Business Intelligence

Esat Erkec

Load testing for SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

September 25, 2018 by

Performance monitoring is a very significant and essential topic for database or system administrators. This is no different with SSRS load testing. In some cases, performance problems can lead to significant system downtime. Most of the time in the background of the problem is having insufficient resources or improper settings. Therefore, before experiencing performance issues, we have to take some time to review preventive measures related to current system configurations or new installations. The load test (or stress test) is the most commonly used approach to tune systems before real-life staging conditions. Now we will discuss the details of load test, and in particular SSRS load testing.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to embed a Power BI Report Server report into an ASP.Net web application

September 20, 2018 by

Every once in a while, teams from different functional areas of the business (i.e. business intelligence, software development, web development etc.) would join forces to form a cross-functional development team with a common goal of integrating a business intelligence artefact such as a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) report into a front-end web application. There are many reasons for forming such a partnership including a lack of report-development skill by web developers, BI team owns a better reporting tool for data visualization, or maybe to prevent the software team from “reinventing the wheel” by developing a report that has already been produced elsewhere.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Available options for generating heatmaps in an SSRS report

September 17, 2018 by

As developers of business intelligence solutions, we tend to service different types of business users. Whilst a call center supervisor is more likely to consume reports that offer detailed breakdown of day-to-day performance of her call center agents, senior managers on the other hand often prefer big-picture analytical reports that represent data in a form of colorful graphs and charts. Not surprisingly, such reports often make use of heatmap controls to provide visually effective comparative view of business metrics against set targets.

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Esat Erkec

How to create a Mobile Dashboard with SQL Server Microsoft Mobile Publisher?

September 10, 2018 by

Over the past three years, I read some interesting news about Microsoft which was “Microsoft acquires mobile business intelligence leader Datazen”. This news made me excited because showing Reporting Service reports in mobile devices can be painful and often not effective for end users. After this acquisition, Microsoft developers worked quickly to adapt the Datazen application to SQL Server Reporting Services and this effort culminated in Microsoft SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher.

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Esat Erkec

How to integrate Power BI data alerts into Slack

August 31, 2018 by

There is a growing trend among professionals and entire companies to move away from email as a primary means of communication and are even adopting alternative technologies. One of the most popular of these is Slack. Slack is a new kind of messaging and communication platform between colleagues, team or community members that allows them to integrate a lot of services including Visual Studio Team Service, Jira and GitHub.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to handle SSRS multi-value parameter filtering in SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse

August 23, 2018 by

Experienced business intelligence (BI) developers would tell you that as you move from one project to another, some requirements start becoming repetitive like you have dealt with them before. One such repetitive requirement occurs during SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) development wherein a client would request that a report parameter be configured to allow multiple values from a dataset that is populated by stored procedure, as illustrated in Figure 1.

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Istvan Martinka

Dynamic Partitioning in Azure Analysis Services (tabular)

August 6, 2018 by

Objective

The real-life requirement

Disclaimer: I assume dear Reader, that you are more than familiar with the general concept of partitioning and star schema modeling. The intended audience is people who used to be called BI developers in the past (with a good amount of experience), but they have all sorts of different titles nowadays that I can’t keep up with… I won’t provide a full Visual Studio solution that you can download and just run without any changes or configuration, but I will give you code can be used after parameterizing according to your own environment.

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Esat Erkec

SQL Server Reporting Service Configuration Manager

June 27, 2018 by

After the native installation of SQL Server Reporting Service, we may need to customize some settings of Report Server. SQL Server Reporting Service provides a tool which is named as such; Report Server Configuration Manager. This tool helps us to customize SQL Server Reporting Service parameters and configurations. With Report Server Configuration Manager, we can change and customize various parameters of SQL Server Reporting Service. We can find the below settings in Report Server Configuration Manager:

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Top 4 options for fixing Microsoft.AnalysisServices.AdomdClientUI.dll assembly error in SQL Server 2016

June 26, 2018 by

I’ve always been in favor of an orthodox strategy when it comes to applying SQL Server updates which often goes like:

  • Instead of installing SQL Server Cumulative Updates, wait for release of service packs
  • When a service pack is released, install it in phases starting from the non-production environment (i.e. DEV, UAT) to eventually roll it out on production
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Esat Erkec

How to automatically create KPIs in SQL Server Reporting Services

June 18, 2018 by

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A Key Performance Indicator aka KPI is a metric which objectively measures the numeric equivalent of goals or targets of a company, team or an organization. Any individual or a community which has a numerical target can measure success of their goal with key performance indicators.

