Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for April, 2010

PASSMN April Meeting Follow-up

Posted by denglishbi on April 24, 2010

Another great turn out at this past week’s PASSMN monthly meeting, PASSMN April 20, 2010 Monthly Meeting.  We had 76 people in attendance and another 8 or 10 online through Live Meeting.  This month’s presentations were about Visual Studio 2010 database features and about solid state drive technology.  Special thanks to Mike Benkovich of Microsoft and Fred Vasofsky and Christian Schrauder of Fusion-io.  Fusion-io sponsored the event providing pizza and soda along with giving away a few t-shirts and a 320GB ioDrive.  If you haven’t heard or checked out this technology yet, it is a must, and there will be quite a bit of information coming out in the months to come.  Here is a video to check out:


And here is a recent posting on the SQL Server Team blog Unisys releases high-performance SQL Server 2008 R2 pre-packaged DW solution with up to 50 TB Solid State Disk technology.  I also want to thank Microsoft for hosting our meetings and they also provided some giveaways.  Intertech and Pearson’s Education also provided some giveaways and continue to be on-going sponsors of our user group.PASSMN_Logo

This year our sponsorship list has really grown and it will continue to grow (check out the sponsors list on our site http://mnssug.org).  I have a couple of new additions to add, TechSmith and Wiley publishing, and I have a few more on the radar that I will be reaching out to soon.

Next month we will be talking about Analysis Services and Reporting Services 2008 R2.  Also next month there is the TechFuse event, TechFuse 2010 – May 6 Bloomington, MN, and the SQL Server 2008 R2 launch, SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch – May 11 Minneapolis, MN.

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

SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM Evaluation Install

Posted by denglishbi on April 23, 2010

SQL Server 2008 R2 has gone RTM and currently the only way to get a copy is to download and install the 180-day evaluation copy.  You can do so by going to the SQL Server 2008 R2 downloads.  If you still see a download for the November CTP then keep looking, because the RTM version is available and will be available for subscribers to download on May 3 (build number is 10.50.1600.1).  Not a lot has changed since I last posted about the install with the August CTP SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP Install Experience, but since I didn’t post anything in regards to the November CTP about the install (SQL Server 2008 R2 November 2009 CTP3 now available) I thought I would do a quick little update on the whole process which took almost an hour to complete.

Here are the screenshots of the install (click on the images for a larger view):


image image
The wait message. You will see this during each step of the initial process while the install does some validation checks on your system. Planning page menu Installation page menu (the other menu screenshots are available in my August posting, at this point I just wanted to install the product)
image image image
Setup Support Rules – passed with flying colors Product Key screen – current options available are Evaluation, Express, or Express with Advanced Services License Terms screen
image image image
Setup Support Files – Install Installing Support Files (the process is now starting) Setup Support Rules check – just one warning with the Windows Firewall
image image image
Windows Firewall rule check message Setup Rule – going to do the Feature Installation Feature Installation selection – simply clicked the Select All button
image image image
Please Wait… – you will see this now during the rest of the install, just be patient (I know it is tough, trust me) Installation Rules – just one warning, the rest either passed or were not applicable (these are SharePoint or PowerPivot items) Shared Component Warning message – I am installing this on a laptop that already has SQL Server 2008 installed
image image image
Instance Configuration – I am going to setup the Evaluation as a named instance called R2 (I know, pretty original – didn’t go with SQL2 or SQL3) Disk Space Requirement for the full install – approximately 6GB of space is required Server Configuration – time to setup the accounts to run the services
image image image
Exception message you will get if you simply click the Next button You need to provide a Account name for each of the SQL Services before you can proceed I go with the local accounts since I am doing a basic install and I changed the SSIS Service to Manual startup type
image image image
Database Engine Configuration – Account Provisioning screen – I setup this for Mixed Mode, assigned the password, and added my account to the administrators Database Engine Configuration – Data Directories setup – I changed the two Log directory locations to the Log folder instead of Data (I wish that would just be the default like it is for SSAS setup) Database Engine Configuration – Filestream setup – I simply enabled this
image image image
Analysis Services Configuration – Account Provisioning screen – I added my account to have administrative permissions Analysis Services Configuration – Data Directories – left the defaults (notice how the Log file is setup to the Log folder…interesting) Reporting Services Configuration – just going to do the native mode install
image image image
Error Reporting screen Install Configuration Rules – either passed or were not applicable Ready to Install – Bing! we are all set, click Install button (notice the configuration file path – this is where the install log file will also be if you want to verify anything)

Overall summary:

