SQL Script Creator released

New Version of SQL Script Creator Logo
I continued the development of my SQL Script Creator and have just put up a setup package on it’s project page. It is a handy tool to create a sql script from query meta data based on several templates and can save you quite some time when working with temporary tables or cursors in SQL Server.

Meanwhile I found a similar opensource program which is called iCodeGenerator which uses user editable templates to create custom scripts and code but it bases it’s generation on a table rather than a more customizable select query.

In case you are wondering: The splashscreen design is drawn by hand with a graphic tablet – it gave me the chance to try some brush effects. It is no coincidence that the content resembles the SQL Server 2005 splash screen in a more “handmade” style ;-)

Back with SQL Script Creator… almost

SQL Script Creator Splash Screen

Being annoyed by creating a cursor script in SQL and having to define tons of variables manually I wondered if there was any tool to aid in this process. I quick google did not yield promising results. So spend the weekend conjuring up an application that eases the script creation by providing specialized generators to create scripts automatically from a given SELECT statement. It works pretty well and will be tested further in the next week until I’ll release it here under some opensource license.

SQL Script Creator Screenshot

Putting this app together thought me some new things about the settings and localization concepts of .NET 2.0. Two articles that got me introduced to the concept are the tutorial Localization in ASP .NET 2.0 on ondotnet.com and the detailed article
Localization Practices for .NET 2.0 on theserverside.net.

Backup.net

I’ currently thinking about a backup strategy for my linux server. I have several subversion repositories und home directories with imap maildirs that I definately don’t want to loose in case my server disc crashes. Actually I have been very lucky so far with not backing up most of my data for years. Maybe that’s why I feel, that I have to do something in that area.

Anyway, I have about 1-2GB of data, most of which doesn’t change a lot, but it should be stored daily. I’am looking for some kind of network backup solution for storing backups on my workstation or friends’ servers on a VPN. While searching, I came across DIBS: Distributed Internet Backup System which uses a peer to peer approach to store recovery data on serveral distributed servers. From the manual it looks promising and quite mature but I’m not sure if I’ll find enough reliable servers with a decent internet connection to use it.

Bacula looks really interessting but might be overkill in my situation. I like the fact that it provides clients for different OSes so that you can use it as a single backup solution even for the windows clients in your network. It is mainly built for larger networks with distributed backup and storage servers for a large number of clients. I don’t think I’ll invest the time to set up the different server components for this one, though.

Possibly I’ll end up with a tar, scp or rsync solution that copies backups to my windows workstation or other peers in my VPN. linux-backup.net and this IBM article of automation of backups on linux give some useful example for such a do-it-yourself backup solution.

Update: I found one more popular opensource backup application which is called Amanda which provides a similar feature set like Bacula.

Daemon Tools shell integration

If your using daemon tools regularly you need a proper shell integration. I finally realized today I have to find a new integration for the daemon tools v4 version – I’ve lived without one so far. Apparently a new version of the awxDtools was released today – my favourite integration that I used for daemon tools v3 so far. Unfortunately it only is available with an adware-installer – I didn’t bother to check it out further, let alone tried to remove this crap.

Since I’m currently only using one virtual drive I decided to stick with a very simple windows shell integration. With associating the damon tools executable with the right parameters you have a mount-on-doubleclick solution in minutes. You can set the associations in Windows Explorer under Extras > Folderoptions. The following screenshot shows the dialog – it’s a german windows version though:
Association of ISO files with deamon tools

A better solution would be using a common definition for all the image types and also provide a unmount option like this guy Archades did in his reg file. It would even be possible to add a second virtual drive as another operation in the context menu. As I see it, if you have a decent reg file that creates the associations there is barely any need for additional tools to provide a daemon tools integration.

When calling deamon tools with command line parameters you have make sure that secure mode ist turned off in the daemon tools options or you’ll get a confirmation dialog each time you try to mount an image.