Black Falcon Software Releases SQL Server Source Control 2.1.1

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Black Falcon Software is proud to announce its release of SQL Server Source Control for Developers 2.1.1…

This release is a major upgrade to its current product, which was at version 1.0.3.  The reason for the large skip in version numbers is that an interim 1.1.1 release had been planned but it was thought better to combine all of the modifications and new features into a single release.

This latest version has a brand new interface style, which will bring it more in line with current expectations by users.

A new usage statistics form has been added that allows users to view the used space in their defined repositories.

An new email form has also been added that will allow users to contact Black Falcon Software directly from within the application.

A new utility has also been added that allows users to clear dangling data when a database connection has been deleted.  This dangling data was a result of the application not clearing all of the repositories with data associated with the deleted connection.  Since this “bug” was internalized by the fact that without the deleted database connection information, the associated data could never be viewed, it resulted merely in the data using up space than being any type of issue.  Running this utility once will rectify this issue without disrupting any data associated with existing, active data.

Many modifications have also been made to this product and are currently listed on the home-page of Black Falcon Software’s web-site.

If you are an employee, consultant, or freelancer who requires source control for your SQL Server database object scripts because your place of work does not have such a capacity or you just would like to have your own individualized form of such source control, which is similar in nature to the Mercurial private source control system, go to Black Falcon Software’s web-site at http://www.blackfalconsoftware.com and download a freely available 30-day trail version.  Licensing is very affordable and allows for installation on 5 different machines.

A tremendous amount of effort has gone into this latest release so it is hoped that everyone who tries it will enjoy working with it.

Database access has been tested up through SQL Server 2014 and should be compatible with all previous versions with this popular database engine.

In addition, this release has also been successfully tested against Windows 10.

The next expected release (2.1.2) will have the capability to access the newly released SQL Server 2016 database engine.

Steve Naidamast
Sr. Software Engineer
support@blackfalconsoftware.com
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Black Falcon Software Releases MySQL Helper 4.5

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The MySQL database is probably the leading open-source database engine in the United States while highly popular in Europe where it receives most of it’s direct competition with PostgreSQL.

Despite this popularity level and the enthusiastic support it receives from the development community, it does have its drawbacks, mostly with it’s confusing, syntactical idiosyncrasies for those coming from a SQL Server environment. Minor syntax issues with stored procedure parameters, variable declarations, and the like tend to cause the uninitiated all sorts of headaches that could cause one to abandon this database’s use. Though the documentation offered is quite extensive it could do better in providing in-depth examples of how to do certain things that would allow new users to avoid the pitfalls of finding rather minor differences in what they may be used to do doing.

Nonetheless, some of the database’s faults lie with the ongoing improvements that have been made to it in the preceding years. Now in version 5.7, MySQL promotes one of the crown jewels of the open-source community with it’s extensive feature set and performance capabilities.

As a result, Black Falcon Software is proud to release back to the open-source community it’s latest version of it’s MySQL Helper component, MySQL Helper 4.5.

Like it’s SQL Server counterpart, this updated version has been rewritten with cleaner code, fixed a number of issues with original test-client processes, provided a new test-client interface, and a smoother ADO.NET transaction process allowing for a single-point of processing and failure. This new release also comes with an updated Help file.  Please also note that like all the other 4.5 data-access-layer versions from Black Falcon Software, source-code is only provided in VB.NET.  However, notes are provided that will explain the best way to convert the code to C#.

Included as well are the MySQL 5.7 reference manual as well as the MySQL .NET Connector 6.9.4 as well as it’s corresponding reference manual.

Though developers may be aware of a later version of the connector, installation has been shown to have issues causing the install to fail. A number of developers attempting to install the later version have commented in the MySQL forums, noting the install issue, which was found also in earlier versions of this software. Black Falcon Software found the 6.9.4 version of the software to be quite stable and has decided to remain with it. However, given the similarities in the software’s API, installing the latest version should provide no issues.

Black Falcon Software hopes everyone who downloads this software will enjoy it and find it a valuable addition to their tool-kits.

If any issues are found while processing calls to your MySQL databases please contact Black Falcon Software using the “Contact” form on the web-site (http://www.blackfalconsoftware.com).

