SQL Server: MSDN Magazine Articles
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  • SQL Data Services: The Relational Database of the Azure Services Platform
    David Robinson - August 2009
    This article shows you the new face of SQL Data Services, explores its architecture, and shows how it is truly an extension of SQL Server in the cloud.

  • Scale Out: Distributed Caching On The Path To Scalability
    Iqbal Khan - July 2009
    Developers frequently face issues related to scalability bottlenecks when they have applications that need to handle a lot of load. This article describes the role of a distributed cache in building scalable applications.

  • Toolbox: Static Analysis Database Tools, Managing Remote Computers, And More
    Scott Mitchell - July 2009
    If you want to apply static analysis to your databases, connect to remote computers, find out more about the Entity Framework, or just check into some cool podcasts for your daily commute, then you'll want to read more about these latest tools and resources.

  • Under the Table: Programming with FileStreams in SQL Server 2008
    Bob Beauchemin - May 2009
    There's always been disagreement about whether large blobs, such as document and multimedia items, should be stored in the database or file system. In SQL Server 2008 you don't have to choose; filestream storage provides the best of both approaches.

  • Toolbox: Microsoft Chart Controls, Visual Studio Automatic Code Snippets, And More
    Scott Mitchell - April 2009
    In this installment we look at the Microsoft Chart Controls; Snippet Designer, a free, add-in for Visual Studio 2008 for creating and editing Code Snippets; refactoring SQL applications; and this month’s favorite blog.

  • Under The Table: Spatial Data Support In SQL Server 2008
    Bob Beauchemin - February 2009
    New spatial data support in SQL Server 2008 opens the door to mapping and querying geometric and geographic data, allowing you to build exciting new applications.

  • Toolbox: C# JavaScript, Eric Lippert’s Blog, And More
    Scott Mitchell - January 2009
    Writing your JavaScript code in C# and having it converted, Eric Lippert’s programming blog, and reading up on T-SQL 2008.

  • SOA Data Access: Flexible Data Access With LINQ To SQL And The Entity Framework
    Anthony Sneed - December 2008
    Building a data access layer using LINQ to SQL and the ADO.NET Entity Framework allows you to decouple your application from the persistence technology you're using.

  • Toolbox: Online Scheduling, Jeff Smith’s SQL Blog, Easy Regular Expressions, And More
    Scott Mitchell - November 2008
    This month Scott looks at improving development skills, writing regular expressions, a web scheduling control and a SQL tips blog.

  • Hierarchy ID: Model Your Data Hierarchies With SQL Server 2008
    Kent Tegels - September 2008
    Here we explain how the new hierarchyID data type in SQL Server 2008 helps solve some of the problems in modeling and querying hierarchical information.

  • Data Services: Develop Robust and Scalable Apps with SQL Server Data Services
    David Robinson - July 2008
    Here the author introduces SQL Server Data Services, which exposes its functionality over standard Web service interfaces.

  • ADO.NET: Achieve Flexible Data Modeling with the Entity Framework
    Elisa Flasko - July 2008
    Here the author answers questions regarding the Entity Framework and provides an understanding of how and why it was developed.

  • Toolbox: Database Audit Logs, Joel on Software, Code Handouts, and More
    Scott Mitchell - May 2008
    This month the Toolbox column takes a look at database logging, Joel Spolsky's blog, printing code projects, and ASP.NET reading.

  • Data Points: Entity Framework Q&A
    John Papa - May 2008
    The Entity Framework is a hot topic, but how do you know when to use EntityClient, Object Services, Entity SQL, or LINQ? Find out here.

  • Test Run: Testing SQL Stored Procedures Using LINQ
    Dr. James McCaffrey - April 2008
    Language Integrated Query makes lots of things easier. Here we put LINQ, or more specifically the LINQ to SQL provider, to use testing SQL stored procedures.

  • Toolbox: Powerful Text Editing, Web Testing in .NET, Extended Unit Testing, and More
    James Avery - February 2008
    Powerful Text Editing, Web Testing in .NET, Extended Unit Testing, and More

  • Data Points: Designing an Entity Data Model
    John Papa - February 2008
    With the Entity Framework, developers are given more flexibility by being able to design around a conceptual model rather than a relational data model. To get started, you need to know how to design an Entity Data Model. John Papa walks you through that process.

  • SQL Server: Uncover Hidden Data to Optimize Application Performance
    Ian Stirk - January 2008
    SQL Server 2005 gathers a lot of useful data that you can use to identify areas where database performance can be improved. Here's what you need to improve performance.

  • Editor's Note: A New Year—A Fresh Perspective
    Howard Dierking - January 2008
    The results of our reader survey are in. This month, Howard Dierking shares the takeaways.

  • Data Points: Common Table Expressions
    John Papa - October 2007
    In T-SQL, views and derived tables serve similar purposes and have their advantages. But when working with SQL Server 2005,there's a third option--using Common Table Expressions (CTEs). John Papa explains.

  • Toolbox: ASP.NET Controls, FTP, and More
    Scott Mitchell - September 2007
    ASP.NET controls, a comprehensive FTP library, rich imaging support, and a book about SQL Server 2005.

  • Data Points: SQL Server Management Objects
    John Papa - June 2007
    SQL Server Management Objects offer developers a robust toolset for backing up and restoring databases, and issuing DDL commands, as John Papa explains.

  • Data Points: Disabling Constraints and Triggers
    John Papa - April 2007
    What to do when you need to disable triggers and constraints to perform data synchronization and other tasks with an offline database.

  • Data Joins The Team: Introducing Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals
    Brian A. Randell - February 2007
    Here Brian Randell presents everything you need to know to get started with Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals.

  • SQL Server 2005: Regular Expressions Make Pattern Matching And Data Extraction Easier
    David Banister - February 2007
    Now you can perform efficient, sophisticated text analysis using regular expressions in SQL Server 2005.

