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Archive for the ‘SQL Server’ Category

MN SQLSaturday #796 Pre-Cons

Posted by denglishbi on September 13, 2018

We are just a few weeks out from #sqlsatmn and over 250 have registered! Don’t miss out on securing your spot, register today! sqlsat796


Checkout pre-con events and the earl-bird pricing while it lasts:)  Early-bird pricing on pre-cons ends 9/14, so sign-up today and save:)

We have paid, full-day pre-conference sessions on Friday, October 5th, 2018 (also at Saint Paul College).

These full day training sessions are a great value, current early-bird pricing of only $99 plus fees! (early-bird pricing is good through Friday, September 14 and then the price will increase to $125)

Click the links below to get more details about the pre-con training events:

You must register and pay through Eventbrite for these pre-cons.


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

MN SQLSaturday #796 – Oct 6

Posted by denglishbi on July 9, 2018

This year’s MN SQLSaturday will be on October 6 at the same venue as last year, the Saint Paul College. This is a free training event for Microsoft Data Platform professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server, Business Intelligence, Database Development and Analytics.

SQLSaturday #796 - Minnesota 2018


The call for speakers ends on Sunday, July 15.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!





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SQL Server 2017 CTP2.1 Install Experience

Posted by denglishbi on May 18, 2017

In this post I will walk through the install process highlighting the changes of the SQL Server 2017 install. This will be using the CTP2.1 release (May 2017) of the installer and I will also be using the new Power BI Report Server install which is a new light weight installer that is not part of the core server product installation.

I will just include some of the key screenshots from the installation and highlight some of the differences.

Install SQL Server 2017 CTP2.1




We can see here that Reporting Services has now been removed from the core installation similar to SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Data Tools. This is now a more light weight installation and it needs to be downloaded separately, just like Power BI Report Server.


So we see that now for Machine Learning there is also Python support and that SSIS has new scale out capabilities. In addition to this Reporting Services – Native installation has been removed (and no more SharePoint integration!).


New Consent to Install Python, similar to the experience we have seen with Microsoft R Open.



Everything successfully installed that we selected!

Install SQL Server Management Studio 17.0




The new SSMS 17.0 splash screen.


Build Version for SQL 2017 CTP2.1 – 14.0.600.250

Installing Power BI Report Server

This is available for customers that purchase Power BI Premium or have SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance.







Once you have completed the install then you will need to use the Report Service Configuration Manager to connect and complete the setup tasks – creating database, establishing the web service and web portal URL, etc.


What we see here is that it has created a named instance for the Power BI Report Server called ‘PBIRS’.

In reviewing the new tables that are part of this installation I noticed three new tables: CleanupLock, Comments, and ProductInfoHistory. The first two tables are blank for now, but the ProductInfoHistory did have one record in it stating the build number for the current SKU installed.


I just noticed one other item, it appears in the configuration table you can control if users have the ability to export Power BI report data and this can also be accessed if you connect with SQL Server Management Studio and review the Advanced settings. The ability to control the Custom Visuals is also an option.




Successful configuration and you can see we have a similar color scheme like the Power BI Service for the default and using the new Power BI logo, very nice.

So the new Power BI Report Server is a superset of Report Server where it contain mobile reports, KPIs, paginated reports, and now Power BI reports. Plus you can upload Excel workbooks and we expect them to be viewable in the browser in the near future like Power BI reports.

Now to make Power BI reports that are supported in Power BI Report Server you need to use the Power BI Desktop (Report Server) version of the application, which is a separate install as well and can be installed side-by-side with an existing version of the Power BI Desktop applications.

The May 2017 release of Power BI Report Server will now support Power BI Custom Visuals, so that is really cool!

Install Power BI Desktop (Report Server)








From the start screen here you will see a new option to ‘Open from report server’ and some Reporting Services links to the forums, blog, and tutorials.



