Friday, March 20, 2015

Denver SQL Server User Group March 2015 #denversql

Thanks to everyone that attended my "Near Real-Time Data Warehouse Updates with CDC and SSIS" presentation at the Denver SQL Server User Group meeting last night. For anyone that wants my slides and demo scripts, you can download them from the link below:



Thanks again and I hope to see you all again at a future Denver SQL Server User Group meeting!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Boulder SQL Server User Group March 2015 #bouldersql

I had a great time presenting to the Boulder SQL Server User Group last night, thanks to Mark Tillman and Paul Paiva for having me present "Change Data Capture (CDC) and SSIS". Lots of great interaction from the attendees. For anyone that wants my slides and demo scripts, you can download them from this link:



Thanks again to everyone from the Boulder SQL Server User Group and the attendees that came out last night!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Presenting at Colorado User Groups! #sqlfamily #sqlpass

I will be presenting at both the Boulder SQL Server User Group and Denver SQL Server User Groups next week! I'm looking forward to doing my Change Data Capture (CDC) with SSIS talk at both groups. I've been doing this talk at SQLSaturdays across the country, but this will be the first time that I have done it in Colorado since April 2014 at SQLSaturday #297 in Colorado Springs.

For more details about the Boulder SQL Server User Group meeting on Wednesday, March 18th at 5:30pm and to RSVP, please visit their Meetup.com website.

For more details on the Denver SQL Server User Group meeting on Thursday, March 19th at 5:30pm, please visit denversql.org.

Looking forward to meeting all of you that can make it out to Boulder and/or Denver on Wednesday and/or Thursday next week!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Power BI Designer Preview Updates! #PowerBI

Microsoft just posted an announcement on the Power BI blog that there is a new version of the Power BI Designer Preview today! Below is a summary of the updates:

  1. Performance improvements
  2. Dynamics CRM Online connector
  3. Navigator Dialog improvements:
  4. New Transformations:
    • Age and Subtract operations for Date/Time columns 
    • Aggregate Columns: Option to disable new columns’ prefix
  5. Field List improvements:
    • Expand/Collapse tables
    • Hide/Unhide fields
    • Optimized layout (spacing, margins, and fonts)
  6. Report Pages Navigation - Keyboarding support
  7. Lots of other bug fixes
For more details on each of these updates and a video demo of the updates, visit the blog post.

If you are already running the Power BI Designer Preview, just launch the app and it will detect the updated version and take you to the website to download it or just go to this link and download/install the latest version (does not update inside the app, requires you to run the new installer to update).

Looks like there are going to be some good updates to this Preview and at a fast pace as well!

Monday, February 16, 2015

SQLSaturday Phoenix #sqlsat370 #sqlsatphoenix

I'll be traveling to Phoenix, AZ in less than 2 weeks to speak at SQLSaturday #370 on February 28th! Looking forward to going back to Phoenix again after making the trip down there a couple of years ago with the family for Phoenix Comicon (yes, I am one of those geeks that goes to Comic/Sci-Fi Conventions). Looks like I'll be able to meet up with a bunch of my Pragmatic Works friends as there is big group of them speaking along with a a few from the Colorado area as well and many others that I haven't seen since PASS Summit last year! I am currently scheduled to present "Change Data Capture (CDC) with SSIS" at 1:30pm in the Kachina room. If you are in the Phoenix area on February 28, please make sure you register for this great free event and stop by to see me! :)

Also, for anyone that is thinking about going to the PASS Business Analytics Conference on April 20-22 in Santa Clara, CA, you can use the discount code USSE27 at registration to save $150 off the current registration fee!

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 PowerBI.com 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.