I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Over the past nine years or so, I have showcased many examples of creative report designs on my blog and various community events. Now I’d like to hear from you and see what others in the community have done. To bring even more creative report designs to the community will require your participation.
Have you created something interactive? Colorful? Dynamic? Useful? Just plain interesting? If you think you’ve come up with an innovative design or done something interesting with SSRS, please share it here. Of course, credit will be given where credit is due. It’s not all about me.
To send reports; send me an email to my first name at this root domain name and I’ll send you an upload location address.
Since the stable and mainly feature-complete versions of SQL Server 2012 have been available, I have been heads-down on multiple BI projects using this software. SQL Server 2012 is not just the next, incremental build of the same database platforms with a few added features here and there. No, SQL Server 2012 ushers in a new era of user-driven BI analytics and data visualization.
Here’s a little information about my upgrade experience. First of all, let’s talk about where we are in the pre-release cycle. Release Candidate 0 was made available to the general public about a month ago. There was talk about another, internal build with bug fixes and some added BI model functionality & Power View features. If this internal release were to actually exist and if it had been made available to yours truly, the existence of such a product build would be protected under a non-disclosure agreement with Microsoft and I would not be at liberty to tell you that I had it installed not to discuss any details.
I started with a completely working install of SQL Server 2008 R2, including all SQL Server services and a SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition farm with Reporting Services & PowerPivot integration. When attempting to upgrade from 2008 R2 to 2012 RC0, setup would freeze and become inoperable. There were several issues, all of which I don’t remember but the a did not go well. At that point, I rolled my machine back to a snapshot and performed a side-by-side installation of 2012 with all services, alongside the existing 2088 R2 install. Both cohabitated and worked well. Moving the content databases was done manually but it went smoothly. I then manually migrated all the user databases by detaching them from the 2008 R2 instance and then attaching them to the 2012 RC0 instance. I got there but it was on the long road.
What about the alledged more-recent, internal, super-secret build that no one knows about? If it did in-fact exist, and if I did in fact have a copy; it would have installed seamlessly and the upgrade from 2012 RC0 would have gone very smoothly. If that did indeed happen, I would hev been quite pleased that the upgrade from RC0 went quite well. Nudge nudge, wink wink – it looks like the upgrade story is good news.
I have to admit that the 2011 PASS Summit was such an amazing experience and there was so much to say that I honestly didn’t know where to start. It’s been three days since returning from this year’s PASS Global Summit in Seattle and I’m just now getting my thoughts collected. Every event and every session I attended was absolutely amazing. I met many positive and enthused people who are thrilled to be associated with the SQL Server community.
Please post a comment about your experience at PASS
It amazes me… How can there be so much genuine comradery and sense of community associated with a product? Well, there isn’t, really. It’s not the product or even the company (Microsoft or any other organization) that gets me charged up about events like PASS, SQL Saturday and so many of these gatherings. Sure, we all make a living by doing something with SQL Server – a product that many of us thoroughly enjoy working with in some capacity and this gives us something in common. This is a community made up of people who have a deep sense of trust and respect for each other – so much that they are willing to devote their time and energy, and go well beyond just the the business of SQL Server. I think this is hard to convey to someone who hasn’t yet experienced it. It’s a sense of belonging to a community that freely gives back when you make a commitment and give without any expectation.
This year I tried to give it my all and I got involved as much as I could. Thank you to those who attended my two sessions. I had a wonderful time presenting "Visual Report Design: Brining Sexy Back" and "Report Design for SSAS Cubes and MDX". You’ll find my content here on the Presentations page. I contributed a chapter to the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives, Volume 2; which was released and available at the conference. This is one of the most comprehensive books ever written for SQL Server. My contribution, by comparison, was very small but I am honored to be counted among the authors. It was truly humbling to be signing books with some of the most respected members of the SQL Server MVP community. Thanks again to Kalen Delaney, Paul Randall, Kimberly Tripp, Greg Low, Louis Davidson, Paul Nielson and many others for making this happen and inviting me to participate. I hosted a table at the "Birds of a Feather" lunch on Self-Service BI and had a great conversation with many community members about their efforts and challenges. I also had the opportunity to speak to attendees and answer questions at the BI Expert Pod and SQL Clinic hosted by the Microsoft SQL Server Customer Advisory Team (SQLCAT). We also had several lunch and evening events where I enjoyed the company of past and present clients, working associates and fellow community members.
