Treo 700w Users: Don’t Automatically Upgrade SplashBlog

If you use a Treo 700w and SplashBlog, don’t perform their automatic
upgrade.  Their upgrader installs the wrong version of the software on your
phone, and the client won’t start.  There are two versions for Windows
Mobile devices, one for those without a touchscreen (which they call the
SmartPhone version) and a separate version for devices with a touchscreen (which
they call the Pocket PC version).  Treo 700w users want the Pocket PC
Version of SplachBlog.

Get the correct version at

Using Output Parameters With Enterprise Library 2.0

I couldn’t find a quick example when I was looking for one, so here’s mine.

First, create your stored procedure with an output parameter:

(@MyParameter varchar(50) OUTPUT)

And in your sproc, set your parameter to a value

set @MyParameter = scope_identity

Then, add an output parameter to your database command:

Dim _db As Database = DatabaseFactory.CreateDatabase
Dim _cmd As DbCommand = _db.GetStoredProcCommand(“MySproc”)
_db.AddOutParameter(_cmd, “@MyParameter”, DbType.Int32, 4)

Then, execute your stored procedure, and assign the parameter value to a variable (remember to DIM the variable)

_result = _db.GetParameterValue(_cmd, “@MyParameter”)


Tracing Stored Procedures

One of the great things about stored procedures is that you
can put a whole bunch of different commands into one procedure, and call
everything with a single command.  Gnarly! 
However, if the procedureruns slowly, it’s difficult to determine
which command(s) are the problem.  Bogus!

One trick I use is to sprinkle little logging steps
throughout my stored procedure, and try to narrow down which command is causing
the problem.  These steps just log a step name and a timestamp into a

My table has the following structure:

CREATE TABLE [tblCommands] (
[int] IDENTITY (1, 1) NOT NULL ,
 [fldCommand] [nvarchar] (2000)
 [fldDate] [datetime] NOT
NULL CONSTRAINT [DF_tblCommands_fldDate] DEFAULT (getdate())
) ON

fldCommand is either a good name of the setp being logged,
or something descriptive about what’s happening in the procedure.  Just so
long as I can find it again in the sproc.

Then, I add commands such as

insert into tblCommands(fldCommand, fldDate)
values (‘Final selection’,getdate())

— do my selection here

insert into tblCommands(fldCommand, fldDate)
values (‘End’,getdate())

Reviewing the data from

———– —————-  
2006-05-11 13:18:19.943
… (snipped for
39          Final
selection    2006-05-11 13:18:24.240
2006-05-11 13:19:56.677

We can see that the entire procedure runs in roughly 1:40,
with approx. 1:30 of that wrapped up in the final selection step alone.  By
focusing on only the final step, I was able to optimize the query so that the
entire procedure runs in 10 seconds.

I realize that with the naming convention I’ve used here,
I’m likely to raise the ire of naming zealots.  I like appending a prefix
to column names because that means I can use a reserved word such as ‘Date’ as a
column name.  If you don’t like it, you’re fere to use a different
convention in your own sprocs.

<update 2005-05-14>

Eric brings up a good
point in his comment below about using the Query Analyzer (part of the SQL
Server 2000 tools).  I have used the Query Analyzer extensively, and one
place it falls short is with dynamic SQL statements in your queries.  If
you have properly formatted dynamic sql (see,
and especially more than one dynamic SQL statement, the Query Analyzer can’t
analyze the sproc.  Adding sinks like I have above can help debug an entire
sproc, especially those with dynamic SQL.

Final Week to Sign Up for BITS 2006! (Edinboro, PA)

Hat tip: Pat

This is the final week to register for BITS in Edinboro, PA. There will be many
presentations provided, here is an overview of the sessions:

Keynote: Convergence and Cellular

Don’t Touch
Any Switches: Leading IT for the Non-IT Leader

Value to Your Enterprise – A Survival Guide

SuperHighway-Construction Ahead
Are You and
Your Networks Ready for IP Telephony?

