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I’ve been a user of the Microsoft Connect site for several years now.  A regular user who now and then casts an Up vote or clicks the “I can reproduce it!” link.  Not as a content poster.  Well, I did post some comments in the past, but I never filed an issue or suggestion.

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to post my first bug to Microsoft Connect, an issue which I had discovered in SQL Server 2012 RC0.  Because this process took me more time than I’d expected, I‘m now blogging about my experience.

The hardest part about the whole experience was finding the actual page that needs to be used to enter and submit the content.

Submitting Content To Microsoft Connect

Are you in for a ride on the Connect site?  Here we go!

Step 1: Search For Your Product on The Connect Home Page

Enter a search term on Microsoft Connect to locate your favorite product

On the Home page, enter a search term with which you can locate your favorite product.  If you’re not signed in yet, do that first.

Step 2: Click To Participate

On the search results, click the Participate link next to your favorite product.

Once the search engine has produced the output, locate your favorite product and click the Participate action next to it.

Step 3: Submit Product Feedback

Click Submit Product Feedback to submit product feedback.

After clicking Participate, the following overwhelming screen appears.  The link that you’re looking for is called Submit Product Feedback.

Step 4: The Feedback Center

After clicking Submit Product Feedback, you end up at the Feedback Center.

Do not use the Submit link, use Search first to check if your issue already exists.

Looking at the screen above, you’d think that the yellow Submit Feedback button can be used to open the page where you’d need to enter the bug details.  Well, it doesn’t…

You need to search for your issue first, to ensure it doesn’t exist already.

Step 5: The Submit Feedback Button Has Been Found, Eureka!

The Submit Feedback button on the Product Search Results screen.

After you’ve performed the search for your issue, you get to the following page above.  Finally, on that page you can click a real Submit Feedback button that will bring you to the Select Feedback Form page.

Step 6: Select Your Feedback Form Of Choice

Select SQL Server Bug Form to file a SQL Server issue, or SQL Server Suggestion Form for a suggestion.

On the Select Feedback Form page, select SQL Server Bug Form to file a SQL Server issue, or select SQL Server Suggestion Form to enter a suggestion.

Step 7: Fill Out The Textboxes

The "Submit A Bug" Form for SQL Server.

Finally, the page we’ve been trying to locate when we started the adventure, quest accomplished!  With this new knowledge, we can now skip directly to step 6 through the following link: Select Feedback Form

Disclaimer: please ensure that you’re not creating duplicate bugs or suggestions, but use whatever search engine your prefer to achieve that goal!

So, here’s my New Year’s present to all of you!  And remember: have fun!



Microsoft Connect

Feedback Center

Select Feedback Form


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I’m back!

Bestand:Tuberculummajushumeri.pngHey all, in case you were wondering if I stopped blogging: I didn’t!  But life interfered a bit too much the past few weeks.

For starters, I’ve been enjoying some holidays in the south of France.  But that wasn’t all.  This year the “holidays” were a bit different than usual as I spent them with a broken shoulder. No driving, no biking, one-handed typing, ….

That broken shoulder, more precisely the tuberculum majus, was the result of a bad crash during a mountain bike tour in Stavelot about a month ago.  Sixty kilometers of rocks, mud, roots, trees, …, all no issue.  Then at the end there was some asphalt.  I wanted to slow down a little because I didn’t trust the surface but my disc brakes did their work a bit too well.  Rear wheel locked, started slipping, well, let’s just say that asphalt is not my favorite substance to ride on :/

At this moment my shoulder is still hurting with certain movements, but the break is practically gone!  I’m also slowly starting to pick up the stuff that I couldn’t do anymore, such as typing.

What else am I up to?  Well, the installation procedure of Denali CTP3 is currently running in my virtual environment, gives me something to play with in the coming weeks…  Really interested in getting a peek at the new data quality functionality!

