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

Archive for September, 2009

PASSMN SQL Summit 2009 Follow-up

Posted by denglishbi on September 26, 2009

Yesterday we had the PASSMN SQL Summit 2009.  We had a great turn out with nearly 100 attendees and that number held constant throughout the day.  I was very pleased with the attendance and I think everything turned out great considering this was our first major event we have organized like this.

I want to thank everyone that contributed for making this event possible – PASSMN Executive Board, Microsoft, Magenic, Digineer, National PASS, Pearson Education, and United Properties.  I have the utmost respect for anyone who was to coordinate an event like this; it was a lot of work making sure everything went as smoothly as possible.

Hopefully my presentation in regards to Upgrade to SSAS 2008 turned out halfway decent and people were able to take away some information from it.  I have included my presentation down below and I included the DMV scripts that I was demoing and included a couple of additional slides for sources and resources.  Some of the items that I mentioned and did not get to demo or provide links to are listed here:


I still couldn’t believe that only one person that attended my presentation was using BIDS Helper.  I keep pushing this add-in with each of my presentations and also on my blog.  I strongly suggest that anyone that is doing BI Development with SQL Server 2005 or 2008 downloads and leverages this add-in from CodePlex – BIDS Helper.

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SSWUG Ultimate Virtual Conference October 2009

Posted by denglishbi on September 16, 2009

Just received an email from Paul Nielsen today stating that SSWUG is having another Virtual Conference coming up next month.  The conference dates are October 21, 22, and 23.  This is a three day event where the presenters will also make themselves available to answer your questions.  There will more than 75 technical sessions and on-demand access if you are unable to attend the event for up to 45 days.

Take a look at the official site now for more details.

SSWUG.org SQL Server Virtual Conference Fall ‘09

Here is some additional information:

Just doing a quick scan through the sessions for the three days I counted 27 BI related sessions including information about SSRS, SSIS, SSAS, Business Data Catalog, Data Mining, Gemini, and PerformancePoint Services.

Paul also included a code in his email to get a $10 discount on the $210 conference fee – SPPNUVC09

Our very own local SQL Server MVP Jason Strate will also be doing some sessions, so tune in and check it out.

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PASSMN SQL Summit 2009 Session List

Posted by denglishbi on September 15, 2009

The full list of sessions has now been published for the all day PASSM SQL Summit event next Friday, PASSMN SQL Summit 2009 – Friday, September 25.  We have three tracks setup with four sessions in each track.

Time Database Administration Business Intelligence Database Development
9:30 to 10:30 Advanced Policy-Based Management (by Lara Rubbelke) Unisys High Volume ETL Techniques (by Robert Murphy) The ins and outs of Change Data Capture (CDC) (by TJ Metkowski)
10:45 to 11:45 Data and Backup Compression (by Sanjay Kaul) Lord of the Reports (by Mark Vaillancourt)

Introduction to Visual Studio Team Data Edition (by Mike Benkovich)

1:00 to 2:00

Disks, real and virtual and what is important for SQL Server (by James Lorenze)

Reporting Services Tips and Tricks

(by Bruce Loehle-Conger)

TBD (by EMC)
2:15 to 3:15

High-Availability Options for SQL Server (by Tim Plas)

Upgrade to SSAS 2008 (by Dan English)

Necessary Evils, Building Optimized CRUD Procedures (by Jason Strate)

Here is the link to the session list here – SESSION LIST (mine has a more recent update with the Developer Track).

The event did hit our room capacity, so we will be implementing a waiting list for people that did not get registered online and based on the 9:30 start time, if there are seats available we will allow more people to join the event.

I will be presenting on SSAS 2008 and will be talking about the enhancements that have been made to this release with the designer, AMO Warnings, DMVs, MDX, engine, etc. and discuss the reasons that you should be leveraging the 2008 version if you are not already.

Hope to see you there and today we have our regularly scheduled monthly meeting – PASSMN September 15, 2009 Monthly Meeting.

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North Central BISIG Meeting – September 10, 2009

Posted by denglishbi on September 9, 2009

Kind of a late notice but I just received the notification last night.


2009 Q3 MEETING!!!

September 10


We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting our BISIG meeting at Microsoft Corporation, 8300 Norman Center Drive, Suite 950, Bloomington, Minnesota, 55437 from 2:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. We hope you will plan to attend this meeting where we have lined up two very exciting and informative speakers.

