Contents tagged with SQL Server

  • Virtual Earth event and Microsoft licensing issues

    Tags: SQL Server, Windows Live

    Today I attended a really interesting event at the Microsoft Stockholm location about the Microsoft Virtual Earth Platform. The event was a result of large amount of questions from partners and customers and the bi-weekly webcasts by the VE team. During the day the team from UK presented the Virtual Earth platform including the Virtual Earth AJAX controls and the MapPoint web services as well as SQL Server 2008, which contains impressive spatial data management.

    I was there to hear what the Virtual Earth platform could do for my customers and our solutions and during the day I noted down some really interesting ideas and pitches that I will try on them, but...

    Unfortunately the licensing model behind Virtual Earth is really bad and expensive and it currently only suits large customers who can earn/save large amounts of money using the services. Many of my clients are small or medium businesses which I think would place Virtual Earth in the nice-to-have slot on their investment strategy and as soon as they will see the licensing fees they will place it in the bottom of the stack of feature requests.

    Let's assume that you would like to use some Virtual Earth functions in an application for your clients which will not be your main income channel, but more aimed at making you application going that extra mile. Then you immediately have to throw up the big bucks to Microsoft. Of course, if this part of the application eventually becomes something extra and you make heavy usage of it, you can justify the current licensing prices.

    I think that Microsoft currently have a licensing issue when it comes to small and medium sized businesses who want to use these nice products and features that Microsoft have. I would like to see some more starting licenses for customers who would like to start out using the features. Microsoft, the Microsoft partners and the customers will gain on this;

    1. Customers can start out using these features, without a huge investment and risk. More customers - more licenses
    2. Microsoft Partners can get more consulting in this area. More partners - more customers.
    3. Microsoft will get more VE implementations and eventually get even more licensed applications

    Do you have any thoughts on this issue, please drop me a line...

    If you take a look at Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, there are the same issues right now. For small businesses it's not justifiable to invest in a SharePoint site, especially when it's Internet facing...

  • About the Microsoft interoperability changes

    Tags: Microsoft, SharePoint, SQL Server, Windows Server 2003

    A few days ago Microsoft dropped the news that they are increasing their openness regarding interoperability. This is great news for the world of software, even though everyone has their own opinions in this matter.

    What now have been made public is more than 30.000 pages of documentation of the various protocols used within Microsoft server products (Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007, and Office SharePoint Server 2007). You can find the documentation in the MSDN Library or on the Microsoft Download site.

    I found a few interesting documents that I think are worth reading or saving for future reference:

    WebDAV extensions

    There are three documents related to extensions Microsoft have made to the WebDAV protocol, which includes some new verbs (GETLIB), headers and optimizations of the WebDAV protocol.

    If you are working with implementing WebDAV enabled software/applications and would like integrate with the Office products these are highly interesting.

    Windows Search Protocol

    This document describes how to interact (search or manage) with the Windows Search service.

    Security

    The document called [MS-SECO] Windows Security Overview contains really good information on the security in Windows and how authentication and authorization is handled as well as detailed information on security principals, SIDs and accounts and groups.

    I welcome this strategic change by Microsoft. It is a lot to read, but if/when Microsoft gets the search on MSDN to work better (I currently use Google to search MSDN) we will have much easier to understand how the different products interact.

  • Planning Capacity for SharePoint and Exchange

    Tags: Business, SharePoint, SQL Server, Windows Server 2003, Network

    SCCP If you are about to plan capacity for your Microsoft SharePoint 2007 topology you can get great assistance from the Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner 2007 and the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Model.

    What is Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner 2007?

    The Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner (SCCP) 2007 is a pre-deployment capacity planning tool for Microsoft Server products when creating distributed application deployments.

    The SCCP allows you to create a model of your hardware, network and applications/servers using a Model Editor. The model can then be run through a simulator which warns you of eventual bottlenecks and allows you to analyze all kinds of different data.

    SCCP also contains a hardware editor (CPU and hard disk configurations) so you can customize your model and adapt it to your existing hardware or hardware that you intend to use.

    The SCCP can be loaded with different Capacity Models and wizards, which helps you to create your topology.

    Create a model...

    Some Screenshots

    The Model Editor

    The image above shows a SharePoint intranet site with three branch offices and the image below shows how the topology looks like when you zoom in to the Intranet Site.

    Intranet Site topology

    Using this Model editor you can change everything from the networks used to the number of users to the roles of the servers and then run a simulation to identify your bottlenecks.

    Bottlneck analysis 

    This is how the hardware editor looks like and you can see how detailed you can configure the CPUs.

    The Hardware Editor

    Capacity Models

    There are only one Capacity Model out of the box; Exchange Server 2007.

    The SharePoint models can be downloaded here and should appear soon on the TechNet System Center Pack Catalog and an Operations Manager model is in beta and should be shipped before summer.

    Summary

    This is a great tool for IT-professionals as well as architects and developers to identify possible problems before start wiring and plugging in. I can really recommend SCCP; especially when making proposals to clients, so you can test the recommended setup. I have been running the beta and RC for a while and are very satisfied with it.

    The tool can of course not replace good knowledge of the products and hardware and should be used with caution.

    The only drawback I found is that it should be possible to combine your models. For example making a content deployment (with staging, authoring and publishing sites) scenario with MOSS 2007 is not possible, you have to make several models and then make your own analysis

    Where can I get this?

    SCCP can be downloaded from the Microsoft Downloads site (4.7 Mb) as of today and the SharePoint models here (3.2 Mb).

  • Connecting to an SQL Server on a different port

    Tags: SQL Server

    When you have an SQL Server which has been installed on a different port than the standard 1433 you might have trouble connecting to it if you don't specify the port in your connection string or connection settings. This is how the syntax is, which was new to me until today. The server name (or IP) is separated using a comma sign instead of the standard colon, which are standard in URL's and others.

    So this is how you specify it:

    SERVERNAME,PORT[\INSTANCE]

    For example:

    localhost,1389

    localhost,1389\myinstance

  • VHD downloads from Microsoft

    Tags: Microsoft, SharePoint, SQL Server, Virtual Server, Windows Server 2003, Downloads

    Microsoft offers a number of VHD downloads at Microsoft Download Center. You can find ready to go/test virtual hard disk images of:

    The Dynamics CRM demo VHD contains a complete server with Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, SQL Server 2005, Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft CRM and Visual Studio 2005.

    This is a great step forward and will make testing of beta server products more efficient. I guess there will be a MOSS 2007 VHD available soon...

  • Great hosting site - DotNetPark

    Tags: Personal, SharePoint, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Website

    I have moved this blog to my own domain, http://www.wictorwilen.se/ and I decided to have it hosted at DotNetPark.

    DotNetPark has an excellent service at great prices. For me it was important to have ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server where I hosted my site and they have all that and more. I can easily publish the site using FTP from Visual Studio and connect to the SQL Server using the Enterprise Manager or Visual Studio. Their interface, called DotNetPanel, provides you with everything you need to host your site.You can also have a number of services installed at your request, for example how about Windows SharePoint Services!

    I just want to say thanks to DotNetPark!

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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