My efforts to blog and tweet from the Bloggers’ Table during the morning keynotes for three days were feeble but I learned some lessons. With 3,500 people simultaneously accessing the conference wi-fi network, there just wasn’t enough bandwidth. The seasoned bloggers all had air cards in their computers… and now I know what to do next year. I did manage to get a few tweets out on my phone.
The three-day PASS Summit began on Wednesday, October 12th which followed the Oregon SQL Saturday full-day event and then a two-day SQL Server Insiders event in Redmond where MVPs and other invited partners sat with product team leaders to learn about product development in progress. Needless to say, my brain was full before the end of the week.
In closing, I’ll say that the PASS leaders – who are all volunteers by the way – do an amazing job. I had a chance to speak at length with Rashabh Mehta, current PASS President and Rick Heiges, PASS VP of Marketing about their experiences. These people – along with the directors and many volunteers – give thousands of hours of their time without compensation. Thank you for helping make this community so great!
The PASS Global Summit starts next Wednesday, October 12th in Seattle. PASS is the Professional Association for SQL Server, an organization that supports a community of tens of thousands of SQL Server professionals around the world. Over 4,000 members will gather next week in Seattle for this annual event where Microsoft leaders are expected to make some big announcements. Even if you aren’t able to attend, you can still get announcements and news from the conference as it happens!
How? you might ask. From me – and from my fellow bloggers and tweeters who will be broadcasting live updates from the daily keynote sessions. Think of us as the Press Corp of PASS, a selected group of active industry informers who are assigned to sit at the Blogger’s Table, at the front of the keynote sessions each morning. From 8:15 to 10:00 AM each morning, you can follow us to get the low down on big product announcements and other cool, excusive stuff that will be announced by Microsoft leaders during these sessions.
Follow my Blog
I will blog a new post at the beginning of each keynote session and then add updates to the post as they occur.
Just watch my blog at www.SQLServerBIBlog.com and hit refresh every few minutes to get the updated feed. Every time I post, a new tweet will also be sent using the hash tag #sqlpass. I’ll also be sending out other information via Twitter. Follow me at @paul_turley.
Here’s the agenda for these blog and Tweet feeds during the keynote sessions:
Wed 10/12 8:15–10 am
Microsoft’s Ted Kummert, Senior Vice President, Business Platform Division
PASS President Rushabh Mehta
Thur10/13 8:15–10 am
Microsoft’s Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President, SQL Server Database Systems Group
Bill Graziano; PASS Executive VP of Finance and the PASSion Awards
FRi10/14 8:15–10 am
Microsoft’s David DeWitt, Technical Fellow, Data and Storage Platform Division
PASS VP of Marketing Rick Heiges
If you haven’t been to a conference of this magnitude, let me just paint a picture for you. Some 4,000 to 5,000 attendees will be seated in a room bigger than Eddie Van Halen’s backyard. To the left and right of the mondo stage pltform the size of Mission Control are two city-sized projection screens on each side blasting images as big as your hometown theater to the sound of an audio system suitable for a KISS and Judas Priest performance at Madison Square Garden. To get a decent view, most come in to claim their seats an hour before the sessions begins. Anyway, we’ll be sitting at the front and center of that room with laptops tuned for streaming some of the most sought-after information on the planet. …and you can be part of that experience by just tuning in.
