Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Have you used Outlook Anywhere?

Since our systems administrator left our company I have had a lot of opportunity to learn about things outside my normal coverage area. I am very thankful to my manager Ashley for giving me that opportunity.

In one of the meetings I sat with the external consultants 'Outlook Anywhere' was mentioned.

Outlook Anywhere is one of the Exchange 2007 feature that Microsoft has developed. The consultant mentioned that the Outlook Anywhere is a remote access method for Outlook Clients to connect through the internet to the exchange server without the need for a VPN.

This was not configured in our Exchange Server and explained the two main benefits as follows:

  • There is no need for a vpn connection to be on to access Outlook Anywhere.
  • If there is an internet connection available then you can just login to Outlook Anywhere and access your email.
Do any of you use Outlook anywhere? If not you can suggest your system admins to enable Outlook Anywhere if you are using Exchange server 2007 or 2010.

My first linked server -- SSMS 2005

Yesterday I was exploring Sql Server Management Studio, when I spotted Linked servers. I thought I will investigate what that and started trying out the options. So I right clicked on linked server, only three options came up as shown below.

I clicked on the New linked server .
I was browsing through the provider list as shown below and was keen to learn more about the provider for Microsoft Directory Services.

I thought I will experiment by using excel hence I gave the product name as excel, and data source -- a file in my c directory. But did not know what to give as a Provider string and location. I just gave the Provider as Excel 8.0 which is commonly used for excel in reports. Left the location blank and clicked ok.

To my surprise there was no error and the Test linked server was created as shown below.
So I right clicked on the test and chose TEst connection and the connection succeeded.

I am happy that it all went well but yet since there were no other options that are visible on how to use this linked server I thought I would find out when I had a bit more time on hand. So I will post my findings in another post.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Managind SQL Server Source Code -- Webinar

Here is the information on very interesting topic -- Managing SQL Server Source code. Here is an excerpt from the communication I have recieved from MSSQLTips

Live Webinar: Managing SQL Server Source Code

Now is the time to properly manage source code in SQL Server. Put an end to the chaos and stress of having to manage source code in a haphazard manner. Source control for application code has been the norm for years, but that is not necessarily the case with SQL Server code.
Come to this web cast to learn how to manage SQL Server source code with simple, predictable steps. We will show how to do so with tools you already have in addition to a solution from Red-Gate that integrates directly with SQL Server Management Studio.

Click here to register

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Excel Web Access Error in Sharepoint 2007

I wanted to use Excel Services on Sharepoint 2007 to migrate some of our BI reports from a third party application that we use. So I tried publishing to Excel Services from Excel 2007 assuming that our Sharepoint was setup to be used with Excel Services.
When I tried to publish and open in a browser I started getting an error "Excel Web Access: An error has occurred ".
When I checked the event log the following was logged in the event viewer.

There was an error in communicating with Excel Calculation Services http://sharepoint:56737/SPAdmin/ExcelCalculationServer/ExcelService.asmx exception: The request failed with HTTP status 401: Unauthorized.
[Session: (null) User:[Domain\user].

I have followed all the following steps to get to this stage.

  • I have created a document library
  • Added this document library as a trusted file location
  • Added the document library to trusted data connection libraries
  • Also ensured that the user being used has the proper rights in each of the databases
  • Started the single signon service
  • Ensured that the Excel Calculation service is running

Still the error was persistent. After a lot of struggling for 3 days, I finally fixed the problem by removing the integrated windows authentication option on the ExcelCalculationServer folder from the Office Server Web Services website on IIS.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SSIS Free Expo Event

Here is another Free Expo Event from SSWUG that covers Basic and Complex SSIS Features. The event is scheduled for February 18th 2011 from 9 am to 1 pm PST.

Sessions will cover the following topics:
  • SSIS Sorting and Package Protection
  • SSIS Package Checkpoints and Transactions
  • SSIS Native Logging Features
  • Best Practices with SSIS Package Design
  • Deploying, Scheduling and Administering SSIS in Production
  • Real-world Business Scenarios with SSIS

Speakers include the Knights of Pragmatic Works, a very good reason to attend :)
Register now

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday Backup Job

As mentioned in an earlier post since our systems administrator left our company I am taking care of the backups until the position is replaced. The backup scheduled for last Friday failed as the backup agent was stuck on a server. Since it was the weekend I thought I will rerun the backup after fixing up the cause. I had a look at the log and restarted the server where the backup agent was stuck.

Now I wanted to reschedule the Friday backup as it is with the same features as to going into the same tape (we have multiple tapes in the backup rack). So I was looking for some options as to how to do this when I saw the option "Retry the Job Now".

So I thought I will try this option. What I expected was the backup job to finish earlier as the ob was sstuck on the last server. So I expected it to be finished within an hour. But when I didn't get the alert even after 4 hrs, I started to get worried and logged in to check what was happening. Only then I realised that the backup was running from he beginning. This was the first time I tried this option and worked very well as the job has completed in the way I wanted without much configuration.

As you can see Clean Drive job failed and I will have to resolve this as well. :)

Another learning for me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

24 Hours of PASS Registration Now Open

As mentioned in my earlier post the SQL PASS 24 hr sessions are scheduled for March 15-16 2011. Registration is now open for these sessions.
Here is an excerpt from the site.

The LiveMeeting webcasts will begin at 12:00 GMT (8am ET) on March 15 and run for 12 straight hours. They start again on March 16 for another 12 hours. This is your chance to join the elite group of hardcore #24HOP veterans who watch all 24 sessions! Learn more and register today!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Sharepoint usage reports

Our Systems Administrator left our company last week after being 8 years with us. I have taken over the administration of our intranet which uses Sharepoint 2007 MOSS. I started to explore the site settings of the sharepoint web front end (WFE) from the past 2 days. I was excited when I saw the term site usage statistics under site administration as shown below.

But my excitement died down after seeing the following message. I wondered why our system adminsitrator did not set up the usage statistics. :(

So now I started exploring as to how to enable the usage statistics. So I logged into the sharepoint server and opened the central administration and started exploring application management and operations tabs. Finally under the Operations tab I found the Loggin and Reporting section as shown below.

I clicked the Usage Analysis Processing and looked at the options to set. I was surprised to see just 2 settings to enable site usage reports.

I have set them and will be monitoring the usage from now on. I am pleased with my learning and little discovery today.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sharepoint Administration Expo By SSWUG -- February 11 2011

Here is a link to the Free Sharepoint Administration Expo organised by SSWUG on February 11th 2011 from 9 am to 1 pm PST

Sessions will cover the following topics:

* Configuring SharePoint Anonymous Access: Tips and Tricks
* Understanding SharePoint Blogs, Wikis, and Discussion Boards
* Letting Go - It's so hard to do
* Infrastructure deployment via infrastructure and features

This expo is all about providing the foundation for providing outstanding service with SharePoint by SSWUG.

Hope these sessions are useful for some of you

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Print formuals from Excel 2007

Yesterday I had a requirement to compare formulas between two sheets. So I wanted to print the formulas and compare. This is a basic feature but I straight away did not know how to do it. So I started investigating the ribbon in Excel 2007.
After about 2-3 minutes Voila I found this.

Under Formulas Tab -- There was Show Formulas button in the Formulas Auditing Group as shown below. This button works as a toggle for showing and hiding the formulas.

Free Coding classes for 5 to 9 year old -- week 2 update

Following on from my LinkedIn post last week, I had several of the parents contact me to train their kids to learn the coding basics.  I ha...