Friday, December 19, 2014

Big Power BI Updates!

Today Microsoft announced some very big updates to Power BI that will make it more like the product I have been hoping for since it was first announced.

First off the new site has launched in Preview mode with lots of info on all of these new features.

Also today we got the Preview download of the Power BI Designer that allows for the design and viewing of Power BI solutions in a standalone application. Before you get too excited this first Preview release of the Power BI Designer only does Power Query and Power View functions, no Power Pivot or Power Map yet (hopefully those will be added in future releases). You can use existing Power Pivot models as a source, but you
will not be able to update those Power Pivot models until a future release. I think that this new application will finally give us the unified development environment we have been looking for to do Power BI solutions.

Also added today to Power BI is the Preview release of connecting to onsite SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular models. This is a Preview release as well, but can be accessed from the existing Power BI online tools and the new Power BI Designer.

Power BI Dashboards was also added to the feature list along with a few new visualizations (combo charts, fill maps, gauges, tree maps and funnel charts). A bunch of new data sources were also added with built-in support: Github, Salesforce, SendGrid, Zendesk, Dynamics CRM, and Marketo.

And the Power BI app for Apple iPad was announced that it would be available in the Apple AppStore sometime today (12/19). There was still not a link to go directly to the Apple AppStore as of late this afternoon, so this may not show up until after the new year since Apple is shutting down AppStore updates for the holidays very soon.

Reading between the lines a bit on all of this it looks like Power BI is being positioned as a full standalone application that will no longer require Excel 2010/2013, Office 365 or even SharePoint (on-prem or online). I think that this is exactly what Power BI needs to become a much more accepted application in the Enterprise and I for one am very excited about the possibilities now!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

SQLSaturday #362 - Austin #sqlsataustin #sqlsat362

For my first speaking event of 2015 I'll be presenting "Capture Change and Apply It with CDC & SSIS" at SQLSaturday #362 in Austin, TX on January 31st @ 9am. Looking forward to going to a city that I have wanted to visit for many years and going back to the area where I was born (Fort Hood, TX). My family moved from Texas when I was only a few weeks old as my Dad completed his service in the Army and went back into the private sector. I'm going to be flying in early on Friday, January 30 so that I can do some sight seeing for the day.

If you are going to be in the Austin area, it would be great to see you! To register for SQLSaturday #362, just click on this link and I'll see you there!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

PASS Summit 2014 #summit14 #sqlfamily

I'm back home after an amazing week in Seattle for PASS Summit 2014. Love visiting Seattle, especially when there are lots of #SQLFamily there to enjoy it with!

I got into Seattle on Sunday afternoon via train from Portland. Was the first Amtrak train that I have ever been on and was a nice relaxing ride from Seattle to Portland. I guess I thought that I would see more of the coast on the train, didn't realize that it was going more inland, still some great scenary.

The week itself went by really fast with PASS meetings on Tuesday and the conference itself starting on Wednesday. My presentation on SSDT, "What Version of SSDT do I Need?" was on Wednesday afternoon, so it was good that I got that over with early in the week. I presented this session in the first set of Lightning Talk sessions with Brent Ozar, Luke Jian, Mark Vaillancourt, Tim Radney and Craig Purnell. Was great to share the spotlight with all of these speakers in a full room and we got through all of our presentations with time for questions at the end! Tim, Craig and I were all in the same Lightning Talk session at PASS Summit 2013 as well.

Below is the updated version of my slides, with a change to the table of SSDT versions, correcting a small oversight on my part.

With the presentation out of the way I was able to enjoy the other sessions and parties throughout the week and see as many of my #SQLFamily as possible. Overall the week went very well and I'm already looking forward to PASS Summit 2015 back in Seattle on October 27 - 30!

Thanks again to everyone that attended my session and I'm looking forward to an even better 2015!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

SQLSaturday Oregon & PASS Summit 2014 #sqlsat337 #Summit2014

Next week I'll be leaving for SQLSaturday #337 Oregon and PASS Summit 2014 where I will be speaking at both!

SQLSaturday #337 Oregon will be my first trip to Portland, so I'm looking forward to seeing a new city and speaking to the Oregon SQL Server community. My session will be "Date and Time Dimensions for Every Day and Time in No Time" at 1:15pm in Room 204 (keep your eye on the schedule page or Guidebook just in case it changes). I love giving this Date Dimension talk as it is something that every Data Warehouse needs and everyone hates setting them up, so I help with a single script and some advice. If you are going to be in the Portland area on Saturday, November 1st, please make sure you register and I'll see you next Saturday!

After SQLSaturday #337 I'll take the Amtrak from Portland to Seattle on Sunday for my favorite conference, PASS Summit 2014! PASS Summit is a yearly SQL Server conference that has thousands of SQL Server professionals and speakers from across the world. For the second PASS Summit in a row I'll be presenting a session. After attending this amazing conference yearly since 2007 I have become very involved in the SQL Server community and love that I now get to be part of speakers/volunteers that make this event great. I'll be presenting "What Version of SSDT do I Need?" at 3pm on Wednesday, November 5th in Room 606. I'll also be volunteering at the PASS Community Zone, so make sure to stop by and say hi!

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Portland and Seattle in a week and hanging out with my #SQLFamily at both events!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

SQLSaturday #300 and Other Posts

I'll hopefully be flying out of Denver first thing Friday morning for SQLSaturday #300 in Kansas City, assuming we don't get too much snow (currently only forecasting .2", so not too worried). Love visiting with all of my KC #SQLFamily each year and happy that I can get out there early Friday to do the BBQ Crawl! I'll be presenting my "Capture Change and Apply It with Change Data Capture and SSIS" (I really need to shorten that title) talk at 2:15pm on Saturday.

