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Issue dated -11th October 2004

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Front Page > TechSpace > Tech Forum

Dr. Nitin Paranjape
Issue dtd. - 04th October, 2004
Active Directory Myths and Reality
I have observed that many customers are moving from older directories to Active Directory (AD). However, most customers do not deploy the full power of AD.

Issue dtd. - 20th September, 2004
Security for developers - III
This week we continue to explore common mistakes in the context of application security management.

Issue dtd. - 13th September, 2004
Security for developers - II
This week we continue to explore common mistakes in the context of application security management.

Issue dtd. - 06th September, 2004
Security for developers - I
Developers like to develop applications. But nobody likes to think about anything outside coding. Writing secure code is, at best, an afterthought.

Issue dtd. - 23rd August, 2004
The power of CMD.EXE commands
In today’s world of Wizards, Automated Installation Programs, object oriented programming and GUI-based applications, do you still remember the DOS prompt?

Issue dtd. - 16th August, 2004
Advanced document routing
Last time I wrote on a simple topic about how to put appropriate page numbering in Word documents. I was worried whether the technical community will like covering such apparently non-techie topics.

Issue dtd. - 9th August, 2004
Tips and Tricks
Creating custom keyboard shortcuts in VS.NET Any VS.NET user knows that it is a very rich IDE. Lot of functionality is available in all the windows, editing areas and so on.

Issue dtd. - 2nd August, 2004
Generating Test Data – II
In last article, we saw how to create randomised test data of ‘numeric’ and ‘character’ types. This article explains how to create ‘data’ type of data.

Issue dtd. - 26th July, 2004
Generating Test Data
When you make a new application, there is no data in it. Therefore testing can not be preformed with realistic data volumes.

Issue dtd. - 19th July, 2004
The Power of the DOT
This article provides a new way of looking at functionality available in .NET and provides practical guidelines for finding the right thing in the right place. Following these tips will simplify coding effort substantially.

Issue dtd. - 12th July, 2004
Tips and tricks: Double Monitor Display
For a long time, I have not provided any tips and tricks. I have been getting a lot of requests from readers to publish more such tips. So here we go.

Issue dtd. - 5th July, 2004
Lifecycle of a feature
Last time we saw how the usage of technology in most organizations is very low. This leads to a ‘lose-lose’ situation. This week I will try to provide a solution.

Issue dtd. - 21st June, 2004
Converting technology to business benefit
There is a feature explosion happening in the IT marketplace. In spite of this, the utilisation is going down. There is a gap between technical understanding and its effective implementation. This article highlights this gap and provides a set of guidelines of bridging this gap.

Issue dtd. - 14th June, 2004
Exploiting Virtual PC - II
The base VPC User Interface Window in which the VPC runs. The configuration file (.VMC) file The file containing the actual VPC data. This file is VHD or Virtual Hard Disk. This file contains the OS, the applications and data.

Issue dtd. - 7th June, 2004
Exploiting Virtual PC
Often a single technical user requires multiple machines with differing OS versions, database configurations, network adapters and so on. Usually, we need to setup these machines as separate physical hardware resources.

Issue dtd. - 31st May, 2004
Understanding Locks - II
In the last article we explored database locking. We will continue the journey in this article. Locks are placed implicitly.

Issue dtd. - 24th May, 2004
Understanding Locks
In a previous article I covered ‘transaction isolation’ levels. A related topic is locking. Earlier, we had seen locking in the context of blocking and deadlocks (“Learning from other’s mistakes” – 3rd Feb 2003). In today’s article we cover more details related to locking and various ways of minimising / controlling it.

Issue dtd. - 17th May, 2004
Custom formats in Excel - II
Last article covered formatting specific to date and time data. In this article we explore the concept behind formatting codes and its various applications.

Issue dtd. - 3rd May, 2004
Custom formats in Excel
Excel has a large number of custom formatting options which are extremely useful, yet quite unknown. These do not just change the visible format, but also change the behaviour of data entered in Excel.

Issue dtd. - 26th April, 2004
Understanding Transaction Isolation
This is a topic related to SQL Server. However, the concept is applicable to any RDBMS. While auditing many applications, I have found that incomplete or no understanding of ‘Isolation Level’ leads to a lot of real life problems.

