Dan English's BI Blog

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Archive for the ‘Downloads’ Category

PDF Download Option for Walkthrough Postings

Posted by denglishbi on June 28, 2011

Last week I went ahead and decided to make a new PDF download option available for some of my more length step-by-step postings.  I also modified the postings to only include two columns in the table layout instead of three.  This was because with certain resolutions the table was being cutoff and I am assuming going forward with the mobile devices this will become more of a common problem.  So, what I decided was to put together an option that the reader could download and view offline if needed and to use with eReader type devices as well.

So far I have just done this for four of my more commonly read postings in regards to Using PerformancePoint with Excel Services, Reporting Services, and PowerPivot along with using SharePoint List data source in SSRS for parameter source.  Going forward I will make sure that I include this option for this type of a posting.

If you scroll to the bottom of these postings you will see the new option which includes a link to the PDF document that I have placed in my SkyDrive.

Example (just an image):

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I have also enabled some more options on the posts to be able to tweet them, print them (not the greatest output though, go with the PDF option if available), and to email them (creates a intro to the post with a link to read the full article).

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This Tweet option is made available with a plug-in for Live Writer for WordPress.com blogs – http://plugins.live.com/writer/detail/tweetmeme-for-wordpresscom-plugin.  This is available from the home page and you do not need to click on the blog title to get at this Tweet option (only available on new blog posts or once that I repost through Live Writer).

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This functionality is made available in Settings –> Sharing options in Administration settings for the WordPress.com blog account settings.  There are more options available, I only picked these three and there seemed to be an issue with the LinkedIn option.  In order to see these options you have to click on a blog posting and it will be available at the bottom of the posting.

The Email option will send you a snapshot of the posting like the following:

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If there is a particular blog posting that you would like to see in a PDF format feel free to leave a comment and I can add this option.  I just picked a few of the more recent and commonly viewed postings to start with.  Going forward though I will make sure that I have this available.

Posted in Downloads, Personal Comments | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Microsoft Fuzzy Lookup Add-in for Excel 2010 Walkthrough

Posted by denglishbi on May 15, 2011

I was just out exploring the Microsoft Downloads area this morning to see if there was anything new to check out.  And what do you know, I came across a technology preview developed by Microsoft Research of a new Add-in for Excel 2010 – Fuzzy Lookup Add-In for Excel.  The Add-in provides users to be able to compare two sets of data to do some cleansing and to get at a single representation text value.  The reason that this is needed is to compare sets of data that are possibly coming from two different sources or maybe because of spelling mistakes or because the data is being manually entered in different ways on the front-end into your source system.  Like say my name was entered as Dan English, Daniel English, Mr. Dan English, English Dan, and so on.

Here is the introduction information available in the PDF File ‘Fuzzy Lookup Add-in for Excel’ that is provided in this download.

Introduction

A challenging problem in data management is that the same entity may be represented in multiple ways throughout the dataset. For instance, customer “Andy Hill” might also be present as “Mr. Andrew Hill” or “Hill, Andrew R.”. Variations can result from merging independent data sources, spelling mistakes, inconsistent naming conventions and abbreviations, or records with additional/missing information.

Fuzzy Lookup technology, developed by Microsoft Research, allows you to quickly identify data records which are textually similar. You can identify fuzzy duplicates within a single table or perform a fuzzy join between two different tables. The default configuration works well for a wide variety of data, but the matching may also be customized for specific domains.

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Files that are included in the download Installation wizard welcome page License agreement for the add-in v1 technology preview
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Specify the installation location Confirm that you want to install the add-in Installation will begin and you will be prompted for the UAC prompt as well
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Installation completion page Notice the add-in being loaded when you launch Excel 2010 (I am using x64 version) You will be prompted to complete the add-in install in Excel
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A new tab will be in the Ribbon now for the Fuzzy Lookup This is the sample file that comes with the download to demo The first worksheet includes a stock portfolio along with number of shares
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The second worksheet provides the stock price information along with tickers and company names By clicking on the Fuzzy Lookup button in the Ribbon you will open up the Fuzzy Lookup pane By clicking on the ‘Go’ button the options specified in the Fuzzy Lookup pane will be used and generate the results above.  Here I have also added a column to calculate out the Total Value of each line and get the total portfolio value of

$ 337,275,850.35

Pretty cool.  We have taken two sets of data that contained different names for the same items (in this case the company names) and the add-in has determined the correct matches so that we could come up with the total value of our stock portfolio.

