Microsoft Community Technology Update 2013

Community Technology Update (CTU) is around the corner! For the next time, it will be held at Microsoft Singapore (Level 21 Auditorium – 1 Marina Boulevard, #21-00, Singapore 018989) on 27th July 2013 (Saturday).

Do you know that Community Technology Update is the biggest event in Singapore and is the only chance to meet up with experts ranging from MVPs (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional), SME (Subject Matter Experts) and UG Leads (User Group Leads – Windows User Group, ASP.NET User Group, SharePoint User Group etc and many more) along with folks from various industry to interact with!

So what are you waiting for? Most importantly other than the fantastic sessions that you will take away, the grand prize will be a Surface Pro (128GB with Type Cover)!!!

Sign up via – here

See you there! 🙂

Installation Process and Preview of SQL Server 2014 CTP 1

I am really excited that today Microsoft has released the line of updated products such as,-

  1. SQL Server 2014 CTP 1
  2. System Center 2012 R2
  3. Windows Server 2012 R2

Times like this really kept me excited and busy trying out the new release and hopefully without much interference from my job, I will be able to meddle and understand the new features in the upcoming releases. For every product release, there bound to have installation guide that will be floating around and I hope to the first few to share with you my experience of installing this preview products. 🙂

Here goes… While downloading the media from TechNet, I have already prepare one of the virtual machine that is loaded with Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition.

1) Insert the media via Hyper-V console and the ISO will auto run (if it doesn’t, click on the disc drive at “My Computer“)

01_Starting_Installation_of_SQLServer2014_CTP1

2) This menu page looks rather similar to the one of SQL Server 2012.

02_Starting_Installation_of_SQLServer2014_CTP1

3) Click on “Installation” and in my case since this is will be a stand-alone database server, I always select the first option “New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.

03_Starting_Installation_of_SQLServer2014_CTP1

4) The “Setup Support Rules” will appear, just take things as default. Click “OK“.

04_Installation_Setup_Support_Rules

5) If you have a product key, enter the product key and the installer will determine what version of SQL Server you are entitled to, for the demo purposes, I am selecting “Evaluation” version.

05_Enter_Product_Key

6) In the “License Terms” page, you may just want to check the checkbox “I accept the license terms” and continue with the installation unless you do not comply with the agreement terms.

06_License_Terms

7) The installer will continue to install the Setup Files on the system. One feature I really like since version 2012 is that it will bundle in new product updates available during the installation rather than patching it manually later on after installation.

07_Install_Setup_Files

8) Once “Setup Support Rules” has completed, review the results of the rules to see if there is any show-stopper. For my case, Windows Firewall isn’t a show-stopper even though there is “Warning” sign because it just means that even if you installed SQL Server, users may not be able to access this server as the required ports are not opened.

08_Setup_Support_Rules

9) Select the type of role you want this database server to be configured, for all demo machine, I tends to choose “All Features with Defaults” so that I can have a better understanding of what is being changed.

09_Setup_Role

10) Leaving this as default as I wish to install all features available.

10_Feature_Selection

11) Installation rules completed to verify that the necessary files and settings are correct before the configuration starts.

11_Installation_Rules

12) Instance Configuration – Configure the Instance ID and defining the root directory. All along, I always make sure I do not have any SQL related stuffs sitting on the same drive as my OS. Therefore, I will do some modification as shown in the 2nd image below.

12_Instance_Configuration

 

13_Instance_Configuration_MyPractices

13) Review the disk summary

14_DiskSpace_Requirements

14) Defining the Service Accounts – As shown in the 2nd image, I always have a set of practices that I align with for all my deployments.

15_Server_Configuration

16_Server_Configuration_Accounts

15) Database Engine Configuration – This is the part to select whether you will need what type of Authentication Mode and specifying the SQL Server Administrator (You need not define all the Administrator at one go, you may do so later on using SQL Server Management Studio and assigning the various roles to the users)

17_Database_Engine_Configuration

18_Database_Engine_Configuration

16) Analysis Services Configuration – Leave the default settings and add the right administrator to it.

19_Analysis_Services_Configuration

17) Reporting Services Configuration – The standard menu where it gives you two options to select from,- I usually goes for the first one to let SQL Server Installer do the job for configuring the Reporting Services for me.

20_Reporting_Services_Configuration

18) Distributed Replay Controller – Assign the respective Administrator

21_DRC_Configuration

19) Distributed Replace Client – Define the name of the Controller Name

22_DRC_Configuration_Specify_ControllerName

20) Error Reporting – Somehow, I feel that this option should only be provided upon meeting any errors and this page should be left out during installation. (Just my opinion)

23_Error_Reporting

21) Installation Configuration Rules

24_Installation_Configuration_Rules

22) Summary of the configuration settings

25_Ready_To_Install

23) Installation Progress – There we go…

26_Installation_Progress

24) Installation Completed

27_Installation_Complete

28_Installation_Complete

25) Verification of the SQL Server version

29_Start_Menu

30_Start_Program

31_SSMS

32_Verification_of_Version

 

All in all, I feel that this release of the SQL Server has not changed much in terms of the ecstatic which is good. It just means that Microsoft is really accepting opinion from the grounds and putting in more useful features that people are requesting for! For more information of what’s new in SQL Server 2014, check out of one of the article that I personally like here. In my next few posts on SQL Server 2014, I will be experimenting out and write out the experience that I have with the “Cloud“! 🙂

Until then…

Regards,
Milton Goh

[Review] Red-Gate SQL Data Generator

Today when I was preparing one of my Microsoft SQL Server Virtual Machine for one of the Proof-of-Concept (POC) for one of our client, it came to my attention that I needed some test data so that it can facilitate in my POC. My whole POC is about generating beautiful graphs using tool-kits from Infragistics. Therefore, in order to make things look more realistic, I would need lots of data that will be eventually pumped into the UltraChart elements to populate my various graphs such as Bar Chart or Polar Chart.