  • SQL Security: New SQL Truncation Attacks And How To Avoid Them
    Bala Neerumalla - November 2006
    Exploits using SQL injection have drawn a lot of attention for their ability to get through firewalls and intrusion detection systems to compromise your data layers. Whether it's a first-order or second-order injection, if you look at the basic code pattern, it is similar to any other injection issue where you use untrusted data in the construction of a statement.

  • SQL Server 2005: Jazz Up Your Data Using Custom Report Items In SQL Server Reporting Services
    Teo Lachev - October 2006
    Custom report items in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services address your needs for custom reports without the pain of doing it from scratch.

  • Security Briefs: CardSpace, SqlMembershipProvider, and More
    Keith Brown - October 2006
    This month Keith Brown fields some reader questions on InfoCard turned CardSpace and passwords for SqlMembershipProvider.

  • Data Points: Report Controls in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services
    John Papa - July 2006
    Reporting has always been one of the dark arts of development. The tools typically seem to do just enough to get you to a certain point, then leave you to find workarounds to solve more complex issues.

  • Share The Load: Report Visual Studio Team System Load Test Results Via A Configurable Web Site
    Wen Ding - June 2006
    This article discusses a new load test tool in Visual Studio 2005 Team System for performance and stress testing your Web sites, Web services, and other server components. Combined with its handy reporting capabilities, the load test tool provides some powerful options for sharing and managing test results.

  • Data Points: Designing Reports with SQL Server Reporting Services 2005
    John Papa - June 2006
    Many applications require some degree of integration with a reporting tool. A good solution, SQL Server™ Reporting Services 2005, provides Web-based reports and can be integrated into both Windows® Forms and Web-based applications.

  • Data Points: SQL Server 2005 XML Support, Exception Handling, and More
    John Papa - May 2006
    SQL Server 2005 includes several important improvements to the Transact-SQL (T-SQL) language. One added feature is a new kind of trigger that fires when data definition language (DDL) statements run.

  • { End Bracket }: The World-Wide Telescope
    Jim Gray and Alexander Szalay - April 2006
    Someday all scientific literature and data will be online and accessible to everyone everywhere. The astronomy community has made unusually good progress toward this vision of online science in addition to addressing the associated challenges of data publication.

  • Office Unbound: Bring Your Documents To Life With Data Binding In Visual Studio Tools For Office
    Eric Carter and Eric Lippert - March 2006
    Thanks to Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Windows Forms controls can be bound to databases, Web services, or objects and added to a workbook or document. Find out how.

  • Reporting Services: Deliver SQL Server Reports To SharePoint To Enhance Team Collaboration
    Ed Hild - March 2006
    The solution covered here includes a custom SharePoint Web service that accepts SQL Server-generated report files and, through the WSS object model, stores the file in the appropriate library for enhanced collaboration possibilities.

  • Data Points: Using XQuery, New Large DataTypes, and More
    John Papa - March 2006
    SQL Server 2005 introduces a lot of new features, but it also enhances the popular and oft-used Transact-SQL (T-SQL) language. Changes include the introduction of new datatypes to store large values using the MAX indicator, the integration of enhanced XML querying and data modification with XQuery, and the new XML datatype.

  • Wicked Code: The SQL Site Map Provider You've Been Waiting For
    Jeff Prosise - February 2006
    Now that ASP.NET 2.0 is a shipping product, it seems appropriate to revisit an issue that tops the new features wish lists of many developers: a SQL Server™ site map provider.

  • Data Points: SqlConnectionStringBuilder, DataView, and More
    John Papa - January 2006
    Several significant enhancements have been made to ADO. NET 2. 0 in the areas of improved performance, increased flexibility, and added features. In my last column (Data Points: DataSet and DataTable in ADO.

  • SQL Server 2005: Fuzzy Lookups and Groupings Provide Powerful Data Cleansing Capabilities
    Jay Nathan - September 2005
    SQL Server 2005 offers a completely redesigned SQL Server Integration Services engine, formerly known as Data Transformation Services. It includes many new features such as built-in support for Fuzzy Lookups and Fuzzy Groupings, which help you build powerful data-cleansing solutions. This article provides an overview of fuzzy searching techniques and a dissection of the underlying fuzzy search technology implemented in SQL Server 2005.

  • Extreme ASP.NET: Tools of the Trade: SQL Server Profiler and Query Analyzer
    Rob Howard - August 2005
    In my last column, I discussed Microsoft® Application Center Test and how it could be used to measure the performance of your Web application (see Extreme ASP. NET: Tools of the Trade: Application Center Test).

  • Hackers Beware: Keep Bad Guys at Bay with the Advanced Security Features in SQL Server 2005
    Don Kiely - June 2005
    Get a peek at the new security features in SQL Server 2005 from a developer's point of view. While there are lots of admin enhancements, there are also plenty of dev-specific security improvements you can take advantage of, such as endpoint authentication and support for the security context of managed code that executes on the server. Here Don Kiely elucidates.

  • Know Thy Code: Simplify Data Layer Unit Testing using Enterprise Services
    Roy Osherove - June 2005
    If you want to employ unit testing and test-driven development techniques in your database application development process, you'll have different factors to consider than you do when you're not involving a database. For example, you have to maintain a consistent state within the database and be able to roll back transactions when necessary. This article shows you how to get the best of unit testing for your database apps in a safe, usable manner.

  • Say What?: Make Sense of Your Web Feedback using SQL Server 2005
    Peter Pyungchul Kim - June 2005
    By now, you're certainly collecting a variety of data from your Web site. But once you collect it, what do you do with it. For it to be meaningful, this data must be categorized and analyzed. The SQL Server 2005 data mining functionalities can help you get the most out of those reams of data you collect, as Peter Pyungchul Kim explains.

