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Posts Tagged ‘SQL Server’

SSRS – Making Reports Presentable

Now that we have created out first SSRS report, it is time to make our reports presentable.

SSRS is really user friendly and customizing a report is very simple.

This is how our reports currently look:


Let us first add a title to the report so that the users/managers know what information to look for in the report.

Add a Title:

1.)    Click in the area that says “Click to Add Title”

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Using DTUTIL to Migrate SSIS Packages

I often use the SQL Server (MSDB) Database to store and execute SSIS packages.  However, I found it cumbersome to migrate multiple packages back and forth from network locations to the MSDB or from the various environments (DEV, QA, PROD).  So, I created a simple script to generate the dtutil commands necessary to quickly migrate the packages.  It uses the system tables in the MSDB Database to generate the commands.  I then simply copy and paste the output of the  SELECT statement into a cmd prompt .  This can be taken a step further and be put into a stored procedure and then loop through the dtutil commands using a xp_cmdshell wrapper to execute everything within SSMS.  The script is nothing fancy, but I find it effective enough for most of my uses.  The MSDN site for dtutil is a great resource that I often use to modify this script for the appropriate situation.  Also, the “dtutil /?” command can be run in the command window to list all of different parameters for dtutil.

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Introduction to Data Quality Services (DQS) – Part I

I was recently introduced to SQL Server 2012 and discovered Data Quality Services (DQS); a new feature of SQL Server 2012.  I wanted to use this blog as an introduction to DQS, define key terms, and present a simple example of the tool.  According to MSDN,

The data-quality solution provided by Data Quality Services (DQS) enables a data steward or IT professional to maintain the quality of their data and ensure that the data is suited for its business usage. DQS is a knowledge-driven solution that provides both computer-assisted and interactive ways to manage the integrity and quality of your data sources. DQS enables you to discover, build, and manage knowledge about your data. You can then use that knowledge to perform data cleansing, matching, and profiling. You can also leverage the cloud-based services of reference data providers in a DQS data-quality project.

(Click on each image to enlarge it.)
The below illustration displays the DQS process:

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EIM awareness with SQL Server 2012

I just finished reading the results of an interview I gave earlier this week to technology webzine regarding the pending release of SQL Server. I was interested to know which parts of my 30 minute discussion with the technical writer would make it into the article. I was happy to see that the writer picked up on a key point that I made, “that the platform is maturing across the EIM landscape”. Read the entire article here: CRN Article

So what does this mean? It means the SQL Server platform is now driving EIM awareness into organizations of all sizes. Is your organization ready?

Magic Quadrant Madness, Denali and complete transparency

So I just read the recently published BI magic quadrant analysis from Gartner and noticed a slight adjustment in the bubbles. The Microsoft BI platform continues to increase along the ‘Completeness of Vision’ axis (X), but the ‘Ability to Execute’ measure (Y-axis) slipped a notch and I wanted to know why.

After reading the ‘Strengths’ section of the report, a lengthy task in itself, I blinked once and completely missed the ‘Cautions’ section and had to go back and search for them again. :-) However, being transparent, I did find them and this is what they had to say; “…because Microsoft’s BI platform capabilities exist across three different tools (Office, SQL Server and SharePoint) that also perform non-BI functions, integrating the necessary components can be complex…” The report then goes on to say; “…Microsoft’s do-it-yourself approach puts more of the BI solutions development and integration onus for the platform components on customers…”.

And I would say, “Yes, this is true”, however, knowing the platform pretty well, I would also add;
– Office, SQL Server and SharePoint? so… that means I already have the licenses right? …hhmmm, that sounds about right..
– Integration complexity? well… it is an enterprise platform after all right? …why.. yes it is..

OK then, problem solved!

“Well hold on”, you might say. “We’re understaffed now and don’t really have time to learn about the latest BI rocket ship you know!”

So… would a primer on the new SQL Server 2012 “Denali” platform help you? “Why, yes it would!”

OK then…

Problem solved.

Microsoft BI in the enterprise

I was demoing the Microsoft BI stack to a client the other day and although PerformancePoint, PowerPivot and Power View showed well as always, I was amazed that the Q&A session gravitated back to the same old questions that I always hear.

“Well what about Oracle?”
“Have the BI tools made it out of the department yet?”
“Is it really an enterprise platform?”

Really? You mean to tell me you don’t get your news from Channel 9 MSDN like the rest of us?! Uh… election? What election?

OK, so maybe I’m a little more in tune with this than some of you but that’s the reason we’re here, so let’s take a look at how this platform stacks up against these questions.

To start with, let’s go straight to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI platforms. I assume most people have seen this but maybe not. The top BI vendors get graded on several facets and ranked accordingly. Over the last few years Microsoft has consistently been in the upper right quadrant and there’s no reason to believe they’ll come out.

Next, let’s look at Gartner’s rankings of the top ECM platforms. Once again, we see Microsoft right where we want them. But wait, we’re talking about BI platforms, not ECM right? Read the rest of this post »

Injecting TDD into your ETL with the SQL Server Stack

Written by Andrew Holowaty – National Microsoft BI Practice


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