Do your bit for better SSIS

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 06/14/2007 - 11:55

One of my favorite features of SQL 2005 is SSIS. It actually is usable (compared to it's old dumber brother DTS). One thing I have had the priviledge of working on is a component which Bruce mentioned on the newsgroups which allows SSIS and MSCRM to work together.

One of the worst points of the SSIS development is the error messages that SSIS throws back. Well there a place you can vote for actually providing some feedback to MS around pushing/advising them to help correct this. So go out and vote for better error messages and SSIS!!!…

Why so quiet?

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Mon, 05/28/2007 - 23:39

Why has this and my other blog been so quiet for so long? The answer is that I got married on the 19th of May :) and have had crazy stuff to do before that and have been on honeymoon since then (back at work on the 30th though).

So hopefully it should take me a few days to get back into it and running again.

In the mean time there are a few changes, one is that comments are disabled. I have been getting hundreds of comment spam for ages and just can't care enough. If you want to post a comment, until I get something to help deal with it, email me and I will create a login for you.

Lastly the gallery is finally getting some pictures in it :) (You may need to hit Ctrl+F5 to force a refresh to see some of it).
Been a long time getting round to it, but with the wedding pictures and honeymoon pictures (which is all Namibia and Botswana) going up its a good incentive to get it going!

Why being a new adopter is rewarding

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 08:04

I had the experience that only new adopters get yesterday with my fresh Vista install. I tried to see this Ultimate Extra's content and received an error 8024402C. Somehow in Vista help isn't the requiem of the weak minded so I hit the “Get Help” with the knowledge no one would take away my manhood. So it comes up with a paragraph on making changes to IE settings which I try with no luck and decide to look into it that night. While at home I decide to try it again, and same error, I clicked help again for some reason beyond reason and no longer did I see one paragraph by a lovely three paragraphs around it. The experience of actually seeing online help update, and contain something useful now was one that only the strong and brave will ever get to see, but I hope I am wrong. I hope that this is not something after a 6 months, or a year or even 2 years stops. I hope this updating of help only stops when the product comes to end of life, but previous experience paints a different tail.

Made the jump to Vista

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Mon, 03/26/2007 - 20:21

This past weekend I spent at a management session at the wonderful Crocodile Kruger Lodge. It really is an amazingly beautiful place with the best food I have ever had at a hotel/lodge/guest house. I also had the chance to feed a zebra (as they literally walked right up to the place). While not enjoying that I got to spend considerable time indoors discussing all kinds of things (many hurt my head) that will benefit the company I work for in amazing ways and I am slowly beginning to understand things that don't fit neatly into a try..catch..finally block.

So during this time I took the chance to reinstall my laptop and get Vista on it. First thing I did was pop the DVD into the machine and looked for a way to run the Vista File and Settings Transfer Wizard (assuming it would run on XP and be better than XP's) and easily enough I found it on the splash screen. Interestingly enough it is now call Windows Easy Transfer, which I laughed at since we have moved from FAST to WET ;) (if you didn't get the fact that I'm geeky from the try..catch in the first paragraph, hopefully you are getting it now).

I then ran the XP backup to backup my files (just incase WET has a problem) and dumped it all to an external drive. Next I rebooted and went through the process of installing Vista (complete with formatting hard drive). Once done the machine rebooted and I was greated by the wonderful sight of Vista loading fine.

Now one thing I didn't take was the driver CD for my HP nx8220 laptop so I was a little worried it wouldn't work without it, but it worked perfectly, with the only items not having drivers being the sound card and the smart card reader. Those were easily sorted by using the search online for drivers feature (which never worked in XP, so +1 to Vista).

I then installed all the usual requirements (Office 2007, VS etc...) and realised I need to join to the work domain to get my email. The problem was I was using a wireless network to connect to a co-workers laptop which was sharing a GPRS internet connection (no 3G or ADSL where we were). So I tried the idea of connecting via VPN, and joining the machine to the domain (crazy I know), and it worked! Now to log in, and damn "No logon servers available".

So I logged back into the local account, connected the VPN again, and used the runas command line tool with the /profile option to launch notepad under my domain account (phew thats a long idea), but it means the profile gets copied down to the local machine even under a different account, which meant when I logged out and I could log back in.

And now to restore my profile using WET, and OMG what a better tool. It copied my RSS feeds (Outlook/Windows/IE ones), my Office preferred theme, my custom search providers for IE 7 (and kept Google as my default) and even the command line colours I use! What it didn't copy (which FAST used to) was all my internet and VPN connections, but it is a simple job to do those.

All in all it was an amazingly pleasant and easy to do install.

I'm campaign

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Mon, 03/05/2007 - 08:10
I am going with Unicef, since they are one of the few international organisations on the list.