  • Mine Your Business: AMO Lets You Dig Deeper into Your Data from Your Own Applications
    Liu Tang and Paul Bradley - June 2005
    Analysis Management Objects (AMO) for SQL Server 2005 facilitates client-side custom programming as Decision Support Objects (DSO), the object model in SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services. With AMO, a whole range of data mining questions can be answered at the operational level. This means that sales and marketing departments get answers more quickly and thus can make informed decisions.

  • Cutting Edge: Data Repeater Controls in ASP.NET
    Dino Esposito - June 2005
    The ASP. NET Repeater is a basic container control that allows you to create custom lists from any data available to the page. It's a handy control, especially since most ASP. NET pages that display data need to repeat the same kinds of data over and over.

  • Data Points: XML Features in SQL Server 2000
    John Papa - June 2005
    SQL Server™ 2000 includes several XML features that let you transform relational rowsets into hierarchical XML documents, read XML documents, and bulk load data via XML. For example, you can pass an XML document to a stored procedure, join the XML to some tables and return a rowset, or even modify data in the database.

  • Data Points: Data Access Strategies Using ADO.NET and SQL
    John Papa - May 2005
    When your goal is a scalable and efficient enterprise solution, you need to develop an efficient data-access strategy. You can't just do some testing on your production machines and rely on the results.

  • Office: Relive the Moment by Searching Your IM Logs with Custom Research Services
    John R. Durant - February 2005
    Often, IM conversations contain important information you'd like to keep and reuse. Fortunately, MSN Messenger 6.2 has a feature to keep a conversation history permanently in XML format. This article shows you how to leverage that conversation history by consolidating IM exchanges so they are indexed, searchable, and ultimately reusable using the Microsoft Office 2003 Research and Reference task pane.

  • SQL Server: Display Your Data Your Way with Custom Renderers for Reporting Services
    James Yip - February 2005
    SQL Server 2005 Reporting Servicesis a great tool that offers a centralized approach to storing and rendering reports. It also lets users view and download reports without installing additional software. Plus, reports can be saved in any number of different formats using custom report renderers. In this article, the author will develop one such report renderer that outputs HTML reports, but the skills you'll learn can easily be used to create a renderer for Microsoft Word documents or any other format of your choosing.

  • Data Points: ADO.NET and System.Transactions
    John Papa - February 2005
    The Microsoft® . NET Framework versions 1. 0 and 1. 1 represented major changes in software development. However, one important thing that did not change much was support for distributed transactions.

  • ASP.NET: 10 Tips for Writing High-Performance Web Applications
    Rob Howard - January 2005
    Writing a Web application with ASP.NET is unbelievably easy. So many developers don't take the time to structure their applications for great performance. In this article, the author presents 10 tips for writing high-performance Web apps. The discussion is not limited to ASP.NET applications because they are just one subset of Web applications.

  • Data Points: Updating Data in Linked Servers, Information Schema Views, and More
    John Papa - November 2004
    Every day a developer somewhere needs to write code to iterate through SQL Server™ system objects, query and update tables in linked servers, handle optimistic concurrency, and retrieve column and stored procedure metadata.

  • Data Security: Stop SQL Injection Attacks Before They Stop You
    Paul Litwin - September 2004
    To execute a SQL injection attack, a hacker writes a Web page that captures text in a textbox to be used to execute a query against a database. The hacker enters a malformed SQL statement into the textbox that causes the back-end database to perform operations the owners did not intend it to perform, like making unauthorized updates. This article explains how you can protect against the all too common SQL injection attack in your own database. The steps covered include data validation, proper exception handing, and much more.

  • SQL Server 2005: Unearth the New Data Mining Features of Analysis Services 2005
    Jamie MacLennan - September 2004
    In SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services you'll find new algorithms, enhancements to existing algorithms, and more than a dozen added visualizations to help you get a handle on your data relationships. Plus, enhancements to the Data Mining Extensions to SQL along with OLAP, DTS, and Reporting Services integration make it possible to create a new breed of intelligent apps with embedded data mining technology. Here the author explains it all.

  • Express Editions: Get a Lean, Mean Dev Machine with the Express Editions of Visual Basic and SQL Server 2005
    Brian A. Randell - September 2004
    The Express Editions of Visual Basic and SQL Server 2005 have lots of the features of the full-sized versions, but with a lot less of the overhead. Professional developer features such as full IntelliSense support, local debugger, Add Web Reference, and the improved Visual Data Tools will all be available in the Express products, so you don't have to leave your favorite features behind. In this article the author introduces you to these express editions and builds a sample app to get you started.

  • Data Deployment: Streamline Your Database Setup Process with a Custom Installer
    Alek Davis - September 2004
    Database setup can be a tough and time-consuming process and sometimes fall victim to human error. Microsoft Installer or InstallShield can help, as can your own custom installer. In this article, the author tackles one approach to writing database installers and demonstrates the process with a working code sample.

  • Test Run: Automate Testing of Your Stored Procs
    James McCaffrey - September 2004
    Many Windows®-based applications have a SQL Server™ back-end component that contains stored procedures. Although techniques to automatically test functions in the front-end code are well known, the techniques to write test automation for stored procedures are not.

  • Reporting: Deliver User-Friendly Reports from Your Application with SQL Server Reporting Services
    John C. Hancock - August 2004
    SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services--a server-based reporting platform built on the .NET Framework and integrated with SQL Server 2000--lets you easily add reporting from diverse data sources. Using Visual Studio and Reporting Services you can integrate reports from any data source that has an OLE DB, ODBC, or ADO.NET provider into your Web applications. This article explains how it's done.

  • GridView: Move Over DataGrid, There's a New Grid in Town!
    Dino Esposito - August 2004
    When incorporating the ASP.NET DataGrid control into your Web apps, common operations such as paging, sorting, editing, and deleting data require more effort than you might like to expend. But all that is about to change. The GridView control--the successor to the DataGrid-- extends the DataGrid's functionality it in a number of ways. First, it fully supports data source components and can automatically handle data operations, such as paging, sorting, and editing, as long as its bound data source object supports these capabilities. In addition, the GridView control offers some functional improvements over the DataGrid. Here DataGrid expert Dino Esposito introduces the GridView and explains all its long-awaited features.

