Friday, October 24, 2014

Malayalam article : MTA certification

Read my article on MTA – Microsoft Technology Associate – in porta.


ഐ‌ടി തുടക്കക്കാർക്ക് MTA Certification

Read curretly selected mail item from Ribbon - VSTO Outlook AddIn

You need to access ActiveExplorer() so you will require reference to Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.

using Outlook = Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook;


Outlook.Application app = Globals.ThisAddIn.Application;
Outlook.Explorer exp = app.ActiveExplorer();

Outlook.Selection sel = exp.Selection;

if (sel.Count > 0) {
    dynamic mail = sel[1];
    //You will get mutiple selected items. 
    //I am taking just the first one for the sake of this example.
    MessageBox.Show(mail.Subject + " | " + mail.Body);

There are few methods available if you Google but I found this handy but I make sure you care about exception handling.

Version tested: I have tried this for Office 2013.

About Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools - SSDT

SSDT is an attempt to bring all the SQL server design, development, testing and manipulation jobs which are usually done by developers, especially database developers under one umbrella – which is Visual Studio.

SQL Server Data Tools were code-named ‘Juneau” which was introduced with SQL Server code name “Denali”, which later became SQL Server 2012.

SQL Server Data Tools is FREE!!!

You will be able to use the same features you were enjoying while .NET language programming in database related development as well, like: intellisense, debugging, code navigation etc.

Even though I sounded like SSDT = BIDS + SSMS + various tools, thinking about a replacement for SSMS is not there. SSMS continues to be a powerful tool for both developers and administrators. I am in love with SSMS and I see there are many things SSMS only can do, or can do more user-friendly than SSDT.

SSDT makes below template types available:

  1. Analysis Services
  2. Integration Services
  3. Reporting Services


Supported SQL Versions:

  • All the versions above SQL Server 2005 and SQL Database (formerly SQL Azure). However MSDN uses the wording “any SQL Server platform”. Find the below screenshot of Visual Studio solution properties list.



  1. Visual Studio 2013 (All editions including Express) – You are lucky as it SSD Tools are already available as an update. But if you do not find it, you can either manage it via Extensions and Update under Tools menu or download the SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2013.
  2. Visual Studio 2012 – Download SSDT for Visual Studio 2012 and SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012 also
  3. Visual Studio 2010 – Forget about this. Microsoft is not bothered about this version anymore. Database tools features were available in this version but this was ported to 2012 version as well.

Features which I felt appealing:

  1. Declarative Database Development Model – Lets developer focus on the end result rather than the scripting pains
  2. Multi version targeting
  3. SQL Database (Azure) support
  4. Versioning and source control of objects (as files)
  5. Powerful SQL Server Object Explorer (which will remind you SQL Server Management Studio)
  6. Edit table data, compare schemas execute queries
  7. Project based development vs connected database development
  8. Incremental schema deployment
  9. Schema and Data comparison
  10. Custom static code analysis extensibility
  11. Project oriented offline/disconnected database development
  12. Schema and data synchronization
  13. SQL Server unit tests
  14. Snapshots saving
  15. Editor’s ability to highlight errors (similar to .NET development)

Reference URLs:


For me, there are still more features and bottlenecks to be experimented. I will write more later.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Azure portal is cool

New seems great, though the old one is still very user-friendly. All the items – VM, websites, SQL Databases etc. are encapsulated under “BROWSE” section. You will not feel lost when switching from old to new interface.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

My first article in malayalam is up on Cybermalayalam portal - Machine Learning

It was a different experience to think about technology in my regional language. Read the article on Machine Learning here -

മെഷിന്‍ ലേണിങ്, അടിസ്ഥാന വിവരങ്ങൾ

Please excuse the spelling error, which is mostly because of the unicode software used. Hope to improve in upcoming articles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Design Pattern: Unit of Work

Entity Framework is the best example which uses Unit of Work pattern. What it does is to (1) keep the data and its changes (like add, edit, remove, delete/ CRUD) in memory and (2) transfers those modifications to the physical  database.

According to Martin Fowler, the Unit of Work pattern "maintains a list of objects affected by a business transaction and coordinates the writing out of changes and the resolution of concurrency problems."