Wednesday, October 25, 2017

IT Dev Connections 2017

The IT Dev Connections conference was in San Francisco, CA this week. While I did not spend any time as a tourist, I did mingle with attendees and speakers. It was nice to sit with Grant, Andrew, Mindy, Kevin, Tim, Monica, Daniel and Meagan for dinner Monday night.

IT/Dev Connections

I attended a workshop on Friday about Azure. The speaker, John Savill did a great job the first half and helped me understand some fundamentals about Azure Infrastructure but the second half got me lost with IPs and Express Connections. Some of the pricing was interesting and I am going to try the Analysis Service in Azure soon.

Breakfast and Lunch was nice talking with attendees and speakers. I met Bruce with HP and even bumped into Ben DeBow in the lobby.

Tuesday I spoke on Self Service BI with Power BI. It was well attended (45-50 in a 60 seat room). Not many questions during the presentation and a few at the end. I shortened the talk to 1 hour (from 75 minutes) because it usually gets rushed at the end because of questions during the session. That did not happened, so it ended early but no one complain. Lunch was next on the schedule.

I did attend Victor’s session on Business Case for using SQL on Linux, Anthony’s session on Networking Internals for SQL Professionals (really good, lots info an he explains a lot really quickly with good demos) and Meagan’s talk on Azure Data Factory. Victor’s was good and Meagan explain a lot. The Data Factory is interesting but it looks v2 would be the time to start using, not v1.

The last session I did was Deploying with SSIS 2016. Not as many attendees (~20) but a couple were nodding their heads frequently and only one sleeper. The sleeper actually asked more questions at the end, so maybe his eyes were just closed the whole time.

IT Dev Connections was at a really nice hotel by Union Square in San Fran, but I heard some talk about it being expensive. That was really the only complaint. Food was great and logistics cool being in the hotel for the rooms and conference. Not a lot of walking but enough to get some exercise.


Looking forward to Dallas next year (Oct 15-18 maybe) – Rod Trent announced this on Monday night. He is really excited about IT Dev Connections and promotes well. It was nice to eat lunch with him and others on Monday and get scoop on the event.

Next week is the PASS Summit, so on to the next conference.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SSAS Tabular DirectQuery–No Hierarchies in Dimensions

I recently was testing DirectQuery to see the reporting differences in a Tabular Model. After Deploying to a development server and analyzing in Excel, the hierarchies for the Date and Product dimension were not available. SQL Server 2016 SP1 was used in this example.


You can go to this like from Microsoft about more limitations.

There was also difference in labeling when designing a Tabular Model in Visual Studio (SQL Server Data Tools – SSDT) and making a change to the Model from SQL Server Management Studio – SSMS.

In SSDT, The Property for the Model is DirectQuery and the values are On and Off.


In SSMS, The Property is Default Model and the values are DirectQuery and Import.


Not sure which I like better. But, what you are able to do is Deploy a model built with DirectQuery Off (with hierarchies), then change the property in SSMS on the database, and see the changes. Or vice versa. If you are previewing the DirectQuery Off Mode in Excel before making the change, when the data is refreshed, the hierarchies are removed.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Elect The Next PASS Board Members

The PASS board elections are coming up and there is a twitter chat event to ask questions to the candidates before you vote. Both tweeter events will be on Tuesday September 19th at noon central and 3PM central. The hashtag will be #PASSelections, so join the conversation and ask questions in order to get a better idea of the candidates.

The voting begins on Wednesday September 20th (the next day) and you will be able to go to to watch campaign videos of each candidate. They will answer about 4 questions (the same 4 questions) in a short video.


These changes to the campaign were asked to happen by the community, so if you have more comments about the campaign process, email PASS. Check your email this week for more information about the elections and where to find additional stuff on the candidates.

Remember, these members are volunteers in the SQL Community (or the Microsoft Data Technology community) that want the best for our wonderful network of professionals.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Analysis Services Series on SQLShack

Please visit for new articles on many facets of SQL Server. I have been trying my best to document how to create SQL Server Analysis Service databases with Multidimensional Cubes as well as Tabular Models.


