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  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 14 – Integration Services Lookups

    Day 14 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. If it aint broke don’t fix it, is probably best aimed at Integration Services in SQL Server 2008. So what was ‘fixed’?  The most important thing was the performance of lookups, both in terms of speed and memory usage. ...
  • Blog Post: Query Across the Mersey

    SQL Bits 9 , Adelphi Hotel Liverpool 29th September to 1 October 2011, what else do you need to know? Well possibly a few things if you are now reading the second line of this post or you haven’t been to them before.. It’s the biggest and best SQL event in Europe, I know this because we get people coming...
  • Blog Post: What’s good in SQL Server 2012 Integration Services

    This is a guest post by Allan Mitchell MVP, and one of the top speakers at SQL Bits   The launch of SQL Server 2012 is not too far away and the SQL Server team have been hard at work adding new functionality and also improving upon existing features.  I am lucky enough to have been working...
  • Blog Post: Deprecated Features in SQL Server 2008

    My first ever post was about the features in SQL Server 2000 that were deprecated in SQL Server 2005 i.e. they wouldn’t be available in the next release (SQL Server 2008). In the same way there are SQL Server 2005 features that will be deprecated in SQL Server 2008, they will still work and be supported...
  • Blog Post: Spatial Referencing Systems in the UK

    I have had a couple of queries about spatial data in SQL Server regarding SRIDs.  I have posted already on some of this here , and while I mentioned SRIDs I didn’t really cover what that means so hopefully this explains it... First of all the term Spatial Reference Identifier ( SRID ) is a European...
  • Blog Post: Upgrading Data Transformation Services (DTS)

    One of the biggest headaches in migrating away from SQL Server 2000 is Data Transformation Services (DTS). The tool is very widely used and its initial simplicity no doubt contributed to that. A good example is of several Oracle sites where SQL Server was sat in a corner simply to move data between Oracle...
  • Blog Post: Licensing and Scaling up SQL Server BI

    Both Standard and Enterprise editions of SQL Server come with a lot more than just a database engine, there’s also a suite of BI tools: Integration Services (SSIS) Reporting Services (SSRS) Analysis Services (SSAS) which you are also licensed to use on the same server as the database engine.  That...
  • Blog Post: MetaData in the Microsoft BI stack

    Metadata is “data about data” and in the BI world this means two things: Definitions of terms, particularly calculations so that business users can understand what they are looking whether on screen or on paper.  Lineage to understand where and how the data in a report was derived. There are a number...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Merge and Integration Services

    The new Merge T-SQL command has great potential in a data warehouse scenario and Integration Services is the tool in SQL Server to load the data warehouse so how do they fit together in SQL Server 2008? The answer is not really and I am not sure they should, so let me explain why. Integration Services...
  • Blog Post: Upgrading SQL Server Business Intelligence

    Continuing my series of posts on upgrade, I thought it might be good to have a look at the business intelligence components of SQL Server, so here’s a simple grid that I have adapted from Scalability Experts for use in the upgrade workshops and presentations I give: Along the top is the upgrade...
  • Blog Post: Exporting Data, the Right tool for the Right job

    I have just been following a thread about using reporting services 2005 to produce a 55,000 row excel spreadsheet. The initiator of the thread was concerned that the report was locking up and was looking for a fix. I could suggest migrating to SQL Server 2008 as it has much better memory management and...
  • Blog Post: Reinventing the Wheel

      A lot of the things you need to do with SQL Server may well have been done before even if it’s using the new features in the new version , SQL Server 2008.  The challenge is to find this stuff and be able to make use of that earlier effort and a key resource for this is codeplex an open source...
  • Blog Post: High Availability Integration Services in SQL server

    I see a lot of people asking about how to make integration services highly available and there isn’t an easy answer, so let me explain why. Integration services (SSIS) is designed to bulk move a set of data from a source to a target while performing some sort of translation on the way.  The most...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Performance

    It is already possible to get an indication of how well SQL Server 2008 will perform before it is released as there already some TPC benchmarks published for it.  The performance of Integration Services has been separately tested, as have a number of applications such as Microsoft Dynamics and SAP...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 15 – Integration Services Profiling

    Day 15 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. If there were no issues with data quality in data warehouses I would have completed many of my BI projects in a third of the time. The client would always insist they had good data, after all it would often be coming form...
  • Blog Post: DTS RIP

    Data Transformation Services is the bit of SQL Server that helped pay for my house, car and some really nice holidays.  I first got to use it some 12 years ago and after working with BCP (bulk copy program) it was just so easy, I was sucking data out of AS400/RPG, Oracle and Sybase to create data...
  • Blog Post: Take a closer look at the Microsoft Application Platform

    I like technology but it’s what you do with it that matters. Having said that if you don’t know what a piece of technology is capable of be it your home cinema system or SQL Server then you might not be making best use of it. One piece of technology from Microsoft that is little understood except by...
  • Blog Post: Application Platform Knowledge Hub

    Albert Einstein once remarked that you don’t need to remember everything, you just needed to remember where to look.  When it comes to learning about Microsoft products this can sometimes be harder than it ought to be and what resources there are can be fragmented so you do have to remember where...
  • Blog Post: Integration, Integration, Integration

    Microsoft is all about choice, so instead of having one way of shifting data between two different platforms we have three.  I get asked about two of these a lot but I also wanted to discuss the latest tool in this space to make sense of all them and understand when to use what: Integration Services...
  • Blog Post: Better Data with Metadata

    Metadata (data about data) is becoming increasingly popular not just to meet ever more stringent auditing requirements for business intelligence projects, but also to enable accelerated development and maintenance. The challenge is to deliver rich metadata as part of a BI project with minimal overhead...