Today’s Google Starred Items: “Streaming Blobs To and From SQL Azure”

Wayne Walter Berry: “This article provides a SqlStream class written in C# code. The class implements the abstract Stream class for the varbinary(max) data type on SQL Azure; Stream is an abstract class defined in the .NET CLR that is well supported and very versatile. The SqlStream class provided when used with SQL Azure allows you to manipulate a single blob a chunk at a time.”

“Getting Started With PowerPivot and SQL Azure”

Wayne Walter Berry: “One big advantage of using SQL Azure as a data source is that it can be accessed anywhere there is Internet connectivity, and you can store large amounts of data securely and with high availability. Your PowerPivot users can run their reports on the road, without having to VPN into your datacenter. Also, they do not have to travel with a snapshot of data, which is outdated the minute after the snapshot.”

“WordPress Now Runs on SQL Server and SQL Azure”

Sarah Perez: “To get started with WordPress on SQL Server or SQL Azure, you need to download the SQL Server distro or patch. Then you can check out the Getting Started page to get everything properly set up. ”

“Optical character recognition (OCR) in Google Docs”

Jaron Schaeffer: “For the technically curious: we’re using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that our friends from Google Books helped us set up. OCR works best with high-resolution images, and not all formatting may be preserved. The original images will be included in the new document to make it easier for you to correct mistakes. Supported languages include English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages and character sets on their way. We’re looking forward to get feedback from you while we keep improving the feature over the next months.”

“Google releases command line tool for accessing Web services”

Ryan Paul: “Although modern desktop computing is increasingly dominated by graphical user interfaces, command line tools are still extremely useful for rapid interaction, simple programmatic automation, and remote system management. GoogleCL will make Google-hosted data more accessible to common command-line workflows. The GoogleCL tool offers an easy way to pipe your GMail contact list into sed and awk, or use a shell glob to specify which photos and movies to batch upload to Picasa and YouTube. It also supports Blogger, Google Calendar, and Google docs.”

“Pivot, OData, and Windows Azure: Visual Netflix Browsing”

Steve Marx: “I’ve put together my own example of using the new PivotViewer control at http://netflixpivot.cloudapp.net. It lets you browse the top ~3,000 movies that Netflix has available to stream online. I really encourage you to click through to the demo… it’s a fantastic way to find a movie to watch.”

“Installing, Configuring and Using Windows Server AppFabric and the ‘Velocity’ Memory Cache in 10 minutes”

Scott Hanselman via Chris Alcock: “The Velocity Caching Service needs to know where to get its configuration and it can get it from one of two places – either a database or an XML file on a share. If you use the XML file on a share, you’ll need to make sure the service account has access to the share, etc. I’ll use a database. The config wizard can make it for you as well. Click Next then Finish up the configuration.”

“SQL Azure and Windows Azure”

Wayne Walter Berry: “SQL Azure is independent from Windows Azure. You don’t need to have a Windows Azure compute instance to use SQL Azure. However, SQL Azure is the best and only place for storing relational data on the Windows Azure Platform. In other words, if you are running Windows Azure you probably will have a SQL Azure server to hold your data. However, you don’t need to run your application within Windows Azure account just because you have your data stored in SQL Azure. There are a lot of clients and platforms other than Windows Azure that can make use of SQL Azure, including PowerPivot, WinForms applications (via ADO.NET), JavaScript running in the browser (via OData), Microsoft Access, and SQL Server Reporting Services to name a few.”

“The Lightbox Clones Matrix” and other links…

Buy this Book at Amazon.com!

The Lightbox Clones Matrix is a “comparison of various scripts that display images and other objects in somehow cool CSS popups”… Over a dozen of these clones are based on jQuery. The number of choices is paralyzing!

“JSON tools for your web browser”

Ryan Paul: “Ars looks at two Firefox extensions for web developers that make it easier to read JSON data.” I’m OK with whatever Firebug has right about now. When the occaision calls for it, I should know where to look.

“Blueprint: A CSS Framework”

Blueprint is a CSS framework, which aims to cut down on your development time. It gives you a solid foundation to build your project on top of, with an easy-to-use grid, sensible typography, useful plugins, and even a stylesheet for printing.”

Plumb

“This is Plumb, a tool for composing web layouts for use with the Blueprint CSS framework.”

“20 Useful PHP + jQuery Components & Tuts for Everyday Project”

Noura Yehia: “…7. From PHP to XML to jQuery and Ajax …This tutorial will focus on getting data from a database using PHP, converting that to an XML document, and reading that XML in through jQuery via Ajax calls. Seems complex, but is in fact, very easy. …10. HOWTO: PHP and jQuery upload progress bar …With the controllable jQuery Progress Bar, writing a form upload progress bar seems like a piece of cake now. Hypothetically, all we need is to create the bar, poll for the progress of the file upload, drive the new progress bar value (in percentage) and set it using PHP.  …12. A fancy Apple.com-style search suggestion …Learn how to recreate the effect from Apple website by creating a fancy apple.com-style search suggestion. This example makes use of several techniques: MySQL (for the database), HTML/CSS for styling, PHP for retrieving the data and jQuery for the AJAX request.” The other tutorials look great but I’m just picking the ones I would need sooner rather than later.

“Black Enterprise Goes Beta” and other links…

blackweb20.com: “As a current Drupal junky, I am a little disappointed BE decided to use WordPress as their content management system (CMS) as its main intention is a blogging platform. While I understand that it has been proven WordPress can be shoe-horned into such implementations, the tons of additional javascript additions each plugin adds in addition to the lack of real community features, I hope they don’t run into any scalability issues nor do they make too many changes to the core code as any update will wipe them away.” I am just glad that a traditional, bricks-and-mortar Black business oriented web site is finally taking web technology somewhat seriously—instead of clutching on to its print offering and damn near punishing online readers with demands to buy the print version. Once Barack Obama’s use of Web technology really becomes apparent to the Negro gatekeepers out there, my “hope” is that a new fashion trend will break out such that great tech women like Tiffany B. Brown won’t be disruptive curiosities to our Top Ladies of Distinction in the Black business world.

Buy this Book at Amazon.com! “jQuery and Microsoft”

Scott Guthrie: “A big part of the appeal of jQuery is that it allows you to elegantly (and efficiently) find and manipulate HTML elements with minimum lines of code. jQuery supports this via a nice ‘selector’ API that allows developers to query for HTML elements, and then apply ‘commands’ to them.” The news is out: “jQuery to ship with Visual Studio.” PDC 2008 videos like “ASP.NET and JQuery” (Stephen Walther) and “ASP.NET AJAX Futures” (Bertrand Le Roy) show me that Microsoft needs a technology like jQuery for its JSON-centric AJAX scenario.

“Opera study: only 4.13% of the web is standards-compliant”

Ryan Paul: “The study found that Adobe Flash is used on roughly 35 percent of all web sites. Flash is most popular in China, where it was found on 67 percent of the web sites analyzed by MAMA, and it was least popular in Denmark, where it is used on 25 percent of web sites.” Wow. 35% is rather low for my expectations.