The start was a Best Practices article for Dimensional Modeling and other items that help with a smooth transition to creating an SSAS database. Here is a link to that article.

The flow of the articles starts with the multidimensional cube, then the next article shows tabular.


After the best practices, I move to connecting to a data source, then creating attributes and measures.

Even though people are using Power BI more than Analysis Services, eventually when their systems get to large, they are going to have to find an enterprise solution for modeling the data. I do not believe that modeling in Power BI is very sustainable.


With the Microsoft push for Cloud First development, Analysis Services in Azure will be the next big item. If you have not already seen, you can import a Power BI Model into Azure Analyssi Services. Tabluar is in Power BI not Multidimensional Cubes. So, you better start learning tabular and maybe start new projects in Tabular Model Analysis Services.

Friday, July 21, 2017

SQLSaturday Baton Rouge #628 2017

Come join around 500+ attendees and speakers learning and networking at the LSU College of Business – Business Education Complex on Nicholson Drive Extension in Baton Rouge on Saturday July 29th 2017 8AM till 5PM. There will be plenty of MVPs and other experts in the areas of SQL Server, Business Intelligence, Microsoft Data Platform, .Net, SharePoint, System Administration and more. The schedule is located here.

My session is on What is new in Analysis Services? I will try to cover some of the neat things I see that are helpful as well as try to encourage you to watch blogs because SQL Server is starting to be released more frequently, like every year.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.Com and RedGate will be there with sessions Branding Yourself for a Dream Job and Bringing DevOps to the Database.

Stay till the end and see if you can win a prize from all the wonderful Sponsors and please Thank them.

Remember this event is FREE!!!


Monday, June 19, 2017

PASS Board Elections

Well, it is almost that time of the year again. Elections for the PASS Board.


This is a great way to show your passion for this wonderful community of SQL Server or now, Microsoft Data Professionals. It looks like it is getting harder and harder for someone to come up with a general description of the members in this Global User Group. I see we are now going back to our roots with investing in the Developer side of the industry.

The upcoming dates and other election information you need to keep in mind are available from these links:

Upcoming Dates

Election Process

NomCom Changes from last year

I hope ya’ll all participate in this process that elects leaders with a desire to move PASS forward while maintaining over education and networking opportunities for SQL Server professionals.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

SQLSaturday Pensacola and Houston

I have the honor of being selected to speak in Pensacola and Houston this month. Pensacola has been a great place for SQLSaturday and it is no different than Houston. Both have active PASS community volunteers that love to host a learning event for free.

Both events have conference level 60 minute sessions by MVPs, MCMs and other prefessionals. AND IT IS FREE!!! Well, sometimes they charge for lunch.


Here is the schedule for Pensacola this weekend Jun 3rd, 2017 -

What is Power BI?

Do you want to know what all the fuss (or excitement) is about concerning PowerBI? Then, this session is for you. We will walk through the process and marketing of what now is Power BI. Reports will be developed and displayed as well as the history of development of Power BI and what to look out for in this ever changing application. You will also learn that this tool is not replacing the Data Warehouse and Architect positions. Actually, it will produce more work for us (DBAs, Architects, etc.) It is another reporting option Microsoft that is positioning itself in the changing world of Business Intelligence

And here is Houston’s on Jun 17th -

Business Analytics in SQL Server 2016

Ever wonder what’s going on with Microsoft Business Intelligence features? Is everything going to the Cloud, or can I still rely on my own servers to design systems? Well, this session is for you. We are going to spend hours on looking at the new features of SQL Server 2016 that will help you create on premise solutions for you company or clients that complement the solutions you have already built. SQL Server 2016 not only gives you new tools like R integration and Mobile Reporting, but enhances Analysis Services and Reporting Services you have been using for years

You will leave with a comforting feeling that Microsoft is not leaving you behind if you do not or cannot go to the Cloud. Perhaps we shall see the thunder of BI love to what we know best and to succeed in the future

See ya soon!!!