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  • Templated Razor Delegates – Phil Haack

    - by nmarun
    This post is largely based off of Phil Haack’s article titled Templated Razor Delegates. I strongly recommend reading this article first. Here’s a sample code for the same, so you can have a look at. I also have a custom type being rendered as a table. 1: // my custom type 2: public class Device 3: { 4: public int Id { get; set; } 5: public string Name { get; set; } 6: public DateTime MfgDate { get; set; } 7: } Now I can write an extension method just for this type. 1: public static class RazorExtensions 2: { 3: public static HelperResult List(this IList<Models.Device> devices, Func<Models.Device, HelperResult> template) 4: { 5: return new HelperResult(writer => 6: { 7: foreach (var device in devices) 8: { 9: template(device).WriteTo(writer); 10: } 11: }); 12: } 13: // ... 14: } Modified my view to make it a strongly typed one and included html to render my custom type collection in a table. 1: @using TemplatedRazorDelegates 2: @model System.Collections.Generic.IList<TemplatedRazorDelegates.Models.Device> 3:  4: @{ 5: ViewBag.Title = "Home Page"; 6: } 7:  8: <h2>@ViewBag.Message</h2> 9:  10: @{ 11: var items = new[] { "one", "two", "three" }; 12: IList<int> ints = new List<int> { 1, 2, 3 }; 13: } 14:  15: <ul> 16: @items.List(@<li>@item</li>) 17: </ul> 18: <ul> 19: @ints.List(@<li>@item</li>) 20: </ul> 21:  22: <table> 23: <tr><th>Id</th><th>Name</th><th>Mfg Date</th></tr> 24: @Model.List(@<tr><td>@item.Id</td><td>@item.Name</td><td>@item.MfgDate.ToShortDateString()</td></tr>) 25: </table> We get intellisense as well! Just added some items in the action method of the controller: 1: public ActionResult Index() 2: { 3: ViewBag.Message = "Welcome to ASP.NET MVC!"; 4: IList<Device> devices = new List<Device> 5: { 6: new Device {Id = 1, Name = "abc", MfgDate = new DateTime(2001, 10, 19)}, 7: new Device {Id = 2, Name = "def", MfgDate = new DateTime(2011, 1, 1)}, 8: new Device {Id = 3, Name = "ghi", MfgDate = new DateTime(2003, 3, 15)}, 9: new Device {Id = 4, Name = "jkl", MfgDate = new DateTime(2007, 6, 6)} 10: }; 11: return View(devices); 12: } Running this I get the output as: Absolutely brilliant! Thanks to both Phil Haack and to David Fowler for bringing this out to us. Download the code for this from here. Verdict: RazorViewEngine.Points += 1;

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  • SQL SERVER – Quiz and Video – Introduction to SQL Server Security

    - by pinaldave
    This blog post is inspired from Beginning SQL Joes 2 Pros: The SQL Hands-On Guide for Beginners – SQL Exam Prep Series 70-433 – Volume 1. [Amazon] | [Flipkart] | [Kindle] | [IndiaPlaza] This is follow up blog post of my earlier blog post on the same subject - SQL SERVER – Introduction to SQL Server Security – A Primer. In the article we discussed various basics terminology of the security. The article further covers following important concepts of security. Granting Permissions Denying Permissions Revoking Permissions Above three are the most important concepts related to security and SQL Server.  There are many more things one has to learn but without beginners fundamentals one can’t learn the advanced  concepts. Let us have small quiz and check how many of you get the fundamentals right. Quiz 1) If you granted Phil control to the server, but denied his ability to create databases, what would his effective permissions be? Phil can do everything. Phil can do nothing. Phil can do everything except create databases. 2) If you granted Phil control to the server and revoked his ability to create databases, what would his effective permissions be? Phil can do everything. Phil can do nothing. Phil can do everything except create databases. 3) You have a login named James who has Control Server permission. You want to elimintate his ability to create databases without affecting any other permissions. What SQL statement would you use? ALTER LOGIN James DISABLE DROP LOGIN James DENY CREATE DATABASE To James REVOKE CREATE DATABASE To James GRANT CREATE DATABASE To James Now make sure that you write down all the answers on the piece of paper. Watch following video and read earlier article over here. If you want to change the answer you still have chance. Solution 1) 3 2) 1 3) 3 Now compare let us check the answers and compare your answers to following answers. I am very confident you will get them correct. Available at USA: Amazon India: Flipkart | IndiaPlaza Volume: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Please leave your feedback in the comment area for the quiz and video. Did you know all the answers of the quiz? Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com) Filed under: Joes 2 Pros, PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, T SQL, Technology

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  • Silverlight Cream for March 05, 2010 -- #807

