as fixes to issues reported through the SQL Server community. While keeping product changes contained, we have made significant investments to ease deployment and management of Service Packs:

  • Slipstream - You are now able to integrate the base installation with service packs (or Hotfixes) and install in a single step.
  • Service Pack Uninstall - You are now able to uninstall only the Service Pack (without removing the whole instance)
  • Report Builder 2.0 Click Once capability

We encourage you to try out SP1,  and send us your feedback.      Please know that we are actively reading all feedback and appreciate any thoughts that you might have to help us with this product update.    Please go to Connect Feedback Center to provide feedback.    Continue to watch this blog for more updates,  we target the final release based on customer feedback and proof points in the coming weeks.

With the upcoming general availability of SP1, it's a good time for any of you that are still running SQL Server 2005 (or even some of you still using SQL Server 2000!) to take a look at the great enhancements and benefits that 2008 provides.  There are a lot of new capabilities that you may not have had a chance to look at such as Compression, Auditing, Policy Based Management, Resource Governor, Change Data Capture, Transparent Data Encryption and many more Database, Reporting, Warehousing and Analytics improvements that you can read about here.  

Thanks and we look forward to releasing SP1 soon!

Mauricio Monico
Program Manager
SQL Server Sustained Engineering

Published Monday, February 23, 2009 9:58 PM by mmonico

Microsoft SQL Server Release Services : SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) CTP

Windows 7 : Booting from a VHD


Windows 7 : Booting from a VHD


Adam from EDGE talked to Jeremy Chapman about how you can boot from a VHD in Windows 7 ( or Windows Server 2008 R2 ).

This is clearly a very cool technology for users that have to take on dual roles or need to be able setup particular environments for testing.

Check out about this information on EDGE.

Neil Hutson - Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 for developers : Windows 7 : Booting from a VHD

Managing monopolies and dominance in the Net age


Managing monopolies and dominance in the Net age

Our thinking about "monopoly" may need to be recast in the Internet age. This is a complicated question to consider and we need to start gathering some good minds around it.

Network effects were noticed before there was an Internet. Both the phone company and the electric company were networks, and it became clear about a century ago that everything worked better for everybody if they WERE monopolies and everybody was hooked up to the same network, not competing ones. So phones and electricity became regulated monopolies, with prices and other behavior, including mandated service levels, controlled. Whether because of a changing ethos or because things became more complicated, or both, "competition" has been introduced in both spheres over the past two or three decades. With debatable results.

Amazon's dominance -- which is not a monopoly but which certainly looks like unassailable hegemony in the world of online bookselling -- can be largely attributed to brilliant execution and maintaining a tight focus on serving the customer. But part of their success at eliminating meaningful competition for online book sales has to do with the nature of the Internet. Online likes one winner in many spaces because it serves the users better NOT to fragment aggregations. If Amazon's reader reviews were spread over 1000 web sites, they wouldn't be as useful to the consumers. And their recommendation engine thrives on data; fewer customers would mean less helpful recommendations for those customers remaining, and the concentration at Amazon means less useful recommendations come from all their retailing competitors. This is an edge that may not stay with the retailer forever, though, because the playing field for information about books is being leveled by social networking sites. That's why Amazon is investing in them.

This tendency to concentration makes it urgent for publishers to get into niches and start trying to own them while they have legacy advantages. If the history of the Net so far is any guide, each information and interest niche will end up being owned by a very small number of players; often it will boil down to one. We seem to have been pretty fortunate with the dominant players (perhaps we should call them "monopoly threats") that have emerged so far, among them: Amazon, Google, ebay, Craigslist, wikipedia, and a now-emerging Facebook. They've executed well and kept their eye on the stakeholders they serve. They, so far, have been more benign dominators than were Microsoft and AOL, two big winners on the previous go-round.

But government is going to have to start thinking through public policy toward what will be an increasing number of dominant players in many niches. "Breaking them up" will seldom be a sensible answer: they often became monopolies because of natural causes and effects and if they were broken up, they'd recreate themselves (as the phone companies have been doing.) But leaving things to the market when there is no market is just trusting to luck.

The futility -- or self-defeating nature -- of "breaking them up" is obvious if we consider the possibility that Facebook or LinkedIn develops a dominant or near-monopoly position. The success of both sites, and their value to their users, is directly related to the number of people using them.

So breaking up a monopoly or dominant position built on the competitive advantage of a robust database tied to network effects would damage the users. That's certainly not the objective for society trying to control monopolies.

One possibility is that we should allow combinations of suppliers or users when they are faced with a monopoly. Another is that stakeholders should be identified and, somehow, through mediation or legislation, their legitimate interests should be defined and somehow protected. But we have enough understanding of the Net and network effects now to see that our legacy thinking about monopolies, how to live with them and how and whether to manage them, may need some reconsideration. And we need some people who are NOT lawyers or economists joining those who are in the conversation.

A recent mailing list discussion about this produced a wide range of opinions. On one extreme is the notion that all market dominance is bound to be exploited and the government's inability or unwillingness to control Microsoft is held up to have allowed damaging predatory behavior (pointing, first of all, to the demise of Lotus and OS/2.) On the other side are those who say the market and the rapid changes fostered by technology are all the control we need. That side too, can point to Microsoft and its current challenges as proof that no government hand is needed, even in the Internet age.

Certainly, one can see the possibility that Google will be challenged by vertical search (and just plain vertical sites) and that Amazon's dominance in physical book distribution online will be hard to extent to ebook distribution (a topic I will explore further in an upcoming post on my own blog).


Published 24 February 09 07:49 by pdestoop

Architects Rule! : O’Reilly: Managing monopolies and dominance in the Net age

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