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Category Archives: SQL Server BI

SQL Saturday 294 Philadelphia, Nostalgic!

SQL Saturday 294 Philadelphia, Nostalgic!

Less than a week left and I’m extremely excited about SQL Saturday in Philly on June 7th, 2014 and the Precon the day before (I signed up for Allan Hirt’s).  I lived in Philadelphia for about 10 years during which I went to college, had my first two full-time jobs, and my first to kids were born in that area. This SQL Saturday is going to be a blast from the past for me.  The actual event takes place in Malvern PA which is off of 202 in the Northwestern Region of the Philadelphia suburbs.  It is part of the “mainline” and close to Valley Forge, King of Prussia and other historic/tourist attractions.  I used to work in the Mainline area for Johnson Matthey in Wayne (and part time in Malvern) so I’m very excited about taking this trip back to visit friends and family.

For those of you that don’t know about SQL Saturday it is a fantastic event. Here are some of the reasons I’ve encouraged people to attend SQL Saturday events:

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SQL Saturday #277 Richmond – Covering new ground

SQL Saturday #277 Richmond – Covering new ground

SQL Saturday has been a fantastic experience for me here in the DC area (I blogged about it here) and I hope for the same thing in Richmond.  This is my first time to attend a SQL Saturday in a city outside my area of residency, and I will also be speaking there.  This is a bit of a new journey and one that I think I will enjoy.

This is a new experience and one that I have been excited about since speaking with Wayne Sheffield about it at the DC SQL Saturday in December 2013. I have him to thank for encouraging me to spread my wings and I hope for a smooth ride upward from here.  That is the embodiment of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) after all; to establish life long learning and grow the community by giving back.  I think I could probably do a commercial for them or be a PASS spokesperson.  Seriously though, I’ve learned so many things that have helped my career for free or a very low cost.

For this SQL Saturday, I’m also planning to attend the PreCon event scheduled for the day before.  There is still time to register by going to the main site for the event here. I’ve selected to go to session by Robert Davis for my PreCon and it was a hard choice because the “Murder Thy Wrote” PreCon was very appealing as well and I hope to catch that one at the next SQL Saturday I attend.

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Only one month left! Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

Only one month left! Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

The SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando is between November 18-22, 2013. There is a discount code provided for those who register using the discount code on my website.

The Agenda includes many great topics of interest for both Developers and DBAs:

SQL Server Administration & Maintenance
SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization
SQL Server Features & Components
SQL Server Tools, Tricks, and Techniques
BI, Big Data and Data Visualization
SQL Server for the Developer
SQL Server in the Cloud

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Free Conference Pass to SQL Server Live! in Orlando

Free Conference Pass to SQL Server Live! in Orlando

Want a free pass to the SQL Server Live! conference in Orlando this year? Look no further, here is your chance to win a free pass to the conference. Of course, you first have to answer a few questions to be considered!

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Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

The SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando is between November 18-22, 2013. There is a discount code provided for those who register using the discount code on my website.

The Agenda includes many great topics of interest for both Developers and DBAs:

SQL Server Administration & Maintenance
SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization
SQL Server Features & Components
SQL Server Tools, Tricks, and Techniques
BI, Big Data and Data Visualization
SQL Server for the Developer
SQL Server in the Cloud

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SQL Saturday in Washington D.C. December 8, 2012

SQL Saturday in Washington D.C. December 8, 2012

This is my first time attending a SQL Saturday event and I’m quite excited. If you live in or near the D.C. Metro area I hope to see you there. If you have not registered, you still have a chance:

http://sqlsaturday.com/173/eventhome.aspx

I’ve put together a short list of the sessions that I am planning to attend with some brief reasons why. Hope to see you all there!

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SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) and SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse


The SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse and SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse are very high end builds of Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008R2 product; and SQL 2012 in the future. I’ve been intrigued by these products so I’ve started to learn about it. They have both been on the market for a while, but I’ve just recently been exposed to the technology and it has been exciting to learn more and more about it.

