Articles tagged Basics

Using C# to Create PowerShell Cmdlets: The Basics

Although PowerShell Cmdlets are usually written in PowerShell, there are occasions when the level of integration with existing C# or VB libraries is awkward to achieve with PowerShell. Yes, you can write Cmdlets in C# perfectly easily, but until now it has been tiresome to discover how. Now Michael Sorens shows you the simple route to writing effective C# Cmdlets.… Read more

PowerShell Desired State Configuration: The Basics

'Desired State Configuration (DSC) is an essential part of the configuration, management and maintenance of Windows-based servers. It allows a PowerShell script to specify the configuration of the machine using a declarative model in a simple standard way that is easy to maintain and understand. Nicolas introduces the basic DSC concepts and provides a simple example of using the 'Push' model of DSC. … Read more


It sometimes pays to go back and look at what you think you already know about SQL. Joe Celko gives a quick revision of the GROUP BY and HAVING clauses in SQL that are the bedrock of any sort of analysis of data, and comes up with some nuggets that may not be entirely obvious… Read more

SQL Server System Views: The Basics

When maintaining or refactoring an unfamiliar database, you'll need a fast way to uncover all sorts of facts about the database, its tables, columns keys and indexes. SQL Server's plethora of system catalog views, INFORMATION_SCHEMA views, and dynamic management views contain all the metadata you need, but it isn't always obvious which views are best to use for which sort of information. Many of us could do with a simple explanation, and who better to provide one than Rob Sheldon?… Read more

Visualizing Data with R

It isn't just the attraction of the huge range of statistical analyses afforded by R that attracts data people to R. The language has also developed a rich ecosystem of charts, plots and visualisations over the years. In his second article about R Basics, Casimir Saternos shows how to get started with the three best-established graphics systems in R.… Read more

PowerShell Day-to-Day Admin Tasks: Monitoring Performance

By reading performance counters from services such as SQL Server or Exchange, you can get a wealth of performance information. By automating the process of gathering and storing appropriate counters, you can routinely check a range of devices quickly using visual tools such as PerfMon. By then creating your own counters, you can add counter-based metrics to anything that can be measured programmatically, such as services, applications, processes such as ETL, or deployments. … Read more

SQLXML Bulk Loader Basics

SQLXML isn't exactly new technology, but like the even more venerable BCP, it remains the quickest and most reliable way of heaving large quantities of data into SQL Server databases. SQLXML is very versatile, and once set up is wonderfully reliable ETL system, but isn't trivial to learn. Adam Aspin comes to the rescue with a simple guide.… Read more

PowerShell Day-to-Day Admin Tasks: WMI, CIM and PSWA

WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) is the basic way of querying and changing basic information about any windows server, including SQL Server or Exchange Server. It provides a logical structure and representation of systems and services that are hosted on the server and is essential for anyone who is keen to automate routine monitoring and administration work via PowerShell, especially where many servers are involved in the task.… Read more

Introduction to SQL Server Spatial Data

More and more applications require the handling of geospatial data. It is easy to store spatial data, but it takes rather more thought to retrieve and manipulate it. Tasks like searching neighborhoods, and calculating distances between points is often required from databases. But how do you start? Roy and Surenda take you through the basics. … Read more

R Basics

For exploring data and doing open-ended statistical analysis on it, nothing beats the R language. Over the years, this open-source tool has come to dominate the way we do analysis and visualization; It has attracted a rich and varied collection of third-party libraries that has given it remarkable versatility: But how do you get started? Casimir explains how to get started, and get familiar with the way it works. … Read more

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: Deploying Reports

Having designed and tested our reports, it's time to deploy them to the Report Server, so that our users can access them. Kathi Kellenberger demonstrates how to configure reports for native-mode deployment using Report Manager, and then deploy them from within SSDT-BI. She also explains how to use the Report Builder to provide "self-service" reporting to end users, allowing them to build custom reports based on report parts and shared datasets.… Read more

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: The Visual Controls

The challenge of report development is to present complex data in a simple, visually compelling way. The goal is to make it as quick and easy as possible for others in the organization to use that data to make decisions, to see progress towards a business target, or spot and act on worrying trends sooner rather than later. Kathi Kellenberger demonstrates how to start adding visual flair to your SSRS reports, using its impressive set of visual controls, ranging from basic charts to gauges, indicators, sparklines, and maps.… Read more

SSIS 2012 Projects: Setup, Project Creation and Deployment

It used to be that SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages had to be deployed individually. Now, they can be all deployed together from a single file by means of the Project Deployment Model introduced in SSIS 2012. Where there are tens or even hundreds of SSIS packages to deploy, this system is essential. Feodor Georgiev talks us through the basics in the first of a three-part series.… Read more

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: Customizing SSRS Reports

While the Reporting Wizard and basic report tables will do for prototyping, very soon we'll want to add some finesse to our reports, and allow our report users to create different views of the same data, dynamically. Kathi Kellenberger shows how to use expressions, functions, grouping, the matrix control, and other features, to add a degree of user control to the reports while maintaining visual clarity.… Read more

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: Building SSRS Reports

SQL Server Reporting Services is one of the most popular components of SQL Server, but it has always been surprisingly difficult to get from one place all the basic facts you need to get up and running from scratch, to the point of producing reports. Here Kathi Kellenberger quickly describes the basics of SSRS before showing how to build quick, simple reports.… Read more