Thursday, April 30, 2009

SSRS 2008/Visual Studio 2008...

I recently installed Visual Studio 2008 with SP1. The service Pack1 for Visual Studio 2008 took around 45 Min's. Once I finished that I installed SQL Server 2008 with BIDS, this requires Visual Studio 2008 SP1 to be present. I had a bunch of 2005 Sql server 2005 Reporting services reports which I wanted to migrate to SSRS 2008. When I started the process i ran into errors, it was a weird error. In SSRS 2008 it looks like one cannot define data sources with spaces in it. For example I had a data source Called Dev B, SSRS 2008 had problem with it. To fix this issue i renamed the Data source As DevB, this fixed the issues. Once the SSRS BIDS studio is attached to Source control, there was a new feature which I noticed, it was called get latest version on Check out. I will blog more about this and other features once i explore them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Hoshin is used as a management tool in many big corporations around the world. So what does Hoshin actually stand for? As per wikipedia it is defined as a method devised to capture and cement strategic goals as well as flashes of insight about the future and develop the means to bring these into reality. This method was initially developed by Dr. Yoji Akao that uses a Plan-Do-Check-Act to create goals. The purpose of hoshin is to help an organization which is listed below:
Focus on a shared goal
Communicate that goal to all leaders
Involve all leaders in planning to achieve the goal
Hold participants accountable for achieving their part of the plan
In Japanese, hoshin means shining metal, compass, or pointing the direction, this technique has/is being used by companies like Toyota,Hewlett Packard and Bank of America to name a few.

Business Intelligence...

Business Intelligence is an area of specialisation which has seen growth in the past several years and continues to grow. So what is Business Intelligence, Simply put it basically is aimed at providing information for what a Business whats to know and when the business wants to know it. Business Intelligence also encompasses the field of Data Mining which is aimed at unearthing hidden patterns in the data which has gathered by a particular entity. This provides the business with the capability of predicitng certain trends in the particular business domain. For example Data Mining techniques are/can be used for Direct Marketing Campaigns,Fraud Detection Techniques to name a few. There are lot of tools and techniques which facilitate Business Intelligence and Data Mining, for examples Vendors like Microsoft,Oracle,IBM provide Business Intelligence Tools. There are techniques like Neural Networks,Decision Trees,Machine Learning which are part of the Data Mining Domain.
There is an other important aspect of Business Intelligence which are Reports,DashBoards,Scorecards. These provide a Business a visual outlook of Key Performance Indicators,Trends and Projections which in turn a gives a good birds eye view of overall Busniess Performance. To summarise, Business Intelligence when utilised in a proper manner will provide very good benefits and can be a Value Add for a Business/Organisation.

iPhone Vs gPhone

In the smartphone market space the latest entrant has been Google's g-Phone. This phone has been launched with the aim of providing an alternative to the very popular Apple's iphone. iPhone has had a headstart here since it was lauched well before the G-phone came to the market. iphone had the platform of the successful ipod from apple, this made the lauch of iphone one of the most anticipated. Given that we have these options now how do these two phone match up with each other. There are bound to be lot of opnions regarding these two phones raging from usability experience to technical performance and reliability. In order to make things easire i am enclosing a link which gives overall comparison between the two phones.
Hopefully the above link will give a headstart for folks wanting to buy one these 2 devices/phones.


These days smartphones have invaded the marketplace in large numbers. The customer is presented with varied styles of smart phones from different vendors. One of the Vendor which has an impressive array of smartphones is RIMM based in Toronto,Canada. The Blackberry was one of the first smartphones to bring in the combined use of e-mail and cell phone, it became instantly popular in the corporate world as it enabled business travellers to keep in touch with their respective business. Initially blackberry smartphones used keyboard form of inputs. It takes a while for new user to get used adjusted to typing in using the blackberry. As the years went by which increased competition from apple , Microsoft based Windows Mobile phones and presently with google's g-phone, RIMM has been rolling out newer models of blackberry into the market. The latest models to infiltrate the market place have been Blackberry Storm,Blackberry Bold and Blackberry Curve. Each of these phone have bought different feature sets to the marketplace. With Blackberry bold it was the wide display which meant more reading space,

The Storm model was the first blackberry model to bring in touch screen to the Blackberry world keeping in touch with competition from the iphone.
For more detailed reviews on different Blackberry models, please refer to this link.

Smokey Mountains...

For my son's spring break we had made a trip to the smoky mountains along with our friends and stayed in a log cabin. The log cabin was situated near Pigeon Forge, TN. It was located in the mid mountain area, with lot of greenery around with spectacular views of the mountain. The ride to the cabin everyday after our daily routine was interesting.
Staying in log cabins is a great way to save money on accomodation for large groups of people. For example if 2 or more families are planning a trip, log cabins can be a great way to save. When I travelled we had a total of 8 people (2 families) stay for 4 nights. The total expense was 260 dollars which worked out to around 65 dollars a night. These cabins have fully furnished kitchen which means money can be saved on food expenses. During vacations food expenses tend to be very high, when planned in advance, one would take certain food items which could be cooked. The smokey mountain, pigeon forge area has a large amount of log cabins, the place where we stayed was at: (BlackBear Lodging,Pigeon Forge,TN)

Report Builder 2.0

Report Builder is an adhoc reporting tool which is available of the Sql Server Reporting Services. This tool would enable an user/analyst to build reports on adhoc basis. There has been a significant improvement with the Report Builder 2.0 which is available as part of SQL Server 2008. In this version the builder is more robust, almost mimics the actual Report designer environment in visual studio. There is the new tablix control along with lots of charts and gauge controls. The gauge and chart controls have been incorporated from Dundas software. The graphics on these controls is far superior to the native charts which were available in sql server 2005. With the new gauge controls one can build professional looking score cards and dashboards. The tablix control is a combination of the regular table and the matrix control, this allows user to create row and column groupings, this allows user to produce complex reports on a adhoc basis very quickly. With this version the user can export the report to Microsoft word format. The tool can be downloaded from the following Microsoft website.