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Microsoft still in denial

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  • User profile image
    Retro​Recursion

    , evildictait​or wrote

    I don't ask my users to install Visual Studio, IIS or Windows Server 2012 on their boxes. I kind of think asking them to install SQL Server is similarly foolish - particularly since now you have to pay for 1 SQL server licence per user rather than 1 per organisation.

    This is what SQL Express and LocalDB (and SQL Compact for that matter) are designed for. Of course you have to install these sort of database engines for many apps. Even Microsoft does this in their consumer apps.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    I remember seeing a Dilbert comic related to this.

    http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-11-06

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , DCMonkey wrote

    Care to point me to the client side libraries I can use to access that database from a Windows Store app?

    WinJS.xhr({  type: "GET",   user: accountSid,   password: authKey,   url: "https://yourWebserviceUrl.com",  headers: { "YourSoapHeaders": "WithTheirValues" },    }).then(success, error);function succes(response){}function error(error){}

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    1
    WinJS.xhr({  type: "GET",   user: accountSid,   password: authKey,   url: "<a href="https://yourWebserviceUrl.com"">https://yourWebserviceUrl.com"</a>,  headers: { "YourSoapHeaders": "WithTheirValues" },    }).then(success, error);function succes(response){}function error(error){}

    So now I've got to gin up a web service layer when all I wanted to do was connect to a SQL server on the LAN. Got it. 

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , DCMonkey wrote

    *snip*

    So now I've got to gin up a web service layer when all I wanted to do was connect to a SQL server on the LAN. Got it. 

    Wait ... you were going to give SQL creds to every user of your software? (or worse - have no authentication to the SQL server!?) Have you heard of computer security?

    Set up a HTTP service. That way you're abstracting your app from the implementation of the database, you get to perform user-based authentication later and you can limit people's ability to root your SQL server and take all of your company's information.

    SQL is dangerous. Don't let users (even users from your own company) write their own.

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , jinx101 wrote

    *snip*

    1. He didn't say users were going to write their own SQL.
    2. You're one size fits all approach still isn't the right fit for everyone.  I have a desktop application that downloads public data from the internet and stores it in a local database for analysis (mostly pre-developed reports but also has an ad-hoc feature).  It does not make sense for me to have a central server for this because the app is free, the central service would be too expensive being that the app is free and the range and size of data plus the frequency of load would by intensive as the user base expands.  However, it's perfect for SQL Express or SQL Compact running locally.  Let's assume SQL Compact.  They can now cache their data offline and use it as needed.  It is leaps and bounds faster running off of this than relying on delivery of large amounts of return data over HTTP.  Security wise, what are they going to do... decompile my app, tinker with the dynamic SQL generation methods and wreak havoc on their own SQL Express/Compact instance?  So what if they do, it's a local database with non sensitive data in it.  Have at it.

    Now, that said, I'm not saying using a middle tier HTTP service is bad by any stretch of the imagination.  On the contrary, it's a great idea in a lot of cases.  Just not 100% of them.

    In which case use something like SQLlite in your app directly. No need to force the user to install a full blown DB management software on their system if all you want is an app-local DB.

  • User profile image
    Retro​Recursion

    , evildictait​or wrote

    In which case use something like SQLlite in your app directly. No need to force the user to install a full blown DB management software on their system if all you want is an app-local DB.

    There are limitations with both SQLite and SQL Compact that may require something more capable like SQL Express. For instance, what if the app involves reporting and data analysis? Most tools support attaching to SQL Express, but not in-process databases. It seems that there are a lot of real-world business scenarios you're not thinking of.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Visible = False wrote

    *snip*

    There are limitations with both SQLLite and SQL Compact that may require something more capable like SQL Express. For instance, what if the app involves reporting and data analysis? Most tools support attaching to SQL Express, but not in-process databases. It seems that there are a lot of real-world business scenarios you're not thinking of.

    If you're going for edge case business scenarios as your rationale as to why RT isn't a good choice, perhaps you should be considering whether Windows8-Pro is more appropriate for your business needs than Windows-RT.

    Windows-RT is never going to be a good fit for where you're forced to use desktop applications, supporting services or plugins to existing applications and can't provide equivalents as a web-service.

  • User profile image
    Retro​Recursion

    , evildictait​or wrote

    If you're going for edge case business scenarios as your rationale as to why RT isn't a good choice, perhaps you should be considering whether Windows8-Pro is more appropriate for your business needs than Windows-RT.

