SSRS for SQL 2008 + TERADATA Config on Install = SUX

Just when I thought I was done with the SUX series for the year, I came across this gem.

Recently, I’ve been working with SQL Server Reporting Services and trying to work with it in ASP.NET. While reading logs, I came across an error regarding TERADATA. Why is it that my SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is giving me an error like this on a fresh install?

So I did some searching through Bing, which led me to this article on Troubleshooting Configuration Problems. And then I saw this…

This error occurs because the Teradata extension is registered in the Reporting Services configuration file by default, but the Teradata assemblies are not shipped with SQL Server 2008 or as part of the .NET Framework. If the error message does not bother you, you can ignore the error when it is logged.

Wow… really? Why is an extension registered by default if none of the assemblies are included? Why is it an acceptable practice to pollute the event log with errors right after a fresh install?

Granted, they included how to avoid the error. But still….

If the assemblies aren’t included, I would expect the extension not to be registered. Let the installer detect if the assemblies are installed and then enable it by default if it is detected. Include instructions in the installer that the TERADATA extension is enabled by default and have a simple way of disabling it on install. Strike up a deal with TERADATA so that the assemblies can be included in the installer. And if that isn’t feasible then don’t include the extension in the installer and let an installer with the TERADATA assemblies handle registering the extension.

Why add unnecessary clutter to the event logs when it should be avoided in the first place?

Don’t get me wrong – adding support for TERADATA may be a nice feature. But for those of us who aren’t using it, it’s cleaning up setup stuff that – in my opinion – shouldn’t be included in the first place.

Because of this approach, the combination of SSRS with SQL 2008 and TERADATA on a fresh SSRS install truly SUX.

Netflix Silverlight App Does Not SUX

Ah yes – I’m back with another edition of the SUX (Sarah on User eXperience) series. This time, I’m singing the praises of the Netflix Silverlight app.

Recently, I had the house to myself and a day to rest. So I had the idea of playing World of Warcraft while watching movies over Netflix.

The laptop: ASUS G1

The Internet connection: Time Warner cable

A part of me thought this would be a flop and that I’d have to choose between the movie and the game. I had anticipated that streaming a movie would bog down my connection, making it impossible for me to run through the Blasted Lands – maybe more like grinding and then eventually lagging across the continent but not smoothly running through. However, I had forgotten about an awesome feature with the Netflix Silverlight app – it detects the current bandwidth and changes the streaming based on the bandwidth available. It was glorious to play World of Warcraft and watch movies and TV shows at the same time. The best part – the app didn’t have to recalculate for bandwidth issues until my husband came home and logged in. Even then, it did its recalculation and resumed my Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode right where I left off. So it was steady Netflix streaming and gaming all day. The Netflix Silverlight app does not SUX – it ROCKS!

Why Google Chrome is Pinned on my Taskbar

Whenever I give a presentation, I try to turn off my desktop icons just to get rid of a distraction (and clutter) for my audience. However, I haven’t started hiding my taskbar yet. This past Tuesday night, I spoke at the Cleveland WPF User Group, and one of our regulars noticed an icon on my toolbar – a Google Chrome icon! Yes, I am a Microsoft MVP… yes, I like Microsoft’s tools. But at the same time, I don’t have to use only Microsoft products – there are times when I will use others’ products.

So why do I have Google Chrome pinned on my Windows 7 taskbar? I’m a web developer, and it’s only natural for me to have more than one web browser. (On my primary work machine, I have at least 5 desktop browsers plus a few mobile emulators – cross-browser web development can be so much fun!) I have Internet Explorer 8 on my laptop, because it comes with the operating system. But lately, I’ve been spending more time in Google Chrome, as I’ve grown accustomed to its interface and it’s growing on me more and more.

I presented on Google Chrome at the Web Development SIG this past September, and I’ve been using it as my primary web browser on at least one of my machines since a few months after it came out. The quirky part of my setup though with using Google Chrome is that my default search engine is … wait for it… bing! As much as I love using Google search, it’s time to expand my horizons and give bing a chance. (And yes, this came out at the Web Dev SIG in September, but I can take the teasing that people dish.)

So why is Chrome pinned to my taskbar? The pin makes it easier to run my current primary browser. And now you know the answer to … Is that Google Chrome on Sarah’s taskbar? Why is it there?

Mobile Safari 4.0 + Horizontal Scrolling = SUX

Recently, I ran into an issue with how some of the sites I’m responsible for were displaying on Android 2.0 devices. Thanks to Google for providing a decent Android SDK – I was able to test my sites on Android 1.6 and Android 2.0. Android 1.6 displayed the sites fine, wrapping like it should. The exact sites in Android 2.0 had all this unnecessary whitespace on the right-hand side and allowed for a lot of unnecessary panning. At first it was reported as an Android 2.0 issue, but after seeing a friend’s iPhone that showed similar issues, I was able to narrow down the problem specifically to Mobile Safari 4.0.

Now maybe you guys like your whitespace. But I personally am not a fan of unnecessary scrolling on websites, and I don’t want my end users to have to deal with it either. After spending an afternoon with my favorite search engines, I finally found out how to get rid of the annoyance of horizontal scrolling.

The solution? All I needed to do was add the Apple-specific meta tag within my <head></head> tags:

<meta name = “viewport” content = “width = device-width”>

For this and more Apple-specific hacks, check out the Safari HTML Reference page on Meta Tags.

I spent way too much time trying to track this down, with so many people talking about their new Droid’s user agent string and only a couple references to the problem. So I hope this blog post hits the search engines and helps others out with Mobile Safari 4.0 and horizontal scrolling or panning.