My silence since September results from the fact that I have been incredibly busy of late. In addition to some training and consulting engagements, I’ve been collaborating with Peter Myers (who will be blogging soon here) to develop a course for Microsoft targeted for application developers. The course is called BI Voyage and covers the spectrum of the Microsoft BI platform, including Integration Services, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Office 2007 BI functionality in Visio and Excel, BI features in Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007, and PerformancePoint 2007. Peter and I, as well as other Solid Quality Mentors, will be delivering this course worldwide to Microsoft partners over the next several months. This is a great collection of technologies for business intelligence solutions – I will be sharing my experiences working with them in this blog soon.

I don’t have anything technical to contribute today, but thought I’d take this opportunity to let you know about some upcoming events in November.

I will be at SQL Connections in Las Vegas, NV the week of November 6 with three presentations on the following topics:


·          Inside the Report Model: Using the Report Model Wizard, you can generate a reasonable report model that delivers ad-hoc reporting capabilities to your end users through Report Builder, but what additional tuning is required to get the most benefit? In this session, we review how report model objects are generated and how to fine-tune the model by changing properties for entities, attributes, and roles and by working with collections to take your report models to the next level.

·          Introducing MDX Scripts: A new concept in Analysis Services 2005 is the MDX script, which is used to calculate cell values for a cube. In this session, we review the fundamental concepts of the MDX script, explore some new functions and statements you can use to add calculations to a cube, and use the debugging capabilities in the development environment to see how cube values are modified by the MDX script.

·          Proactive Caching in Analysis Services: With SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, you can choose to process a cube only when the data changes rather than process on a fixed schedule. In this session, we will take a look at the available options for configuring proactive caching and monitor the effect of changing data at the source on the initiation of cube processing and the response to user queries while the cube is processing. With an understanding of how proactive caching works, you will be able to minimize data latency and reduce the administrative overhead of keeping cubes up-to-date.

I will next be at PASS in Seattle, WA to deliver a preconference sesssion on November 13: Then I will be generally hanging out the rest of the week to see some friends do their presentations. My session is:

M4: Microsoft Business Intelligence: Tools and Applications – Building on the BI Platform
Microsoft has delivered great BI functionality for many years in its industry leading BI platform, SQL Server. Microsoft has been expanding its BI investments in recent years in the analytic client and application space through product investment and acquisition. Come to this Pre-Conference seminar to learn about Microsoft’s end-user tools and application offering and how you can benefit from these investments.  We’ll cover Business Scorecard Manager 2005, ProClarity and the upcoming BI investments in the 2007 Office system (primarily Excel 2007 and Office SharePoint Server 2007). Additionally, we will share plans around the next generation performance management application, Office PerformancePoint Server. This Pre-Conference seminar will be packed with information that will show you how you can start leveraging your investments in SQL Server 2005 in a new, value added way.

If you are at either event, please be sure to say hello.

Finally, this past year I co-authored Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 Administrator’s Companion with Edward Whalen, Marcilina Garcia, Burzin Patel, and Victor Isakov. This book will finally be released on November 15. This book is a great resource for the SQL Server 2005 platform, including an introduction to the BI features. Only one chapter was devoted to SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS respectively and one chapter combined Notification Services and Services Broker, so these are not comprehensive resources for these technologies. But if you’re a DBA that’s not had much exposure yet to any of these technologies that are bundled with SQL Server 2005, I hope you’ll find these chapters a great way to get familiar with the basics. Each of these chapters also contains references to other resources for learning more.