Steve Simon

How to automate SQL Server database restores

March 30, 2015 by

Introduction

A few days back I encountered an interesting challenge. The client wanted to have copies of the nightly backups of the transactional databases restored on a warehouse server, to be utilized to update the warehouse.

The over all process

Prior to the pushing the daily backup to the warehouse server, the previous days restore is deleted. The important point being that the “SQLShackFinancial” database is no longer present on the warehouse server. Having been deleted, downloading of the backup file begins and the restore of the current backup version begins. Normal warehouse processing then ensues and so the cycle continues.

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Johan Ludvig Brattås

Performance tuning an SSAS Tabular model

March 19, 2015 by

Modeling for the xVelocity/Vertipaq engine is a completely different beast than modeling for your trusty multi-dimensional SSAS cubes.
In-memory = blazingly fast; At least that’s what you would think.
As Tabular models gain popularity with business users and developers alike, we’re starting to see that this isn’t always the case.
We’re going to take a look at some of the common errors and mistakes and how to avoid them.
And since the PowerPivot engine is the same – you will learn how to tune your PowerPivot-based Excel workbooks as well.

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Steve Simon

Which Reporting Services dataset fields are being utilized by the reports?

March 18, 2015 by

Introduction

Have you ever felt like pulling your hair out, trying to ascertain exactly which fields in your existing Reporting Services datasets are being utilized by your reports. This happened to me recently during a corporate conversion and cleanup exercise for a database migration to the cloud.

The “aha moment came after having presented a paper at the PASS SQL Server Nordic Rally (March 2015), when one attendee came up to me and asked if I knew of a method to do this. As they say ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and spiking my interest, I played around until I came up with the solution that we are going to chat about today. The end solution may be seen below

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Steve Simon

How to convert data format into a valuable dataset using SQL Server Reporting Services

March 16, 2015 by

Introduction

Oft times we are forced into situations where we must clearly think outside of the box. In today’s “get together”, we are going to discuss a challenge that I encountered during the last week of February of this year. The client had been charting weekly business calls placed by his sales reps. Our client had been tracking these results within an Excel spreadsheet (see the screen dump below) and he would be using this spreadsheet to report the sales reps progress going forward. My task was to source this data for the corporate reports in Reporting Services, from this spreadsheet and do so on a weekly basis. The client, being resistant to change, was not willing to change the format of the spreadsheet to something more conducive to be utilized by the chart that he wished to produce (see immediately below).

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Murilo Miranda

SQL Server 2014 – Install a clustered instance – step-by-step (3/3)

March 12, 2015 by

This article is divided in three parts, if you started here, check the first and second part to find the previous steps.

Now we need to define if the instance will work in “Windows Authentication Mode” or “Mixed Mode”. I usually choose “Mixed Mode” because there’s always an application that don’t work with domain accounts. By choosing this option you need to specify the password for the famous “sa” login. Notice that you can change the authentication mode anytime! You also need to add accounts to receive the Sysadmin privilege, this is very important… Even more if you choose the “Windows Authentication Mode”.

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Murilo Miranda

SQL Server 2014 – Install a clustered instance – step-by-step (1/3)

March 9, 2015 by

Do you want to install a SQL Server 2014 clustered instance? Not sure how to proceed? What are the requisites? This series of articles will show this, step-by-step.

In this article I’m going to explain, step-by-step, how to install clustered SQL Server instance. The SQL Server version that we will be using is the 2014, or SQL Server 12, the latest SQL Server version, so far…

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Daniel Calbimonte

How to create a Database Mirroring

March 6, 2015 by

Sometimes our Database fails and we need to reestablish the Database services immediately. Is there a SQL Server solution for high availability?

With Database Mirroring, we can have a replica of the database ready to be used if the main database fails. In this article, we will give a step-by-step tutorial about Database Mirroring. There are other solutions for high availability like high AlwaysOn, Clusters and Log Shipping, but in this chapter, we will start with Mirroring.

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Steve Simon

Reporting in SQL Server – create a matrix based sub-report called by the previously created main report

March 4, 2015 by

Introduction

As you will remember from our last “get together” we created an application that permitted us to report upon financial data based upon an unorthodox financial year. In fact, our fiscal year started in July and ended in June. We created a chart to display the data.

In today’s “get together” we are going to push our application a bit further and build in a subreport which will bring up the underlying data when the end user clicks upon the chart for any particular month. Thus should the user click on February 2015, then all of February’s data (for the selected funds) is shown in a matrix. If the user chooses March, then March’s data is shown.

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Steve Simon

Reporting in SQL Server – create a chart based on the data extracted for a given date range

February 27, 2015 by

Introduction

I recently heard from a lady from overseas who wanted to find a quick and dirty mechanism of extracting data for a given date range (based upon a fiscal year that started July 1st and ended June 30th). The idea interested me and as always, I had to try it out.

In today’s “get together”, we are going to have a look at how this may be achieved.

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Steve Simon

Using a cursor to correctly extract SQL Server data and place it in a Reporting Services matrix

February 23, 2015 by

Introduction

In our last two chats, we discussed enterprises that have had financial years that began in July and ended at the end of June. One of our clients works with this fiscal calendar and their financial folks are Excel “Fundi’s” (Fundisa is a Nguni word for “expert”). Many of their reports contain the current month’s sales, in addition, carrying running totals from the beginning of the fiscal year to date. Read more »

Steve Simon

Using Master Data Services in SQL Server to quickly create a GUI that may be maintained by the end user

February 20, 2015 by

Introduction

Oft times we are forced into situations where we clearly need to think outside of the box. A case at hand arose early in 2014 where one of our client’s required a “quick and dirty” front end to modify data within a table that reflected the outstanding balances (of their clients) and the attempts that they had made to recover these funds. Master Data Services seemed to be the way to go!

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Steve Simon

Monitoring SQL Server Reporting Services

February 19, 2015 by

Introduction

In our last get together I mentioned that oft times SQL Server reports are created due to a dire business need to be used once and never again. Further, some reports that we believe are not often used could be “top of the pops” unbeknown to us. A guess as to a number of times a report is used per month, in addition to the statistics behind each report should not be guesswork, but rather monitored actively to ensure that frequently used reports are both efficient and effective. Further, those reports that are either not used or have not been run in quite some time, should perhaps be removed in order to keep the server clean and not cluttered.

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Steve Simon

Creating dynamically generated CSV files containing SQL Server data

February 12, 2015 by

Introduction

A few months back, I presented a paper at SQL Saturday 327 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Late last month I received an email from one of the attendees. His issue was quite interesting and I decided to share it with you. The gentleman wanted a SSIS script that would permit him to extract data from a SQL Server database table and place it in a CSV file with a dynamically allocated name. Being a strong advocate of using the SSIS toolbox, I experimented with an alternative solution. We are going to construct THIS SOLUTION in today’s get together.

Let’s get started.

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Steve Simon

SQL Server Reporting Services Best Practices

February 11, 2015 by

Introduction

In past chats, we have had a look at a myriad of different business intelligence techniques that one can utilize to turn data into information. In today’s “get together” we are going to try to pull all these techniques together, rationalize our development plans, and moreover, look at some good habits to adopt or for the want of better words utilize SQL Server Reporting Services Best Practices.

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