    - by Dave Campbell
    In this Issue: Phil Middlemiss(-2-, -3-), Pencho Popadiyn, John Papa(-2-, -3-), Jim Lynn, and SilverLaw(-2-). Shoutouts: Walt Ritscher has added more shaders and features: Shazzam 1.2 – Feature Overview I hope you're getting as excited as I am about MIX10. You should be reading MIX10 News and checking out the sessions and the directory of attendees. From SilverlightCream.com: Watermarked TextBox Part I Phil Middlemiss's Orb Radio Button hit number two in the Silverlight Cream Skim page, in 2 days... now Phil has a very nice 3-part tutorial up on creating a Watermarked TextBox with lots of cool features. This is part 1 and starts the series off. Watermarked TextBox Part II In Phil Middlemiss's Part II of the Watermarked TextBox tutorial, he's concentrating on visual elements of the control began in the last episode... you're paying attention, right? ... this is a cool control :) Watermarked Textbox Part III In the final part of Phil Middlemiss's tutorial series, he's wiring all the pieces together in the UserControl. Go grab the control, then leave Phil some love on his blog! Using Reactive Extensions in Silverlight Pencho Popadiyn has a great tutorial up on SilverlightShow about Rx ... if you want to get your arms around this... this tutorial is a good place to begin. Silverlight TV 10: Silverlight Hyper Video Platform with Jesse Liberty Running a little behind here, but check out John Papa and THE Silverlight GeekTM Jesse Liberty discussing Jesse's Hyper Video Platform on Silverlight TV Silverlight TV 11: Dynamically Loading XAPs with MEF In Silverlight TV episode 11, John Papa talks to Glenn Block about MEF and partitioning and dynamically loading XAPs ... good stuff. Silverlight TV 12: The Best Blend 3 Video Ever! And the latest Silverlight TV episode, number 12, has John Papa and Adam Kinney giving "The Best Blend 3 Video ever (or at least on Silverlight TV)"... check out the list of topics and you'll want to watch :) InvalidOperation_EnumFailedVersion when binding data to a Silverlight Chart Read Jim Lynn's post about a problem found while deploying his app, the very confusing (long) error, and the workaround. Leather Stamped Style Series For Silverlight Controls - Part 1 SilverLaw contued after his 'leather stamped' textbox and has added TextBlock, Button and some template bindings... check it out then get it at the Expression Gallery Circular Accordion Style Silverlight 3 SilverLaw also built a Circualar Accordian style... interesting idea and once again it, in the Expression Gallery. He's also looking for feedback. Stay in the 'Light! Twitter SilverlightNews | Twitter WynApse | WynApse.com | Tagged Posts | SilverlightCream Join me @ SilverlightCream | Phoenix Silverlight User Group Technorati Tags: Silverlight    Silverlight 3    Silverlight 4    MIX10

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  • Help using left outer joins in SQL...

    - by Waffles
    I'm trying to create a list of people, their friends, and their friends of friends. My table of people is this: People: NAME Jow Smith Sandy Phil Friends LIKER LIKEE jow smith smith jow sandy phil Now, what I want is a table like this: User Friend FriendofFriend Jow smith jow Smith jow smith sandy phil phil I'm trying to create a table using the following: SELECT P.NAME, F.LIKEE, F2.LIKEE FROM PEOPLE P LEFT OUTER JOIN FRIENDS F ON P.NAME = F.LIKER LEFT OUTER JOIN FRIENDS F2 ON F.LIKEE = F2.LIKER But the above isn't working. How can I get a table of people and their friends, regardless of whether or not they actually HAVE any friends?

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  • javascript summary function

    - by Phil Jackson
    Hello, im trying to make a small name summary function depending on the size of the elements container, here's what I have; function shorten_text(str, size){ size = size.match( /[0-9]*/ ); var endValue = Math.floor( Number(size) / 10 ); var number; var newStr; for ( number = 0; number <= endValue; number++ ) { if( str[number].length != 0 ) { newStr += str[number]; } } return newStr + '...'; } shorten_text('Phil Jackson', '94px'); // output should be 'Phil Jack...' What I seem to get is undefinedundef... can anyone see where I am going wrong?

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  • Silverlight Cream for February 05, 2011 -- #1041

    - by Dave Campbell
    In this Issue: Peter Kuhn, Mike Ormond(-2-, -3-), WindowsPhoneGeek, Daniel N. Egan, Phil Middlemiss(-2-), Max Paulousky, Michael Washington. Above the Fold: Silverlight: "Designing for Browser-Zoom: Part 2" Phil Middlemiss WP7: "Talking about Converters in WP7 | Coding4fun toolkit converters in depth" WindowsPhoneGeek Lightswitch: "LightSwitch: Can We Handle The Truth?" Michael Washington Shoutouts: András Velvárt has a video up of some awesome changes he has planned for SurfCube, check it out: SurfCube V2 - 3D Web Browser for Windows Phone 7, now with tabs! From SilverlightCream.com: Silverlight for keyboard junkies Peter Kuhn has a post up talking about the issues surrounding trying to use the tab key to navigate between controls... and follows it up with a behavior that resolves it. Windows Phone 7 Content On Demand Mike Ormond has a batch of WP7 Videos up... this first is "Windows Phone 7: A Different Kind of Phone" with Andrej Radinger. Windows Phone 7 Content on Demand Pt 2 Mike Ormond's 2nd WP7 video is "Understanding the Windows Phone 7 Development Tools and Getting Started" with Maarten Struys Windows Phone 7 Content on Demand Pt 3 Mike Ormond's 3rd WP7 Content on Demand is "Games Programming on Windows Phone 7 with Silverlight and XNA" with Rob Miles Talking about Converters in WP7 | Coding4fun toolkit converters in depth WindowsPhoneGeek is discussing value converters in his latest post... value converters for WP7... and the ones in the Coding4Fun toolkit to be exact... everything you wanted to know about them but didn't know to ask :) WP7 Developer Tools–Jan Update Daniel N. Egan has information up about the new WP7 Developer Tools release. Designing for Browser-Zoom: Part 1 Phil Middlemiss has both parts of a series on Browser Zoom up... this first part covers the zoom and different pieces involved. Designing for Browser-Zoom: Part 2 Phil Middlemiss's part 2 shows us some design considerations and visual states, including an attached behavior you can use in Blend to respond to the zoom event. Windows Phone Copy-Paste: How It Looks and Works Max Paulousky has the first post I've seen on WP7 Copy/Paste up... of course it's still in the emulator, but hey... that's better than nothing, right? LightSwitch: Can We Handle The Truth? Have you been playing with Lightswitch? Well... Michael Washington has, and it's got his interest up far enough that he's waving the flags trying to attract everyone else over there as well... see if you agree. Stay in the 'Light! Twitter SilverlightNews | Twitter WynApse | WynApse.com | Tagged Posts | SilverlightCream Join me @ SilverlightCream | Phoenix Silverlight User Group Technorati Tags: Silverlight    Silverlight 3    Silverlight 4    Windows Phone MIX10

