Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for April 26th, 2008

BIDS Helper on CodePlex.com

Posted by denglishbi on April 26, 2008

I blogged about the new release back in December here when version came out which fixed a few issues with the SSAS buttons in the calculation tab and with the SSIS highlighter.  In talking with colleagues and clients recently though it seems like quite a few people are surprised when I talk about BIDS Helper.  I thought everyone already knew about it or was using it, but I guess not.  I really feel that this is an excellent add-in for anyone doing SSAS or SSIS development that I had to post another blog posting.  I know that my blog is starting to get more coverage thanks to the BI Blog aggregator http://biglogs.com and now that my blog is mirrored on the Magenic blog site at http://blog.magenic.com/blogs I wanted to post another entry promoting the BIDS Helper which is available here.

So what is so cool about BIDS Helper and why would you want to use it?  Well the main features that I like are the options to deploy the MDX script in the calculations tab of the cube, aggregation manager, update estimated counts, column usage reports, expression and configuration highlighter, expression list, and smart diff (all of the features are cool and helpful, but these are some of the key ones I use).  If you go to the site on CodePlex you can get detailed information about each feature with screenshots. 

It appears that this add-in currently only works with the English version of BIDS and that it probably only works with 2005 and not 2008 versions of Visual Studio.  I haven’t actually tested it in VS 2008 yet, but according to some comments on the site there appears to be some issues.

Here is the complete list of features that are currently included with the BIDS Helper along with a picture from the site that highlights a few of the features:




I did take a quick peek at the Source Code section for this Project and it appears that version should be available anytime now.  Some of the new features according to the comments are the ability to sort the SSIS packages by name (like you can do in SSAS), VS 2008 support, SQL Sever 2008 support, smart diff for SSAS objects, and more performance improvements Hot.  This is cool stuff and you got to thank Darren Gosbell, Greg Galloway, and John Welch (hopefully I got all of the names right) for making this available.  Feel free to post an item on the discussion section for anything that you would like to see added because most of the new features being added are taken directly from this section here.

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Microsoft Business Intelligence VPC Release 6

Posted by denglishbi on April 26, 2008

Yesterday I received an email from my colleague, Kory, asking me if I had heard of the new BI VPC version 6 (April 2008 release) that was available.  I stated that the only one that I knew of was version 5.1 which I posted on my blog back in December here.  I quickly queried the Microsoft Download Center here and I didn’t see a new version available.  I asked him where he saw this mentioned and he pointed me to a new BI blog that I had not seen yet by Peter Koller over in Norway here.  Now I had to know where Peter discovered this so I left him a comment and he pointed me to the hidden gem buried on Microsoft’s site here (look down in the lower right for the download links – 7 files).

So what is different.  Version 6 includes new demos and presenter scripts for different verticals.  When you extract the files it creates an additional demos folder which now contains all of the scripts so you don’t need to try and pull them off the VPC at all.  It still has all of the same programs installed and configured which is very nice Smile.  Here is everything it contains and I highlighted the new items (and this VPC will expire on 8/17/2009 – maybe just in time for PPS v2).


I didn’t see a readme file associated with this, so if you are looking for the password it is the typical Microsoft demo one and the same one that was used on the last VPC, pass@word1.  So let the downloads begin!  Enjoy the VPC and I got to thank Kory and Peter for pointing this out and sharing this information with the community, thanks guys!

If for some reason the link above does not work for you then here is the direct links to the downloads:

Virtual PC


Business Intelligence VPC Release 6.part01.exe

Business Intelligence VPC Release 6.part02.rar

Business Intelligence VPC Release 6.part03.rar

Business Intelligence VPC Release 6.part04.rar

Business Intelligence VPC Release 6.part05.rar

Business Intelligence VPC Release 6.part06.rar

Business Intelligence VPC Release 6.part07.rar


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