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 Thursday, 04 December 2008

Open DBDiff is an open source database comparison tool for SQL Server 2005 that generates synchronization SQL. It has options to customize the comparison and SQL generations. The database differences are identified at a high level. The synchronization SQL it generates can be copied to a query tool to be executed after you review it.

Open DBDiff can synchronize:

  • Tables (including Table Options like vardecimal, text in row, etc.)
  • Columns (including Computed Columns, XML options, Identities, etc.)
  • Constraints
  • Indexes
  • XML Indexes
  • XML Schemas
  • User Data Types (UDT)
  • CLR-User Data Types (CLR-UDT)
  • Assemblies
  • Triggers (including DDL Triggers)
  • Synonyms
  • Schemas
  • File groups
  • Views (Including SCHEMA BINDING option)
  • Functions (Including SCHEMA BINDING option)
  • Store Procedures
  • Users
  • Roles

When you are using such tools, always remember to double check the generated SQL script for anything suspicious that may harm your environment.

OpenDBdiff2

 

Other posts:

Free software tools for students

My 6 favourites file hosting services

Tools for web developers

Tool of the day: Copy source as HTML

Thursday, 04 December 2008 09:58:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SQL | Tools
 Tuesday, 02 December 2008

Did you change the “sa” password recently? As a DBA, you should be aware that there is a great security risk linked to the sa account. You should always use strongs password for this account and change the password frequently.

You can easily check when the “sa” password was last changed in SQL Server 2005 by executing the following T-SQL code:

SELECT LOGINPROPERTY ('sa', 'PasswordLastSetTime')

The LOGINPROPERTY function gives you lots of information on the logins properties and password policy information for these logins.

Another thing you can do with this function is to look for security attacks. For example if you want to look for brute-force or dictionnary attack on the “sa” account, you can use the following query:

SELECT LOGINPROPERTY ('sa', 'BadPasswordCount')

This will return the number of failed consecutive attempts to login since the last successful login. So if this value goes over a certain value, you can easily see that something might be wrong.

Here is the complete list of properties you can query for using the LoginProperty function:

BadPasswordCount
Returns the number of consecutive attempts to log in with an incorrect password.

BadPasswordTime
Returns the time of the last attempt to log in with an incorrect password.

DaysUntilExpiration
Returns the number of days until the password expires.

DefaultDatabase
Returns the SQL Server login default database as stored in metadata or master if no database is specified. Returns NULL for non-SQL Server provisioned users; for example, Windows authenticated users.

DefaultLanguage
Returns the login default language as stored in metadata. Returns NULL for non-SQL Server provisioned users, for example, Windows authenticated users.

HistoryLength
Returns the length of time the login has been tracked using the password-policy enforcement mechanism.

IsExpired
Returns information that will indicate whether the login has expired.

IsLocked
Returns information that will indicate whether the login is locked.

IsMustChange
Returns information that will indicate whether the login must change its password the next time it connects.

LockoutTime
Returns the date when the SQL Server login was locked out because it had exceeded the permitted number of failed login attempts.

PasswordHash
Returns the hash of the password.

PasswordLastSetTime
Returns the date when the current password was set.

 

Other posts:

Differences between temporary tables and tables variables

How to insert a file in an image column in SQL Server 2005

How to add a row number in an SQL Query

Tuesday, 02 December 2008 10:40:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Security | SQL
 Friday, 28 November 2008

It’s stunning to see how many website are still vulnerable to SQL Injection attacks. Many SQL Injection worms are circulating right now and are dropping malicious code in thousands of databases. Even major sites are vulnerable to this type of attack.  BusinessWeek, the world-class magazine, was a victim of this kind of attack last September.

From the article at Net-Security:

Folks from Sophos have discovered that the website of BusinessWeek, the world famous weekly magazine, has been attacked by hackers in an attempt to infect its readership with malware.

Hundreds of webpages in a section of BusinessWeek’s website which offers information about where MBA students might find future employers have been affected.  According to Sophos, hackers used an SQL injection attack - where a vulnerability is exploited in order to insert malicious code into the site's underlying database - to pepper pages with code that tries to download malware from a Russian web server.

