PASS summit 2017

The PASS summit brings you three days of inspiring, jam-packed educational opportunities focused on the Microsoft Platform, professional connections, and new skills and know-how you can put to use immediately. Don’t forget to stop by the IDERA booth for your chance to win one of 3 apple watches!

What to expect this year at the summit:

  • More than 5,000 registrants from more than 2,000 companies
  • Representatives from 52 different countries
  • Over 200 technical sessions presented by industry experts from around the world including more advanced sessions than years before
  • 70+ hours networking with MVPs, experts and peers
  • Inspiring keynote speakers that include Rohan Kumar, Rimma Nehma, and Heather Ritchie,
  • An opportunity to connect, share and learn

Pass

How to purge Microsoft SQL email Items

Purge

There are times that housecleaning older mail in your database needs to be done.  A simple scheduled task can be done every month to purge what is no longer necessary.  SQL Server stores all mails and attachments in msdb database. To avoid unnecessary growth of msdb database you should remove these mail history unless it is required for auditing or other purposes.

As always make sure you have your backups done prior to running any sort of removal in the event you did something incorrectly.  By purging you are reducing the amount of wasted space in the msdb database that could be used for other things activities.

Simply running the following statement using T-SQL you can check the amount of database mails that have been processed from the catalog msdb.dbo.sysmail_allitems.   There are 3 additional  views which shows mails in their different statuses:  sysmail_faileditemssysmail_unsentitems and sysmail_sentitems.

 

SELECT  COUNT(*)  FROM  msdb.dbo.sysmail_allitems

You should get back the count of how many mail items are stored in the msdb.

How to delete mail

To delete mail items you can use system stored procedure sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp, it has below syntax:

sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp [@sent_before] [@sent_status]

You can delete mail using either of the parameters, @sent_before deletes all mail that were sent before specified date, and @sent_status deletes all mails with specified status.

For example, to delete all mails which are sent and are older than current month we can use:

EXEC  msdb.dbo.sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp

@sent_before = ‘2017-05-10 00:00:00’,

@sent_status = ‘sent’

You can modify the @sent_before to do the following:

DECLARE @PurgeDate datetime = dateadd(dd,-30,getdate());  

@PurgeDate will be the date from 30 days or older which is a good idea to remove that or you can change it to
-10 for anything older than 10 days.

So the statement would be

EXEC  msdb.dbo.sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp @sent_before=@PurgeDate;

You may choose to only delete mail items that have been successfully sent.  If that is the case then you can run the following code to delete your database mail based on the sent­_status of “sent”.

If you are not periodically deleting your mail then you might want to consider cleaning up old database mail that no longer has value.  Determine what retention period you should use for your database mail.  With your established retention period then just set up a SQL Agent job to purge your database mail based on your retention period.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows FREE

Veeam

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows is a simple, standalone agent that delivers backup and recovery for Windows servers and workstations running in the public cloud, for physical Windows servers and workstations, and endpoints running on‑premises.

It delivers all-new functionality to give you features and capabilities unheard of in a FREE desktop backup, and data recovery solution:

Active full backups: Meet your company policy by scheduling the periodic active full backup in backup job
Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure: Restore or migrate on‑premises, Windows-based physical server and endpoint backups directly into Microsoft Azure
Windows Server 2016 support: Get full support for Microsoft Windows Server 2016

You can visit the web site to read more on this amazing tool. Full support for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.  Free Windows backup for desktops and laptops.  So much more is available for you and your business.

Now just to be clear, for extra functionality, Veeam Agent for Windows must be coupled with their  Backup & Replication, which adds complexity and extra cost. Yes, these agents could be used as standalone solutions, but their functionality is limited by design.  That is where the word free comes in.  You get what you paid for but it is a start to test out and see if Veeam does fit your business as well as budget.

Now you can go with Acronis or Unitrends but as you add on servers, workstations, etc. the cost alone can hit you hard.  You must test out the software for the best overall solution and security for your business.  Backups are extremely important in this time of need due to the amount of computer hackers and thieves.  Our recommendation is to test out each piece for your location to see what is the best overall solution.

How to fix setup errors with SAP Crystal Reports 2016

SAP

It is always a small burden to install or execute the SAP Crystal Reports 2016 updates or service packs on a Windows 10 machine.  Things that just drive you crazy to put in a simple update or patch throws you off the track in so many minor ways.

Using Crystal Reports 2016 with Visual Studio is a robust reporting tool that you can access information from your SQL database or even Microsoft Access.  You can also purchase the standalone tool allowing you to build custom reports that you can load into the Crystal Server for multiple users to gain reporting.