Now there are additional advanced settings that are available in the Fuzzy Lookup pane which you can configure and the sample does provide an additional worksheet called Customization where you can go in and configure additional logic to translate items like say ‘Inc’ to ‘Incorporated’ and ‘USA’ to ‘United States of America’.  This information can then be referenced in the Configure portion of the Fuzzy Lookup pane which is next to the ‘Go’ button.

This functionality is also available in the SQL Server Enterprise Edition (also in Datacenter and Developer Editions) of Integration Services (SSIS).  If you are interested in checking out details on that here  is a link to check out Fuzzy Lookup Transformation.

Posted in Downloads | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »

Q1 2010 downloads, training, and informational material

Posted by denglishbi on March 28, 2010

Just wanted to do a quarterly update on some of the items that I have downloaded and reviewed over the past few months so far.  Most of these I have tweeted about, but I know that everyone isn’t leveraging twitter yet.  I know I was skeptical at first, but since the PASS 2009 Summit I am on board and enjoying it.

So here is the list of some of the items I have checked out so far this year and these are in no particular order:

As you can see there is kind of a reoccurring theme here…SharePoint.

Hope you find some of these informational and helpful.

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Latest downloads, training, and informational materials

Posted by denglishbi on January 31, 2010

The reason my blog postings have been reduced a bit lately is because of Twitter.  When I come across new content and materials I post the information through my twitter account (http://twitter.com/denglishbi); It is more convenient and easy for me and I plan on using this method more and more over time.image

I decided to go ahead do another catch-up for people that might be interested in some of the content that I have been checking out (and plus for when the tinyurl links stop working).  So here is a list of some of the items over the past couple of months (these are in no particular order):

Hope you find some of these informational and helpful.

Cheers!

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BIDS Helper 1.4.2.0 has been released

Posted by denglishbi on July 27, 2009

Today I was notified that a new release was available for BIDS Helper with the newly added Version Notification that was included with version 1.4.1.0 (BIDS Helper 1.4.1.0 available).

So what is new and what has been fixed?  Good question.  The new functionality that has been added is an SSIS Design Warnings Scanner which is similar to the SSAS AMO Warnings (Best Practice Alerts) that are part of BIDS 2008.  So now you can get Best Practice alerts with SSIS development.  Really coolHot 

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This new release also includes fixes for:

So go out and download the latest version – http://bidshelper.codeplex.com and start leveraging all of the features that the BIDS Helper add-in provides for developing SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS solutions with BIDS.

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2009 Download Catch-up List

Posted by denglishbi on May 31, 2009

Over the first part of the 2009 year I have downloaded numerous training items, whitepapers, applications, and patches and just wanted to take a little time this weekend to put out a list of items to share that I believe will be useful if you haven’t come across them yet.  Some of these maybe a little older, I might have posted about them already, or you might already know about them, but just want to put them out there just in case.  Not all of these are strictly SQL Server or Business Intelligence related, so just want to warn you.  You can share the information with someone else that might benefit from reviewing the material though.

Training Items

  • Hands-On Labs for Enterprise Library 4.1 – Use this set of Hands-on Labs as a guide to learn about the application blocks included with Enterprise Library 4.1 and practice how to leverage their capabilities in various application contexts. It includes Caching, Cryptography, Data Access, Exception Handling, Interception, Logging, Security, Validation, and Unity Hands-on Labs.
  • Azure Services Training Kit – April UpdateThe Azure Services Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use the Azure Services Platform.
  • Office SharePoint Server 2007 Technical Library in Compiled Help format – This downloadable CHM is a copy of content in the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 technical library. The CHM is current as of the date above. For the latest information, see the technical library on the Web.
  • SQL Server 2008 Developer Training Kit (SQL Server 2008 Developer Toolkit feedback)- SQL Server 2008 offers an impressive array of capabilities for developers that build upon key innovations introduced in SQL Server 2005. The SQL Server 2008 Developer Training Kit will help you understand how to build web applications which deeply exploit the rich data types, programming models and new development paradigms in SQL Server 2008.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Information and New Site – also sign up for CTP notifications on the new site.
  • IT Operations Scorecards and Dashboards – PerformancePoint Server monitoring sample available.  There is a video, whitepaper, and code sample files for download.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Books Online (May 2009) – SQL Server 2008, the latest release of Microsoft SQL Server, provides a comprehensive data platform. Books Online is the primary documentation for SQL Server 2008.
  • Demo Showcase 2008 Application Platform Optimization Demos – The Demo Showcase 2008 APO Demos are a set of 4 comprehensive click through demonstrations designed for partners to use with customers. These customer scenario demos feature many different Microsoft technologies working together to showcase the power of the App Plat Optimization capabilities. Included in the scenarios are the following products: Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office Enterprise 2007, Visual Studio 2008, Windows Vista, Silverlight, Performance Point Server 2007 and more.

