Dan English's BI Blog

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PASS Summit 2009 Conference – Day 2 Recap

Posted by denglishbi on November 5, 2009

Another impressive day at the PASS 2009 conference.  Tom Casey, Microsoft General Manager of SQL Server BI, was the keynote this morning.  Some items that were brought up were creating new experiences for users with data, doing more with less, the data warehouse is a strategic corporate asset, and the demos were good.  As far as the demos the ability to look at your PowerPivot items in the gallery view is cool and leveraging the SilverLight 3.0 technology these also have the carousel and theatre views as well, which is really cool.  They also demoed off the PowerPivot Management Dashboard which is in SharePoint 2010 Central Administration.  This can actually be customized to give IT the ability to closely monitor these items as far as who created them, where the data is coming from, who is using them, etc.

For the sessions today I checked out the following:

  • Applied SSIS Design Patterns: Andy Leonard talked about setting up package templates and creating a SSIS framework of parent and child packages that can be leveraged and reused.  The packages would already incorporate standards such as error handling, custom logging, and debugging options.  He also showed a way that you can leverage parent variables without setting up a parent-child configuration which provides a way to be able to use ByRef variable reference instead of ByVal.  Another thing he mentioned was the ability to raise events within script tasks by using Dts.Events call and then the type of event you want to fire like Dts.Events.FireInformation etc.
  • BI Power Hour: very funny and exciting event with lots of cool demos showing off Visio Services, PPS Scorecards, Excel Services actually in the clouds, PowerPivot, and SSRS 2008 R2.  Along with all of the cool demos was the excitement of the swag being tossed all over the room so you had to keep your head up.  Some new items in SSRS 2008 R2 were the sparklines, data bars, indicators (icon sets), maps, and report part gallery.
  • Introduction to PerformancePoint Services – Creating Dashboards is as easy as 1, 2, 3: fairly intro showing how to setup and create a dashboard with a scorecard and some analytical items.  Some new features that were showed off or discussed were the analytical pie chart, SSAS conditional formatting support, ability to select measures to include in deployed analytical reports, decomposition tree (ability to take a slice and open it in a analytical grid or chart to further analyze and then export to PowerPoint or Excel), ability to create calculations for a KPI value off multiple data sources, re-expanding functionality within a Decomposition Tree (will have to post about that once Beta is released).
  • Data Profiling and Cleansing with Integration Services 2008: Erik Veerman discussed ways to simplify derived column logic, utilize data viewers, using fuzzy lookup and grouping, and data profiling.  Lots of useful demos.

During lunch I took some time again and checked out another HOL and today I did the Creating and Deploying a Dashboard in SharePoint using PerformancePoint Services, but it turned out that it was for PPS 2007 and was the Dashboard End-to-End HOL and not SharePoint 2010 related at all (hugely disappointed).  I went ahead and did the Introduction to PowerPoint (‘Gemini’) and then actually redid the Microsoft SQL Server Master Data Services: Up and Running with MDS HOL again to resolve the error that I came across in the manual that didn’t work the previous day when creating hierarchies (have to build bottom up instead of top down).

Some of the other things to note about the new integration with PPS and SharePoint is that you get to leverage the SharePoint security model, so you don’t have to have the additional PPS security setup that we had before which means that the permissions section on the properties tab is gone and you don’t have the PPS roles anymore.  It is also able to leverage the SharePoint versioning now that the elements are all content type, so that is one less item that has to be handled.  One thing to point out that I forgot to mention yesterday was that if you did a SharePoint farm setup and want to leverage the Per User security setup on your data sources in PerformancePoint Services that this will require Kerberos configuration even if you have a single server setup.  In PPS 2007 you didn’t have to do this, but that is one item that has changed, so you will have to perform a SharePoint standalone install if you don’t have to configure Kerberos and want to use the Per User authentication setup.  I will have to do a separate blog posting outlining all of the new items that are not listed yet from my previous posting – What’s new for PerformancePoint Services (SharePoint Server 2010).  Lots of information is pouring in now and a new CTP release will be coming out this month for SQL Server 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010, and Office 2010 (public releases too!).

Pre-register for SharePoint 2010 Beta – Pre-register today and get notified when SharePoint 2010 Beta becomes available in November. ​

Sign-up for the PowerPivot release notification – http://powerpivot.com

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