Creating a new limited user for your SQL 2005 instance

Simplified instructions to add a limited access user to your instance

To make a new login/user, run the sql:
  WITH PASSWORD = 'some_password';
USE name_of_db_to_use;
CREATE USER userName FOR LOGIN loginName;

Often times, loginName is the same as userName.

  • Once that is made, right click on the login you just made is SQL Management Studio under Security->Logins and click properties.
  • Now click on User Mapping on the left and check the box next to what DBs you want the user to have access to.
  • Also, check the box next to what permissions you want the user to have, the following will give user ability to create/read/write/delete/edit tables:
    • db_datareader
    • db_datawriter
    • db_ddladmin

Always remember to give as limited a permissions set as possible!

Running a 'For' Loop in MS SQL

There really isn't a 'for' loop in MS SQL, but you can do basically the same thing

First of all, I am far from a SQL master; I would even go as far to say I would be lucky to be an amatuer at best.  But I did stumble upon a convenient way for populating a lot of new rows using a simple technique that is not using a bulk insert.  It is actually pretty basic stuff, but nice to know if you were Googling for it like I was.



SET @count = 0

WHILE (@count < 40)


   INSERT INTO some_table ([columnA], [columnB]) VALUES ('val1', 'val2')

   SET @count = (@count + 1)



All that was really done is a manual 'For' loop using the SQL WHILE loop.  Just set the number in WHILE (@count < 40) to however many times you want the loop to run.

Record Search with LINQ: searching just got a lot easier!

A suprisingly simple search technique that will work for SQL tables, XML files, DataTables, etc.

Linq is just awesome.  I was recently asked a question on how to search through a data file with linq.  At first it seemed difficult, but after some though and fighting my way through the strange quirks, I realized how much easier Linq could [once again] make my life.


Here is how it's done (this article uses XML, but I have done the same exact thing with both SQL and DataTables, the concept is the same.)


The original question stirred from how to search through a bunch of recipes.  Each recipe (XML elements bolded) has a name, type (chicken, vegetable, etc.), calories that it contained, the amount of people that the recipe serves, and the instructions on how to make it.  Here is the dummy XML:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
        <instructions>throw some crap together and cook it</instructions>
        <name>Chicken Nuggets</name>
        <instructions>throw some crap together and cook it</instructions>
        <instructions>throw some crap together and cook it</instructions>
        <instructions>throw some crap together and cook it</instructions>
        <instructions>throw some crap together and cook it</instructions>
        <name>Beef Kabobs</name>
        <instructions>throw some crap together and cook it</instructions>
        <name>Green Beans</name>
        <instructions>throw some crap together and cook it</instructions>


Now that we know our data structure, we can figure outhow to set up this search.  I am going to show a few different approaches so you can pick and choose which ones to use.  I am going to cover keyword search, number range search and specific text search.


First we have name search.  For that I am going to look for keywords.  I will allow users to enter none or as many as they want (to be more specific) into a TextBox.  These will be delimited with the standard space( ), comma(,) and semicolon(;).


Next there is type and serves which I am going to set to DropDownLists.  I am going to do this because not all numbers/words will be supported, I feel it is best to guide the user along with this and only supply available search possibilities, with 'any' always being the first option.


Finally there is the calories range.   For this, I will use two TextBoxes that will take in numbers of course; a minimum and a maximum.


Here is what the search interface looks like:


Here is the markup:


    <legend>Search Recipes</legend>
            <label for="name">Name</label>
            <asp:TextBox runat="server" ID="txtName" />
            <label for="type">Type</label>
            <asp:DropDownList ID="ddlType" runat="server" />
            <label for="serves">Serves:</label>
            <asp:DropDownList ID="ddlServes" runat="server" />

            <label for="calories">Calories</label>
            <asp:TextBox ID="txtCalMin" runat="server" Columns="3" />
            <span style="float:left"> to </span>
            <asp:TextBox ID="txtCalMax" runat="server" Columns="3" />

            <asp:Button ID="btnSearch" runat="server" Text="Search"
                onclick="btnSearch_Click" />


