Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 Reasons for Access Developers and Users to be Thankful for SQL Server 2008 R2 Express

Brian Egler posted his Top Ten Scrooge List for SQL Server – “Polar Express” version to NetworkWorld’s Back to Microsoft Subnet on 12/20/2010:

image Last year, I listed my first annual "Top Ten Scrooge list for SQL Server". In the spirit of the season, I started thinking about those features that Microsoft charges top-dollar for with SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition that really should be included in the other editions.

image Well, now I know Bill Gates does not read my blog because only two of the items have been moved off the list. Let’s take a look at last year’s list and how they stack up today with SQL Server 2008 R2…

1. Data Compression - still Enterprise :(
2. Data Driven Subscriptions - still Enterprise :(
3. Database Snapshots - still Enterprise :(
4. Backup Compression - now Standard Edition! :)
5. Transparent Data Encryption - still Enterprise :(
6. Peer to Peer Replication - still Enterprise :(
7. Distributed Partitioned Views - still Enterprise :(
8. Fuzzy Lookups in Integration Services - still Enterprise :(
9. Scale-Out Reporting Services - still Enterprise :(
10. Infinite Clickthrough in Report Builder - now Standard Edition! :)

image OK, in the spirit of the season, this year, instead of listing features in the higher editions that should be in the lower editions, I’ll list the features that are in the Express edition that we are lucky to have for FREE. Scrooge would certainly approve of the price if he were paying…

Here’s my 2010 “Top Ten Scrooge List for SQL Server – Polar Express version” [with emphasis added]

1. An Express Database can be up to 10GB now (up from 4GB)
2. FILESTREAM Data is supported and does NOT count against the 10GB max
3. Database Mirroring Witness can be Express
4. SQL Server Import Export Wizard included
5. Change Tracking supported in Express
6. Column level Data Encryption included
7. Logon Triggers supported
8. Policy Based Management supported
9. Powershell support
10. Reporting Services in Express with Advanced Services edition (still FREE!)

I guess the glass is half-full after all. Let’s be thankful for that this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

PS Here's a nice festive B-Tree with a Heap of presents! http://xkcd.com/835/
(Thanks to my students at www.rim.com)

I’m still waiting for the SQL Azure team to enable Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and Full-Text Search (FTS) in SQL Azure.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Copies of “Microsoft Access 2010 In Depth” Are Arriving from the Printer

Loretta Yates, who’s Pearson Education’s Senior Acquisitions Editor for Microsoft Access 2010 In Depth, reported receiving a copy of the book from the printer on 12/20/2010.

This means copies should be available for shipment from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers, as well as on the shelves of brick and mortar retailers by 1/1/2011, as expected.

Keyboard Shortcut and Accelerator Key Combinations Aid Readers with Disabilities

A few days ago, I received a message from a blind reader about Microsoft Access 2010 In Depth’s Safari edition:

    • Microsoft Access 2010 In Depth
    • Keyboard Shortcuts in Access 2010         
    • Thank you for using keyboard shortcuts in your book. As a blind database developer, it is refreshing to read a book where I can go right to work instead of trying to figure out the keyboard shortcuts on my own because the book was written with only mouse users in mind. I use speech output and a Braille display to work with Access and your book will definitely make my databases easier to build and design. Thank you!

Here’s an example of shortcut key codes from the book’s Chapter 3, “Navigating the Fluent User Interface:”




















Most step-by-step examples also include shortcut and accelerator key combinations.

Download the Official “Microsoft Office 2010 Volume Licensing Guide”

image Download the “Microsoft Office 2010 Volume Licensing Guide” in .docx format here.

From the Summary:

The Microsoft Office 2010 Licensing Guide provides an overview of the core product offerings, licensing models, and Software Assurance (SA) migrations for customers with active Software Assurance.

Microsoft Office 2010 Product Snapshot

Microsoft Office 2010 provides a wide range of powerful new ways for people to do their best work from anywhere—whether they are using a PC, Smartphone, or Web browser.* To provide customers with more flexibility to best meet their unique needs, Microsoft offers a variety of Microsoft Office 2010 suites.

The Microsoft Office 2010 suites available through Volume Licensing include:

  • Microsoft® Office Standard 2010
  • Microsoft® Office Professional Plus 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 suites available through Retail and / or OEM:

  • Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (OEM only offering)
  • Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2010
  • Microsoft® Office Home and Business 2010
  • Microsoft® Office Professional 2010
  • Microsoft® Office Professional Academic 2010

With the release of Office 2010, retail and reseller customers have two ways to purchase and activate an Office suite on new PCs pre-loaded with the Office image. In addition to the traditional disc product, consumers may choose the new Office 2010 Product Key Card. The Product Key Card and traditional disc are both available for Office Home and Student 2010, Office Home and Business 2010, Office Professional 2010 and Office Professional Academic 2010 (Academic is available through Authorized Academic Resellers only).

Office 2010 in Microsoft Volume Licensing

For Microsoft Volume Licensing customers, Office 2010 provides more business value in each product offering plus new, innovative integrated Microsoft Office Web App capabilities*. Software Assurance customers benefit from an efficient migration path to Office 2010 and can take advantage of training, deployment planning, and technical support benefits to get the most out of the software.

*An appropriate device, Internet connection, and supported Internet Explorer®, Firefox, or Safari browser are required. Some mobile functionality requires Office Mobile 2010 which is not included in Office 2010 applications, suites, or Web Apps. There are some differences between the features of the Office Web Apps, Office Mobile 2010 and the Office 2010 applications.

