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  • SQL SERVER – List of Article on Expressor Data Integration Platform

    - by pinaldave
    The ability to transform data into meaningful and actionable information is the most important information in current business world. In this fast growing and changing business needs effective data integration is single most important thing in making proper decision making. I have been following expressor software since November 2010, when I met expressor team in Seattle. Here are my posts on their innovative data integration platform and expressor Studio, a free desktop ETL tool: 4 Tips for ETL Software IDE Developers Introduction to Adaptive ETL Tool – How adaptive is your ETL? Sharing your ETL Resources Across Applications with Ease expressor Studio Includes Powerful Scripting Capabilities expressor 3.2 Release Review 5 Tips for Improving Your Data with expressor Studio As I had mentioned in some of my blog posts on them, I encourage you to download and test-drive their Studio product – it’s free. Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com) Filed under: PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Documentation, SQL Download, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, T SQL, Technology Tagged: SSIS

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  • Productivity Tips

    - by Brian T. Jackett
    A few months ago during my first end of year review at Microsoft I was doing an assessment of my year.  One of my personal goals to come out of this reflection was to improve my personal productivity.  While I hear many people say “I wish I had more hours in the day so that I could get more done” I feel like that is the wrong approach.  There is an inherent assumption that you are being productive with your time that you already have and thus more time would allow you to be as productive given more time.    Instead of wishing I could add more hours to the day I’ve begun adopting a number of processes or behavior changes in my personal life to make better use of my time with the goal of improving productivity.  The areas of focus are as follows: Focus Processes Tools Personal health Email Note: A number of these topics have spawned from reading Scott Hanselman’s blog posts on productivity, reading of David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, and discussions with friends and coworkers who had great insights into this topic.   Focus Pre-reading / viewing: Overcome your work addiction Millennials paralyzed by choice Its Not What You Read Its What You Ignore (Scott Hanselman video)    I highly recommend Scott Hanselman’s video above and this post before continuing with this article.  It is well worth the 40+ mins price of admission for the video and couple minutes for article.  One key takeaway for me was listing out my activities in an average week and realizing which ones held little or no value to me.  We all have a finite amount of time to work each day.  Do you know how much time and effort you spend on various aspects of your life (family, friends, religion, work, personal happiness, etc.)?  Do your actions and commitments reflect your priorities?    The biggest time consumers with little value for me were time spent on social media services (Twitter and Facebook), playing an MMO video game, and watching TV.  I still check up on Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft internal chat forums, and other services to keep contact with others but I’ve reduced that time significantly.  As for TV I’ve cut the cord and no longer subscribe to cable TV.  Instead I use Netflix, RedBox, and over the air channels but again with reduced time consumption.  With the time I’ve freed up I’m back to working out 2-3 times a week and reading 4 nights a week (both of which I had been neglecting previously).  I’ll mention a few tools for helping measure your time in the Tools section.   Processes    Do not multi-task.  I’ll say it again.  Do not multi-task.  There is no such thing as multi tasking.  The human brain is optimized to work on one thing at a time.  When you are “multi-tasking” you are really doing 2 or more things at less than 100%, usually by a wide margin.  I take pride in my work and when I’m doing something less than 100% the results typically degrade rapidly.    Now there are some ways of bending the rules of physics for this one.  There is the notion of getting a double amount of work done in the same timeframe.  Some examples would be listening to podcasts / watching a movie while working out, using a treadmill as your work desk, or reading while in the bathroom.    Personally I’ve found good results in combining one task that does not require focus (making dinner, playing certain video games, working out) and one task that does (watching a movie, listening to podcasts).  I believe this is related to me being a visual and kinesthetic (using my hands or actually doing it) learner.  I’m terrible with auditory learning.  My fiance and I joke that sometimes we talk and talk to each other but never really hear each other.   Goals / Tasks    Goals can give us direction in life and a sense of accomplishment when we complete them.  Goals can also overwhelm us and give us a sense of failure when we don’t complete them.  I propose that you shift your perspective and not dwell on all of the things that you haven’t gotten done, but focus instead on regularly setting measureable goals that are within reason of accomplishing.    At the end of each time frame have a retrospective to review your progress.  Do not feel guilty about what you did not accomplish.  Feel proud of what you did accomplish and readjust your goals for the next time frame to more attainable goals.  Here is a sample schedule I’ve seen proposed by some.  I have not consistently set goals for each timeframe, but I do typically set 3 small goals a day (this blog post is #2 for today). Each day set 3 small goals Each week set 3 medium goals Each month set 1 large goal Each year set 2 very large goals   Tools    Tools are an extension of our human body.  They help us extend beyond what we can physically and mentally do.  Below are some tools I use almost daily or have found useful as of late. Disclaimer: I am not getting endorsed to promote any of these products.  I just happen to like them and find them useful. Instapaper – Save internet links for reading later.  There are many tools like this but I’ve found this to be a great one.  There is even a “read it later” JavaScript button you can add to your browser so when you navigate to a site it will then add this to your list. Stacks for Instapaper – A Windows Phone 7 app for reading my Instapaper articles on the go.  It does require a subscription to Instapaper (nominal $3 every three months) but is easily worth the cost.  