Phil Factor

Phil Factor (real name withheld to protect the guilty), aka Database Mole, has 40 years of experience with database-intensive applications. Despite having once been shouted at by a furious Bill Gates at an exhibition in the early 1980s, he has remained resolutely anonymous throughout his career. See also :

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13 July 2006
13 July 2006

The Simple Talk SQL Prettifier

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(n.b. The prettifier is now on version 1.5 and is used by the editor and other contributors on this site to prepare code for publication. the link below has been updated to lead you to the latest version) With this BLOG entry we launch the Simple-Talk SQL Prettifier. This takes SQL code and turns it … Read more
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28 June 2006
28 June 2006

Third-party tools for the Database developer

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I suspect that many database developers use other applications to extend the use of the SQL Server system. I like using Windows Scripting resources such as the Scripting.FileSystemObject COM objects within stored procedures, and find such mundane command-line tools as Type, FTP and Xcopy of great use, when called via XP_cmdshell. I would like, of … Read more
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13 June 2006
13 June 2006

The DBA’s Demise: a recitation.

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On a doorway in DoverI once stumbled overa programmer wrapped in a sheetThis poor prostrate nerddidn’t utter a word as he lay there half-blocking the street “From your face I can seethat you work in ITwhat has brought you to this sorry state?”This poor wretched geekthen started to speakand told me his terrible fate Cruel … Read more
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10 June 2006
10 June 2006

The Stepford Geeks

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I was getting stuck into writing an article on interviews for IT jobs the other day. You know the sort of thing, what to wear, how to prepare your self, what to say when asked the typical questions, and the sort of questions to ask at the end. It then suddenly struck me that I … Read more
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03 June 2006
03 June 2006

spWhereIsItUsed: Leaves from a programmers notebook

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I felt a pang of conscience after having inflicted Obenglobish on an unsuspecting SQL Server fraternity. I decided therefore to provide something useful instead. Here is a way of seaching all your routines (stored procedures, triggers, functions and views) within a database to find every occurence of whatever text string you want to look for. … Read more
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26 May 2006
26 May 2006

Talking Technical

Developers, programmers and designers tend to be deeply geeky types, immersed in the minutiae of the technology. In stark contrast, many IT managers appear to have difficulty working the remote controls on their television. This cultural gap between the foot soldier and officer classes of the IT industry can have interesting consequences.… Read more
04 May 2006
04 May 2006

The Pub Lunch and Programming.

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“Werry good poer o’ suction, Sammy,” said Mr Weller the elder, looking into the pot, when his first-born had set it down half empty. “You’d ha’ made an uncommon fine oyster, Sammy, if you’d been born in that station o’ life,”Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers One of the great pleasures of programming in a team … Read more
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20 April 2006
20 April 2006

Getting data to the browser

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Slowly, all the necessary components are slotting into place to allow the developer to bypass the requirement to write traditional PC-based applications, or escape the tyranny of the all-encompassing n-tier distributed systems. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) seemed to appear out of nowhere around the start of 2005. XML is one of the few happy … Read more
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13 April 2006
13 April 2006

Selling Oneself Short

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A long time ago, I was transformed from resolute geek into a salesman. I’d written an application, commissioned by an international software publisher that subsequently disappeared in a spectacular way. It was an MSDOS program for managing serial communications for people who didn’t like computers much, but had to use them. It was good. Suddenly, … Read more
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26 March 2006
26 March 2006

Avoiding the TSQL ‘Convert’ styles.

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A recent blog was extolling the advantages of being able to use the CLR routines in SQL Server 2005 to do Microsoft-style date formats, instead of having the fuss and bother of remembering the CAST or CONVERT styles for the various representations of dates It is actually quite easy to do these date formats  in SQL … Read more
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20 March 2006
20 March 2006

The Incident of ‘The Two Johns’ -an IT Manager confesses.

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…in which Phil Factor takes advantage of the cloak of anonymity to confess to an embarassing mistake As an IT Manager, I used to love doing staff appraisals. These rituals come by different names in different companies, ‘performance reviews’, ‘annual reports’, ‘staff assessments’ and so on. There are periodic crazes for pinning a different name … Read more
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13 March 2006
13 March 2006

Spoofing Popularity-A warning to Webmasters

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In which Phil tries to warn you of the dangers of over-valuing Website-traffic Stats. A friend who runs a local history website in a rural area of England surprised me by saying that he values a single letter of interest or appreciation more highly than any amount of increased web-traffic on his site. He gave … Read more
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