Final result: Passed

Exit code (Decimal): 0

Exit message: Passed

Start time: 2010-04-22 18:54:17

End time: 2010-04-22 19:47:39

Installation Progress screen – Now sit back, watch, and wait My Overall summary results – yours will vary Installation Complete – We are all done
image image  image
Startup BIDS – still Visual Studio 2008, sorry, no Visual Studio 2010…maybe next year with SQL Server 2011? New Report Items for SSRS – Map, Data Bar, Sparkline, and Indicator Map Report Item – this will launch a wizard to complete the process
image image image
Data Bar types available Sparkline types available Indicator types available
image image image
SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio splash screen Server Property information after install of the Enterprise Evaluation Edition That’s a wrap! Rock ‘n Roll

For more information you can check out a few of the links below, more information will be coming out now that the launch is going on over in Europe and will be starting up next month here in the United States.

So what are you waiting for? Download the Evaluation and start kicking the tires.

Posted in SQL Server | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Free Online PerformancePoint Services 2010 Training Videos

Posted by denglishbi on April 17, 2010

Are you looking for some training on the PerformancePoint Services? Do you have 50 minutes to spare?  Well you are in luck, you can head over to Up to Speed with PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer and checkout the six videos that are available to give you an overview of the product on how to use it and deploy dashboard solutions in SharePoint 2010.

Here is what is available for you to checkout and I have included the duration of each video:Microsoft SharePoint

The examples that are done are utilizing the new Microsoft Contoso BI Demo Dataset for Retail Industry that appears to be replacing the Adventure Works data going forward.

If you are unable to use audio or are hearing impaired you can utilize the caption option in the videos.  By clicking on this option in the toolbar –> image you will get the closed captions added to the video.


By no means are the items that are created in these tutorial videos using any best practices or production ready  dashboards.  The scorecard that gets created in Video 3 does get cleaned up a bit in Video 5.  The metrics referenced still don’t get any formatting applied to them, but at least the target isn’t referencing the same metric as the actual.

The report that gets added in Video 4 is interesting and confused me initially until I realized that the first metric being displayed was Sales Quantity, not Sales Amount…


I was wondering how the Sales Gross Margin could be greater than the Sales Amount until I realized that I was actually looking at Sales Quantity that was formatted with Currency format.  NOTE: in general, make sure that the metrics in the cube have the proper formatting associated with the metric.

With the changes that have been done now by integrating the PerformancePoint product into SharePoint you will see that the Deployment has been greatly streamlined and has removed all of the pop-up windows that you previously had to deal with.  You will also notice that in the Properties tab of the Dashboard items you have a new section added for the Deployment Properties.


Overall the videos are a good start for anyone that wants to familiarize themselves with the Dashboard Designer tool in PerformancePoint Services that is part of SharePoint 2010 (Enterprise Edition).

If you are looking for more material in regards to SharePoint 2010 you can head over to this site for more content – http://office2010.microsoft.com/sharepoint-help.

If you are still using PerformancePoint 2007 or want to get up-to-speed with that product then head over to here – PerformancePoint Server 2007 training courses.

Posted in PerformancePoint | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Free Wrox Training and SQL Server 2008 R2 eBook – oh my

Posted by denglishbi on April 15, 2010

They keep on putting out the free training.  Great opportunity for people to get some outstanding training at a great price $$$ – FREE!  Plus the training is by the pros, they are all MVPs and even a SQL Master!  Here is the lineup for April:

Free header blk red feb 2010

Brian Knight – Advanced  SSIS tips and Tricks – April 20, 2010 11:00 a.m. EDT

In this webinar SQL Server MVP, Brian Knight will show you some of the neat tips and tricks you can do in SSIS to handle larger scales of data, parallelism and restart ability. He’ll also show you how to create work queues for multi-server processing of data and integrating data mining into your package.

Jessica Moss – SSIS scripting and custom components – April 22, 2010 11:00 a.m. EDT

Can’t find an SSIS Task that does what you need? Script it! The Script Task, Script Component, and Custom Components in SSIS are extremely powerful and flexible. In this session by Jessica Moss you will learn how to customize SSIS functionality using Script objects, best practices for script development, script troubleshooting .

Rodney Landrum – Use SSRS and SSIS to create a DBA Repository – April 27, 2010 11:00 a.m. EDT

At it’s heart, the DBA Repository solution employs SSIS and SSRS and in late 2009 was updated for performance and resiliency. This session will cover the original solution, published in SQL Server Magazine, plus the latest enhancements which will delve into some interesting uses of package variables and MERGE in SSIS along with some new reports.