 

 

 

Release 1.0.3 of “SQL Server Source Control for Developers” Now Available

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Black Falcon Software has just released version 1.0.3 of its flagship product, “SQL Server Source Control for Developers”. 

This version has a new syntax editor for viewing your SQL scripts with properly formatted and highlighted code.  Several display corrections have been made to the software along with a few non-bug internal modifications.

This software has the same storage capability as its more higher priced competitors and requires no remote source control server as all data is stored in local workstation repositories.

This software is for individual, professional developers who either require or would like to be able to version their SQL Server object scripts during their development of databases where such source control is not available.

Download a 30-day trial version at Black Falcon Software’s website

If you like the product, have comments, suggestions, or criticisms, please let Black Falcon Software know by using the site’s “Contact” form…

 

 

Best Database Managers for Developers

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The technical management of relational databases is a highly mature technology in the software development profession. Many of the high-end tools such as those offered from Toad and Embarcadero are superlative with their capabilities but completely beyond the affordability for most individual developers, unless of course they need such powerful tools for their businesses and clients (Toad does offer freeware versions but they are somewhat limited).

For most of us, we tend to work with databases through client tools provided on their workstations or we use the individual offerings from such vendors as Microsoft, MySQL, and PostgreSQL to name a few. However, as good as these tools are, to use them requires understanding the idiosyncrasies that comes with each as all of them are proprietary to the database. This is not a major undertaking since all such database managers operate in relatively the same fashion.

Nonetheless, if you work with a variety of databases constantly and you do not require the extensive capabilities that come with the high-end offerings, working with a single database manager for all your efforts more often than not makes such work a much smoother process.

There are two such database managers that fit this bill and are in fact quite popular with many professional developers; Database.NET and the products from EMS Database Management Solutions.

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Black Falcon Software Releases SQLite Helper 4.5

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The SQLite database is probably the leading embedded database engine in the entire Information Technology industry. Small, fast, and relatively straightforward to use it has attracted a very wide following of devotees, developers, and vendors that take advantage of its excellent quality and versatility.

Used in all types of embedded systems from operating systems to the desktop, SQLite is the database engine of choice for those requiring a solid database for their applications.

However, support within the .NET developer community has been somewhat of an ambiguous proposition since SQLite, being a C\C++ database engine primarily, has not had the necessary support for ADO.NET beyond several open-source projects managed by individual developers.

The two leading projects in this venue have been the PHXSoftware and Finisar implementations but both of these offerings have since been discontinued.

DevArt Software has recently begun offering an excellent and freely available product for such purposes to the .NET developer community and Black Falcon Software did consider its use for it’s “SQLite Helper” product. However, it was thought a better idea to use the most direct offering from the SQLite Foundation itself if at all possible.

Luckily for the .NET community, the SQLite Foundation has adopted the original PHXSoftware project as its own and is now maintaining it on a regular basis. However, this does not appear to be widely known from the research done.

All such products for SQLite combine the SQLite database assembly with an ADO.NET provider, which then allows any .NET language to access it in similar style.

Black Falcon Software is now proud to release its first SQLite Data Access Layer, SQLite Helper 4.5, that takes advantage of the SQLite Foundation’s .NET offering.

Like all of the Black Falcon Software data access layers, SQLite Helper 4.5 follows the same standardized format for offering all of the primary functions for data access processes. SQLite Helper 4.5 also offers a streamlined approach to processing transactions allowing the developer to choose between setting up a transaction whereby only single point of action and thus failure can be processed or spreading the processing of a transaction over as many method calls as may be necessary.

This updated approach to transactions follows the new approach taken with the SQL Helper 4.5 component for SQL Server databases, which was released this past July.

SQLite Helper 4.5 is a complete package, which offers the developer the following tools…

  • SQLite Helper 4.5 Data Access Component (with complete source code and existing access to the referenced SQLite database assembly)
  • SQLite Helper 4.5 Test Client (with complete source code)
  • A complete set of documentation for SQLite Helper 4.5 in a HELP file
  • The complete implementation of the “System.Data.SQLite” component from the SQLite Foundation
  • NET, an excellent general database manager, which is freely available for non-commercial use. Database.Net can be used against a variety of databases in addition to SQLite.