DotNetNuke Overview
Monitoring and
Pro-Active Response with Linux
How Secure Are
You? Practical Security Strategies
Are You
Missing Out on the RSS Revolution?
Extending the

Secure Converged

Aligning Business Goals with IT

Panel Discussion:
Computer Forensics Examiners in the War on

Workshop: Computer

Vista Office

Monitoring DTS Steps

Part of my work involves a SQL Server 2000 data warehouse,
updated nightly with extracts from an ERP system.  I knew that the DTSs
tended to run long, and I wanted to get a better idea of exactly how much data
we were moving around.

First thing I did was add a table with the following

 [fldEntry] [int] IDENTITY (1, 1) NOT NULL ,
[int] NOT NULL ,
 [fldStepType] [varchar] (5) COLLATE
SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL ,
 [fldStepName] [varchar] (50)
[datetime] NOT NULL ,
 [fldNotes] [varchar] (255) COLLATE
SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,
 [fldPackage] [varchar] (50)
) ON

This is a pretty general structure, and allows me to
add different logging and debugging steps to the DTS.  fldEntry is simply
an incrementing value to help sorting what happened when.  fldStep refers
to the stepf of the DTS package, fldStepType is a short description of the DTS
step.  I use fldStep because someone always asks me what that step is doing
when we’re looking at the numbers, and it’s easier to log it than open the DTS
and find it.  fldStepName is there because I inherited almost all of these
DTSs, and the names don’t always describe what’s going on.  fldTimeStamp is
the execution time of the step, fldNotes are some information I want to include
about the step (usually just a rowcount), and fldPackage is the name of the DTS

One of the early steps for most DTSs is the extract
from the ERP system to an intermediate table.  Depending on the package,
the data in the intermediate table used for comparisons or modified before being
migrated to the production tables.  By adding  a SQL task immediately
after the extract, I could get an exact idea of how many data rows we just

select * from IntermediateTable
into tblDtsLog(fldStep, fldStepType, fldStepName, fldTimeStamp,fldNotes,
fldPackage) values (1,’Begin’, ‘Extract Step 1’,getdate(),@@rowcount, ‘Some

This simly adds one entry to the above table with a
count of how many rows exist in the intermediate table.  
For other steps, I use the Begin and End flags in conjunction with
the getdate() to see how much time elapsed for the processing of a particular
matching or modification step.  By sprinkling these liberally through my
DTSs (some packages have 15-20 of these logging sinks in them), I have excellent
insight into what is running slow, and then we can examine each step and try to
optimize it.

Recently, we used the results of this monitoring to
make a small tweak to one step of one DTS, which resulted in an overall gain of
2 hours of processing time in the overall update!

Copying DTS Packages to a Different Server in SQL Server 2000

Freaky–we were just talking about this yesterday afternoon.

The latest
update came out today, and the lead story is an update to an older article
titled “Copying
DTS Packages to a Different Server
“.  The article has some code samples
to show you how you can copy DTS packages from one SQL Server 2000 to

If you’re lazy, don’t bother with the code.  Instead, there’s a great
GUI tool called DTSBackup
 from  Using
DTSBackup 2000 couldn’t be easier–choose your origin server (supply
credentials if necessary), choose the DTSs you want to copy, choose your
destination server (supply credentials if necessary), add in the owner pwd if
necessary, and click Transfer.  Within minutes, your packages are
transferred.  It’s sweet, and works like a charm.

I use this to copy DTSs from my dev/test server to the prod server, and back
again if necessary.  Layout in the visual designer gets a little goofy, but
that’s the only downside.

Opera 8 Beta 2 for Treo 700w Almost TiddlyWiki Compatible

In his “Replacing
” episode, Scott Hanselman talked about TiddlyWiki as a great little organization
tool.  Pocket IE doesn’t support JavaScript, so there’s no hope of using
TiddlyWiki with that.  Opera’s latest release is so tantalizingly close to
working with TiddlyWiki (which would make both a very useful app for me). 
Opera can almost render the page correctly in full page mode, and the rendering
leads to navigation difficulties.  But it’s soooo close.  I’m not sure
if it’s an issue with Opera or TiddlyWiki.