Presenting SQL Server 2005 2008 Full Text Searching at Alabama Code Camp

On January 31st, 2009 I am presenting “Getting Started with SQL Server 2005/2008″ at the Alabama Code Camp that is taking placin Montgomery, Alabama. This post has all the links relevant to my talk.

First off, the slides and sample code can be located at the Code Gallery site I setup specifically for Full Text Searching with SQL Server:

http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/SqlServerFTS

Look on the downloads page to see various projects around SQL Server Full Text Searching. I’ve created one “release” for each of the projects around FTS. Be sure to look on the right side at the various releases in order to see the various projects.

Next, you can get started with the basics by reading these entries on my blog:

Lesson 0 – Getting the Bits to do Full Text Searching in SQL Server 2005
Lesson 1 – The Catalog
Lesson 2 – The Indexes
Lesson 3 – Using SQL
Lesson 4 – Valid Data Types
Lesson 5 – Advanced Searching

After that you’ll be ready for some advanced topics.

Can you hear me now? Checking to see if FTS is installed.
Exploring SQL Servers FullTextCatalogProperty Function
Using the ObjectPropertyEx Function
Using FORMSOF in SQL Server Full Text Searching
Creating Custom Thesaurus Entries in SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Full Text Search
Creating and Customizing Noise Words in SQL Server 2005 Full Text Search
Creating and Customizing Noise Words / StopWords in SQL Server 2008 Full Text Search
Advanced Queries for Using SQL Server 2008 Full Text Search StopWords / StopLists

Presenting SQL Server Full Text Searching at Alabama Code Camp

This Saturday, January 31st is the Alabama Code Camp in Montgomery AL. I’ll have the privilege of once again presenting one of my favorite subjects, SQL Server Full Text Searching. Don’t think this session is just for DBAs, I think developers will find it useful as well since I will include a demo code sample that calls a full text search query from a C# application. My session is currently scheduled last session of the day, and rumor has it attendees might have an extra chance at a give away at the end of my talk.

Speaking of give a ways, don’t forget the Speaker Idol contest. Still no entries, they are due to my in-box by noon this Friday the 30th! Five minute talk gets you a shot at a 1 year Premium MSDN Subscription.

See ya’ll there!

A Week of Windows 7

Since my last post the only thing I have installed is the Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Development tools. Since then I have worked with the various apps and can report these items so far.

First, no problems as of yet with the development tools, although so far I’ve only been using SQL Server Management Studio.

WinAmp works OK for playing music, but when I rip a CD the Media Library doesn’t always refresh correctly. I have to exit WinAmp and restart. Note this only happened about 50% of the time, the other half it flickered, but recognized that I’d inserted a new disk.

The NVidia graphics drivers seem to crash fairly often, about one to two times a day. They usually restart and everything is OK EXCEPT the Zune software. The UI on it goes blank. It still works, it happened today while I was playing some music and the music kept on playing, you just can’t interact with it. So far I’ve used task manager to shut down the Zune software and then I can restart it. It will work fine after that (at least until the next time the graphics drivers crash).

Every so often everything just freezes. Mouse doesn’t work, no keyboard input, no screen updates. I’m guessing it’s a graphics issue, but not really sure.

When launching a Virtual PC, they seem to take a long time to connect to the network. They will eventually connect (5 minutes is about average). Just be patient.

The installer for the SQL Server 2000 Northwind database sample crashed while I was trying to install. Fortunately i was able to install by extracting the SQL scripts from the zip file and using them to create the pubs and Northwind databases. (I need these for some code samples).

Everything else I’ve used seems to work OK. So at this point I seem to have all my software installed, so now I’m going to settle in and let my focus return to Data Warehousing and Analysis Services.

Don’t forget the Alabama Code Camp coming up at the end of January. So far we’ve had no entries for Speaker Idol, so as of now your chances of winning that 1 year MSDN Subscription seem quite good!

Wonderful Wednesdays With Windows 7

I attended a great user group meeting tonight, where fellow MVP Jeff Barnes presented on Windows Azure. I learned quite a bit. I didn’t have much time to work with my Windows 7 install, but do have some link love to pass along. First off though, the apps.

WinAmp – First off was my old standby for ripping CDs (yes, that I legally own) and playing music files is WinAmp. I installed version 5.54 tonight, they player seems to work fine. The only problem I had was getting it to install skins. First, there was no file association setup for them. Easy to fix, first I had to download the skins to another drive, then set the file association for the .wal file to winamp.exe. But even then it did not install. I figured out it’s a permissions issue, by default Windows 7 requires elevated rights in order to write to the program files folder. I figured this out when I was copying the files from my download drive to the WinAmp Skins folder. It prompted me for permission to continue.