Bent Ozar – Virtualization and SAN Basics for DBAs – April 29, 2010 11:00 a.m. EDT

  • Three things you should NEVER do when virtualizing SQL Server,
  • Three things you should ALWAYS do when using SQL Server on a SAN.9780735693883f
  • Three metrics you should always capture on every SQL Server whether it’s virtual or SAN-connected or none of the above.

Click here to reserve your seat

Also, if you haven’t heard about it yet, Microsoft Press has released a free eBook that you can download in regards to SQL Server 2008 R2 by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner.  The book contains 10 chapters and 216 pages.  Head over to the Microsoft press blog for the download and additional information Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.

Don’t forget, next month is the big launch for SQL Server 2008 R2.  If you are in the Minneapolis area here is the details – SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch – May 11 Minneapolis, MN.  We are have our April monthly PASSMN meeting next week – PASSMN April 20, 2010 Monthly Meeting and Fusion-io will be giving away a $7K ioDrive:)

Posted in Training | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

April WiSSUG Meeting – April 13

Posted by denglishbi on April 12, 2010

Tomorrow is the Wisconsin SQL Server User Group meeting.  You can attend this with Live Meeting and join in on getting some information on SQL Server 2008 R2.  Here is the information for the meeting:

Date:           4/13/2010

Time:             4:30 PMimage

Location:      Microsoft Office in Waukesha, Wisconsin.


*Presentation by Chuck Heinzelman.   Self-service Business Intelligence and SQL Server 2008 R2

Presentation Preview

Presentation: SQL Server 2008 R2

Chuck will dig deeper into SQL Server 2008 R2 during this presentation.  Prepare to be enlightened and amazed.image

Chuck Heinzelman is a long-time member of WiSSUG and a SQL Server MVP.  In his spare time, he works as a Senior DBA for big hammer data.  He has been in the IT field for over 10 years, working primarily with SQL Server and Microsoft development technologies.

Live Meeting information

Join the meeting.
Audio Information
Computer Audio
To use computer audio, you need speakers and microphone, or a headset.
First Time Users:
To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.
Unable to join the meeting? Follow these steps:

1. Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:

2. Copy and paste the required information:
Meeting ID: Z4BS7J
Location: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usergroups

Posted in Training | Leave a Comment »

PASSMN April 20, 2010 Monthly Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on April 12, 2010

The next Minnesota SQL Server User Group meeting is coming up in a couple of weeks on Tuesday, April 20 from 3 to 5:30 at the local Microsoft office in Bloomington.  This month we will be looking at what’s new for SQL Developer in VS 2010 and Solid State Drives (SSD).  Fusion-io will be presenting and talk about how you can leverage SSD technologies with SQL Server and they will also be giving away an ioDrive!


In order to RSVP for the event you will need to login to the national PASS site and click on the RSVP link.  This month our sponsor for the event is Fusion-IO.


PASSMN April 2010 Meeting – What’s new for the SQL Developer in Visual Studio 2010 & Solid State Drive Technologies


2:30 – 3:00 : Networking
3:00 – 3:15 : Announcements
3:15 – 3:25 : Sponsor
3:25 – 4:25 : What’s new for the SQL Developer in VS 2010 (Mike Benkovich)
4:25 – 4:30 : Break
4:30 – 5:30 : Solid State Drive Technologies (Fusion-io)


What’s new for the SQL Developer in Visual Studio 2010 (presented by Mike Benkovich of Microsoft) – In this session we take a look at the latest advances in Visual Studio for the database developer, including the new Data Tier Applications (DAC) that leverage a new type of deployment packaging to simplify and streamline the process. We will show new refactoring capabilities in addition to the schema and data comparison tools as well as the data generation features that can be used to simulate test scenarios. Verify that standard and best practices are being followed with static code analysis tools. Walk away from this session with a better idea of what’s possible for the database developer with the latest tools from Microsoft.

Solid State Drive Technologies (presented by Fred Vasofsky and Christian Schrauder of Fusion-io) – Solid-state technologies are changing the way that MS SQL users run their databases. DBA’s are achieving significant TCO savings through performance enhancements, reliability improvements, and reduced energy and real estate costs using solid-state technologies.  Solid state is changing the way datacenters look and how MS SQL Servers perform.

