D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

August 2007 Entries

Curse you Oracle, Curse you to HELL...or...How to assign a sql string to an output cursor in PL/SQL

Oh Oracle, you smooth talking Jezebel...how you toy with me and cause me so much pain! So today I was working on a bit of PL/SQL where I needed to return the output of a sql string generated within my stored procedure through an output cursor. We were banging our heads on our desk trying to figure out the syntax of how to do this... Declare cursorOutput For Execute Immediate stringSQL nope Execute Immediate stringSQL Into cursorOutput uh-uh Then I found this post (http://www.oraclefans.com/... ......

You are going to Dev Teach - Vancouver, RIGHT?!

Dev Teach has become the premier Canadian developer conference, and this November it will be held in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia...which is in Canada...just north of Washington state. There's an amazing lineup of speakers for this event, with development, IT, SQL Server, and architecture tracks as well as a new XNA track added in. Check out the website here for more information. If you're a user group, you have the chance to get a rebate code worth $50 off registration for all your members. ......

Juicy Rumor: Microsoft to buy RIM (they make this little device called the Blackberry)

http://www.cbc.ca/technolog... Veeeery interesting...I wonder what would happen to all those little devices...would this be seen as a "squash the competition by buying them" move, or is this truly a want to make a better product by leveraging the technology RIM has? Or is this just something someone put out there because they wanted to sell off their RIM stock? ;) D ......

It works on my version of Outlook...

Part of a side-contract I'm working on right now deals with sending out emails from an ASP app in HTML format. The client was reporting that for some of the emails, there was some odd formatting (titles weren't lining up properly, etc.) Looking at the examples she sent in GMail, I could see the issue. But when I was doing my testing, reviewing the emails in Outlook 2007, everything seemed fine...oddly enough, so did the examples she sent me (I check my GMail account when away from my laptop). I double ......

The Case of the Mysterious !'s Solved...well...more Workedaround really...

I have no idea where those annoying !'s come from, although I'm leaning towards thinking that the Persits.ASPEmail component puts them in once a given line gets too long.

The solution: in the ASP code, add a ' & VbCrLf ' to the end of each line. Voila: happy HTML emails.

How did we EVER develop apps with classic ASP?!

D



ASP.NET File Upload: Workaround for File Size Too Large

Interesting solution posted by Etienne from London about how to bypass that annoying size limitation issue with file uploads. Basically, you set the max request size in the web.config to something absolutely stupid, but in your global.asax file you test your real targeted size in the Application_BeginRequest method. D ......

Fun With BLOBS and Oracle SP's Continued

So we continue trying to get large file values into BLOB fields within ORACLE. Now, some of you may be saying "Hey, why don't you just use the System.Data.Oracle client in .NET, or the Oracle data provider and be done with it?" The problem is that we're utilizing CSLA, which exposes non-Oracle specific DBTypes...which means we don't have access to creating an Oracle BLOB parameter type. A co-worker found the solution though for putting in the value as part of a straight SQL call using parameters, ......

The Case of the Mysterious !'s

I'm tweaking an existing ASP web application (yes, ASP...not ASP.NET...), and I'm running into some odd behavior... The existing code is using Persits ASPEmail to create an email with an HTML body. The code itself is fine, the html looks proper. However, when you open the email in either Outlook (2007) or GMail, there are a few places where things get garbled...characters from the markup appear when they shouldn't. To look at the code, there's nothign there suggesting anything. But to look at the ......

Oracle and Crystal Reports - A combination surely signaling the coming apocalypse

I had to connect to an Oracle database from Crystal Reports 11 (or XI as they like to put it...because, y'know, it just LOOKS more forboding and impressive). We wanted to connect using the Microsoft ODBC connection for Oracle, but I kept getting this error about Syntax wrong or Access issues blah blah blah. What solved it was installing the Crystal Reports data drivers which, for some reason, aren't automatically installed when you install the FULL VERSION of Crystal Reports 11 (XI). Once I had it ......

A Shirt Made of What?!

Is it April Fool's Day? No? Geeze, then that means ThinkGeek really IS selling a t-shirt made out of chain mail.

