This year I am participating in the Heart&Stroke Big Bike to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Heart disease and stroke take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time. Together, we can help improve this statistic.

Please help me reach my fundraising goal by sponsoring me online. Click on the link below to make a secure online credit card donation.
http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1007010&lis=0&supId=251984362

The donations we collect will help us to continue to fund life-giving research so that all Canadians can live longer, fuller, lives.

Thank you for your support!

P.S. Here is an interesting article I came across on the Heart and Stroke website about how this is a big threat to women…even more of a threat than breast cancer.

Noel Bairey Merz: The single biggest health threat women face (16min long)

Surprising, but true: More women now die of heart disease than men, yet cardiovascular research has long focused on men. Pioneering doctor C. Noel Bairey Merz shares what we know and don’t know about women’s heart health — including the remarkably different symptoms women present during a heart attack (and why they’re often missed).

http://www.ted.com/talks/noel_bairey_merz_the_single_biggest_health_threat_women_face.html

Heart and Stroke
http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.2796497/k.BF8B/Home.htm

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Schema Compare is an incredibly useful tool, providing a visual head over SSDT’s model differencing and update engine. It can be used to compare any combination of database, project or dacpac, and allows selective update of the target schema (via an update script in the case of a dacpac). We’ve made some significant changes to the tool for the RTW release, improving its look and feel, particularly to make it easier to digest and process comparison results. This post describes many of Schema Compare’s key features – some of which surfaced in CTP4 – with a screen shot at the bottom that highlights several of them.

First, the visual comparison ‘language’ of the results grid:

Differences-Only by Default: By default the grid contains differences only (with empty folders removed) – if there is only one difference you will see just one item. And the grid always contains all the actions resulting from the comparison – while you can hide an action temporarily within a contracted group it is always present in the grid and will apply to the update or script unless you exclude it by unchecking the action.

Equal Objects filter:
A toolbar button adds equal objects to the grid. Enabling this is useful if you want to review, for example, unchanged columns alongside the changed columns in a table.

Unsupported Actions filter: You can also choose to see unsupported actions – these result from differences for which there is no supported action that can be taken on the target. These typically result from differences in server objects or built-in types between schema versions.

Action Icons: Actions (Add, Change, and Delete) are visualized using icons, making it easier to absorb a set of changes at a glance. The checkbox alongside an icon indicates if the action will be included in the update or generated script. If there is no icon the item will not be included in an update or script.

Grayed Items: Items that do not contribute to the update are grayed – excluded actions, unsupported actions and equal objects are all grayed. Folders are grayed when all their contents are grayed making it easy to see when a group of differences have all been excluded without you needing to drill in.

Grouping: By default, items are grouped by action so you can quickly assess what changes will be made on update. You can also group the results by object type or by schema. You can expand or collapse a group to temporarily hide detail, and you can exclude all or include all objects in a group.

Refactor Highlighting: Schema Compare processes the refactor log if present when targeting a database. Refactoring is indicated in the grid as a change action with the source name bolded to highlight the new schema and/or name. Refactoring will cause objects to be renamed in the database. Refactoring sometimes also shows up as a second order effect on other objects that SQL Server will modify when applying the rename. These will not be marked as actions in the grid as you cannot exclude them, but you will see the changed script if you select the affected object.

Probably the biggest set of changes affects the script difference pane. While the grid provides a great overview, to see all changes to an object in the grid you have to fully expand it, which, can quickly clutter the view if you’re reviewing many objects. To address this we’ve focused more attention on the script differencing experience – after all, you are writing and editing object scripts to begin with. Changes include:

Expanded Object Scripts: The script difference pane now shows the combined scripts for an object and its hierarchical children. This gives a complete picture of all the changes affecting an object in one easy-to-scan place. To complement this, the Next and Previous buttons step between top-level objects only. Together, these two changes can dramatically simplify scanning through the results of a comparison.

