Adding SQL linked server for legacy data formats on x64 Servers

Dbf or format of Visual Fox Pro data tables recently drove me in different direction when it comes linking it with SQL Server  2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 x64. In other words, the solution was to on Windows Server 2008 x64 install “AccessDatabaseEngine_x64.exe” which is located http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=13255.

Use ODBC to create dbase source, add it in linked server using sp_addlinkedserver ‘nameOfLinkedServer’, ”,’MSDASQL’,’nameOfOdbc’.

Now, just type in OPENQUERY command and then you are set to go.

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Business Intelligence – MS SQL R2 SSAS Cube problems

I was working on my Silverlight application with backend Microsoft SQL Server Analasys Services (http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/solutions-technologies/business-intelligence.aspx), when after a while problem with connectiong to cube occured with error “Internal error: Failed to generate a hash string”. After checking trough google,  it hit me: I have changed day before “Location” parametar in “Control panel” of my Windows 7. When I changed “Current location” to “United Kingdom” and restarted it, cube was browsable again. Checked with Microsoft and they sad that in next version of SQL it will be fixed.

Scrum methodology – software development projects

Scrum is a methodology or framework for running projects that is based on agile principles and values. It is also a part of iterative methodology which means that each time after sprint you have a deliverable software that is functional for your customers review. This methodology is quite popular because you deliver software in short time and as customer wanted it. In this post I will demonstrate in phases software development project using it with MS Project 2010.
First, you need to identify the business need and justification, define the vision, and obtain funding.
Then you acquire a team. In this process you will be Scrum master (http://www.scrumalliance.org/scrum_certification) or project manager that will comply with scrum processes. As a project manager you will have to be communicative person and good leader, helping your team have healthy relationship in creating product.
Now is time for planning project phase. In this phase you will have to create high level plan that will be decomposed in iterations. What is important is product backlog where you will have user stories which identify user needs of product. Each user story will have to be ranked so we know the order of implementation. To help you know what user story is scope bigger and so more time consuming we will use story points as measurement. You will use this story points to set velocity in each sprint. Even though you have a deliverable version of software product, you will have to know does it have value for the customer to be delivered, so you also have to plan your release plan.
In scrum, each sprint or iteration last from one to four weeks. You and your team will decide when each user story will be implemented ,that is highest rank and velocity within range for duration of that sprint.
When you run a sprint, your team member will finish each task (decomposed parts of user story), update task status and sing up for a new task. That is where daily scrum meeting comes in, where team members share details of tasks completed on previous day, what they plan to accomplish today and resolve any issues if they have with other team members.
When sprint is near it end, you will have to check if all user stories are finished as planned.
Then completed user stories will be presented to customer or product owner(person who act as intermediate between customer and team) for acceptance and product backlog will be updated.
And those sprints will be iterated until product is finished.

MS Project 2010 – PM tool and asset

When speaking of which project management tools, it is best to bare in mind that those tools are just assets of project manager and that it is best not to relay on them 100%.
But, without them we will be covered in paperwork and in lost of valuable, sometime priceless, time.
Here I would like to point out that one of leading project management tools is Microsoft Project 2010 (http://www.microsoft.com/project/en/us/default.aspx) with combination of SharePoint, which provides powerful project tracking tool.
Also, like every Microsoft product, it is provided with certification system, which can gain your company partner competences (https://partner.microsoft.com/global/program/competencies/40125153).
MS Project with integration of MS Project Server will give you and your company quick and easy access into project depending of roles you give to users.

Why become PMP® (and how) – tips and tricks

This post is about few steps to become a Project Management Professional ® – PMI most popular certification.
First, you probably are aware of what this certificate can bring to you as individual and how it can also benefit your company.
If you pass the exam, that is proof of your knowledge of project management and, because requisite is your proven track in leading projects from 3 to 5 years, it also represent you as experienced project manager.
Because exam focuses on situations you might face in the real world, it proves your project management knowledge and your project management experience in one certificate.
After you apply online http://www.pmi.org/Certification/Project-Management-Professional-PMP.aspx , you will wait for some time to get feedback if you are eligible to take the exam, given the application that proves your experience in project management.
Now, after being approved by PMI that you can take the exam, real “fight” begins. You will have to study hard to pass  the exam, depends of your daily schedule. If you take it slowly, lets say 2-3 hours per day, it will take you about 5-6 months to prepare.
My path was studying PMBOK® Guide and Rita Mulcahy PMP® exam prep.
I also went trough more than 2000+ different types of mock questions.
For example, go trough PM Fastrack simulation exam, it will give you a sense of real exam. In my case, on real exam after 127th question of total 200, I couldn’t understand any of sentences ’cause I’ve got tired, so I had to take 5 minutes brake, which is deducted from your exam time. Also, PM Study  (http://www.pmstudy.com/) is excellent exam resource, quite close to real exam.
Now, my advice is that you become PMI member (pay the membership fee) and than pay for the exam. It will cost you about the same, but in the case that you fail you will get discount for another try. You have to bare in mind that fail percentage is around 40% which is quite high.
Anyway, if you pass the PMP® exam, beside knowledge that you will gain, depending of point in your career, you can hope that you will get, if not raise than some other kind of reward. That all depends if your employer is following world standards in project management.

Project management professional ® (PMP) – new experience

After preparing for Project management professional ® (PMP), finally hard work has paid off. It was intense and emotional experience, but worth every second of time spent. I have passed PMP exam in Zagreb on 23rd of August 2011.
I would like to suggest to every project leader, project manager, team leaders, HR managers, etc. to engage in Project Management Institute (PMI) certification program, which I find very comprehensive in term of gaining the whole picture of management regardless of business area you are involved in.