Disappearing Cursors in Virtual PC

July 10, 2007

I’m using Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 for demos and stuff and the cursor disappears whenever it is suposed to be an I-Beam.  This happens over text boxes and combo boxes – anything with an I-Beam.

I emailed someone on the VPC team and he suggested changing the cursor theme.  This didn’t seem to work but I found a workaround.  I changed two settings in the VPC:  I turned off “hide my cursor when I’m typing” and also turned on the cursor trails.  At least that was I could figure out where my cursor is.

Good enough for now.

MetaShare Project Website

July 6, 2007

I have written a very simple project website for MetaShare that details information about the project, steps to run a demo of MetaShare.Generate, and some architecture information on how MetaShare is built.  There is also a link to download MetaShare.

I hope that this will help folks get started on using MetaShare.

Holler with any suggestions.

MetaShare Specifics

July 2, 2007

MetaShare is currently in Alpha 2 and is almost ready to move to Beta status.  It almost has all the functionality that I’m aiming for in the version 1 release.

There are two major parts to MetaShare:  MetaShare.Web and MetaShare.Generate.  MetaShare.Web is an ASP.NET website that is simple – and maybe a little ugly (anyone volunteer to help build this out?) and is responsible for updating the Kimball spreadsheet metadata right in the database extended properties.

Having a web site means that there is singular deployment as well as a simple interface.  This tool will probably be used by IT folks to make metadata changes like a change of a source column or something of that nature.

MetaShare.Generate is a command-line driven tool that not only crawls the database catalog, extended properties of tables and columns, but also can connect to the Integration Services Package Store and extract lineage metadata out of SSIS packages.  This means that the lineage of a column in a datamart can be shared to business users without having to share special tools.

The output for MetaShare.Generate is a set of wiki document formatted for FlexWiki.  FlexWiki is a wiki platform built in ASP.NET and is also available on SourceForge.  It uses the file system to store wiki documents and supports common wiki features such as document history, RSS feeds, and revision comparison.  While FlexWiki is a good target for MetaShare.Generate, having other wiki platforms to choose from would be nice.  I’m in conversation with the author of another wiki called Perspective.  A very nice platform that includes a lot of nice features that would dovetail with the collaborative metadata platform.  MetaShare.Generate generates TIFL (Target Independant Formatting Language) documents so that different providers can be written for each target wiki platoform.  Also an HTML provider could be built for a static type output.

Let me know if you have any other questions about MetaShare.