Brian Swan's Blog

  • Joomla! 2.5 Adds SQL Server Support!

    This is a short post to shareexciting news: Jooma! 2.5, which shipped earlier this week, now has support for SQL Server! Of course, this release contains lots more goodies, but the addition of a database abstraction layer that supports multiple databases is a huge step (support for other databases may arrive quickly now that Joomla! ison a 6-month ship cycle). This will remove headaches for anyone deploying Joomla! in multiplatform environments. You can read all about the release on the Joomla! Web site: Joomla! 2.5 Released with Extra Features and Easy Updates. I think this quote from the announcement sums up the impact of this release better than I could:

  • The SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux is Available!

    The first beta release of the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux is available for download! As announced in October, the “Multiplatform Team” (a.k.a. the “MPlat Team”) has released a preview version of a driver that will provide first-class access to SQL Server from applications running on Linux operating systems. The team is looking for feedback on this release to incorporate into their production-ready release, so try it out and let us know what you think. Here are the important links to get you started:

  • Microsoft Announces SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux!

    In this morning’s keynote address at the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) Summit 2011, Quentin Clark (Corporate Vice President at Microsoft) announced that a preview of the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux will soon be widely available to customers. Yes, you read that right. Microsoft plans to release a driver that provides 1st class access to SQL Server from Linux/Unix operating systems. Recently, Microsoft has been working closely with a handful of partners to get feedback on private releases of the driver. A publicly available preview release of the driver is planned for later this fall.

  • Why is PHP 5.3 on Windows faster than previous PHP versions?

    Last week I had the good fortune of hearing Rasmus Lerdorf speak at the Seattle PHP Meetup. His talks was excellent – it was sprinkled with history, personal stories, tips, best practices, and insights into what he’s thinking about for the future. At one point, during a section on best practices, he urged everyone to move to PHP 5.3 if they hadn’t already. He added (and I’m paraphrasing here), “If you aren’t running PHP 5.3 on Windows, you’re lucky…because you have a 40% performance boost coming.” He clarified this by saying that, with some help from Microsoft, improvements were made in PHP 5.3 that led to a 40% performance improvement of PHP on Windows. Because he didn’t go into the details of why this performance boost was realized, I got questions in email the next day asking about why. So, here’s a slide from a presentation I did last year that explains why:

  • Version 3.0 (beta) of the SQL Server Drivers for PHP Released!

    A Community Technology Preview (a beta release) of v3.0 of the SQL Server Drivers for PHP was released today (see the announcement on the team blog). You can download it here: Download v3.0 of the SQL Server Drivers for PHP. In this release, there are three new features: buffered queries, support for LocalDB, and support for high availability and disaster recovery. It’s important to note that the latter two features are dependent on the next version of SQL Server (code named “Denali”). A preview of Denali can be downloaded for free here (see notes later in this article about the installation process): Download SQL Server Denali CTP 3. More detail about each new feature is in the sections below. We’re hoping to get feedback from you. If you have feedback, please comment on this post or reach out to me (@brian_swan) and/or Jonathan Guerin (@kop48, the Program Manager for the drivers) on Twitter.

  • Starting a New Blog: Windows Azure’s Silver Lining

    If you are a regular reader of my blog, you have probably noticed I haven’t been publishing much lately. That is not to say, however, that I haven’t been writing. I have. I’ve been working with a colleague (Larry Franks) to start a new blog: Windows Azure’s Silver Lining. The focus of that blog will be open source and device development on the Windows Azure platform. I’ve been writing about PHP on the Azure platform for a while now, but I’m excited to take my knowledge to a new level and to branch out into new areas. Part of my excitement stems from the vision laid out by Satya Nadella (President of Microsoft Server and Tools Business Division) for Open Source integration with the Windows Azure platform. In his words (and you can read more here)…

  • Consuming SQL Server Result Sets as XML with PHP

    At last month’s SQL Server JumpIn! Camp, one of the SQL Server features that generated some excitement among the participants was SQL Server’s ability to return result sets as XML. I felt a bit foolish for not having investigated this feature, so I’m rectifying that with this post. The SQL Server XML functionality is very rich (just look at the MSDN documentation devoted to it!), but I will provide only an introduction in this post. As you will see, nothing special is required in your PHP code…the magic is all in the SQL queries.

  • This Week’s Link List (July 15, 2011)

    I came across lots of good links this week, but I have to say that I’m most excited about the first two (yes, I know, long overdue). Lot’s of other good reading too…everything from tips for running PHP in Windows Azure to the top 10 things that annoy programmers. Enjoy…

  • PHP Driver for SQL Server – Request for Feature Feedback

    Jonathan Guerin, the Program Manager for the SQL Server Driver for PHP, just posted a request for feature feedback on the team blog. I want to make sure that his request gets in front of lots of eyes, so I’m re-posting his request here (below). Jonathan included some links in his post so you can learn more about what the team is considering for the next release of the driver, but he didn’t elaborate on “Buffered Queries”. If it’s not obvious what that feature is, it is simply functionality that allows you to bring an entire result set into memory all at once (which the SQLSRV driver doesn’t currently support – you currently have to use a scrollable cursor if you want to move back and forth within a result set).

  • SQL Server Migration Assistant 5.1 Supports SQL Server v-Next

    On the heels of today’s announcement at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference of the availability of SQL Server  code name “Denali” CTP3, the SQL Server Migration Assistant Team announced the release of the SQL Server Migration Assistant for MySQL 5.1. (You can download SSMA here.) This big news in this release of SSMA is support for SQL Server v-Next (code name “Denali”).