    That's just the thing: We don't see these as edge cases. We develop and maintain several commercial and private LOB applications that have need for more powerful tools than what WinRT can provide us access to. (Using a reporting tool is not an edge case in any business application.) Simply using an x86 tablet does not address the core issue.

    The original complain from this part of the conversation was that the LOB talks at Build indicated WinRT was good for 98% of LOB apps, with 2% remaining on the desktop as legacy. I'm just saying that in our case, and in the cases of many other software companies we work with, the opposite is true. 98% remain on the desktop and 2% might be candidates for WinRT.

    I just can't understand why the bridge to WinRT is so incomplete at this point. This is 2012 and we should be beyond what I would consider dramatic regressions.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , Visible = False wrote

    *snip*

    That's just the thing: We don't see these as edge cases. We develop and maintain several commercial and private LOB applications that have need for more powerful tools than what WinRT can provide us access to. (Using a reporting tool is not an edge case in any business application.) Simply using an x86 tablet does not address the core issue.

    The original complain from this part of the conversation was that the LOB talks at Build indicated WinRT was good for 98% of LOB apps, with 2% remaining on the desktop as legacy. I'm just saying that in our case, and in the cases of many other software companies we work with, the opposite is true. 98% remain on the desktop and 2% might be candidates for WinRT.

    I just can't understand why the bridge to WinRT is so incomplete at this point. This is 2012 and we should be beyond what I would consider dramatic regressions.

    'LOB' is just as vague as 'The Cloud'. 

    After reading the drooling vitriol in this thread, I'm beginning to think that most of the issues you folks have with WinRT is that you feel lied to by a marketer months ago because you didn't have your critical thinking hat on.

     

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    I don't ask my users to install Visual Studio, IIS or Windows Server 2012 on their boxes. I kind of think asking them to install SQL Server is similarly foolish - particularly since now you have to pay for 1 SQL server licence per user rather than 1 per organisation.

    Have you heard of SQL Express?

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    If you're going for edge case business scenarios as your rationale as to why RT isn't a good choice, perhaps you should be considering whether Windows8-Pro is more appropriate for your business needs than Windows-RT.

    Windows-RT is never going to be a good fit for where you're forced to use desktop applications, supporting services or plugins to existing applications and can't provide equivalents as a web-service.

    RT vs. Pro really isn't at issue here since the database discussion is about the limitations of the WinRT / Store App API which is on both RT and Pro devices.

    , ScanIAm wrote

    *snip*

    'LOB' is just as vague as 'The Cloud'. 

    After reading the drooling vitriol in this thread, I'm beginning to think that most of the issues you folks have with WinRT is that you feel lied to by a marketer months ago because you didn't have your critical thinking hat on.

     

    I don't know what marketing has to do with it, but, at least as far as the database issue being discussed here, a valid criticism of the limitations of the WinRT API with regard to database access was brought up and it didn't seem in any way vitriolic. What I find amazing is that people on this forum can't possibly fathom an application that downloads data from the Internet, stores it in a local database, and then does reporting and analysis on that local database. Really?

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Wow, 8 pages of debates. I will just let you guys do your things. Eventually and hopefully those things will improve. Early adoption always comes with cost.

    Currently Metro Apps are nice as long as they are games. In the name of casual fun, I will spare the bashing.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    warren

    So one thing I do is RDP to work a few days a week. In Windows 7 the RDP app was listed in the start menu due to it being used often. It also had a fly-out menu showing the MRU connections. So it was easy to connect to work.

    In W8, I have to go to the Metro start screen to start RDP. However the link there doesn't show MRU connections (what am I missing?). So I have to click on the main RDP link and then click the Show Options button to expand it down, then click on Open and then scroll all the way down to select the settings I want.

    Now I have a lot of applications. Because of that I don't want to pin RDP to the task bar. Yes if pinned, I can click + drag up and I can get the MRU list. However I don't want to pin it.

    So my next thought was to create a specific link to the RDP settings file in the Metro start screen. However it isn't clear to me how to do that. I tried right-clicking on the file but creating a shortcut simply placed it in the same folder. How do I get it to the Metro start screen? I even tried dragging the link to the bottom-left corner hoping the Metro start screen will open so I can drop it there. No luck.

    Yes maybe I'm just being stooped because I've only used W8 for 6 days now, but you'd think these things would be more intuitive.

