3D Data Visualization Takes Another Step

Tables, graphs and 3D bar charts just don't cut it anymore. To really glean insights from all that data you're collecting, you need pretty pictures, maps and interactive "cinematic guided tours" that users can play with.

That's the vibe at the PASS Business Analytics Conference underway in Chicago, as witnessed by today's announcement of "project codename 'GeoFlow' Preview for Excel 2013."

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Posted by David Ramel on 04/11/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


Silverlight Gets Some VS12 Love, Users Want More

It was just an inconspicuous little reference seemingly buried in the verbiage announcing all the new goodies in the Visual Studio 2012 Update 2, looking almost like an afterthought jammed in at the last minute:

"It includes support in Blend for SketchFlow, WPF 4.5, and Silverlight 5."
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Posted by David Ramel on 04/05/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


Retro Database dBASE Making a Comeback?

Ok, that report is due soon, so I'm going to fire up dBASE to run some reports, export the data into Lotus 1-2-3 and summarize everything with WordPerfect--while listening to Wham! and Foreigner, of course.

Oops, my mind was momentarily transported back into the mid '80s.

Amazingly, though, one of those pioneering software products was just updated as of yesterday. Yup, dust off those old .dbf files, dBASE PLUS 8 has been released.

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Posted by David Ramel on 03/20/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


BIDS Templates Come to Visual Studio 2012 in SSDT Update

"Does SSDT for Visual Studio 2012 support BI project templates?" asked James V. Serra in a TechNet forum last September.

Some six months later, the answer was yes: "Hi James, the download to add the BI Project Templates to the VS2012 shell is now available."

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Posted by David Ramel on 03/14/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


SQL Encroaches on Big Data Turf

Remember when SQL developers felt threatened by Big Data? Relational database management systems were old-school relics that couldn't cope with the vast amounts of unstructured, disparate data. NoSQL was the future. You needed to get onboard with Hadoop and MapReduce, running on Linux.

Well, not anymore.

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Posted by David Ramel on 03/08/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


Red Hat Goes All In On Big Data (Whatever That Is)

I tuned in to a Webcast earlier this week where Red Hat announced it was contributing its Hadoop plug-in to the open source Apache Hadoop community and totally embracing Big Data with an "open hybrid cloud" strategy. More on that later.

What I found really interesting was the response to an audience member who asked, "How do you define Big Data?"

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Posted by David Ramel on 02/22/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


Bill Gates Says Biggest Product Regret Was WinFS Data Storage

Data developers were interested to learn this week that it was a futuristic data storage product called WinFS that Bill Gates identified as the Microsoft product he most regretted not making it to market.

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Posted by David Ramel on 02/15/2013 at 1:15 PM1 comments


Programmers: Introverts or Extroverts?

"The icon of the shy geeky computer programmer is a mainstay of the technology landscape. But is it true?"

That's how a recent e-mail to me from Evans Data Corp. started out. At a previous company, as part of a class, I took a Myers-Briggs test that indicated I was introverted. And that my personality type (ISTP, one of 16 possible categories) tended to like motorcycles. I didn't need a standardized test to tell me either of those things, but I found it interesting.

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Posted by David Ramel on 02/07/2013 at 1:15 PM6 comments


EF Power Tools Bugs Fixed as Development Heads in New Direction

The Entity Framework Power Tools Beta 3 was released this week, but some data developers eager to get their hands on new features were disappointed to learn it mostly includes bug fixes because the product's functionality is shifting to the EF Designer in Visual Studio 2012.

With EF Power Tools, data developers get additional Visual Studio design-time tools for Entity Framework development.

The most important bug fix in Beta 3 is non-compatibility with Visual Studio 2012 Update 1. Several other issues were also addressed, but some developers wanted more.

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Posted by David Ramel on 02/01/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


Study: MongoDB Takes a Bite Out of MySQL

Some especially significant implications for Web developers can be found in a new study by research firm Ovum that measured the sentiment about Big Data vendors in 2012 Twitter posts.

While the study indicated that Big Data retained its popularity last year, data developers will be more interested in conclusions drawn by Ovum concerning the future of Web development.

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Posted by David Ramel on 01/24/2013 at 1:15 PM1 comments


Salary Survey Shows Data Devs Doing Well; Silverlight, Not So Much

Being a data development guy, I was interested in how data-related developers were faring when the recent Visual Studio Magazine Salary Survey came out, and the answer is pretty darn well, comparatively.

But, also being a Silverlight fan, I was most struck by one particular chart: "Salary by Microsoft Technology Expertise." More than 1,000 developers were asked: "What Is Your Primary Area of Technology Expertise (Have Product Knowledge and Work with on a Regular Basis)?" One line said it all:

Silverlight n/a

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Posted by David Ramel on 01/18/2013 at 1:15 PM5 comments


Data Access, Reimagined

"There are lots of discussions about using database[s] in Windows Store apps in MSDN forum[s]," reads a brand-new blog post by Microsoft's Robin Yang on MSDN.

Yes, developers are apparently still struggling with data access in the new Windows 8 ecosystem.

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Posted by David Ramel on 01/11/2013 at 1:15 PM0 comments


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