Besides playing around with Denali, I’ve got several screens of emails to go through. If you’ve tried to contact me and I haven’t gotten back yet: sorry about that, a reply will be coming soon!  How soon will depend on my ISP though.  Thanks to their wonderful upgrade of my modem, I’ve been out of internet/phone/digital TV for over three weeks now!  What a service huh.  Tomorrow one of their technicians is going to come over again, and I tell you, I will not unlock the front door before he gets this fixed!

So, I’m back!

Now, let’s see if I can get a connection to my neighbor’s router to get this published.  (Yes, he knows, I’ve kindly asked permission.)

Addendum: I couldn’t get connected to my neighbor’s router, so the “tomorrow” in the earlier paragraph is now “today”.  Which means my internet connection is operational again, woohoo!  The issue?  Well, apparently the previous technician wasn’t aware that the splitter hanging on my wall was an old model, which does not support the range needed for the new modem…  Takes them almost four weeks to figure that out, oh boy.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked on an issue that took me more than a couple of hours to figure out what was going wrong.

Anyway, have fun!




Was “get a new job” in your list of resolutions for the new year?  If it was, then check out the following website:

Ordina Airlines

Ordina is hiring talented people!  Get a new challenge and a free iPad on top of it, or a travel cheque worth 500 euro. What more do you want??  Note that the extra gift is only valid until February 15.

Ordina is hiring!

If you decide to send your resume and you end up with a new contract, don’t forget to post a comment here!  Alternatively, you can also comment as you read it now, but I don’t think that you want your current employer to know that you’re on the lookout. :-)

Have fun, and good luck!



Now that the new year has started, it’s time for the “resolutions/looking forward to” type of post.


Resolution #1

I will continue to write articles.  Looking at my statistics and the number of comments, I know that the articles are being appreciated.  Which is good to know because they take quite some time to write.

It’s been a while since I’ve written one, because I’ve been occupied on other tasks.  Such as the following.  I’m cooperating in the creation of a book on Master Data Services, as Technical Reviewer.  If you’re interested in that subject, keep an eye on this blog.  Once it’s published I’ll make a post about it!

To finish this resolution, here are the most popular articles in my Top 10 of 2010.  At number one, still an article that I wrote back in 2008: Calling a web service from SQL Server 2005.  I have a feeling that this will be different next year, because two other posts have pushed it to the third spot when looking at “last month” statistics.

A lot of people seem to struggle with the Windows Authentication in IIS 7.5, because that one is at number two.

At number three finally the first real article written in 2010: Retrieving Data From Excel.

Can you guess what posts are pushing the web services article from its number one position? :-)

Other posts that I have in the top 10 are my script to list all SSIS packages deployed on the Integration Server, my post about SSRS 2008 and SSL, and my article showing some Pie Chart Techniques.

Resolution #2

Erm, wasn’t the first one enough?  Well, besides writing articles and shorter blog posts I’ll also keep helping you guys out on the online forums, I will keep posting answers to every question that I get on my blog, and I will even keep answering the occasional personal email that I receive.

Resolution #3

Last but not least: as a Core Member of the Belgian SQL Server User Group, I’ll keep participating in the organization of great events, such as SQL Server Day!

Looking Forward To

SQL Server 2011

I’m definitely looking forward to the next release of SQL Server, currently known as Denali!

Integration Services has gotten some nice improvements to make the developer’s life easier.  Finally CTRL-Z actually does something!!  If you weren’t aware yet, you can already try this out by downloading the first CTP.

What I’m also quite interested in is known as Apollo, a column-based query accelerator.  I’m curious to see if the queries will perform ten times faster, as claimed.

What else?  Well, the BI Semantic Model (BISM) seems to be quite promising as well.  The SSAS team has used the Vertipaq technology, which you may already have heard of when reading about PowerPivot, and integrated it into a new engine for SSAS databases.  So in 2011 you can actually install two different instances of SSAS: one running in the old OLAP mode, and one running in BISM mode.  The OLAP engine still receives MDX queries, and the new server understands DAX!

And the last feature to which I’m looking forward to is Data Quality Services!  I’m quite sure that it will be useful in the context of loading data warehouses.


Happy New Year to all of you out there!!!


