Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

Archive for June, 2012

Free SQL Server Community July 2012 Training

Posted by denglishbi on June 29, 2012

Head over to Pragmatic Works site and take a look at all of the training that is available for July – free training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. EST.

July 3, Alistair Pugin – Load Balancing WFE and Index Mirroring in SP2010Free Training on the T's
July 5, Alistair Pugin – Utilizing COBIT Principles for the Deployment and Governance of SharePoint 2010
July 10, Chris Albrektson – Getting Started with SSRS 2012
July 12, Ross LoForte – SQL Server 2012 Availability Groups
July 17, Ross LoForte – SQL Server 2012 Failover Cluster
July 19, Robert Bruckner – Visual Analytics with SQL Server Power View
July 24, Joe Salvatore– Extending Reporting Services 2012 with Custom Code
July 26, Jessica Moss – Upgrading and Overhauling Your SSIS Packages for 2012
July 31, Brian Knight – Data Cleansing with SSIS 2012

If you miss a session they record them and you can check them out later on-demand in the webinar resource area.

So what are you waiting for, get registered for one of these spectacular webinars today – Webinar Registration.

Don’t forget, you can stay up-to-date on the training events through the PWFreeTraining twitter account as well.

Posted in SQL Server, Training | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

URL Actions with Reporting Services Power View (RTM)

Posted by denglishbi on June 13, 2012

Yesterday we took a quick peek inside the RDLX file – Inside the Power View RDLX File.  Today we will take a step back into SharePoint and explore what we can do when we access the Power View files through the URL.

WARNING: The items that are displayed and discussed here are not documented at all by Microsoft and could potentially change at any point down the road, so use at your own risk.power view

Many of you might be familiar with Reporting Services (SSRS) and creating report files (RDL).  With these files you have a lot of flexibility with your design and you can also leverage a lot of commands and syntax when accessing these files through the URL (in Report Manager or SharePoint) – URL Access Parameter Reference.

So what is available with v1 of Power View with the RTM release of SQL Server 2012?

Unfortunately not a whole lot.  But we do have a couple of things:

  1. ViewMode
  2. ReportSection

Hmmm….they don’t look like anything we had available with previous report files.  You are absolutely correct.  These are new options that are specific to Power View files (RDLX files).  With these files we can determine how the initial viewing mode is – currently only presentation (reading mode) or edit – and then which report (view) you want to look at (assuming you have multiple views in your report files).

So let’s take a quick peek at what these options look like:

ViewMode

With the ViewMode option you currently have two options you can use, either Presentation (Reading) or Edit

Presentation (Reading) mode is the initial view state of Power View files that you see when you access a RDLX file in SharePoint

image

Edit mode is what you see when you open up the canvas and have the options to be able to alter and change the layout of the report

image

You can now see that by switching the ViewMode value from Presentation to Edit we go from the Reading mode to the Edit mode where the canvas is available and we can modify the layout and design of the Power View report file.

ReportSection

What are ReportSections? In the RDLX file layout, a ReportSection is actual the equivalent of a view in a report file.  So if you have multiple views you will have multiple ReportSection tags within the ReportSections portion of the RDL file that is embedded in the RDLX file (see previous post for information on this – Inside the Power View RDLX File).   Take the file from our previous post and we can see the XML layout as follows:

image

The ReportSections area is setup so that when you export into PowerPoint and access the views in say the PowerPivot Gallery it knows which view of the RDLX file to display and output.

In looking at our example up above you can see that we have 4 views included in the Power View report.  In the XML displayed here we see 4 ReportSection tags in the RDL file and the naming convention is ReportSection, ReportSection2, ReportSection3, and ReportSection4.

So with the naming convention displayed here let’s go back to our URL expressions above and expand on them and include the ReportSection into the URL address to change from the first view in the Power View report file to the second:

image

By using the ReportSection command we have been able to navigate from the first view (report) in our file (ReportSection=ReportSection) to the second view (ReportSection=ReportSection2).  Pretty slick!

As you can image this will work for the third and fourth views in the report file as well.

So for now this is what we have available to us, just ViewMode and ReportSection.  It does provide you the means to be able to send an end-user to a specific view within a Power View report file (assuming you have more than one view defined).