I can open up an existing report and then deploy this to the Power BI Report Server. Just remember that currently only Live SSAS connections are supported as a data source, no other data sources are supported for the time being, hopefully later this year we will see additional support so that we can use embedded models.


To publish to the Power BI Report Server simply select File—>Save as—>Power BI Report Server


Enter the Web Portal URL


Pick the location if you want to place it in an existing folder possibly and then click OK.


Then you can click on the ‘Take me there’ link and you will be able to view your report.


From here you can interact with the report, print it, different options for viewing the report (fit to width, fit to page, and actual size), open it back up in Power BI Desktop, explore the data, refresh the report, filter the data, add comments to the report (comments also support ability to add attachments as well).

Now if you are not able to install Power BI Report Server (and remember, if you can use this, you will still need additional Power BI Pro licenses for the report authors and users that want to export the reports to say PowerPoint or CSV, sorry no Excel option yet…) you can install the regular Reporting Services.

Install Reporting Services

Nothing too different from the Power BI Report Server installation.








This time the named instance that tool creates is called ‘SSRS’.

After the install you can go into the Reporting Services Configuration Manager and complete the configuration, just like in versions past.

So that is it for now, hope you enjoyed the quick walkthrough experience of the new SQL Server 2017 installation!

Posted in Power BI, Reporting Services, SQL Server | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Minneapolis Microsoft Data Amp Event–Listening Party Apr 19

Posted by denglishbi on March 30, 2017

Please join me and Paul Timmerman next month Wednesday, April 19 in Edina, MN for the Microsoft Data Amp Live Streaming Event.


I have reserved a room from 9:30AM to 12PM. The event will start at 10AM.

Seating is limited, so register soon before it fills up.

Register now –> http://bit.ly/mplsdataamp

There should hopefully be some swag available as well to those that attend!

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

Getting Started with SQL Server 2016 CTP3 in Azure

Posted by denglishbi on November 11, 2015

If you have an Azure account (possibly through your MSDN subscription) here is the easiest way to get up and running with SQL Server 2016.

First go to the Azure Portal – http://portal.azure.com

Search and find the SQL Server 2016 CTP3 in the Data and Analytics Marketplace in Azure.


Create the Virtual Machine.


Start the Virtual Machine once it is created and then once it is running Connect with RDP.

Once it is started up you can search and add items to Start as well as Taskbar such as SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Configuration Manager, SQL Server Reporting Services Configuration Manager, etc.


Turn off the IE Enhanced Security for Administrators.


Download and install the latest version of SSDT for SQL Server – http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt204009.aspx


SSDT for Visual Studio 2015 for SQL Server 2016 now includes the database projects as well as the BI project templates, so you no longer need to download and install two separate installs.  If you already have Visual Studio 2015 installed then a smaller download (install) will be used to add in the additional template projects.


The installer will download and then install the components. This will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes on the Virtual Machine.

Then add SQL Server Data Tools 2015 to the Start and/or Taskbar for easy access.


Review the SQL Server Components installed.


Based on this as well as reviewing the summary setup log located here – C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Setup Bootstrap\Log\ – we can see that the Database Engine was installed along with Data Quality Services, Analysis Services (multidimensional), Reporting Services (Native), Integration Services, Management Tools, and Master Data Services.

We still need to install Analysis Services (Tabular), Advanced Analytics Extensions, and also complete the configuration of Reporting Services.

So to complete the install components we will access the setup in the following location – C:\SQLServer_13.0_Full\.  First we will install the Advanced Analytics Extensions. This is part of the process so that we can use SQL Server R Services.



Additional steps are required to complete and start using the Advanced Analytics Extensions in SQL Server.


Use the link provided in the Warning to access the complete steps to getting R services completed on the server so that you can start utilizing R code with SQL Server.

Rule Check Result
Rule "Post-installation steps are required for Advanced Analytics Extensions" generated a warning.

The feature Advanced Analytics Extensions requires some post-installation steps after completing SQL Server setup. Please follow the steps outlined in the link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=626645 (Ctrl-C to copy)

This installation for the extensions will also install the SQL Server Launchpad.

