Business Intelligence

Craig Porteous
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What’s New in Reporting Services (SSRS) 2017

July 26, 2017 by

To further the discussion related to Mohamed’s post on Reporting Services 2016 What’s new in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services (SSRS), I wanted to cover the new features and functionality we see in Reporting Services 2017 as RC1 was released last week SQL Server 2017 Reporting Services Release Candidate now available, separately from SQL Server 2017 which reached RC1 a few days prior.

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Thomas LeBlanc

Analysis Services (SSAS) Cubes – Dimension Attributes and Hierarchies

July 5, 2017 by

In Data Warehouse language, slicing and dicing is done with Dimension Attributes. Sometime a developer feels the need to provide everything to end users, whereas seasoned Business Intelligence Architects understand to provide only the attributes from the requirements. It is a hard path to follow and the seasoned architect’s experience might be the better option.

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Prashanth Jayaram

How to use Python in SQL Server 2017 to obtain advanced data analytics

June 20, 2017 by

On the 19th of April 2017, Microsoft held an online conference called Microsoft Data Amp to showcase how Microsoft’s latest innovations put data, analytics and artificial intelligence at the heart of business transformation. Microsoft has, over the last few years, made great strides in accelerating the pace of innovation to enable businesses to meet the demands of a dynamic marketplace and harness the incredible power of data—more securely and faster than ever before.

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Minette Steynberg

Reporting in SQL Server – Power BI Report Server

June 13, 2017 by

Power BI is a self-service business intelligence tool from Microsoft which has been steadily gaining momentum in the last couple of months. One of the well-known disadvantages of Power BI is that it is basically cloud only. A lot of companies are not yet at the point where they feel comfortable having their data in the cloud or are premise bound for some other reasons such as data-sensitivity, data-sovereignty or compliance.

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Craig Porteous

Considerations for On-premises data in PowerBI

June 7, 2017 by

Whether you’ve been using PowerBI for a while or you’re just getting started with it, chances are you’ll want to source at least some of your data from on-premises systems. Be that SQL server databases, Oracle, SSAS etc. The same process even applies if you’re sourcing from AWS which I’ll go into in more detail below. All of these data sources will require Microsoft’s On-Premises Data Gateway.

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Thomas LeBlanc

Initial Attributes and Measures in SSAS Multidimensional Cubes

June 2, 2017 by

Connecting to tables in SQL Server Analysis Service (SSAS) databases is easy. Maybe too easy. The learning curve for developing in a Multidimensional Cube is steep, although a Tabular Model has lessened this curve. The power of encapsulating the business logic of aggregations and analytics into an Analysis Service database is too great not to embrace Analysis Services in an enterprise environment.

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Koen Verbeeck

Analysis Services (SSAS) Multidimensional Design Tips – Creating Dimensions

June 1, 2017 by

In the previous article, Analysis Services (SSAS) Multidimensional Design Tips – Data Source View and Cubes, we discussed best practices for SSAS Multidimensional cubes and data source views. In this article, we continue the series with design tips for creating dimensions as the subject. As with the previous article, most tips are suited for SSAS 2008 (most likely 2005 as well) to 2016 and later versions. Analysis Services Tabular is not covered in this article.

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Koen Verbeeck

Analysis Services (SSAS) Multidimensional Design Tips – Data Source View and Cubes

April 28, 2017 by

In this article, we’ll discuss some tips and best practices regarding the design of OLAP cubes in Analysis Services Multidimensional (SSAS). Most tips – if not all – are applicable for SSAS 2008 to 2016 (and later most likely). Since Analysis Services Tabular – the in-memory columnstore OLAP database from Microsoft – is a completely different design experience, it will not be included in this article.

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Thomas LeBlanc

Connecting to Data Source(s) with SQL Server Analysis Services

April 18, 2017 by

For someone new to SQL Server Analysis Services, a decision must be made on whether to use a Multidimensional Cube or Tabular Model. Both types can be installed on the same server, but they must be different instances. That could mean additional license costs. But, with the developer’s edition, both can be installed and reviewed before a production decision is made. Data Source connections are the first step to review with both versions.

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Andrea Martorana Tusa

How to create geographic maps using Power BI – Filled and bubble maps

April 5, 2017 by

The project

This is the first article of a series dedicated to discovering geographic maps in Power BI.

My goal is to illustrate to you the different visuals available in Power BI for making maps. Remember that Power BI is a product undergoing constant evolution; new features are added every month at a fast pace. And over the time Power BI has gained more mapping capabilities compared to the starting point.

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Thomas LeBlanc

SQL Server Data Warehouse design best practice for Analysis Services (SSAS)

April 4, 2017 by

Before jumping into creating a cube or tabular model in Analysis Service, the database used as source data should be well structured using best practices for data modeling. Some might say use Dimensional Modeling or Inmon’s data warehouse concepts while others say go with the future, Data Vault. No matter what conceptual path is taken, the tables can be well structured with the proper data types, sizes and constraints.

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Koen Verbeeck

How to optimize the dimension security performance using partitioning in SSAS Multidimensional

March 27, 2017 by

Introduction

In the articles How to partition an SSAS Cube in Analysis Services Multidimensional and Benefits of Partitioning an SSAS Multidimensional Cube, the concept of measure group partitioning is introduced and the advantages are clearly illustrated. One of the biggest advantages of partitioning is partition elimination, where only the partitions necessary to satisfy the query are read instead of all the data.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

The evolution of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) for Business Intelligence development

March 9, 2017 by

By all accounts, the introduction of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) in SQL Server 2012 was a watershed moment for many SQL Server developers. For better or for worse, SSDT as an IDE for business intelligence development changed – amongst other things – the way we deployed our SSIS packages (i.e. package vs project deployments), simplified Tabular Model development, and also introduced us to the SSISDB. Likewise the replacement of Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) with SSDT had its detractors who were noticeably not very happy that in addition to installing SQL Server 2012 you still had to do a separate download and installation of BI templates for SSDT (previously, BI templates in BIDS were available as soon as you installed SQL Server 2005/2008). Although SSDT-BI is still being offered as a separate installation, subsequent releases of SSDT have included several enhancements changes that should go a long way to winning the hearts of its critics. In this article we conduct a comparative analysis of all versions (up until 16.5) of SSDT and identify all the major improvements that have been introduced in the BI templates.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Top 5 Deprecated Features in Reporting Services 2016

February 17, 2017 by

It’s not often that I write negative articles surrounding SQL Server’s latest release but ever since we upgraded one of our BI boxes to run SQL Server Reporting Services 2016 (SSRS 2016), I have picked up on some frustrations from my team when using the upgraded Report Manager portal due to the unavailability of features that used to exist in versions prior to SSRS 2016. I have since realized that in spite of the many exciting features and improvements introduced in SSRS 2016, there is a downside to this latest version of reporting services that is likely to leave many administrators frustrated.

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Craig Porteous

SSRS Failed Subscription Alerting

February 10, 2017 by

Even now, with SQL Server 2016 SP1 released only a few months ago, it baffles me that there is still no built-in functionality to alert admins or users of failed subscriptions in Reporting Services. We still rely on scripts like the one I’m about to describe or report recipients contacting administrators/helpdesks when their report emails don’t arrive or fail to appear in file shares. This is something that people have had to work around for years. There is some documentation that Microsoft provides to help you get started with monitoring subscriptions from the log files with direction on using PowerShell but it is not by any means a complete solution. (Monitor Reporting Services Subscriptions)

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