Monday, September 26, 2005

This Blog is dedicated to Jim

Who rightly points out I have not blogged in weeks, it’s not been from the lack of wanting to put something down, and I have just been a bit busy with work.

So Jim sits next to me at work in a completely unrelated field of mobility. And seeing how Jim does not work with BI systems, I thought it would be good to have a look at the features that SQL Server 2005 has for Mobile applications. While I am at I will put a blog about it.

First off there are no direct BI features for SQL Mobile applications. In fact there are none. Accept for the standard Reporting Services web services that can be customized.

So what are the Mobility Features?

First off a new DB that replaces SQL CE. SQL Management Studio is a single point for maintaining and developing SQL Mobile databases. There is full integration with Visual Studio. It’s a huge improvement over CE.

Product Overview Getting Started

Development Centre for SQL Mobile

Well I know that’s a bit short and sweet, next post I will have a bit more of a BI favour.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Introduction to the Unified Dimensional Model (UDM)

I was talking to a colleague about Analysis Services and how awesome the Unified Dimensional Model (UDM) is. I then realized I have not blogged in ages about anything useful. So I have pulled together some of my thoughts about the UDM.

I was really introduced to the UDM on the Yukon Ascend program last year in Sydney. At the time I was still trying to find out what the UDM was in Analysis Services 2005 (AS2005). The simple answer is “The UDM is a Cube in AS2005”. Ok that may be glossing over the UDM a bit, but you will not find the UDM in AS 2005. There is no CREATE UDM function in AS2005. An AS2005 cube ties all the UDM features together.

The UDM, I mean cubes provide the ability for reports (OLAP, Reporting Services) to be generated against standard OLAP cubes as well as Relational data sources. Queries can be optimized to either run against aggregates from OLAP storage or directly against the relational data sources offering a high performance reporting environment. Reporting services has been extended too with a UI to create MDX queries (something that was sorely missing in SQL 2000).

The feature list for the UDM is huge. Data mining has been extended in AS2005 with seven algorithms. New KPI functionality has also been introduced in this release. The list goes on. I have put together some Useful links to UDM and Analysis Services 2005 resources.

Introduction to the UDM

Analysis Services 2005 Processing Architecture

Enabling Drillthrough in Analysis Services 2005

Introduction to Data Mining

SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS)

I have started my research in earnest into how I am going to use the UDM on Business Intelligence projects. I hope this is a good start for any one looking at the UDM.


TechEd 2005 Auckland NZ Session slides


My session slides have now been posted on to

For my session on Analysis Services 2005 migration tips see:

For Ad-hoc reporting with report builder see:


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

TechED Photos

Hello All,

Mark who attended my morning session has sent me some pics of me getting ready for the migration to AS 2005.

Thanks Mark.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

What I got out of TechED

Wow TechED is over, three days of sessions and two presentations of my own. It was a full on event for NZ IT scene.

Besides presenting at TechED I did get to a couple of sessions. Looking back at them I took something from each session, listed below are my thoughts.

BIN301- Cube Design in Analysis Services 2005 - Best Practice for Performance and Functionality - Richard Lees.

This was the only session on AS 2005 that I was able to attend this year. Richard covered the UDM in detail and gave us a run of all the client tools for AS 2005. The best was the review of the proactive caching for loading cubes and the use notification services for automation of cube processing.

The UDM really does have a large amount of features around query performance. Something I am going to look into in more detail on this blog at some stage.

BIN310 - SQL Server 2005: End-to-End Part 3 (Analyze and Act) - Thierry D'Hers

It was great to get to meet Thierry. I spent a bit of time with him on is brief say here in NZ. His insight into the direction of the MS BI platform was very informative. Thierry’s session reviewed all the SQL 2005 features with a take on MS direction for the product range.

DBA313 - Architecting a Large Scale Data Warehouse with SQL Server 2005 - Doug Barrett

Doug took us threw some of the key DW features for creating a DW on SQL 2005. The session was more of a traditional approach to DW architecture. He cover table partitions and loading with SSIS packages.

I realy feel that any new BI projects on the MS platfrom will be based around the UDM.

Microsoft is going to post all TechED presentations on their NZ site latter this month. I will post a link to these sessions on blog.

Till next time


Fuzzy Lookups and Groupings Provide Powerful Data Cleansing Capabilities

Hello All,

I came across this neat MSDN Article on Data Cleaning using SSIS. It was raises some great points on how to use the new Fuzzy transformations.

Fuzzy Lookups and Groupings Provide Powerful Data Cleansing Capabilities