Whitepapers

Applications (all FREE)

  • SharePoint Designer 2007 – SHAREPOINT DESIGNER 2007 IS NOW FREE! Learn more about these changes and future direction (watch the FAQ video link below). Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides the powerful tools you need to deliver compelling and attractive SharePoint sites and quickly build workflow-enabled applications and reporting tools on the SharePoint platform, all in an IT-managed environment. Video of SharePoint Designer 2007 FAQ (16.8MB)
  • BIDS Helper – A Visual Studio .Net add-in with features that extend and enhance the functionality of the SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 BI Development Studio (BIDS).  This is a must have tool if you are doing any BI development with BIDS (SSAS, SSIS, or SSRS).
  • ZoomIt – ZoomIt is a screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image.
  • Report Builder 2.0 with SP1 (stand-alone) – Features specific to Report Builder 2.0 are focused on simplifying the process of creating and editing reports and queries and include the following: Easy to use wizards for creating table, matrix and chart data regions; Support for directly opening and editing reports stored on the report server; Support for using server resources such as shared data sources; Query designers for multiple data sources including a Microsoft SQL Server-specific query designer. (this tool does require a SQL Server 2008 license – Report Builder Licensing – you do need to so just be aware of this)
  • Data Mining Add-ins for Microsoft Office 2007 – Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or Microsoft SQL Server 2008 enables you to take advantage of SQL Server predictive analytics in Office Excel 2007 and Office Visio 2007.
  • BI Report Automation Publisher – for moving PerformancePoint Server items between environments and will work with Workspace files. The BI Report Automation Publisher is a command line tool + .net library which provides a more automated way to move data sources and reports between servers/environments.
  • Collecting Analysis Services Performance Data for Performance Analysis – ability to collect and gather information from Analysis Services using trace files, performance monitoring tools, and DMVs.  Includes all documentation, scripts, SSIS packages, trace files, XMLA scripts, SSRS reports, etc. to get started.

Patches

I think that covers the majority of it for now.  Lots of different items and plenty of stuff to keep you busy for a few weeks.  Enjoy! 

By the way, don’t forget to check out the Microsoft BI blog.  There have been lots of useful postings added recently with videos in regards to mobile BI, Excel 2007 Data Mining Add-in, Gemini demos, etc.

UPDATE (7/15/2009): While you can download Report Builder 2.0 this product does require a SQL Server 2008 license – Report Builder Licensing – you do need to.

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SQL Server 2008 Developer Toolkit feedback

Posted by denglishbi on May 14, 2009

Just wanted to post some feedback on the new SQL Server 2008 Developer Toolkit that was released yesterday on the Microsoft Downloads here – SQL Server 2008 Developer Training Kit.  I saw the demo of this I believe last year at the Microsoft 2008 Launch event.  This is a real cool demo that shows of the spatial data, filestream, and data mining capabilities in SQL Server 2008.  It also incorporates Silverlight technology for the video player.

Demo includes user login, profile information, security, mapping functionality with pinpoints for video references, Silverlight video player, and advertisements.

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Ability to upload videos and specify a location on map to add pinpoint reference.  The videos are uploaded and stored in the database with the filestream functionality available in SQL Server 2008.

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My video is now includedHot  This application also tracks viewing history, allows for comments to be added to videos, and for you to designate favorite videos.  You will also notice in the screenshot below that it performs calculation on the pinpoint using the geography information to determine the distance between two points.

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In order to upload videos you need to install the Expression Encoder which is part of the required software detection setup (provides link to download and install during this process).  You will also need to modify the web.config file to set the UploadVideoEnabled appsetting to “True” to enable this feature.  The advertisement portion is setup to randomly pull a advertisement from the database. 

