Steven Mandel

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Top Stories by Steven Mandel

There is an old saying that good things come in small packages. This saying definitely applies to this book, which focuses in on a set of functions that most people are not aware of that are available in SQL Server. To start off with we need to answer the following question: What are T-SQL Window functions? These functions have nothing to do with the Microsoft Windows API. They are in essence a way to create a window into your data as you process each line in a query. Their strength lies in the ease with which you can solve tricky queries. The authors also point out that these functions don't add any new functionality per se as you could create the queries the old way; however, in general the functions are much more efficient. One very neat capability of these functions is to allow you to include non-aggregated columns in an aggregated query, which is a big limitatio... (more)

Book Review: The CSS3 Anthology

The CSS3 Anthology by Rachel Andrews is subtitled instant CSS answers, how-to's, and examples. This subtitle clearly explains the goal of this book. The book consists of nine chapters. The first chapter is a quick review of CSS. The other chapters cover major topics such as text styling, image design elements, navigation, tabular data, forms and user interfaces, CSS positioning basics and CSS for layout. The topics in each chapter are laid out in the form of a question followed by one or more solutions and then a discussion explaining why that solution was offered. Here is an exa... (more)

Book Review: Teach Yourself Windows PowerShell in 24 Hours | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

While this book was designed to be used by Windows System Administrators, any developer who has ever needed to write a batch (.bat) file will welcome with open arms the flexibility and power provided by Windows PowerShell. This book is up to date covering all the way through PowerShell version 5. There are 24 chapters that cover a wide array of topics. In addition, any developer who has worked with the .NET framework will enjoy PowerShell, which is a command-line interface built on the .NET Framework. Teach Yourself Windows PowerShell in 24 Hours Publisher: Sams Publishing; Pape... (more)

.NET Book Review — Visual Basic 2005 Jumpstart

Microsoft released VB6 at the start of 1999, which is almost 8 years ago. It's hard to imagine that there are developers who are still actively using VB6, but from the blogs and letters to the editors of many .NET magazines that I have read, it seems that this is truly the case. Microsoft has stopped creating service packs for VB6 and has announced that support for VB6 will come to an end sometime in 2008. As a result, companies will have to make hard choices to either maintain their VB6 applications on their own or move them to VB 2005. If they plan to move them to VB2005, they ... (more)

Book Review: Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET 4

There are certain authors whose books I look forward to reading because they don't just repackage a manual but offer practical real-work examples and advice. One such author is Scott Mitchell. He has revised his previous version of this book to encompass ASP.NET 4 . This book is well written and directed at beginners. If, however, you have the 3.5 version of this book, I would not recommend this version as there is very little new being offered. On the other hand, if you are new to ASP.NET, this book is a great starting-off point to learning the basics of ASP.NET 4 The book is d... (more)