Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Job - WebMD

It's been a long time since my last blog entry, but that doesn't mean I've been idle.

I recently left Corillian after more than eight years and accepted a position with WebMD Health Services as a Data Architect. I am really enjoying it and looking forward to contributing to WebMD's continued success.

On the writing front, the eleventh installment of the SQL Credit series on Database Journal will be published November 23rd. I am also working on an article on leadership development.

Friday, February 23, 2007

SqlCredit - Part 2

The second installment in the SqlCredit series was just published this morning. This article is entitled "Creating the Database, Tables, CRUD Procedures".

My hope is that it will generate much more discussion in the forum.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TSqlTest - Getting the Word Out

TSqlTest has been added to lists at and

I am working on updating the documentation. I hope to have it out soon.

The web is awesome: Shopping for a cell phone

I've been wanting to get a new cell phone for awhile now since mine started having issues. I have not wanted to go stand in line to talk to somebody at the Cingular store. That process is far too time-consuming.

So today I logged onto Cingular's on-line site and clicked on "upgrade phone". That took me to a long list of phones that were available to me at significant discounts. Since I just ordered a new car with Bluetooth, I had it show me only phones that had Bluetooth and then sorted by price.

What I could get from my desk and not in the store was reviews on every phone I was interested in. cnet's site was great. I looked up probably twelve different phones. They had all but one. I ended up purchasing a Samsung D807 for just $50. Check out this link for an example of their excellent reviews.

I was not completely sure of the pricing, so I clicked on the chat link at Cingular's site and was on-line with a real person in just a few seconds. He gave me the info I needed quickly, and I made the order.

Lots of choices, expert reviews, filtering and sorting, all that from the comfort of my desk chair. Slick.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

CheckFree to Acquire Corillian

CheckFree announced today that they will be acquiring Corillian.

I haven't been through an acquisition before, but I think this will go well. It's clear that they are purchasing Corillian for their technology and their technologists. It will be interesting to look back on this day six or twelve months from now.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

SQL Prompt 3

I pre-ordered a copy of SQL Prompt 3 and just loaded it yesterday. So far, I really like it. It will take some getting used to, but I think it will eventually help me write code much faster. The coolest thing I see right away is the suggestion when you type "ON" in a JOIN.

If you haven't used it, or if you used the old version and rejected it as slow and buggy, give the new version a try.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

First SqlCredit Article

My first article for Database Journal was posted yesterday. I am very excited about this and hope that I get reader feedback. The scary part is that the feedback is important to the process, but I don't have any control over it.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Comments on Architecture

"Architecture". Why does it seem so difficult to get people to understand the need for architecture in software systems?

No one would build a building by hiring eight different architects to design individual rooms and then try to put them together after-the-fact. Why do we build software systems without having architectural plans, goals, and guidelines?

I have been thinking quite a bit about systems architecture lately and will jot down some of my thoughts. I reserve the right to add to or modify this list in the future (updated 2007-01-17).
  • Either designate (promote from within) or hire an overall system architect (a single person) who works closely with specialists such as a data architect and a UI architect. This person needs technical skills and abilities, but that's not all. This position also requires the ability to lead and build consensus among teams.
  • Do build a committee around this architect, but give this one person both the responsibility and the authority to design and implement your organization's architecture.
  • Have this person, with the help of the architecture team, create a comprehensive enterprise architecture. It should include guidance for all parts of the system (UI, mid-tier, database, messaging, security, installation and implementation, application cohesion and coupling, etc.).
  • Have a five-years-out goal and require that every new bit of software written somehow gets you closer to that goal.
  • Learn from each project and update the overall architecture and the plans and guidelines as necessary. Technology, your customers, and your competition will all change. Your architecture should change in response.
Also, if you haven't already seen it, check out issue 8 of The Architecture Journal. There are some great articles there about overall system architecture, with a theme of "Data by Design".