GUIs Part 2

While I'm thinking of GUIs, the GUI Olympics (which has to do with skins, rather than full-blown widgets and interfaces) produced some nice looking interfaces. When I ran Mandrake at home I was pleased with the amount of customisation that could be done, being the tweaker that I am.

GUI Design Guidelines

It's a little out-of-date, but the Isys Information Architectssite has a whole lot of examples of good (Hall of Fame) and bad (Hall of Shame) GUIs, dialog boxes and "features" (from I don't know where).

SQL Server Developer Centre

Via Early Adopter comes new of an Microsoft SQL Server Developer Centre with the standard articles, downloads and KB's, but also links to blogs and an RSS feed.

Me, Me, Me

Obligatory first post - my name is Thomas Williams, I'm a Melbourne, Australia-based senior systems analyst working mainly with SQL Server (and Analysis Services, Reporting Services) and VB.NET. I'm 30 years old, and I'm looking forward to sharing what I've got with anyone who might be interested!

I've been reading blogs for a year or so now, and writing my own personal blog at since September 2004.

May 2004 Melbourne SQL Server SIG - Reporting Services Deployment

My musings on the May SQL Server SIG in Melbourne, Australia (a few days late)...

The Rundown
I went to a Special Interest Group meeting at Microsoft in Melbourne a couple of weeks back. I had seen the presenter, Jason Buck, before and once again he demonstrated how well he knew the product (assisted by David from MS and Greg, a consultant tasked with "..extracting out of the community...expertise..."). There were lots of people there (more than I'd seen at an SQL Server SIG before), which is a good indicator of the poularity of this add-on to SQL Server 2000 - I know it's hard to tell a book by it's cover (or a man by his clothes), but looking at the range of people and judging by the suits, there were some BI-type people, some developers, some managers.

The Highlights
Jason focused on deployment and backup. He kind of powered his way through the slides, and part of the reason for that was the side discussions that kept coming up based on questions from the audience. I was hoping to see more "tips and tricks" relating to advanced report design as our deployment here was fairly painless - I guess I'll wait for the "Hitchhiker's Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services" book (see One 'wow' factor was a command-line tool to build folders, set permissions and deploy reports called "rs.exe" which used special ".rss" batch files written in VB.NET. Very cool.

The other highlight was the amount of feedback the team running the night asked for, in terms of future topics with the SIG and the desire to build a community. I see this commonly online, but in person I find it's even more rewarding. Looking forward to the next SIG in June (see for details).