In all business roles and levels, if you manage a team you most likely have to set at least one key performance indicator and try influence this metric to show a positive result or trend. KPIs should be both logical and achievable. If not, team motivation and morale may decrease as a result of loss of self-confidence. For this reason, we have to be careful and logical when we set key performance indicators. At the same time, we have to check KPIs at regular intervals to determine if they remain valid. We can illustrate a typical KPI life cycle below.

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Esat Erkec

Real-time streaming in Power BI

May 29, 2018 by

The concept of the IOT (Internet of Things) is that every object that you might think of is somehow accessed and connected to other devices on the internet. Nowadays every electronic device is now becoming smart and these devices are now able to communicate with each other. Many ideas and technology on IOT are being developed and are even being used today.

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Esat Erkec

How to integrate Power BI to the Facebook Graph API

May 4, 2018 by

The challenge

With the popularity of social networking and sharing sites and their widespread availability, internet marketing techniques have also been rapidly influenced. Sharing sites with high visitor traffic offers great potential for advertisers, so much so that it is almost unheard of now that brands or products do not have a profile or group on a social networking site. Markets have the opportunity to communicate directly with consumers by creating profiles or groups in sharing sites. Thanks to the comments and forums on the pages, they are able to follow both positive and negative attitudes of the target groups about themselves and thus have more precise ideas about what to do next.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to configure OData SSIS Connection for SharePoint Online

April 13, 2018 by

As data warehouse developers, we often have to extract data from a myriad of source systems. Thus, whilst some source systems readily integrate with our ETL tools there are instances whereby we need to install additional drivers and software addons in order to successfully connect and extract data from other source systems. Microsoft SharePoint Online is one such source system that I recently had to extract data from and its connectors are by default not part of the standard SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) package template. As SSIS developers we often don’t have solid background on environments such as SharePoint, thus figuring out which version of SharePoint Software Development Kit to install in order to enable successful connection from SSIS can sometimes be a frustrating experience. In this article, I try to alleviate some of that frustration by sharing some of my recent experiences relating to getting data out of a SharePoint list using SSIS.

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Minette Steynberg

The end is nigh! (For SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2)

April 4, 2018 by

Introduction

As with everything else, all good things must come to an end. After hanging around for a good decade SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 has started the countdown to its End of Life.

D-day for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 is set to the 19th of July 2019. Which is approximately a year from now, give or take a couple of months.

If you are still running SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2, now is definitely the time to upgrade. In this article; I am going to tell you why you would want to upgrade to a newer version of SQL Server (2016 or 2017) or Azure SQL Database. I will also discuss some of the tools that you might use to make the upgrade as painless as possible.

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Esat Erkec

SQL Server Reporting Service: how to handle common end-user requirements with Report Builder

March 26, 2018 by

In this article, we will discuss the SQL Server Reporting Service Report Builder and look at how to handle common client, end user requests using Report Builder. Report Builder is a very powerful tool to create a report for the SQL Server Reporting Service.

Advantages of the Report Builder is that it:

  • exists as a Stand-alone installation
  • can use different data from a lot of data sources
  • can easily deploy reports to SQL Server Reporting Service
  • supports full capabilities of SQL Server Reporting Service
  • provides a productive report-authoring environment
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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to migrate SQL Server 2017 Master Data Services Models into another server

March 23, 2018 by

Often as consultants, we don’t get to work onsite alongside our clients instead we are given copies of clients’ production environment and work on proposed solutions back at our offices. Once development has been completed, we then deploy and integrate our solution back to the client’s production environment. I’ve recently had to adopt a similar offsite development approach whilst working on a project that included development and configuration of master data services. In this article, I will demonstrate how a SQL Server 2017 Master Data Services (MDS) model can be exported from one environment (i.e. MDS Dev) and deployed into another environment (i.e. MDS Prod).

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