Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for October, 2011

SharePoint 2010 Cumulative Update October 2011 is available

Posted by denglishbi on October 30, 2011

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UPDATE (11/3/2011): Apparently the documentation that was released is incorrect and should be updated shortly for PerformancePoint Services.  The issue with the context menu is going to be part of the December CU update, so stay tuned.

Just this past week another SharePoint 2010 CU was released.  The one thing that I wanted to point out is that there is a update for PerformancePoint Services (PPS) included in this CU.  What has fixed with PPS?  Additional support for the iPad devices!  There has been a long outstanding issue with being able to utilize the right-click content menu in Analytical Reports on iPad.SharePoint2010 (issue resolution not part of this CU, wait till Dec)

PerformancePoint Services hotfix (KB 2596590)
Issues that this hotfix package fixes

This hotfix package contains several fixes that enable PerformancePoint Dashboard on Apple iPad devices. These fixes provide the following improvements:

  • The fixes enable the “tap and hold” feature so that right-click to open context menus can be accessed. (issue resolution not part of this CU, wait till Dec)
  • The fixes provide several HTML and CSS changes to accommodate inconsistencies in the way that Apple Safari displays dashboards on iPad devices.

This is build 14.0.6112.5000 of the cumulative update package.

So if you have people trying to leverage iPad devices with your PerformancePoint dashboards in SharePoint 2010 go ahead and download the new CU to provide them the fully benefits of the analytical functionality.

Posted in PerformancePoint | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

PASSMN October Monthly Meeting Follow Up

Posted by denglishbi on October 25, 2011

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Well another month is coming to an end and this past week I did a presentation on “An Introduction to BI Semantic Model & Delivering Self-Service Reporting with Power View (Crescent)”.  So the momentum from the PASS Summit continued to roll on and we continued with the SQL Server 2012 content and providing insights into what is coming showcasing the new features in Analysis Services, PowerPivot, and showing the new feature that will be available in the Reporting Services SharePoint 2010 Integrated Mode – Power View!

If you were not able to attend, no worries, you can check out the recording, watch some short video clips of the demos, and take a look at the presentation content on SlideShare.Minnesota SQL Server Users Group

Intro to BI Semantic Model & Delivering Self-Service Reporting with Power View from Dan English on Vimeo.

PowerPivot Denali CTP3 Demo from Dan English on Vimeo.

Project “Crescent” Demo from Dan English on Vimeo.

Intro to BI Semantic Model & Self-Service Reporting with Power View

Next up is ScarePoint Saturday to do a “Inside PerformancePoint” presentation and then onto MN SQL Saturday #99 to do the “Inside PerformancePoint” presentation again!

I mentioned a setup of using XBox Kinect with SQL Server 2012 at the user group. There is a video of this if you want to check it out on YouTube here – “SQL Kinection – Control SQL Server 2012 with gestures using Microsoft Kinect!”

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Minnesota Twin Cities ScarePoint Saturday–Oct 29

Posted by denglishbi on October 20, 2011

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The next SharePoint (ScarePoint – Halloween is just around the corner) Saturday event in coming up on Saturday, October 29.  This is an all day free event that is being held at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN.  This is an educational event that has sessions presented by SharePoint professionals and MVPS.  The topics covered ranges from sessions for Information Workers, IT Pros, and Developers. There will even be a SharePoint 101 track and a Hands-on Lab track as well.  SharePoint Saturday is a FREE event open to the public and is a great opportunity to familiarize and gain additional insights on how to use SharePoint.image

Event Information:

  • Event: SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities
  • Location: Normandale Community College
  • Address: 9700 France Ave South, Bloomington, MN
  • Time: 8:15 to 4:30 (CT)
  • Cost: FREE
  • Register Here

Information Links:

I will be in attendance and also presenting on one of my favorite topics – PerformancePoint.