At the time of writing, the code injected into BusinessWeek’s website points to a Russian website that is currently down and not delivering further malicious code.  However, it could be revived at any time, infecting hundreds of MBA students looking for high-earning jobs.  Sophos informed BusinessWeek of the infection last week, although at the time of writing the hackers' scripts are still present and active on their site.

This goes to show you that, if you are the developer of an internet facing website (or an intranet for that matter), you need to commit yourself to enhance it’s security against these kind of threats. Everyone should adopt secure coding practices as there is no site that will be spared. More and more we will see automated SQL Injection attacks using crawlers, worms and bots and.

Friday, 28 November 2008 12:51:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
News | Security
 Thursday, 27 November 2008

As a follow-up on my post on Bizspark, Microsoft’s initiative to provide startups with free versions of their software, here is DreamSpark

Basically, DreamSpark is the same thing as Bizspark but aimed at students all over the world. DreamSpark is simple, it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools at no charge. DreamSpark enables students to download and use Microsoft developer, designer, gaming tools, Windows Server 2008 and more. In order to access the softwares available on DreamSpark, students only need to verify their student status once every 12 months.

The full list of software that is available for free on DreamSpark’s site is:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  • Expression Studio 2 (includes Web, Blend, Media and Design)
  • SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
  • IT Academy Student Pass
  • Robotics Developers Studio 2008
  • SQL Server 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0 (with 12-month Creators Club Student trial membership)
  • Virtual PC 2007

The Microsoft developer, designer and gaming tools available on DreamSpark are NOT 30-day trial versions; they’re the complete and full professional grade versions.

There is a little problem however. If you’re living in Canada like me (and probably in other places too), not every university is participating in this program.  Here is the list of the canadian’s universities that are participating as of today:

  • ISIC
  • McGill University
  • Queen’s University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Gelph
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Windsor
  • York University

So, if you’re canadian and not a student of one of these universities, you can’t benefit from this program right now.  However, i’m sure that Microsoft is working on integrating more universities into their program.

If you want to have your university added to this program, or if you are a administrator of a university that isn’t currently on Microsoft’s list, go to this page to get more information about enrolling.

Thursday, 27 November 2008 14:16:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | News
 Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Here is my list of some great file hosting sites that make uploading and sharing files really simple.

You are welcome to share if you know more free file hosting services which our readers/viewers may like.

MediaFire - Free File Hosting

MediaFire - Free File Hosting Made Simple

With the free account, you get unlimited :

  • Downloads
  • Uploads
  • Bandwidth
  • Storage

The only downside to this service is the 100Mb file size limit for the free account.  The file size limit for the pro account is 10Gb.

File Savr - Free File Hosting

File Savr

FileSavr.com makes file hosting easier with Web 2.0 technology and the use of Ajax and Flash. FileSavr has 10 GB upload size limit, currently the largest available on the internet. This allows users the flexibility to upload any large file of 10 GB or less.

File Factory - free and simple file hosting service

File Factory

FileFactory lets you host files up to 300MB for free. You don’t have to register and there is nothing to download. Your files can be downloaded an unlimited number of times! One thing I found very annoying and spammy about FileFactory was the number of ads they have on the page.

FileDen - Free file hosting and online storage

File Den

With File Den’s free file hosting and online storage service it’s easy to share files across the internet with friends, family, work associates or anyone else. They allow our users to direct link to their files also giving you the oppurtunity to embed your files into your webpages, myspace or other social networking profiles.

Fileqube - Free Online Storage

fileqube

Fileqube has an eye-pleasing design that shows its intentions well. When you upload a personal file it gives you a download link, a link to remove the file, and embed code to drop your file’s link on a website. The only downside is the 150MB file size, which is rather small with some of the other sites in comparison.

File Dropper - Free File Hosting for MP3, Videos, Documents

File dropper

FileDropper’s beauty is in its simplicity. It has one click file hosting where you simply click on the upload button and select your file. After the file is uploaded you are taken to the page where the file is hosted. If the file is an image, it shows the image directly on the page for easier sharing. Upload size is an impressive 5 GB.

