Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for April, 2009

Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP2 coming soon

Posted by denglishbi on April 30, 2009

It appears that the SP2 should be available really soon now, maybe even today or tomorrow.  I see that the release notes were just made available on the Microsoft downloads today.  With the release of Office 2007 SP2 (and there is a SP2 for the Office Servers like Project and WSS) on Tuesday this week there was an updated launch page Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 released.  There is some good documentation available that you will want to check out.  A couple of the things to note is that Windows Server 2008 shipped with SP1 and with SP2 Hyper-V will be available natively and you will not have to download this separately anymore.  There is a blocker tool that you can download if you do not want this service pack too.

So get ready for more updates this week.  By the way, this is not a cumulative update, but Windows Server 2008 shipped with SP1.  If you have Vista you will need to install SP1 prior to installing this update.

Posted in News and politics | Leave a Comment »

FREE online virtual SSWUG event – April 17, 2009

Posted by denglishbi on April 16, 2009

Sorry for the late announcement on this one, but just came across this today.  You can register here.

About the SSWUG Community Virtual Event (The event will begin at 9:00am Pacific, 12:00pm Noon Eastern on Friday, April 17, 2009.)

We’re working to bring you real-world information about SQL Server 2008, Share Point, Silver Light, with tips about new features, functionality and much more.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services – Designing and Managing High Performance Cubes: Donald Farmer. With Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Analysis Services offers advanced features for design and manageability. This session will explore in data two of these features: the best practices design alerts and dynamic management views. Design alerts guide you with important advice throughout the development stage of a cube. We’ll show how to work with the alerts, and how to manage their various subtleties. Having deployed a more efficient cube, the dynamic management views enable the administrator to query for information regarding connections, sessions, and server performance. We will introduce these views and drill down into many examples of their usage.
  • Useful, effective, pre-made SharePoint templates– from Microsoft, for free: Callahan. Need a help desk, timecard, or vacation request site? Considering just creating them yourself? Don’t. Not until you explore the pre-existing application templates available from Microsoft. Free for download, Microsoft has 40 fantastic application templates, not to mention the Community Kit for SharePoint with offerings such asenhanced blog templates, or sites for user groups. So before you invest time and technology in rolling your own, check out this session and get an idea of what’s been rolled for you.
  • Silverlight for Beginners: Tim Heuer. XAML, WPF, VS, Blend…what are all these acronyms? Let’s take a deep breath and step back to look at the spectrum of what Silverlight is (and isn’t) and what you need to know starting from ground zero. No knowledge of WPF or Silverlight is required and well get you started building your first Silverlight application in no time!
  • Introduction to Data Dude: Ted Malone. In this session attendees will learn about Microsoft Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Developers aka Data Dude. This product provides database developers with tools for database development, change management and testing. This session will walk through the available features of data dude and detail where they can be best utilized.
  • SQL Server Round Table: Paul Nielsen, Chris Shaw, Stephen Wynkoop. Stephen, Chris and Paul sit down in an open forum and discuss questions about SQL Server 2008 and questions that have come up from the past conferences. This session will show some of the different opinions that developers and administrators have when working with SQL Server.

This event is open to everyone at no cost.
Friday, April 17th 2009, beginning at 9:00AM PST.

You can register here.

Posted in Training | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 due to ship April 28th

Posted by denglishbi on April 16, 2009

The long awaited SP2 for Microsoft Office 2007 is finally coming.  Since the announcement back in October we have been patiently waiting and now the announcement has an official date of April 28Smile

It has been over a year since SP1 was released and we have been patiently waiting to get the official SP2 download.  Now the date is within radar and only a couple of weeks out.  This is good news especially since we have all been hearing and waiting for the Office 14 wave to come out in beta and will be officially released in the first half of next calendar year.  I really want to start testing out the next release of PerformancePoint Services with SharePoint 14…or I suppose I should just say Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 now (Microsoft SharePoint “14” is now Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Next Wave of Microsoft Office Products Will Redefine How People Work).

For more information about the SP2 for Office 2007 and what to expect check out this posting – Service Pack 2 for the 2007 Microsoft Office System due to ship April 28th.

Posted in News and politics | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) 2009 Conference postponed till 2010

Posted by denglishbi on April 9, 2009

Just read the news this morning and I see that they are going to make this conference biannually now instead of annually.

Microsoft BI Conference Update2009 BI Conference Update: We heard from our customers and partners that due to global economic constraints to travel budgets worldwide, we should make the BI Conference a biannual event. The next BI Conference that was scheduled for October 2009 will be moved to October 2010 in Seattle, WA, and all further BI Conferences will be held every second year on an ongoing basis.

Check out the conference update link for other conference information available this year to get your Business Intelligence fix.

