Archive for March, 2012

What’s New in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2012?

SQL Server 2008 R2 was an exciting release for Reporting Services. It gave us features such as:
– Shared Data Sets
– Report Parts
– New Visualization, including spatial visualizations

There’s are also significant changes and new features to SSRS 2012 – but a some of these can only be materialized if you are using SSRS 2012 integrated in SharePoint 2010. Nonetheless these are still pretty exciting changes, and can change the landscape of reporting for our end users (read: more Self Service BI):
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SQLSaturday #114 in Vancouver – PowerShell and ETL with SSIS

SQLSaturday #114 in Vancouver is coming up. It will be held at the BCIT Burnaby Campus – SW buildings. Have you registered yet?

If you haven’t, you can still register! I love SQLSaturdays. I personally enjoy attending them a lot, and wished there were more SQLSaturdays in the Vancouver vicinity so I can attend more. Although if I had the time and money, I’d fly to other SQLSaturdays too (did you know there’s a SQLSaturday in Honolulu, Dublin and Portugal?).

If you’re in the database/SQL Server field, you should have plenty of reasons to attend. There’s lots of awesome stuff to learn, especially since SQL Server 2012 has just launched last March 7, 2012! Plus, this is a free training event. Yup, you read it right, it’s a free awesome event. One day of SQL Server training can cost you a few hundred dollars, but SQLSaturdays are packed with different sessions, and you don’t even have to worry about the dollar cost.

Here are the event details as posted at the SQLSaturday site:

YOU! All you have to do to get involved is register online to reserve your spot. Show up and attend the sessions that you choose.
This is a FREE one day training event for SQL Server developers, administrators and other data professionals.

Saturday, March 17, 2012. Register online now to reserve your spot. Attendee check-in will begin at 7:30 am until 9:00 am. The first sessions of our four tracks begin at 9:30 am.

BCIT South-West Buildings
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5G 3H2

I have a couple presentations. As usual, I am both pretty excited and nervous.

ETL with SSIS for Beginners

You’ve heard of the term “ETL” before, but you’re not quite sure what it really is and how to do it. In this session we’ll demystify this so-called ETL. Don’t worry, no previous experience required. We’ll work our way from getting your data from your sources, to cleaning and reformatting them, and loading them to your data warehouse. We will also look at some standards and conventions you should consider when doing ETL to simplify your process, and save you some headaches in the future. Of course, our go-to ETL tool is SSIS.

You did what with PowerShell?!

PowerShell is cool. And powerful. Don’t believe me? See it for yourself. Come to this session, and I will show you cool things we can do with PowerShell – ranging from backing up your servers, working with BLOBs and XML, to automating SSRS report deployments and downloads, and even integrating with SSIS. We’ll work with different facets of SQL Server from a PowerShell perspective.

See you there!

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Insert XML files to SQL Server using PowerShell

One way to bulk upload your XML files into SQL Server is by using PowerShell. In the script below I am using SQL Server 2012 and PowerShell V3 (CTP).

Note that you can use the script in SQL Server 2005/2008/R2 and PowerShell V2, with some slight changes in syntax.

I use Invoke-Sqlcmd to get this done.
First up, I have a prep T-SQL script file that I use to create my tables:

$instanceName = "KERRIGANSQL01"
$databaseName = "SQLSaturday114"
$prepfile = "C:presentationsSQLSaturday114PowerShellStuff.Table.sql"
Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $instanceName `
-Database $databaseName -InputFile $prepfile

Nothing fancy about this table. Just a basic table with an XML field:

DROP TABLE PowerShellStuff
CREATE TABLE PowerShellStuff
 FileName VARCHAR(200),
 XMLStuff XML,

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SQL Server 2012 is launching … March 7, 2012 – ready, set, go!

I am a self-professed SQL Server geek. Yes I am. And I am very, very excited about the SQL Server 2012 launch. SQL Server 2012 is a significant leap from its predecessors, and SQL Server is entering a whole new world with this version. Be part of the coolness – Register here for the Virtual Launch event

There are a lot of improvements that I am pretty excited about, but I have to play favorites right now. My absolute favorites are the BI improvements:

PowerView + Big Data + SSRS Improvements

Right now, PowerView just blows my mind. I can see a lot of challenges that this tool can solve. I just wish this was available as a standalone/standard tool, then it will definitely make more people happy.

Check out the PowerView features outlined in the SSRS team blog.

Also check out these links:
SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services
SQL Server 2012 BI Reporting Overview

DQS – Data Quality Services

Most of us have bad data. And most of us have to struggle with cleaning our data.
I think it’s high time that SQL Server integrated a tool to help us clean the data. DQS helps profile and cleanse your data. The coolest thing? It’s a “learning” solution. You can capture the knowledge base from previous scans, and feed it back to the system to make it “smarter”.

Want to learn more about DQS?
Introducing Data Quality Services
SQL Server 2012 DQS

Register for the Launch Event

Be part of the cool kids! Register here for the Virtual Launch event

Tweet tweet!

Tweet about the #awesomeness. Use the #sqlserver2012 hash tag.

Learn more about SQL Server 2012!

SQL Server 2012 Breakthrough insight

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