  • Web Services: Capturing and Analyzing Client Transaction Metrics for .NET-Based Web Services
    Brian Connolly - July 2004
    This article presents a general-purpose client quality reporting mechanism that can be used in any .NET-based transaction system that employs HTTP/SOAP. The design uses client response time and quality recording, upload of logs as SOAP headers attached to new transaction requests, and server handoff of these headers to a low priority queue for logging and analysis. This technique gives an enterprise near real-time information on actual end-user response times. These response times reflect network delays, client application overhead and server delays. By using this technique, enterprises can avoid the need to develop custom software to mine HTTP logs.

  • Cutting Edge: Implement Custom Cache Dependencies in ASP.NET 1.x
    Dino Esposito - July 2004
    One of the most compelling improvements that ASP. NET brought to ASP programming was the Cache object. The Cache has some similarities to the Application object and is a container of global data (as opposed to session-specific data) that features a fair number of innovative characteristics.

  • Web Q&A: JScript Leaks, Getting the XmlDataDocument, and ASPX Includes
    Edited by Nancy Michell - April 2004


  • Data Points: Creating Audit Tables, Invoking COM Objects, and More
    John Papa - April 2004
    Dealing with error handling between T-SQL and a calling application, evaluating when a field's value has changed, and creating auditing tables in SQL Server™ are all common issues that developers must tackle.

  • Web Q&A: Hard Drive Security, Comparing Two Versions of a DB, and More SQL
    Edited by Nancy Michell - March 2004


  • Yukon Basics: XML, T-SQL, and the CLR Create a New World of Database Programming
    Eric Brown - February 2004
    The next version of SQL Server, code-named "Yukon," includes quite a few enhancements and expanded language support. For example, Transact-SQL now conforms more closely to the ANSI-99 SQL specification and makes querying more flexible and expressive. Yukon can execute user-defined functions, stored procedures, and triggers written in CLR-targeted languages, including Visual Basic .NET and C#. It supports a subset of the W3C standard XQuery language, and has native XML support.In this article, the author outlines the most significant language features and builds an order-entry sample app.

  • XML in Yukon: New Version Showcases Native XML Type and Advanced Data Handling
    Bob Beauchemin - February 2004
    The next version of Microsoft SQL Server, code-named "Yukon," represents quite a few steps forward in the evolution of XML integration. Yukon supports native storage of XML data using the XML data type, which makes it possible to run native queries on XML data using the emerging industry standard XQuery language. Data integrity of the XML data type can be enforced through schema validation and XML-based check constraints, and special indexes can be defined that help speed up queries. In addition, Yukon has the built-in ability to expose its data through Web services. This article discusses these and other XML features of Yukon.

  • T-SQL in Yukon: Powerful New T-SQL Syntax Gives SQL Server a Programmability Boost
    Itzik Ben-Gan - February 2004
    The T-SQL language in the upcoming version of SQL Server will provide more power and flexibility than previous versions. Additions and enhancements include error handling with the TRY/CATCH construct, SNAPSHOT isolation, and WAITFOR enhancements. Also important are the BULK rowset provider, common table expressions, recursive queries, PIVOT and UNPIVOT operators, and much more. This article introduces these features so readers will be ready for the next version of SQL Server.

  • Types in Yukon: Managed UDTs Let You Extend the SQL Server Type System
    Peter W. DeBetta - February 2004
    The next version of SQL Server, code-named "Yukon," will offer enhanced support for user-defined types (UDTs). Because UDTs can be managed by the CLR, you can represent a wide variety of data structures to create types not possible with previous versions of SQL Server. With UDTs you can more precisely control the kind of data your type accepts, resulting in better data management. This article explores UDTs in "Yukon" and covers their design and implementation.

  • Editor's Note: Yukon Bonanza
    Joshua Trupin - February 2004


  • Web Q&A: ANSI Chars in XML, E-commerce Architecture, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - February 2004


  • The XML Files: XML Report from the Microsoft PDC 2003
    Aaron Skonnard - February 2004


  • Web Q&A: DTS Follow-up, Web Services, Access Over the Network, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - January 2004


  • Data Points: Exploring SQL Server Triggers: Part 2
    John Papa - January 2004


  • Web Q&A: Virtual Directories, Releasing DB Connections, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - December 2003


  • Data Points: Exploring SQL Server Triggers
    John Papa - December 2003


  • Review It: Expert Tips for Finding Security Defects in Your Code
    Michael Howard - November 2003
    Reviewing code for security defects is a key ingredient in the software creation process, ranking alongside planning, design, and testing. Here the author reflects over his years of code security reviews to identify patterns and best practices that all developers can follow when tracking down potential security loopholes. The process begins by examining the environment the code runs in, considering the roles of the users who will run it, and studying the history of any security issues the code may have had. After gaining an understanding of these background issues, specific vulnerabilities can be hunted down, including SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting, and buffer overruns. In addition, certain red flags, such as variable names like "password", "secret," and other obvious but common security blunders, can be searched for and remedied.

  • Data Points: SQL Server User-defined Functions
    John Papa - November 2003


  • Advanced Basics: SQL Server Metadata
    Ken Spencer - November 2003


  • OLAP: Build an OLAP Reporting App in ASP.NET Using SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and Office XP
    Jeffrey Hasan and Kenneth Tu - October 2003
    Many organizations analyze their business-critical data using Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) technology. OLAP-based data mining provides a way to query multidimensional data sets and drill down into the data to find patterns. ASP.NET and the Microsoft Office Web Components (OWC) enable Web-based OLAP reporting. The OWC controls include PivotTable and Chart components that can be embedded in a Web page and scripted by programmers. In this article, the authors build a Web-based OLAP reporting app using ASP.NET, OWC, and SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services to illustrate the process.