Happy uploading!

 

Other posts:

8 easy tips to drive traffic from search engines to your site

Microsoft BizSpark - Free MS software for startups

Wednesday, 26 November 2008 16:27:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tools
 Thursday, 13 November 2008

My personal favourites taken from 101 Ways To Know Your Software Project Is Doomed.

  1. Developers use the excuse of “self documenting code” for no comments
  2. All of your requirements are written on a used cocktail napkin
  3. Progress is now measured by the number of fixed bugs and not completed features
  4. Your source code control system is a series of folders on a shared drive
  5. Your lead web developer defines AJAX as a cleaning product
  6. Developers are not responsible for any testing
  7. All code reviews are scheduled a week before product launch
  8. Every bug is prioritized as Critical
  9. Every feature is prioritized as Trivial
  10. The night shift at Starbucks knows you by name
  11. To reward you for all of your overtime your boss purchases a new coffee maker
  12. The lead web developer thinks the X in XHTML means ‘extreme’
  13. Ever team meeting starts with “Do you want the good news or the bad news…”

The sad part is how many of these actually ring true for real projects in real organizations.

Thursday, 13 November 2008 10:43:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Humor

 

Thursday, 13 November 2008 09:42:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Humor
 Wednesday, 12 November 2008

For my own reference, and yours, here's a complete overview of everything possible with a mailto link.

There are a couple of variables you can use in the queryString. As with any other URL, you use the ? to add the query parameters and the & to separate each parameter, which are in the form param=value

Here are the variables you can use in these mailto links:

mailto: to set the recipient, or recipients, separate with comma
cc to set the CC recipient(s)
bcc to set the BCC recipient(s)
subject to set the email subject, URL encode for longer sentences, so replace spaces with %20, etc.
body to set the body of the message, you can add entire sentences here, including line breaks. Line breaks should be converted to %0A.

Some mailto examples

Simple mailto link:

<a href="mailto:info@example.com">mail link</a>

mailto link with subject:

<a href="mailto:info@example.com?subject=email%20subject">mail link</a>

mailto link with multiple recipients:

<a href="mailto:info@example.com,email@example.com">mail link</a>

mailto link with a CC:

<a href="mailto:info@example.com?cc=email2@example.com">mail link</a>

mailto with message body already started:

<a href="mailto:info@example.com?body=these%20mailto%20links%20are%20cool">mail link</a>

mailto with 3 lines of message body:

<a href="mailto:info@example.com?body=these%20mailto%0Alinks%20are%0Acool">mail link</a>

mailto with 3 lines of message body and a BCC:

<a href="mailto:info@example.com?bcc=mail2@example.com&body=these%20mailto%0Alinks%20are%0Acool">mail link</a>

As you can see, you can add as many of these as you want and stack them on top of each other. On top of that, for the code to be valid HTML, you will have to replace every & with &amp;.

Happy mailing!

 

Other posts :

How To: Create an Outlook 2003 addin using VSTO SE and Visual Studio 2005

How to insert a file in an image column in SQL Server 2005

Tools for Web developers

Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:45:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Code Snippet
 Wednesday, 05 November 2008

Microsoft is launching a new program focused on helping Startups get up and running. The program is called BizSpark and according to Microsoft, the biggest benefits are

  • Software. Receive fast and easy access to current full-featured Microsoft development tools, platform technologies, and production licenses of server products for immediate use in developing and bringing to market innovative and interoperable solutions. There is no upfront cost to enroll.
  • Support. Get connected to Network Partners around the world — incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies and hosters — that are equally involved and vested in software-fueled innovation and entrepreneurship who will provide a wide range of support resources
  • Visibility. Achieve global visibility to an audience of potential investors, clients and partners

Basically, you enroll and are given access to a almost all the nessecary server and development software you need. The server licenses are even prouduction grade, so you can deploy (from what I can tell) cheaply. You are getting a high end MSDN subscription and a lot more, all for free.

Wednesday, 05 November 2008 11:13:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | News

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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Stanislas Biron
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