James Serra was kind enough to take the time to point me in the right direction with a great post that he wrote up last year:
http://www.jamesserra.com/archive/2011/08/microsoft-sql-server-parallel-data-warehouse-pdw-explained/

Here are some additional resources about this product:
https://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/solutions-technologies/data-warehousing/pdw.aspx

http://dwjunkie.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/parallel-data-warehouse-pdw-poc-lessons-learned/

Finally, a very nice set of videos provided by the Microsoft Virtual Academy:

https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/tracks/breakthrough-insights-using-microsoft-sql-server-2012-scalable-data-warehouse

Module 2  talks about the PDW architecture. Module 4 talks about the Fast Track Datawarehouse; which is a product that sits between your custom build of SQL Server and the PDW. Of course all the other modules are useful, but just in case you wanted to take a quick dive into material related to the PDW you should go for Modules 2 and 4.

 

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Listing server and database roles for all logins and users in SQL Server – Part 3 – Using SSRS Reports to Monitor and Fix security problems

Listing server and database roles for all logins and users in SQL Server – Part 3 – Using SSRS Reports to Monitor and Fix security problems

Finally the epic conclusion to my three part series about listing server and database roles. In this post I will show you how to create SSRS report to use for regular tracking or auditing purposes. This is a much easier and cleaner way of looking at the data and you can provide it to other team members or even your manager.

You can read Part 1 here if you haven’t yet.
You can read Part 2 here if you haven’t yet.

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Listing server and database roles for all logins and users in SQL Server – Part 2 – Remote Servers

Listing server and database roles for all logins and users in SQL Server – Part 2 – Remote Servers

Building upon the code in my previous post, I will be retrieving permissions information from remote servers that I have access to. This was a little more difficult to accomplish because security is different on different servers and I did not want to create Linked Servers with escalated permissions. Read only SQL users was an option, however there is no good way to make sure that these users will have read permissions on all current and future databases. It took a while to over come these challenges but I got it working; obviously since I have this blog post.

You can read Part 1 here if you haven’t yet.

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Listing server and database roles for all logins and users in SQL Server – Part 1 – Local Server

Listing server and database roles for all logins and users in SQL Server – Part 1 – Local Server

I was approached with a unique problem to solve; find out who has what permissions on my Database Servers.  This is the first post in a three part series about finding all user permissions on your SQL Server instance. The next posts will build upon this and introduce a way to use the same queries to get permissions from remote servers.  In the final post, I will create a report that will nicely display the results of all those queries making it easy to audit and fix security problems. The granularity I’m going for is mapping logins/users to their corresponding roles at the instance and database level.

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Finding and removing hidden characters in your data using dynamic T-SQL


It has been a long morning for me. It was supposed to be a standard run for our quarterly data aggregations but one of the data import SSIS packages kept failing. The problem was a conversion problem from varchar type to float and I kept getting the following error:

Msg 8114, Level 16, State 5, Line 1
Error converting data type varchar to float.

However, my data was numeric I checked it many times… or was it really 100% numeric?

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Create a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Catalog Report in 15 Minutes

Create a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Catalog Report in 15 Minutes

One big question I have gotten often is “I need data, what kind of reports do you have?” It is a valid question from a user, especially with a server that may gave hundreds of reports. The solution? Create a Reports Catalog Report. I have provided the simple instructions and code to create this report in 15 minutes or less.

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SSRS Report Usage Statistics


The first job I got out of college was what introduced me to SQL Server Reporting Services. Initially I thought the job was a less technical reporting analyst position with a focus on competitive/business intelligence.

I found myself loving the technical work more and more; my concentration was in DBMS in college so this just built upon that love. Although I don’t work with SSRS as much anymore, I still love going back and doing report development, maintaining the reporting environment, and looking at report usage stats.

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