Jim's Blog Ramblings about novels, comics, programming, and other geek topics


FetchXML Builder for Microsoft CRM

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Every now and then, I come across a developer utility that's worth mentioning. The utility might not be new or even great, but its a tool that I'm able to put to use somewhere to solve a problem or just assist in the problem solving.

The FetchXML Builder by James Downey is a great tool because it is one of those niche utilities that speeds up development time and helps the developer (me). The FetchXML Builder is a query-builder like tool used for creating FetchXML requests for Microsoft CRM.

So unless, you're a CRM developer, you probably won't find this as cool as I do.


Halo: The Fall of Reach (Book Review)

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I wasn't too familiar with the Halo series until last year when I played Halo for the first time. I knew it was a FPS (first person shooter) and knew that it involved running around and shooting aliens, much like most other FPS games. Since FPS games weren't my speciality, I had never spent much time playing or reading about Halo.

After I purchased Halo III, I was able to complete the game and learn a little more about the Halo setting. The game was fun and a bit challenging at times. However, since I don't have a XBOX Gold membership I wasn't able to play online versus other players - who probably would have easily killed me anyway.

A few months after playing the game, I noticed the Halo book series at a local bookstore. I thought it might be interesting, but I didn't think about the book series until almost a year later. After bringing only one book to read on my flight, I had finished it and needed a new book for my return flight. So I picked up the first book of the Halo series (Halo: The Fall of Reach) by Eric Nylund. The book is just over 7 years old.


The Year 2038 Bug (January 19, 2038)

In about 29 years from today, you'll be hearing a lot about the 2038 bug. This bug is similar to the Y2K bug, but this bug could actually affect computers more than the Y2K bug.

The Y2K (Year 2000) bug was due using two digits to manage the year value. For example, 99 represented 1999 and 00 represented 1900. Although, this was more of a data error since the servers and computers uses a different method to track time.


How to create a delimited list of values from a one-to-many relationship

Recently, I needed to denormalize a database by putting child records into a single delimited field. For example, the following tables contain source data and the expected output from our function.

The following code is based on Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and has only been tested using Microsoft SQL Server 2005.