Posted in Training | Leave a Comment »

Blog site goes over 100K page views:)

Posted by denglishbi on April 9, 2009

Back in December I had my One Year Blog Anniversary:).  At that time I had just gone over 50K page views which I thought was very impressive.  Well four months later and I have now gone over 100K page viewsHot


That averages out to be a little over 400 pages views per day since my anniversaryNerd

That is so cool.  I am glad that people are accessing the information and I hope that the content I am providing is useful.

I also think it is so cool to see how this is being accessed globally



I just think that is so awesome

Please don’t forget to update your RSS feed subscription with the new one – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/DanEnglishsBiBlog.

Posted in Personal Comments | Leave a Comment »

SQL Server 2008 SP1 Available and Install Experience – build 2531

Posted by denglishbi on April 9, 2009

The RTM service pack 1 (SP1) for SQL Server 2008 came out Tuesday night.  With the SP1 release there is a new SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack list and a new version of Report Builder 2.0 available also.  Not much has changed on the SQL Server SP1 install and you can check my previous posting about that experience, Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce and SQL Server 2008 CTP SP1 Experience.  Here is a complete list of the SP1 links:

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 You now have the ability to uninstall the service pack too if needed.  Includes Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce setup for Reporting Services (refer to my link above)
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Release Notes  
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Readme  
Creating a merged (slipstreamed) drop containing SQL Server 2008 RTM + Service Pack 1 You can slipstream SP1 into the initial installation for SQL Server 2008
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack, April 2009  
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor, April 2009  
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Report Builder 2.0, April 2009 stand-alone installation (msi file) and allows for in-place upgrade.
Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Express Edition Service Pack 1  
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies, April 2009

Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce update for the RS SharePoint add-in
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Report Builder 2.0 provides an intuitive report authoring environment for business and power users. It supports the full capabilities of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services. This download provides a ClickOnce update for the RS SharePoint add-in.

Allows for in-place upgrade.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Data Mining Add-ins for Microsoft Office 2007, April 2009

Note: If you have an earlier version of the Data Mining Add-ins installed, you must remove it using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel before installing the latest version. User settings, such as Connections, will not be removed.

What’s New in Service Pack 1

The following features are new in Service Pack 1:

  • Slipstreaming is an installation method that integrates the base installation files for a program with its service packs and enables them to be installed in a single step. You can slipstream a SQL Server 2008 update and the original installation media so that original media and the update are installed at the same time. The update setup documentation available from the Download Center has the most recent description of the slipstream process. The update setup documentation is also available at MSDN.
  • You can uninstall SQL Server 2008 cumulative updates or service packs from Programs and Features in Control Panel. For more information, see "Overview of SQL Server Servicing Installation" in the update help file.
  • SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 provides a ClickOnce version of Report Builder 2.0. Report Builder is available for use in Reporting Services (SSRS) installed in native or SharePoint integrated mode. If SSRS is installed in SharePoint integrated mode, you need to install the add-in, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce for SharePoint, to make Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce available from a SharePoint site. For more information, see the Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce for SharePoint Readme.

Here is my install experience for updating my Report Builder 2.0 stand-alone installation and you can see that it goes from the RTM build 1600 to SP1 build 2531.

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There is a fairly critical fix for Report Model Query Designer too – FIX: The aggregate value is incorrect when you design a query that contains some entity groups by using the Report Model Query Designer in SQL Server 2008 or in SQL Server 2005.

If you are using SQL Server 2008 Maintenance plans and do not have SSIS installed on the server you will need to have CU3 or higher installed to be able to schedule and run the jobs, FIX: Error message when you run a maintenance plan in SQL Server 2008: "The SQL Server Execute Package Utility requires Integration Services to be installed"

We can also see that the issue with SQL Server Management Studio hasn’t been resolved yet either – SQL Server 2008 Management Studio (SSMS) displaying incorrect build number?


So if you have SQL Server 2008 installed I would highly recommend upgrading to SP1.  If you are thinking about upgrading or are planning on it contact me and we can work on getting this going or contact Magenic at info@magenic.com and we can get something setup to make this a smooth process.

One thing to be aware of if you are planning on going with Windows Server 2008, which should be fixed next month, is the following – Windows Server 2008 Kerberos Bug – Transport Connection Issues with SSAS data and Errors may occur after configuring Analysis Services to use Kerberos authentication on Advanced Encryption Standard Aware Operating Systems.

Here are a couple of additional resources that you can check out for some additional SQL Server 2008 information:


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

PeopleReady Business Intelligence Summit Follow-up

Posted by denglishbi on April 8, 2009

Yesterday we had the local Microsoft PeopleReady Business Intelligence Summit 2009 here in Minneapolis.  I just wanted to post my presentation for everyone to download and take a look at.  I talked about Business Dashboards and went over the dashboard concept, benefits, features, design, functionality, and did a few demonstrations.  I have screenshots of my demos along with references to my sources and additional resources to take a look at included in the download below.

I hope everyone enjoyed the presentation and got something useful out of it.  I just wanted to include a couple additional links to one additional visualization that I showed – Treemap Visualization Demo.  My PerformancePoint dashboard demos I did were from the Microsoft Business Intelligence VPC Release 7.1 (the MS BI VPC R7 release actually – it appears that some of the demos were removed in R7.1).

Unfortunately I was ZoomIt challenged yesterday and I was trying to use CTRL+2 to zoom in on my screens instead of CTRL+1.  I apologize for that, but I was still able to get all of the demos I wanted to show.


Thanks for attending my presentation and I hope everyone enjoyed the event.

Posted in Business Intelligence | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Let the blog stats start compiling

Posted by denglishbi on April 5, 2009

So my ClustrMap is officially working now and how cool is that  I also added another StatCounter off to the right above my Search feature.


This was something that Vidas Matelis clued me in on by sending me a message.  He also mentioned the Google Analytics which I would love to incorporate and mentioned back in December, One Year Blog Anniversary:), but Live Spaces does not support the ability to embed the javascript and it needs to be in my main blog page which I do not control and I don’t really plan on moving my site anytime soon.  I tried to incorporate snap shots again using the HTML sandbox gadget, but it doesn’t work. 

This javascript and the Google Analytics needs to be part of the main page.  Maybe I am doing something wrong, but I tried two different techniques and it isn’t working.

Getting back to the coolness of the stats, you can now start to see some of the geographical data coming in and being in the Business Intelligence field this is sweet.  Plus it allows for further analysis by being able to drill into the item (same with the StatCounter) and get more information.

ClustrMaps Information:



StatCounter Information:




And of course there is the Feedburner Information:



This is all very interesting and informative data.  So please don’t forget to update your RSS feed subscription with the new one – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/DanEnglishsBiBlog.

And one last item is that you have to check out the awesome content and site that Vidas has setup on http://www.ssas-info.com.  Lots of excellent Analysis Services information and resources to checkout.  Thanks VidasSmile

Posted in Personal Comments | 2 Comments »

New RSS feed subscription link for my blog

Posted by denglishbi on April 5, 2009

I finally took some time today and did some updates to my site.  One item that I have been wanting to do for a long time now was to swap out the RSS subscribe to feed link.  Today I figured out what I need to do and replaced that item and added in some new stuff too and rearranged some items.  Off to the right-hand side you will now see some new items and a few things that were switched around.

The first item you will see now is Google Ads:


Then I updated the Visitor tools and split it out into two sections:




As you can see there are only a couple of people currently subscribed to my new feed link.  What I am asking for now is that I would like everyone to update their feed subscription with my feedburner link – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/DanEnglishsBiBlog.  This will provide me a better way to analyze and determine what content is most useful and provide me some better statistics to reference.  Live Spaces provides very limited statistics and I can only view the current week detail.

I will do a follow-up posting later in regards to how I added in the Google Ads to Live Spaces and I am hoping that the ClustrMaps works.  The map will help me get a better understanding of my audience and let me know how many different areas that my content is reaching.  I got the idea to add in the ClustrMaps and the subscriber counts from Adrian Downes and Nick Barclay on their sites.

So please take the time and help me out and update your RSS feed subscription for meSmile

Another cool item that you will see if you hang out in the MSDN or TechNet forums and have seen some of my postings is this little item which is also provided through feedburner which I setup:

Dan English's BI Blog



So as you can see I have been fairly busy trying to do some updates and still get as much content posted as I can.  I hope that everyone finds this information useful and don’t forget to switch over to the new RSS feed subscription link – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/DanEnglishsBiBlog.  Thanks againNerd

Posted in Personal Comments | Leave a Comment »

What type of consultant are you?

Posted by denglishbi on April 3, 2009

Yesterday I was reading the Magenic blogs and Whitney Weaver, one of your SQL Server gurus in Atlanta, posted an entry The Consulting Type List which in turn linked to another Magenicon James Ashley.  James put together a really nice and creative posting What kind of consultant are you?  In the posting he makes reference to different TV and Movie characters and associates different consulting skill sets to each one.

After reading through them I was torn between two of my favorites Jack Bauer and Neo.

jack neo

I am definitely a person that takes a project on my shoulders and is fully committed.  I can definitely see where I can come off too strong at times possibly…especially when it comes to Microsoft related technologies.  I will do everything in my power to come up with a solution and sometimes this does require using what some will call ‘elegant hacks’ or simply put workarounds.  Once someone talks to me about a project or business process my wheels instantly begin to churn

and I start to brainstorm for ideas and solutions.  It is almost like a disease and I am unable to disconnect at times from this process and I will find myself not being able to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the project or an issue someone is facing. 

Now I am wondering what other people consider me to be…that would be interesting to find outThinking  So what type(s) do you think you are?  Take a look for yourself – What kind of consultant are you?

Posted in Personal Comments | 2 Comments »