Now with that out of the way, we can start with the code.  First a global XElement x; and IEnumerable<XElement> filteredResults; has to be declared, x will be used within the program and initialized on Page_Load, filteredResults will be explained later.  After that is initialized, on a fresh page load (!IsPostBack)the DropDownLists must be populated:


protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    x = XElement.Load(Server.MapPath(".") + "\\App_Data\\recipes.xml");
        // get all of your different food 'types' and put them in the ddl
        foreach(string s in ((from p in x.Descendants("type") orderby p.Value select p.Value).Distinct()))
        foreach (string s in (from p in x.Descendants("serves") orderby p.Value select p.Value).Distinct())


Now that the form is all ready,it is time to delve in to the actualy search.  Now keep in mind, the Linq syntax will be a bit differen, but the methods are teh EXACT same when you are working with another data type (SQL, DataTable, etc.)  After a lot of deliberation on how to do this, I decided to split it up in to two seperate parts.  First filter the elements using all the filters EXCEPT the keywords (name), then apply the keyword search.  The reason I am doing it this way is because that search could include zero terms, or 5,000; therefore iteration makes the least amount of work.  Also, for ease of use, the search will workregardless of what a user enters.  By default, the search will return everything, then narrow it down as users select more criteria.  For this I will make it so the default min/max calories are 0/9999 respectively (I will ignore any input that isn't integers) and make sure to ignore the type and  serves if 'any' is selected.  Here is the code for search, I will explain it afterwards:


protected void btnSearch_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        string[] searchTerms = txtName.Text.Split(new string[] {" ", ",", ";"}, StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries); //gets all your search terms
        int calMin = 0;
        int calMax = 9999;
        try { calMin = int.Parse(txtCalMin.Text); }catch { }
        try { calMax = int.Parse(txtCalMax.Text); }catch { }
        if (calMin > calMax) Response.Write("<h2 style=\"color:red;\">Error: Calories<div style=\"font-size:.5em;\">Minimum can not be larger than maximum</div></h2>");
        var searchResults = from p in x.Descendants("recipe") // filters everything by all of the fields except Name
                            (ddlType.SelectedIndex == 0 ? true : p.Element("type").Value.Equals(ddlType.SelectedValue.ToString())) &&
                            (ddlServes.SelectedIndex == 0 ? true : p.Element("serves").Value.Equals(ddlServes.SelectedValue)) &&
                            (int.Parse(p.Element("calories").Value) >= calMin) &&
                            (int.Parse(p.Element("calories").Value) <= calMax)
                    select p;

        foreach (string s in searchTerms) // since name can be multiple words, this iterates through them all, making sure that all of the terms are present
            searchResults = from p in searchResults where p.Element("name").Value.ToLower().Contains(s.ToLower()) select p;

        if (searchResults.Count() > 0)
            // output your results
            foreach (XElement xe in searchResults)
                pnlOutput.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl("<a href=\"#" + xe.Element("name").Value + "\"><div><h3>" + xe.Element("name").Value + "</h3> Calories: " + xe.Element("calories").Value + "</div></a>"));
            pnlOutput.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl("No Entries match your search criteria"));
    catch (Exception ex)
        pnlOutput.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl("<h3>Error</h3>"+ex.Message));
    pnlOutput.Visible = true;


First off, you can see that the searchTerms are made by splitting the input into an array, pretty simple.  Next the min/max calories are set to defaults and attempted to be changed to the inputs, and will only be changed if there are valid inputs; it will output an error if minCal > maxCal.


The first leg of the search is pretty simple just return all descendants in the XML file of type recipe that follow the searhc criteria.  First I check the type, if the DropDownList is at SelectedIndex of 0 (which is the 'any' selection) I will return all, otherwise, jsut the ones that equal the selected type; I do the exact same for serves.  Then a simple check that returns those that calMin >= calories <=calMax.


That was not the part that confused me, it was how to get a dynamic number of search terms to be iterated through.  But this is where I cam up with the simplest of solutions.  Just search EACH term alone, and interate through it with Linq and a foreach... the beauty of the IEnumerable.  For each search term in searchTerms I simply run a new Linq statement that checks if the ameElement.Contains(that_search_term).  Therefore, every time this runs through, it will drop all entries that don't contain the term, each iteration [likely] returning fewer entries -- so simple!  But not really, for some reason (still not completely sure why), if I simply run:


foreach (string s in searchTerms)
    searchResults = from p in searchResults where p.Element("name").Value.ToLower().Contains(s.ToLower()) select p;