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  • Ubuntu 11.10 won't boot on Dell XPS 8300

    - by Phil Gorman
    I have a brand new Dell Studio XPS 8300 desktop with 17-2600 cpu, H67 chipset, 8GB DDR3, 2 1TB HDDs in mirrored RAID, and AMD Radeon 6770. Dell doesn't support Ubuntu here in Australia so it came with Windows 7 and Windows software. Yes I had to pay for an O.S. and software I didn't want to get hardware I did want, all at a greatly inflated price. It's not all beer and skittles in the land of Oz. I changed boot priorities in the BIOS to DVD and ran Ubuntu 11.10 64bit from the ISO with NOMODESET. The installation reformatted all partitions to rid me of the dreaded Windows. All was well until until reboot. The BIOS does its thing, then its "The Black Screen of Death" with a blinking cursor; no boot screen, no Grub, no keyboard, no mouse. I've searched Dell and Ubuntu forums in vain. Can you help? I would be really grateful for any advice which can help turn my big expensive paperweight into a really useful machine. Thank you in anticipation kind people. Phil

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  • creating email forwarding accounts on the fly using

    - by Phil Jackson
    I've recently asked a question on Stack Overflow; http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2637137/creating-email-forwarding-accounts-on-the-fly-using-php and was I would find the solution here. first instruction was: Ask on the serverfault what operations you have have to perform. what config file to edit or something. Any help would be much appreciated. regards, phil

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  • Wild Card DNS setup problems

    - by Phil Jackson
    Hi, this is my firast time with dedicated servers and im having problem setting up a wildcard sub-domain. I previously tried * /-----/ 14400 /-----/ IN /-----/ A /-----/ (serverip) waited 30 hours and nothing. so i then tried * /-----/ 14400 /-----/ IN /-----/ CNAME /-----/ actvbiv.co.uk. waited another 30 hours, nothing Im now trying; *.actvbiz.co.uk /-----/ 14400 /-----/ IN /-----/ CNAME /-----/ actvbiv.co.uk. Am i doing this correctly? using WHM. Regards, Phil Jackson

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  • Standards Corner: OAuth WG Client Registration Problem

    - by Tanu Sood
    Phil Hunt is an active member of multiple industry standards groups and committees (see brief bio at the end of the post) and has spearheaded discussions, creation and ratifications of  Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii- mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi- mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} industry standards including the Kantara Identity Governance Framework, among others. Being an active voice in the industry standards development world, we have invited him to share his discussions, thoughts, news & updates, and discuss use cases, implementation success stories (and even failures) around industry standards on this monthly column. Author: Phil Hunt This afternoon, the OAuth Working Group will meet at IETF88 in Vancouver to discuss some important topics important to the maturation of OAuth. One of them is the OAuth client registration problem.OAuth (RFC6749) was initially developed with a simple deployment model where there is only monopoly or singleton cloud instance of a web API (e.g. there is one Facebook, one Google, on LinkedIn, and so on). When the API publisher and API deployer are the same monolithic entity, it easy for developers to contact the provider and register their app to obtain a client_id and credential.But what happens when the API is for an open source project where there may be 1000s of deployed copies of the API (e.g. such as wordpress). In these cases, the authors of the API are not the people running the API. In these scenarios, how does the developer obtain a client_id? An example of an "open deployed" API is OpenID Connect. Connect defines an OAuth protected resource API that can provide personal information about an authenticated user -- in effect creating a potentially common API for potential identity providers like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, or Oracle. In Oracle's case, Fusion applications will soon have RESTful APIs that are deployed in many different ways in many different environments. How will developers write apps that can work against an openly deployed API with whom the developer can have no prior relationship?At present, the OAuth Working Group has two proposals two consider: Dynamic RegistrationDynamic Registration was originally developed for OpenID Connect and UMA. It defines a RESTful API in which a prospective client application with no client_id creates a new client registration record with a service provider and is issued a client_id and credential along with a registration token that can be used to update registration over time.As proof of success, the OIDC community has done substantial implementation of this spec and feels committed to its use. Why not approve?Well, the answer is that some of us had some concerns, namely: Recognizing instances of software - dynamic registration treats all clients as unique. It has no defined way to recognize that multiple copies of the same client are being registered other then assuming if the registration parameters are similar it might be the same client. Versioning and Policy Approval of open APIs and clients - many service providers have to worry about change management. They expect to have approval cycles that approve versions of server and client software for use in their environment. In some cases approval might be wide open, but in many cases, approval might be down to the specific class of software and version. Registration updates - when does a client actually need to update its registration? Shouldn't it be never? Is there some characteristic of deployed code that would cause it to change? Options lead to complexity - because each client is treated as unique, it becomes unclear how the clients and servers will agree on what credentials forms are acceptable and what OAuth features are allowed and disallowed. Yet the reality is, developers will write their application to work in a limited number of ways. They can't implement all the permutations and combinations that potential service providers might choose. Stateful registration - if the primary motivation for registration is to obtain a client_id and credential, why can't this be done in a stateless fashion using assertions? Denial of service - With so much stateful registration and the need for multiple tokens to be issued, will this not lead to a denial of service attack / risk of resource depletion? At the very least, because of the information gathered, it would difficult for service providers to clean up "failed" registrations and determine active from inactive or false clients. There has yet to be much wide-scale "production" use of dynamic registration other than in small closed communities. Client Association A second proposal, Client Association, has been put forward by Tony Nadalin of Microsoft and myself. We took at look at existing use patterns to come up with a new proposal. At the Berlin meeting, we considered how WS-STS systems work. More recently, I took a review of how mobile messaging clients work. I looked at how Apple, Google, and Microsoft each handle registration with APNS, GCM, and WNS, and a similar pattern emerges. This pattern is to use an existing credential (mutual TLS auth), or client bearer assertion and swap for a device specific bearer assertion.In the client association proposal, the developer's registration with the API publisher is handled by having the developer register with an API publisher (as opposed to the party deploying the API) and obtaining a software "statement". Or, if there is no "publisher" that can sign a statement, the developer may include their own self-asserted software statement.A software statement is a special type of assertion that serves to lock application registration profile information in a signed assertion. The statement is included with the client application and can then be used by the client to swap for an instance specific client assertion as defined by section 4.2 of the OAuth Assertion draft and profiled in the Client Association draft. The software statement provides a way for service provider to recognize and configure policy to approve classes of software clients, and simplifies the actual registration to a simple assertion swap. Because the registration is an assertion swap, registration is no longer "stateful" - meaning the service provider does not need to store any information to support the client (unless it wants to). Has this been implemented yet? Not directly. We've only delivered draft 00 as an alternate way of solving the problem using well-known patterns whose security characteristics and scale characteristics are well understood. Dynamic Take II At roughly the same time that Client Association and Software Statement were published, the authors of Dynamic Registration published a "split" version of the Dynamic Registration (draft-richer-oauth-dyn-reg-core and draft-richer-oauth-dyn-reg-management). While some of the concerns above are addressed, some differences remain. Registration is now a simple POST request. However it defines a new method for issuing client tokens where as Client Association uses RFC6749's existing extension point. The concern here is whether future client access token formats would be addressed properly. Finally, Dyn-reg-core does not yet support software statements. Conclusion The WG has some interesting discussion to bring this back to a single set of specifications. Dynamic Registration has significant implementation, but Client Association could be a much improved way to simplify implementation of the overall OpenID Connect specification and improve adoption. In fairness, the existing editors have already come a long way. Yet there are those with significant investment in the current draft. There are many that have expressed they don't care. They just want a standard. There is lots of pressure on the working group to reach consensus quickly.And that folks is how the sausage is made.Note: John Bradley and Justin Richer recently published draft-bradley-stateless-oauth-client-00 which on first look are getting closer. Some of the details seem less well defined, but the same could be said of client-assoc and software-statement. I hope we can merge these specs this week. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii- mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi- mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} About the Writer: Phil Hunt joined Oracle as part of the November 2005 acquisition of OctetString Inc. where he headed software development for what is now Oracle Virtual Directory. Since joining Oracle, Phil works as CMTS in the Identity Standards group at Oracle where he developed the Kantara Identity Governance Framework and provided significant input to JSR 351. Phil participates in several standards development organizations such as IETF and OASIS working on federation, authorization (OAuth), and provisioning (SCIM) standards.  Phil blogs at www.independentid.com and a Twitter handle of @independentid.

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  • Using Live Data in Database Development Work

    - by Phil Factor
    Guest Editorial for Simple-Talk Newsletter... in which Phil Factor reacts with some exasperation when coming across a report that a majority of companies were still using financial and personal data for both developing and testing database applications. If you routinely test your development work using real production data that contains personal or financial information, you are probably being irresponsible, and at worst, risking a heavy financial penalty for your company. Surprisingly, over 80% of financial companies still do this. Plenty of data breaches and fraud have happened from the use of real data for testing, and a data breach is a nightmare for any organisation that suffers one. The cost of each data breach averages out at around $7.2 million in the US in notification, escalation, credit monitoring, fines, litigation, legal costs, and lost business due to customer churn, £1.9 million in the UK. 70% of data breaches are done from within the organisation. Real data can be exploited in a number of ways for malicious or criminal purposes. It isn't just the obvious use of items such as name and address, date of birth, social security number, and credit card and bank account numbers: Data can be exploited in many subtle ways, so there are excellent reasons to ensure that a high priority is given to the detection and prevention of any data breaches. You'll never successfully guess all the ways that real data can be exploited maliciously, or the ease with which it can be accessed. It would be silly to argue that developers never need access to a copy of the database containing live data. Developers sometimes need to track a bug that can only be replicated on the data from the live database. However, it has to be done in a very restrictive harness. The law makes no distinction between development and production databases when a data breach occurs, so the data has to be held with all appropriate security measures in place. In Europe, the use of personal data for testing requires the explicit consent of the people whose data is being held. There are federal standards such as GLBA, PCI DSS and HIPAA, and most US States have privacy legislation. The task of ensuring compliance and tight security in such circumstances is an expensive and time-consuming overhead. The developer is likely to suffer investigation if a data breach occurs, even if the company manages to stay in business. Ironically, the use of copies of live data isn't usually the most effective way to develop or test your data. Data is usually time-specific and isn't usually current by the time it is used for testing, Existing data doesn't help much for new functionality, and every time the data is refreshed from production, any test data is likely to be overwritten. Also, it is not always going to test all the 'edge' conditions that are likely to flush out bugs. You still have the task of simulating the dynamics of actual usage of the database, and here you have no alternative to creating 'spoofed' data. Because of the complexities of relational data, It used to be that there was no realistic alternative to developing and testing with live data. However, this is no longer the case. Real data can be obfuscated, or it can be created entirely from scratch. The latter process used to be impractical, now that there are plenty of third-party tools to choose from. The process of obfuscation isn't risk free. The process must access the live data, and the success of the obfuscation process has to be carefully monitored. Database data security isn't an exciting topic to you or I, but to a hacker it can be an all-consuming obsession, especially if there is financial or political gain involved. This is not the sort of adversary one would wish for and it is far better to accept, and work with, security restrictions that exist for using live data in database development work, especially when the tools exist to create large realistic database test data that can be better for several aspects of testing.