  • Blogging: Design Your Own Weblog Application from Scratch Using ASP.NET, JavaScript, and OLE DB
    Marco Bellinaso - October 2003
    The ASP.NET advanced templated controls, such as the DataList and DataGrid, are perfect for many data representation situations. However, when you need the flexibility to render a variety of layouts, the Repeater control is what you need. In this article the author builds a full-featured blog application to illustrate the use of the Repeater and DataList controls that render nested data in a master-detail relationship. He then discusses how to override the default implementations of these controls by adding some client-side JavaScript code that makes the blog more responsive and enhances its usability.

  • Web Q&A: Schema From a DataSet, Exporting SQL Data to Excel, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - October 2003


  • The XML Files: OPENXML, XSLT Keys, Select versus Match, XPath, and More
    Aaron Skonnard - October 2003


  • Advanced Basics: Enterprise Services, SQL Script Editing
    Ken Spencer - October 2003


  • Talking To…: Eric Brown Discusses SQL Server—Past, Present, and Yukon
    - October 2003


  • Data Points: Developing Apps with the .NET Compact Framework, SQL Server CE, and Replication
    John Papa - September 2003


  • ASP.NET: Jump Start Your Web Site Development with the ASP.NET Starter Kits
    Paul Litwin - August 2003
    If you're building an ASP.NET Web site you could probably use a good, solid code foundation to start with and build upon. Wouldn't it be nice to start with a complete site, make a few tweaks and customizations, and go live? The ASP.NET Starter Kits are packaged solutions that let you do just that. The five kits—Community, Reports, Commerce, Portal, and Time Tracker—supply full, reusable code that can be easily customized. In addition, there are a number of ISPs that support automatic deployment of ASP.NET Starter Kit Web sites, leaving you with little left to do when you have to get there fast. Here, the author introduces the ASP.NET Starter Kits and builds a community Web site with lots of advanced features such as ratings, user polls, upload quotas, change notifications, and themes.

  • XSLT: Simplify Development and Maintenance of Microsoft .NET Projects with Code Generation Techniques
    Peter Ashley - August 2003
    Code generation techniques using technologies such as XSLT are playing an increasingly important part in software projects as they support the development of a rapidly maintainable code base. This article discusses some of the benefits and possible applications of code generation.To demonstrate these techniques the author develops a Web Forms application that supports the maintenance of records in a SQL Server database, using the database's own metadata to drive the generation process. The SQL Server database schema is extracted using SQLXML 3.0 data access and processed through XSLT stylesheets that generate both a database access layer and a Web Forms user interface with query and update pages.

  • Design Patterns: Architecture of an Autonomous Application
    Sten Sundblad and Per Sundblad - July 2003


  • Data Points: Techniques in Filling ADO.NET DataTables: Performing Your Own Analysis
    John Papa - June 2003
    How do you know which technique is best for retrieving data and populating a DataSet in ADO.NET?. Since the Microsoft .NET Framework offers so many choices on how to write the code, many developers are now taking a close look at the different options. See what they are.

  • Metadata: Create a Database Schema Repository with Meta Data Services in SQL Server 2000
    Alok Mehta and Ricardo Rodriguez - May 2003
    SQL Server 2000 Meta Data Services is a repository technology that stores and manages metadata for SQL Server. Instead of building database schemas over and over, Meta Data Services allows you to freeze an entire schema for use in other projects. You can also use these schemas for training, testing, or debugging. In this article, the authors will review the various components of Meta Data Services and show how it can be programmed using a Visual Basic client, XML, and XSLT. They will also show you how to manage and manipulate your metadata by generating a simple database schema using a SQL Server repository.

  • Web Q&A: Storing SQL Data, URL Query Length, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - May 2003
    Find out the best way to store large amounts of XML data in SQL Server, along with the performance implications. What's the maximum length of an XML query to SQL Server in a URL?

  • Data Points: Techniques for Managing Rowset Paging
    John Papa - May 2003
    There are a number of ways to handle paging in Web applications. This month I'll examine several paging techniques and weigh their pros and cons. John Papa discusses how to manage paging and caching issues through the lower tiers of an n-tiered architecture, including how to make SQL Server manage the paging on your app's behalf.

  • ADO.NET: Tackle Data Concurrency Exceptions Using the DataSet Object
    David Burgett - April 2003
    ADO.NET provides many techniques for improving the performance of data-intensive applications and for making them easier to build. The DataSet, the hallmark of the ADO.NET object model, serves as a miniature, disconnected facsimile of a data source. While using the DataSet improves performance by reducing expensive trips to the database server, it also introduces the possibility of multiple users attempting to change the same data simultaneously, thereby generating data concurrency exceptions. This article examines the common causes behind data concurrency exceptions and presents techniques for overcoming them.

  • Advanced T-SQL: Automate the Generation of Stored Procedures for Your Database
    Peter W. DeBetta and J. Byer Hill - April 2003
    Design-time automation makes coding faster and ensures that all the procedures generated use the same naming conventions and structure. In an effort to improve their coding efficiency in a large SQL project, the authors wrote a set of design-time stored procedures that generate run-time stored procedures, and have used them in project after project ever since. Recently, the authors updated their procedures to make use of SQL Server 2000 features, including user-defined functions. This article covers the creation and execution of these dynamic T-SQL scripts to automate the coding of common database stored procedures.

  • Web Q&A: Consuming a DataSet in ASP.NET, XML and SQL, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - April 2003


  • Wicked Code: Supporting Database Cache Dependencies in ASP.NET
    Jeff Prosise - April 2003
    Developers love the ASP. NET application cache. One reason they love it is that ASP. NET lets them create dependencies between items placed in the cache and files in the file system. If a file targeted by a dependency changes, ASP.

