Posts Tagged tons of tools

Is the “FREE” Windows 10 Really the Beginning of a Major “Rip-Off”?

OK.. OK.. sounds like I am being an alarmist..

It started several weeks ago when Stargazer (my Windows 7 laptop pc) had some (Windows) updates and it asked me if I wanted to get a FREE upgrade to Windows 10 when it is released. Of course I registered for it (can you really refuse??)? Now I have a “NAG” sitting on my system reminding me.. “.. it’s coming ..” (so is winter).

I was aware Microsquish was going to do this because of general info flying around the net for some time. It looked “good” to me.. a FREE upgrade – yea right… There had to be a catch somewhere and now (thanks to Gordon Kelley – contributor to Forbes) we ALL know just what it is.. and it’s really nasty “rat hole”.

Once you upgrade they will have their hooks in solid.. and the “free” will turn into a cash stream for them.. from your pocket to theirs.

Here’s a link to Gordon’s article. Please read and get educated FAST!

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Look It Up in the HELP file – Are You Kidding??!!??

Nope – I am not!

Anywhere from one to a half-dozen times a day I see ¬†on-line communities/forums where individuals are posting a “help me” type of question. The subject matter runs from something very simple (ex: “.. how do I select a filter….”) to something very complex (ex: “…how do I move my SQL db from on-site to cloud…”).

Now there is NOTHING WRONG with posting to a group to tap into the collective “crowd knowledge” (did I really write that?.. sounds like a good subject for a blog one of these days ;-). However, you are probably missing a source of info which is right at your fingertips (or mouse click away). I am talking about the “HELP” facility that most programs have.

Over the years we have moved from having a manual supplied w/the app to having an icon and/or menu item that connects to the built-in manual – the HELP facility. Most of these help setups are context sensitive and/or have a search mechanism . One such application is Saleslogix. It’s got a really great context-sensitive help facility.. and a lot of internal hyper-links. Every time I poke around it I am amazed as to what I find.

SO – don’t stop posting to on-line communities/forums – but do take a peek at the help facilities that are right in front of you.

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IE 10 installs automatically on Windows Updates

If you have Automatic Update turned on:
” Users of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), and 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will receive Internet Explorer 10 as an important update if they have Automatic Updates enabled, or if they perform a manual scan for updates on Windows Update.”

NOTE: installations which use “WSUS” – Windows Server Update Services” and control the updates to their installations can easily block this. For individual PC’s NOT being managed by WSUS (most of us ūüėČ there is a “blocker kit“.

Here is the direct download: IE10-BLOCKER

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Finally – One Place for all things Web Development?

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Only time will tell.

On Monday, October 8, 2012 there was an announcement by W3C on the alpha release of Web Platform Docs. ¬†The purpose of this is to establish a single point/place where we all can go for “All Things Web Development”.

Her’s a blog posting by Jean Paoli (President – Microsoft Open Technologies) on the announcement:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/interoperability/archive/2012/10/08/w3c-s-web-platform-docs-your-go-to-for-all-things-web-development.aspx

 

Bear in mind this site is only a few days old but it has names like Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera that are stewards of the project. If they pull this off it will save all of us TONS of time (translate $$$) in development/research as related to web efforts.

Let us wish them the best and contribute to the effort for the common good! So jump over and take a look NOW!

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SalesLogix Synchronization – Running as a Service

It’s amazing how many times I run¬†across¬†a situation where the Main Sync (and/or Secondary Sync Servers) are running under the (Windows)Task Scheduler. At first, this does not seem to be an issue. However, on closer examination there’s a high degree of probability the (WTS) job is not passing in the “correct” sequence of “switches” (options).

The way this usually rears its ugly head is:
A – the job runs too long and another one tries to start up
B – the job fails to start for some unknown reason
C – the job “hangs” for some unknown reason(s)

The Saleslogix team solved this problem a LONG time ago with the introduction of “Sync As A Service”. Basically it is all “built-in” and¬†the¬†admin interface is thru the (WG)Admin application (click on “System” in¬†the¬†NavBar and then on the Sync Automation Services tab) and all you need to know to get started is in the HELP file (under Synchronization -> Running Synchronization from a Service).

All this is fine for the MAIN DB.. BUT what about the Remote Office you ask.. Well, as of¬†the¬†(current) latest release (7.5.4.xxxx) there is no automation for Sync on¬†the¬†RO…. BUT you can “fake it” via Windows Task Scheduler. Here’s info on how to do this from my KB – NOTE – DISCLAIMER – The following procedure may not be fit for any useful purpose – use at YOUR OWN RISK! It is an EXAMPLE of one I use at customer sites:

Using the Windows Scheduler you can schedule a Remote Office (or even a Remote User) to have synchronization run automatically.
  Here is how:
    TASK tab
      run:
         "C:\Program Files\SalesLogix\SyncClient.exe" /B "SLXRemote" /E /Q /L /G /Y /R /C /A /S /TD /TU
      Start in:
         "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SalesLogix"
      Run as:
        domain\administrator (NOTE: This is how I do it.. you may want to use another user)

    SCHEDULE tab
      Schedule: Daily
      start time: 05:15
      Repeat Task every 15 minutes
      Until 24 hours
      Schedule Task Daily Every 1 days

    SETTINGS tab
      Stop task if it runs for 2 hours 0 minutes
      Don't start task if the computer is running on batteries
      Stop the task if battery mode begins.