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  • Some Original Expressions

    - by Phil Factor
    Guest Editorial for Simple-Talk newsletterIn a guest editorial for the Simple-Talk Newsletter, Phil Factor wonders if we are still likely to find some more novel and unexpected ways of using the newer features of Transact SQL: or maybe in some features that have always been there! There can be a great deal of fun to be had in trying out recent features of SQL Expressions to see if  they provide new functionality.  It is surprisingly rare to find things that couldn’t be done before, but in a different   and more cumbersome way; but it is great to experiment or to read of someone else making that discovery.  One such recent feature is the ‘table value constructor’, or ‘VALUES constructor’, that managed to get into SQL Server 2008 from Standard SQL.  This allows you to create derived tables of up to 1000 rows neatly within select statements that consist of  lists of row values.  E.g. SELECT Old_Welsh, number FROM (VALUES ('Un',1),('Dou',2),('Tri',3),('Petuar',4),('Pimp',5),('Chwech',6),('Seith',7),('Wyth',8),('Nau',9),('Dec',10)) AS WelshWordsToTen (Old_Welsh, number) These values can be expressions that return single values, including, surprisingly, subqueries. You can use this device to create views, or in the USING clause of a MERGE statement. Joe Celko covered  this here and here.  It can become extraordinarily handy to use once one gets into the way of thinking in these terms, and I’ve rewritten a lot of routines to use the constructor, but the old way of using UNION can be used the same way, but is a little slower and more long-winded. The use of scalar SQL subqueries as an expression in a VALUES constructor, and then applied to a MERGE, has got me thinking. It looks very clever, but what use could one put it to? I haven’t seen anything yet that couldn’t be done almost as  simply in SQL Server 2000, but I’m hopeful that someone will come up with a way of solving a tricky problem, just in the same way that a freak of the XML syntax forever made the in-line  production of delimited lists from an expression easy, or that a weird XML pirouette could do an elegant  pivot-table rotation. It is in this sort of experimentation where the community of users can make a real contribution. The dissemination of techniques such as the Number, or Tally table, or the unconventional ways that the UPDATE statement can be used, has been rapid due to articles and blogs. However, there is plenty to be done to explore some of the less obvious features of Transact SQL. Even some of the features introduced into SQL Server 2000 are hardly well-known. Certain operations on data are still awkward to perform in Transact SQL, but we mustn’t, I think, be too ready to state that certain things can only be done in the application layer, or using a CLR routine. With the vast array of features in the product, and with the tools that surround it, I feel that there is generally a way of getting tricky things done. Or should we just stick to our lasts and push anything difficult out into procedural code? I’d love to know your views.

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  • Justifiable Perks.

    - by Phil Factor
        I was once the director of a start-up IT Company, and had the task of recruiting a proportion of the management team. As my background was in IT management, I was rather more familiar with recruiting Geeks for technology jobs, but here, one of my early tasks was interviewing a Marketing Director.  The small group of financiers had suggested a rather strange Irishman called  Halleran.  From my background in City of London dealing-rooms, I was slightly unprepared for the experience of interviewing anyone wearing a pink suit. Many of my older City colleagues would have required resuscitation after seeing his white leather shoes. However, nobody will accuse me of prejudging an interviewee. After all, many Linux experts who I’ve come to rely on have appeared for interview dressed as hobbits. In fact, the interview went well, and we had even settled his salary.  I was somewhat unprepared for the coda.    ‘And I will need to be provided with a Ferrari  by the company.’    ‘Hmm. That seems reasonable.’    Initially, he looked startled, and then a slow smile of victory spread across his face.    ‘What colour would you like?’ I asked genially.    ‘It has to be red.’ He looked very earnest on this point.    ‘Fine. I have to go past Hamleys on the way home this evening, so I’ll pick one up then for you.’    ‘Er.. Hamley’s is a toyshop, not a Ferrari Dealership.’    I stared at him in bafflement for a few seconds. ‘You’re not seriously asking for a real Ferrari are you?’     ‘Well, yes. Not for my own sake, you understand. I’d much prefer a simple run-about, but my position demands it. How could I maintain the necessary status in the office without one? How could I do my job in marketing when my grey Datsun was all too visible in the car Park? It is a tool of the job.’    ‘Excuse me a moment, but I must confer with the MD’    I popped out to see Chris, the MD. ‘Chris, I’m interviewing a lunatic in a pink suit who is trying to demand that a Ferrari is a precondition of his employment. I tried the ‘misunderstanding trick’ but it didn’t faze him.’     ‘Sorry, Phil, but we’ve got to hire him. The VCs insist on it. You’ve got to think of something that doesn’t involve committing to the purchase of a Ferrari. Current funding barely covers the rent for the building.’    ‘OK boss. Leave it to me.’    On return, I slapped O’Halleran’s file on the table with a genial, paternalistic smile. ‘Of course you should have a Ferrari. The only trouble is that it will require a justification document that can be presented to the board. I’m sure you’ll have no problem in preparing this document in the required format.’ The initial look of despair was quickly followed by a bland look of acquiescence. He had, earlier in the interview, argued with great eloquence his skill in preparing the tiresome documents that underpin the essential corporate and government deals that were vital to the success of this new enterprise. The justification of a Ferrari should be a doddle.     After the interview, Chris nervously asked how I’d fared.     ‘I think it is all solved.’    ‘… without promising a Ferrari, I hope.’    ‘Well, I did actually; on condition he justified it in writing.’    Chris issued a stream of invective. The strain of juggling the resources in an underfunded startup was beginning to show.    ‘Don’t worry. In the unlikely event of him coming back with the required document, I’ll give him mine.’    ‘Yours?’ He strode over to the window to stare down at the car park.    He needn’t have worried: I knew that his breed of marketing man could more easily lay an ostrich egg than to prepare a decent justification document. My Ferrari is still there at the back of my garage. Few know of the Ferrari cultivator, a simple inexpensive motorized device designed for the subsistence farmers of southern Italy. It is the very devil to start, but it creates a perfect tilth for the seedbed.