Alternatively you can set up your Kindle to sync with Instapaper easily but I haven’t done so. SlapDash Podcast – Apps for Windows Phone and  Windows 8 (possibly other platforms) to sync podcast viewing / listening across multiple devices.  Now that I have my Surface RT device (which I love) this is making my consumption easier to manage. Feed Reader – Simple Windows 8 app for quickly catching up on my RSS feeds.  I used to have hundreds of unread items all the time.  Now I’m down to 20-50 regularly and it is much easier and faster to consume on my Surface RT.  There is also a free version (which I use) and I can’t see much different between the free and paid versions currently. Rescue Time – Have you ever wondered how much time you’ve spent on websites vs. email vs. “doing work”?  This service tracks your computer actions and then lets you report on them.  This can help you quantitatively identify areas where your actions are not in line with your priorities. PowerShell – Windows automation tool.  It is now built into every client and server OS.  This tool has saved me days (and I mean the full 24 hrs worth) of time and effort in the past year alone.  If you haven’t started learning PowerShell and you administrating any Windows OS or server product you need to start today. Various blogging tools – I wrote a post a couple years ago called How I Blog about my blogging process and tools used.  Almost all of it still applies today.   Personal Health    Some of these may be common sense or debatable, but I’ve found them to help prioritize my daily activities. Get plenty of sleep on a regular basis.  Sacrificing sleep too many nights a week negatively impacts your cognition, attitude, and overall health. Exercise at least three days.  Exercise could be lifting weights, taking the stairs up multiple flights of stairs, walking for 20 mins, or a number of other "non-traditional” activities.  I find that regular exercise helps with sleep and improves my overall attitude. Eat a well balanced diet.  Too much sugar, caffeine, junk food, etc. are not good for your body.  This is not a matter of losing weight but taking care of your body and helping you perform at your peak potential.   Email    Email can be one of the biggest time consumers (i.e. waster) if you aren’t careful. Time box your email usage.  Set a meeting invite for yourself if necessary to limit how much time you spend checking email. Use rules to prioritize your email.  Email from external customers, my manager, or include me directly on the To line go into my inbox.  Everything else goes a level down and I have 30+ rules to further sort it, mostly distribution lists. Use keyboard shortcuts (when available).  I use Outlook for my primary email and am constantly hitting Alt + S to send, Ctrl + 1 for my inbox, Ctrl + 2 for my calendar, Space / Tab / Shift + Tab to mark items as read, and a number of other useful commands.  Learn them and you’ll see your speed getting through emails increase. Keep emails short.  No one Few people like reading through long emails.  The first line should state exactly why you are sending the email followed by a 3-4 lines to support it.  Anything longer might be better suited as a phone call or in person discussion.   Conclusion    In this post I walked through various tips and tricks I’ve found for improving personal productivity.  It is a mix of re-focusing on the things that matter, using tools to assist in your efforts, and cutting out actions that are not aligned with your priorities.  I originally had a whole section on keyboard shortcuts, but with my recent purchase of the Surface RT I’m finding that touch gestures have replaced numerous keyboard commands that I used to need.  I see a big future in touch enabled devices.  Hopefully some of these tips help you out.  If you have any tools, tips, or ideas you would like to share feel free to add in the comments section.         -Frog Out   Links Scott Hanselman Productivity posts http://www.hanselman.com/blog/CategoryView.aspx?category=Productivity Overcome your work addiction http://blogs.hbr.org/hbsfaculty/2012/05/overcome-your-work-addiction.html?awid=5512355740280659420-3271   Millennials paralyzed by choice http://priyaparker.com/blog/millennials-paralyzed-by-choice   Its Not What You Read Its What You Ignore (video) http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ItsNotWhatYouReadItsWhatYouIgnoreVideoOfScottHanselmansPersonalProductivityTips.aspx   Cutting the cord – Jeff Blankenburg http://www.jeffblankenburg.com/2011/04/06/cutting-the-cord/   Building a sitting standing desk – Eric Harlan http://www.ericharlan.com/Everything_Else/building-a-sitting-standing-desk-a229.html   Instapaper http://www.instapaper.com/u   Stacks for Instapaper http://www.stacksforinstapaper.com/   Slapdash Podcast Windows Phone -  http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/slapdash-podcasts/90e8b121-080b-e011-9264-00237de2db9e Windows 8 - http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/en-us/app/slapdash-podcasts/0c62e66a-f2e4-4403-af88-3430a821741e/m/ROW   Feed Reader http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/en-us/app/feed-reader/d03199c9-8e08-469a-bda1-7963099840cc/m/ROW   Rescue Time http://www.rescuetime.com/   PowerShell Script Center http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/scriptcenter/bb410849.aspx

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  • The Best Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most out of Internet Explorer 10

    - by Lori Kaufman
    Now that Windows 8 is available, you might have started playing around with Internet Explorer 10. It comes in two different versions: the minimalist Modern UI/Metro version accessed from the Start screen and the traditional, full-featured Desktop version accessed from the Taskbar. In this article, we provide some useful tips and tricks to help you get to know both versions of Internet Explorer, especially the new Modern UI/Metro version. HTG Explains: Is ReadyBoost Worth Using? HTG Explains: What The Windows Event Viewer Is and How You Can Use It HTG Explains: How Windows Uses The Task Scheduler for System Tasks

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  • Andrejus Keeps Cranking Out the Tips

    - by steve.muench
    I've been working on designing and implementing a new set of features for an upcoming Oracle ADF release for the past several months (and several more to come) and this has put a real limit on the time I have available for helping external customers and internal teams, as well as the time I have for blogging. Thankfully, the ADF community at large has many other voices they can listen to for tips and techniques. One I wanted to highlight specifically today is Andrejus Baranovskis' blog, which is steadily building up a high-quality archive of downloadable ADF examples based on his real-world consulting experiences, each with a corresponding explanatory article. If you're not already subscribed to Andrejus' blog, I highly recommend it. Keep up the great work, Andrejus!

