General

Blog...Dead & New Address

Hi Folks! For a while I was attempting (probably the correct word) to keep both this blog as well as my SQL Server Magazine SQL Server BI blog current. Working on growing B.I. Voyage , speaking, writing, and blogging is quite the work load. And so this blog suffered as a result. THANK YOU all who read my blog here on SQLTeam.com, I intend to leave it live for those who might benefit from its content at a later date. My consolidated, single blog can be found at http://www.sqlmag.com/blogs/sqlserverbi.aspx . Cheers, Derek

Oracle-CDC for SSIS - an Easy-to-use Solution for Real-time Data Integration

Oracle-CDC for SSIS - an Easy-to-use Solution for Real-time Data Integration Join Attunity & SQL Server MVP Derek Comingore of BI Voyage for a Webinar on September 22 https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/693735512 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:                                                                       https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/164602473 Why move all your data when you can just move the changes? Ready to make batch windows, full loads and expensive tools history and make efficient, cost-effective Oracle data integration a reality? Register today to find out how! Learn about Attunity Oracle-CDC for SSIS, a complete and affordable solution for integrating continually-changing Oracle data using wizards built into SQL Server Integration Services, leveraging best-of-breed CDC...

SQL Saturday #23 in Louisville, KY

I'll be speaking at the SQL Saturday #23 event held in Louisville, KY on October 24th, 2009. I will be giving two sessions, the first of which will be on SQL Server 2008 R2 and Project Gemini: BI for the Masses. My second presentation will be on a topic very near and dear to me, Change Data Capture (CDC) with Attunity's lineup of great CDC products. Long ago (before CDC was commonplace) I was charged with creating a real-time ETL process. It was a challenging requirement but at the end of the day it was meet (albeit with some roadbumps but thats to...

Addressing the MSFT BI Naysayers

Update: Check out Richard's (he posted a comment on this post) about his own thoughts on MSFT BI Delivery and Leadership Topics here: http://thoughtsonbi.blogspot.com/ . I agree with just about everything he states. Overall, could MSFT BI be a better story (see ProClarity)? YES. Does MSFT need a better, unified platform vision for it's BI story? YES. All that being said, the MSFT BI software products are good platforms for building an enterprise BI solution on top off. As Richard mentions, 90%+ of an actual implementation's success depends upon the people involved (both consultants and customers).   Every so often, I receive...

Attunity Receives Readers Choice Award for Oracle-CDC for SSIS

If you have not yet checked out Attunity and their line up of data integration components for SSIS your missing out! Attunity is without question one of the elite SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) 3rd Party Providers and the company's recent award of a Reader Choice Award from Visual Studio Magazine is yet another sign of the company's commitment to SSIS Excellence. This award was in reference to Attunity's recently released Oracle CDC for SSIS product (a personal wish list item of mine). The full press release can be here: http://www.attunity.com/press_releases.aspx?newsId=1262 Happy Data Integration! Derek

Understanding Microsoft BI: New TechNet Articles Released

I had a great opportunity recently to write a series of articles for TechNet Magazine with fellow MSFT BI gurus Stacia Misner and Scot Reagin. The first two articles can be found in the upcoming Auguest issue of TechNet Magazine (the online versions of the articles can be found using the link above as well). Stacia writes a great introductory article on explaining what BI is and then the common solutions/technologies we employ in modern-day times to build such solutions. In the second article I present a very simple yet concise set of dimensional modeling, data mapping, and SSIS packages that...

Join me on October 15th and learn how to quickly deliver actionable information to your company's leaders

Learn how to strengthen your company's overall health and help your business thrive in this tough economy - without ever leaving your desk. Attend this exclusive series and discover how to quickly deliver actionable information without any significant software costs or long running data warehouse projects. Cut excessive costs, identify your most profitable customer's attributes, improve operations, and reap additional business value from your organization's existing data assets Get real-life tips and to-the-point training on how to leverage Microsoft BI to reduce uncertainty and generate quick ROI for...

Congrats to Calvin Borel, 2009 Kentucky Derby Winner

From rags to riches....congrats Calvin Borel...the common man.  