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  • A temporary disagreement

    - by Tony Davis
    Last month, Phil Factor caused a furore amongst some MVPs with an article that attempted to offer simple advice to developers regarding the use of table variables, versus local and global temporary tables, in their code. Phil makes clear that the table variables do come with some fairly major limitations.no distribution statistics, no parallel query plans for queries that modify table variables.but goes on to suggest that for reasonably small-scale strategic uses, and with a bit of due care and testing, table variables are a "good thing". Not everyone shares his opinion; in fact, I imagine he was rather aghast to learn that there were those felt his article was akin to pulling the pin out of a grenade and tossing it into the database; table variables should be avoided in almost all cases, according to their advice, in favour of temp tables. In other words, a fairly major feature of SQL Server should be more-or-less 'off limits' to developers. The problem with temp tables is that, because they are scoped either in the procedure or the connection, it is easy to allow them to hang around for too long, eating up precious memory and bulking up the shared tempdb database. Unless they are explicitly dropped, global temporary tables, and local temporary tables created within a connection rather than within a stored procedure, will persist until the connection is closed or, with connection pooling, until the connection is reused. It's also quite common with ASP.NET applications to have connection leaks, as Bill Vaughn explains in his chapter in the "SQL Server Deep Dives" book, meaning that the web page exits without closing the connection object, maybe due to an error condition. This will then hang around in the heap for what might be hours before picked up by the garbage collector. Table variables are much safer in this regard, since they are batch-scoped and so are cleaned up automatically once the batch is complete, which also means that they are intuitive to use for the developer because they conform to scoping rules that are closer to those in procedural code. On the surface then, an ideal way to deal with issues related to tempdb memory hogging. So why did Phil qualify his recommendation to use Table Variables? This is another of those cases where, like scalar UDFs and table-valued multi-statement UDFs, developers can sometimes get into trouble with a relatively benign-looking feature, due to way it's been implemented in SQL Server. Once again the biggest problem is how they are handled internally, by the SQL Server query optimizer, which can make very poor choices for JOIN orders and so on, in the absence of statistics, especially when joining to tables with highly-skewed data. The resulting execution plans can be horrible, as will be the resulting performance. If the JOIN is to a large table, that will hurt. Ideally, Microsoft would simply fix this issue so that developers can't get burned in this way; they've been around since SQL Server 2000, so Microsoft has had a bit of time to get it right. As I commented in regard to UDFs, when developers discover issues like with such standard features, the database becomes an alien planet to them, where death lurks around each corner, and they continue to avoid these "killer" features years after the problems have been eventually resolved. In the meantime, what is the right approach? Is it to say "hammers can kill, don't ever use hammers", or is it to try to explain, as Phil's article and follow-up blog post have tried to do, what the feature was intended for, why care must be applied in its use, and so enable developers to make properly-informed decisions, without requiring them to delve deep into the inner workings of SQL Server? Cheers, Tony.

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  • Windows Server 2003 Licensing

    - by Phil
    Hi all, I'm looking to get a Windows Server 2003 box in the middle of my linux network. :( I'm just concerned about CAL licensing for it. No devices will access any network server function of Windows Server 2003. I don't need Windows for DHCP or DNS or file and print sharing. I have linux boxes to do that! xD I just need a box running Windows (of some variety) to host those few apps that have to run on Windows like my AV management console. In short do I need any CALs for my server if its not acting as server itself. I think Windows Server 2003 comes with 5 CALs which can be per user for the admins to use RDP? Thanks, Phil

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  • WHM Cpanel Enable/Install MBstring module

    - by Phil Jackson
    Hi, this is my second post here and only my second day dealing with my own dedicated server. I have no previous experience in this field so please bear with me. I have successfully created a package and linked up my domain yesterday. I am getting an error regarding mb_convert_encoding() wich after doing some reading discover I have to enable or install a module?? Any way, my cpanel is "cPanel 11.25.0-R46156 - WHM 11.25.0 - X 3.9" and after some searching found mainsoftwareModule Installers but cannot find any to do with mbstrings. Could anyone point me in the right direction in what or where I should be looking?? Any help much appreciated, Regards, Phil

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  • Windows 2003 Server R2SP2 throws even ID 2269 after installing Excel WebPart in MOSS3

    - by Phil
    We recently added an Excel workbook webpart (read only excel file - no editing) on our Sharepoint 2007 server. Once we did that, approximately 3-4 times an hour event ID 2269 is shown in the Application Log and a few minutes after that, an event id 1002 is displayed in the system long and the Sharepoint Offfce Servers Application pool shuts down. We've already check the "Bypass traverse checking and DCOM settings) per the MS KB and I have opened a ticket with MS Support. Problem is that MS Suppoert (sharepoint) thinks it is an IIS problem and the IIS people think it is a Sharepoint issue. Anyone else seen this problem? If we remove the Excel webpart, everything goes back to normal. The App Pools, SP and SP Central Admin sites are all using the same domain service account. Thanks in advance, Phil

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  • USB drivers installed twice

    - by stupid-phil
    Hello, I have a problem with usb drivers on Windows 7 64bit When I start up my laptop, the mouse I have plugged into a usb port does not work. I have to open the device manager, where there are two "Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller" entries. One is marked as faulty (yellow triangle). I uninstall this. Scan for changes. Then it re-appears, but not marked as faulty. And the mouse works. I have to do this every time I reboot. A colleague has the same problem. Both DELL laptops, but different models. I've tried uninstalling all USB controllers, but after a reboot, they are all reinstalled with the faulty entry. This only started happening in the last few weeks. Any help appreciated. It's driving me nuts. Thanks Phil

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  • Developing a SQL Server Function in a Test-Harness.