  • Site Skinning: Rich XML Classes Let Users Personalize Their Visual Experience on Your ASP.NET Site
    Harry Pierson - March 2003
    One way that Web sites and applications become better able to meet the needs of customers is by allowing them to personalize their experience. For Web sites, this means displaying the content as the user wants to see it. For rich-client applications, this often means allowing the user to choose the user interface through a technique known as skinning, which is similar to themes in Windows XP. This article shows how you can apply skinning to Web sites, wrapping their functionality in a new user interface. The technique uses the rich XML classes in the .NET Framework and the built-in extensibility of ASP.NET.

  • Go Mobile: Create Compact, Robust Mobile Apps with SQL Server CE 2.0 and the .NET Compact Framework
    Mark Brown and David Meunier - January 2003
    Developers have myriad options when it comes to creating solutions for mobile devices. One of the greatest challenges facing mobile developers is finding a compact yet robust local storage solution. SQL Server CE 2.0 promises to deliver on both fronts. This new release represents a tremendous leap in terms of features and performance over its predecessor. This article will review some of the platform and tools choices developers have today. The authors will compare and contrast the significant new features in SQL Server CE 2.0 with the previous release. Following that, they will build a sample app for illustration.

  • Web Q&A: Releasing Memory in JScript, Bulkload Problems, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - January 2003


  • Data Points: Expressions in ADO.NET
    John Papa - January 2003
    Managing relations in a database became a whole lot easier with ADO. NET. Instead of returning a single rowset to a data store, you can return a series of rowsets and relate them within a DataSet. There are numerous advantages to using related DataTables in ADO.

  • SQL Server: Build Apps that Provide Real-Time Information and Customized Content Using SQL Server Notification Services
    Mark Brown - November 2002
    The adoption of wireless devices continues to spread unabated, and organizations are looking for new ways to get in touch with customers through these new mobile devices. In the past, unsuccessful ideas such as push technology were used to send targeted information to customers. Now, SQL Server Notification Services uses the SQL Server 2000 database engine and the .NET Framework to promote a new breed of notification applications that will allow relevant, consensual communications to be sent to any subscriber device.Here the author provides an architectural overview of the core features that make up SQL Server Notification Services. Along the way he discusses how they can be used for pushing Web content.

  • Data Points: DataRelations in ADO.NET
    John Papa - November 2002
    One of the biggest differences between traditional ADO and ADO. NET is that the rowsets stored within ADO. NET can be truly relational. For example, a DataSet can store one DataTable containing customers and another DataTable containing the customers' orders.

  • Security Tips: Defend Your Code with Top Ten Security Tips Every Developer Must Know
    Michael Howard and Keith Brown - September 2002
    There are many ways to get into trouble when it comes to security. You can trust all code that runs on your network, give any user access to important files, and never bother to check that code on your machine has not changed. You can run without virus protection software, not build security into your own code, and give too many privileges to too many accounts. You can even use a number of built-in functions carelessly enough to allow break-ins, and you can leave server ports open and unmonitored. Obviously, the list continues to grow. What are some of the really important issues, the biggest mistakes you should watch out for right now so that you don't compromise your data or your system? Security experts Michael Howard and Keith Brown present 10 tips to keep you out of hot water.

  • Scripting SQL: VBScript Interfaces in SQL Server 2000 Let You Transform Data and Provide Reports to Your Users
    Alok Mehta and Daniel Williams - August 2002
    Application service providers often must send information to clients automatically rather than on-demand. For example, a manufacturer may want to know each day how many of their products were sold by a retail chain. While SQL Server is ideal for maintaining this type of database, you have to write scripts to get the data out in a client-friendly format. Here you will see how you can use Data Transformation Services (DTS), a powerful tool in SQL Server, to automate the retrieval and formatting of data from SQL Server 2000 and make the process of pushing data to your users a lot easier.

  • .NET Reflection: Dynamically Bind Your Data Layer to Stored Procedures and SQL Commands Using .NET Metadata and Reflection
    Atif Aziz - August 2002
    One major inconvenience of using SQL stored procedures from code is having to match type information. You have to write long wrapper functions around the procedures just to expose the data types. In the .NET Framework, however, the reflection services of the System.Reflection namespace allow you to query rich metadata that describe data types. This article explains how to use reflection in .NET to end your stored procedure nightmares. The author creates four custom classes, including one that generates a SQLCommand object based on the metadata of a method. Using this library, you'll be on your way to automating the generation of stored procedures.

  • Web Q&A: Passing XML to SQL Server, Document.write on Resize, Transformations on the Fly, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - August 2002


  • Bug Tracker: Build a Configurable Web-Based Bug Management Tool Using ADO.NET, XML, and XSLT
    Roy Margolis - July 2002
    One of the most significant features of ADO.NET is its integration with XML. Developers can either use an ADO-like API to access the data or work directly with an XML representation of the data. This article demonstrates how both of these techniques can be used together to create Web applications that take advantage of XML standards such as XSLT. The example presented here is a bug tracking application built using C# and the.NET Framework. The development of the application covers several topics including data access using ADO.NET, the presentation of data using XSLT stylesheets, and the integration of ADO.NET with the .NET XML Framework.

  • Data Points: Five Ways to Rev up Your SQL Performance
    John Papa - July 2002


  • Advanced Basics: Viewing the Values of a DataSet in a Debug Window
    Ken Spencer - July 2002


  • Editor's Note: Scratching Out Web Bugs
    - June 2002


  • The XML Files: WS-I, Exposing Stored Procedures as Web Services, and More
    Aaron Skonnard - June 2002


  • SQLXML 3.0: Build Data-Driven Web Services with Updated XML Support for SQL Server 2000
    Christian Thilmany - May 2002
    XML is becoming the ubiquitous data format on the Web, and XML support in SQL Server is evolving to meet the additional demand. Using XML, SOAP, HTTP, and SQL Server, you can now build powerful Web Services easily. To show just how simple it is with SQLXML 3.0, this article walks the reader through the process step by step, from setting up a virtual directory enabling data access via HTTP to executing queries and building Web Services. Finally, the author illustrates the creation of two Web Services clients-one with C# that works with the Microsoft .NET Framework and one with the SOAP Toolkit 2.0 for anyone still using earlier development tools.

