Monday, July 27, 2015

SQLSaturday #423 Baton Rouge

This is I believe the 7th SQLSaturday in Baton Rouge. Please come out this Saturday at the LSU Business Center to enjoy free training, prizes and networking with over 500 IT professionals.


Here is the schedule.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Power Bi Desktop Release Today

You can download the much hyped up Power BI Desktop (formerly Power BI Designer). There are many blogs about the new features, but I am going to mention one here that I have been waiting for.

It involves connecting to the Analysis Service database as a connection and not an import all the tables into the Power BI file.

Once Power BI Desktop is Open…

image Click on Get Data…

image  then highlight SQL Server Analysis Services Database

Click Connect…


Now, you have a new option

- Explore the Tabular model by using a live connection

You no longer have to use the option to retrieve the data into the Power BI file.

Once you click OK after entering the instance name…


You now can Navigate to the SSAS Database and select the Model or Perspective to connect to. Once selected, click OK


Now, you can start building the visualization like PowerView connected to a tabular database.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Features of SQL Server 2016

The next version of SQL Server looks to add more and more features helpful in database design and administration as well as Business Intelligence.

The first I found interesting is Temporal Tables. This table keeps a history of the changes made to the table over time. This will change how software developed to track changes will be coded in the future. How wonderful it would be not to have to worry about this. Another plus side to all these changes is more and more DBAs will be needed :)

The next feature is Stretch Database. This option lets you use Azure to store and retrieve archival data in the cloud. I was not much of a fan of the cloud in the beginning, but now I see benefits as the technology advances to make it easier to manage.

In-Memory technology as well as Column Store indexes seemed to be the big items for performance improvements. Check here and here for those updates. If you are really interested in reading about Column-store indexes, check out NikoPort’s blog.

Of course, I will have to mention something about SSIS. Incremental Package Deployment is the one that interest me most. Not having to deploy the whole project will help with the manageability of versions on the production server. It was great when SSISDB was released in 2012, and it looks like Microsoft is going to keep improving this option.

Performance improvements to the tabular model of Analysis Services seems to be the direction Microsoft is heading as far as SSAS improvements are concerned. The parallel Processing of Partitions will make it more in line with the advanced features of Multidimensional Cube. I still believe Multidimensional Cube is needed for Enterprise level cubes, but tabular is catching up.

New DBCC commands are added to check for corruptions in Analysis Services database (both Multidimensional Cubes and Tabular Models) as well as new DAX functions for Tabular. Read here for the full list for Analysis Services.

Of course, all of this is in the current CPT release and can change so get updated will the latest.