If you want to find out more about Power View and want to learn about designing Tabular models to support Power View, don’t forget to check out our book – Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View.

Enjoy!

Posted in Reporting Services, SharePoint | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Inside the Power View RDLX File

Posted by denglishbi on June 12, 2012

So if you have downloaded and started playing with the new SQL Server 2012, one of the new features you can use with SharePoint 2010 and Reporting Services is Power View.  Power View is a new self-service reporting tool developed by the Reporting Services team and it currently works against Tabular BI Semantic Models (so either PowerPivot files in SharePoint or Tabular SSAS databases).power view

Now when you create a new Power View report you might realize that it doesn’t create just an RDL file anymore, they are now RDLX files.  Theses files are really zip files, so just like PowerPivot XLSX files you can simply rename these files with a ZIP extension and explore the contents.

So what is inside?  Let’s take a quick peek:

image

Here I have renamed an RDLX file called Hotel Performance Dashboard that I downloaded from SharePoint with the ZIP extension and extracted the contents.  Inside nothing too interesting yet, but I see a folder called ‘Reports’.  Let’s take a look in there…

image

Now this looks a little more interesting and what do you know, an RDL file…what is in there?  I won’t paste the whole contents here, but I will give you a little screenshot of what the contents include:

image

Now this is what we are used to seeing, XML with DataSources, DataSets, etc.  We can even see the DAX that is generated and used to retrieve our data for the report!  Really nice.

Some other things that we will see in here are ReportSections:

image

More on these in another post that will be coming up soon.

So let’s go back to that ZIP folder and see what else might have been in there tucked away…I think I saw a folder called Metadata…

image

Cool, look at that, the snapshot images of our views in our Power View report file.

Okay, so that is a quick tour of the RDLX file, up next…Power View URL commands…coming really soon!

And by the way, if you haven’t heard, the new Power View book, Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View has been released, so check it out and let me know what you think.  Not only does it include information about Power View, but also how to build Tabular BI Semantic Models, use DAX, how to build a BI Virtual Environment, and it is loaded with ‘Learn By Doing’ exercises and videos as well!

Resources

- Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View (book) – http://tinyurl.com/powerviewbook

- Microsoft Business Intelligence http://tinyurl.com/msftbi

- Power View Overview http://tinyurl.com/mspowerview
– Power View Samples – 6 samples to test out http://tinyurl.com/msbitryit

Posted in Reporting Services, SharePoint | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Now Available: Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View

Posted by denglishbi on June 5, 2012

I am very excited and proud to announce that there is a brand new book available on the market and now in print – Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View.  When I got home after work yesterday there was a box waiting for me and the books were inside.  It is hard to believe that just over a year and a half ago that I received the email from Brian Larson asking – “Ever want to be an author?”

Just got my #powerview book http://www.mhprofessional.com/product.php?isbn=0071780823 #msbi #SharePoint #sqlserver

Here is the outline for the book:

Part I – Power View

  • Chapter 1 – Getting Started
  • Chapter 2 – The Table Visualization
  • Chapter 3 – Additional Visualizations
  • Chapter 4 – Charting
  • Chapter 5 – Bringing Your Data to Life
  • Chapter 6 – Sharing Reports

Part II – Creating a BI Semantic Model (BISM)

  • Chapter 7 – BISM: Getting Started
  • Chapter 8 – Basic BI Semantic Model Design
  • Chapter 9 – BI Semantic Model: Additional Model Features
  • Chapter 10 – Using DAX Expressions
  • Chapter 11 – Deploying Tabular BI Semantic Models

Part III – Appendixes

  • Appendix A – Installing and Configuring the Sample Data
  • Appendix B – Creating a Virtual Learning Environment

The book is loaded with Learn By Doing exercises throughout the book and included with the book is a DVD that includes the sample data, project files, Power View reports, and videos of all of the exercises.

There will be eBook versions made available as well and there is even talks of an enhanced one that would be available in the iTunes Apple Store that would have the videos embedded throughout the chapters for viewing.

So what are you waiting for, check it out now and let us know what you think – Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View.

Here is an example of one of the videos for a Learn By Doing exercise:

Posted in Business Intelligence, SQL Server | Tagged: , , , , | 18 Comments »

 
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