Issue dtd. - 19th April, 2004
Tips and tricks
Now the name of this area has changed. It is called the ·notification area· on the taskbar. Come to think of it, many icons displayed here are present to quickly inform you about the status of whatever they represent.

Issue dtd. - 12th April, 2004
Distributed File System (DFS)
Distributed File System (DFS) is a very useful feature of Windows 2003 and above. This article discusses Windows 2003 DFS implementation. It allows you to provide a virtual server path to users while storing files on physically different servers.

Issue dtd. - 5th April, 2004
Security Tips and Guidelines - IV
For the last few articles I have been highlighting many tips related to tightening the security of IT infrastructure. This is the last article in that series.

Issue dtd. - 22nd March, 2004
Security Tips and Guidelines - III
Most of us design applications to achieve some business related purpose. Which is fine. However, the security aspects of applications are thought of only after the application is built and is running.

Issue dtd. - 15th March, 2004
Security Tips and Guidelines - II
When IE is installed for the first time, many default settings are set. One especially convenient (and dangerous) feature is the automatic saving of username and passwords and forms. This feature is good to avoid repeated entry of your personal profile and so on.

Issue dtd. - 8th March, 2004
Security Tips and Guidelines
There is a lot of media coverage and concern about security issues due to recent widespread attacks. However, if you really observe how all of us (IT professionals) and users (non-IT) are responding to this concern, the reality is very pathetic.

Issue dtd. - 1st March, 2004
Stopwatch Exercise: Lessons to learn
The following stopwatch is shown to the audience. This watch has a simple stopwatch functionality. The features are:

Issue dtd. - 23rd February, 2004
Tech snippets
* Monitoring and reacting to system events automatically
* Find features in MS Word

Issue dtd. - 16th February, 2004
Enhance your Web pages with DHTML – III
This is the concluding article in the series on DHTML. If you find this article useful, you should also look at past two articles for continuity, and for exploring related ideas

Issue dtd. - 9th February, 2004
Enhance your Web pages with DHTML - II
DHTML is a treasure of useful things. In this era of ASP.NET this powerful feature set is not fully exploited. These articles offer some highlights of how powerful and useful DHTML is.

Issue dtd. - 2nd February, 2004
Enhance your Web pages with DHTML
Sounds out of place? Not really. DHTML has been there for years now. Frankly, during my regular work, I do not work on many cases which require a specialized, effects/multimedia rich UI.

Issue dtd. - 19th January, 2004
SQL Reporting Services: A radically new approach
We have been used to traditional report writers for many years now. In this era of thin client, multi-tier, object oriented, service based architecture, the good old report writers have remained more or less similar.

Issue dtd. - 12th January, 2004
Data querying without query language - II
Let us continue exploring the Criteria Range option to truly appreciate the power and sophistication of the functionality that Excel’s Advanced Filter packs.

Issue dtd. - 5th January, 2004
Data querying without query language
I wrote the article “How to eliminate duplicate records in Excel” some time ago (issue dated 20 Nov 2003. Article available at http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20031020/techspace01.shtml).

Issue dtd. - 22nd December, 2003
Managing data text files like database tables
ODBC is now superseded by OLEDB. But still there are some drivers of ODBC which are still extremely useful. In fact, these have no equivalent in OLEDB at all. One such driver is the Text driver.

Issue dtd. - 15th December, 2003
Using Application object events (ASP.NET)
We are familiar with the Application object since ASP days. Most of the functionality of the Application object continues to be there in the .NET equivalent.

Issue dtd. - 8th December, 2003
Effective outsourcing - II
In the last article we covered various problems associated with software outsourcing. We also concluded that the root cause of all problems lies in the fuzziness associated with the initial specifications and their real impact on the business.

Issue dtd. - 1st December, 2003
Effective outsourcing
This article does not talk about outsourcing the complete IT infrastructure. It is restricted to outsourcing software development. Software outsourcing is being practiced for many years.

Issue dtd. - 17th November, 2003
Distributed queries
Every organisation has data in multiple databases. Very often we need to perform queries and updates across different databases of the same or different type.

Issue dtd. - 10th November, 2003
Make your own digital certificates
Article summary: Although security is an area of concern for everyone, there are many myths and ambiguities surrounding it. One of the most common misconceptions in the minds of most IT professionals is that you need a third-party authority to issue and consume digital certificates.

