Edit Any Table v2.1.2

A WordPress plugin/Dashboard Widget that allows you to connect to any database and edit the contents.

This plugin is a dashboard widget to allow you to connect to any MySQL database of your choice (as long as your hosting allows) and search, edit, add and delete records in an easy to use interface. Ideal if you have built a site referencing another database. You can allow other editors/administrators of the site to alter, update, delete, add and correct entries without having to give them the full capabilities of administration tools such as phpMyAdmin.

If you find this plug-in useful then please rate it, thanks.

Installation

To install, download the .zip file from the link below, extract the contents and place the edit-any-table folder in your plugin directory (typically \\your-site\wp-content\plugins\)

Setup

Once installed go to the Dashboard->Plugins page of your WordPress site and activate the plugin:

Edit Any Table activation and settings linkNow go to the Dashboard->Settings->Edit Any Table page and enter the required details:

Edit Any Table Settings

First you’ll need to enter the host (often localhost), the name of the database you wish to connect to and a valid user name and password. Under Admin Settings you can choose to allow Administrators only to have access to the widget or Editors as well. Note: If neither of these boxes are ticked the widget will not display in your WordPress Dashboard. You can choose what to allow the Editor to do i.e. Add, Edit and/or Delete.  Leaving these boxes unchecked will give the Editor view only access.   Display Settings allows you to select the maximum number of columns to display for returned searches. Edit Any Table displays best in a single column dashboard configuration and I find five columns is a comfortable fit but adjust to suit. Here you can also select to apply a friendly name for your connected database, this can help to assure editors (who don’t have access to the settings) they are working on the correct records. Finally, if you don’t want Edit Any Table to display as a widget then you can choose to have it rendered in its own separate admin page. Tables, if you have entered your database credentials correctly and saved them, you will get a list of all the tables.  Select which ones you would like to be accessed via the admin screen.

You will also notice that at the top of the settings page is an option to switch debug mode on or off. Switching it on will display all the SQL sent to your database and may help identify and issues or strange results you may be getting.

Using Edit Any Table

Once configured return to the dashboard and you should see the following widget:

Edit Any Table WidgetNow choose a table from the drop down list and select Open Note: If there is nothing in the list then you have either not entered the correct details in your settings or there are no tables in your database.

Here you can either search or add a new record with the values you have entered. Entering no search criteria returns all the records from the table. To clear any values hit the Reset button. If you enter values that are not of the correct type or in the wrong format when adding a new record these values will be substituted for the database defaults.  Wild cards do not work in searches but by selecting the ‘Fuzzy’ check box Edit Any Table will look for the phrase or part word you entered within any string field i.e.  entering ‘Liz’ in a first name field could return Elizabeth, Liz or Lizzy. Please be aware that fuzzy searches can take a lot longer when searching large datasets. Any time you want to return to this screen just select the Open button again.Search

These are the search results for a search against the AString field using the phrase hello:

Edit Any Table search resultsNow you can edit the record contents or delete a record. To return to the search/add record screen just select Open again. That’s it, enjoy.

Known Issues / Features

  • There is no bulk update or delete
  • After saving you are not returned to the previously displayed records
  • Cannot search blobs
  • Using reserved words as column names can cause issues

Please Note

To use this plugin you need a basic knowledge of database design and setup. Modifying records can have unpredictable results so if you are at all unsure I would suggest creating a test table first before using in anger.

DOWNLOAD LATEST VERSION OF PLUGIN

If you have a support question or have discovered a bug in Edit-Any-Table then please post here

BizTalk Server 2010 Documenter

A free tool that greatly simplifies documenting BizTalk installations and their associated applications.

About

User Guide

Download

I don’t like to generalise but most developers I have met are not keen on writing documentation and having recently finished a piece of integration work using BizTalk 2010 I was delighted to find an automatic documenter on the open source CodePlex site.  Unfortunately it did not work properly on the environment I was using so I downloaded the code and gave it some tweaks and enhancements.  Having tested it, successfully documented projects at work, I have uploaded the now BizTalk Server 2010 Documenter to the same site and hope that some of you may find it of use.

LivingSocial is dead long live GoodReads

I have used LivingSocial since joining Facebook to keep track of books I am reading, have read and to pass this information onto my friends.  The service didn’t offer any other functionality really, a standard suggested books feature but that was about all.  However when recently I accessed the site to update my latest read I was surprised to be confronted with this message.

First of all, thank you for your enthusiastic support over the past four years. Your continued engagement with our these applications means a lot to us here at LivingSocial, and we're sad that we haven't been able to dedicate the time and effort you deserve to keep this community alive and thriving.  It's not you. It's us. You see — about two years ago — we tried a new idea, which has taken our team and company in a new direction. This community needs tools and products that are fully supported and continually improved, and unfortunately, this is something we just can't support right now.  We know your data is important to you. Before we discontinue the service, we want to give you the opportunity to save it.  On August 10th, 2011, we are going to shut down this suite of applications.Fortunately they supplied a handy link to export all existing data to the GoodReads site, which now having signed up seems to be a far superior and greater used service.  I’m often on the lookout for new ideas for books to read and this appears to be a valuable resource. It can also link in with Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and Kindle accounts, allows you to compare your bookshelf against your friends and supplies a number of widgets for inclusion in your site.  So I’m afraid I will not be mourning the passing of LivingSocial. Long live GoodReads!