Enhanced Script Differencing: The script difference algorithm now treats child objects as discrete entities, more effectively highlighting those that have been added, deleted or changed. The color scheme is now more subtle and better reinforces the direction of changes. And remember that you can expand the script pane or swap it to the top – so you can easily optimize the layout to better focus on reviewing scripts.

The screen shot below highlights many of these improvements.

Reference
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ssdt/archive/2012/03/23/schema-compare-improvements.aspx

If your looking to create a custom chrome window in Winform or WPF, you should take a look at the ‘Marlett’ font that is available on your system.

This font contains the actual glyphs used in Windows for the Minimize, Maximize, Restore and Close buttons.

Using this font makes it really easy to reuse these glyphs in a custom chrome window, instead of custom images that is typically used.

To get started, assign your buttons the Marlett font.

Next, assign the text value for each of the buttons the following…

  • Close button, use the text r (lowercase R)
  • Minimize button, use 0 (zero)
  • Maximize button, use 1 (one)
  • Restore button, use 2 (two)

You can take a look at the Marlett font in the Windows Character Map or here for more details.

Here is an example of what the Windows buttons would look like using this font…

image

Last week, Microsoft released SQL Server 2012. With this release comes an update to SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Here is a quick glance of some of the new features…

New Font and New Color Scheme

If you take a look at the new SQL Server 2012 Management Studio, you will immediately notice the new color scheme  and that it looks just like Visual Studio 2010! That’s because it’s not built on the Visual Studio 2010 Shell. We will also notice that the default font is now ‘Consolas’.

image

Multi Monitor Support

SQL Server Management Studio now supports multiple monitors, just like Visual Studio 2010. You can drag each window to another monitor. This also means that each monitor can appear outside of the SSMS shell.

Code Snippets

Now there are lots of code snippets are available and you can that code snippets via right Click Query window-> Insert snippets like following.

image

Once you click Insert snippets it will open lots of built in snippets and create syntax for you directly.

You can also manage the Code Snippets from the Tools –> Code Snippets Manager… menu

image

Zoom Functionality

Now you can zoom the query editor window. There is a dropdown given in left bottom corner of the window and you can zoom the query editor windows as you need like following.

image

Improved IntelliSense

SQL Server 2008 added IntelliSense support. In SQL Server 2012, this only gets better and faster. It seems much more responsive, similar to what we see in Visual Studio 2010 IntelliSense.

image

A New Activity Monitor Window

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Additional features in SQL Server Management Studio:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms174219(v=sql.110).aspx

On March 6, 2012, Microsoft released the first official release of the “SQL Server Data Tools” (SSDT) to the web. Even though this release accompanies SQL Server 2012 RTM, you can use SSDT against SQL Server 2005 or later, including SQL Azure. So download it now! and get started developing and deploying your SQL Server databases using SQL Server Data Tools.

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is a free database development environment for SQL Server which is hosted inside the Visual Studio shell. Even though SSDT will first ship as part of SQL Server 2012, it supports all existing SQL Server versions starting with SQL Server 2005, including SQL Azure. This means you can use it today to author, debug and deploy your database schemas targeting SQL Server 2005 SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure.

SSDT builds upon the declarative database development foundations established by Visual Studio database projects, as such it provides a rich set of database schema authoring and deployment capabilities which is fully integrated in to the Visual Studio development environment.”

You can also download SSDT from the Web Platform Installer. Navigate to Products on the top and then to Database on the left side. SQL Server Data Tools will be in the list near the bottom. This is a free tool and will integrate into your VS2010 IDE.

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Resources

The following are great blogs about SQL Server Data Tools:

SQLServer2012You can now download all of the latest RTM editions of SQL Server 2012 if you have a currently active MSDN Subscription.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions

You can read more about the new features in SQL Server 2012 here:
http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/get-sql-server/try-it.aspx

SQL Server 2012 Express Edition

For those of you looking to download the Express edition, you can do so from this URL: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/editions/2012-editions/express.aspx

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