Monday, April 28, 2014

SQLSaturday 285 Atlanta - #sqlsatatl

SQLSaturday #285 in Atlanta is this Saturday! I will be attending #SQLSATATL for the first time and presenting my "SSIS 2012: More Than Just a Pretty UI" session at 2:30pm in the ETL Room #211 (please check the Schedule page on the website or the Guidebook app just in case it changes). This is one of my favorite sessions, since it only has 2 slides, the rest is all demos! If you haven't seen the new features added in SSIS 2012, this session will give you a demo of as many of them as I can get through in the time allocated.

If you are going to be in the Atlanta area this Saturday, you should register and attend this FREE event that is put on by volunteers with speakers from all over. SQLSaturdays are always a great event to learn new stuff and do a lot of networking with your fellow peers! Also, don't forget to stop by the sponsor area and see what they have to offer, without these awesome sponsors we would not be able to put on these great events.

See you in Atlanta!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Power Map Updates

Microsoft just announced on the Power BI blog that the April update for Power Map is available for all Office 365 subscribers. This update adds the capability to add sound to any Power Map videos you export out of Power Map. They have also added some Geocoding updates that are detailed on the blog post as well.

The biggest change that is mentioned is that the Power Map Preview that has been available as a separate download for Excel 2013 will no longer expire on May 31, 2014! They plan to put out an updated version of this standalone add-in that will not expire in May. They are still recommending that this add-in not be used in production environment, but this does give you the capability to use Power Map without an Office 365 account in Excel 2013. Not sure what this means feature wise for Power Map Preview, my guess is that they will not keep it up-to-date, for that you will have to get an Office 365 subscription (highly recommended by me, as I have the Home subscription that allows for 5 desktop installs along with 5 tablet and the new iPad versions of Excel, Word and PowerPoint).

Accelerate Your Insights

If you missed the live stream of the SQL Server 2014 launch event in San Francisco earlier this week, it is now available for on-demand viewing on Microsoft's Accelerate Your Insights page. Great overview of the new data platform and BI updates that are all part of this new release of SQL Server and other platform updates. Interesting news that came out of this event was the re-branding of PDW (Parallel Data Warehouse) as APS (Analytics Platform System) as it now is not limited to just hosting a PDW region on the appliance but also a Hadoop region on the same appliance. This should help to sell these appliances even more as you can use the same appliance for both "un-structured" and structured data and be able to do analysis across both regions using the same tools we are used to including Excel.

The biggest feature that is being focused on for SQL Server 2014 is having In-Memory available on the entire platform and the huge performance improvements that brings. In-Memory was first introduced in SQL Server 2012 but was a read-only index, now it can be clustered and fully update-able, which makes it a huge change to how you can access the data in the databases. Looking forward to working with clients to enable these features as it really does push SQL Server to the forefront of enterprise databases.

Note: If you have any issues with the videos not streaming smoothly (as I had) you can just right click on the video window and save the MPEG-4 video files locally.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SQLSaturday #297

SQLSaturday #297 in Colorado Springs is this coming Saturday! If you haven't registered yet, why not? It's a free event that has the best SQL Server professionals traveling from all over to present and attend this awesome event. If you able to make into Colorado Springs by Saturday, you should be at the event! I will be presenting "Capture Change and Apply it With Change Data Capture & SSIS" at 3:15pm (keep your eyes on the schedule page or use the Guidebook app to track any changes to the schedule). I'm looking forward to seeing everyone this Saturday, make sure you register and support all of the sponsors of this event when you are there.

Below are some more details from Chris Shaw's blog about the food drive that is also being done as part of the event:
What we are asking is that when you come to the event on April 12th that you bring with you food items that you would like to donate the more items that you bring the better your odds are in taking home one of these awesome SWAG items. We will soon be sending everyone who is signed up more details on individuals can participate in our food drive. You don’t have to bring any food items to be registered for the giveaways and there will be opportunities to participate in our Data-Rodeo for additional chances to win. Why a Data-Rodeo you ask? This year’s theme in going to be centered around the old west, our event will be taking place in a historical building that is over 100 years old, in the heart of the oldest part of town.
See y'all on Saturday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2013

Microsoft quietly released SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2013 as a separate download a couple of days ago: No blog post or anything yet that goes through all of the features, so my assumption is it just adds the same functions that SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012 does for the latest version of Visual Studio (at least until later this year when Visual Studio 2014 is released). I also assume that this adds support for SQL Server 2014 BI, same as the previous updates for SSDT have done now for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013.

Just for review, SSDT-BI is for SSAS, SSIS and SSRS development. For database projects, they have now built that functionality back into all versions of Visual Studio 2013 (available as a separate download for Visual Studio 2012) and can be updated via Visual Studio 2013 directly. For more updates on SSDT, make sure you follow the SQL Server Data Tools Team blog.

Update: At about the same time I posted this Kasper de Jonge posted about SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2013. Biggest disappointment is that there is NO backwards compatibility with SSIS 2012 or SSIS 2008R2 projects, so if you are only doing SSIS development on previous versions of SQL Server, don't jump on this upgrade just yet. No explanation was given for this incompatibility or if it will be fixed in a future update. Just keeps getting more and more complicated.