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Richard Hundhausen: The DBAgilist

This is a mirror of Richard Hundhausen's (aka The DBAgilist) blog "Tales from the Doghouse."

September 2007 - Posts

  • VSTS Web Access Power Tool - CTP released

    Microsoft has released a new version of VSTS Web Access Power tool. This release is a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of what will ultimately be the 2008 version of the VSTS Web Access Power Tool.

    • Built against the TFS 2008 object model - In previous versions of Web Access you had to install Team Explorer 2005 on any machine you were installing Web Access on. With this version, you will now be installing Team Explorer 2008 instead. In some future version, Microsoft hopes to remove the requirement to install any version of Team Explorer.
    • Custom control support - added support for web based work item custom controls and have included a folder of documentation and samples on how to create them.
    • Build queuing - added UI for the new TFS 2008 feature of build queuing. You can start new queued builds and view the build queue (in addition to the preexisting abilities - like viewing build details).
    • Localization support - added support for localizing the web interface. Microsoft will also be localizing text for the final 2008 Power Tool release.
    • Bug fixes & Performance improvements - Microsoft has received a number of reports and done more testing on the current version of the Power Tool, and has fixed everything thus far.

    This release (and the final 2008 release) can be used with either a TFS 2005 or a TFS 2008 server.  In either case, you will need to install a TFS 2008 Team Explorer on the machine you install Web Access on. Since TFS 2005 did not support build queuing, that functionality will not be available when this and future versions of Web Access are used with a 2005 server.


    You can download it here and read more about it at Brian Harry's blog posting.

  • Code that Writes Code (or TSQL that writes ASP.NET)

    Call it a code generator, software factory, or just a clever script. If you can write code that writes code - you win, even if just a small victory for humans in this contest we call software development.

    For example, I've been working on an ASP.NET application which contains many data entry screens. You know the kind: very simple, table-format with a label and a textbox of a certain width, that may or may not require some validation. In other words, a whole lot of markup like this:


      <td class="EditLabel">Number</td>

      <td class="Edit">

        <asp:TextBox ID="txtNumber" runat="Server" Width="200px" MaxLength="20"></asp:TextBox>




    Now, if you have to type the above more than once or twice, you will go insane (been there, gone there). More importantly, you will probably introduce a bug or two. So, I opened up SQL Server 2005 Management Studio and wrote the following T-SQL code:

    USE SomeDB



    DECLARE @Table  varchar(128)

    DECLARE @Column varchar(128)

    DECLARE @Width  varchar(10)

    DECLARE @Length int

    DECLARE @Type   int


    SET @Table = 'Employer' -- Pass this as a parameter



       SELECT C.Name, C.Max_Length, C.User_Type_ID FROM Sys.Columns C

       INNER JOIN Sys.Tables T ON C.Object_ID = T.Object_ID

       WHERE T.Name = @Table

       ORDER BY Column_ID


    OPEN ColumnCursor


    FETCH NEXT FROM ColumnCursor INTO @Column, @Length, @Type



      IF @Type <> 36 -- No GUIDs


        IF @Length < 0 SET @Length = 100

        IF @Length < 10

          SET @Width = '50px'

        ELSE IF @Length < 20

          SET @Width = '100px'

        ELSE IF @Length < 50

          SET @Width = '200px'

        ELSE IF @Length < 100

          SET @Width = '300px'


          SET @Width = '400px'


        PRINT '<tr>'

        PRINT '  <td class="EditLabel">' + @Column + '</td>'

        PRINT '  <td class="Edit">'

        PRINT '    <asp:TextBox ID="txt' + @Column + '" runat="Server" Width="' + @Width + '" MaxLength="' + CONVERT(varchar(10),@Length) + '"></asp:TextBox>'

        PRINT '  </td>'

        PRINT '</tr>'


      FETCH NEXT FROM ColumnCursor INTO @Column, @Length, @Type



    CLOSE ColumnCursor

    DEALLOCATE ColumnCursor


    You get the picture. Feel free to customize this code to introduce additional formatting, a slick UI, or other business rules to the mix.

  • Microsoft P&amp;P Releases Team Development with Team Foundation Server Guide

    Microsoft's Patterns & Practices group recently released the final version of the “Team Development with Team Foundation Server” Guide. This guide has been in beta for the last couple of months.


    It shows you how to get the most out of Team Foundation Server to help improve the effectiveness of your team-based software development. Whether you are already using Team Foundation Server or adopting from scratch, you’ll find guidance and insights you can tailor for your specific scenarios. It's a collaborative effort between patterns & practices, Team System team members, and industry experts.


    Some quick facts:

    • 496 – Total number of pages
    • 18 – Total number of chapters in this guide
    • 11392 – Total number of downloads of the Beta version of this guide
    • 8 – Number of attempts to get the Adobe build to work to generate the guide in .pdf format
    • 60 – Number of external and MSFT contributors and reviewers

    Download the guide from CodePlex.

  • TFS Migration &amp; Synchronization Tool For ClearCase Released

    Yesterday, Microsoft released a tool to migrate from IBM ClearCase to TFS.

    Find more information on TFS migration topics, keep an eye on this blog.

  • XML Notepad 2007!

    My students this week told me about the new version. I remember using the original XML Notepad, and it was great, very simple.

    For the longest time, I couldn't find it on Microsoft's site to download, and then a newer version showed up on CodePlex.

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