Inside PerformancePoint – This session will provide an overview of what PerformancePoint is, where it came from, and how do you get it. We will also discuss what’s changed in the 2010 release (including with the latest SP1 update). Along with this we will go over the Dashboard Designer tool showing you how to install it and explain what it is used for. Then hold on to your seats, I will build out and deploy a fully functional and interactive dashboard within SharePoint. Along the way I will provide insight from the trenches including tips and tricks along with experience from client deployments.


And if you are up for it, you can come out to Tavern on France in Edina for ScarePint – The Prequel to ScarePoint Saturday.  Join the ScarePoint Saturday speakers and organizers for ScarePint. We’ll have drinks, appetizers and a chance to meet and network with other SharePoint enthusiasts. Remember to drink responsibly. There is learning to do on Saturday!

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Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) Resources

Posted by denglishbi on October 13, 2011

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UPDATE (10/20/2011): Added an updated link for the PowerPivot TechCenter – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bi/ff604673.aspx.

Attended a session today on Power View and received a USB drive with some good resources on it. I thought I would share one that contained a bunch of links:


Microsoft BI Resources

PowerPivot Hands on Demo and Download: http://powerpivot.com
PowerPivot (Self-Service BI):
SSRS (Operational & Managed Reporting):
SSRS Report Builder (Ad Hoc Reporting):
PerformancePoint Services (Dashboards, Scorecards, Advanced Analytic Charts & Grids):
Excel (Personal Productivity):
SSAS (Data Mining):
Forums to use for researching / posting questions

I also have a list of the Microsoft BI portals, but I think most if not all are possibly listed above here already – Microsoft Business Intelligence Portal Page References.

Posted in Business Intelligence | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

SQL Server ‘Denali’ is 2012, ‘Crescent’ is Power View

Posted by denglishbi on October 12, 2011

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The name is officially set and the next version of SQL Server (SQL11) will be 2012 and the release date will be in the first half of next year.  There will be a Release Candidate (RC0) should be provided by the end of the year that will be feature complete that everyone will be able to download and test out to provide feedback.  This is very important to do so that you can report any bugs or items to the product team to review prior to the Release to Manufacture (RTM).sql server logo

Along with this the new self-service reporting tool (code named ‘Crescent’) has also received an official name of Power View.  PowerPivot provides the self-service data modeling capabilities to integrate your data to create a BI Semantic Model (BISM) and Power View provides the highly interactive data exploration tool.  One of the new features that has been added since CTP3 is the ability to have multiple views of the data within an existing rdlx file.  This reminds me of the briefing book concept that ProClarity has where you would create and save multiple analytical views.

Stay tuned for more information and postings from the community as the PASS Summit event continues through the week.  You can stay up-to-date by checking out the #sqlpass hash tag on Twitter.  If you are not at the conference you can also checkout the keynote events that are being streamed each day and recorded on the event site – PASS 2011 Summit Live Streaming.

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

Visualizing Data with Microsoft Crescent

Posted by denglishbi on October 7, 2011

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Yes, it is official, I am now an author.  Yesterday I noticed that the Visualizing Data with Microsoft Crescent book is now listed on Amazon.  I had been asked by Brian Larson if I wanted to collaborate on writing a book for the new reportCrescentBookCover authoring tool and I of course immediately said ‘YES’. I am also one of the technical editors of his other two books for Reporting Services and Delivering Business Intelligence for the new SQL11 release.  There are four of us from Superior Consulting Services that are working on the new Crescent book and so far it has been a very enjoyable experience.  I have been doing the blogging, tweeting, and presenting, so now it is on to something new and actually working towards a published book.

So some insight into the book, this book is going to cover the new reporting authoring tool ‘Crescent’ that is coming out in the next release of SQL11.  This is a new Silverlight browser based reporting experience that will be part of the Reporting Services Integrated Mode configuration with SharePoint 2010.  Not only will the book cover the reporting experience, but we will also go over the Business Intelligence Semantic Models (BISM) which is the new terminology being actively talked about now with SQL11.  In addition to this there will be samples and videos that will provide a very in-depth learning experience so that you will be able to get up-to-speed and familiar with both Crescent and BI Semantic Models.