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  • Website performance tips?

    - by Michael Schinis
    Im kind of having some troubles with the loading of my website: Here's a link to the website: link It sometimes loads fast, then when you refresh it.. most of the times, it will just keep trying to load images, and keep doing that for a minute or so, and none of the javascript will execute. I have followed most of the tips given by yahoo, except caching, which I couldn't get working properly. Does anyone know how to do proper caching of image and javascript files using htaccess? most of the code I found online won't work. Any advice whatsoever is extremely helpful. Thanks

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  • SSIS Tips & Tricks (Presentation)

    This has been a rather well used presentation title but it does allow a certain degree of flexibility, and we covered a good range of topics in my session at the UK SQL Server User Group in Cambridge last night. Thanks to all who attended. Here is the rather limited slide deck and the all important demo packages for download as promised. For reference, high level topics covered were BIDS Helper Inserts and Updates Transactions Script Debugging Data Flow Checkpoints I’ll update the post with a link to the Live Meeting recording when I get it. Presentation & Demo Packages (194KB) SSIS Tips & Tricks - Darren Green.zip

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  • Which tips helped you learn touch-typing? [closed]

    - by julien
    I've been learning touch-typing for about two weeks now, and I'm really commited to mastering this skill. Eventhough I'm doing ok with prose already, I'm struggling with programming syntax and even more with keybindings. Those stray you away from the home row more than regular words, and aren't as easy to practice. So I often hunt and peck in order to just get it out, but when reverting to old habits like this, I find it hard to get back into the touch-typing mindframe quickly. One little trick that has helped me so far when getting lost is to reposition every finger on its home row key, and mentally visualize the layout bias of the keyboard, ie the backslash kind of alignment of key columns. It's hard to describe though and probably a bit weird... Hope you guys have better tips !

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  • Tips to Increase PC Performance in Windows 7

    The Windows 7 Task Manager is a solid tool that gives you an overview of what is happening in terms of running processes on your computer. While the Task Manager may appear simple to the naked eye it can be used in several ways to help identify possible sources of problematic performance. This tutorial will offer some tips that you can employ with the Task Manager to help improve your PC s performance.... Rolling out Agile Development? Try now! Explore Agile on an integrated platform for Agile and traditional development

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  • SSIS Tips & Tricks (Presentation)

    This has been a rather well used presentation title but it does allow a certain degree of flexibility, and we covered a good range of topics in my session at the UK SQL Server User Group in Cambridge last night. Thanks to all who attended. Here is the rather limited slide deck and the all important demo packages for download as promised. For reference, high level topics covered were BIDS Helper Inserts and Updates Transactions Script Debugging Data Flow Checkpoints I’ll update the post with a link to the Live Meeting recording when I get it. Presentation & Demo Packages (194KB) SSIS Tips & Tricks - Darren Green.zip

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  • 5 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of Steam

    - by Chris Hoffman
    If you’re a PC gamer, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Valve’s Steam and use it regularly. Steam includes a variety of cool features that you might not notice if you’re just using it to install and launch games. These tips will help you take advantage of an SSD for faster game loading times, browse the web from within a game, download games remotely, create backup copies of your games, and use strong security features. HTG Explains: What Is Windows RT and What Does It Mean To Me? HTG Explains: How Windows 8′s Secure Boot Feature Works & What It Means for Linux Hack Your Kindle for Easy Font Customization

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  • What You Said: Your Favorite Remote Desktop Access Tools and Tips

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite remote desktop access tools and tips; now we’re back to highlight your favorite tools and how you use them. The two prevailing themes among all the tools suggested were pricing and ease of deployment. On that front, LogMeIn had a strong following. Mtech writes: I use Logmein and am amazed the free version can be used even for business purposes. I also felt so bad and wanted to pay for the Pro version just out of gratitude but they called me personally from the USA and said why pay when the free version does all you need! What a company. HTG Explains: Why Do Hard Drives Show the Wrong Capacity in Windows? Java is Insecure and Awful, It’s Time to Disable It, and Here’s How What Are the Windows A: and B: Drives Used For?

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  • Maximizing Your Windows 7: Tips and Tricks

    So you have finally decided to cave in to the pressure from all your friends and the positive reviews of the Windows 7 operating system. You re going to get it for yourself. Windows 7 offers many advantages to its users in terms of flexibility ease of use and simplicity. Now that you have it you will want to know how to maximize its use and all the features it provides. In this two-part series we will discuss several tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your newly-installed Windows 7 operating system.... Cloud Servers in Demand - GoGrid Start Small and Grow with Your Business. $0.10/hour

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  • Tips/tricks to manage a new team with new code

    - by Fanatic23
    How do you handle yourself in a new team where you are the senior most developer and most others in the team are junior to you by several years. The task ahead of the team is something nobody else including you has accomplished in their career before. Management insists on higher productivity of the whole team, and as senior developer you are responsible. Any tips for coming out trumps in a situation like this? Clearly, the entire team needs time to learn and let's not forget the team's new. However, deadlines are up ahead as well...