Next we will run the installer again and get an Analysis Services Tabular instance installed. For this we will need to install a named instance since multidimensional SSAS was used for the default.





Once that is done then run the Reporting Services Configuration Manager to complete the SSRS Native setup.


Once connected go to the Web Services URL and click Apply button. Then go to the Database page and use the Change Database option to create a new report server database. Next go to the Report Manager URL and click Apply.

Other items that you might want to do are setup Execution Account, backup Encryption Keys, setup Subscription Settings for file share access, and lastly Power BI Integration!


We will setup the Power BI integration so that we can use the new Pin to Power BI capabilities when we create our Reporting Services reports so that we can pin and share content in our Power BI dashboards!

The last item that we have to do is go to Report Manager and we can install the new Report Builder.


You will see that Report Builder has a new theme as well as the new Chart Types – Treemap and Sunburst which are great for displaying hierarchical data.


There you go, up and running and ready to explore some of the new SQL Server 2016 CTP3 capabilities.

More resources on new features in SQL Server 2016 CTP3:


Posted in SQL Server | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

SQLSaturday 287 Madison Follow Up

Posted by denglishbi on April 30, 2014

Last month I had the pleasure of attending my first SQLSaturday event outside of Minnesota, I went to Madison, Wisconsin.  Not only did I get to attend and present at the main SQLSaturday event, I was also fortunate to be able to put on an all-day pre-conference event the Friday before – Self-Service BI to the Max.

So Thursday afternoon I headed out on my four hour road trip into the neighboring state to visit Madison (for my first time).


It started out raining (only one accident being reported by TomTom) and eventually turned to snow as I got into Wisconsin.  The roads were not too bad, but the two lane 94 driving in was a tad fun with all of the semi drivers;)  The drive was a tad long and driving solo makes it a bit boring.  I tried to check out a few of the water parks along the road and eventually made it into Madison and found the hotel, which was right next to the pre-conference event (walking distance).

I did some final preparation for the pre-con and drove around town a bit (roads are crazy, need a GPS for sure) and got confused with the medians that divided the left turn lanes in the streets (found that a odd and confusing).  The next day was the all-day pre-con and I got spiffed up in the brand new Power BI shirt:)

WP_20140419 1

The event went great, the location was nice and the 25 people in the room were great.  We went over the Power BI content (my pre-con was Self-Service BI to the Max), went over some demos, answered questions, and did some hands-on labs.  A fairly long day, but it was a great time meeting a new crowd and talking about Microsoft BI! (photo taken by Jes Borland – @grrl_geek)

Embedded image permalink

After the long day I headed over to the main SQLSaturday event location to check it out as well as stuff a few event bags (350!).  I also met a bunch of new people as well as SQL family that I knew by name, just have never met in-person.  One of the new people I met was Pat Wright (@SQLAsylum, a.k.a. PASS photographer) who took a bunch of awesome photos and a few down below that I am including and linking back to with his permission, thanks!


Once we were done with the bags is was off to find something a cool to drink (thanks to Ted Krueger, @onpnt, he tracked down a Mt. Dew to tide me over for a bit).  We headed over to Erin’s Snug Irish Pub for a little ale.

WP_20140419 4WP_20140419 2

Then it was over to the speaker’s dinner, non-stop action.

That was about all I could do on Friday, I was wiped out.  Time to get some shut eye and get ready for Saturday.  On Saturday morning I headed out with Dustin Mueller (@sqlcheesecake), Mike Donnelly (@sqlmd), and Tracy McKibben (@RealSQLGuy) for a little SQL run (just 4 miles).  It was a tad chilly on the first lap (remember, this was in March), but things were fine on the second one.  Unfortunately Jes Borland (@grrl_geek) was unable to join us because she was still recovering from an injury (she was with us in spirit and talk though).