So what are some of the quick and dirty ways to get test data loaded into the database?

I went to search online and found out solutions from Free and Not-So-User-Friendly ones and those that are Paid and Comprehensive ones and also Paid and Not-That-Comprehensive-Ones. So which would you get?

As previously I have been exposed to the whole suite of tools from Red-Gate known as the SQL Tool Belt (I may not have gotten the name correctly!). Thus, I head over to the Red-Gate website and took a look at what is their offerings! I downloaded the installer and installed not only the SQL Data Generator but also the other products along with the suite so that I can further perform testing. Here is how easy and comprehensive  Red-Gate SQL Data Generator is!

01_SQLDataGenerator_2_StartWindow

 

-> After installation, it will appear in the Start Menu (unless otherwise you have chose not to add it into the Start Menu). Launch the program.

02_Start_SQLDataGenerator_2

 

-> Notice the trial period stated, ignoring message for now since I will probably kill this Virtual Machine that I am using after 14 days. 😉

03_Configuring_Database_Connectivity

04_Configuring_Database_Connectivity_SelectDb

 

-> Select the target database server and database.

05_List_Database_Properties

 

-> Notice how much details is being shown! It’s so clear-cut and easy to use!

06_Modify_Database_Properties

 

-> Modify each database table column by simply clicking on the column that you intend to make changes and make the necessary changes using the available settings feature on the top. These settings simply are those that set the boundary of the data to be inserted. 

07_Set_ProductPrice_ToBe_1

 

-> Take for example, I am changing the minimum value for the “ProductPrice“. I am taking the assumption that my product would at least cost a dollar therefore putting 1 as the bottom-line is better in case the generator generates zero value into the field.

08_Set_ProductStock_0

 

-> Same goes here, the value that is being pre-set is the upper limit of the data type being assigned to each column, however to be realistic, we know that I probably wouldn’t have stock level of more than 2 millions quantity thus I am limiting it down the upper limit.

09_Ready_To_Populate_Data

 

-> When all the settings have been manipulated and reviewed, then hit on the “Generate Data” button located on the top menu bar to get things going.

10_Populate_Data_Report

 

-> One thing about tools that are payable, it will make life easy for you until the level it produces report on the data insertion although it is just test data.

11_Verify_Data

 

-> Lastly, we will verify the data being added via SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). 

Of course, other than this paid tool from Red-Gate, there are others methods such as importing CSV into the database, however that way is much more manual and require more effort in manipulating the data to be inserted. So , to all my friends out there, if you need to do lots of POC or wanting to setup an environment with some pretty realistic data, please check out Red-Gate tools!

Combining the use of NFC, Samsung TecTiles and Samsung Galaxy Note II

Since I have gotten the Samsung Galaxy Note II for such a long time (I own it since Day 1) and probably have yet to explore *all* the features that are available. So I came across there was such an existence of Samsung TecTiles in the market and after some studying of it, I realize that it may be good use to me and many others out there.

Scenario

I subscribed to the Flexi Value plan from Singtel after July 1st last year and I am one of the many that have suffered a fair bit by downgrading from the usual 12GB data package to merely 3GB for me. Moreover, I used the same data package that is allocated to my mobile line and co-shared it with my iPad Mini. So logically, my usage has almost hit the tip almost every month! As such, I decided to only use Wi-Fi as much as possible as I am not the type of person who is willing to folk out a cent more for data usage if I have other means. Call me cheap or stingy but that’s my principle. 🙂 

So having to switch on the Wi-Fi every time I reached home and to turn it off when I am out of the Wi-Fi boundary is a little hassle! If I don’t turn it off when I am out of the range, it will probably and definitely sucked up more battery by searching for any available hotspot! 

Solution

  • Continue the hassle of switching it on and off.
  • Samsung TecTiles

 

 

So where do I paste the TecTiles?

I actually put it just below my monitor as shown in the image below.

2013-06-04 22.25.18

 

2013-06-04 22.25.34

 

I actually placed it here because that’s the most convenient place in my opinion. When I am home, I will hit the room and I can just placed my phone on top of the TecTiles, let it scan the details and my Wi-Fi will be turned on immediately! So simple~

Another place that I placed it is at the cupboard beside my bed, reason being that when I about to sleep, I could just scan against the TecTiles to switch my phone to vibration mode so that there wouldn’t be much disturbance to my sleep. 🙂

I hope you see the value of the Samsung TecTiles as much as I see it.

Updates

Embedded this video to show how it actually works for me.

Cheers!
Milton Goh