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  • "44 Tips" in PHP Magazin and Other NetBeans IDE Screencasts

    - by Geertjan
    My recent YouTube series "44 Tips for Front End Web Devs" (part 1, part 2) has been picked up by PHP Magazin: http://phpmagazin.de/news/Frontend-Entwicklung-mit-NetBeans-IDE-168339 Great. I'm working on more screencasts like that, from different angles. For example, one will methodically explain each and every window in NetBeans IDE; another will step through the creation of an application from conception to deployment; while another will focus on the NetBeans IDE extension points and how easily they can be used to add new features to NetBeans IDE. The screencast approach has, I think, a lot of advantages. They take less time to make and they seem to be more effective, in several ways, than tutorials. Hearing someone talk through a scenario seems to also put things in a clearer perspective than when you have everything written out in a document, where small details get lost and diversions are more difficult to make. Anyway, onwards to more screencasts. Any special requests?

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  • Top X tips to code & debug efficiently [closed]

    - by user1510230
    I'm starting a big Java project and I wanted to have some advices that could benefit us all. What are the X (X could be 5 / 10 / ... or even 100 :) most important tips to code and debug efficiently in general (and in particular with java / javascript) ? I'll start with some basic ones : Use functions everytime a portion of code is used more than twice. Try not to code features with more than 15 lines of code in one shot. Rather write 5 lines of code then check if they work correctly then write 5 more... and so on start with the outcome of the function and then code it backwards (bottom-top approach) ... Thanks everybody

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  • 44 Tips for Front End Web Devs (Part 1)

    - by Geertjan
    HTML, JavaScript, and CSS development in NetBeans IDE is fairly new, especially the integrated features of all the editors with the browser. In this screencast, newbies (and even those who have used NetBeans for many years) get a series of tips and insights into using NetBeans IDE in the context of HTML5 development. For example, useful keyboard shortcuts, plugins such as Emmet, and much much more is covered: Part 2 of this series, which is also the final part, is set to be published tomorrow. Note: The outline of the screencast is found in yesterday's blog entry!

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  • SSIS Lookup component tuning tips

    - by jamiet
    Yesterday evening I attended a London meeting of the UK SQL Server User Group at Microsoft’s offices in London Victoria. As usual it was both a fun and informative evening and in particular there seemed to be a few questions arising about tuning the SSIS Lookup component; I rattled off some comments and figured it would be prudent to drop some of them into a dedicated blog post, hence the one you are reading right now. Scene setting A popular pattern in SSIS is to use a Lookup component to determine whether a record in the pipeline already exists in the intended destination table or not and I cover this pattern in my 2006 blog post Checking if a row exists and if it does, has it changed? (note to self: must rewrite that blog post for SSIS2008). Fundamentally the SSIS lookup component (when using FullCache option) sucks some data out of a database and holds it in memory so that it can be compared to data in the pipeline. One of the big benefits of using SSIS dataflows is that they process data one buffer at a time; that means that not all of the data from your source exists in the dataflow at the same time and is why a SSIS dataflow can process data volumes that far exceed the available memory. However, that only applies to data in the pipeline; for reasons that are hopefully obvious ALL of the data in the lookup set must exist in the memory cache for the duration of the dataflow’s execution which means that any memory used by the lookup cache will not be available to be used as a pipeline buffer. Moreover, there’s an obvious correlation between the amount of data in the lookup cache and the time it takes to charge that cache; the more data you have then the longer it will take to charge and the longer you have to wait until the dataflow actually starts to do anything. For these reasons your goal is simple: ensure that the lookup cache contains as little data as possible. General tips Here is a simple tick list you can follow in order to tune your lookups: Use a SQL statement to charge your cache, don’t just pick a table from the dropdown list made available to you. (Read why in SELECT *... or select from a dropdown in an OLE DB Source component?) Only pick the columns that you need, ignore everything else Make the database columns that your cache is populated from as narrow as possible. If a column is defined as VARCHAR(20) then SSIS will allocate 20 bytes for every value in that column – that is a big waste if the actual values are significantly less than 20 characters in length. Do you need DT_WSTR typed columns or will DT_STR suffice? DT_WSTR uses twice the amount of space to hold values that can be stored using a DT_STR so if you can use DT_STR, consider doing so. Same principle goes for the numerical datatypes DT_I2/DT_I4/DT_I8. Only populate the cache with data that you KNOW you will need. In other words, think about your WHERE clause! Thinking outside the box It is tempting to build a large monolithic dataflow that does many things, one of which is a Lookup. Often though you can make better use of your available resources by, well, mixing things up a little and here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing: There is no rule that says everything has to happen in a single dataflow. If you have some particularly resource intensive lookups then consider putting that lookup into a dataflow all of its own and using raw files to pass the pipeline data in and out of that dataflow. Know your data. If you think, for example, that the majority of your incoming rows will match with only a small subset of your lookup data then consider chaining multiple lookup components together; the first would use a FullCache containing that data subset and the remaining data that doesn’t find a match could be passed to a second lookup that perhaps uses a NoCache lookup thus negating the need to pull all of that least-used lookup data into memory. Do you need to process all of your incoming data all at once? If you can process different partitions of your data separately then you can partition your lookup cache as well. For example, if you are using a lookup to convert a location into a [LocationId] then why not process your data one region at a time? This will mean your lookup cache only has to contain data for the location that you are currently processing and with the ability of the Lookup in SSIS2008 and beyond to charge the cache using a dynamically built SQL statement you’ll be able to achieve it using the same dataflow and simply loop over it using a ForEach loop. Taking the previous data partitioning idea further … a dataflow can contain more than one data path so why not split your data using a conditional split component and, again, charge your lookup caches with only the data that they need for that partition. Lookups have two uses: to (1) find a matching row from the lookup set and (2) put attributes from that matching row into the pipeline. Ask yourself, do you need to do these two things at the same time? After all once you have the key column(s) from your lookup set then you can use that key to get the rest of attributes further downstream, perhaps even in another dataflow. Are you using the same lookup data set multiple times? If so, consider the file caching option in SSIS 2008 and beyond. Above all, experiment and be creative with different combinations. You may be surprised at what works. Final  thoughts If you want to know more about how the Lookup component differs in SSIS2008 from SSIS2005 then I have a dedicated blog post about that at Lookup component gets a makeover. I am on a mini-crusade at the moment to get a BULK MERGE feature into the database engine, the thinking being that if the database engine can quickly merge massive amounts of data in a similar manner to how it can insert massive amounts using BULK INSERT then that’s a lot of work that wouldn’t have to be done in the SSIS pipeline. If you think that is a good idea then go and vote for BULK MERGE on Connect. If you have any other tips to share then please stick them in the comments. Hope this helps! @Jamiet Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Blogging tips for SQL Server professionals

    - by jamiet
    For some time now I have been intending to put some material together relating my blogging experiences since I began blogging in 2004 and that led to me submitting a session for SQLBits recently where I intended to do just that. That didn’t get enough votes to allow me to present however so instead I resolved to write a blog post about it and Simon Sabin’s recent post Blogging – how do you do it? has prompted me to get around to completing it. So, here I present a compendium of tips that I’ve picked up from authoring a fair few blog posts over the past 6 years. Feedburner Feedburner.com is a service that can consume your blog’s default RSS feed and provide another, replacement, feed that has exactly the same content. You can then supply that replacement feed on your blog site for other people to consume in their RSS readers. Why would you want to do this? Well, two reasons actually: It makes your blog portable. If you ever want to move your blog to a different URL you don’t have to tell your subscribers to move to a different feed. The feedburner feed is a pointer to your blog content rather than being a copy of it. Feedburner will collect stats telling you how many people are subscribed to your feed, which RSS readers they use, stuff like that. Here’s a sample screenshot for http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson/: It also tells you what your most viewed posts are: Web stats like these are notoriously inaccurate but then again the method of measurement here is not important, what IS important is that it gives you a trustworthy ranking of your blog posts and (in my opinion) knowing which are your most popular posts is more important than knowing exactly how many views each post has had. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Feedburner provides and I recommend every new blogger to try it! Monitor subscribers using Google Reader If for some reason Feedburner is not to your taste or (more likely) you already have an established RSS feed that you do not want to change then Google provide another way in which you can monitor your readership in the shape of their online RSS reader, Google Reader. It provides, for every RSS feed, a collection of stats including the number of Google Reader users that have subscribed to that RSS feed. This is really valuable information and in fact I have been recording this statistic for mine and a number of other blogs for a few years now and as such I can produce the following chart that indicates how readership is trending for those blogs over time: [Good news for my fellow SQLBlog bloggers.] As Stephen Few readily points out, its not the numbers that are important but the trend. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) SEO (or “How do I get my blog to show up in Google”) is a massive area of expertise which I don’t want (and am unable) to cover in much detail here but there are some simple rules of thumb that will help: Tags – If your blog engine offers the ability to add tags to your blog post, use them. Invariably those tags go into the meta section of the page HTML and search engines lap that stuff up. For example, from my recent post Microsoft publish Visual Studio 2010 Database Project Guidance: Title – Search engines take notice of web page titles as well so make them specific and descriptive (e.g. “Configuring dtsConfig connection strings”) rather than esoteric and meaningless in a vain attempt to be humorous (e.g. “Last night a DJ saved my ETL batch”)! Title(2) – Make your title even more search engine friendly by mentioning high level subject areas, not dissimilar to Twitter hashtags. For example, if you look at all of my posts related to SSIS you will notice that nearly all contain the word “SSIS” in the title even if I had to shoehorn it in there by putting it in square brackets or similar. Another tip, if you ARE putting words into your titles in this artificial manner then put them at the end so that they’re not that prominent in search engine results; they’re there for the search engines to consume, not for human beings. Images – Always add titles and alternate text (ALT attribute) to images in your blog post. If you use Windows 7 or Windows Vista then you can use Live Writer (which Simon recommended) makes this easy for you. Headings – If you want to highlight section headings use heading tags (e.g. <H1>, <H2>, <H3> etc…) rather than just formatting the text appropriately – again, Live makes this easy. These tags give your blog posts structure that is understood by search engines and RSS readers alike. (I believe it makes them more amenable to CSS as well – though that’s not something I know too much about). If you check the HTML source for the blog post you’re reading right now you’ll be able to scan through and see where I have used heading tags. Microsoft provide a free tool called the SEO Toolkit that will analyse your blog site (for free) and tell you what things you should change to improve SEO. Go read more and download for free at Search Engine Optimization Toolkit. Did I mention that it was free? Miscellaneous Tips If you are including code in your blog post then ensure it is formatted correctly. Use SQL Server Central’s T-SQL prettifier for formatting T-SQL code. Use images and videos. Personally speaking there’s nothing I like less when reading a blog than paragraph after paragraph of text. Images make your blog more appealing which means people are more likely to read what you have written. Be original. Don’t plagiarise other people’s content and don’t simply rewrite the contents of Books Online. Every time you publish a blog post tweet a link to it. Include hashtags in your tweet that are more likely to grab people’s attention. That’s probably enough for now - I hope this blog post proves useful to someone out there. If you would appreciate a related session at a forthcoming SQLBits conference then please let me know. This will likely be my last blog post for 2010 so I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has commented on, linked to or read any of my blog posts in that time. 2011 is shaping up to be a very interesting for SQL Server observers with the impending release of SQL Server code-named Denali and I promise I’ll have lots more content on that as the year progresses. Happy New Year. @Jamiet

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  • Amazon S3 Tips: Quickly Add/Modify HTTP Headers To All Files Recursively

    - by Gopinath
    Amazon S3 is an dead cheap cloud storage service that offers unlimited storage in pay as you use model. Recently we moved all the images and other static files(scripts & css) of Tech Dreams to Amazon S3 to reduce load on VPS server. Amazon S3 is cheap, but monthly bill will shoot up if images/static files of the blog are not cached properly (more details). By adding caching HTTP Headers Cache-Control or Expires to all the files hosted on Amazon S3 we reduced the monthly bills and also load time of blog pages. Lets see how to add custom headers to files stored on Amazon S3 service. Updating HTTP Headers of one file at a time The web interface of Amazon S3 Management console allows adding custom HTTP headers to one file at a time  through “Properties”  window (to access properties, right on a file and select Properties menu). So if you have to add headers to 100s of files then this is not the way to go! Updating HTTP Headers of multiple files of a folder recursively To update HTTP headers of multiple files in a folder recursively, we can use CloudBerry Explorer freeware or Bucket Explorer trail ware applications. CloudBerry is my favourite as it’s a freeware and also it’s has excellent interface to access Amazon S3 from desktops. Adding HTTP Headers with CloudBerry application is straight forward – right click on the required folders and choose the option “Set HTTP Headers”. Download CloudBerry Explorer This article titled,Amazon S3 Tips: Quickly Add/Modify HTTP Headers To All Files Recursively, was originally published at Tech Dreams. Grab our rss feed or fan us on Facebook to get updates from us.

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  • Webfarm and IIS configuration tips/tricks

    - by steve schofield
    I was recently talking with some good friends about tips for performance and what an IIS Administrator could do on the server side.  I also see this question from time to time in the forums @ http://forums.iis.net.    Of course, you should test individual settings in a controlled environment while performing load testing before just implementing on your production farm.  IIS Compression enabled (both static and dynamic if possible, set it to 9)  If you are running IIS 6, check this article out by Scott Forsyth. Run FRT for long running pages (Failed Request Tracing) Sql Connection pooling in code Look at using PAL with performance counters ( http://blogs.iis.net/ganekar/archive/2009/08/12/pal-performance-analyzer-with-iis.aspx )  Look at load testing using visual studio load testing tools Log parser finding long running pages.  Here is a couple examples Look at CPU, Memory and disk counters.  Make sure the server has enough resources. Same machineKey account across all same nodes Localize content vs. using UNC based content on a single server (My UNC tag with great posts) Content expiration ETAG’s the same across all web-farms Disable Scalable Networking Pack Use YSlow or Developer tools in Chrome to help measure the client experience improvements. Additionally, some basic counters in for measuring applications is: I would recommend checking out the Chapter 17 in IIS 7 Resource kit. it was one of the chapters I authored. :) Concurrent Connections,  Request Per / Sec, Request Queued.  I strongly suggest testing one change at a time to see how it helps improve your performance.  Hopefully this post provides a few options to review in your environment.   Cheers, Steve SchofieldMicrosoft MVP - IIS

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  • Nintex workflow tips and tricks

    - by ybbest
    Here are some Nintex 2010 workflow related tips and tricks and I will keep updating them. 1. How to add a link in email using Nintex. a. Go to the insert tab and select Link b. Select the url you’d like to set for the link c. After you have done this , you will see the Link is inserted into the email. 2. How to make the Flexi task reject option called “Decline” and make the comments mandatory. a. Open the  Flexi task action config prompt as shown below b.Click on the edit icon and change the settings from TO 3. When saving or publishing Nintex workflow and receiving the following errors: Server was unable to process request. —> The file hxtp://../NintexWorkflows/Workflowname/Workflowname.xoml is checked out for editing by Domain/Username. To Fix it , you can perform the following steps: a.In the publish dialogue, uncheck “Overwrite existing version” and rename the workflow. b.Delete the old workflow which was checked out c.Publish the new workflow again with the old name d.Delete the “temporary” workflow again

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  • Demantra Post Production Support Common Issues, Troubleshooting Tips, and Maintaining Your Instance

    - by Annemarie Provisero
    ADVISOR WEBCAST: Demantra Post Production Support Common Issues, Troubleshooting Tips, and Maintaining Your Instance PRODUCT FAMILY: Manufacturing - Demantra Solutions   March 2, 2011 at 8 am PT, 9 am MT, 11 am ET You have now gone live, or are preparing to go live, on Demantra. What you need to keep the application running smoothly? This one-hour session is recommended for functional users who give direction to the Demantra application and the technical users who support the application. TOPICS WILL INCLUDE: Key troubleshooting logs Keeping the database well maintained both in backup and performance When data should be removed and/or archived out of the Demantra application A short, live demonstration (only if applicable) and question and answer period will be included. Oracle Advisor Webcasts are dedicated to building your awareness around our products and services. This session does not replace offerings from Oracle Global Support Services. Click here to register for this session ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The above webcast is a service of the E-Business Suite Communities in My Oracle Support. For more information on other webcasts, please reference the Oracle Advisor Webcast Schedule.Click here to visit the E-Business Communities in My Oracle Support Note that all links require access to My Oracle Support.

