All posts by Jens Vestergaard

#SqlSatDublin (#SqlSat501) – ReCap

Friday

Last week I left home, bound for Dublin, to attend and speak at the SQLSaturday event organized by Bob Duffy (b|l|t), Carmel Gunn (b|l|t), Ben Watt (l|t), Dan Galavan (b|l|t) and many others.

I arrived in Dublin on Friday, getting settled in at the hotel, then took a quick peek at the venue, which was right on the back of the Hotel.

National College of Ireland
National College of Ireland

Friday night, all speakers were invited to attend a dinner on Quay 16, which turned out to be a smashing meal and really awesome company. If you ever get the chance of sitting at the same table as Buck Woody (b|l|t), you’re in for a treat.

Saturday

Rise n’  Shine, up early, to attend the first session of the Day, by Matt Masson (b|l|t). Except, Matt hat lost his voice halfway through his pre-con on Friday, needless to say, his sessions were cancelled. So I began the Day with a tour of the exhibitors and got a chance to talk to some of them. Next I went to attend the key note by Mark Souza (l|t) – What an amazing story-teller! After that, it feels like: It’s Just Faster… It just is…

During the next session, I went to the speakers room, to prepare for my own presentation. I had been selected to deliver a Lightning Talk on Custom Assemblies in Analysis Services. A topic I have written a couple of blog posts on, here and here. My presentation went well, even though only a few hands came up to the question on who was working with BI and SSAS. I was sharing session with Ben Watt (l|t), Andre Melancia (b|l|t) and Andrew Pruski (b|l|t), who all delivered excellent talks on Power BI, Certifications and Partitioning (T-SQL).

When the session was over, I had plenty of time since lunch was up next, followed by sponsor sessions – I skipped those, to take a break and talk with lots of people who wanted to chat about SQL Server 2016.

Next up, for me, was Rob Sewell (b|l|t) – I hadn’t had a chance before to see his PowerShell expertise unfold, so I grabbed the chance while it presented itself. Rob shared a lot of best practice and good advise. If you get the chance, attend his session – PowerShell is here to stay!


Final session of the Day, I selected to get an introduction to R in SQL Server 2016 by Marcin Szeliga (b|l|t). This session was also live streamed on Channel9, where you can still see it, for free, along with a selection of session from #SqlSat501.

Raffle time!

SqlSat501 Raffle Time
SqlSat501 Raffle Time

After finding the lucky winners, we all headed out in a court yard for some BBQ and beverages. A Perfect ending to a long day.

Sunday

Sunday was my day off, and I decided, based on numerous recommendations, to head out for the Guinness Storehouse. It was a good walk from the Hotel to the factory, and I didn’t mind the light rain on the way, but the view from the top floor was maybe not the one that goes into commercials. Still I think it was a nice trip and some great information about the beer, craftsmanship and history.

Dublins Finest #storehousestory #guinness #beer

Et billede slået op af Jens Vestergaard (@jens_vestergaard) den

Dublin is full of all kinds of wonderful sculptures, old as new and I was fortunate enough to pass by a lot of it on my tour through the city. City centre was currently undergoing heavy rebuild, as I understood the tram was to be rediscovered – I wish that would happen in Copenhagen as well.

The Linesman
The Linesman

Leaving from Quay 16 this stunning view was presented.

Samuel Beckett Bridge
Samuel Beckett Bridge by Night

In the afternoon, I was bound for home, wife and kids. I did get to shop some gifts for them, a genuine rugby, a rugby shirt and some other Irish treats.

I really enjoyed my stay in Dublin, and cannot thank Bob, Carmen, Ben, Dan and the rest of the team enough for giving me the opportunity to speak at their event. I hope to be back!

SQL Server 2016 RTM available as Azure VM

As of today, the latest release of SQL Server is available as a Virtual Machine on Microsofts Azure Platform.
In a matter of minutes you’ll be able to try out all the new features that was added.

SQL2016 in Azure

I am, among other things, looking forward to play with DBCC for Analysis Services and see what optimizations are in the box (and not featured in the news bullets)

Try it out at http://portal.azure.com

How to Query SSASMD using #DAX

This is my seventh post in a series of entry-level posts, as suggested by Tim Ford (b|l|t) in this challenge.
I have not set any scope for the topics of my, at least, twelve (12) posts in this blog category of mine, but I can assure, it’ll be focused on SQL Server stuff. This time, it’s a little trick on how to execute DAX via a SQL Server Management Studio [SSMS] MDX Query.

In our current setup, we have both Reporting Services [SSRS] and PowerView Dashboards connecting to our underlying SQL Server Analysis Services [SSAS] cubes. And as we are constantly monitoring the servers, logging which queries are executed, we can tell which ones candidate for optimization. Now, with PowerView Dashboards we do not have the ability to change the actual DAX that gets send to the server. But we can execute the DAX, and trace whether aggregates are missing or if partitioning would be applicable.

Since we have the individual query, it would be nice to be able to execute these manually through SSMS with a SQL Trace running. Admitted, I am a Trace fan 🙂
This is actually possible, with only a little tweak.

In order to execute DAX on a SSAS Multidimensional cube, the Cube property of the connection string needs to be assigned. Here is how to do that.

Open a new MDX Query

New MDX QueryYou will be prompted for server, but before you assign any of that, hit the ‘Options’ button:

Select Options

One of the properties available in the connection string is Cube. See full reference of connection string properties here. Select the third tab; Additional Connection Parameters, and assign the cube you want to query.

Assign Cube Attribute

Write your DAX query, in the MDX query window

MDX Query

and execute it to see the results.

ResultAt the time of writing, not all of the queries we are logging are directly executable via this tweak, but we manage to get the long running ones going – which gives us enough insights to potentially fix or at least improve the query execution times.

Hope you enjoyed this little tip.

Speaking at Microsoft BI Professionals Denmark

Microsoft Denmark HQSpeaking Kick Off 2016 – Slow start!

On Monday 23rd, I will be speaking at the Microsoft Business Intelligence Professionals, Denmark [MsBIP] user Group meeting. It’s been about two years since I was the host of one such meeting, while I was at Maersk Line. This time it’s at the new Microsoft HQ in Lyngby – And it will be my first visit there.

This will also be my first public talk this year.

 

The MsBIP User Group, is a community group dedicated to share information about Microsoft BI technologies, such as:Power BI User Group

  • SQL Server (DB, SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, MDS, DQS)
  • SharePoint (PPS, Excel, SSRS…)
  • Excel og Power BI (PowerPivot, Power View, Power Query, Power Map)
  • 3. Party Products

The User Group is also part of the Microsoft Power BI User Group Program.

There will be two talks at this session:

Time Intelligence in DAX, Marco Russo [b|l|t]

Time Intelligence is probably the most interesting feature of any analytical solution. Computing Year To Date, Month To Date, Same Period Previous Year is quite easy in DAX but, as soon as the customer requests for time intelligence require working days evaluation, complex and custom calendar shapes, seasonal pattern recognition, the DAX formulas start to be harder to write.
In this session we are going to show how to compute classical time intelligence with the built-in DAX functions. Then, we will show some more complex time intelligence formulas that require to think out of the box, using advanced data modeling and querying techniques to produce interesting and useful formulas.

Pro Techniques for the SSAS Developer, Jens Vestergaard [b|l|t]

Getting the techniques in your tool belt right, makes a world of a difference.  Did you ever wonder, how to deploy a cube, with minimum impact to query performance? Or how to optimize processing performance? Are you really ready to deploy when its required? Or do you get nervous every time?
Attend this session to build and improve your SSAS Developer skills, by exploring:

  • Custom Assemblies – To improve Query Performance
  • Partitioning – To improve Processing Performance
  • Unit Testing – To improve Cube Release Quality
  • Synchronization – To improve End User Experience
  • PowerShell to tie all the ends together

My session will be presented for the first time at this event, and I hope you will join me for some SSAS Fun. Seating is limited to 50, or so I heard.