I was happy to contribute my first blog post to the RevGen Partners brand new UpShift blog this week, SQL Server Development Tools. Check it out if you are curious about what versions of SSDT work with what in the different versions of SQL Server.

I also had my review of Microsoft BI posted to the TrustRadius site as well today, "Why is Microsoft BI Right for Me?". I tried to present as fair of a review as I could based on my 10+ years of experience with the tools.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Denver SQL Server User Group August Meeting

It was great to present at the Denver SQL Server User Group again after a year plus on my birthday, last Thursday (8/21). I'm up in front doing the introductions and running the meetings every month, so no need to also present there all of the time too. :)

I presented a 30 minute version of the Date Dimension talk that I have done in many different forms over the last year (including a 10 minute version at PASS Summit 2013). Below is the link to download the slides and zip file with the SQL script to create a Date Dimension in seconds.

Thanks again to everyone that attended the meeting, and looking forward to seeing you all again at the September meeting on 9/18. Also, don't forget the Denver SQLSaturday is coming up on 9/20 and we only have around 30 open registrations left before we start up the waitlist. Also there are 3 great pre-cons on 9/19 that only cost $125 for a full day of training. Go to to register for both!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mile High Tech Con - Demo/Slides #MHTechCon

Thank you to everyone that attended my "Capture Change and Apply it with Change Data Capture and SSIS" session at Mile High Tech Con on Saturday. I have uploaded the zip file that has both the demo solutions and the slides.

Thanks to Marc Beacom and all of the other volunteers at the Mile High Tech Con, was a great event and glad that there will be another technical event here in the Denver area each year!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Mile High Tech Con #MHTechCon

My speaking calendar is really filling up! :)

I have been selected to speak at the Mile High Tech Con that will be held on July 24-26 at the Auraria Campus in Denver, Colorado! I will be presenting "Capture Change and Apply it With Change Data Capture & SSIS" on Saturday, July 26 @ 1pm. This is the first time this event has been put on in Denver and has 3 days of great content, Thursday and Friday are paid, longer sessions and Saturday is all free sessions. If you are in Denver that week, please check it out and if you use the promo code 14SK_SteveWake when you register for Thursday and/or Friday and save some money!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at this event in a few weeks!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Speaking at PASS Summit 2014! #Summit14

I am honored and thrilled to announce that I was selected for the 2nd year in a row to present a session at the PASS Summit! PASS Summit is an annual conference put on by PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server) with thousands of attendees from across the world, this year it is being held on November 4 - 7 in Seattle, WA. There will be over 200 different sessions presented by speakers from the community and Microsoft on a wide range of SQL Server topics in 5 different tracks. If you are interested in attending, please use this link to register and be sure to use the code UNSUMF59 when you register to get $150 off your registration fee (if you use it by this Friday 6/27 you will save a total of $450 off the full registration fee).

I will be doing a Lightning Talk (short 10 minute presentation) titled "What Version of SSDT do I Need?", which is a small part of the "Building a Better Workstation" presentation that I have already presented a couple of times. I'm sure that it will be a fun session as there are currently a lot of questions/issues with what versions of SSDT work with what in each version of SQL Server.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Seattle in November!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

BIG PASS and Next Week

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure to present virtually to the BIG PASS group in Irvine, CA. BIG PASS is run by Mickey Stuewe (blog | Twitter) whom I have meet at the last 2 PASS Summits and multiple other PASS events over the years, was a great time presenting to the group and would love to do it again in the future. I presented my "Building a Better Workstation" session for the first time and to be honest it ran longer than I expected, just so much good stuff to talk about and some great questions from the audience as well. As promised, below is a link to download the slides for this presentation so that you can use all of the links provided in the slides.

Next week will be very busy for me! On Wednesday evening I will be doing presentation for the Denver .NET User Group called "Business Intelligence for the .NET Developer". Looking forward to talking to this group and talking about how my career changed from being a .NET Developer to a BI Consultant and how I think others could do the same (if they want to). If you are in the downtown Denver area on Wednesday evening around 5:30pm MT, please register and stop by!

Update: 6/19/2014 - Thanks to those that attended the Denver .NET group last night, below are the slides from that presentation:

On Thursday morning I will be doing the FREE Pragmatic Works webinar series "Training on the T's" again @ 9am MT/11am ET. I will be presenting the "Building a Better Workstation" session and try my best to get it into the 45 minute timeframe! This is a free webinar, so register here if you are available at 9am MT/11am ET on Thursday. If you can't attend at that time there will be a recording of the whole session posted at a later time and I will update this post with that link once it is available. Looking forward to doing another session for this great series!

Update 6/19/2014 - Thanks to everyone that attended my Pragmatic Works "Training on the T's" session "Building a Better Workstation" the slides are the same as in the first attachment above in this post, so feel free to download them. The video link for this should be posted in the next few days, I'll post that link here as soon as I get it.

Then on Thursday evening will be the Denver SQL Server User Group June meeting at 5:30pm MT in the Microsoft DTC office (7595 Technology Way, Suite 400, Denver, CO 80237). Andy Vold (Twitter) will be presenting "SQL 2014 In-Memory OLTP – What, Why, and How" and Chris Shaw (blog | Twitter) will be presenting "What is the Best Disaster Recovery Solution?". For more details on both of these sessions and our group, please go to All of our meetings are FREE and we try to make as much time for networking as possible at every meeting.

Friday I'm planning on attending my first TDWI meeting at the June Denver meeting. Should be a good meeting with Laura Reeves presenting "Data: The Real Power Behind Today’s Technology". If you are interested in attending this meeting on Friday from 1pm - 4pm MT at Innovation Pavilion (9200 E Mineral Ave, Centennial, CO 80112) make sure you register at this link for this FREE event.

Overall a very busy week for me, but that is way better than just sitting around bored! :)