After copying the files, I was able to find the skins in the WinAmp Menu. I’m guessing the only thing I would have to do is run WinAmp as admin when I want to install new skins, or fiddle with the folder permissions for winamp.exe. Frankly I’m glad Windows 7 is restricting rights to the program files folder, although apps that write files (like Winamp with it’s skins) to the same folder as the application may run into issues. For me though it’s not a big deal, I generally only use 1 skin (MMD3) so I’m set.

Pismo File Mount – The second tool I installed was a freeware ISO mounter named Pismo File Mounter. One of my Twitter friends (@cfrandall) kindly pointed it out to me. It’s pretty simple, just right click on an ISO and click Mount from the menu and there it is. Seems to work fine, I was able to browse files and what not. Tomorrow I will start installing some applications from ISO and let you know how well it works.

Now for a little link love.

Windows 7 Beta Home – The official Microsoft Windows 7 home page, has links to the beta program so you can get your own copy of Windows 7 and be one of the cool kids. Also has links to the Windows 7 blog, desktop themes, and more.

Tim Senath’s Musings – Tim is a client platform guy form Microsoft. His blog has a great bumper crop of Windows 7 secrets. I picked up several valuable tips that I’m already using. I love the one of double clicking on the upper or lower border of a window and it maximizes the window height wise, but leaves the width alone. Using WIN+SHIFT+LEFTARROW and WIN+SHIFT+RIGHTARROW to move a window back and forth between monitors is also becoming a favorite. Check out his blog post for a lot of other great tips and tricks, some of which even work under Vista.

Marlon Ribunal’s Blog – Marlon has a good post with links to Windows 7 Beta Reviews and other articles.

Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 Beta – If you are doing development specifically for the Windows 7 platform, you will likely want this SDK for Windows 7 and .Net 3.5 SP1. Like Windows 7, this SDK is also in Beta.

And finally, if you are tired of answering the “well what’s new in Windows 7?” question from all your friends, family, and co-workers, point them at Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows. He has a Windows 7 FAQ that answers all sorts of questions and has a nice list of all the new features.

Tuesdays are Terrific with Windows 7

It’s Tuesday, and the march to install software in my Windows 7 install goes on. Good news for today, everything was favorable although I did get slowed down downloading the latest VMWare. Speaking of which, we’ll let it start the list.

VMWare Workstation 6.5 – Installed with no problems, everything seems to be working fine. It recognized my USB devices, network, etc.

Camtasia Studio 5 – Installed and works no problems.

SnatIt SnagIt 9 – Had a hic-cup installing the first time, just seemed to install. In retrospect I may not have given it long enough. I rebooted, and to be safe started the install in Admin mode, it installed and works just fine.

Bayden SlickRun – works great, no problems.

TrueCrypt 6.1 – Works fine, mounted the drive OK.

Live Mesh – Works fine, I loaded it on my Windows 7 machine and was able to login to the website on another computer and remote control my Windows 7 box with no problems.

Corporate VPC – My companies VPC software installed and ran just fine with Windows 7. I can’t say much else about the software since it’s something proprietary but my co-workers will be pleased to know it works.

And that’s it for today. All in all I have been very pleased with my Windows 7 experience. I have been taking it slow, installing my software one at a time, testing, and verifying basic functionality. Tuesday night I have a Bug.Net meeting on my calendar, so it may be Thursday before I get a chance to do more software installs.

One follow up from yesterday, I was told Virtual Clone Drive will work under Windows 7, but causes the Windows 7 shutdown to hang. Haven’t tried it yet, if anyone knows a free ISO reader that works under Windows 7 please leave a comment.

A Weekend with Windows 7

In-between other household duties I spent most of this weekend with the new Windows 7 Beta 1. While I probably would have been more sensible to install it in a Virtual PC, I really wanted to experience it, and the best way to do that is by using it. Thus I installed it on my HP Pavilion DV-8000 laptop.

The first pass I did Friday night, when I installed Windows 7 as an upgrade to my installed Vista SP1. Now, let me say Microsoft has clearly stated you should only install the Beta as a clean install, not as an upgrade. However I figured since it was going to get wiped anyway, I might as well see what the experience was like. The upgrade took about 2 hours and afterward things were not overly stable. Some things worked fine, but other things did not. For example, Virtual PC’s built in network drivers quit working, although I could still use Shared NAT. My Zune software also started acting odd, it would no longer connect to my Zune. The PC knew the Zune was connected, the message just didn’t get to the Zune software.

Saturday morning I played with it a bit more, and being unable to resolve my Zune issue decided to take the plunge, reinserted my Windows 7 DVD, and reformatted my C drive so I could do a clean install. The install went very quickly, around half an hour not counting the formatting. Since then I have been slowly restoring my various applications, and wanted to share a run down on what I’ve done so far.

