SSIS For Developers at CodeStock 2009

At the 2009 CodeStock event I am presenting SQL Server Integration Services for Developers. This class will demonstrate tasks commonly done by VB.Net or C# developers within SQL Server Integration Services.

The sample project and documentation for the lab can be found on the code gallery site at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/SSISForDevs .

TeraCopy

I’m busy getting ready for CodeStock this week, but wanted to pass a long a little tidbit. I’m a fan of a software program called TeraCopy. TeraCopy is a file copy manager that helps when you are copying mass amounts of files. It is far faster than XP, and while not significantly faster (depends on the files) in Vista SP1 or Win 7, it still offers some nice enhancements. For example when copying you can set it to only overwrite older files, great for taking a quick backup. If the copy fails in the middle no more “oops I failed” and everything just stops, rather it will skip the offending file and go on with the rest and give you a nice dialog at the end clearly letting you know which files were troublesome. For more details see their website.

I mention TeraCopy today for two reasons. First today they released version 2.0 of the product (congrats guys!). Second, for today, June 23rd only they are having a one day special, you can buy the Pro version for half price just ten dollars and fifty cents (US). For that price I was willing to pay just to be able to support the development. This is a very useful tool that I use daily, very handy in making fast backups or moving data between my computers.

While you are on the CodeSector website you also might want to check out their DirectFolders product, I only just downloaded it but it seems to be quite useful.

Standard Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliation with Code Sector, the creators of TeraCopy other than being a customer, nor do I get any compensation from Bits du Jour. I just think it’s a cool product.

Cancer Sucks

Rarely do I post something personal here, but something is bothering me and I have to get it out. This week a good friend, one of my ham radio buddies, Charles /  N4DKE passed away from cancer. I’ve known Charles for almost 10 years, a relatively brief time compared to the many other friendships he had. He was one of my ham “Elmers”. In ham radio lingo an “Elmer” is someone who acts as a mentor.

Charles always had a great story to tell, or joke, or some neat gadget or gizmo to show off. He often gave presentations at ham club and always made them interesting. He was one of those people who knew everybody. During introductions he’d always just say “Ya’ll know who I am.” And everyone did, too.

What made this suck so bad was Charles was only 57 years old. 57. That’s young. During the visitation Wednesday evening all I could keep thinking was “This sucks, we shouldn’t have to be here.” In a way I feel robbed, there were so many more great stories of his to hear, jokes to swap, or gadgets to see. And now we won’t because this insidious disease called cancer took my friend long before he should have gone.

To all my ham, internet, computer friends and family, please, make sure to get check ups. Guys, get your prostates checked, ladies get your mammograms. I want to be able to share in your stories for a long time to come.

BSDA Presentation on Visual Studio Database Edition

Last week I did a presentation at the Birmingham Software Developers Association on generating sample data using Visual Studio Database Edition, often called by it’s code name of “Data Dude” for short.  You can find my original posting, which has links to the code gallery site at http://arcanecode.com/2009/04/02/sql-server-sample-data-the-sql-name-game/ .

During my presentation I was using Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition GDR R2, which you can find here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bb3ad767-5f69-4db9-b1c9-8f55759846ed&displaylang=en 

This update assumes you have Visual Studio Database Edition installed. Most developers with an MSDN license have the Development Edition installed on their PC. When Microsoft announced the Database and Development products would merge in the Visual Studio 2010 product, they made the Development Editions of Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 available via MSDN. Go check your MSDN, and see if you have “Data Dude”. If so download and install it, then download and install the GDR R2 update from the link above. These will add new menus and tools to your Visual Studio environment.

Most notably you’ll look at the Data menu. there are menu options for Schema Compare and Data Compare. These will allow you to setup comparisons between a source and target for schemas or data.

Big Thinkers – Andy Warren

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I’m devoting this week to “Big Thinkers”. I want to highlight individuals who challenge my thought processes and cause me to think about my profession, my methodologies, and force me to reflect on my skills. Some of these individuals I have the privilege of knowing personally, others I have only known via Podcasts or Twitter. I’m hoping that by highlighting these Big Thinkers you too will be challenged to grow and evolve in your craft. Last week was focused on individuals in the development community, this week will focus on the SQL Server realm.

Rather than “Big Thinker”, I think the label “Big Do-er” may be more accurate when it comes to today’s selection. Andy Warren maintains a blog at SQL Server Central (and was also one of its founders), and runs End to End Training out of Orlando FL. He also had a vision for training videos that were short in duration (roughly five minutes) and very focused on a single subject, hence he created JumpstartTV.

His biggest contribution to the community perhaps centers around SQL Saturday. Andy saw the success around code camps, events where developers could congregate on a Saturday and take free community based training. At the same time he recognized some of the difficulties around them. They tended to be hard to find, without a standard look and feel to their websites. There was also a hurdle for people wanting to put on a code camp for the first time. Andy decided to act.

He created SQL Saturday.com, a centralized website where anyone wishing to put on a SQL Saturday could advertise their event, handle registrations, schedules, and speakers. He created a guide for event planners, to give them a checklist for their event. Speaking from personal experience, I know we followed the guide closely and found it very valuable when our group held SQL Saturday 7 recently. Finally Andy throws himself into the event as well, appearing personally at as many SQL Saturdays as humanly possible.

Truly Andy is the shining example of “one man can make a difference” and I can but hope my own contributions will come anywhere close to Andy’s.

Big Thinkers – Brent Ozar

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I’m devoting this week to “Big Thinkers”. I want to highlight individuals who challenge my thought processes and cause me to think about my profession, my methodologies, and force me to reflect on my skills. Some of these individuals I have the privilege of knowing personally, others I have only known via Podcasts or Twitter. I’m hoping that by highlighting these Big Thinkers you too will be challenged to grow and evolve in your craft. Last week was focused on individuals in the development community, this week will focus on the SQL Server realm.

Brent Ozar is an active blogger and Twitterer, in addition to being Editor-in-chief at SQL Serverpedia. The site hosts many video tutorials, many of which are created by Brent. I very much like his style, it is relaxed, easy going, but informative and right to the point. I find it very easy to learn from these videos, thus enhancing my skills greatly. I find Brent to be a good role model for my public speaking, and I think you will too.

Big Thinkers – Pinal Dave

image I’m devoting this week to “Big Thinkers”. I want to highlight individuals who challenge my thought processes and cause me to think about my profession, my methodologies, and force me to reflect on my skills. Some of these individuals I have the privilege of knowing personally, others I have only known via Podcasts or Twitter. I’m hoping that by highlighting these Big Thinkers you too will be challenged to grow and evolve in your craft. Last week was focused on individuals in the development community, this week will focus on the SQL Server realm. “

Pinal Dave reminds me of that chef who goes “bang” all the time. I first got to know him when I was working on a SQL Server project and doing some things that were new to me. I’d do a web search and “bang”, there came the answer on his blog. Another search and “bang” there was his blog in the top 10 results again. Over and over that day I’d search and “bang” there would be the answer, right on his blog in an easy to read and understand format.

Pinal has to be one of the most prolific writers I’ve seen, his blog SQL Authority is filled with informative, easy to understand articles. I also had the privilege of meeting him at the MVP summit earlier this year, and he has got to be the nicest guy in SQL Server you’ll ever meet. He is also a frequent poster on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pinaldave. To me he is the embodiment of helpful service, and reminds me to remain humble as I work in the SQL community.

Go ahead, give his blog a try. By the end of the day you too may be thinking “Hey, who needs Books on Line when you have Pinal Dave?”

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