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  • Interesting sessions/tips from RMOUG

    - by jean-pierre.dijcks
    One of the sessions I was at at last week's RMOUG was a session on Temp Tablespace Groups. I had a look because I had no experience with this and it seemed to help with parallel processing and the allocation/usage of temp. You can read the excellent write-up at Kellyn Pedersen's blog - who did the session and all the work - here. So for all of those who may be seeing lot's of waits like enq: TS - Contention when you are doing hash joins and sorts, do have a look at the above blog post. I also had the chance to listen in at Stewart Bryson's session on Restartability (he had 3 R-s) where he gave very useful tips about how to deal with your data warehouse loads. Questions like archive log mode - should I or should I not were well covered. Flashback archives, also nice to hear about. Very nice talk, very interesting. Unfortunately he hasn't blogged about it yes, so no pointers to that one. Got to see a couple of other interesting sessions, and as conferences go got to meet some interesting Oracle folks from the region. As usual RMOUG was useful and fun. Off to the drawing boards to design next year's session!

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  • ExaLogic 2.01 ppt & training & Installation check-list & tips & Web tier roadmap

    - by JuergenKress
    For partners with an ExaLogic opportunity or an ExaLogic demo center we plan to offer an hands-on ExaLogic bootcamp. If you want to attend, please make sure that you add your details to our wiki: ExaLogic checklist Exalogic Installation checklist 08.2012.pdf Exalogic Installation Tips and Tricks 08.2012.pdf Oracle FMW Web Tier Roadmap .pptx (Oracle and Partner confidential) ExaLogic Vision CVC 08.2012.pptx Online Launch Event: Introducing Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 2.0 Webcast Replay For the complete ExaLogic partner kit, please visit the WebLogic Community Workspace (WebLogic Community membership required). Exalogic Distribution Rights Update Oracle have recently modified the criteria for obtaining Distribution Rights (resell rights) for Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Exalogic Elastic Cloud. Partners will NO longer be required to be specialized in these products or in their underlying product sets in order to attain Distribution Rights. There are, however, competency criteria that partners must meet, and partners must still apply for the respective Distributions Rights. Please note, there are no changes to the criteria to become EXADATA or EXALOGIC Specialized. List of Criteria is available on the Sell tab of the he Exalogic Elastic Cloud Knowledge Zone WebLogic Partner Community For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center. Blog Twitter LinkedIn Mix Forum Wiki Technorati Tags: ExaLogic,Exalogic training,education,training,Exalogic roadmap,exalogic installation,WebLogic Community,Oracle,OPN,Jürgen Kress

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  • Oracle Linux Tips and Tricks: Using SSH