    SECURITY tab
      Group/Users
      Administrators Full control

NOTE: Running Synch as a Service using the OOTB (Out Of The Box) approach also has additional benefits:
A РYou can use the Synch Monitor Tool to see what it is doing. If it is NOT on your (LAN connected) PC than simply copy it (SLXMonitorConsole.exe w/the help file SLXMonitor.chm) to your system Рto the SalesLogix App Directory, make a desktop shortcut and then configure (see Help FIle).
B – When it runs as a service it will insert a record in the SYNCJOBHISTORY table.

There is a LOT more to say about synch.. but let us leave it for another day – Happy Synching!

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SQL Azure vrs. Amazon RDS SQL Server – Which Way?

SQL Server Central recently published an article on the (above) subject on July 11,2012. The author (Peter Marriott) makes an interesting statement:
“..It doesn‚Äôt take long to realise that Amazon RDS SQL Server is a very different beast from SQL Azure.”

He goes into features, power and size, Backup and Availability, Administration, and finishes up with a good “pro/con” set of statements on both approaches.

My takeaway was (IMHO) if you really want a “scale-able¬†system”, Amazon is the way to go – NOT Azure! However, I do invite you to go and read the (fairly short and concise) article and comment.

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How Do I Run a VBScript OUTSIDE of SalesLogix?

VBScripts CAN be run completely outside of SalesLogix. BUT you do not have access to the SalesLogix Application object.

First you need to be able to make a connection to the (SalesLogix) Provider. The key part here is to pass in a valid (SalesLogix Provider) connection string. I usually create a “.udl” file to do all the heavy lifting here. This is what the contents of a typical “.udl” looks like:

 [oledb]
; Everything after this line is an OLE DB initstring
Provider=SLXOLEDB.1;Password=mypassword;Persist Security Info=True;User ID=admin;Initial Catalog=SALESLOGIXV754DEV;Data Source=GOBIDEV;Extended Properties="PORT=1706;LOG=ON;CASEINSENSITIVEFIND=ON;AUTOINCBATCHSIZE=1;SVRCERT=;"

Now we need to concentrate on the actual script itself. For this example we assume the “.udl” file is called MyConnection.udl and is located at the root of “C” (C:\MyConnection.udl) :

 
Sub Main
  Dim objCon  'SalesLogix Connection Object
  Dim sConnString
  Dim strSQL00
  Dim objMyRS
  Dim blnNewSlxConnection

  'Get a connection to SalesLogix - Cannot use the Application Object in an Agent or outside of SalesLogix
  ' We have to do all of this "outside"
  sConnString= "File Name=C:\MyConnection.udl"

  'Now connect up
  Set objCon = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")
  If Err.Number <> 0 Then
    blnNewSlxConnection= False
    If IsObject(objCon) Then
      Set objCon = Nothing
    End If
    Err.Clear
    Exit Sub
  Else
    blnNewSlxConnection= True
    objCon.ConnectionString = sConnString
    objCon.Open
  End If

  'Do some work - get data from USERINFO table
  strSQL00 = "SELECT * FROM sysdba.USERINFO"
  Set objMyRs = CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")
  With objMyRS
    .CursorType = adOpenStatic
    .CursorLocation = adUseClient
    .LockType = adLockBatchOptimistic
    .Open strSQL00, objCon
  End With
  'Now pull in data from USERINFO... and do something with it
  If Not (objMyRS.EOF Or objMyRS.BOF) Then
    'OK
    With objMyRS
      If .RecordCount > 0 Then
        'We have data - now do work...
        While NOT (.EOF or .BOF)
          strUserID = .Fields("USERID").Value
          strLastName = .Fields("LASTNAME").Value
          'Now do some work w/this data
          Call WriteResultsToTraceFile(strUserID,strLastName)
          .MoveNext
        Wend
     Else
       'No data found...
     End If
  End With
  'All done..close shop
  If IsObject(objMyRS) Then
    objMyRS.Close
  End If
  Set objMyRS = Nothing
  If IsObject(objCon) Then
    objCon.Close
  End If
  Set objCon = Nothing

The above is a very simple framework and certainly can be expanded. I have created an include file that contains several of the key functions:

Function NewSlxConnection(ByVal sConnString, objCon)
Function CloseSlxConnection(objCon)
Function GetRecordSetObj(objCon,ByVal strSQL)
Sub CloseRecordSetObj(objRS)
Function ChkError(strInfo)
Function FixQuote(ByVal sSrcLine)
Function ExecuteSQL(objCon, ByVal sSQL00)
Function GetScalarValue(objCon, ByVal sSQL00)
Function GetMultipleScalarValue(objCon,ByVal strSQL, ByVal iRecCount, strValue)
Function GetMultipleValuesFromDB(objCon, ByVal strSQL, strValue)
Function CreateIdFor(objCon, ByVal sTableName)
Function CreateBlockOfIDFor(objCon,ByVal strTableName, ByVal sRecCount, strRecordID)
Function IsEmptyRecordset(ByRef objRS)
Function GetRecordCount(objCon,ByVal TableName, ByVal PKName, ByVal sWhere)

We use this include file in all our external VBScripts and for a small fee we do license it to anyone who is interested (along with some samples/examples).

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