From the Table of Contents:

  • Summary 4
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Product Snapshot 4
  • Office 2010 in Microsoft Volume Licensing 4
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Volume Licensing Offerings 5
  • Software Assurance Migration 7
  • Office Web Apps in Office 2010 7
  • Licensing of Office Web Apps 7
  • Key Dependencies 7
  • Office 2010: Enhanced Business Productivity through Server Integration 8
  • Enterprise Search 10
  • Volume Licensing Programs and Activation 11
  • Software Assurance Benefits for Microsoft Office 12
  • Enrollment of OEM Office 2010 Licenses into Volume Licensing 12
  • Volume Activation Benefits 13
  • Office 2010: Key Takeaways 14
  • Frequently Asked Questions 15
  • Appendix 17
  • Microsoft Office Licensing Glossary 17
  • For More Information 18

Friday, December 17, 2010

Adding Silverlight Content to Access 2010’s Web Browser Control

The Microsoft Access team posted Power Tip: Integrate Silverlight into an Access database (Part II) on 12/17/2010:

As you may remember from their previous post, software developer Derrick VanArnam and DBA Russell Fox have developed a way to integrate Silverlight into an Access database by using the Web Browser Control that is included with Access 2010. Since that first post, they have been working on ways to improve the coding experience to make the Silverlight/Access integration faster and easier, and they now have a new version of their free sample database available for download. Check out their post here!

Have a Power Tip you'd like to share? Send it to us at accpower@microsoft.com.

See the Integrate Silverlight into an Access Project with a Web Browser Control post of 11/17/2010 for the first episode in this series.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SharePoint Developer Blogs Consolidated

Beth Massi (@bethmassi) announced on 12/14/2010 the consolidation of various Microsoft SharePoint blogs into a New SharePoint Developer Team Blog:

image[15] To make it easy for developers to make sure they’re getting all the latest technical information around developing SharePoint solutions, the SharePoint, Visual Studio and Office User Assistance teams have decided to combine their blogging efforts into the SharePoint Developer Team Blog. Think of it as your one-stop shop for developer-centric SharePoint information, straight from the product teams and user assistance folk responsible for SharePoint Foundation, Server, SharePoint Online, and the SharePoint development tools in Visual Studio.

Here’s what you can expect from this blog going forward:

  • Regular, detailed technical information on SharePoint development, such as walkthroughs and code samples, from the people who designed those product features and tools
  • Early, first-look versions of content being prepared for publication to MSDN
  • Cross-posts and pointers to SharePoint-centric developer content on other specialized blogs
  • Announcements of interest to SharePoint developers, such as content updates, service releases, or developer events.

So we’re hoping you’ll subscribe, and pass the following easy-to-remember URL on to your SharePoint developer friends and colleagues:


And if there are particular things you’d like to see covered or discussed, by all means leave them a comment.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Simba Technologies Announces ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault

Simba's ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault is an easy to install ODBC driver for your PC. It allows you to access your HealthVault data using popular desktop applications like Microsoft Excel® and Access®.

Microsoft HealthVault is a privacy and security-enhanced data storage and sharing platform that helps consumers enable an easy, ongoing exchange of data among different health applications and devices in a centralized location. There is an entire ecosystem of smart health devices and software applications that interface with and enable central information storage on HealthVault.

Simba Technologies has developed a custom ODBC driver that connects a multitude of familiar applications, including Microsoft Excel and Access, to HealthVault. Using Simba’s innovative ODBC driver, users gain a convenient way to access, view and use data uploaded into a HealthVault account from various health and fitness devices.

Simba’s ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault demonstrates the features and flexibility of Simba’s data connectivity solutions. Try it for free and experience how easy and seamless it is to use a wide range of standards-based reporting and analysis tools to access your data.

Do Even More with Your Data Using Familiar Applications

Simba’s ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault provides users with a choice in which application they choose to review and track their health data. Users can upload data into HealthVault from a wide variety of smart health devices, including heart rate monitors, pedometers, glucose meters and asthma inhalers, and then pull the data into applications to graph and review it. For example, a user can test their blood sugar levels with a glucose meter, sync the data to HealthVault and then use an application such as Excel to graph it and look for patterns. Similarly, with patient permission, a doctor can use an application to review and chart a patient’s data.

Simba’s ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault makes HealthVault data look as if it is stored locally in Microsoft Access or SQL Server. You can see the organization of your data as tables and columns, as if you were looking at a Microsoft Access database schema. With reporting and analysis tools like Microsoft Excel and Access, you can connect to HealthVault through the driver and create queries to retrieve your health information for further review.

The Simba ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault is a simple driver that expands the possibilities of HealthVault. It can be enhanced and extended to add greater functionality. Similarly, Simba can help you build a custom solution specific to your needs.

An Easy Data Access Solution from the Data Connectivity Experts

Simba’s ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault leverages Simba’s expertise in building connectivity solutions. The driver is based upon Simba’s proven ODBC data connectivity technology.

We have helped thousands of businesses unlock their data. If you need help building a driver for your device, or assistance with a data connectivity or software development project, we can help. Contact us to learn more.

Download the Driver for FREE

Download and install the Simba ODBC Driver for Microsoft HealthVault for free. Try for yourself the convenience of reviewing non-standard database data using standard tools like Microsoft Excel. Installation is easy, and the installer will help you register with HealthVault if you don’t already have an account.