Once I got back to the room after the run I got cleaned up and got a text from Ted inquiring if I could give a second BI presentation because they had a cancellation.  There were only a handful of BI sessions for the event, so they wanted to have another BI one to fill in.  I agreed and arranged another slide deck and demos for the second presentation (good thing I did an all-day pre-con the day before).

For the SQLSaturday event I did two presentations, fie the first one the room was a tad warm and it was standing room only, jam packed (awesome)!  I spoke on Delivering Self-Service BI with Power (new Excel 2013 features, Power Pivot, and Power View).  Then for my second presentation after lunch I spoke on “Getting Down with Power Query and Power Map”.

I was very pleased and glad to receive all of the evaluations and feedback.  On a scale of 1 to 5 I received good scores and the feedback was very helpful, lots of content to cover.


All-in-all I had a wonderful time, enjoyed my first out-of-state SQLSaturday event, looking forward to a few more.  I want to thank Ted and Jes for reaching out to me and Gina Meronek (@equerystrian) and the gang for putting on an awesome event, very well organized and an extremely helpful group over in WI.  Thanks for having me out and looking forward to returning next year:)
Read the rest of this entry »

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

Final Call for the MN SQL Saturday 238 Speakers

Posted by denglishbi on August 10, 2013

This is the final call to submit your sessions for the Minnesota SQL Saturday event coming up in October. The speaker abstracts can be submitted through Tuesday, September 13 and then the fun begins to start selecting the sessions and setting up the official schedule.image

So far on 47 sessions have been submitted by 27 different speakers and 12 of those submitted more than one session.

If we do a breakdown of the current list that has been submitted it looks like the following so far:


Just a word of warning, if you have only submitted 1 session you might want to review the list that has already been submitted.  If your topic is a duplicate the chances of you making the final cut might be tough, particularly if the duplicate submission speaker only submitted 1 as well:)

So if you were holding out to submit a session to speak your time is up, time to submit.  If you already submitted, time to review the full list and re-evaluate your submission(s) to secure your spot.

Call for Speakers

Submitted Sessions

Good luck to all the speakers that submitted and can’t wait for the big event.

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

PASSMN July 2013 Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on July 2, 2013

The next Minnesota SQL Server User Group meeting is on Tuesday, July 23. This month SQL Server and Pragmatic Works founder Brian Knight is in town and will present. 

Brian Knight is in town doing his two-day SSIS Master training course, something else to check out if you are available – http://pragmaticworks.com/LearningCenter/Workshops/DataIntegration/7-23-2013_MinneapolisMasterSSISWorkshop.

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 Group

The sponsor for this month’s meeting is Pragmatic Works.

Pragmatic Works

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

Live Meeting:


  • 5:00-5:30 : Announcements / Registration / hospitality / networking
  • 5:30-6:45 : Data Visualization Moves, by Brian Knight
  • 6:45-7:00 : Prize giveaways

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


Ninja Data Visualization Moves by Brian Knight

Abstract: PowerPivot and Power View brings with it some amazing business intelligence and data visualization enhancements. Watch how you can improve data cleansing with Excel 2013 and some of the new features integrated into Excel and the other Office tools to visualize data better than ever before. See how the new PowerPivot and Power View features in Excel 2013 take your data to the next level of visualization. We’ll also show how you can visualize map data with GeoFlow and tie disparate data together with Data Explorer.

About Brian: Brian Knight, SQL Server MVP, MCITP, MCSE, MCDBA, is the owner and founder of Pragmatic Works. He is also the co-founder of SQLServerCentral.com, BIDN.com and SQLShare.com. He ran the local SQL Server user group in Jacksonville (JSSUG). Brian is a contributing columnist at several technical magazines and does regular webcasts at PragmaticWorks.com. He is the author of more than a dozen SQL Server books. Brian has spoken at conferences like PASS, SQL Connections and TechEd and many Code Camps. His blog can be found at http://www.bidn.com.

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

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

[tweetmeme source=”denglishbi” only_single=”false”]

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 »