A few fixes for updating

Some of the minor “dumb” things that can be fixed in seconds to complete your task are :

  1. Always execute the patch or service pack with Administrator rights otherwise you will get the misleading “Ports … must be opened”.  At first you think the AntiVirus or Firewall are using the ports but the error is very misleading.
  2. After you start the update the next possible problem could be the “suppressed reboot” error thus failing the update.  This is another misleading problem and this could be left over from any previous problems with executing the update.  Following the steps below to solve this issue

The following resolution involves editing the registry. Using the Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall the Microsoft Windows operating system. Use the Registry Editor at your own risk. It is strongly recommended that you make a backup copy of the registry files before you edit the registry. For information on how to edit the registry key, view the ‘Changing Keys And Values’ online Help topic in the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

  1. Click Start > Run. The Run Dialogue box appears.
  2. Type “regedit” in the Open field. Click OK. The Registry Editor appears.
  3. Navigate to \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\
  4. Double click on the PendingFileRenameOperations
  5. Delete the content of this value
  6. Click OK > Yes > OK
  7. Launch the installer and no reboot is required

So this resolves installing any Crystal Reports 2016 update/patch/service pack.

Now if SAP can only get the patch or service pack to install quicker.

Expert Delphi by Paweł Głowacki

 

Expert

After reading the latest book from Author Pawel Glowacki the feeling of fresh FireMonkey Delphi material left an excellent karma.  It should be part of anyone’s Delphi Library since it has great reference material.  The book was written by Pawel Glowacki whom is Embarcadero’s European Technical Lead for Developer Tools.

The book begins with a basic primer on Delphi helping you get accustomed to the IDE and the Object Pascal language.  It quickly moves into advanced concepts dealing with FireMonkey.  You should be able to build server-side services, create new Internet of Things (IOT) and integrate your applet with web services to deploy them to market.

As always the pricing from PackT is on the mark.  The writing is very clear at 506 pages and does come with the eBook Format for those wanting that instead of print.

Pawel touches FireDAC which is the database component to gain access to various databases.  DataSnap as well as Rad Server which allows your software to request data from a secured environment.  Finally the pieces alone on FireMonkey are well worth the price.  It takes you from installing, preparing and developing a smart phone applet.  There is a section on deployment to the various platforms.

FireMonkey is RAD

Working with Delphi VCL and FireMonkey provide any software developer to quickly build a solution for either clients or market.  The Delphi library on the FireMonkey side is growing and with the ability of building Linux server command line applications it is opening new doors.

You can visit the Embarcadro web site for additional information pertaining to either the C++ or Delphi or Rad Studio which includes both compilers.  The other thing to know that you will need the enterprise addition to create Linux applications as well as DataSnap.

You can visit the Packt web site to check the table of contents but Baron Software highly recommends to purchase a copy.

The 2017 Microsoft Product Roadmap

The 2017 Microsoft Product Roadmap has been updated and released for the public to view what is going to be coming this year.  One large item is the MS SQL Server release for Linux.  This alone may open the doors for Microsoft to take over the Linux market from MYSQL who has been the center piece on Linux for years.   This year’s product roadmap looks to be a bit less crowded, though major changes are on tap for Microsoft’s productivity solutions, while Windows 10 is poised for another landmark update.  https://rcpmag.com/articles/2011/02/01/the-2011-microsoft-product-roadmap.aspx

Microsoft is attacking the Linux arena at this point giving Windows developers the necessary tools to work with MS Code to build Python applications or access a SQL server.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2017

Another major release will be Visual Studio 2017 that will:

  • Enhancements to productivity: Visual Studio 2017 features new filtering capabilities in IntelliSense, improvements to navigation and debugging, live code analysis and editing, and the ability to access files without projects.
  • Greater mobile development support: Developers can build iOS, Windows and Android apps using JavaScript, C# and C++. Visual Studio 2017 also comes with a mobile test recorder for application testing purposes.
  • More streamlined development for the cloud: “Visual Studio 2017 RC improves DevOps workflows from Git-based version control to making it much simpler to create continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines,” according to Montgomery.
  • Speed and performance improvements: Visual Studio 2017 is faster to install and start up, has a smaller memory footprint, and loads solutions between two to four times faster than its predecessor.

The roadmap looks pretty strong with the different avenues that developers can grow new products and possibly get additional business / profits from.  Microsoft also will be delivering a new XBox as well as the Surface Pro 5 so 2017 seems to be a strong Microsoft year to come.

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for your database (SQL)

Idera

 

Idera recently had a fantastic webinar that went over the creation of a disaster recovery plan concerning your databases.  This should be a high critical piece of work usually done by DBAs within a company.  Let’s go over a simple set of plans that depending on the type of company you are dealing with, can be done either large or small.