Don’t Miss My Sessions The first slot, immediately following the keynote
Wednesday, 10:15 am in room 608
[BID-304-S] Visual Report Design – Bringing Sexy Back – spotlight session This will be a fun session filled with useful information, music, entertainment, trivia and plenty of prizes
My last session is the last time slot of the conference. This is where we find out who the real men and women are – not those who quietly run home to feed their cats and prune their petunias.
Friday, 4:15 pm in room s 602 & 604
[BID-302] Multidimensional Reporting: MDX Essentials for Report Design
Learn the fundamentals of MDX query design for Analysis Services cubes. Migrate your SQL skills to this simple and elegant language that will enable you to unlock the awesome power of a cube and to gain deep insight from a single version of the truth. Learn to develop dynamic, advanced reports by parameterizing MDX queries using expressions and custom code.
Exciting news… The second edition of the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives book has been completed and is going to press in time for the PASS Global Summit! There are two very good reasons that you should buy this book:
1) It is one of the most valuable books on the SQL Server platform, filled with insight and nuggets of knowledge from the best as brightest minds in the industry. 2) It’s an opportunity to give back. Book sales support an important cause.
It contains 60 chapters written by several of the Microsoft SQL Server MVPs. Most of these industry leaders write their own books for other publishers and have collaborated to produce this unique book with all profits donated to charity. This effort was led by Kalen Delaney, Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp, Greg Low, Brad McGehee and Paul Nielsen.
I was privileged to write a chapter about designing Reporting Services reports with custom MDX queries for Analysis Services (Chapter 43 highlighted in the TOC below).
All profits from the book are donated to the Operation Smile program
Individually, each SQL Server MVP possesses an impressive wealth of knowledge and skill. Collectively, the 63 MVPs who contributed to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives, Volume II represent over 1000 years of daily experience in SQL Server administration, development, training, and design. This incredible book captures this expertise and passion in a collection of sixty concise chapters, each handpicked by lead editor Kalen Delaney and section editors Louis Davidson, Greg Low, Brad McGehee, Paul Nielsen, Paul Randal, and Kimberly Tripp, and written by an active SQL Server MVP.
This second volume picks up where the first SQL Server MVP Deep Dives leaves off, offering completely new content on topics ranging from testing and policy management to integration services, reporting, and performance optimization techniques. The chapters fall into five parts, Architecture and Design, Administration, Database Development, Performance Tuning and Optimization, and Business Intelligence.
This unique book is your chance to learn from the best in the business. It offers something of interest for any SQL Server pro at any level of experience.
About the Authors
This book includes contributions from 63 SQL Server MVPs. All chapters were selected and edited by Kalen Delaney and section editors Louis Davidson (Architecture and Design), Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp (Database Administration), Brad McGehee (Performance Tuning), Paul Nielsen (Database Development), and Greg Low (Business Intelligence).
Table of Contents:
Part I: ARCH/DESIGN 1 Where are My Keys? 2 "Yes, we are all individuals" (A look at uniqueness in the world of SQL) 3 Architectural Growth Pains 4 Characteristics of a Great Relational Database 5 Storage Design Considerations 6 Generalization – the key to a well-designed schema Part II: ADMIN 7 Increasing Availability Through Testing 8 Page restores, the what how and why 9 Capacity Planning and Why DBA’s Should be doing it. 10 Discovering Your Servers with PowerShell and SMO 11 Will the Real Mr. Smith Please Stand Up? 12 Build your own SQL Server 2008 performance dashboard with CLR, DMVs and SQL Server Reporting Services 13 SQL Server Cost Recovery 14 Best Practice Compliance with Policy-based Management & Central Management Servers 15 Using SQL Server Management Studio to the Fullest 16 SQL Server 2008 R2 :: Multi-server management and Utility explorer—best tools for DBA 17 Top 10 SQL Server admin students misconceptions 18 High Availability of SQL Server in the context of Service Level Agreement Part III: DB DEV 19 T-SQL: Bad Habits to Kick 20 Death By UDF 21 Using regular expressions in SSMS 22 SQL Server Denali: What’s Coming Next in T-SQL ? 23 Create your own data type 24 Extracting Data with Regular Expressions 25 Relational division – Practice uses of Relational Algebra 26 SQL FILESTREAM: To BLOB or not to BLOB 27 Writing unit tests for Transact-SQL 28 Getting Async with SQL Server Service Broker 29 Effective using of HierarchyId datatype 30 Let Service Broker Help You Scale Your Application Part IV: PTO 31 Hardware 201: Selecting and Sizing Database Server Hardware 32 Parameter Sniffing: Your Best Friend… Except When It Isn’t 33 Investigating the Plan Cache 34 What are You Waiting for: An Introduction to Waits States & Queues 35 You See Sets, and I See Loops 36 Performance Tuning the Transaction Log for OLTP Workloads 37 Strategies for Unraveling Tangled Code 38 Use PAL to Analyze SQL Server Performance 39 Tuning JDBC for SQL Server Part V: BI 40 Creating a Formal Reporting Services Report Part Library 41 Improving Report Layout and Visualization in SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services 42 Developing Sharable Managed Code Expressions in Reporting Services 43 Designing Reports with Custom MDX Queries 44 Building a Scale-Out SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services Farm 45 Creating SSRS Reports from SSAS 46 Optimizing SSIS for Dimensional Data Loads 47 SSIS Configurations Management 48 Exploring Different Types of Enumerators in the SSIS Foreach Loop Container 49 Late Arriving Dimensions in SSIS 50 Multiplying DBA Headcount with SSIS 51 Extending SSIS using the Script Component 52 ETL Design Checklist: Helping your Data Warehouse Succeed 53 Autogenerating SSAS Cubes 54 Scripting your Analysis Services Database—AMO and PowerShell, Better Together 55 Managing Context in MDX 56 Using Time Intelligence Functions in PowerPivot 57 Easy BI with the Silverlight PivotViewer 58 Excel as a BI Front-End Tool 59 Real-time BI with StreamInsight 60 BI Solution Development Design Considerations
*Amazon currently has the release date listed as October 28th but this will be revised.
We have dozens of great speakers coming from all over the world. It’s a terrific community networking opportunity, a career builder and an awesome learning experience.
Dad always said “there’s no free lunch” but he was wrong. Lunch is provided and it’s free! The conference is free! What more could you possibly want?
If you have anything at all to do with SQL Server and you don’t make it to SQL Saturday #92 in Portland on October 8th, you will beat yourself over the head with a two-by-four after you find out what you missed.
I survived 24 Hours of PASS! Just wrapped up delivering my presentation for the 24 Hours of PASS (24HOP) on Visual Report Design. I appreciate the 300+ attendees for showing up. Thanks to Mark Ginnebaugh for moderating the session.
I will be speaking at two SQL Saturday events on the topics of visual report design with SQL Server Reporting Services and BI Semantic data options for analysis with the Microsoft BI platform. In these presentations, I will demonstrate advanced report design techniques with the current version of Reporting Services and new features coming in SQL Server “Denali”, namely the new BI Tabular Model & the Project “Crescent” reporting experience. Watch for a streaming video copy of this presentation in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
If you will be in the Salt Lake City area on Saturday, September 10th, please plan to attend SQL Saturday 94, Tweet: #sqlsat94.
I just returned from the SQL Saturday #68 in Olympia. It was a great event, well organized, well attended and there were several excellent presentations, learining and networking opportunities. More than anything else, I’m continually impressed by the caliber of people in the SQL Server community. It’s not just their technical expertise. The personal commitment and loyalty of the user group leaders and other volunteers, speakers and SQL Server MVPs is beyond description. Without regard for direct personal gain or compensation, many of the usual suspects just show up to teach others and support the products and platform they love and are so passionate about.