    You need to banish the word "intuitive" from your vocabulary.  Why?  The concept of intuitiveness in traditional UI design is 95+% based on personal familiarity, not intrinsic intuitiveness.  You're using the word "intuitive" where you actually mean "familiar".  Consider -- you've been using operating systems with a Start Menu for perhaps as long as 17 years, which is a long, long time when you consider the average lifespan.  People who were born the day Windows 95 came out are out there driving around in cars!  Saying Windows 8 isn't "intuitive" is therefore a bit silly because it's still a brand-new approach to applications. 

     

    Let's go on a little walk through history:

    Imagine it's 1985 and you, with your many years of working with command prompts in DOS or CP/M or Apple ][, just sat down at your first Macintosh.  You can't find a command-line interface!  What the hell!  And what's the stupid "mouse" thing for, anyways?  And what are all   these weird symbols on the keys beside the space bar?  But in time, you learned how to move around using keyboard shortcuts; you learned ways to organize your Mac so you can get to everything smoothly and quickly.  You became good at it.  It became "familiar".

    Then you tried Windows 3.1 and wrote it off as a toy because it didn't have a menu bar at the top of the screen, where it belongs (amirite?).  The menu bars are on every window!  That's not intuitive, you exclaim.  What the hell! 

    A lot of people despised the Start menu when it came out.  (Remember, we didn't have Quick Launch back then, so you HAD to go through Start to find ANYTHING)  People stated -- and by stated, I mean YELLED AND SCREAMED ON USENET -- that nobody would be able to find their applications anymore because they were hidden away in layers of menus.  And the menu is at the bottom of the screen, which is like, totally unintuitive, dude, menus go at the TOP of the screen.

    Six years later, you're looking at the OS X dock and going.... what the * is wrong with these people!  I don't want to see my application icons all the time!  I only want to see which apps are running !  It takes up too much space on the screen!  What the hell!  (do you remember when  the OS X Developer Previews were coming out, how guys like John Siracusa and John Gruber, nowadays thought of as some of OS X's biggest fanboys, roundly criticised the Dock for being pretty much totally unusable?)

     

    Do you see what I'm saying here?

     

    You'll learn new ways of doing things in Windows 8.  Maybe you'll start typing "windows, r, e, m, enter" on your keyboard, followed by some downarrows + enter in the connections list dropdown in RDP to select which server you want to connect to.  Maybe, if you really have as many apps as you say you do, you'll put your taskbar into double-height mode, or small-icons mode, and pin it anyways.  (tip: don't pin apps you don't use the MRU for, or that you keep open all the time anyways)  Heck, if you really want to be efficient, create a .RDP file for each of your connections (instead of relying on the MRU), give them very short but distinct names, then hit Windows + F, type that name (maybe it's the last part of the IP address), hit enter twice, and the file gets launched and you're connecting to the server.

     In time, you'll find you're doing things as quickly as ever.  It'll become familiar.

    But not intuitive, because the only thing that is really "intuitive" appears to be touch...... which is why 3 year olds everywhere are shockingly good at using tablets.

  • User profile image
    warren

    , DCMonkey wrote

    *snip*

    So now I've got to gin up a web service layer when all I wanted to do was connect to a SQL server on the LAN. Got it. 

    Short answer?  Yes -- that way you can improve how you use SQL Server (query tuning, calling a stored procedure instead of doing a bunch of DML, etc.) without having to update the code on all the clients. 

     

  • User profile image
    wastingtime​withforums

    @warren:

    This whole "learn it" credo has its limit. There were programs that turned the Windows desktop into something like 3D shooter and other weird stuff:

    Generic Forum Image

    Of course you could learn to navigate this one too.. the question is, what is the benefit? The start menu had obvious benefits - all programs and settings reachable through one button, the GUI concept itself had obvious benefits as well. Yet no one, and I mean NO ONE was able to tell me what the heck the benefit of the start screen is for desktop and laptop users or why the Metro apps are this castrated, yet MS forces you to use them (the default image viewer is an awkward Metro app in W8.. even in desktop mode!). The explanations only come to "newer mobile devices have something like that, so.. eh.. and you will get used to it!".. And that's pretty much it.

    That's not a compelling argument to warrant such a hassle.

    Oh, I think I am on the verge to write another monster post, that's why I will just post this insightful comment from riagenic.com instead:

    http://www.riagenic.com/archives/1000 (comments section)

    -------

    The fact that their is a "mixed response" to the windows 8 UI is the real problem. This is like coca cola changing the recipe of coke and half their existing customers complaining why change it? And coke screaming back at them saying its for your won good!