  1. Backups.  All backups should be done with incremental or full backups of your database.  There should be a protected network folder that contains the incremental in one and the full backups (usually done once a week) in a separate folder.  An incremental is a backup that contains only a snapshot of transactions that are done during a day while a full backup contains the entire database.
  2. Data model.  A data model provides a visual as well as a detailed layout of each database / table that provides a method for someone to read and understand how the data is stored.  It can be noted as a roadmap that contains the relationships between the tables within the database as well as the keys / indexes that work with the tables.
  3. User security profiles.  Each DBA should have a listing of the usernames / passwords in a safe area.  In the event a fellow member leaves but they had the password on a specific database you now possibly have the way in.  There are numerous companies that tend to not have that and during the exit interviews it becomes lost.
  4. Contact listing of people.  The contact list contains the individuals that have to be notified if a database is corrupted and has to be repaired or restored from the backups.  You can set the priority of each person as well.
  5. Checklist. By having a checklist of what to do in the event of a DRP it will keep you focus on getting everything back up and running.  One missed step could push you back thus delaying the recovery.
  6. Backup life cycles.  Each company is different and whether the backups are taken off site for now long and when are they removed / erased.  You have to plan this out and the usually lifecycle is between 3 months to a year.

These are only minor steps but at least they do enforce a DRP that any DBA needs to have in place prior to the disaster happening.

Happy 15th Birthday .NET!

Microsoft

Today marks the 15th anniversary since .NET debuted to the world. On February 13th, 2002, the first version of .NET was released as part of Visual Studio.NET.  Microsoft was building its “Next Generation Windows Services” and unleashed a new level of productivity with Visual Studio.NET. Since the beginning, the .NET platform has allowed developers to quickly build and deploy robust applications, starting with Windows desktop and web server applications in 2002. You got an entire managed framework for building distributed Windows applications, ASP.NET was introduced as the next generation Active Server Pages for web-based development, and a new language, C# came to be.

With the release of Visual Studio 2017 coming on March 7th and Visual Studio’s 20th anniversary, .NET Core tools reach 1.0. Tune in March 7th and watch the keynote and live Q&A panels.  The biggest question for developers will be the Visual Studio 2017 release whether to go with the community or professional version.

 

Happy Birthday to Delphi at 22 years and counting

Delphi for Linux

Well with the next release, “Godzilla – Tokyo” currently in beta testing and getting prepared to support Linux servers, there is no better way then to shout out a happy birthday to Delphi.

Delphi History

Delphi was originally developed by Borland as a rapid application development tool for Windows as the successor of Turbo Pascal. Delphi added full object-orientation to the existing language, and since then the language has grown and supports many other modern language features, including generics and anonymous methods, as well as unusual features such as inbuilt string types and native COM support. Delphi and its C++ counterpart, C++Builder, share many core components, notably the IDE, the Visual Component Library (VCL), and much of the RTL, and are compatible with each other: C++Builder 6 and onwards can consume Delphi-language files and C++ in the one project, and packages compiled with C++Builder written in C++ can be used from within Delphi. In 2007, the products were released jointly as RAD Studio. RAD Studio is a shared host for Delphi and C++Builder, and can be purchased with either or both.

Delphi, part of RAD Studio, includes a code editor with Code Insight(code completion), Error Insight (real-time error-checking), and other features; refactoring; a visual forms designer for both VCL (native Windows) and FMX (cross-platform, partially native per platform); an integrated debugger for all platforms including mobile; source control (SVN, git, and Mercurial); and support for third-party plugins. It has strong database support. Delphi is remarkably fast to compile: unlike any other common languages, including C# and Swift, it is not unusual for a Delphi project of a million lines to compile in a few seconds – one benchmark gave 170,000 lines per second.   It is under active development, with (in 2016) releases every six months, with new platforms being added approximately every second release.

Baron Software have used the product since the beginning with their award winning applications thanks to Delphi which is the best RAD solution available today.  Happy Birthday with much more to come.

2017 STATE OF GLOBAL TECH SALARIES

Baron Software

For the second year in a row, Hired has tapped into its data to reveal insights into technology workers’ salaries and the hiring market more generally. Because Hired facilitates the job searching process from the initial interview request all the way to the final job offer, we have unprecedented visibility into salaries across a variety of positions and companies. Most of the tools available to companies and job seekers are flawed and inaccurate. Salary calculators don’t account for company size, years of candidate experience or location, while many job sites are based on anonymous, self-reported data which can vary widely in accuracy. Hired’s data, on the other hand, is based on actual job offers made to real people.

This second edition of Global State of Tech Salaries report is part of our larger effort to bring more transparency to the hiring process and provide an inside look at the compensation landscape for tech workers. As a result of our recent expansion into France, Australia and Singapore, we now have access to salary information in 16 of the world’s biggest tech markets, and have broadened this year’s report to reflect our truly global reach. Moreover, we recently began collecting voluntary demographic data from candidates on our platform, which allows us to analyze how race, age and bias can impact one’s salary.

The salary between races is a call to action as to why there is a $10,000 difference and the salaries tend to fall once a candidate is 50 or older.  Women are not mentioned in the salary breakdown as well.  Developers that are looking for new offers will have to keep in mind that these salary structures are based on experience, skill level and whether the company wishes to put that much into you.