Ok, now someone needs to buy one and then try to go through airport security with it on. :P

D



Fun with BLOBS and Oracle SP's

I'm working on a file-upload component on my current project, saving the file to an Oracle database. I've got it working, testing it out, things are going just SPLENDID. Then out of nowhere I get this error: ORA-01460: unimplemented or unreasonable conversion requested. Odd...even odder that if I upload one image file things are fine, but if I upload another one it craps out. It turns out that Oracle stored procedures have a size limit of 32k! What does that mean? Well, it means that you can't upload ......

Community 2.0

I've been mentioning the idea of Community 2.0 with my colleagues and peers over the last few months, and a recent discussion of it prompted me to write this post to bring the reality of the community landscape to full focus. Community 2.0, for me, is the emergence of the next generation of influencers in our industry. It’s more than just the changing of the guard, it’s the revitalization of the developer community back to the grass-roots movements that spawned the user group initiative, INETA, and ......

Maddeon 08 Review: So far, so gooWTF?!

Falcons vs. Cheifs...Georgia Dome...All Madden difficulty. Chiefs get the ball...3 and out...nuthin' gets by the ruthless defense of the Falcons. So it's been a week or so since getting Madden '08, the yearly football addiction that NFL fans flock to the stores to pick up, especially since it would appear this would be the only way to see Michael Vick play in the NFL this year...but I digress... I've always gone into the yearly Madden games with high expectations, and always have been left sorely ......

8 Months with my Treo 700wx

I've now had my Treo 700wx for about 8 months, and as I near the final 4 months of my one year contract with my cell provider I'm starting to assess whether this is my long-term phone device or not. The device itself is very good: the screen works well, I love that I can read my email in a large screen, and mobile web pages look great on it (now I can have my FaceBook addiction fulfilled wherever I have a connection!). Sending messages or writing emails on the keyboard is tres-easy too! But it should ......

Saving to an Oracle Blob field using DAAB

Been working on a file-upload feature on my current web app project, with the catches being 1) We're saving the file to an Oracle BLOB field 2) We're using the Data Access Application Block If this was using the Microsoft or Oracle data providers, we'd be able to specify Blob as the parameter type being passed into the stored proc...but we can't with the built in type list. The way around this is to specify the datatype as DBType.Binary and pass in a byte array representing the file. D ......

Drop Zone Huge Success!

I've been blogging about the Drop Zone for a few months now, begging and pleading for anyone who could spare some change to hook me up with a donation. The event was last week, and it was a huge success for raising funds locally for people with disabilities! For all those that donated, I want to thank you for supporting the Mad Mexican in his stunt to rappel down a 17 storey building in downtown Winnipeg.

D



Stardust Review

We went to see Stardust tonight, the fantasy story/fairy tale starring Claire Daynes and Robert DiNero, and Michelle Pfeifer (who can still look cougar-hot even with tonnes of makup on to try and turn her ugly). I went in with absolutely no expectations, and seeing that this movie seemingly came out of no-where with very little marketing, I really didn't know anything other than what I saw in the previews. The movie is fantastic. Guys, if you're looking to take a girl on a date movie and she's somewhat ......

Why am I so weak?! Why do I give in so easily?! I'm ashamed...

*ring*...*ring*...*ring*... Now you just hang tight, I'll be away for a few minutes while I get the phone ... Hello? "Well hello there." ....oh my God...YOU! "Yes, it's me...did you miss me?" Look, I told you before: last time was it! We're through! I'm very happy right now, things are going really really well! I don't need you in my life! "Mmmhmm...sure you don't. You're more than happy to just sit there running around with "her" all the time, hmmm? Never gets boring, all the running around she ......

Oracle Resources

On my current contract, I'm delving into the realm of Oracle and discovering the joys of all things Toad and T_Cursor-ish. Posting some helpful articles that cover some of the basics of Oracle programming (not that its leaps and bounds different than SQL Server, but its still different and has its nuances): Basics of PL/SQL Concatenating a string in PL/SQL Oracle PL/SQL Cheat Sheet Oracle Views D ......

Discussion Post: Vista is the new Millenium Edition

I was talking with Dave Harris about search functionality in Vista compared to XP, and he dropped this: "Vista is the new Millenium Edition" What do you think? How pleased are you with the latest and greatest OS from Microsoft compared to what has become a very stable operating platform in XP? D ......

Eric, Why are you SO SEXY?

He's back from vacation, and fresh with new one-liners to explain why he, Outlook MVP Eric Legault, is so damn sexy. So Eric, why are you so sexy? "Because I think leather and goosebumps are a sign that life is pretty good" And Prep-H I would think too... D ......

