Articles tagged

24 August 2015
24 August 2015

Working with SQL Server data in Power BI Desktop

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What's the best way of providing self-service business intelligence (BI) to data that is held in on-premise SQL Server? Not, it seems, Power BI 2.0 the hosted cloud service, but Power BI 2.0 Desktop. If moving your database to Azure isn't an option, Power BI 2.0 desktop could still bring smiles to the faces of your BI hotshots.… Read more
27 July 2015
27 July 2015

Multi-Platform Mobile Development with PhoneGap

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It seems a great idea to have your application on all the main mobile platforms as well as on the desktop. Nothing beats writing an app specially for each device, but then you've created a full-scale maintenance headache. Are technologies like PhoneGap/Cordova or Adobe Air, using a browser-based UI, the perfect compromise? If so, what frameworks do you use?… Read more
27 July 2015
27 July 2015

The Evolution of SQL Server BI

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It is sometimes hard to keep up with Microsoft's direction in Business Intelligence. Over the years, we've been presented with so many ways of aggregating, processing, graphing, reporting and visualising data, that we felt it was time to take stock and present the Simple BI Timeline, and explain how BI has evolved over the years.… Read more
14 July 2015
14 July 2015

SQL Style Habits: Attack of the Skeuomorphs

Although we like to think that our programming techniques are progressive and in tune with the bleeding edge of software development practices, too often they are directly influenced by restrictions faced in the post-war decades when computers first became mainstream. As these restrictions no longer apply, is it time to relinquish such things as cursors, 'tibbling', storing display formats, using short names for symbols and primary keys?… Read more
25 June 2015
25 June 2015

The Poster of the Plethora of PowerShell Pitfalls

One of the downsides of learning a new computer language is that transfer of training doesn't always work to your advantage. In fact, the habits you picked up in the past may now cause confusion. In this poster or wall-chart for long walls, Michael Sorens selects the thirty-six most common causes of confusion for anyone getting to grips with PowerShell. Forewarned is forearmed.… Read more
28 May 2015
28 May 2015

How to Get SQL Server Dates and Times Horribly Wrong

One of the times that you need things to go right is when you are doing analysis and reporting. This is generally based on time and date. A sure-fire way of getting managers upset is to get the figures horribly wrong by messing up the way that you handle datetime values in SQL Server. In the interests of peace, harmony and a long career in BI, Robert Sheldon outlines some of the worst mistakes you can make when using SQL Server dates.… Read more
08 May 2015
08 May 2015

Optimizing Batch Process in SQL Server

SQL Server batch processes are usually run from SQL Agent in background. They can take significant time and resources, especially if they are ETL tasks. Quite often, the responsibility for creating these tasks belongs entirely to the developer. Dennes demonstrates that DBAs can advise and assist with this type of batch job by bringing their expertise to bear on the problem of reducing their impact on the working system to a minimum.… Read more
28 April 2015
28 April 2015

Making Data Analytics Simpler: SQL Server and R

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R and SQL Server are a match made in heaven. You don't need anything special to get started beyond the basic instructions. Once you have jumped the hurdle of reliably and quickly transferring data between R and SQL Server you are ready to discover the power of a relational database when when combined with statistical computing and graphics.… Read more
15 April 2015
15 April 2015

Mobile BI with SQL Server Reporting Services

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For users to get the information they need from mobile reports, we frequently have to tailor the way we design those reports to the characteristics of the target device. Adam Aspin demonstrates some of the ways that we can deliver easy-to-use Business Intelligence to tablets and smartphones using Reporting Services. … Read more
09 April 2015
09 April 2015

Swizec Teller : Geek of the Week

Why do programmers work best at night? Is this related to the idea that drinking alcohol improves cognitive ability? Is programming a young person's game? How do you tackle spaghetti code and avoid job-burnout? Swizek Teller has achieved fame in providing a wry commentary on these questions, and the way that computers have come to dominate our lives.… Read more
09 April 2015
09 April 2015

Schema-Based Access Control for SQL Server Databases

Access-control within the database is important for the security of data, but it should be simple to implement. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the jargon of principals, securables, owners, schemas, roles, users and permissions, but beneath the apparent complexity, there is a schema-based system that, in combination with database roles and ownership-chaining, provides a relatively simple working solution.… Read more
01 April 2015
01 April 2015

Deploying the same database to many different RDBMSs

With the idea of a generic Dacpac defined by international standard, comes the potential for a Visual Studio developer to use SSDT to create a generic database model to a SQL-92 compliant standard that can then be deployed to any one of the major RDBMSs. The same database model would be deployable to Oracle, MySQL, or SQL Server, for example. Professor Hugh Bin-Haad explains the reasoning and technology behind this.… Read more
01 April 2015
01 April 2015

How DBAs Can Adopt the Craftsman Mindset

The job of a DBA requires a fusion of skill and knowledge. To acquire this requires a craftsman mindset. Craftsmen find that the better they get at the work, the more enjoyable the work gets, and the more successful they become. Deliberate practice, Specialization and an appetite for overcoming difficulty are good habits to deliberately adopt to successfully grow those craftsmanlike skills to the point that you become "so good they can't ignore you".… Read more
18 March 2015
18 March 2015

Premature Scalability and the Root of All Evil

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When you're designing an application, there is a temptation to build it to a super-scalable future-proof architecture, even when the immediate requirements can be met by a simple single-tier application that can exploit the pure power of IIS and SQL Server. Dino recounts the painful story of what happened when the gurus got their way.… Read more