Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for June, 2008

SQL Server 2008 (RC0) Report Designer == Report Builder 2.0

Posted by denglishbi on June 12, 2008

Okay, so maybe I didn’t pick-up on it right away when I saw Teo’s blog posting here about the new Feature Pack (June 2008) which is located here, but the standalone Report Designer is no longer part of the SQL Server 2008 installationDisappointed  I went into the start menu after installing the RC0 of SQL Server 2008 and I was confusedConfused  Where is Report Designer?  Then I fired up BIDS (VS 2008) and started up a new Report Server project thinking that it was just integrated into BIDS now.  Well first of all I received an error message when I created a new Report Server project (maybe I need to reboot my VPC to resolve this, not sure)

BIDS Report Server Project Error

What I did notice though was the the designer within BIDS now is the actual designer that is in Report Designer (maybe this was in CTP6, not sure…I only used the Report Designer to get familiar with the new tool).

BIDS SSRS 2008 Design View

So the designer is incorporated into BIDS minus the Office 2007 Ribbon, but still was not what I was looking for.  So I fired up the Report Manager web application and launched Report Builder thinking that maybe this is how I access the new Report Designer.  Nope, this is still Report Builder 1.0, nothing has changedThinking  So now I was on a quest and I remembered Teo’s blog posting, so I downloaded the Report Builder 2.0 install from here and installed that on my VPC. 

This provided a new item in my start menu for Report Builder 2.0, separate form the SQL Server 2008 start menu items.


And after I fired up this application I had a winnerThumbs-up

report builder 2.0 screenshot

The one thing that I am not crazy about, but maybe it is just me and being used to working with the whole project concept (or I am missing something within the product) is that you don’t have the ability to work with a group of reports.  I guess this is how all of the other Office products work, so I can’t complain too much.  I just like the whole project aspect and being able to work with a whole set of related reports a little more easily.

The one nice thing is that this is an MSI file, so IT will now be able to schedule and distribute this application install throughout the organization as needed without having to install the SQL Server client tools for end-users nowSmile

UPDATE (10/18/2008): For more recent information about Report Builder 2.0 refer to my latest blog posting here – Report Builder 2.0 RTM install and overview.

UPDATE (3/6/2009): For information about Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce check out my posting here – Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce and SQL Server 2008 CTP SP1 Experience.

Posted in Reporting Services | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

SQL Server 2008 (RC0) Intellisense Enhancements

Posted by denglishbi on June 12, 2008

I looked into a few items in regards to intellisense with the new release to follow-up on my previous two postings SQL Server 2008 Intellisense (CTP5) vs Red Gate SQL Prompt and

SQL Server Intellisense (CTP6) vs Red Gate SQL Prompt – Part II.  The only things that I could see that have really changed was some additional support for DELETE, INSERT, and UPDATE statements and some additional metadata (which is great).


DELETE Screenshot INSERT Screenshot UPDATE Screenshot
sql_intell_delete sql_intell_insert sql_intell_update


You can also see in the screenshots that some metadata information is being displayed too, I don’t believe this was in CTP6, but I could be mistaken.  So now when you are on an item in the drop down list it shows the object type and data type information if it is a column.  That is nice, not quite as nice as the metadata information provided with SQL Prompt, but I guess they can’t take all of Red-Gate’s ideas.


Red-Gate SQL Prompt Intellisense


I didn’t really see any other changes other than the additional support and some metadata information but these are all good changes.  I did notice that the metadata in the query window tab changed a bit now, so you can see some additional connection information (user and spid) for the query window.


SQL 2008 RC0 Query Tab SQL 2005 Query Tab
sql_query_tab sql_query_tab_2005

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

SQL Server 2008 RC0 Object Explorer Details Search

Posted by denglishbi on June 11, 2008

Okay, I heard that this functionality was coming and I am somewhat pleased.  It is nice to have this functionality.  It took me a while to find it, but then I noticed it embedded in the Object Explorer Details window.


One issue I had right out of the gate was that I typed a search and then started to click around in the Object Explorer window.  Well that ended the search since the Object Explorer Details window refreshed based on what I was doing in the Object Explorer.  So it would make sense that the search functionality be moved to its own window like most types of search functionality found in the Microsoft products.  Just like using the find feature.  Plus this means that you can only have one search displayed since there is only one Object Explorer Details window.  What if I want to have multiple search results displayed at the same time?

Another issue was the filtering ability on the search.  There really isn’t any except if you select a database it will limit the search results to the database.  You can’t filter the search on just tables, views, stored procedures, indexes, etc.