2:30-3:00 Registration

3:00-3:15 BI SIG Updates & Announcements

3:15-4:30 GNet and Microsoft BI enable companies to thrive during challenging economic times (Presented by: Neelesh Raheja, GNet Group)

With today’s tough economic climate, it is more important than ever to leverage your data assets to make better business decisions. During times of economic growth, bad decisions or missed opportunities are often an afterthought or dismissed. But during tough times those same mistakes and missed opportunities are magnified and will have a direct effect on your bottom line.

Turning data into information is the key to making informed business decisions which enables your organization to stay ahead of changes in the market. Organizations need rapid and highly adaptable analytical capabilities and need to be able to look at their data and business in new ways.

Neelesh Raheja is the Director of Services for GNet Group, Neelesh heads the technical / professional services team and is responsible for delivery of Business Intelligence solutions.

His passion for Business Intelligence has helped establish GNet Group as one of leading providers of business intelligence solutions on the Microsoft Platform in the Twin Cities.

Over the past 13 years he has worked closely with the Executive Management and IT of several organizations to implement high impact strategic Business Intelligence projects across multiple industries – Insurance, Education, Logistics and Transportation, Manufacturing, Telecom, Customer Services and Financial Services. He has an in-depth technical understanding and hands on experience on SQL Server, Analysis Services, MOSS, ProClarity, and Performance Point.

4:30-4:45 Break

4:45-5:00 Microsoft Update – Update on the new developments with Microsoft BI

5:00 – 6:30 Integration Services and Analysis Services in Action (Presented by: Paul Purington and Mark Davis)

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 provides powerful, flexible and easily administered tools for creating business intelligence. The presentation will demonstrate the use of the use of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services to populate data marts for use with Analysis Services. Once populated, the data marts will be used to create a working business intelligence solution using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. The demonstration will include best practices and gotchas learned through real-world experience.

Paul Purington and Mark Davis are both senior consultants within the Superior Consulting Services Business Intelligence Practice. (http://teamscs.com/index.htm)

Paul Purington manages the consulting staff that performs business analysis and application design. Over the past 10 years has performed consulting services in the areas of business analysis, business intelligence, and application development. Designs and develops solutions using Visual Studio .NET and Microsoft SQL Server. Designs and builds business analysis solutions using Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services. Analyzes and documents business requirements and designs the applications to meet those requirements.

6:30 – ??? Social and Networking

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PASSMN SQL Summit 2009 – Friday, September 25

Posted by denglishbi on September 4, 2009

I am pleased to announce an upcoming all day FREE SQL Server event on Friday, September 25 from 8:30 to 3:45.  The seating is limited to 120 people, so sign-up now and secure your spot.  There will be three tracks and each track will have four sessions.  The tracks will be Database Administration, Business Intelligence, and Database Development.

The sessions will include information about compression (data and backup), change data capture, SSRS, SSIS, SSAS, and much, much more.  Stay tuned for a complete list of session and speaker information.

Friday, September 25, 2009
8:30 AM – 3:45 PM
Microsoft Office – 9th Floor
8300 Norman Center Drive
Bloomington, MN

Register Here or visit http://www.mnssug.org/


PASSMN SQL Summit 2009 Schedule

8:30 to 9:30 Registration and Breakfast
9:30 to 10:30 Session 1
10:30 to 10:45 Break
10:45 to 11:45 Session 2
11:45 to 1:00 Lunch
1:00 to 2:00 Session 3
2:00 to 2:15 Break with Snack
2:15 to 3:15 Session 4
3:15 to 3:45 Survey collection and Prizes


I want to thank everyone that is helping out to get this organized and I want to thank our sponsors for this event:

Sponsor: Microsoft   Sponsor: SQL PASS  Sponsor: Pearson Education

Sponsor: Magenic  Sponsor: Digineer

Don’t forget about more training opportunities coming up:

UPDATE (9/15/2009):  The session list has been posted –> PASSMN SQL Summit 2009 Session List

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More PerformancePoint Server 2007 Hotfixes Available

Posted by denglishbi on September 4, 2009

I decided to browse the Microsoft Support area to see if there were any more fixes available as we are all patiently awaiting the release of SP3 for PerformancePoint Server (PPS) 2007 (apparently this is now slated for October according to this posting in the threads – Performance Point under Windows 7).  I did find a couple more since my previous posting back in May, PerformancePoint Server 2007 Hotfixes Available and Build List.  Both of these do have fixes in for the Monitoring & Analytic portions and the latest one does have a new fix for the Planning portion also.

I have included the build number that the hotfix is associated with along with the KB number reference.