The SQLite Helper 4.5 source code comes in a solution that is compiled for the .NET 4.5 Framework. However, it can be easily recompiled for any of the frameworks, 4.5 or higher.

This new set of tools from Black Falcon Software is sure to make it easier and more convenient for .NET developers to implement SQLite processing within their applications without the additional complexities of using an ORM.

Give SQLite Helper 4.5 a try today. It can be freely downloaded from the following link…

http://www.blackfalconsoftware.com/Software

If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions regarding this new software, please send all notes to support@blackfalconsoftware.com

 

A Publication of Black Falcon Software

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Using Black Falcon Software’s SQL Server Source Control for Developers

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Overview

Application source control is a veritable standard in all well-run Information Technology organizations.   However, it is surprising how many small organizations seem to believe that individual developers merely saving backups of their projects on a remote server is more than enough for source control processes.

It is even more surprising how many quality IT organizations that do not have formal database teams ignore database source control thinking that the backed-up databases housing the scripts are more than enough for such a vital development process.

To some degree the lack of such control on databases is understandable given that there are few products available for organizations to avail themselves of. In fact, the only substantial products available are for Microsoft’s SQL Server database, while many other database engines are involved in production processes throughout the international IT community.

For Microsoft’s SQL Server, both ApexSQL and Red-Gate offer excellent products for teams and as a result, are rather expensive for individual professionals to afford. However, Black Falcon Software now offers a far more affordable solution for professionals looking to incorporate database source control into their development processes that will allow them to avoid the pitfalls of having their database scripts deleted or modified by others accidentally while under development when source control is not available.

Such a situation can be a traumatic situation when one has developed quite a number of new tables, procedures, or other such objects in a test database only to have them suddenly disappear as a result of a colleague’s work on the same database. And this is a common occurrence since test databases in many instances tend to be regarded as reusable by those working with them.

To begin with, Black Falcon Software’s SQL Server Source Control for Developers is not designed for teams but instead for the individual professional who wants and\or needs to maintain ongoing versions of all the database object scripts that they are developing without the more elaborate requirements of a remote source control systems such as TFS or Subversion. Stored in local repositories on the desktop, developers can now implement easy-to-use database source control for SQL Server that are protected from accidental modifications by colleagues or worse, complete database refreshes when it is felt that such a refresh is required. Under either condition, recreating original scripts can be a taxing experience.

Black Falcon Software’s product has a very simple set of administrative source control processes.

Starting with the administration of the application, the developer is presented with the following options…

*** click on the images to enlarge them

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Best Embedded RDBMS Databases for .NET Developers

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Black Falcon Software develops products for professional .NET developers and like any other MicroISV, the need for developer products to have embedded databases is often a necessary component for such work. The problem is that over the years this area of necessary database support has deteriorated to the point where few products are available any longer that are worthy of being used in commercial development.

For .NET developers the original database of choice was the Access MDB coming out of the transition from Classic VB. Though still available, this database has been long known for issues in the community and is now regarded as a non-starter for most professionals.

As the .NET environment grew in popularity, the database of choice for many was VistaDB, which was specifically designed for embedded database development. VistaDB came and went over the ensuing years but as the open-source database offerings became mainstream it finally went where it is now owned by Gibralter Software, which sells it at the hefty price of $1500.00 for a “site” license. However, if you qualify as a “MicroISV” with the company, they will offer a reduced price to help you with your business; though no estimate is provided.

VistaDB is offered as the .NET developer’s alternative to both SQLite and SQL Server CE but with both the latter available at no cost, this qualification is a non-starter unless VistaDB has an exact feature that is required for any developer’s work.

To this end, there are quite a number of what may be called 3rd-Tier database tools that can be used for embedded development, qualified simply is such from a lack of name recognition and corresponding probabilistic market-share. Many of these tools do not appear to have kept pace with the changing .NET Framework environments leaving them still supporting the 3.5 and 4.0 versions of the framework while integrations are correspondingly offered for Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. It is doubtful that any serious professional would want to take advantage of such tools. In this vein, “ScimoreDB” has appeared to be the most sophisticated of this group but it is stuck with its offering only supporting up to .NET Framework 4.0; at least at the last recent review of their business site.

Many other such tools look as if they are no longer supported or have been simply forgotten by time altogether.

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