Monday, December 12, 2005

Bill Gates at Bangalore

“You have seen him on billboards… you have seen him on TV… you have seen him in news papers…. And now…. See him…. Live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....... Billlllllllllllll Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaates!!!!!!”

And there he is… slowly walking to the center stage… through the cloudy smokes in the background… that gave him an outlook of a super hero… and of course, he was welcomed like one… with cheers and screams and applause… that made him say “This is the most liveliest crowd I have ever seen”!

The 5000 strong developer community in Bangalore then settled down, listening with all ears to their idol and super model.

This was the first time, I am attending an event of this kind, and the experience was overwhelming. Microsoft’s Ready Launch Tour 2005 on December 9th at Palace Grounds in Bangalore to launch the products Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Biztalk Server 2006 was indeed a show of its kind. The number of security check points at the venue itself is a proof for that. I have been examined by five or more security persons, which included metal detector checks and frisking the body.

Bill’s speech was more or less like a technical presentation, as most of the time, he focused on the exciting new features of the products he launched. Then there were detailed demonstrations by his team on each product that included working samples and presentations.

Bill Gates appeared again on stage… this time to answer some selected questions from developers. He looked more energetic and the session was lively, unlike his previous speech. He mentioned about his ‘Upma’ breakfast and said he enjoyed it. He still does snippets coding to understand the latest languages like C#, but however it was in 1983, he did complete coding for a product. When asked about cricket, he said he is happy that the Indian cricket team is using a Windows MediaCenter PC to watch their opponent’s movements closely!

After the event, the participants were given a carry bag containing CDs and DVDs of trial versions of these latest softwares and some product brochures besides a waist pouch as gift.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Linguistic Nimbility

Linguistic Nimbility (LN) consists of two skills. First, is the ability to determining the meaning of something given a short series of capital letters. Second, is the ability to understand what someone is referring two when the name for the thing has changed 3 or 4 times over the last 6 months. J

DSV-Data Source View
RDL-Report Definition Language
SMDL-Semantic Model Definition Language
SMQL-Semantic Model Query Language
TFC-Team Foundation Client
TFCS-Team Foundation Core Services (Earlier Burton Integration Services)
TFS-Team Foundation Server
VSTF-Visual Studio Team Foundation
VSTS-Visual Studio Team System
WITDL-Work Item Type Definition Language
WIQL-Work Item Query Language

Code Names
Everything in software has to have a code name. Why is that, you might ask? The reason is that no-one is allowed to name a software product or component except for marketing. And marketing is not willing (and rightfully so) to name a software product until the very last minute before it comes out. So, software teams come up with code names to refer to the product or feature they are working on.

Burton-Visual Studio Team System
Cassini-VS 2005 Built-in Web Server
Currituck-VSTS Work Item Tracking System
F1-VSTS Profiling System.
FxCop-Static Code Analyzers for managed code
Hatteras-VSTS Source Control System
Longhorn-Windows Vista
Okracoke-VSTS Web Testing System
Orcas-Visual Studio 200x targeting Longhorn
PREfast-Static Code Analyzers for C/C++ code
Rosetta-SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services
Whidbey-Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0
Whitehorse-VSTS Distributed System Designers
Yukon-SQL Server 2005

DLL Names (Beta and Final)
Microsoft.VisualStudio.Hatteras.Client -Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Google Desktop Sidebar

Power of Google Desktop Search ( is already appreciated and accepted by everyone. Recently I came across with a new feature in that, called 'Sidebar', that made me reinstall Google Desktop again on my machine, as I had abandoned it long back, just because I never do vigorous searches on my computer.

Google Desktop now includes Sidebar, a floating panel that gives one-glance access to all sorts of personalized information. This panel can be conveniently placed on the desktop and can be minimized, if we require more desktop space.

There are a lot of tiny plug-in panels that can be added to this sidebar and I was specifically happy with To Do List, Scratch Pad, Calendar, Analog Clock and Word-A-Day. Scratch Pad is like having a notepad open all the time, so that we can key down whatever we want, which will get saved instantly.

May be I will choose panels like Weather, Maps, Traffic, etc. later on when they make it available for Indian cities rather than just US cities.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Reporting Services : Understanding Semantic Models

One of the new features of SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services is the capability of building reports based on models.

