Sorry to all for the delay in working these out but we've now posted details of the sessions for CodeCampOz in 2008. You can view them on the "2008" tab at www.codecampoz.com.
There's a really great lineup of sessions. We also have two extra special guests: Jonas Folleso from Norway and Fernando Guerrero from Spain.
This year, there is also a precon event on Friday afternoon prior to the main event on Saturday and Sunday.
If you are planning on coming and have not already let us know, please email us at registration @ codecampoz.com to let us know.
I've been playing around with full text search in SQL Server 2008 and was intrigued by the DMF sys.dm_fts_parser(). It allows you to see the result of the word-breaking occurring within full text search. If you execute the query:
select * from sys.dm_fts_parser('"Hello Greg. How are you? I haven"t seen you for a while."',1033,0,0);
It returns the following data (along with some other columns):
occurrence special_term display_term
1 Exact Match hello
2 Exact Match greg
10 End Of Sentence END OF FILE
11 Noise Word how
12 Noise Word are
13 Noise Word you
21 End Of Sentence END OF FILE
22 Noise Word i
23 Exact Match haven't
24 Exact Match seen
25 Noise Word you
26 Noise Word for
27 Noise Word a
28 Noise Word while
36 End Of Sentence END OF FILE
(15 row(s) affected)
That's really sweet as it lets you parse text into words. The 1033 was the locale I chose and the other two parameters were a stop word list (formerly called a noise word list) and whether or not it should be accent sensitive.
I was really sad to hear that Arthur C Clarke died today. For those that enjoyed his work, it's worth watching his "goodbye" video he made on the occasion of his birthday in December 2007. He knew at that time that the end was near. I particularly liked his choice of a Rudyard Kipling poem to read at the end. You'll find the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLXQ7rNgWwg
One of the things I really don't like in the Declarative Management Framework is the term "On change – prevent" for the execution mode. Given we don't have INSTEAD OF DDL triggers and only AFTER DDL triggers, we can't *prevent* these things at all. All we can do is roll them back after they happen. I think the name should be changed to "On change – rollback" to reflect what's actually happening.
Also, if we ever get INSTEAD OF DDL triggers, we might then be able to prevent the actions. What then would the option be called?
You know the drill: vote once, vote often 🙂
While on site this week, another common problem that I see everywhere arose again.
When you need to format currency, you use the "c" format right? It's in nearly every set of course materials I've ever seen.
In many cases, that's wrong!
Take a long hard think about whether you really want the monetary values that you display automatically converting to the client system's currency. If you are reporting financial figures, for example, is it really appropriate that they should mysteriously suddenly change from dollars to yen because the client is based in Zama City rather than in New York City? Not likely. A million dollars in sales might be good but a million yen in sales not quite so good 🙂
SQL Down Under show 35 with guest SQL Server DPE Evangelist Roger Doherty is now available for download from www.sqldownunder.com.
In the show, Roger discusses what developers are looking forward to in SQL Server 2008.
I spent time working with Reporting Services again today on a client site. The complexity of the reports we were working on reminded me that I really, really don't like seeing T-SQL scripts (or really any business logic) embedded in reports.
DBAs tend to be considered a conservative bunch. One thing they're usually conservative about is refactoring their databases. In many cases, this is because they have little idea what they will break when they make database changes. I've seen countless organisations that have allowed direct access to tables from client Access-based applications and have then lost control of the ability to ever change anything in the database because of the hundreds of little applications and reports that they might then break. I spend a lot of time talking to them about how to regain control of the situation.
Reporting Services is another area where this can happen. Fortunately, the reports are typically located in a single location. When a database change is needed, at least you don't then have to search the enterprise for reports that might break. However, life is much simpler if all the report does is call a stored procedure instead of having T-SQL embedded in it. I see the advantages of this approach as:
1. Refactoring the database is easier.
2. Unit testing of the code is much easier. You can easily build tests to just call the stored procedures. While possible via the web service interface, it's much harder to test the reports directly and requires a different skill set.
3. It allows the UI to be built by one person and the stored procedures to be built by another.
4. It's easy to deal with report permissions. Typically I create a Reports schema in the database and grant EXECUTE permission on that schema to the reporting users groups. That way, I don't have to manage individual permissions on the stored procedures and I don't have to grant permissions on the tables (or perhaps views).
5. I may well get benefits on procedure cache efficiency.
6. I can use the same stored procedure on multiple reports. I quite often find I have to write each report twice: once to look nice, the other to just dump the data into Excel format. Typically, when clients ask for Excel output, they just want the data, not the pretty formatting. I can use the same procedure for both versions. (Fortunately in SQL Server 2008, it looks like I'll have more flexible Excel rendering options).
SQL Down Under show 34 with guest SQL Server MVP Geoff Hiten is now available for download from www.sqldownunder.com. In this show, Geoff discusses SQL Server clustering, SANs and magic SAN dust.
SQL Server Data Services was announced today at MIX. This new offering from Microsoft provides Internet-based data services using RESTful interfaces like those provided by ADO.NET Data Services.
This is going to enable some outstanding new applications.
Apply for the beta here now: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/dataservices/default.mspx
SQL Down Under show 33 with SQL Server MVP Allen White discussing the automating of administration using SMO and Powershell is available for download from www.sqldownunder.com.