DBTA – PowerBI: The Self-Service BI App That Can Change Your Life

Here’s a real-world story: Data collection and analysis is, ironically, for a data management profession, one of the toughest parts of my job. I regularly pull data from our various databases and packaged application reporting systems for CRM, licensing, and user information. If you’ve ever worked with a packaged product, such as a CRM system, that includes reporting and querying features, then you know how inflexible they are. It can be infuriatingly difficult to get data out of these systems, systems for which you paid big money, without losing sleep, hair, and peace of mind. Working with … [Read more...]

IT Pro Events & Free Stuff for the Central USA – Jan 2015

Central USA IT Pro Community News – Jan 2015 There are lots of free, in-person and virtual events happening in the central USA over the next few weeks. Don't miss out on training, ebooks, and other goodies! Upcoming Events Jan 10th – Kansas City – SharePoint Saturday Jan 14th – Online – A lap around Azure Websites Jan 15th – Detroit – BDPA Tech Meetup Jan 17th - Nashville - SQLSaturday #363 I'll be presenting two sessions at this event, along with many of the industry's leading experts. Come join us! Jan 19 – Detroit – Microsoft Web Camp Jan 19 – Chicago – Microsoft … [Read more...]

DBTA – Tools to Evaluate Viability of Database Platforms

As the manager for enterprise architecture in a very large IT organization, the C-suite executives frequently posed the question, "What database platform is best for this application today and for the future?" Implicit in that question was the idea that some platforms, for the application and for the database, might be more than adequate today but be trending in a direction that didn't match with our executive's goals. So what's a person supposed to recommend under those dynamics? Read the rest of the article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Other News in SQL Server 2014 RTM

  A while back, I told you about some of the coolest new features in the recent RTM for SQL Server. The RTM was announced during the “Accelerate your insights” webcast by a boatload of Microsoft’s top executives, including CEO Satya Nadella, COO Kevin Turner, and CVP Quentin Clark. They had lots of useful information to share and demos to show, but a few other items of note about Azure SQL Databases may have dropped under your radar because they came to light a few days after the big dog-and-pony show/webcast. Read the rest of the article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Big Data and Microsoft SQL Server HDInsight

  It’s time to follow up with a discussion of Microsoft’s cloud-centric approach to big data using HDInsight. MICROSOFT SQL SERVER AND BIG DATA IN THE CLOUD HDInsight is a 100% Apache Hadoop service, currently at v2.2, available through Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud offerings. HDInsight makes all of the standard features you’d expect from a Hadoop implementation—the HDFS/MapReduce software framework and related projects such as Pig and Hive—available in a simple, scalable, and fairly cheap cloud environment. Behind the scenes, HDInsight uses Windows Azure Blob storage to manage and … [Read more...]

DBTA – Microsoft SQL Server and the Big Data Play

  When it comes to implementing a big data strategy in a Microsoft SQL Server shop, you’re generally going to consider one of three strategies. In the first strategy, which I won’t be addressing today, you might choose to tackle your big data architecture by pushing your relational database to its scalability limits, perhaps by making greater use of special features such as SQL Server’s columnstore indexes and special optimizations for BI applications. Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Cloud Computing Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

  There’s no doubt that cloud computing is growing due to the strong cost benefits, simplified management, and reduced hosting complexities.  So it’s only fitting that we cap this series on the new features of Microsoft’s upcoming SQL Server 2014 (SQL2014) release of their flagship database by going over the highlights for SQL2014’s new cloud computing features. Here’s what SQL2014 will do for you with regards to business cloud computing: Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Mission Critical Performance Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

  Microsoft has three major feature sets that they are advancing with SQL Server 2014 (SQL2014). One is called “Mission Critical Performance.”  Microsoft wants to stake out this ground not only as performance enhancements in the relational engine, but also those features which support better data availability, performance, security, and data integration. Read the rest of my article at http://www.dbta.com/Columns/SQL-Server-Drill-Down/Mission-Critical-Performance-Enhancements-Coming-in-SQL-Server-2014-92530.aspx … [Read more...]

DBTA – SQL Server 2014 Overview

  Perhaps this is your first time reading my column or you don’t know much about SQL Server. If either of those are true, then it might be a surprise to you that Microsoft has accelerated the release cadence for SQL Server to around one new release every 18 to 24 months. Add in the fact that Microsoft goes to market with their beta releases, better known as Community Technology Preview (CTPs), several months before the official release of the product. That means we could be in for a rush of new features and upgrades every year or so. Wow. Read the rest of my article … [Read more...]

SQL Saturday Dublin and Pre-Conference Seminars

One of my favorite events is just around the corner! It's just a few days until SQL Saturday Dublin, Ireland’s largest SQL Server conference on the 19th/20th September, run as a community event by the SQL Ireland User Group. Have You Seen the Schedule? The schedule is complete with an amazing line up of speakers from around the world and you can download a copy HERE. Closer to the event we will be launching a mobile guidebook so you can plan your schedule on a mobile device. I'll be doing my very popular session Convince Me - Persuasion Techniques for IT Pros that Get Things Done. Step Up … [Read more...]