Red Eyed Monsters read books

The Forever War
Bodyguard Of Lightning
Foundation and Empire
A Clockwork Orange
The Cider House Rules
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Tin Drum
In Other Worlds
Elric: Song of the Black Sword
Niagara Falls All Over Again
Postcards
The Pillars of the Earth
Legend
Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham
Use of Weapons
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!
The Player of Games
Sandman Slim
Vampire AD 70
The Desert Spear



Nigel Bachmann’s favorite books »

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Restoring WordPress

Moving across from legacy SupaNames account to 123reg and issues with permalinks

Supanames was taken over by 123-reg a few years ago.  This wasn’t something that affected me initially and I continued to use my Supanames account as always. However when recently trying to install the latest version of WordPress I found that the version of MySQL was not compatible with the latest upgrade.  I contacted 123-reg who informed me that there was no plan to upgrade old Supanames hosting and so with great reluctance I began to make preparations to move over to the more up to date 123-reg hosting.


The first thing to do was to backup the database.  This is remarkably simple to do using the Supanames MyPanel interface.

  1. Go to MyPanel and then in the Left-hand menu choose MySQL DATABASESMySQL Backup Submenu.
  2. Click on the link on the next page in MyPanel to Backup your Database.

 

If successful, you will receive a message confirming the backup has been completed. The backup is zipped and stored on the root directory of your web space. Having done this I then downloaded my entire site via FTP (I use Filezilla) including the zipped database backup.

I am fortunate that I don’t have hundreds of email boxes consider, all mine are hooked into gmail accounts and I have records of the alternate addresses. So I contacted the account holders to inform them that their mail would be down for maintenance.  Once this was done I gave 123-reg the go-ahead to close down my old Supanames hosting and fire up the new one.  This was ready to go in a couple of hours and the first thing I did was re-establish the mail boxes and send instructions to the users on how to reconnect.

Next I FTP’d the entire site back up to the root directory so that it had exactly the same structure as it did before.

The final step is to restore the database and modify the configuration so pages and database can talk to one another.  Restoring a database with 123-reg is not quite as simple as Supanames but it is no great technical feat either.  First you need to create a database. In your 123-reg control panel go to Web Hosting -> Manage

Manage Web Hosting

Then select Manage Database -> Add database

Add Database

Take a note of the username, password and server, you will need these for the config file. Return to the Add database screen and log on to your new database. Select the Import tab:

Import SQL

Select the previously downloaded backup via Choose File and then hit the Go button (you should be able to leave all other settings at default).  Hey presto your database is restored. Now for the configuration.

wp-config.phpYou need to edit your wp-config.php file typically found in the root directory of your web space.  Enter the database name, user and password against DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD respectively (you can get the database name from the Add Database screen). On the old Supanames hosting the host name (DB_HOST) was set to ‘localhost’ this now needs to be set to the server name.  Once done save wp-config.php back to your web space.

After doing this I was pleased to see my front page (this blogg) functioning correctly, however when I selected any of the links I was given a 404 Not Found error.  A quick Google and my suspicions were confirmed, it was something to do with the permalink structure I was using. I found a number of solutions and didn’t like any of them much so before trying any of them I went into my WordPress  Admin and selected Settings -> Permalinks.  I did not change any of the settings, merely selected the Save Changes button.  This completely fixed my problem, so I urge you to try this before one of the more complex and possibly dangerous solutions on the net.


Toshiba 22BV500B Review

A 22 inch LCD wide screen TV with freeview and HD ready

I am writing about this TV for two reasons. First, we have just bought one and second, it is on offer at Argos and I thought a number of people may be considering buying it, especially with Christmas approaching, and may find an unbiased review useful.

Toshiba 22BV500B


We bought this television for our kitchen to replace an old CRT TV which sat on top of the fridge.  For this reason we decided to wall mount it as the fridge door is occasionally wrenched open by the kids and we were worried about it falling off. The first thing to mention here is that the size of bracket specified on the Argos site is incorrect it is not 200 x 100 but 100 x 100 (VESA compliant).  We bought the bracket on the same day and ended up buying a more expensive one because of this (one with 200 & 100 holes).  Having said that fixing it to the wall was a very good idea as the base is only slim and in fact the Toshiba manual suggests using a fixing strap. Not that I have ever seen that done with any telly. You should be OK if you have it on a solid, steady surface but if you are thinking about having it on a cabinet in a kids bedroom you may want to consider the strap or wall mount options.

The 22BV500B comes with basic standard conectivity:

  • 1 HDMI socket.
  • 1 SCART socket.
  • PC input socket.
  • Component video socket.
  • Composite.
  • Headphone socket.
  • AV socket (side and rear).
  • 1 USB port.

The on screen menus, functions, picture options are what you would expect from most modern freeview televisions, albeit basic.  Swapping between channels isn’t immediate and when first switched on it takes a good few seconds (sorry I haven’t timed it) for the picture and sound to come on.  The first time I switched it on I switched it off again thinking that I hadn’t switched it on properly. The sound is OK but not brilliant and when listening to radio stations comes across a little tiny reminding me of an old transistor radio and it’s a shame that there is no way of switching of the screen, thus saving a little energy.

Finally, the picture quality, probably the most important consideration. The picture is clear and bright with a reasonable viewing angle.  However there is a slight bleed from the back lighting around the edges which is noticeable when the edge of the picture is dark.  This would irritate me if this was our main TV but doesn’t really bother me in the kitchen.

So to conclude, a good kitchen telly or possibly for the bedroom and adequate for a games station.  You get what you pay for and I haven’t been able to find anything better for the price.  If you do have an extra £40 though you may want to consider one of the higher quality manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony or Panasonic.

I hope you have found this useful, you can download the full manual here.  If you have any questions leave a comment and I will endeavour to answer them.