Issue dtd. - 20th October, 2003
Eliminating duplicate rows in Excel
Most organisations have databases systems in place for business automation. However, most end users still have a habit of creating their own Excel sheets to store and manipulate data.

Issue dtd. - 6th October, 2003
The importance of ‘My Documents’
It may sound stupid to talk about something as baseline and primitive as the ‘My Documents’ folder. But the issue here is that baseline things, if not used properly, even by IT pros, become a problem.

Issue dtd. - 22nd September, 2003
Best practices for Windows 2000 administration
I found some very useful tips for Windows 2000 administrators in the documentation.

Issue dtd. - 15th September, 2003
Effective use of Task Manager
Task Manager is a nice utility which provides a quick overview of what your Windows 2000 server is currently executing.

Issue dtd. - 8th September, 2003
Quick and easy document indexing
We create a lot of documents everyday. Some of these are stored on servers, and some on client desktops.

Issue dtd. - 1st September, 2003
Cashing in on caching — II
The previous article described various ways of utilising caching within various application layers for achieving better performance. This article focuses on some of the methods in greater detail.

Issue dtd. - 18th August, 2003
Cashing in on caching
This article highlights the level of granularity, programmatic control and sophistication available in the .NET framework for caching.

Issue dtd. - 11th August, 2003
Architecting solutions: A better way - II
When DCOM was introduced it was called COM with a longer wire (network accessibility).

Issue dtd. - 4th August, 2003
Architecting solutions: A better way
Traditionally, we have been used to one-, two-, three-tier architectures. Three-tier typically includes front-end, business logic and data handling as the three tiers.

Issue dtd. - 21st July, 2003
Windows 2003: More benefits
Developers typically consider the operating system to be just an infrastructure product that is used by administrators. In an earlier article I had highlighted important benefits of Windows 2003 from a developer perspective. Now, what is the next step?

Issue dtd. - 14th July, 2003
How to handle binary data with SOAP
Everyone knows that MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is the method used to send attachments along with mail messages.

Issue dtd. - 7th July, 2003
Windows 2003: Developer benefits
All customers are a bit apprehensive about new versions. And rightly so.

Issue dtd. - 23rd June, 2003
More on SQL Distributed Management Objects
The SQL DMO method of administering SQL Server seems to have caught on as a concept.

Issue dtd. - 16th June, 2003
SQL DMO – Distributed Management Objects
Here is another article to bridge the gap between developers and administrators. SQL Server is being used more and more widely to manage data for a variety of applications.

Issue dtd. - 9th June, 2003
InfoPath — The latest forms designer
All said and done, most line-of-business applications require a lot of data entry.

Issue dtd. - 2nd June, 2003
Reflections on .NET - III
In the last article, I have put forward a different way of learning new technology. The aim is to make the learning more real-life-oriented, more expansive and more effective. In this example I continue to explore and learn the SqlConnection object.

Issue dtd. - 19th May, 2003
Reflections on the .NET framework — II
Object Role Connection Manage connection with a data source. Connection can be used by other objects to retrieve and update data.

Issue dtd. - 12th May, 2003
Reflections on the .NET platform
As you know, .NET as a platform is a completely different way of thinking about and coding applications.

Issue dtd. - 5th May, 2003
API monitoring unleashed — IV
Now that we have sharedmodule.dll ready and have understood the code, let’s move on to the "action application": the Injector Application.

Issue dtd. - 21st April, 2003
API monitoring unleashed — III
Last week we worked on the code for the shared module for monitoring of applications. If you need to refer to it, it’s available on the Express Computer website at www.expresscomputeronline.com/techforum.shtml.

Issue dtd. - 14th April, 2003
API monitoring unleashed — II
Continuing from where we left off last week, we will plunge right into the Shared Module. This is a Windows Dynamic Link Library, a very simple DLL that contains the overridden code as well as the actual injection code.

Issue dtd. - 7th April, 2003
API monitoring unleashed - I
Often, applications need to be monitored. Say, you need to know how an application is performing and need to keep a track on the resource usage.