Now you might know that ‘Crescent’ is the code name provided to this new feature in SQL11 and next week during the PASS 2011 Summit we should be able to have an official name to associate with this along with a few other SQL11 items (maybe even the product itself – 2011 or 2012?).  For the time being though this is the cover, but in the next week or so it should be updated to say ‘Visualizing Data with Microsoft …’.

So for the time being all I can say is thanks to Brian for the opportunity, thanks to my family for their understanding, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the book (and videos).  You can go ahead and pre-order your copy today Visualizing Data with Microsoft Crescent.

Posted in Reporting Services | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Minnesota SQL Saturday 99 Schedule Posted

Posted by denglishbi on October 6, 2011

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The schedule has been posted for the upcoming SQL Saturday event in Minnesota that will take place on Friday, November 11.  There were a lot of sessions submitted and it is always tough to pick the final lineup of topics and I think we have a great mix of topics that will be of interest to everyone from business intelligence, database administration, SQL development, and even a professional track.sql sat 99 logo

Time BI 1 BI 2 DBA 1 DBA 2 DEV 1 DEV 2 PRO
8:15 Minimal Processing for Large Cubes Analysis Services vs. PowerPivot Denali A Beginners Guide to Execution Plans Database Restores – Lessons from the Real World Beyond Rounded Corners – SSIS Changes in Denali Diving into the Cloud with SQL Azure Women in Technology Panel Discussion
9:45 Inside PerformancePoint Introduction to Data Warehousing High-Availability and DR Options for SQL Server Intro to Locking and Blocking Custom Assemblies for Reporting Services SQL Server Service Broker – An Overview Entity Strategies Structuring Your Consultancy
11:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
12:30 SQL Denali – What’s new for PowerPivot and SSAS! Becoming DAX: An Introduction Performance, Scalability and Efficiency Eating the Elephant: SQL Server Table Partitioning TSQL Tips and Tricks SSRS Multi-language & Dynamic DB Connections Do SQL Server Certifications Really Matter?
2:00 Introduction to Project Crescent Uniting Free Government Data using PowerPivot Storage Desgin and SQL Server Performance Merge Replication for Offline Data Mobility Building a SQL Listener Job using PowerShell Introduction to Integration Services Sustainable (a Green) IT: A Different View
3:30 Introduction to Data Mining in SQL Server Securing an SSAS, SSRS, and SharePoint BI Solution Don’t Panic, DBAs! Databases on VMware mad easy. PowerShell and Perfmon – A performance story Loading a Data Warehouse with SSIS SQL Denali – An Open Window To T-SQL Enhancements Building a Data Professional Toolbox for Free
4:45 Wrap-up & prizes Wrap-up & prizes Wrap-up & prizes Wrap-up & prizes Wrap-up & prizes Wrap-up & prizes Wrap-up & prizes


Online Schedule –> MN SQL Saturday #99 Schedule (includes speakers names and links to sessions descriptions)

The great thing about this is that everyone that submitted a session is getting a chance to speak (at least I don’t think anyone was left out). So what do you need to do now that the stage is set? REGISTER!

Yes, now that we have the location set, Grace Church in Eden Prairie (very large facility and will be a great place for the event), the schedule is set, and our sponsors are lined up, now we need everyone to complete the registration process.

Register here –> MN SQL Saturday #99 Registration

We already have over 200 people registered and we have the max capacity set at 350, so if you want to secure your spot for the event register now.  Once the spots are filled a waiting list will be started, but we can’t guarantee you a spot, so make sure you get in before we reach our cutoff.

P.S. There will be a continental breakfast provided as well and stay tuned for more updates and news to follow as the event date gets closer.  It is going to be a great one! (#99)

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

See you at PASS 2011 Summit

Posted by denglishbi on October 5, 2011

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The days are winding down and the PASS 2011 Summit is quickly approaching us. Next week in Seattle thousands of Microsoft SQL Server professionals will gathering. This will be a time for training, knowledge sharing, deep dives, and networking opportunities. There are a lot of activities going on and this is a great chance for you to talk with the experts and product team members as well.

This year there will be Expert Pods located on the 6th floor around the session rooms.  These pod areas will have a Microsoft & MVP located at them and you will have a chance to ask your questions and have discussions related to the specificimage technology area.  I will be helping out at the “BI – SSRS/SSAS/Crescent/PowerPivot” pod. So prepare ahead of time and bring your questions, concerns, and topics of discussions to one of these areas.  Just another great benefit of attending an event like this.

Another area I will be at will be the Birds-on-a-Feather lunch on Friday.  I will be at table #5 along with MVP Rod Colledge to discuss and talk about “Crescent – Bringing Your Data to Life”.  For the full lineup of topics check out the list here – BoF topics.

If you are not able to attend you can still checkout the keynote presentations that will be streamed and most likely recorded to view afterwards.

Stay tuned, there will be some announcements made next week and some unveiling of product names as well!  I plan to do a daily recap each day next week as well and of course I will be tweeting along with thousands of others about the content as well.

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

Free SQL Server Community October 2011 Training

Posted by denglishbi on October 4, 2011

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Head over to Pragmatic Works site and take a look at all of the training that is available in October – free training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. EST. Free Training on the T's

  • October 4, Shawn Harrison – Exploring the Map Tool in SSRS 2008 R2 
  • October 6, Troy Gallant – Indexing your Data Warehouse 
  • October 11, Bradley Schacht – Introduction to ETL Using SSIS 
  • October 13, Tom Brenneman – SQL Brand Building 
  • October 18, Brian Knight – Data Mining with the Data Mining Plugin for Excel 
  • October 20, Mark Brown – Beginning Development for Business – Part 1: Getting Your Feet Wet 
  • October 25, Ben Evans – Introduction to Design Patterns 
  • October 27, Mike Milligan – Speedy SSIS

If you miss a session they record them and you can check them out later on-demand in the webinar resource area.

They already have the line up going for November as well, so if you want to plan ahead you are all set. Just remember the disclaimer that the speakers are subject to change, so always check back to see what is going on.

So what are you waiting for, get registered for one of these spectacular webinars today – Webinar Registration.

Don’t forget, you can stay up-to-date on the training events through the PWFreeTraining twitter account as well.


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

PASSMN October 18, 2011 Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on October 3, 2011

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The next Minnesota SQL Server User Group meeting is coming up in a couple of weeks on Tuesday, October 18.  The topic this month is an introduction to Business Intelligence (BI) Semantic Models and self-service report authoring with project “Crescent” and Microsoft SQL Server MVP Dan English will be speaking (yep, that’s me).

Minnesota SQL Server Users Group

The sponsor for this event is Superior Consulting Services:

Superior Consulting Services


  • 3:00-3:15 : Registration / hospitality / networking
  • 3:15-3:30 : Announcements etc.
  • 3:30-4:45 : Introduction to BI Semantic Model & Delivering Self-Service Reporting with “Crescent”
  • 4:45-5:00 : Closing comments/prize giveaways


Introduction to BI Semantic Model & Delivering Self-Service Reporting with “Crescent” (Dan English – Superior Consulting Services) – There are a lot of changes coming in the next release of SQL Server “Denali” with Analysis Services and PowerPivot along with new powerful BI functionality being added. This presentation will introduce the new BI Semantic Model concept, talk about the different options you have with Analysis Services in SQL Server “Denali” (SQL11), go over the new features in Analysis Services – including PowerPivot, go over developing models, and dive into the new self-service reporting authoring tool “Crescent”. Along the way there will be demonstrations of the new features and functionality so you can get a feel for what is coming. By the end of the session you will have a full understanding of what lies ahead and you can start preparing your roadmap for delivering BI content within your organization.

Hope to see you there.

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