Does NOT work, it really only honors the last term; it is not overwriting searchResults every iteration.  After some testing, I had found out that I had to make a new variable (that's the filteredResult that we declared above) that would instead take place of searchResults and then we can write over it.  But also, you may not do this inside the foreach loop itself, as that still only honors the last term.  BUT, if the method is taken out and placed seperately, the overwrite seems to work.  But NOT for searchResults, I have to use filteredResults.  If anyone understnad exactly why this extra step is necessary, pleae enlighten me!  Here is how it is called:


filteredResults = searchResults;
foreach (string s in searchTerms) // since name can be multiple words, this iterates through them all, making sure that all of the terms are present
    filteredResults = iterateThroughSearchTerm(s);


And here is the method:


protected IEnumerable<XElement> iterateThroughSearchTerm(string term)
    return (from p in filteredResults where p.Element("name").Value.ToLower().Contains(term.ToLower()) select p);


All that is left is to simply output your findings, an error message or a 'sorry, nothing found' message.  And there you go, a bunch of different search approaches all covered at once.  Here is some example code to get you started.




Quickly add and attach multiple content databases to a MOSS 2007 install

A detailed tutorial on how to use some borrowed/modified scripts for making this task very simple

These scripts were stolen from and have been modified just a little to get some different functionality, I want them to take 95% of the credit... the rest is MINE!  (Thanks guys!)


These scripts were almost exactly what we needed, but we needed each content database to have custom names.  So I twisted the code around a bit and here is a detailed tutorial of what we did. 

**IMPORTANT - do this ONLY after you have made your initial web application.


Make the Databases

  1. Make a new database named temp_db_builder
  2. Make a table in temp_db_builder with this:
    CREATE TABLE create_dbs(
    db_name VARCHAR(MAX)
  3. Fill that table with the trailing end of your content db names- EX: WSS_Content_SomeSite : 'SomeSite' = trailing end
  4. Edit make_dbs.sql (from the zip below):
    1. Change @ServiceIdentity and @AppPoolIdentity to the proper accounts
    2. Change the X in WHILE @Number <= X to the number of entries you added in the create_dbs table
    3. Change @DataFile and @LogFile to the proper destinations
    4. That is all that is needed, change the other properties if your situation requires
  5. Run that file, or run the query text in SQL Server Management Studio
  6. Databases are made


Produce the Batch file:

  1. Edit the file make_db_batch_file.vbs (from the zip below):
    1. edit NUMBER_OF_DATABASES to the number of names you added in the create_dbs table above
    2. edit SQL_SERVER_NAME to your SQL Server
    3. for however many databases you specified in #1, add the names to dbArray(x) from 0 to NUMBER_OF_DATABASES - these HAVE TO match the names in the table create_dbs
    4. edit DBnameconv to what the prefix of the databases is
    5. edit SiteURL to your site url
  2. Copy that file to your Sharepoint Admin Server to C:\Add_ContentDB_Script\
  3. Go in to your command prompt and run cscript make_db_batch_file.vbs from the C:\Add_ContentDB_Script\
  4. Batch File is made


Attach Content Databases to Sharepoint

  1. On your Sharepoint admin server, run a command prompt as the Sharepoint admin account (runas /user:domain\username cmd)
  2. Navigate to C:\Add_ContentDB_Script\ and run AddDBAContentDB.bat


And you should be all done.

SQL Search Control for your page using :: code

Providing only keywords, this tool will write a simple search query, run it, and display your results; lightweight and easy to customize; in both control form, and standalone page

I was tired if writing SQL for doing simple queries on my databases, especially when they got loooong... so I ended up writing a program to do it for me.  Now this is in no way a complex search tool, but it does its job.  It does use 'LIKE' as I needed it to search text fields, but you can change that out if you want - this will get you started.


All you need to do to get it running is to provide 3 values: 

  1. Either your DB ConnectionString, or the name of that ConnectionString in your web.config
  2. The name of the table you wish to search
  3. The column names you want to compare to the search terms

And that is it.  The search is delimitted by [space], [comma], [semicolon], and [plus-sign] and each keyword must show up in at least one of the fields in order for the search to return results.


I provided both a standalone page that runs the search on itself, and a control version that consists of a user control that you can insert anywhere, and a search.aspx page that will show the results.  The control is very versatile. 


This is a good starting point if you want to expand on it.  I made a fully customized search at work starting with this with multiple dropdowns, fields and textboxes, all built on this basic architecture.  Play around with it and tell me what you think - I would even write a tutorial on how this thing works if anyone is interested.