Sunday, September 19, 2010

SQL Saturday - Raleigh...

I had the opportunity to attend the SQL Saturday session held at Raleigh on Saturday 18th sept. It was a great learning experience listening to the Speakers (all of them Microsoft MVP's) deliver interesting lectures on varied areas of SQL Server. My first session was with Rafael Sallas (MVP) on why we should Care about dimensional modelling. The lecture was an introduction to dimensional modelling,star schema, Kimball methodologies. The second session which i attended was by Tim Chapman (MVP) on Dynamic SQL. The speaker did a great job on doing demos which made the session very interactive. He showed how the performance is for dynamic sql, also showed how to minimise SQL injection attacks while using dynamic SQL. One of the examples he showed was for a web app which does dynamic searches. The dynamic SQL which he showed was really neat and picked up very good execution plans. The next session was on SQL Server 2008 SSRS new features by Mike Davis (Pragmatic Works). Lot of cool demos on Maps, Data Bars and Sparklines, Report parts and Shared Datasets. During lunch time there was a presentation by Red gate on a new product introduced by them called SQL Source Control. Very nice product works with TFS and SVN source Control systems. After lunch he first session was on identifying performance issues and fixing them. A very nice interactive session and lot of questions were asked by developers. Following this attended Andy Leonard (MVP) session on SSIS design patterns. A great lecture on how one should go about developing an SSIS framework for the enterprise. Neat demos on performing incremental loads in SSIS packages and also discussed scope of variables and performing auditing. The final session was on advanced T-SQL by Kevin Bole (MVP), solving problems using SQL and some very innovative approaches to problem solving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One of the key aspects of working with SSAS is understanding MDX and its basic concepts. In order to work with MDX comfortably, one should have familiarity with dimensional modeling and SQL Server Analysis services. There is content on SQL Server 2008 books online which gives insight into concepts which are essential for MDX. Concepts like Sets,tuples,members,levels etc... need to be understood before getting into MDX. There is a book which saw on the net which I find useful:
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 MDX Step by Step, by Bryan C. Smith and C. Ryan Clay,  both of Hitachi Consulting, shipped to the printer in January and is available now (Microsoft Press, 2009; ISBN: 9780735626188; 400 pages). The prerequisites and the content are clearly defined, the book also comes with a companion CD. Using a book, books online one should practice as much as possible to get a handle on MDX.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Data Visualization...

I am working on a project using SSAS to build out cubes. One of the requirements as part of the project is generate dynamic reports. One of the tools which i have come across is Tableau software, here is the link for the software web site, There is free trial download available at this web site. The tool is very rich when it comes to data visualization and also the kind of reports that can be generated is very rich in terms of features. Please read the following link for details