Issue dtd. - 24th March, 2003
The hunt for hidden opportunities – IV
This series seems to be turning into a book! But the response to the previous episodes has been so good that I am compelled to continue and explain what can be done with every user action.

Issue dtd. - 17th March, 2003
The hunt for hidden opportunities - III
Last week I had listed many things that you can achieve by simply trapping the menu selections made by the user - either in pull-down menus or toolbars or clicks on a URL.

Issue dtd. - 10th March, 2003
The hunt for hidden opportunities—II
Last week I ended by stating “Next week I will highlight a non-syntax based example. This example will show how potential that exists to achieve phenomenal functionality is often completely ignored—not because of lack of simple thinking.” It is a confusing sentence. It is intended to be so.

Issue dtd. - 3rd March, 2003
The hunt for hidden opportunities
Last week I initiated a series called ‘Hype v/s Reality’. Earlier I had started another series called ‘Learning from (others’) mistakes’.

Issue dtd. - 24th Feb, 2003
Business Intelligence without the hype
For those of you who might have missed last week’s Tech Forum, we started off with the first piece in a mini-series which attempts to compare hype with reality—highlighting the wide gap between what the technology promises and what is achieved in reality.

Issue dtd. - 17th Feb, 2003
Cutting through the hype and facing reality
Comparing hype with reality is a new mini-series that will be featured within Tech Forum from now on.

Issue dtd. - 10th Feb, 2003
Learning from (others) mistakes : Query Blocking (cont...)
The purpose of “Learning from (others) mistakes” series is to make sure that we prevent similar mistakes from occurring rather than repeating them. TechForum will present the causes, and suggest corrective and preventive steps for commonly observed mistakes.

Issue dtd. - 3rd Feb, 2003
Learning from other people’s mistakes
All the content available on the Web, or in books, best practices and policies, always talks about how to do things the right way.

Issue dtd. - 27th Jan, 2003
WMI — Connecting developers and administrators
I have often talked about the divide between developers and administrators. (There are many such divides: The divide between developers and end users, for example! But that is not the topic of discussion right now.)

Issue dtd. - 20th Jan, 2003
Making Word documents really read-only
In Tech Forum, I have often used topics which a typical author targeting developers would never even think of covering. The article on Excel is one such example.

Issue dtd. - 13th Jan, 2003
Developing administrative consoles using Microsoft Management Console
Any organisation needs to use a large number of software applications and infrastructure products to automate business processes.

Issue dtd. - 6th Jan, 2003
Managing junk mail
No one is spared from junk e-mail these days. What started out as a minor irritation has now become so common that it causes a huge amount of productivity and even monetary loss across the board. Here are some useful tips for managing junk mail.

Issue dtd. - 23rd Dec. 2002
Cell referencing in Excel for everyone - II
Here’s the second part of the interesting topic on cell referencing in Excel, which we began discussing last week.

Issue dtd. - 16th Dec. 2002
Cell referencing in Excel for everyone!
This week I was planning to write three or four snippets of information rather than a full article. That way, I reckoned, I would be able to cover more topics and more readers.

Issue dtd. - 9th Dec. 2002
Utility for detecting duplicate indexes in SQL Server
I have been involved in the database optimisation and tuning of a large number of applications. One of the causes of slow performance, especially for updates, is the presence of a large number of complex indexes.

Issue dtd. - 2nd Dec. 2002
Warm standby server using log shipping
Critical applications cannot stop running. If there is a failure of the main database server, we need some mechanism to recover from that failure quickly and reliably, preferably automatically.

Issue dtd. - 25th Nov. 2002
Exploiting the IDE user interface of VS .NET
There is a lot of hype about .NET as a platform and a new way of thinking about applications.

Issue dtd. - 18th Nov. 2002
Write stored procedures in VS .NET
Before .NET it was possible to debug stored procedures from the VB 6 IDE. It was add-on functionality.

Issue dtd. - 11th Nov. 2002
Configuring ASP.NET applications

The ASP.NET configuration is much more flexible and dynamic than ASP applications. The configuration management is dynamic.

Issue dtd. - 4th Nov. 2002
Exploiting technology to the fullest

After a gap of many months, I am back with your favourite TechForum. During this time, many of you have sent feedback either to me or to Express Computer requesting resumption of the column. It was long overdue, but finally the wait is over


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