SSRS Report Builder gives “Failed to preview report.” – “Specified method is not supported.”

This one had me stumped for a little while. It appears to be as a result of using a report that uses a Report Model that in turn is using a data source that uses the Native SQL Server driver which is presented just as “Microsoft SQL Server on the data source”:

This should be changed to OLE DB and an appropriate Provider= entry made:

This was with Report Builder 3.0 / SQL Server 2008 R2 but I would imagine it affects previous versions aswell.

Can’t burn CD/DVD under Windows Server 2008 R2

I use run Windows Server 2008 R2 and today thought I had a hardware issue as all of my CD burning software was saying “Connect a burner and restart the player” (Windows Media Player) or “No recorders available” (Infrarecorder).

After some hunting about I found the following post at

By default accounts other than localsystem\administrator (regardless of the groups it belongs to) on server SKUS are considered to be “remote desktop” and so have the same security restrictions that come with remote desktop sessions.

In order to burn CD/DVD’S you can do one of the following:

  • Login as localsystem\administrator

  • Run a 3rd party burning utility elevated

Note: You must have the Desktop Experience pack installed to get the built in Windows ISO burning applet.

Scott McArthur
Senior Support Escalation Engineer
Microsoft Enterprise Platforms Support”

I first tried the second solution but I assume that since Infrarecorder is fully Windows 7 aware there is no “Run As Administrator” option, yes, I could do RunAs from the command line but as I’m recording off of the network this still isn’t elegant.

So I gave in and logged on as local administrator and it all worked again. I’m not going to bitch too much as really I know most people won’t be burning DVDs on a server OS and I’m pretty unusual in using it as my desktop OS. Hopefully

Function to Convert 15char IDs to 18char ones in T-SQL (SQL Server)

If you’ve ended up here then you’ve already experienced the pain that is the fact that internally Salesforce use 18char IDs for everything, unfortunately the user is always presented with 15char versions. The additional 3 characters on the 18char version allow it to be compared case insensitively and so is much safer for handling within for example SQL Server when using a case insensitive collation.

The code below is based on the description and Dave‘s Javascript version found in this forum post.

I hope you find it useful:

* Note updated 13 June 2010 following feedback from David Eisaiah Engel

Download the SQL script here.

-- =============================================
-- Author:        Joel Mansford
-- Create date:     Jan 2010
-- Description:    Converts 15char SF Ids to 18char ones
-- History:
--  June 2010 - issue with over-running and incorrectly producing ']' as a character with input such as '0033000000dGpDN'
-- =============================================
CREATE FUNCTION fnConvertToCaseInsensitiveId
( @InputId CHAR(15)
-- Hacky way to raise an error but it works and there’s no alternative!
DECLARE @ErrorStringReally INT

IF LEN(@InputId)<>15

SET @ErrorStringReally =‘Input Salesforce Id must be exactly 15 characters input was “’+ @InputId+‘”’

DECLARE @OutputId CHAR(18)


SET @Hash =

DECLARE @Chunk tinyint

DECLARE @ThisChunk CHAR(5)

DECLARE @CharPos tinyint

DECLARE @ThisHashDigit tinyint

— Split string in to 3 chunks of 5chars

SET @Chunk = 1

WHILE @Chunk<=3


SELECT @ThisChunk = RIGHT(LEFT(@InputId,@Chunk*5),5)

SET @ThisHashDigit = 0

SET @CharPos = 1

— Iterate over the chunk

WHILE @CharPos<=5


IF ASCII(SUBSTRING(@ThisChunk,@CharPos,1)) BETWEEN 65 AND 90 — If Uppercase

— then add a binary ’1′ digit in the appropriate position, otherwise it’s still 0

SET @ThisHashDigit +=POWER(2,@CharPos1)

SET @CharPos+=1


IF @ThisHashDigit>=26

— Digits 0-9, minus 26 as SFDC have numbers come ‘after’ letters

SET @Hash +=CHAR(@ThisHashDigit+4826)


— Letter ‘A’

SET @Hash +=CHAR(@ThisHashDigit+65)

SET @Chunk+=1


SET @OutputId = @InputId + @Hash

RETURN @OutputId


Greasemonkey Script to help filter Setup screen

I have real pains with the Setup screen within, I think it’s simply evolved to where it is today and as a result it is far from intuitive. For example ‘Packages’ live under the ‘Create’ menu but ‘Apex Classes’ are under ‘Develop’ – I don’t think I’ll ever get it!

However I’ve just stumbled across this excellent “Setup Enhancer for Salesforce” which is a Greasemonkey script for Firefox. For those who don’t know Greasemonkey is an addon for Firefox which is installed quickly and simply using the Addons menu within Firefox.

Once that’s installed visit and click the Install button, you should see a warning and then that’s it. Now logon to and go to setup and you should see a filter box in the top-left corner:

Now, as you type in to the box you should see the left-hand menu filter down:

Kudos to ‘setupscripter‘ for something which is going to make my life a little easier.

IndustryComplete is AppExchange App of the Week

Our latest product for, IndustryComplete has been named App of the Week, read more about it here, and here.

IndustryComplete provides a user interface to quickly look up Industry Codes (SIC / NAICS / ISIC ) and for an administrator to map each code to a small list of Industries / vertical markets. This allows consistent classification of accounts within leading to better segmentation.

If you require any custom development of IndustryComplete or CountryComplete don’t hesitate to contact us.

How to disable the Pointing Stick / TouchPad on a Dell Latitude D620 (and probably D630, D820, D830)

I recently took advantage of my MSDN subscription and installed Windows 7 RTM on my trusty old Latitude D620 (and for anyone who follows this am still dual booting Server 2008). This installed fine with everything detected and working with the only exception being the touchpad.

To start this by default uses the standard PS/2 mouse driver which is horribly slow to move across the screen. After much searching about I found an Alps driver however although this made the mouse quicker it left the pointing stick enabled. This then drove me crazy as if I slightly touch it by accident when typing quickly the pointer would move across the screen.

Eventually I found a driver from HP that seems to work fine and add the UI to the control panel to disable the pad etc. Check it out at:


Print Selection in Outlook 2007


Why doesn’t Outlook 2007 have a ‘print selection’ option? It’s meant to be using the Word rendering engine and Word has a print selection option.

So many people have footers saying ‘consider the environment before printing this email’. Well I think Microsoft could help a lot on this by allowing people to easily print just what they want to, when they need to without having to copy + paste.

Oh, and I shouldn’t need to ‘upgrade’ to a new version to accomplish this, I’m sure it was present in Outlook 2003!