    - by Phil Factor
    /* Many times, it is a lot quicker to take some pain up-front and make a proper development/test harness for a routine (function or procedure) rather than think ‘I’m feeling lucky today!’. Then, you keep code and harness together from then on. Every time you run the build script, it runs the test harness too.  The advantage is that, if the test harness persists, then it is much less likely that someone, probably ‘you-in-the-future’  unintentionally breaks the code. If you store the actual code for the procedure as well as the test harness, then it is likely that any bugs in functionality will break the build rather than to introduce subtle bugs later on that could even slip through testing and get into production.   This is just an example of what I mean.   Imagine we had a database that was storing addresses with embedded UK postcodes. We really wouldn’t want that. Instead, we might want the postcode in one column and the address in another. In effect, we’d want to extract the entire postcode string and place it in another column. This might be part of a table refactoring or int could easily be part of a process of importing addresses from another system. We could easily decide to do this with a function that takes in a table as its parameter, and produces a table as its output. This is all very well, but we’d need to work on it, and test it when you make an alteration. By its very nature, a routine like this either works very well or horribly, but there is every chance that you might introduce subtle errors by fidding with it, and if young Thomas, the rather cocky developer who has just joined touches it, it is bound to break.     right, we drop the function we’re developing and re-create it. This is so we avoid the problem of having to change CREATE to ALTER when working on it. */ IF EXISTS(SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE name LIKE ‘ExtractPostcode’                                      and schema_name(schema_ID)=‘Dbo’)     DROP FUNCTION dbo.ExtractPostcode GO   /* we drop the user-defined table type and recreate it */ IF EXISTS(SELECT * FROM sys.types WHERE name LIKE ‘AddressesWithPostCodes’                                    and schema_name(schema_ID)=‘Dbo’)   DROP TYPE dbo.AddressesWithPostCodes GO /* we drop the user defined table type and recreate it */ IF EXISTS(SELECT * FROM sys.types WHERE name LIKE ‘OutputFormat’                                    and schema_name(schema_ID)=‘Dbo’)   DROP TYPE dbo.OutputFormat GO   /* and now create the table type that we can use to pass the addresses to the function */ CREATE TYPE AddressesWithPostCodes AS TABLE ( AddressWithPostcode_ID INT IDENTITY PRIMARY KEY, –because they work better that way! Address_ID INT NOT NULL, –the address we are fixing TheAddress VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL –The actual address ) GO CREATE TYPE OutputFormat AS TABLE (   Address_ID INT PRIMARY KEY, –the address we are fixing   TheAddress VARCHAR(1000) NULL, –The actual address   ThePostCode VARCHAR(105) NOT NULL – The Postcode )   GO CREATE FUNCTION ExtractPostcode(@AddressesWithPostCodes AddressesWithPostCodes READONLY)  /** summary:   > This Table-valued function takes a table type as a parameter, containing a table of addresses along with their integer IDs. Each address has an embedded postcode somewhere in it but not consistently in a particular place. The routine takes out the postcode and puts it in its own column, passing back a table where theinteger key is accompanied by the address without the (first) postcode and the postcode. If no postcode, then the address is returned unchanged and the postcode will be a blank string Author: Phil Factor Revision: 1.3 date: 20 May 2014 example:      – code: returns:   > Table of  Address_ID, TheAddress and ThePostCode. **/     RETURNS @FixedAddresses TABLE   (   Address_ID INT, –the address we are fixing   TheAddress VARCHAR(1000) NULL, –The actual address   ThePostCode VARCHAR(105) NOT NULL – The Postcode   ) AS – body of the function BEGIN DECLARE @BlankRange VARCHAR(10) SELECT  @BlankRange = CHAR(0)+‘- ‘+CHAR(160) INSERT INTO @FixedAddresses(Address_ID, TheAddress, ThePostCode) SELECT Address_ID,          CASE WHEN start>0 THEN REPLACE(STUFF([Theaddress],start,matchlength,”),‘  ‘,‘ ‘)             ELSE TheAddress END            AS TheAddress,        CASE WHEN Start>0 THEN SUBSTRING([Theaddress],start,matchlength-1) ELSE ” END AS ThePostCode FROM (–we have a derived table with the results we need for the chopping SELECT MAX(PATINDEX([matched],‘ ‘+[Theaddress] collate SQL_Latin1_General_CP850_Bin)) AS start,         MAX( CASE WHEN PATINDEX([matched],‘ ‘+[Theaddress] collate SQL_Latin1_General_CP850_Bin)>0 THEN TheLength ELSE 0 END) AS matchlength,        MAX(TheAddress) AS TheAddress,        Address_ID FROM (SELECT –first the match, then the length. There are three possible valid matches         ‘%['[email protected]+'][A-Z][0-9] [0-9][A-Z][A-Z]%’, 7 –seven character postcode       UNION ALL SELECT ‘%['[email protected]+'][A-Z][A-Z0-9][A-Z0-9] [0-9][A-Z][A-Z]%’, 8       UNION ALL SELECT ‘%['[email protected]+'][A-Z][A-Z][A-Z0-9][A-Z0-9] [0-9][A-Z][A-Z]%’, 9)      AS f(Matched,TheLength) CROSS JOIN  @AddressesWithPostCodes GROUP BY [address_ID] ) WORK; RETURN END GO ——————————-end of the function————————   IF NOT EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE name LIKE ‘ExtractPostcode’)   BEGIN   RAISERROR (‘There was an error creating the function.’,16,1)   RETURN   END   /* now the job is only half done because we need to make sure that it works. So we now load our sample data, making sure that for each Sample, we have what we actually think the output should be. */ DECLARE @InputTable AddressesWithPostCodes INSERT INTO  @InputTable(Address_ID,TheAddress) VALUES(1,’14 Mason mews, Awkward Hill, Bibury, Cirencester, GL7 5NH’), (2,’5 Binney St      Abbey Ward    Buckinghamshire      HP11 2AX UK’), (3,‘BH6 3BE 8 Moor street, East Southbourne and Tuckton W     Bournemouth UK’), (4,’505 Exeter Rd,   DN36 5RP Hawerby cum BeesbyLincolnshire UK’), (5,”), (6,’9472 Lind St,    Desborough    Northamptonshire NN14 2GH  NN14 3GH UK’), (7,’7457 Cowl St, #70      Bargate Ward  Southampton   SO14 3TY UK’), (8,”’The Pippins”, 20 Gloucester Pl, Chirton Ward,   Tyne & Wear   NE29 7AD UK’), (9,’929 Augustine lane,    Staple Hill Ward     South Gloucestershire      BS16 4LL UK’), (10,’45 Bradfield road, Parwich   Derbyshire    DE6 1QN UK’), (11,’63A Northampton St,   Wilmington    Kent   DA2 7PP UK’), (12,’5 Hygeia avenue,      Loundsley Green WardDerbyshire    S40 4LY UK’), (13,’2150 Morley St,Dee Ward      Dumfries and Galloway      DG8 7DE UK’), (14,’24 Bolton St,   Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburg    West Lothian  EH52 5TL UK’), (15,’4 Forrest St,   Weston-Super-Mare    North Somerset       BS23 3HG UK’), (16,’89 Noon St,     Carbrooke     Norfolk       IP25 6JQ UK’), (17,’99 Guthrie St,  New Milton    Hampshire     BH25 5DF UK’), (18,’7 Richmond St,  Parkham       Devon  EX39 5DJ UK’), (19,’9165 laburnum St,     Darnall Ward  Yorkshire, South     S4 7WN UK’)   Declare @OutputTable  OutputFormat  –the table of what we think the correct results should be Declare @IncorrectRows OutputFormat –done for error reporting   –here is the table of what we think the output should be, along with a few edge cases. INSERT INTO  @OutputTable(Address_ID,TheAddress, ThePostcode)     VALUES         (1, ’14 Mason mews, Awkward Hill, Bibury, Cirencester, ‘,‘GL7 5NH’),         (2, ’5 Binney St   Abbey Ward    Buckinghamshire      UK’,‘HP11 2AX’),         (3, ’8 Moor street, East Southbourne and Tuckton W    Bournemouth UK’,‘BH6 3BE’),         (4, ’505 Exeter Rd,Hawerby cum Beesby   Lincolnshire UK’,‘DN36 5RP’),         (5, ”,”),         (6, ’9472 Lind St,Desborough    Northamptonshire NN14 3GH UK’,‘NN14 2GH’),         (7, ’7457 Cowl St, #70    Bargate Ward  Southampton   UK’,‘SO14 3TY’),         (8, ”’The Pippins”, 20 Gloucester Pl, Chirton Ward,Tyne & Wear   UK’,‘NE29 7AD’),         (9, ’929 Augustine lane,  Staple Hill Ward     South Gloucestershire      UK’,‘BS16 4LL’),         (10, ’45 Bradfield road, ParwichDerbyshire    UK’,‘DE6 1QN’),         (11, ’63A Northampton St,Wilmington    Kent   UK’,‘DA2 7PP’),         (12, ’5 Hygeia avenue,    Loundsley Green WardDerbyshire    UK’,‘S40 4LY’),         (13, ’2150 Morley St,     Dee Ward      Dumfries and Galloway      UK’,‘DG8 7DE’),         (14, ’24 Bolton St,Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburg    West Lothian  UK’,‘EH52 5TL’),         (15, ’4 Forrest St,Weston-Super-Mare    North Somerset       UK’,‘BS23 3HG’),         (16, ’89 Noon St,  Carbrooke     Norfolk       UK’,‘IP25 6JQ’),         (17, ’99 Guthrie St,      New Milton    Hampshire     UK’,‘BH25 5DF’),         (18, ’7 Richmond St,      Parkham       Devon  UK’,‘EX39 5DJ’),         (19, ’9165 laburnum St,   Darnall Ward  Yorkshire, South     UK’,‘S4 7WN’)       insert into @IncorrectRows(Address_ID,TheAddress, ThePostcode)        SELECT Address_ID,TheAddress,ThePostCode FROM dbo.ExtractPostcode(@InputTable)       EXCEPT     SELECT Address_ID,TheAddress,ThePostCode FROM @outputTable; If @@RowCount>0        Begin        PRINT ‘The following rows gave ‘;     SELECT Address_ID,TheAddress,ThePostCode FROM @IncorrectRows        RAISERROR (‘These rows gave unexpected results.’,16,1);     end   /* For tear-down, we drop the user defined table type */ IF EXISTS(SELECT * FROM sys.types WHERE name LIKE ‘OutputFormat’                                    and schema_name(schema_ID)=‘Dbo’)   DROP TYPE dbo.OutputFormat GO /* once this is working, the development work turns from a chore into a delight and one ends up hitting execute so much more often to catch mistakes as soon as possible. It also prevents a wildly-broken routine getting into a build! */

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  • Should I use android AccountManager?

    - by Phil
    I've seen AccountManager in the android SDK, and can see it is used for storing account information, but I can't find any general discussion of what it is intended for. Anyone know of any helpful discussions of what the intention behind AccountManager is and what it buys you Any opinions of what type of Accounts this is suitable for? Would this be where you'd put your user's account information for a general web service? Regards Phil

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