Before I go any further though, one very critical item. One of my Twitter friends @devhammer alerted us to a bug for Windows Media Player in Windows 7. It is Support Article 961367, and it fixes an issue with Media Player corrupting MP3 files. The first thing you should do install it!

Next, after the Windows 7 install I found my resolution stuck at 800×600. Yuck! So I ran Windows Update, and it found a driver for my NVidia chipset and installed. (Hooray for Windows Update!) After the reboot I was returned to 1400×900 on my laptop display and 1600×1200 on my external monitor. But not all was well with the world, there is one odd bug. By default the wallpaper is this bluish looking fish. Not being a fish person I switched to the Landscape theme. Windows 7 has this cool feature where you can pick multiple desktop wallpapers, and it will rotate through them at a frequency you can set,  the default being every 30 minutes. This though seemed to cause an issue with the Zune software, every time the wallpaper changed, my Zune software went completely blank and never came back. It was still working, my Zune player was showing data being synced, but the display went blank. I used task manager to shut it down then could simply launch the Zune software again with no problems.

The moral of the story, if you have NVidia graphics, set the rotating wallpaper on, and have display issues, simply pick ONE wallpaper and disable the rotation. Once I did all was well with the world. Now onto my software installs. 

Norton Anti-Virus, Corporate Edition – Seems to work OK, but I get an error message about the End Point process being shut down for compatibility issues. Since I hear Norton has discontinued this product, I will likely move to either Windows Defender or purchase the full blown Norton closer to the Windows 7 release date.

FireFox 3 – Works great, no issues.

UltraEdit 14 – Also works great, no issues.

TouchCursor 1.6 – After I installed I had to reboot to get it to take effect, but once I did it’s worked great. (If you don’t know what TouchCursor is, go to http://touchcursor.com, great utility!)

Zune – Software installed fine, but of course switching to what appeared to the Zune as a new PC caused me to need to reset my Zune so I didn’t wind up with a big blob of “unreachable” disk space. I had backed up all my Podcasts, and copied them back over and the Zune software recognized them all, but I still had to go to each one, right click, pick Subscribe. Fortunately I have a second PC in my office where I played some videos on http://www.jumpstarttv.com/ while clicked endlessly. (I subscribe to a LOT of podcasts.)

Office 2007 Enterprise – Installed just fine with no problems. Well no software issues, my backup of my main PST was corrupt so I lost most of what was in it (drat). Good lesson here kids, with something really important, make TWO copies on different drives during back up!

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 – The only issue I had was with the built in firewall, I had to create a new rule for ANY to allow things other than UDP and TCP to work. Go to Start, Control Panel, System and Security, Windows Firewall, Advanced Settings (over on the left), Inbound Rules (in the new dialog that appears), then I copied one of the existing rules for Virtual PC 2007 SP 1 (there should be 2, one for UDP the other for TCP). In the copy, open it, go to the Protocols and Ports and pick Any. You’ll get an error that says “Edge traversal can’t be set to ‘Defer to User’”, so go to the Advanced tab and pick either “Allow” or “Block”. I picked Allow because I’m very cautious about where I go in my VPCs.

Live Writer – I went to the http://windows.live.com and downloaded the LiveWriter tool, which I’m composing this post in.

Notable mention: I had to copy a little over 3 gig of files, it was fast in Windows 7, took under 3 minutes.

A few things I’ve heard about, but haven’t yet experienced:

I’m told there’s a copy / paste issue between Word 2007 and Live Writer. Haven’t tried it.

I’m told Virtual Clone Drive, which I used in Vista to mount ISOs as virtual drives, won’t work in Windows 7. Instead I had PowerISO recommended to me.

That’s my progress for now, I will update you as time goes by. Remember if you decide to install and use Windows 7, it IS a beta, so your stability may be different depending on the state of your machine’s drivers. I also haven’t decided how long I will run Windows 7. If it’s stable, and some critical pieces of software work (like my VPN software for work) then I may keep it a long time. However if stabiltiy becomes an issue or key software doesn’t run I may have to return to Vista, I will just have to see how it all shakes out. I would like to keep it around for a bit though so I can give it a good shake and let our friends in Redmond know of any issues so they can fix now and perhaps save someone else headaches when it goes to production.

I have also been Twittering my progress using the #win7 tag, if you want to follow me there.

Alabama Code Camp Date Change

Due to scheduling issues, the Alabama Code Camp date has been pushed back to January 31st. We apologize for any issues this may cause, but hope the later date will allow more people to have time to attend. See all the details at http://zi.ma/accjan09.

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