Letter from America 3 – Mischievous reports and feeding the 5000

After all my messing around yesterday, I've decided to create this post in pocket word.

I attended a securty session yesterday and was reminded of an issue that can send DBAs scuttling from the room when they learn of it's presence, the 'trojan report'.

Reporting Services (RS) reports can use Windows security to access it's source database, that's to say it can use the securty credentials of the report user.  This is what you'd expect we'd recommend since we so often bang on about the advantages of this securty model..

The trojan report is written by a ner do well, who includes some dodgy code in a report query, maybe via a stored procedure.  The dodgy code might be malevolant or just pure naughty, but it won’t work using the insufficient security credentials of the report writer.  However, the code will work when run by a CXO, or anyone with the necessary credentials, someone who runs the report to merely return a bunch of sales data.  The good news, if you are a DBA with blood rapidly draining from your head, is there is a new EnableIntegratedSecurity system property that was introduced in SP1 and documented clearly in the readme for sp2.  With this property you can disable any trojan report.

I'm always amazed when I come to events like Techready or TechEd, events that require feeding 5000+ attendees at meal times.  These big feeding sessions are positively biblical in proportion.  It takes a small army of people to: efficiently herd delegates passed the numerous long tables laden with food, to set the tables, to ferry the food in and out and to finally clear it all up.  The whole thing is a logistical marvel.

When I learned that Jesus fed 5000 people, equiped with only a few loaves of bread and a bag of fish, I was taught that this was an extraordinary achievement.  Well, as the son of God I think this was probably a bit of a no brainer - turning a small quantity of food into a vast feast.  However, looking back on it now, what is truly amazing is how he managed to distribute all the food with only twelve deciples at his disposal.

My battery is running low so I better get on and submit this now, before I have another disaster like yesterday.

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