Project Phoenix – underway and active

Every so often, Microsoft sends MVPs a set of MSDN subscriptions that we can give to someone that would benefit from them. I have found it to be very interesting in past years and have to say that the most pleased I ever felt giving these away has been to students who are struggling to get into the workforce for some reason (one with a notable disability comes immediately to mind) or to developers that are just down on their luck for some reason.

So I was really excited when I saw that one of our buddies Arnie Rowland had decided to formalize a program that give the subscriptions to people that can really benefit from them. In Arnie's case he started an effort to give MSDN Subscriptions, training, books, and tools to unemployed developers that would take on a project for a non-profit, school, or church. To date, 27 MVPs have joined the effort and contributed one or more of their MSDN subscription cards. Ten proposals have already been selected to receive awards. And the project continues until the end of the year. Full details here: 

The project is not just US-based either. Another MVP buddie Rod Colledge is helping to make this happen in the ANZ region. It's likely that several MVPs in our region will be involved. Details of the local project are here: 

Please help to get the publicity happening and to get the word out to more unemployed developers, even invite eligible non-profits, schools, etc. to submit a project that could be matched to an eligible developer.

SQL Server 2008 R2: MDS setup HTTP Error 500.19 – Internal Server Error – Error Code 0x80070021

I've (fortunately) ended up with a new notebook recently and had to reinstall everything. One problem I ran into was with Master Data Services. The config program seemed happy but it shouldn't have been. What threw me was that it seemed to have a dependency check for IIS 7, etc. while configuring MDS. That led me to think I'd already configured IIS appropriately. I hadn't and when I tried to use the site, I got the above error. IIS needed to have the following:

Common HTTP Features
· Static Content
· Default Document
· Directory Browsing
· HTTP Errors

Application Development
· ASP.Net
· .NET Extensibility
· ISAPI Extensions
· ISAPI Filters

Health and Diagnostics
· HTTP Logging
· Request Monitor

· Windows Authentication
· Request Filtering

· Static Content Compression

Management Tools
· IIS Management Console

Plus NET Framework 3.0 Features
· WCF Activation
· HTTP Activation
· Non-HTTP Activation

Plus Windows PowerShell

Plus Windows Process Activation Service
· Process Model
· .NET Environment
· Configuration APIs

I'm sure that'll be covered in a "readme" somewhere (that sadly we often neglect to read each time we install) but I was lulled into a false sense of security by the dependency check in the installer. It would be great to see it upgraded to fully test for dependencies.

SQL Server 2008 R2: Another free eClinic – SQL Server Virtualization

Another of the free eClinics that we've been building for Microsoft was released today. This one was put together by our Australian team with Bill Chesnut as the lead author and provides an introduction to the virtualization of SQL Server and the surrounding tooling. You'll find it here:


SQL Server 2008 R2: More free training goodness at Channel 9

Together with the folk from Microsoft DPE, my colleagues and I have helped put together a series of free training materials for SQL Server 2008 R2. The presentations from these are now available in bite-sized pieces on the Microsoft Channel 9 site.

You'll find them here:


Unemployed developer? Want some free software? Talk to Arnie

Hi Folks,

Just wanted to focus some attention on Arnie Rowland's project to help unemployed developers to get some software in return for helping a non-profit. Seems like a great idea Arnie!

SQL Server 2008 R2: Another free eClinic out the door -> StreamInsight

I got the news this morning that another of the free SQL Server 2008 R2 eClinics that we've been building for Microsoft Learning has been published.

The eClinic for StreamInsight has been rev'd to RTM and is now available here:


SQL Server 2008 R2: Free RTM eClinics

Hi Folks,

We've been updating the free eClinics for SQL Server 2008 R2 for the released version of the product. Three of these clinics are now published:

Master Data Services

Application and Multi-server Management (Data-tier applications, SQL Server Utility)

Managed Self-Service BI (PowerPivot for Excel, Reporting Services in R2, Report Builder 3.0 and PowerPivot for SharePoint)


SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services: A generic error occurred in GDI+

While building some maps today in SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services, I kept coming up with an error that said:

A generic error occurred in GDI+

I was struggling to think what I'd done wrong. After much nashing of teeth and removal of hair, I finally worked out what the error was. When I got to the "Choose Color Scheme and Visualization" page of the map wizard for building a color analytical map, I hadn't picked the correct value for the "Field to Visualize" drop-down. I'm guessing that because it had defaulted to my GEOMETRY column, instead of the field that I actually wanted to use for analysis, it must get itself into some sort of stack overflow or nesting problem.

Regardless, the error message isn't helpful. Picking the correct column to visualize solved the problem.

Hope it helps someone else (or me when I forget and do it again in future :-))

Backup a Single Table in SQL Server using SSMS

Our buddy Buck Woody made an interesting post about a common question: "How do I back up a single table in SQL Server?"

That got me thinking about what a backup of a table really is. BCP is often used to get the data but you want the schema as well.

For reasonable-sized tables, the easiest way to do this now is to create a script using SQL Server Management Studio. To do this, you:

1. Right-click the database (note not the table)

2. Choose Tasks > Generate Scripts

3. In the Choose Objects pane, select the table you want to script

4. In the Set Scripting Options pane, click Advanced.

5. In the Types of Data to Script option, choose Schema and Data. (If you also want indexes, etc. make sure they are also chosen)

Click your way through the remaining screens and you're done.