Tuesday, June 10, 2008

iPhone 3G and Microsoft Office Documents

OK, so lots of hype and excitement out on the Interwebs today, as Steve Jobs unveils the 3G iPhone. For people living in this Great Southern Land (Australia) such as myself, this is a slightly big deal in a geeky kind of way, as iPhones have not been available here up till now. OK, so yada yada and lots of blog posts and technorista foaming at the mouth and so on.

The iPhone looks blandly nice (or maybe it was having an "average hair day"), black for the 8Gb model and a choice of white or black for the 16Gb model. GPS now built in as predicted but other that and the whole 3G thing, not really very different from the original. Yawn.

The only thing I want to know is whether it opens Office documents nicely. I want to be able to, at the least, view Word, Excel and Powerpoint docs. Ideally, I want to be able to edit them. I don't want to have to be web connected to do so. So far, no one seems to have any clue as to how well it will meet this need. For me, this is the key thing that would turn the iPhone from a phone with an unique interface, but little else to recommend it, into a business capable smart phone.

So if you find and answer to the question, drop me a comment.

Update: Found references to "Office support" here and here. But what does that actually mean? Opens documents or does it "Google style"?

Update 2: Noticed in the Keynote that Steve clicked on an attachment in an email and opened it. However, this looked to me like an image he was opening and not a document.

Update 3: This article about native Office applications on the iPhone appeared on the webs today (15th of July). Quoting the final paragraph, "Dataviz told us yesterday that unspecified technical issues were holding up the development of office suites for the iPhone. Joswiak said he didn't know of any such hold-ups, but then added that there might be issues with applications each having their own file space. "There's no cross-application file structure," he said."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Migrating data from WSS to SQL Server

I've been struggling with a Sharepoint related problem today. I've built up a Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) server. By default, WSS uses SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition to store its data. That's all good, however, when you do what I did you tend to hit a few snags. I installed WSS on a virtual server which is hosted on a physical server. Having used the WSS server for a while now, it has grown and is now the digital equivalent of a real world small elephant. However, the physical server has the digital capacity of a real world ladies hand bag. Problem ... little bits of elephant poking out everywhere. Not the most graceful of analogies, I know, but you get the gist.

So cutting a boring story short, I need to get the data off SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition, and onto SQL Server NOT Embedded Edition somewhere else other than my virtual server. But for what ever reason, Microsoft have chosen to make it really hard for anything but Sharepoint to talk to SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition. or SSEE. Imagine if you will, an INVISIBLE elephant in a ladies handbag. Weird.

SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition goes by the name of MICROSOFT##SSEE. I installed SQL Server Management Studio Express to see if it would help but kept getting the following error:
Error: Cannot Connect to Server\MICROSOFT##SSEE.

An error occured while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings, SQL Server does not allow remote connections.
However, after much Googling, I discovered some genius has come up with a way to connect to this database. Simply use SQL Server Management Studio Express but call the database server name "\\.\pipe\mssql$microsoft##ssee\sql\query" when connecting. Work's like a charm.

Update: Some information on next steps from here can be found in this blog post on migrating WSS to SQL.