Silverlight Dashboards

Silverlight 2.0 & 3.0 About a year ago now I witnessed my first Silverlight dashboard in a product Microsoft created called Microsoft Enterprise Cube (MEC). The dashboard was amazingly rich and interactive. I quickly became a fan boy of Silverlight dashboards and finally understood the important relationship between data and data visualization (a term until then I felt was a bit overhyped). A recent project I have been working on has given me the ability to exploit Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 for Business Intelligence purposes. Basically, Silverlight (including the 2.0 release) is a lightweight, cross-browser plug-in developed by Microsoft that facilitates rich,...

MCM & MCA Programs...Great if you’re not in BI

This is my biggest frustration with the advanced certification programs at Microsoft. Microsoft has clearly identified the need to create advanced certification programs yet Business Intelligence has zero representation! I have created past Connect suggestions and even made in-person suggestions on live meetings yet I keep receiving a response of “not now”. Is Business Intelligence not deserving of its own advanced certification programs? Clearly Microsoft sees the value in the Business Intelligence industry via its large efforts on creating the best enterprise BI platform available in the market! Derek

MVP Summit 2009 Rocks!

My first Summit and its been a blast thus far! Defenitely a gratifying experience.

Tomorrow's Microsoft BI Platform

Tomorrow’s Business Intelligence Platform One of my favorite aspects about Microsoft is the company never stands still from a product development standpoint. The company is constantly driving innovation and releasing new products to the market. On the heels of the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (which serves as the foundation for the Microsoft Business Intelligence Stack), Microsoft is already beginning to discuss its next generation Business Intelligence products. The information in this article is a result of my personal research efforts and none of its content is under NDA with Microsoft Corporation. The Foundation: SQL Server 'Kilimanjaro' SQL Server ‘Kilimanjaro’ will provide...

BI in a Tough Economy

The signs of a tough economy surround us all. Many Fortune 500 companies have laid-off workers and those who are still employed fret over their job’s near-term outlook. The housing and financial markets have been shaken to their core and the new president is promising change that cannot seem to come quick enough. So what are businesses to do in such hard times? The same things they do when times are good, continuously improve their organization on a variety of dimensions. Specifically, the application of Business Intelligence (BI) in tough times is a very strategic ‘play’. By leveraging BI to cut...

Upcoming PASS User Group Presentations

Happy New Year! My colleague Barry Ralston from ComFrame Software (www.comframe.com ) and I are giving a series of local user group presentations starting with the first two below. If you run a local user group in the midwest or southeast regions of the country and would enjoy having us stop and present on Microsoft BI topics please feel free to email us at dcomingore@comframe.com or bralston@comframe.com . Date & Time: 1/20/2009 @6PM Group: Steel City PASS User Group (http://steelcitysql.org/default.aspx ) Location: New Horizons Computer Learning Center on Beacon Parkway , Birmingham, AL Title: Upgrading to SQL Server 2008 for Business Intelligence Solutions Abstract: Microsoft SQL Server 2008...

Extending Integration Services Capabilities with Premier 3rd Party Products

I have evaluated and/or deployed various SSIS 3rd party components over the years. Two of the best 3rd party SSIS companies I have come across are: Attunity & ETI. Attunity (www.attunity.com) extends SSIS’s ‘reach’ by providing connectors for the following systems: Adabas (mainframe and open systems) DB2 (on the mainframe) DB2/400 (iSeries) nscribe (HP NonStop) IMS/DB (mainframe) VSAM (mainframe) SQL/MP (HP NonStop) Additionally, Attunity ships a SSIS Change Data Capture (CDC) Accelerator that generates packages...

OLAP's Ante to Play: OLTP

I'm starting to read various chapters from 'Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008' by Leonard Lobel and his co-authors. I found his Chapter 14, 'Data Warehousing', contains a very good section on the solutions and technologies that were 'main stream' prior to the deployment of data warehousing and business intelligence solutions. This brings up an excellent (debatable) point. In my opinion, anyone wishing to enter the field of DW/BI (regardless of software vendor) should have good solid prior experience in traditional OLTP-based applications and systems. This is my opinion because (as 'Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008' mentions), OLTP systems have been around long...

