September 2009 Archives

I’m well into the research for my new (and overdue) SQL Server Magazine article on Report Builder 2.0. Along the way I’ve discovered a couple of interesting bugs. It seems that if you choose to use the “Stored Procedure” command type you can indeed name a stored procedure, but the wizard won’t set it up correctly unless it has defaults defined for each of its parameters.

Incidentally, you had better be prepared for the wizard to execute this puppy (not just parse for signature) as the SP gets executed at least once if not several times in the process. I expect this would be a problem if the SP took seven and a half hours to execute…

I also discovered that even when defaults are defined, the wizards don’t properly map the query parameters the first time. Once the Dataset is created you have to go back to the DataSet properties and Refresh Fields. Tacky…

I’m still tracking down why stored procedures are not listed along with the Tables and Views in the Query editor… I expect it might be (another) Windows 7 rights issue.


At the suggestion of the MeetMe technical support team, I uploaded a demo video in AVI format to their site. While it began to play on the client end, on my end, Windows Live Meeting crashed. The MS support folks have informed me that the AVI format is not supported—but the .WMV or .MPG formats are.



After my last debacle with Windows Live Meeting where all four cores of my processor were pegged, my heat alarm was beeping and my patience was being quickly exhausted, I decided to give up on WLM—at least before Microsoft stepped in. When I got back in town from my penance trip to Leavenworth, Kansas and the biker wedding at the tattoo parlor in Ruidoso, NM (film at 11), I called up the WML support team (866-493.2825) (on a Saturday afternoon). To my delight a friendly voice answered and was able to offer a number of suggestions. Apparently WLM has free support 7/24. So, what were the suggestions?

  • Disable Hardware Acceleration on the video card. This is easier said than done in Windows 7 as I’ll explain next. The support pro told me that this solves 90% of the performance problems. It did occur to me that if this is really the case (as it seems to be), why doesn’t WLM just make this change on its own as it starts?
  • Use the Content tab to choose just those applications to share—not the entire desktop. Again, this makes it harder to run a smooth demo unless you open up the applications to share ahead of time and add them to the Content tab. However, this can lead to poorer performance as WLM might be overwhelmed by the increased workload. Since I have two monitors and many windows open that should not be shared (including gadgets) I can see how this would help. I would like to see an option where WLM shares applications on a specific monitor. While one can setup a sharing window, I could never get this to work correctly—perhaps if this was fixed…
  • Don’t share your screen-cam  Window—it’s okay to get WML to show your video, just don’t include it as one of the shared windows.

Turning off video card hardware acceleration has always been a problem with screen scrapers and application sharing. I should have remembered this trick as we ran across it a decade ago while I was evaluating screen sharing programs at MSTE in the 90’s. My problem is with Windows 7—it seems the dialog to change these video card settings has been disabled for some reason. This means you can’t use the Advanced Settings | Troubleshooting | Change Settings  technique that we could use in XP and Vista to make this change.

Fortunately, I discovered that if you install the DirectX SDK, you can disable hardware acceleration in Windows 7 by clicking on the DirectDraw tab and un-checking the Use Hardware Acceleration checkbox as shown below. The DirectX SDK can be downloaded from here.





Webinars Next Week

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Progressive Business and Beta V have partnered together to present another series of technical webinars. The current series focuses on SQL Server and Reporting Services and consists of six 90-minute talks given two a day for three days. The next scheduled offerings are September 9-11, October 13-15 and November 2-5th. See the following link for an outline and pricing details. Note that this series includes a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server (7th Edition) as well as a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services—once we get them from the publisher…

Visual Studio, SQL Server & Reporting Services: 6 High Impact Training Sessions
This is a set of 6 seminars given in two parts—one that focuses on SQL Server, the second on Reporting Services. This high-impact series of training webinars is for anyone who wants to leverage Visual Studio, SQL Server and Reporting Services best practices—learning what works, what doesn't and why. These sessions are for developers, architects and managers who want to know how and (more importantly) when to leverage the power and benefits of SQL Server and Reporting Services.



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This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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