Steps are simple…

Use the Business Intelligence Development Studio of SQL Server 2005 or Visual Studio 2005 and start a new Report Model Project. Create a Data Source (*.ds) by providing connection information to get data from an SQL Server. Create a Data Source View (*.dsv) based on this data source, which is nothing but a mapping of all the tables and views from the data source. Then create a Report Model (*.smdl) based on this data source view.

Now, you can right click on the Report Model Project and choose ‘Deploy’ to publish this model into a Report Server.

Go to Report Manager, and you will find this model under a folder named ‘Models’. Click on the link ‘Report Builder’ to launch the new report building application, where you can choose this model to make reports. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping the fields from model. Once the report is done, you can save it to the Report Server.

So far… so good…..

But things will become tougher, if you want to do all this programmatically or even manually, without using Visual Studio. Earlier, if you wanted to deploy a report file (*.rdl), you just need to go to Report Manager, and upload the *.rdl file.

Things wont work like that with model files (*.smdl). If you try to just upload a model file, you will get the following error:

“The DataSourceView is missing for the SemanticModel. SemanticModel must have exactly one DataSourceView element. (MissingDataSourceView).”

So you need to have the information about data source view inside your model file.

The report model file is an xml file containing information about the model in a language called ‘Semantic Model Definition Language’. Data source view file is also in xml format. You need to take the whole contents of the data source view (*.dsv) xml file and put it into the model file exactly after the ‘Entities’ node, ie, just before the closing tag of semantic model.

After that, you need to remove all the attributes of the node except the last one (xmlns=, and then add the xsi type attribute (xsi:type="RelationalDataSourceView").

Now you can safely upload this model file to the Report Server using Report Manager and then associate a data source to make it work.

All these steps can be done programmatically by using Reporting Services web service. I will cover that in my coming posts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Google Earth

Hope you all are aware of a latest software from Google. It's called Google Earth (

It's an amazing software where you can see the whole earth, as seen from a satellite, and can zoom into any places to see its details.

Sadly, my places in Kerala are not covered with full details. You can figure out rivers and big land marks though.

For cities like Bangalore and Delhi in India, you can see even individual buildings clearly. See the attached image of Banashankari bus stand, which is near by my office. You can even see buses and cars on the road.

Yesterday, there was a news in Bangalore's Times of India, saying that secret government establishments like Air-force and Navy buildings are clearly exposed in Google Earth. After this news, now everybody is busy finding these places in Google Earth. The next step is to locate their houses and colleges and offices or what ever…

American cities are covered with most details, where you can see buildings in different views with full details, and has the ability to search locations by addresses.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Google Talk

Here is an answer to Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger from Google. It is Google Talk ( It unites net telephony with an instant messaging network and builds on the Gmail e-mail service.

Here are some comments on it from my friends:

> Initial reports say that it is awesome. We have to wait and watch until it catches on and the bandwidth runs out :-)

It is really awesome man. We've been testing it internally for sometime now. The audio clarity is simply astounding. It is based on Jabber which is an open protocol. Any Jabber client can be used to connect to the Talk service.

Oh, and Google will never run out of bandwidth :-)

> Maybe google has a trick up their sleeve for effective utilization of bandwidth. It would be interesting to see what that is. I don't know what tricks they do internally, but they do spend a lot of effort on compression, optimization and the best use of bandwidth. The best part is the client which is just a 900K download.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Yahoo 360

Heard of the new service from Yahoo? It is Yahoo 360° ( See what yahoo claims about that…

Yahoo! 360° is a central place where you can keep connected with friends and family and easily share what matters most to you. You can start a blog, share photos, recommend favorites, or post pictures from your mobile phone. You can even show your friends what you're up to on Yahoo!. Share as much as you want, with whomever you want.

Sounds cool… And I am a great fan of Yahoo. I am addicted to their services like Address Book, Briefcase, Notepad, Calendar, Photos, Movies, etc besides the most popular Mail and Messenger services.

So decided to try out this too…. Its interesting…. There is a Blast Message option where you can put some messages and it will be available to all your friends connected through Yahoo 360. But getting my friends to connect to this will be difficult!

See my 360 page at