There is also a data mining exercise that uses some data from the Adventure Works database (sample Excel file provided) that you can go through to determine what demographic types would be interested in certain products.  You could then feed this information back into the application to perform some more strategic advertisements to the users.  The only thing about the exercise is that it stops at using the data mining add-ins that are available to download from the SQL Server Feature Pack.  It leaves it up to you to figure out how to push this information back into the database and leverage this in the application.

Example of data mining output where you can see that customers with some high school education and lower income levels tend to purchase helmets.

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A couple of other things to point out would be that you will need to restore the SQL Server database provided as well as the Analysis Service database.  The SQL Server database is located in the following location:

C:SQL2008TrainingKitDemosAdventureWorksRacingCommunitysetup scriptstasksbakAdventureWorksRacingCommunity.bak

In order to do the data mining exercise you will need to have Analysis Services available and that is not part of SQL Express with the Advanced Services – this is only available in the Standard, Enterprise, or Developer Editions of SQL Server. 

There are more demos besides the web one that I show above, so be sure to check out everything to find out about the other cool features that you may or may not be using already if you are on SQL Server 2008 like groupingsets, merge, tablevalued parameters, etc.

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So if you are interested in diving into these new features and want to walk through some demos of these new features download the SQL Server 2008 Developer Training Kit for yourself.

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BIDS Helper 1.4.1.0 available

Posted by denglishbi on May 14, 2009

Just getting caught up on some of my blog readings this morning and came across a posting by Darren Gosbell stating that they have released a new version of BIDS Helper – BIDS Helper release 1.4.1.  The one cool thing is that they have included a version notification into the add-in so that you will be notified now when a new release is available.  Plus there is a feature to synch the description information from a SQL Server relational table or view into your SSAS dimensions (only works with SQL Server and not with named queries in the DSV).  They have also included smartdiff with Reporting Services now tooSmile

Here is a list of the changes that Darren points out in his posting:

This release also incorporates the following bug fixes and enhancements:

If you are not using this yet, do not wait, this is an invaluable addition into the BIDS tool and I highly recommend this for any developer using SSAS, SSIS, or SSRS.  Thanks again guys for putting this together.

One other thing to point out is that the URL references for all CodePlex items has changed so that what used to be http://codeplex.com/bidshelper is now http://bidshelper.codeplex.com.  The old URLs are still working now, but just wanted to point this out, because this might not always be the case.

Posted in Downloads | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

SharePoint Designer 2007 Free Download

Posted by denglishbi on April 2, 2009

Big announcement for SharePoint this month Video: SharePoint Designer 2007 (April 2009 Announcement) and now you can register with Microsoft and download the SharePoint Designer 2007 tool for freeSmile

In this video, Tom Rizzo (Sr. Director of Product Management for SharePoint) and J.R. Arredondo (Sr. Product Manager for SharePoint Platform and Tools) discuss the strategy and details behind the changes Microsoft has implemented to SharePoint Designer 2007, as well as details on upcoming events.
Once you have watched the video, download SharePoint Designer 2007 for free.

SHAREPOINT DESIGNER 2007 IS NOW FREE! Learn more about these changes and future direction (watch the FAQ video link below). Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides the powerful tools you need to deliver compelling and attractive SharePoint sites and quickly build workflow-enabled applications and reporting tools on the SharePoint platform, all in an IT-managed environment.

Video of SharePoint Designer 2007 FAQ (16.8MB)

Files in the download:

Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 – English.rtf  (143 KB)

SharePointDesigner.exe (295.9 MB)

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BIDS Helper 1.4 Released

Posted by denglishbi on January 29, 2009

Just wanted to let everyone know that a new release came out this week.  Check out the add-in for BIDS out on CodePlex here – BIDS Helper.  The new features include the following (along with a few enhancements):

Release 1.4 contains a number of new features:

    And it contains a number of enhancements and bug fixes:

  • Integration Services
      • As you can see there are a couple of features for Reporting Services nowSmile  You can see how datasets are being used and also which ones are not.  Even an option to delete those cached dataset files from within BIDSOpen-mouthed  SSIS now has a documentation report that you can generate to get some high-level information to for the packages.  I see that there has been one source code change since the release, so if you want to be on the latest and greatest then check out the source code section.

        Posted in Downloads | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

         
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