How Microsoft made C# Open Source

Open Source - @SeniorDBA

The powerful C# general-purpose object-oriented programming language was developed by Microsoft (Anders Hejlsberg) as part of its .NET initiative in 2000. The most recent version of C# is 7.3, which was released in 2018 as part of Visual Studio 2017.

Microsoft decided to continue the development of new language features using the open source model, so they completely re-wrote the language in C# and published the source code on GitHub.

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Free Download: SQL Server Management Studio 17.9


SQL Server

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment for accessing, configuring, managing, administering, and developing all components of SQL Server. SSMS combines a broad group of graphical tools with a number of rich script editors to provide developers and administrators of all skill levels access to SQL Server.

Microsoft has announced the latest release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in September as a free download. This release features improved compatibility with previous versions of SQL Server and a stand-alone web installer.

Get it here:

Download – The version number for the latest release is 14.0.17285.0

New in this release

Version 17.9 includes:

  • ShowPlan:
    • Graphical Showplan now shows the new row mode memory grant feedback attributes when the feature is activated for a specific plan: IsMemoryGrantFeedbackAdjusted and LastRequestedMemory added to the MemoryGrantInfo query plan XML element.
  • Azure SQL:
    • Added support for vCore SKUs in Azure DB creation.

You can also download the preview version of Version 18.0, which should be used at your own risk since it has not been fully tested.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity - @SeniorDBA

Initiated by the Department of Homeland Security, October is recognized globally as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It is commemorating its 15th year as an annual campaign. Supporters engage in social activities to raise awareness around cybersecurity by educating businesses and individuals on
industry trends, cybersecurity threats, and best practices.

12 Tips for Online Safety

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Data Analysis of PIN Numbers

Data is an interesting topic of exploration. In this example, we are looking at the data as it relates to PIN numbers. PIN numbers are usually all that stands between your bank account and a determined hacker. They can clone your debit card, but they can’t clone your PIN number used to authorize your transactions.  But maybe, if you use a common PIN, they can easily guess your PIN.

In this article by Nick Berry on DataGenetics is an interesting read to better understand the power on data analysis and why data is important when trying to solve a problem. In this case, the problem is trying to solve the question of the most common PIN numbers, and why some PIN combinations are more common than others.

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A Quick Introduction to Scrum Methodology

Scrum - @SeniorDBA

Agile is a development method designed to add energy, focus, clarity and transparency to the project planning and implementation process. Scrum is probably the most widely used Agile framework for developing and managing complex projects. Scrum is used to successfully manage projects in which there is usually uncertainty and ambiguity at the early stages of the project, and the methods used help organize efforts to complete small pieces of an overall project as they are defined.

The entire project is split into a sequence of smaller iterations called Sprints. Each Sprint is time-boxed for less than one month (usually 2 weeks) and planned well in advance. Planning is completed not according to a set of prescribed tools, but according to the requirements as decided by the Scrum team. A self-organizing and cross-functional team identifies tasks and organizes team efforts to accomplish a well defined set of tasks in small 2-4 week increments of time. In order to achieve maximum cooperation among all team members, daily face-to-face communication is encouraged. The business stakeholders and the technical team assigned to the Sprint work in close collaboration to deliver of high-quality, working software at the end of each Sprint.

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WannaCry Ransomware Update

WannaCry - @SeniorDBA

The WannaCry ransomware that starting compromising system last year  consists of multiple components that arrive in the form of a dropper, a self-contained program that extracts the other application components embedded within the ransomware package.

Luckily the program code is not obfuscated and was relatively easy for security pros to catalog and analyze as we try to better understand the risks.

Once launched if WannaCry can’t access a hard-coded URL kill switch it proceeds to search for and encrypt files matching a list of vital formats, including documents, images, music files, etc. It then displays a ransom notice demanding $300 USD in Bitcoin to decrypt the user files. If you don’t pay, the files can not be recovered.

We posted detailed information here.

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Julia Programming Language

Julia - @SeniorDBA

After years of working on the details, the dynamic programming language Julia 1.0 was officially released to the public during JuliaCon, an annual conference of Julia users held recently in London.

Julia 1.0 is a huge Julia milestone since MIT Professor Alan Edelman, Jeff Bezanson, Stefan Karpinski, and Viral Shah released Julia to developers in 2012.

Julia is free and open source language that was developed and incubated at MIT with more than 700 active open source contributors, 1,900 registered packages, 41,000 GitHub stars, 2 million downloads, and a reported 101 percent annual rate of download growth. It is used at more than 700 universities and research institutions and by companies such as Aviva, BlackRock, Capital One, and Netflix.

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