    - by Robert Chase
    Out of all of the utilities available to systems administrators ssh is probably the most useful of them all. Not only does it allow you to log into systems securely, but it can also be used to copy files, tunnel IP traffic and run remote commands on distant servers. It’s truly the Swiss army knife of systems administration. Secure Shell, also known as ssh, was developed in 1995 by Tau Ylonen after the University of Technology in Finland suffered a password sniffing attack. Back then it was common to use tools like rcp, rsh, ftp and telnet to connect to systems and move files across the network. The main problem with these tools is they provide no security and transmitted data in plain text including sensitive login credentials. SSH provides this security by encrypting all traffic transmitted over the wire to protect from password sniffing attacks. One of the more common use cases involving SSH is found when using scp. Secure Copy (scp) transmits data between hosts using SSH and allows you to easily copy all types of files. The syntax for the scp command is: scp /pathlocal/filenamelocal [email protected]:/pathremote/filenameremote In the following simple example, I move a file named myfile from the system test1 to the system test2. I am prompted to provide valid user credentials for the remote host before the transfer will proceed.  If I were only using ftp, this information would be unencrypted as it went across the wire.  However, because scp uses SSH, my user credentials and the file and its contents are confidential and remain secure throughout the transfer.  [[email protected] ~]# scp /home/user1/myfile [email protected]:/home/[email protected]'s password: myfile                                    100%    0     0.0KB/s   00:00 You can also use ssh to send network traffic and utilize the encryption built into ssh to protect traffic over the wire. This is known as an ssh tunnel. In order to utilize this feature, the server that you intend to connect to (the remote system) must have TCP forwarding enabled within the sshd configuraton. To enable TCP forwarding on the remote system, make sure AllowTCPForwarding is set to yes and enabled in the /etc/ssh/sshd_conf file: AllowTcpForwarding yes Once you have this configured, you can connect to the server and setup a local port which you can direct traffic to that will go over the secure tunnel. The following command will setup a tunnel on port 8989 on your local system. You can then redirect a web browser to use this local port, allowing the traffic to go through the encrypted tunnel to the remote system. It is important to select a local port that is not being used by a service and is not restricted by firewall rules.  In the following example the -D specifies a local dynamic application level port forwarding and the -N specifies not to execute a remote command.   ssh –D 8989 [email protected] -N You can also forward specific ports on both the local and remote host. The following example will setup a port forward on port 8080 and forward it to port 80 on the remote machine. ssh -L 8080:farwebserver.com:80 [email protected] You can even run remote commands via ssh which is quite useful for scripting or remote system administration tasks. The following example shows how to  log in remotely and execute the command ls –la in the home directory of the machine. Because ssh encrypts the traffic, the login credentials and output of the command are completely protected while they travel over the wire. [[email protected] ~]$ ssh [email protected] 'ls -la'[email protected]'s password: total 24drwx------  2 rchase rchase 4096 Sep  6 15:17 .drwxr-xr-x. 3 root   root   4096 Sep  6 15:16 ..-rw-------  1 rchase rchase   12 Sep  6 15:17 .bash_history-rw-r--r--  1 rchase rchase   18 Dec 20  2012 .bash_logout-rw-r--r--  1 rchase rchase  176 Dec 20  2012 .bash_profile-rw-r--r--  1 rchase rchase  124 Dec 20  2012 .bashrc You can execute any command contained in the quotations marks as long as you have permission with the user account that you are using to log in. This can be very powerful and useful for collecting information for reports, remote controlling systems and performing systems administration tasks using shell scripts. To make your shell scripts even more useful and to automate logins you can use ssh keys for running commands remotely and securely without the need to enter a password. You can accomplish this with key based authentication. The first step in setting up key based authentication is to generate a public key for the system that you wish to log in from. In the following example you are generating a ssh key on a test system. In case you are wondering, this key was generated on a test VM that was destroyed after this article. [[email protected] .ssh]$ ssh-keygen -t rsaGenerating public/private rsa key pair.Enter file in which to save the key (/home/rchase/.ssh/id_rsa): Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): Enter same passphrase again: Your identification has been saved in /home/rchase/.ssh/id_rsa.Your public key has been saved in /home/rchase/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.The key fingerprint is:7a:8e:86:ef:59:70:ef:43:b7:ee:33:03:6e:6f:69:e8 [email protected] key's randomart image is:+--[ RSA 2048]----+|                 ||  . .            ||   o .           ||    . o o        ||   o o oS+       ||  +   o.= =      ||   o ..o.+ =     ||    . .+. =      ||     ...Eo       |+-----------------+ Now that you have the key generated on the local system you should to copy it to the target server into a temporary location. The user’s home directory is fine for this. [[email protected] .ssh]$ scp id_rsa.pub [email protected]:/home/[email protected]'s password: id_rsa.pub                  Now that the file has been copied to the server, you need to append it to the authorized_keys file. This should be appended to the end of the file in the event that there are other authorized keys on the system. [[email protected] ~]$ cat id_rsa.pub >> .ssh/authorized_keys Once the process is complete you are ready to login. Since you are using key based authentication you are not prompted for a password when logging into the system.   [[email protected] ~]$ ssh test2Last login: Fri Sep  6 17:42:02 2013 from test1 This makes it much easier to run remote commands. Here’s an example of the remote command from earlier. With no password it’s almost as if the command ran locally. [[email protected] ~]$ ssh test2 'ls -la'total 32drwx------  3 rchase rchase 4096 Sep  6 17:40 .drwxr-xr-x. 3 root   root   4096 Sep  6 15:16 ..-rw-------  1 rchase rchase   12 Sep  6 15:17 .bash_history-rw-r--r--  1 rchase rchase   18 Dec 20  2012 .bash_logout-rw-r--r--  1 rchase rchase  176 Dec 20  2012 .bash_profile-rw-r--r--  1 rchase rchase  124 Dec 20  2012 .bashrc As a security consideration it's important to note the permissions of .ssh and the authorized_keys file.  .ssh should be 700 and authorized_keys should be set to 600.  This prevents unauthorized access to ssh keys from other users on the system.   An even easier way to move keys back and forth is to use ssh-copy-id. Instead of copying the file and appending it manually to the authorized_keys file, ssh-copy-id does both steps at once for you.  Here’s an example of moving the same key using ssh-copy-id.The –i in the example is so that we can specify the path to the id file, which in this case is /home/rchase/.ssh/id_rsa.pub [[email protected]]$ ssh-copy-id -i /home/rchase/.ssh/id_rsa.pub [email protected] One of the last tips that I will cover is the ssh config file. By using the ssh config file you can setup host aliases to make logins to hosts with odd ports or long hostnames much easier and simpler to remember. Here’s an example entry in our .ssh/config file. Host dev1 Hostname somereallylonghostname.somereallylongdomain.com Port 28372 User somereallylongusername12345678 Let’s compare the login process between the two. Which would you want to type and remember? ssh [email protected] somereallylonghostname.somereallylongdomain.com –p 28372 ssh dev1 I hope you find these tips useful.  There are a number of tools used by system administrators to streamline processes and simplify workflows and whether you are new to Linux or a longtime user, I'm sure you will agree that SSH offers useful features that can be used every day.  Send me your comments and let us know the ways you  use SSH with Linux.  If you have other tools you would like to see covered in a similar post, send in your suggestions.

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