News bits

Here are a few more tidbits of news that might be of interest to developers. This time around, I've got the word from AxTools, FMS, and 4D

Review: xSQL Object

It's a common problem for developers: you've been working with a SQL Server database that's already in production, and you've sort of lost track of the changes. Now you need to synch back up with your development version. One answer: xSQL Object.

Review: Codus

Interest in code generation is running high these days: it's a natural way to get more done in less time with today's complex development environments. Codus offers a new, free way to generate code for .NET applications.

Consulting in a good cause

Need some .NET consulting? Want to make the world a better place at the same time? Have I got a deal for you!

Briefing: TestArchitect 2.0

TestArchitect 2.0 is a product for organizing your testing efforts - but it's also the embodiment of a philosophy of testing. I chatted for a while with the folks at LogiGear about this release, and here's my take on what's going on.

Review: Log Parser 2.2

With support for new input formats, and enhanced SQL engine, and improved documentation, this general purpose file querying tool is better than ever. It ought to be part of every developer's toolkit.

Review: Altova DiffDog 2005

Altova has long been known for its XMLSPY suite of XML tools. Now they're moving out a bit more into general development tools with this differencing and synchronization utility.

Briefing: Sunopsis Integration Suite v4

Sunopsis has upgraded its ELT offering to cover a variety of ways for different applications to communicate, from service oriented to batch data movement. If you're trying to piece together a patchwork of applications, their integrated solution could be an attractive way to go.

Book review: Slamming Spam

Sysadmin or not, spam is a problem for everyone these days. If you're running your own mail server, you'll find a wealth of helpful information in this book.

A new salvo in the software patent wars

IBM recently announced that it was going to open up 500 software patents for unlimited use by the open source community. Is this a good thing, or just a bit of good PR?

Review: SQL-BackTrack for SQL Server 5.0

Frustrated by some of the limitations of the built-in backup and restore facilities of Microsoft SQL Server? Want to use a more advanced product with more options and better manageability? Check out SQL-BackTrack, which offers serious improvements for any SQL Server shop.

Review: Instrumentation Studio for .NET

Need some industrial-looking controls that aren't overwhelmed by the current lickable, semi-transparent interface trends? This set may be just what your user interface ordered.

News bits

A few tidbits of news: VMware launches a new product for secure provisioning of computers outside the enterprise, StrikeIron adds to its stable of Web services, NS-BASIC moves to the desktop.

Review: Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)

Microsoft's latest tool for fighting malware is a credible entrant in a market that they helped create. I've taken it for a spin and like most of what I see, despite some rough edges in the beta version.

An opening for app portfolio management?

Efforts to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley will drive growth in application portfolio management software, according to Forrester Research, which notes that APM solutions are paying off already for some companies.

Case Study: Time Warner takes the uncertainty out of custom code

Time Warner's employeeConnection portal enables more than 80,000 employees to keep up with everything work-related, from their benefits, to the availability of free tickets for newly released movies. It's a "massive" portal with a tight security model, says Robert Caruso, senior business analyst for the media giant.

Microsoft Watch: A slip and a rip

When Microsoft distributed a press release announcing the debut of the beta version of its MSN Search service, it apparently provided a screenshot of the service displayed on the Mozilla Foundation's highly touted open source browser and competitor to Micrcosoft’s dominant Internet Explorer—Firefox 1.0.

Book Review: Imperfect C++

First, you understand C++ basics. Then, you learn how to use the advanced features of C++. Then, you realize that C++ isn't the perfect language after all. OK, that's the time when you should get this book: it helps you work around some of the warts that advanced C++ users will discover with their fearsomely powerful language.

Hoist the red flag, comrades!

Microsoft's Bill Gates has now gone on record as calling those who want intellectual property reform "communists." Let's hope this is just foot-in-mouth disease and not the start of a new smear campaign.

Review: DevPartner SecurityChecker

These days all developers need to be security experts - but it doesn't hurt to have some help. That's where DevPartner Security Checker comes in, helping you keep an eye on the security issues in an ASP.NET application from start to finish. With an extensive knowledge of secure coding practices, it can help almost any ASP.NET developer do a more secure job.