Once you get the results returned then I would like a little more information returned.  You do get the path which you can review to determine the database the item is associated with, but just having a database column would be helpful.  Plus I would like to be able to do something with the results once I have them.  Like being able to just right-click on them and depending on the object type open the table, modify the stored procedure, script the object, etc.  The only thing the search is good for is to show me the object type and display a path as to where the object is located (not that I am complaining because this is very useful—and yes I guess I am complaining).


So here is my search laundry list (so far):

  • create a separate search window with the possibility of having more than one
  • include filtering capability (based on object type)
  • include more column metadata information (like database column – path is okay, but database would be more helpful)
  • include the object type options when you right-click on them (so you can script, modify, or open depending on the object type)
  • incorporate the search into the right-click context menu when you are in the Object Explorer and click on a folder or object (when it makes sense)

If you agree with these items in the list and would like to vote for these change please go to the Connect site here and vote.



Posted in SQL Server | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

SQL Server 2008 RC0 now publicly available

Posted by denglishbi on June 10, 2008

Just got a ping from my colleague and SQL Server Ace in Chicago, Aaron Lowe, telling me that RC0 is now available publicly on the MSDN downloads here.  So after trying to get this through MSDN or TechNet Plus subscriptions it is available to everyoneOpen-mouthed  Weird…not sure why it just wasn’t pushed out this way in the first place.  Anyway, Teo Lachev posted a blog today in regards to the SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack for June 2008 here which you can download from here.

Download and enjoy the new release!

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

PerformancePoint Server – Monitoring & Analytics Tech Night Recording

Posted by denglishbi on June 8, 2008

A couple weeks back I did a Tech Night at the Magenic Minneapolis office.  When I was using the MS BI VPC 6 it froze up on me quite a bit and I am thinking this was because I was using Live Meeting and sharing my desktop because I performed the presentation over the weekend and since then without any issues.  I created a screencast of the entire presentation and uploaded it for everyone to check out to MSN videos (soapbox).  I did the recording five times and picked the best one out of the five.  I would do it a sixth time, but I don’t think I will ever be completely satisfied with the recording, so I finally gave in and uploaded one.

I hope everyone finds it helpful.  I go over an overview of the PPS 2007 product and a demonstration of using the Monitoring & Analytics portion which is based off the example by Kevin Goff, Microsoft MVP, taken from the Mar/Apr 2008 issue of Code magazine here.

PerformancePoint Server 2007 Monitoring & Analytics Overview and Demo from Dan English on Vimeo.

All of the files used for the demonstration can be found here.  The files that are available include the presentation (PDF format), the Entire PSS Download sample files (including some readme instructions — 2 parts to download), and the video if you want to download it (2 parts to download).  I couldn’t upload the video to YouTube because it was too long and apparently you need a director account to perform a large upload.  The presentation was done prior to the release of PPS SP1, so the filter improvements will not be seen in this video.  For information in regards to SP1 or to the download links check out the PerformancePoint Team Blog here.

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

SQL Server 2008 RC0 now available…with a TechNet Plus Subscription

Posted by denglishbi on June 7, 2008

I was doing a quick check of my blogs before I sign off for the night and I noticed that Andrew Fryer made a blog posting here stating that a new release is available.  It is finally available and I can’t even get itCrying  I don’t have the required TechNet Plus subscription to download the newly released SQL Server 2008 RC0 from here.

There was another blog posting early in the week in regards to the release of the new SQL Server 2008 logo here that provided a little insight in regards to the meaning behind the new logos.  Here is what the new colors represent:

IT Management – Microsoft blue

Security – Microsoft green

Application Infrastructure – Microsoft deep red (new color)

Business Productivity Infrastructure – Microsoft deep yellow

And here is the new logo for SQL Server 2008:


Pretty coolHot

Andrew Fryer did a posting a couple of weeks ago in regards to e-mail signatures here where he posted this clip which is pretty sweet too:


Well hopefully in a week or two the new RC0 will be made available to everyone to download. "BI to the masses!"

Posted in SQL Server | Leave a Comment »

Did you know? SQL Server 2008 includes Backup Compression

Posted by denglishbi on June 5, 2008

SQL Server 2008 includes database Backup Compression:

Keeping disk-based backups online is expensive and time-consuming. With SQL Server 2008 backup compression, less storage is required to keep backups online, and backups run significantly faster since less disk I/O is required.

By default, backup compression significantly increases CPU usage, which can adversely impact concurrent operations. You can now create low-priority compressed backups in a session whose CPU usage is limited by Resource Governor.

SQL Server 2008 Developer and Enterprise Editions and later supports compressing backups, and every edition of SQL Server 2008 or later can restore a compressed backup.  

· Check out a screencast about the new Backup Compression feature in SQL Server 2008 here.

· Read more about this in the SQL Server 2008 BOL ‘Backup Compression (SQL Server)’.

Did you know? SQL Server 2008 includes Backup Compression from Dan English on Vimeo.

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