Thursday, April 5, 2007

Weeks of .NET

This last month have been spent coding in .NET (mostly VB.NET) at my full time practice at Avancit AB. I thought I would share a few things I've come across in the projects I've been working on during that time.

I had a problem where I needed to get all mail addresses of all groups in a company except those in the current group. This was solved by the SP shown below:

ALTER PROCEDURE [dbo].[sp_GetMailAddressesByCompany]
@intCompID INT,
@excludeGroupID INT
— Get all addresses in company that are NOT in the excluded group
SELECT addr.* FROM tblMailAddresses addr
INNER JOIN tblMailGroupsToAddresses con
ON con.intMailAddressID = addr.intMailAddressID
WHERE addr.intCompID = @intCompID
AND addr.intMailAddressID NOT IN
— Get all addresses in the excluded group
SELECT addr.intMailAddressID FROM tblMailAddresses addr
JOIN tblMailGroupsToAddresses con
ON con.intMailAddressID = addr.intMailAddressID
WHERE con.intMailGroupID = @excludeGroupID

BCP versus SqlBulkCopy
Another problem was where we had an application that needed to push tables from a client to a server effectively. The current version at the time used BCP which was run from a batch process and sometimes (but very rarely) failed.

I started to look around and I found that people where replacing BCP with SQLBulkLoad. I suggested we'd try it and we successfully implemented the transfer using it. As the whole process now took place inside the .NET application it was simple to setup a better error handling than was possible with BCP.

As for productivity, I've started to look into using macros in VS2005. The first macro I installed was one that reversed assignments. I know there are tools that do this, I think ReSharper has this ability, but I don't have it yet so a macro works just as good. You can find this macro at:

Anyone still not listening to DotNetRocks are missing some great stuff. As I'm on a train or a bus for 3 hours a day I've listened to quite a few episodes in the last few weeks (1 to 40). Even the early episodes are great, they give a good insight into why things are the way they are and what is new in .NET 2.0 (as I started with 2.0, I don't have much of a reference as to the differences compared to 1.1).

Next week we're starting a project that will use TDD (Test Driven Development) for the first time within Avancit. It will be lots of fun and I'll probably write how that goes here later.

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