Top 9 New Features of SQL Server "Denali"

Analysis Services – Roadmap for SQL Server “Denali” and Beyond


A Holiday Post

Now that I’ve been enjoying my holidays for a while now – they’re as good as over – I thought the time had come to let you know what I’ve been up to.  Like any good holiday, it’s been a mix of fun and household chores which had been postponed, waiting for times like these…

The Chores

Let’s start with the though part: the household chores.   These are not really my favorite occupation but sometimes they just need to get done.


One of the larger tasks at home was mounting bookshelves against the walls in our children’s bedrooms, six in total.  To get a  bookshelf mounted, I first needed to mount a piece of iron on the wall.  This required drilling four holes in the wall, per shelf.  The largest challenge was hanging three bookshelves under each other, all straight and at a similar distance from the wall and each other.  As it just requires math and a spirit level (djeez, what a name, in Dutch it’s just called waterpas, spirits are not involved ;-) , that went quite okay using my regular electrical drill and its hammer function.

To finish off I had to shove the wooden shelf over the mounted iron and fix it using two screws that were part of the package.  And that’s were it went wrong, only slightly, just one screw has been messed up, but wrong it went.  Here’s the evidence:

A screwed-up screw

So, what happened?  Well, lazy as I am, I usually use the battery-powered drill shown above to put screws were they need to go.  However, the iron screws that came part of the package were not up to the power of that drill.  This resulted in a total mess for the first screw (indicated as BAD).  The head is totally messed up which means I can’t even get it out of there without possibly damaging the shelf.  So it’ll just have to stay like that.  The remaining eleven screws were fixed using my manual screwdriver, with a perfect result.

The morale of the story here is that it’s important to use the right tools for the job.  The more experience you’ve got in a particular task, the better your initial choice will be.  Just like with SQL Server, you need to think about what needs to get done and then select the tool to do it.  You need to quickly add a couple of fields to a development database?  Hmm, what tool would you use?  sqlcmd.exe?  Or the Management Studio?  Both would do the job and probably with the same result, but which one would be the fastest for you?  I would go for the SSMS, as I usually already have it running anyway.

Enough about those chores, let’s get to the fun part.

The Fun

Holidays also mean having fun with the kids.

Theme Park

One of our yearly daytrips is a visit to the Efteling, a theme park in The Netherlands.  I’m always looking forward to seeing (and trying) the new attractions.  This year the newest attraction is called Joris en de Draak (George and the Dragon).  It’s a wooden rollercoaster with two trains running simultaneously on two separate tracks.  The blue one represents Water and the Red one is Fire.  And they’re having a battle.  The winning train arrives first.

Joris en de Draak

I had to try out this attraction and was able to convince our oldest daughter – six years old – to come with me.  Luckily she was tall enough to be allowed on the attraction, but only just.  We had to use the carts in the middle part and she had to be accompanied by an adult – no problems there, I’m okay with the middle part :-)

I let my daughter choose the color, and thus we went for blue.  Once the train started, I must admit that I was a bit shocked by its speed.  According to Wikipedia its top speed is 75 km/h (46.6 Mph).  Obviously speed is not the whole story here.  After the first couple of turns, there’s a huge drop down which results in the funny feeling in the tummy (not sure what it’s called) due to the G-force.  And that’s not the only time that G-forces are playing with you.  I can’t remember any other rollercoaster in which the experience was similar.  Again according to Wikipedia, the largest G-force exercised in this attraction is 3G.

If you’re a bit afraid of heights – the coaster is 25 meters high – don’t worry about it.  This thing goes so fast that you won’t have time to even think about how high it goes, plus you’re fixed really tight in your seat.

In total its length is 810 meters (per track) and the ride lasts for two minutes.  It can process 1700 people per hour.

Later the same day, me and my daughter went for another ride, and she again chose blue.  Blue lost the battle this time, and the first time as well.  Ow, and here’s the attraction’s official site.

So, if you have the chance to visit the Efteling, try out this new rollercoaster, the after-effect is just great ;-)

Have fun!




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