  • Crystal Reports: Add Professional Quality Reports to Your Application with Visual Studio .NET
    Andrew Brust - May 2002
    Crystal Reports for Visual Studio .NET provides a comprehensive reporting solution for .NET developers that is thoroughly integrated with both the Visual Studio .NET IDE and the .NET Framework. Crystal Reports supports ADO.NET, XML Web Services, and ASP.NET server controls and caching. It also integrates seamlessly with the Visual Studio .NET Server Explorer, toolbox, and design environment. It has a rich programming model and flexible options for customizing and deploying reports. These major features and others covered here take the drudge work out of data representation in your own applications.

  • The XML Files: XSLT Processing, Processing Instructions in XML, Parameterizing Statements in XML, and More
    Aaron Skonnard - May 2002


  • Data Points: Building a Tiered Web App Using the DataSet and the ASP DataGrid
    John Papa - May 2002


  • Cutting Edge: Building Editing Capabilities into the SqlDataNavigator ASP.NET Control
    Dino Esposito - May 2002


  • SharePoint Portal Server 2001: Search and Access Disparate Data Repositories in Your Enterprise
    Kayode Dada - April 2002
    The knowledge worker is greatly empowered if she is able to access information across the enterprise from a central access point. With the SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Search Service you can catalogue information stored in Exchange public folders, on the Web, in the file system, and even in Lotus Notes databases. This article discusses the use of ActiveX Data Objects and the Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning protocol for creating search solutions based on SharePoint Portal Server 2001.

  • Cutting Edge: ASP.NET Data Shaping
    Dino Esposito - March 2002


  • SQL and Outlook: Enable Database Access and Updates Through Exchange and Any E-mail Client
    Alok Mehta and Daniel Williams - January 2002
    Using Microsoft technologies, you can insert, edit, query, and delete database entries using any e-mail client such as Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or even WAP phone. While e-mail is certainly a powerful and widely used tool, it is usually not integrated with an application for performing any tasks other than sending reminders. The application scenario described here, an e-mail-based SQL update program, uses a simple data model; however, this solution will apply to any data model that you are working with. It will also eliminate the need for complex n-tier Internet applications and serves as a low maintenance solution for providing data access.

  • SQL Server 2000 and XML: Developing XML-Enabled Data Solutions for the Web
    Scott Howlett and Darryl Jennings - January 2002
    Using XML for data access allows you to separate the data from the presentation, and promotes reuse, extensibility, and division of labor. XML also has a simplified data model, which promotes easier testing. This article presents and compares five data access approaches, using a variety of technologies including ASP and ADO, XSLT, and DirectXML. Once built, the solutions are compared on the basis of their speed and efficiency.

  • BizTalk and XML: Add E-Commerce to Your App with XML and SQL Server 2000
    Christian Thilmany - January 2002
    XML support in SQL Server lives up to the hype that's always surrounded XML. Using SQL Server 2000, you can send queries over HTTP, save XML records to the database, and retrieve records via XML. This article shows how you can take advantage of these features in SQL Server 2000 by building a database entry system that keeps track of sales and customer information. The sample app presented here uses updategrams to make the database updates. To accomplish this, the mapping and usage of updategrams is explained. In this example, BizTalk is used to illustrate the XML capabilities of SQL Server 2000.

  • Web Q&A: Navigation, Clickthroughs, Debugging, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - January 2002


  • Web Q&A: A Look at Usability
    Edited by Nancy Michell - November 2001


  • Data Points: Abstracting ADO.NET
    John Papa - November 2001


  • Web Q&A: XML to HTML, Editable Dropdown List, Sending Large XML Files to SQL, Streaming Media, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - October 2001


  • SQL and XML: Use XML to Invoke and Return Stored Procedures Over the Web
    Dave Grundgeiger, Anson Goldade, and Varon Fugman - August 2001
    Front-end developers frequently want to add functionality to the presentation tier of an n-tier architecture, but such requests can require changes on all tiers just to get the data and present it. This process can be made easier and more flexible by using SQL Server stored procedures to automate the delivery of data in XML format from the database to the front-end components. In the component presented here, stored procedures are invoked by XML strings, XML is returned, converted using XSL, and presented to the client in HTML. The technique supports rapid changes yet doesn't sacrifice the n-tier approach. This approach can be used with either SQL Server 7.0 or SQL Server 2000.

  • SQL Server CE: New Version Lets You Store and Update Data on Handheld Devices
    Paul Yao and David Durant - June 2001
    Handheld device users need to be able to synchronize with a main data store when it's convenient and, preferably, when the back-end database server isn't busy. SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition allows you to build a traveling data store that can be displayed and run on a variety of devices. SQL Server CE supports a subset of the full SQL Server package, and can be used as a standalone server or in tandem with SWL Server and IIS. The architecture of SQL Server CE, along with data manipulation, synchronization, and connectivity issues, are discussed in this article. Topics such as making your data public, choosing the right type of replication, and handling errors are also covered.

  • Web Q&A: Navigating Backwards, Ditching the Frameset, Referencing XML Nodes, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - June 2001


  • Go Global: Localizing Dynamic Web Apps with IIS 5.0 and SQL Server
    Jeremy Bostron and Doug Rothaus - May 2001
    The success of a database-driven international Web site depends on how well the code and localized content work together with the software on the client and server. Localizing a dynamic Web site is more complicated than localizing a static one. The use of HTML and ASP code for static and dynamic content on IIS 4.0 or 5.0, coupled with Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) and SQL Server, enables Web sites to support as many languages as necessary. Choosing the right character sets and code pages, the variations in the Unicode support for IIS 4.0 and 5.0, as well as ways to avoid some common pitfalls are all discussed.

