When escaping user input isn’t enough

Many web developers have been taught that escaping user input with mysqli_real_escape_string() in PHP (or similar functions) is enough to make the input safe to use in a SQL query. However, this isn’t actually the case. While mysqli_real_escape_string() and the older form mysql_real_escape_string() are more comprehensive than addslashes(), hackers can still get around them to…

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Empower users with keyboard shortcuts

While web interfaces are typically thought of as point-and-click, power users often prefer being able to access functionality quickly just by pressing keys. You might think that JavaScript would be necessary to provide this ability in a website, but it’s possible to create a shortcut key with a simple attribute, namely, accesskey. For example, the…

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Share Excel Workbooks in SharePoint

When working in Excel on a file system, you can share the file so that multiple people can edit it, even simultaneously. However, you may wonder how to do a similar thing in Microsoft SharePoint. One way to do this is to publish portions of an Excel file as Web Parts. When editing a Web…

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How Database Availability Groups streamline high availability in Exchange Server

Starting with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Database Availability Groups (DAG) have replaced a number of features that provided redundancy for purposes of high availability and disaster recovery. The earlier high availability approaches included Single Copy Cluster (SCC), Standby Continuous Replication (SCR), Local Continuous Replication (LCR), and Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR). Supporting these were the concepts…

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Increase throughput and reliability in Windows Server 2012

One particularly useful feature of Windows Server 2012 is its native support for NIC teaming (a form of link aggregation). Also known as load balancing and failover (LBFO), NIC teaming involves establishing parallel network connections using multiple network adaptors. This increases both throughput and redundancy, so you can have a faster network with more uptime.…

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Easily find your Outlook Web Access URL for Office 365

URLs for Outlook Web Access (OWA) can be difficult to remember. If you’re traveling, or lost your bookmark to the address, you may need a different way to get to your email. Fortunately, assuming your organization uses Office 365, there’s a simple trick to get to your email without having to remember the full URL…

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A softer reboot

Sometimes, resetting the network may be necessary to diagnose or resolve a problem. However, there are options that will cause less of an interruption than, say, rebooting the ASA. For example, the “clear local-host” command releases all connections. This kills all current packet streams going through ASA. However, in most cases, the devices will just…

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Two great sources for practice labs

If you’re preparing for Cisco certifications, two great sources for practice labs are the workbooks atwww.ipexpert.com and www.ine.com. Both sites are well regarded. Some prefer INE because of its extensive forum community at http://ieoc.com. However, IPexpert also has an online community using existing social media sites, listed at http://www.ipexpert.com/Communities. Both companies also offer a guarantee.…

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Giving Cisco’s new collaboration tool a free test drive

In 2014, Cisco launched Project Squared, a new cloud-based collaboration tool that lets users share messages, do ad hoc video conferencing, share files, and work with external parties. While there are many collaboration applications out there, if you’re using WebEx or other Cisco products, it may make sense to check out Cisco’s version. Currently, it’s…

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Display table headings at the top of every page in MS Word

When you create a lengthy table, Word doesn’t display the table’s headings (i.e., the table’s first row) at the top of each page that contains a portion of the table. This can make multi-page tables hard to read. However, you can easily configure Word to repeat a table’s heading row wherever the table breaks across…

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