2009 is upon us, take the time to Reflect & Plan

Greetings All & Happy Pre-New Year! I try my best to only write blog posts when they are informative and add potential value, thus it has been a while since I've blogged. The flip-side I suppose is sometimes my blog posts resemble short articles but oh well... With 2009 upon us I thought I would share a bit of insight I have applied for the last three years of my career that you may find quite helpful. At the beginning of every year I sit down for 2 hours and write up a document that reflects my own personal thoughts on where...

The Meaning of the Microsoft MVP Award

I have been working with Microsoft SQL Server for close to ten years now if you include my college days (yes, my college used SQL Server 7.0 for learning RDBMS purposes). I have literally built my entire career around Microsoft SQL Server and have used the product for development, administration, and now for building DW/BI solutions. Around the 2002 timeframe I became aware of this mysterious elite group of folks called Microsoft MVPs. I perceived that MVPs were the best of the best and thus by winning the award you would prove you were one of the best. On October...

Full-time MCTs...Less Value?

Do you find that fulltime MCTs (and other teachers) are somewhat limited in their value to students? To me...all teachers should be practicing in the REAL WORLD what they are educating others on! Now before I get any further I can already hear the comments..."what about demos/labs"...Demos & Labs are HARDLY REAL WORLD! In college, I had much the same thoughts..."why is this guy teaching me if he’s so good and not out there DOING IT"? Personally, I enjoy teaching and even more so I enjoy seeing others learn, but if I only lived in academia my value to any...

Growing up with Microsoft SQL Server

A few days ago I turned 30 years old and my how I thought that day would never come, suppose the alternative is much worse though. I've been fortunate enough to make a good living (though I've struggled in my personal aspects of life mainly due to my love for my career and determination) and those i've worked with usually look to me as one of the best in the product end-to-end. Some even think that I am like the guy off of 'Good Will Hunting', hardly the case, the knowledge I have is a result of those that I surrounded...

Real-Time BI? Yes or No? Which is it...

This is probably one of the hottest topics (and has been) in the BI field. A few years ago while working for a major online mortgage company I lead the implementation and design of a very large scale ETL real-time solution that I designed based upon SOA architecture principals. The designs were translated into SQL 2005 Service Broker functionality and overall gave us the kind of ETL speeds we were looking for (up to hundreds of records processed per second). I was not the lead on the SSAS side (my very good friend and colleague, Dan Meyers was) but I believe...

MCA: BI ...Right Here, Right Now! VOTE!

The time has come, Gartner just ranked MSFT as the #1 BI stack, end-to-end! As a very recent MCITP: in BI where do I go now? Wait for SQL Server 2008? Why! I'm not certified as a BI Architect! For the time being, I have submitted a SQL Server 2008 Connect Suggestion on this at https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=327537  PLEASE VOTE IF YOU AGREE, IF NOT DISAGREE! SPEAK OUT THOUGH REGARDLESS! Type ...

Sincere Thanks & MSFT Exam Week

I wanted to take a post and thank everyone who has helped me with getting this blog up and also those who are visiting it frequently. So I would like to thank the following individuals for helping me: Rick Heiges, a colleague at Scalability Experts and PASS Director http://sqlblog.com/blogs/rick_heiges/default.aspx Bill Graziano, owner/runs this website and also PASS Director http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/billg/ As mentioned, also a big THANK YOU to all of you who've visited my blog! And by the way, please fell free to ask me any SQL Server related questions you may have. Like...

Ken Henderson's Passing

Fellow (and new ones here on sqlteam.com) 'SQL Geeks', apparently Mr. Henderson passed away this past Sunday. The blog stating this is located here http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlrem/archive/2008/01/28/ken-henderson-we-will-always-remember-you.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessage When I wrote my first (and only to this date) lead author book it was on a non-BI topic, SQLCLR. I personally have a background in all facets of MS SQL (to some degree). ANYWAY, the point is, my publishing company pretty much said that Ken's 'guru' books was the target of what we wanted. At the end of the day, I nor could anyone else come close to the quality of content Ken's Guru Guide's...

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