Ben Runchey’s Integration Dev Blog

a.k.a Ben’s spot to put stuff he does not want to forget

What I Learned Yesterday 10

  • Found a great tool for exporting data from existing SQL Server Tables to a script – The SQL Scripter!  What a clever name.  You can find it at http://www.sqlscripter.com/
  • Looking into Ruby on Rails these days for a potential project and I have to say WOW!  this environment is really productive.  Just in the short time that I have spent with it I can tell it was written with how a developer needs to work as it’s main goal.  The strict MVC support, ActiveRecord for the ORM layer, and the built in support for unit testing.  While I really like it, I still really thing .NET and the CLR/DLR is the best of both worlds.  I have not had a chance to see the MVC support in the most recent version of ASP.NET (3 or 3.5, can’t remember), but my advice to Microsoft is to start building your tools to utilize your frameworks with the developer in mind.  I think that is reason number 1 why people are raving about Ruby.  The productivity in this environment is sweet!
  • What is with the script task in SQL Server Integration Services?  I would like to find out why it is not possible to just access any global variable inside of my script task!  For some reason, very smart people like to make me declare what global variables I am going to need access to before I can use them in the code.  I hope they change this in the next version!
  • I have pretty much decided to go with XSL Transformations instead of the biztalk mapper for any maps which start to get complicated for two reasons.
    • First reason is development time.  I can code XSL much faster than I can trial and error my way through using the functoids available.  Also the lack of a simple if then else type functoid can sometimes frustrate me to no end.
    • Being able to debug an XSL is easier when it is written using variable names that have context. 
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April 19, 2008 Posted by | BizTalk, Ruby on Rails, T-SQL, What I Learned Yesterday | 1 Comment

What I Learned Yesterday 7

  • It has been a while since I have had to really go at things using T-SQL.  Lots of my recent experiences have been around CRUD type operations where we would read the data into an object model work on it and then save it back to the database.  But I am working on a project where we are loading a temp table and then inserting/updating records into another table.  To get the identity columns of the newly inserted or newly updated records the OUTPUT keyword in T-SQL is a life saver.   This is only available in SQL Server 2005/2008 though.  This link here is a good overview of what it can do.
  • I spoke of how cool the use of Over is with rownumber, but here is an article where the guy is improving on top.  I have to admit the things that are in SQL 2005 and newer from just a T-SQL standpoint are pretty sweet.  They make writing some of the useless looping logic that permiated all aspects of my “business logic” a much easier task. Shows how long I have been doing XML and Integration that I have not spent any large amounts of time learning these new features (which are not so new at the time I am writing this) http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/49240/49240.html?Ad=1
  • Hiding the Results Pane (or should I say pain?) in the SQL 2005 Management Studio is something I have wanted for quite some time.  I have always liked being able to have a full screen for editing my T-SQL script.  I have finally figured out how to make this happen thanks to this guy here.  http://www.jjerome.com/projects/2007/04/showhide-results-pane-sql-server-2005.html
  • To output a null date to a FlatFile Schema in Biztalk set the format of the date field to yyyyMMdd.  Then use the pad character to zero fill if you need. Beautiful

March 7, 2008 Posted by | BizTalk, T-SQL, What I Learned Yesterday | Leave a comment