Greg Larsen is the Olympia Area SQL Server User Group Chapter Leader. He and his group put together a great event. Scott Stauffer drove all the way down from Vancouver, BC. Scott gave an excellent presentation about Integration Services and ETL. I always enjoy Scott’s friendly, laid-back presentation style. Robert Davis (SQLSoldier), spoke about managing very large databases. Robert is one of very few certified SQL Server Masters. I’ve heard Robert speak at PASS and he and speaks with a great deal of expertise. Buck Woody spoke about the Microsoft Azure and cloud services. He’s one of my favorite presenters.
If you’re in the greater Seattle or Olympia area, mark your calendar and don’t miss SQL Saturday on April 9th. Greg Larsen and his user group have put together a great line-up of FREE, high value presentations from an army of industry experts.
SQLSaturday#68 is at South Puget Sound Community College, Building 35 – Natural Sciences, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia, WA 98512.
Every year, Microsoft brings a couple thousand specialists from every corner of the globe together for a few days to Bellevue and the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. The Microsoft MVP community represents every discipline and Microsoft product.
The MVPs are the external advisory committees for each Microsoft product group. They give us early prerelease versions of products and share protected information about product strategies and future development. Within each of our technical communities, we sit with the leadership, architects and developers of each Microsoft product team to validate their ideas and give feedback on designs and features. Every MVP is under strict non-disclosure agreements and we are reminded in every session that one violation can screw up the trust and privilege for the entire community. Believe it or not, the product teams take this feedback seriously and prioritize a lot of their work around our suggestions. In those cases where they go in different directions, they explain their thinking and strategy. MVPs don’t discuss, tweet or blog about these details so you’re not going to learn anything more about undisclosed features here.
There was a movie in the 60s called “The President’s Analyst”. James Coburn played Dr. Schaefer, a psychiatrist who becomes the US president’s personal analyst. He learns all the president’s top secret information and gets chased around by all kinds of bad guys who want to use his knowledge for their evil designs. Unlike Mr. Slugworth trying to get the recipe for Willy Wonka’s Ever-lasting Gob Stopper, I have not been offered untold fortunes to sell Microsoft secrets to the other guys but I do feel very privileged to be trusted with important information and some very cool tidbits of things to come.
Microsoft has publically revealed some of their high-level plans for next-version SQL Server, Self-service BI, Office, Azure cloud computing and SharePoint development so I can officially say that there is a lot of movement going on in these areas. Please stay tuned for specific announcements as soon as we get the green light to talk about details.
Since I’m not going to talk tech and details in this post, I’ll share a quick funny story. In the keynote session on Tuesday, after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer finished his highly-energizing address to the general audience, Tony Richards, General Manager of Community & Online Support introduced the Seattle Mariners’ Moose. The baseball team mascot did his usual crazy routine to get the crowd energized by running around the 2,000-seat hall, giving high-fives & throwing baseball team swag. North Americans were in the minority so most of the MVP crowd didn’t really get the baseball culture and just stood in front of their chairs with little enthusiasm. American and Canadian sports fans tried our best to set an example for everyone else by jumping, hand-clapping and singing but the crowd just didn’t take to it and the overall low energy was a bit of an anti-climax to an eventful meeting. I just have to imagine that the mascot went home to his wife and said something like “Honey, you’ll never believe the day I’ve had. Microsoft hired me to do to this geek convention and the crowd wasn’t into baseball or a dancing moose”. Poor guy. It just goes to show that you can’t force culture onto a diverse audience – but they certainly tried.
Unlike most technical conferences, the attending MVPs all work and participate while at the summit. Sure, we socialize but most of the time, everyone is networking with others and racing from each meeting and session to another to be engaged and involved. The summit was awesome and the MVP community is unlike any other organization I’ve seen. We’re volunteers and we give our time and energy to a community that we love.
Please seek MVP bloggers. If you need project consulting or training, look for MVPs. Look for MVP authors when you shop for tech books and watch for local events and user groups hosted and organized by MVPs. Our efforts are backed by Microsoft leadership, the product teams who develop the software you use, our employers, vendors, large organizations and community leaders. Please support the community that supports you.