    You don't radically change flagship products used by 90% of the world. You gradually introduce change if you need to. Any user friction is a fail at this level. You shouldn't see this level of friction with any established product and brand. Mercedes wouldn't do it, BMW wouldn't do it, why are MS doing it?

    UI is subjective and learnt, based on history I.e. people get used to things if they have to and that becomes the natural order of things in their eyes. For that reason no UI change is technically good or bad, just different. So to hard to read Neilsen's studies in a scientific manner.

    But Neilsen's isn't pretending to come from a blank objective point of view. He is attacking w8 UI based on the history that Windows has and what users know of the product. That's the no.1 problem when designing an update to anything. How do you build on the existing UI history and make something family but better. You want your users to just turn the key and drive the new car not spend 20 minutes looking for where you out the gear stick!


    Ultimately MS have taken liberties because they think they have a captive audience. Just like they did with Office and the Ribbon UI. If your audience can't move from your product you start giving them not what "they" want or what they "ask" for. You start giving them what "you" want instead. MS haven't listened to users the whole year since the preview came out. And yet they expect people to love what they have made?

    Sadly, Unlike with Office MS do not have a fully "captive" audience. Many are escaping to the other computing products like iPads, macs and android devices. I think Ms has overplayed it's hand this time

    ....

    I agree with the "Don't write off human beings ability to learn..." Etc..
    But I think we only do this if there is no other alternative to get to what we want. We are naturally predisposed to doing the "easiest" thing. In fact man has spent the whole of its time on earth trying to make things easier, that's probably what distinguishes us most from animals.

    However, to change for change sake is in my view a usability fail. You can get away with it if you are the only choice in town but if there are others it's usability suicide.


    Micorsoft have yet to explain WHY these changes are better for traditional desktop users. That's part of the Sinofsky "silence" issues. It feels dictatorial and doesn't give the impression that MS are in partnership with its users (or even their OEM's for that matter!). It's just very one sided affair driven by Microsofts need to get into the mobile game at all costs. Very cynical, and obvious.

    It's easy to explain to users why a touch keyboard is better than a real keyboard in lots of ways. It frees up screen estate, it allows for configurable controls, it make the device lighter etc... But why can't MS explain to me why I can only run 1 app on a 27 inch monitor in Metro? Or why is it better to move me from my desktop layout into Metro when all I want to do is search for an App? they don't want to do that. they don't want to explain anything really.

    Which is why they are getting all the flack now. They are the defacto standard in desktop computing so everything they do has to be held up to a higher standard than even Apple or Google. Multi billion dollar businesses are run off this windows thing, it's a big deal! Things that seem small to us techies are BIG things in the real world because of how much impact hey have being that windows IS desktop software, period.

    So you have to look at Nielsens damnation in that context. It seems like lots of unnecessary pain and very little gain for desktop users. I think a lot is expected from MS and rightly so. They are the top dog (and the only dog for many).

    ----------

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Craig_​Matthews wrote

    RT vs. Pro really isn't at issue here since the database discussion is about the limitations of the WinRT / Store App API which is on both RT and Pro devices.

    Ok - rephrase. If you intend to bundle SQL Express and are going to refuse to write a web-service to do the heavy lifting, you'll need to not write your app as a "Modern" metro app.

    This means if you want to write it for a tablet, you'll need to write it for Pro, since RT can only do "Modern" apps

  • User profile image
    Retro​Recursion

    , evildictait​or wrote

    This means if you want to write it for a tablet, you'll need to write it for Pro, since RT can only do "Modern" apps

    Ugg. Sometimes I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when I'm in this thread. We have developed and maintain literally hundreds of web services that work in the way you describe. That's not the point.

    The point is that there are many common business applications that require local and shared databases for local caching and reporting purposes. Classic examples are Outlook and all of apps in the Dynamics product line.

    Why do we have to regress so much with WinRT? Really? A code contract is necessary just to do a copy and paste of data between two apps? I know you are saying this is primarily for tablets today. But as I said from the start, the Build talks repeatedly refer to WinRT as the future. Maybe this "future" is a few versions out. Regardless, there's no getting around that Windows 8 has made it more difficult to deploy .NET applications to the desktop.

    Does anyone else find it ironic that these are called "Modern" apps and the insanely powerful ones are referred to as "Legacy"?

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