  • SQL Server and DMO: Distributed Management Objects Enable Easy Task Automation
    Francesco Balena - May 2001
    SQL Server can be administered programmatically using system stored procedures, but Distributed Management Objects (DMO) offer a more modern, object-oriented alternative. This article introduces SQL-DMO in SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000 and describes the SQL-DMO object model, then focuses primarily on the Databases tree and the JobServer tree of the object model. The sample code and the article show how to use various objects such as the Registry object, the Configuration object, and the Database object to automate common administration tasks such as programmatically retrieving configuration settings, creating new databases, applying T-SQL scripts, and creating and scheduling backups.

  • Web Q&A: Image Map Tooltips, Mouseover Effects, Script Execution Order, XML Schemas, and More
    Edited by Nancy Michell - April 2001


  • Cutting Edge: Server-side ASP.NET Data Binding
    Dino Esposito - March 2001


  • Web Q&A: Onstop, Connecting to SQL with ASP, Hiding Images, Passing Values from a Control
    Robert Hess - November 2000


  • Taming the Stateless Beast: Managing Session State Across Servers on a Web Farm
    John Papa - October 2000
    Running a Web farm means managing session state across servers. Since session state can't be shared across a Web farm with Internet Information Services 5.0, a custom solution is required. One such solution using a tool called the session manager is described here. The article begins with a description of the SQL Server database used to store state information, the stored procedures used to update it, and the retrieval of session data. ASP code drives the session manager tool and the COM and COM+ components that run the stored procedures.

  • SQL Server 2000: New Features Provide Unmatched Ease of Use and Scalability to Admins and Users
    Carl Nolan - August 2000
    SQL Server 2000 includes many new features that extend its capabilities as a high performance relational database system with a rich development environment. This article presents an overview of new product features including AWE support, new data types, new user-defined and built-in functions as well as enhancements in trigger functionality, indexing, collation, and property definition. The article then concentrates on XML support, covering XML data retrieval and manipulation, queries, and HTTP access. It concludes with a discussion of performance improvements in SQL Server 2000.

  • Cutting Edge: SQL Server 7.0 and OLE DB Heterogeneous Queries
    Dino Esposito - August 2000


  • Microsoft Office 2000: Create Dynamic Digital Dashboards Using Office, OLAP, and DHTML
    Todd Abel - July 2000
    Digital Dashboards provide users with one single interface through which they can view information from a variety of sources that have been chosen specifically for that user. In addition, dashboards allow a user to view the information offline, adding portability to the mix. This article discusses options for building a dashboard based on the Microsoft Outlook folder home pages feature. It covers culling the data from disparate sources and storing it using the MSDE. It then discusses the creation of nugget definitions for structuring the data, and providing a synchronization mechanism to update to the data stores.

  • SQL/MTS: Automating the Creation of COM+ Components for a Database Schema
    Aleksandr Mikunov - July 2000
    Using Microsoft Windows DNA architecture as a guideline, it's possible to create scalable multitier database applications with COM+ and Microsoft Transaction Services. In fact, you can use existing table definitions to automatically build the MTS/COM+ business logic layer and data access components for your application. This article will walk you through the development of database transactions by mapping the transactions to automatically generated MTS/COM+ components. This technique can greatly simplify the task of creating components for a large project.

  • Building a Custom Data Grid: Performing Ad Hoc Web Reporting with a VBScript 5.0 Class Object
    Randall Kindig - July 2000
    A flexible, customizable grid for displaying data is a useful tool for ASP developers. It allows Web visitors to customize their view of your data. This article takes the data grid presented in "Ad Hoc Web Reporting with ADO 2.0" by John Papa and Charles Caison (MIND, December 1998) and adds handy features such as a finds feature that supports multiple finds and a mode for adding and editing records. This version also improves response time by allowing asynchronous record download and it componentizes the code so it can be used as a standalone VBScript class object that can be reused in other pages.

  • Info on the Go: Wireless Internet Database Connectivity with ASP, XML, and SQL Server
    Srdjan Vujosevic and Robert Laberge - June 2000
    Many handheld wireless devices such as cellular phones and PDAs already have the ability to access Web sites. So how do you build Web applications that tap this wireless audience? Although there are a number of limitations to wireless devices-such as screen size, navigation, and connection speed-you can use familiar Web development technologies to make your existing Web applications available to mobile users. This article outlines the services and equipment currently available to support wireless Web access. A sample wireless-accessible Web site that dynamically draws data from a SQL Server database back end in real time is created using tools such as ASP and XML.

  • Upsize Your Database: Convert Your Microsoft Access Application to Take Advantage of SQL Server 7.0
    Michael McManus - June 2000
    What if you need to convert an existing Microsoft Access 97 database application into a true client-server application that is based on a SQL Server back end? If you know a little about Visual Basic and SQL Server, it's easy to make your app take advantage of the power and scalability provided by SQL Server 7.0. Using some concrete code examples, this article takes you step by step through converting the native Jet queries in your Access application into stored procedures and pass-through queries that SQL Server can use. You'll also learn how to pass on parameters when your client-server app calls these SQL Server stored procedures and queries.

  • SQL Server 2000: New XML Features Streamline Web-centric App Development
    Joshua Trupin - March 2000
    With XML support in SQL Server 2000, you can query SQL over HTTP with a URL, bring the data down to the browser, and manipulate it on the client machine. By adding Internet Explorer 5.0 to the mix and using XSL to convert the XML to HTML, you can lighten the load on your database server. Going still one step further, by using Vector Markup Language you can even create drawings on the fly using the data from your SQL queries. This article illustrates this combination of technologies by leading you through the creation of a Web app that queries a digitized street map database that's been imported into a SQL Server database, sorts and displays the data using XML, and draws maps using VML.

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