Friday, 30 July 2010

Google Blog Ranking... is it true?


GoogleIn the past I've used ranking technics for web sites. I've used procedures that could take the ranking very high, very quickly. But that was like playing with fire because after the initial burst, the site's ranking was always slowly going down, no matter what I was doing. Google improved its ranking methods and I think that there's no way fooling web spiders, now.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Add a Progress Indicator to your asp page


Sometimes when developing a web application, you need to query a large amount of data, manipulate it and present it in a beautiful and readable way. That kind of operations – given that you created a resource optimized sql query – might take time and the user, waiting for data to appear on the screen, might get nervous not knowing what is really happening to the submitted request. So what? There are risks involved in that waiting: the user might hit other buttons sending multiple requests to the server. Again the user might submit data update more than one time. Or, simply, the user might think that your application is lousy and really slow (while you know that the user just submitted a very complicated query and you can’t do much about it in terms of speeding up the process!).

Monday, 26 July 2010

Schedule SQL queries over night


Today, I would to talk about a incredibly useful application that I found while surfing. SQL Scheduler is "a fully functional client/server application written in C# that allows administrators to schedule various SQL jobs for SQL Server Express and other versions of SQL Server."(quoted from SQL Scheduler home page)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Exporting data to Excel in asp


One of the things that I have been asked for several times during web application development, was the possibility of exporting data to Ms Excel. That is because people need to further manipulate query results. I always thought that the best way to deal with data filtering and sorting, is to create a suitable parametric query. Sometimes that is not enough and you end up creating an asp page in order to export data to Ms Excel.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Help for web applications (part 2: tools)


This is the second part of the “Help for web applications”. In the first post I explained why you should build an online help for your application, and then I suggested what should be its content.
Now you probably wonder how to do it. What tools are available on the net? Are they free?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Help for web applications (part 1: general)


When was the last time you thought it was necessary to create an help button for your web application?
I do it everytime that I publish a beta release. I've always thought and I strongly believe that a good web app needs a good online help. It doesn't matter which type you use (an html online help, or a chm, txt, pdf file) as long as you make it available somewhere in your application. I strongly believe in that for different reasons.

Friday, 16 July 2010

jQuery: the magic wand


I don't like CMSs. Well, I must admit: I really hate CMSs. I'm stating that just because I do like programming my own web site with complete freedom. And CMSs - even if they claim to be complete or complicated - are usually too tight for my needs.
Even though that is always true and I won't change my mind in the future, I do believe that sometimes programming everything in a web site is very hard and time consuming. So a little help - with complete freedom and customization - is welcome.

jQuery has nothing to do with CMSs

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Outlook Web Access and Outlook 2003


This is an issue I resolved today, and it took quite a lot. Probably I am really a nerd when talking about Exchange Server and Outlook Web Access, but I had to bang my head against the pc screen more than usual before getting to any result.

What was I trying to do?

The General Manager wants to receive and send emails when he's in office, when he's at home, when he's abroad... basically he wants to be always connected to our Exchange Server (why not use a BlackBerry? Mystery...). It was a battle in the past months in order to let him try Outlook Web Access. A battle I said. Possibly a struggle, because problems were hiding everywhere: the OWA interface is slow, the address book is not working like the one in Outlook, and other trivial things.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Embed an image to an email sent via asp


I found the trick I am about to explain on the web.  When the sales manager told me to create a procedure to send newsletter through the company Intranet web site, there was really no problem (I believe almost everyone knows how to do that!). It really got challenging when he told me they wanted to send images attached to the message body. I knew how to attach documents, but embedded images? Hmmm... that was tricky. Then I found the solution.

Monday, 12 July 2010

The web design


I always look at web design sites. And I do like to see the evolution of web design as a way of expressing  design in general. The way we like cars, for instance, is changing every year - or probably the way the car companies want us to like cars (but that's a whole different story).

Dynamic Columns in T-SQL


In one of my projects I had to create a SQL query which has dynamic columns. The reason why was related to the fact that I needed to create a pivot table (and that is quiet easy) with dynamic columns. The challange was tricky for me at the time, but when I understood the basics behind it I started to use the method in different ways... and that solved a lot of troubles.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Ok... let's start!


Test for Echo! Is there anybody out there listening?


I don't think so. Anyway, this is the beginning of a new adventure.
Why is this? Possibly because I'm bored to death, it is summer and I need something new.

The purpose? Share, share, share.

Since the mid nineties when I've started to explore the web, I've found helpful and enlightening the almost-infinite source of information which is the world wide web. A lot of people helped me in getting to know more and more, to develop web sites and applications... and all of them are unaware of it. I have used and still use the web as a source of info, used it for my purposes and that's it - no giving back!

Now it is time for a change. I feel the need to share what I think about it and maybe give my share of help to other people (who might be starting only today to use the web as I use it).

And I will do it in English (even if that is not my mother tongue) and please bear that in mind when I make a mistake. Be merciful...


Where do I begin?

Well, from here.

There you go, my first post. And it wasn't that difficult...Test for Echo! Is there anybody out there listening?