Build Number Link KB Number
3.0.4318.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: June 17, 2009 971928
3.0.4317.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: May 26, 2009 970524

Some of the new fixes that are available in the latest hotfixes that might be of interest to you are:

  • Fix for the disappearing Analytical Chart toolbar when you click on the Filter buttons to remove empty items (it still does disappear when you click on the drop down arrow and select Reset View though)
  • Fix for exporting an Analytical Chart with more than 14 items in the legend.  Now all of the items will be exported to Excel if there are more than 14
  • Another fix for exporting to Excel with scorecards to resolve issue of exporting values from 9.5 to 9.9 so that they maintain their format instead of being multiplied by 100
  • For Planning the fix was to remove a duration restriction for extending the calendar to a value greater than 25 (now you can go up to 200)

These are just a few of the minor fixes that were done, check out the official links above to see the complete list for each hotfix and just a reminder that these are cumulative, so if you download the latest it will include all of the previous hotfixes also.

Here is the previous list I posted and I updated the list to include the KB number.

Build number Link KB Number
3.0.4315.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: April 28, 2009 969842
3.0.4313.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: February 26, 2009 968131
3.0.4312.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: February 24, 2009 967900
3.0.4311.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: February 9, 2009 967343
3.0.4305.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: February 2, 2009 961878
3.0.4300.00 Description of the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: December 22, 2008 961041
3.0.4209.00 Description of PerformancePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 2 958291
3.0.3917.00 (I had 3.0.3916.00 after my install) Description of PerformancePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 1 948060
3.0.3520.0 RTM Release of PPS 2007  

Hopefully the full SP3 will be available soon.  Until then, take a look at some of these fixes to see if it resolves an issue that you are currently experiencing like the one that I had posted with referencing SSRS 2008 reports in Native Mode – PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer ‘Unable to connect to server’ with SSRS 2008.

UPDATE (10/16/2009): PerformancePoint Server (PPS) 2007 SP3 now available

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PASSMN September 15, 2009 Monthly Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on September 2, 2009

The next PASSMN Minnesota SQL Server User Group meeting is coming up.  The meeting is on Tuesday, September 15 from 3:00 PM to 5:15 PM.  You can visit the local site to get registered at http://www.mnssug.org or click the link to Register Here.

This month the topics are:

SQL Server and Partition Alignment (Speaker: Jimmy May, Microsoft) – Now that SQL Server wait stats are formally documented & DMVs are available, disk partition alignment may be the best kept secret related to database performance optimization. In combination with stripe unit size & file allocation unit size, learn how you can increase I/O throughput by 10%, 30%, & under some circumstances even more. Many customers are unaware of partition alignment. Even experienced disk administrators may be unfamiliar with it. Explanations are often initially met with disbelief. Engineers familiar with the topic may underestimate its importance. For example, some customers think it is useful only for Microsoft Exchange Server. In fact, partition alignment is important for all servers from which high performance is expected, especially SQL Server. Each month I encounter customers with unaligned storage. Until existing misaligned partitions created using Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Server are rebuilt properly, disk partition alignment will remain a relevant technology.   

Jimmy May  is a Principal Performance Engineer for Microsoft’s Assessment, Consulting, & Engineering (A.C.E.) Services & works for Team Lee. He is the Founder & Visionary-in-Chief of SQL Server Pros & was formerly the Senior Database Architect for one of the world’s largest OLTP DBs. He is a founder & on the executive committees of both the Indiana Windows User Group & Indianapolis Professional Association for SQL Server. Jimmy lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his lovely bride, Phyllis, & Fannie May the Wonder Dog. Subscribe to & read his blog at msdn.blogs.com/jimmymay. Contact him at jimmymay@microsoft.com or aspiringgeek@live.com.

Wait-Time Based Performance Management (Speaker: Janis Griffin, Confio) – Using Wait Time Analysis and Wait Types is a newer method for tuning SQL Server instances. As a result, there is often confusion on exactly what the data means. The issue typically centers around the fact the wait time data is analyzed at the wrong level or the collected wait time data is not detailed enough. This presentation will focus on these problems and review several real-life case studies of using SQL Server Wait Type data coupled with Wait-Time based performance analysis to solve the most difficult performance related issues.

Janis Griffin has over 20 years of DBA experience including design, development and implementation of many critical database applications. Before coming to Confio, Janis held DBA positions primarily in the Telecom Industry (15 yrs), working with both real-time network routing databases and OLTP business to business applications.

This month our sponsor is Confio Software

Sponsor: Confio

Be on the lookout for another event notification for this month.  We will be having the first PASSMN SQL Summit 2009 which will be an all day free event on Friday, September 25.

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