Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for December, 2009

Magenic is hiring – BI Architect, SharePoint Developer, and more

Posted by denglishbi on December 29, 2009

Just thought I would put this out there in case someone is looking for a job or a career change. 


Magenic is a National System Integrator Partner with Microsoft and has five offices located in the United States.  Magenic is also a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Consulting Service Preferred Services Partner.

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So if you want to join a team of passionate Microsoft focused geeks (I mean professionals…), Magenicons, then take a look at our job postings and get in contact with us so that we can gear up for an exciting and eventful 2010.

Magenic Careers

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Microsoft BI Conference 2010 – New Orleans in June

Posted by denglishbi on December 29, 2009

Yesterday news came out stating that the Microsoft BI Conference will be held in the summer instead of fall and it will be held in the same location as the North America TechEd 2010 – Mark Your Calendars for Microsoft BI Conference.  This will be held the week of June 7 in New Orleans, LA.  I probably won’t be able to attend unless I present and I haven’t seen any official details yet on the Microsoft BI Conference site.  So stay tuned for more information to come most likely next month about the two major conferences colliding together and how this will all work, especially how it will effect your pocket book.


Vidas Matelis has a posting about the conference here also, so stay tuned and spread the word.  I am sure there will be plenty of good material at the conference in regards to SQL Server 2008 R2, PowerPivot, Excel 2010 (x64), SharePoint 2010, PerformancePoint Services, Excel Services, Visio Services, MS Access Services, and of course plenty of information on best practices and real world examples leveraging the Microsoft BI stack of tools.

UPDATE (1/6/2010) – MS BI Conference link – http://bi2010.eventpoint.com/.  Register before Feb 28 and save $300 (Registration fee $1195)

Posted in Training | Leave a Comment »

New PASSMN web site

Posted by denglishbi on December 16, 2009

The Minnesota SQL Server User Group site has now moved over to the Chapters area hosted by the National PASS web site.  Our new site can still be accessed with the http://mnssug.org address.  Now there will be certain content that you will be able to view without having to be a registered user.  All of the PASSMN registered users should have received an email about the change this morning along with information to access the new site.

Hope you all enjoy the new site and the move to closely align with the National PASS and thanks to Digital Concourse for hosting our site for the past couple of years.


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Two Year Blog Anniversary

Posted by denglishbi on December 11, 2009

Once again I am late this year.  Seems to sneak up on me and with the holiday season things get a little hectic.  I started my blog back on December 2, 2007 and last year I finally went over 50,000 page visits.  Well this past year I doubled that and now I am over 167,000 visits (over 300 visits on average a day).


I think that is really awesome and hopefully people are finding the information useful.  One new addition to my site was the additional of podcasts (still not sure if that is the greatest for my postings, but it is available none the less).

Subscribe to Podcast feed

I lost my videos that I had available on Soapbox, Goodbye GeoCities, Popfly, and now Soapbox, along with the Google Ads (oh well).  It is interesting to see all of the different locations that people are coming from that access my postings.  Here are the top 5 thanks to ClustrMaps:

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And Internet Explorer is winning the browser war with over 70% of the visits.  Thanks to the new versions of IE.


This past year I did just over 100 blog postings, so I am trying to stay busy and keep the content flowing.  I also find time to help out in the forums and I try to make sure that all of the PerformancePoint Monitoring questions get replies.  I also help out in the Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and SharePoint BI now when I have some spare time.


Hopefully this weekend I will find some time to revisit my SharePoint 2010 setup with the latest CTP releases from this past November.  I want to take the new PowerPivot integration for a drive and test out some of the new PerformancePoint Services features.  I also want to use some of the new data visualizations in Reporting Services (data bars, sparklines, and icon sets) along with the Report Part Gallery and shared datasets.

Stay tuned for more content and feel free to follow my tweets on twitter


Users Medals Have a safe and happy holiday season

Posted in Personal Comments | 3 Comments »

Mapping data with Report Builder 3.0 (SSRS 2008 R2) Case Sensitive

Posted by denglishbi on December 9, 2009

This week I received an email from a BI Developer in New York in regards to a posting I did earlier this year, Mapping data with SSRS 2008 R2, wondering why the map was not working with their dataset.  I took a look at their screenshots and based on what I saw I quickly realized that the Map Gallery option with the new Map report item is case sensitive.  Let’s take a quick look at what they were seeing with the latest November CTP release of Report Builder 3.0:

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New startup screen in Report Builder 3.0 We will be using the Map gallery option I zoomed in on the map a bit and dragged it around a bit to reposition it
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Select the visualization type Going to choose option to add a new dataset since I don’t have one setup already that can be shared (new option in SSRS 2008 R2) I will be using the AdventureWorks2008 database for this demo once again
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I created a new version of the view vSalesPerson and used the UCASE function for the StateProvinceName data (you could use UPPER also) I map the fields STATENAME to StateProvinceName and you can see the difference now how the spatial data is Proper Case compared to our dataset which is all Upper Case Select the theme, field to visualize (value in the dataset), the color rule, and then click Finish
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Run the report to preview it and ….  nothing has been mapped …  the relationship did not work because the mapping is case sensitive Go back to the dataset selection and use the original view Sales.vSalesPerson. Notice that the data is all Proper Case Run the report and guess what … we have a winner!


You can download the latest version of Report Builder 3.0 and the rest of the SQL Server 2008 R2 add-ons from the Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 November Community Technology Preview Feature Pack.


I have posted this in the SQL Server Connect as a bug, so we will see what Microsoft has to say – SSRS 2008 R2 Map Gallery Case Sensitive.  So for the time being make sure that your data matches what is expected in the spatial dataset…an exact match.  This would mean that your abbreviated formats should all be upper case.

UPDATE (12/11/2009): got an update on the Connect posting I did and the response from Microsoft is….are you ready….

"Thank you for reporting this issue. The matching on the binding fields is case sensitive by design. We do not have plans to change this."

so you have been warned.  Make sure that if you are using this mapping option that you have your data in alignment with what is expected.

Posted in Reporting Services | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Announcing PASSMN 2010 Executive Board Roles

Posted by denglishbi on December 2, 2009

This week the new PASSMN board members got together and the roles were assigned.  Here are the positions for the upcoming year:

  • Lara Rubbelke – Microsoft Liaison
  • Dan English (Magenic) – Chair
  • Jason Strate (Digineer) – Director of Program Development
  • Eric Strom (Rels) – Director of Technology
  • Gordon D’Souza (Solution Design Group, Inc.) – Director of Membership/Treasurer
  • Mark Rocco – Director of Corporate Development

I want to thank everyone for a wonderful 2009 year and looking forward to an even better 2010 year with the upcoming launch of SQL Server 2008 R2 and the Microsoft 2010 products!

Don’t forget, this month our meeting is next Tuesday and we will be giving away a set of PASS Community Summit 2008 media – PASSMN December 8, 2009 Monthly Meeting.

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