This session will address:

1)  On overview of solid state technology options for SQL Server
2)  Why solid state makes a difference?
3)  An comparison of the different types of NAND Flash-based products and the advantages and disadvantages of each:
     a.    Disk-based SSDs
     b.    Onboard/Embedded PCI Express devices
     c.     Host-based PCI Express devices
4)  Customer proof: Wine.com case study

On a side note I wanted to mention one more item just so that you can get this on your calendars – SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch! Yes, it is coming to Bloomington, MN.  We are fortunate to be one of the five major launch cities in the United States.  The launch event will be on Tuesday, May 11 at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington.  I just wanted to give you some heads up on this event and for more information check out my posting here – SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch – May 11 Minneapolis, MN.


Posted in Training | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch – May 11 Minneapolis, MN

Posted by denglishbi on April 12, 2010

I just got word today that the registration site went live for the SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch in Minnesota!  I have been patiently waiting for this and now it is all set (for the most part).  Minnesota is one of the five lucky locations that the launch event will be coming to in the United States.  The launch events are being coordinated by PASS and Microsoft and the local PASS chapters in each area will be able to get actively involved as well.

imageThis is an all day free event that will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington, MN on Tuesday, May 11 from 9am to 4:30pm.  There will be a couple of keynote talks and then three tracks each having three sessions.  Here is the agenda:

8:00am – 9:00am – Registration
9:00am – 9:15am – Welcome & Introductions
9:15am – 10:00 am – Keynote Presentation: Data Platform Vision & SQL Server 2008 R2 Introduction
10:00am – 11:00am – SQL Server 2008 R2 Overview: Trusted & Scalable Platform; Managed Self-Service BI; IT & Developer Efficiency
11:00am – 11:15am – Break


DBA Track

BI Track

ITDM Track

11:15am – 12:30pm Ensure Business Continuity with SQL Server 2008 R2,  Windows Server 2008 & Hyper-V Live Migration Enable Managed Self-service BI with PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint 2010 SQL Azure – Highly Available, Scalable, Multi-tenant database services in the cloud
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch Lunch Lunch
1:30pm – 2:45pm Simplify management of your SQL Server data platform with Multi-server Management Achieve Rapid Reporting with Reporting Services and Report Builder 3.0 Migrations from Oracle to SQL Server 2008 R2
2:45pm – 3:00pm Break Break Break
3:00pm – 4:15pm Deliver unprecedented access to business-critical data at a lower TCO with SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse Importance of Master Data Management Lower Costs through BI Consolidation


So what are you waiting for, get over to the site and save your seat for the event – Register Now and I will see you there.

Posted in Training | Leave a Comment »

24 Hours of PASS 2010 – Free Training

Posted by denglishbi on April 8, 2010

They are doing it again.  Get ready for another 24 hours of non-stop presentations on SQL Server and lots of the sessions will be about the new release of SQL Server 2008 R2!  Are you ready to learn about PowerPivot, Master Data Services, new SSRS 2008 R2 features, PerformancePoint Services 2010, and more?  Well you will have to wait a little longer, but it is coming next month.

All session times are listed in GMT (UTC). The first session begins at 12:00 GMT on May 19. The last session ends at 12:00 GMT on May 20. To determine what time each session will be aired in your region, use this external time zone converter.

Here is the complete list of the BI related sessions:

BI Track

Session 01 (BI) – Start time: 12:00 GMT
Introduction to PowerPivot
Presenter: Brian Knight

Session 03 (BI) – Start time: 14:00 GMT
What Exactly is in SQL Server 2008 R2?
Presenter: Kevin Coximage

Session 05 (BI) – Start time 16:00 GMT
Implementing MDM Using SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services
Presenter: Rushabh Mehta

Session 08 (BI) – Start time 19:00 GMT
Solving Common Business Problems with Microsoft PowerPivot
Presenter: Donald Farmer

Session 11 (BI) – Start time 22:00 GMT
Easier than Ever Report Authoring in SSRS 2008 R2
Presenter: Jessica M. Moss

Session 15 (BI) – Start time 02:00 GMT
Producing Dashboards with PerformancePoint Services
Presenter: Peter Myers
Session 16 (BI) – Start time 03:00 GMT
Reporting Services Enhancements in SQL Server 2008
Presenter: Greg Low

Session 18 (BI) – Start time 05:00 GMT
Managing SSIS Package Deployments with PowerShell
Presenter: Sean McCown

Session 20 (BI) – Start time 07:00 GMT
PowerPivot for Financial Decision Makers
Presenter: Peter Ward

For the full list of sessions check out the following link here – 24 Hours of PASS Session Details.

Go ahead and save your spot and register today – REGISTER NOW.

Posted in Training | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »