Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for October, 2012

Presenting Power View Reports to Users

Posted by denglishbi on October 17, 2012

As you begin to use the new Power View reporting feature that is available with the Reporting Services 2012 integration in SharePoint 2010 one of the things that you will need to assess is how you are going to allow the users to access the reports.  What are the different options that you have when providing access to the Power View report files (rdlx) in SharePoint?

Here is a list of options that you could use:

  • store the Power View reports in a Document Library
  • display the Power View reports in a PowerPivot Gallery
  • use a Page Viewer Web Part to display the Power View report
  • use a Silverlight Web Part to display the Power View report

Here is how each of these will look to the end-user that will be access the reports:

Document Library


Above we can see that the Power View report files are available and stored in a document library, nothing really fancy, just storing the rdlx files.

PowerPivot Gallery


The PowerPivot Gallery is a very nice option to display the Power View reports. Provides a nice visual display of the reports and users are able to see if additional views are included in the files as well.  The view I have displayed above is the default Gallery setup, but additional options are available such as just displaying the files in the document layout like the Document Library display in the first example, Theater, and Carousel.

Page Viewer Web Part


The Pager Viewer web part is a nice option to include a Power View report (or a particular view) on a page.  This is a nice option to include a Power View report into any existing page and to provide a nice controlled output of the report.  You can see that the ‘Preview Bar’ has been removed from the top of the report so a user is not able to access the ‘Edit Report’ option.  The users are still able to interact with the report and access the different views in the report as well.


How do you configure the Page Viewer web part?  Pretty basic and a bit easier than the next option that will be looked at.

  1. Create a web part page
  2. Add a Page Viewer web part to the page
  3. Specify the URL path along with additional parameters for the report
  4. Specify the height and width for the web part for the appearance

Here is what the Page Viewer web part settings look like for the example displayed above:


Here is the URL path that I have specified along with some additional parameters that I am setting to provide the desired output:


In this example I am setting the View Mode, the Report Section I want to display, and hiding the Preview Bar.  These are the core settings that need to be set to get this output.  There are additional settings that you can explore and a few of these I discuss here in the following post URL Actions with Reporting Services Power View (RTM) and as one person commented there are additional parameters available and you can see these by accessing the properties of the output in PowerPoint as discussed here Can i edit my PowerView Report exported to PowerPoint in Presentation Mode? YES YOU CAN.

If we dig into the above output for the Pager View web part we can see that the output is displayed in an iframe and granted just by removing the Preview Bar doesn’t mean that the user couldn’t track down the actual location of the report and launch it from there, so this by no means is a security option.  The user still needs the proper permissions to the Power View report file (Restricted Readers – requires the ability to Open Items and this is different compared to regular Reporting Services reports because of the Silverlight application).


Silverlight Web Part


The Silverlight web part display looks identical to the Page Viewer.  This option requires a bit more of setup and I have to thank Robert Bruckner for the details on configuring this option.

    1. Create a web part page
    2. Add a Silverlight web part to the page
    3. Specify the URL path to the Silverlight application
    4. Specify the custom initialization parameters (Other Settings)
    5. Specify the height and width for the web part for the appearance

The path to the Silverlight application is the following:


The custom initialization parameters that I used in the example above are the following:


The template Robert provided for this setup is the following for the parameters:


Here is what the Silverlight web part settings look like for my example above:


When you add the Silverlight web part to the page you will be prompted for the URL path for the Silverlight application. That setting and address is also available in the above screenshot in the Application settings when you click on the ‘Configure…’ button.

You can once again dig into the output like we did above with the IE Developer Tools (F12) and you will see the following:


A little different output here and if you dig around enough you will eventually track down the initialization parameters, so once again not an option to prevent the users from finding out the original source of the file, but it is still an option that you can use to display Power View reports in a web page.


So to wrap up this post, I just wanted to show the different options you have available in SharePoint to display and provide access to Power View reports to end-users.  The first two options allow the users to launch the reports in the web browser and access the Edit Report or go into Full Screen modes.  I would use the PowerPivot Gallery option because of the nice output and provides the users quick insight as to what is included in the report and an overview of the different views (if more than one exists).  The last two options would be something to explore if you want to include a Power View report on a web page.  This is a nice clean option where we have removed the Preview Bar, but have still allowed the user access to the report to interact and browse the different views.  This could be a nice option if say you want to include a Power View report in a PerformancePoint dashboard.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick overview and for more information on how to use Power View and creating tabular models, don’t forget to check out our book here – Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View.

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

PASSMN October 2012 Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on October 10, 2012

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The next Minnesota SQL Server User Group meeting is next Tuesday on October 16.  This month there will be two presentations, one on a SQL database maintenance plans and the other on a new feature that was added in SQL Server 2012, Data Quality Services (DQS).  Be sure to register so that your name badge will be available for you at the Microsoft Technology Center when you arrive.

Minnesota SQL Server Users GroupThe sponsor for this month’s meeting is Magenic.

Location: 3601 West 76th Street, Suite 600 Edina, MN 55437

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 16 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Live Meeting:
•URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usergroups/join?id=H8JST2&role=attend&pw=rz%26R*ZSN9
•Meeting ID: H8JST2
•Entry Code: rz&R*ZSN9


•4:00-4:15 : Registration / hospitality / networking
•4:15-4:45 : Ola Hallengren’s SQL Server Maintenance Solution
•4:45-5:45 : Data Quality Services
•5:45-6:00 : Announcements and prize giveaways

Please click here for meeting details and to RSVP for the event


Ola Hallengren’s SQL Server Maintenance Solution (Rizwan Hassan, DBA at Kroll Ontrack)

DBAs are inconstantly using SQL Server standard maintenance and custom maintenance plans to maintain SQL environments. Ola Hallengren has been generous enough to contribute his maintenance plans which are not only effective, but also can be customized to meet small to large SQL environments. These plans have won SQL Server Magazine 2011 Gold Community Choice and Silver Editors’ Best awards. The Ola’s maintenance plans cover:

  • SQL Server Backups
  • SQL Server Integrity Checks
  • SQL Server index and Statistics Maintenance

Data Quality Services (Jeff Prom, Senior Consultant at Magenic) – As the old adage goes, ‘Garbage in, garbage out.’ Stop spending hours manually cleansing your data, and start using Data Quality Services! DQS is the new data quality tool provided with SQL Server 2012. In this session we will cover topics such as creating a knowledge base, data cleansing, data matching, and using 3rd party knowledge bases (Reference Data). We will talk about installation, show how to use the DQS tool, the Excel Add-in, and how to integrate DQS into your SSIS packages.

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Tabular Models, Compatibility Level, and Power View

Posted by denglishbi on October 4, 2012

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A couple of weeks ago I did a review of the CTP4 of SP1 that came out for SQL Server 2012 – Installing SQL Server 2012 SP1 CT4 Experience. Part of my test involved upgrading an Excel 2013 PowerPivot file to a Tabular Analysis Service project.  After I did that I setup a BI Semantic Model connection file in SharePoint and explored the Power View designer updates.  It was business as usual and I was seeing all of the new features and functionality that I had previously mention in my posts on Excel 2013 and Power View – Power View meet Microsoft Excel 2013 and Power View meet Microsoft Excel 2013 Part 2.

Well this past week I was prepping for my pre-con for the SQLSaturday #149 event and I noticed something odd.  When I was connecting to my tabular models with Power View I was not seeing my hierarchies or key performance indicators (KPIs).  I was a bit confused.  I upgraded my environment to SP1, so what was going on.  I thought the upgrade provided support for these model features now, right?  I know I had seen them already, maybe I was just imagining things though.  When I was doing my tabular project deployments I was also seeing a new dialog box that I was just clicking ‘Yes’ on without really understanding what it was talking about…


I completed out the pre-con still confused and then last weekend I did a bit more digging into this issue.  I went back to my Excel 2013 SQLSaturday model that I upgraded and I reviewed the property settings on the database.


The item that I noticed that seemed like it might be important was the Compatibility Level setting.  This database was showing SQL Server 2012 SP1 (1103).  I then took a look at the database I was using for some of my demos.


Ahhh, now the light bulb was starting to get bright:) The database that I was deploying was still in the SQL Server 2012 (1100) setting even though I had upgraded my environment to SP1.  Interesting.  Apparently you have the ability to control this setting now if you want to run in different levels or do some testing in the same environment before upgrading all of your databases.


I didn’t realize that I now had to make a change on my model property settings before I deployed my database.

Once this setting is changed you will be prompted with the following:


Once again I click ‘Yes’ and redeploy to upgrade the database on the server.  Now when I connect to my model with Power View I see my hierarchies and KPIs, perfect!


So just something to be aware of now when working with tabular model projects now.  There is a property setting that we have to take a look at, Compatibility Level, and it is a pretty important one for the users of our data models:)

Here are a couple of additional reference links to take a look at (some of this documentation and instructions might differ from what you see with CTP4 of SP1, but they should be available in the RTM of SP1):


Posted in Analysis Services | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

SQLFriends Lunch–Dec 14

Posted by denglishbi on October 3, 2012

UPDATE (10/19/2012): The date for this event has changed from Oct 19 to Dec 14. The website should be updated soon to reflect this as well.

The next SQLFriends lunch event is coming up and it will be right here in Edina, MN.  This month I will be the guest as well:)image  This will take place at the Edina Grill:

From Fish & Chips to our award winning Turkey Burger, Banana Waffle and Hash Browns, you’re bound to find something you’ll love at the Edina Grill!

At the Edina Grill we serve fresh, often organic, always made from scratch fare – offering breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, morning, noon and night.

imageI have not had a chance to attend one of these lunch events yet, but I can only guess it will be a fun time hanging out with the SQL family.  I will be available during the lunch time to talk about topics such as consulting, Microsoft MVP program, blogging, tweeting, running a user group, organizing events, Microsoft business intelligence, SQL Server, the future of business intelligence, authoring a book, and any other off topics that you might want to discuss such as family life, coaching, water skiing, etc. 

Here are the details of the event:

Date: Friday, December 14, 2012

Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Location: Edina Grill, 5028 France Ave S, Edina MN, 55424

Guest: Dan English

If you are available to attend it would be great to see you and hangout, head on over and register now – SQLFriends Lunch 5 – Edina Grill with Dan English.

Special thanks to Mike Donnelly and Aaron Lowe for stepping up and organizing these great events.

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

MN SQL Saturday #149 Follow Up

Posted by denglishbi on October 2, 2012

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This past weekend was the big SQL Saturday event in Minnesota and for the first time not only was the event on a Saturday, but we also had a couple of pre-con events.  I was fortunate to be able to conduct one of the pre-cons corey - data herowith Brian Larson.  We did an all day event on “Unlocking Insight – Be a Data Hero.”  I was a little nervous going into the pre-con because I had never done one before and wasn’t quite sure what people’s expectations would be and wanted to make sure that we had enough content.  Based on the classroom interactions I feel that the event went very well.  Brian and I covered the Microsoft BI tools, BI semantic models, PowerPivot, SharePoint, PerformancePoint, Tabular Analysis Services, and Power View.  We also provided each of the attendees a copy of our book Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View.  With all of the content, demos, and questions sqsat149that were asked I think we had a very successful day (next time handing out evaluations would be a good idea).

Then came the speaker dinner at Don Pablo’s and that was a really great setup.  We had a nice patio area all to ourselves and about about 40 people must have shown up.  It was nice to catch of with some familiar faces along with people in the SQL Family that I have never met as well as some of their spouses (even some kids).  All-in-all it was a nice relaxing time and it was fun to not only talking about the work we were all doing along with discussing how our jobs were going, but also to talk about our family lives.  Such a caring and awesome community, I couldn’t ask to be around a better group of people.

Then it was time for a few hours of sleep and the big event down on the U of M campus.  This was possibly my second time on campus and it was a very nice location.  The rooms were great (at least the one I was in, didn’t get a chance to check them all out – lots of tracks and sessions, plus I had to leave early to coach a soccer game).  I had a good crowd based on all of the great sessions going on at the same time and for it being the first one in the morning.  Unfortunately I misjudged my time and the material I wanted to cover.  I should have skipped the PowerPivot and Tabular SSAS project demos and just dived into the Power View ones.  I don’t feel like I did justice to the Power View demo, so need to do a little rearranging of this presentation next time.  I did cover some of the new items coming out with SQL Server 2012 SP1 and Excel 2013 though.  Hopefully everyone got something out of the content and demos and walked away with some new information.  You can download my slides from the SQL Saturday schedule site here – Power View – Bringing your Data to Life!

I really enjoyed the nice speaker blanket, shirt, and the Quest Software swag bags as well:)

sqlsat149 blanket sqlsat149 speaker shirt quest swag bag

I want to thank everyone that was involved in organizing the event (and the volunteers), special thanks to Paul Timmerman who was leading the charge this year.  I know from past experience the time, energy, and sleepless hours that goes into doing these events.  This year I was pretty much hands off with the exception of reviewing and picking the BI sessions.  I hope that everyone had a great time and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year:)

For those that attended our pre-con or my session I will have a couple of blog postings coming up this week to cover a couple of specific items that we talked about or that I did some further research after our event.

Thanks again for those that attended and hope to catch you at one of the PASSMN user group meetings, MN Microsoft BI user group meetings (next meeting Tue, Dec 4), or one of the big events going on nationally. Until next time:)

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