Agent Ransack - Who needs Vista's search?

So I needed to search for a particular term within a set of files in a directory, which contained sub-directories of files. I figured this would be an easy feat given Vista's much-touted search functionality (or what seemed to be much touted...I seemed to think that search was a huge improvement in the OS anyway). However, it appears that Vista will do a great job searching the name of files and folders based on your criteria, but there didn't seem to be a way to search files CONTAINING a particular ......

Installing ASP Classic on IIS 7

If you find yourself needing (because I'm not sure anyone would WANT to do this here in 2007) to work in classic ASP on a dev machine running IIS7, you have to enable/install ASP first since its not part of the package by default. Go to Control Panel/Programs and Features, then select "Turn Windows Features On or Off". Once you're into the Windows Features interface, navigate to Internet Information Services/World Wide Web Services/Application Development Features and check off ASP (I noticed that ......

The Region - Great Microsoft RD Blog Aggregator Site

First off, let's answer the question of what an RD, or Microsoft Regional Director is. From this Microsoft site, they say" "Regional Directors aren't Microsoft employees--they're independent developers, architects, trainers, and other professionals who provide a vital link between Microsoft and the developer community." So Regional Directors should be key figures in your community efforts. Obviously, this isn't always the case...but that's a topic for another post. But this post is meant to open ......

Bill Gates Harvard Commencement Speech 2007

Bill Gates gave the commencement speech for Harvard this year, and it's fantastic! He speaks about how important it is for the brightest minds of today to be utilized in fixing the biggest problems we have today, and not just as more tools to further the capitalistic juggernaut (that's my interpretation, not necessarily Gates' opinion). If Gates was just the big Microsoft guy, this would all sound hypocritical; but he's not. He's poured insane amounts of his own money into charity work, and although ......

Microsoft Products Roadmap

Interesting post here (which I found via Kate's blog) about the product roadmap for Microsoft in FY08 and beyond.

D



If Book Publishers Were Smart 2...

My last post on this topic generated some great comments (and a nod on another blog). Justice Gray made an interesting point about the covers. He said: "Your comment on this book thing reminded me of a different topic: why the <insert name of red-covered books here> always feature a bunch of totally homely looking dudes." And this goes back to what my original post was about: my quest to add some pizzazz back to the technology section of your local bookstore! Seriously, consider the following: ......

*DING* Congratulations, you're now a level 30 developer, which means you're available for this quest: UltraWebListBar of HELL

Now that I've conquered the UltraWebGrid, I've moved out of the Arathi highlands and into the mire that is the Wetlands further south. Here is where my next quest waits for me, and its name is "UltraWebListBar...of HELL". I encountered this nice little undead apothecary named Fred of the Dead who said to me... "Oh no, I'm so upset. The dwarven hordes are closing in on all sides, and the only way to stop them is to implement this UltraWebListBar...but it won't maintain its selected group through postbacks! ......

All I want for Christmas is the Google Add-Attachment functionality for my hyperlink...

I'm trying to write some code that will allow users to upload files from a website. This can't be posted back with the rest of the page, so I'm doing it like every article on the web suggests when trying to duplicate Google's Add-Attachment Gmail functionality and I'm using dynamically created iframes. Hurray. But the one thing that is driving me nuts...the one piece of functionality that I'm missing...is how GMail opens the "Choose File" dialog from a hyperlink and not from the gawd-awful looking ......

If Book Publishers Were Smart...

So while investigating some AJAX/File Uploading goodness, I came accross Pete Freitag's blog. I noticed on his side panel, along with his blog categories, links to what he's reading, etc., he has an item called "Get Your Goodies" and underneath is a picture of some chocolate donuts with some heavenly whipped-cream looking substance on top, and some logo called FusionKit. Immediately I think to myself "Well, this must be some interesting little NY bakery that all the kewl geeks go to for their mid-day ......

Easter Seals Fundraising: Almost There!!!

Thanks to those who recently donated, I'm now only $570 away from reaching my minimum goal for the Easter Seals Drop Zone event! But time is short...its only a few weeks before the event happens, and I still need your help to raise the remaining funds! Please consider donating to this worthy cause (that also provides a tax receipt for the donation ;) )! For more information check out my site! D ......