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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

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  • Blog Post: Performance Point 2007 and ProClarity Licensing

    As many of you know Whitehaven has gone digital today amongst quite a lot of confusion. I must admit I am struggling to to see the point of staying analog and quite what the fuss is about given that a freeview box costs as little as £20. The story around Performance Point and ProClarity still seems to...
  • Blog Post: Barriers to upgrading to SQL Server 2008

    Most IT Professionals like to use the latest (stable) version of a product, so what’s holding up your adoption of SQL Server 2008? Hardware. If you are moving from SQL Server 2000 to 2008 that’s probably going to mean a new server as you’ll probably want to move to 64 bit hardware and that could be tricky...
  • Blog Post: Hierarchies avoid arguments

    Just when you thought you had heard the last of hierarchies there's another post. This one is a little different - it's about managing confrontation and arguments, not with the code in the SQL server CLR but with other humans! In a hierarchy you navigate upwards to see information at a summary level...
  • Blog Post: Hindsight is a wonderful thing

    It’s time to spring clean the blog as I have realised that a few of my older posts have been overtaken by events and could be misleading if they were acted upon now. For example: SQL Server 2008 is now supported on VMWare and other virtualisation platforms as part of the Windows Server Virtualization...
  • Blog Post: Performance Point Server 2007 Performance

    If you call your flagship business intelligence product Performance Point then it might be a good idea to make sure it performs! Because the product is essentially a suite of front end applications (which is why it's under the office umbrella) it is only going to be as good as what's behind it. At the...
  • Blog Post: Analysis Services and Excel Pivot Tables

    Excel is the number one business intelligence tool;  It fronts Hyperion, Cognos Financial Planning, and of course SQL Server Analysis Services and Performance Point Server Planning. In Office 2007 there is now excel services so that information workers can park their work on SharePoint where it...
  • Blog Post: Successful Performance Point

    I did a post a couple of months ago on what makes a successful BI project which includes the use of Microsoft Office Performance Point Server.  To summarise: Business sponsorship form the board Recognition of business need Partnership between business users and the IT department Culture of analysis...
  • Blog Post: Performance Point Server resources.

    I am easily confused and Performance Point is confusing. Even finding where the the resources are for  using it can be tricky.  TechNet has got  a site with lots of online help on maintaining Performance Point while MSDN has a site dedicated to design models in it. I am not sure that MSDN...
  • Blog Post: End User/ Self Service BI

    The idea of letting users design their own BI fills many experts with equal dread and delight.  On the one hand users know exactly what they want and the IT professional is freed from the drudgery of endlessly tinkering with content. On the other end users don’t really understand the intricacies...
  • Blog Post: Dashboard Decisions SharePoint or Performance Point?

    When it comes to dashboards, Microsoft’s business intelligence stack seems to have some overlap in it, so how can you decide what to use when? Dashboards are an overused term, so what I am talking about here is the ability to provide an interactive instrument panel for all or part of your business...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server BI Everywhere

    Nearly everything Microsoft brings out these days has a SQL Server back-end, except Exchange as Eileen will tell you. I got asked about cubes in Project Enterprise server recently and managed to resolve an issue with the data not being updated due to a connection problem. In a similar vein, I have...
  • Blog Post: the BI Sematic Model in SQL Server Denali ctp3

    Some sort of semantic model is needed in every BI solution but what is it and why do I need one?  It’s a view of the data store(s) you want to work on for business intelligence which adds additional information that can be stored in the individual tables themselves.  For example how are the...
  • Blog Post: Management Reporter - the new FRx

      One of the worst reporting headaches is producing output for the finance department.  The reports need to meet strict standards, be penny perfect, and the end user always wants the report to be in excel.  With reporting services in SQL Server 2005 this could be done by the IT department...
  • Blog Post: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the TechNet Forum

    Forums (fora for Latin geeks) date back to well before Microsoft and even Frankie Howerd. TechNet has a raft of forums   on almost every Microsoft technology as it affects IT professionals where you can get and give help.  Both MVP's and Microsoft product guys keep watch on these so you can...
  • Blog Post: Performance Point Server - Counting the Cost

    I am ploughing through my inbox now I am not on the road anymore, and I have picked up quite a lot of flak around the costs of Performance Point.  I have passed specific queries on to the licensing guys, but the sort of thing I was getting both on-line and off-line form the TechNet road shows was...
  • Blog Post: Performance Point 2007

    16 October will be the UK launch for Performance Point 2007 which is going to illicit three reactions: Fantabidozoo it's out at last! Oh oh Microsoft have released another thingy that costs half as much as our whatsit so let's get marketing to tell everyone that it doesn't scale for the enterprise and...
  • Blog Post: Performance Point Server Planning Dependency on SQL Server Enterprise Edition

    Sorry about the catchy title, but I wanted to clarify why the planning component of Performance Point Server in turn depends on SQL Server Enterprise edition. I pointed out in my recent TechNet presentations that Performance Point doesn't make use of the cube write-back feature of analysis services,...
  • Blog Post: Cast and Convert

    In SQL server the Cast and Convert functions change one type of data to another. A pod cast is the art of converting knowledge into sounds so that's the tenuous link for this post. Pod casting is not something I have ever tried, but the security expert on our team, Steve Lamb sees himself as the next...