“The operation has timed out” while using Power View in Excel 2013

This one is a quick tip. I recently upgraded to Office 2013 RTM and wanted to use the excellent Power View feature which is now an integral part of Excel! However, after I setup my tables (actually I used the Power Pivot data model) I was consistently presented with the below error message whenever I…


Microsoft Report Viewer 2012 update: a ‘gotcha’ to be aware of

Something which I have been waiting for a long time has finally been released! The ReportViewer 2012 redistributable RTM package is available for download now! Deployment notes FYI, ReportViewer is used by Management Studio (SSMS), other utilities and also by any custom application which uses this to render local RDLC reports, or within a web…


Extra T-SQL checks to complement SQL Upgrade Advisor

Background More and more customers are looking to upgrade to SQL Server 2012, which offers some exciting features like AlwaysOn Availability Groups, ColumnStore Indexes and much more. As part of my job in the Microsoft Premier Field Engineering team, we are called upon by customers to assess their readiness to upgrade to the new version….


Getting TaskUnzip to work with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) 2012

Background It is a very common requirement in SSIS packages to extract contents of a compressed ZIP file, and then process that file in a data flow. From what I can see, it appears that TaskUnzip is quite a popular way to achieve this. So as part of the BI Aviation project I decided to…


Aviation BI Project – Part 1: Requirements

Background One of my hobbies is following the commercial aviation scene. My job requires me to fly around a lot, and that only sparks my curiosity further around how the commercial aviation business works. What better then, that to use this hobby as a motivation to test new features in SQL Server 2012? This hybrid…


Where can I download SQL 2012 Upgrade Advisor?

This post is a really quick one… Let’s say you are planning to check your SQL Server and T-SQL code for any potential breaking changes in SQL 2012. So you use Upgrade Advisor. Let’s say you want to download it, rather than get it from the installation media (the MSI can be found under \Servers\redist\Upgrade…


Virtual PC / Virtual Server 2005 to Hyper-V: VM Additions issues

Background I have some old VPCs which I used to run on Virtual PC 2007 SP1. In Virtual PC, we used ‘VM Additions’ which would install some drivers to make the VPC run smoothly in the virtualized environment. For example these additions would enable smooth usage of the mouse across host and guest. There are…


A curious case: CLR/COM Interop leak

  Background A customer asked me a question last week: in CLR-COM interop case, who is responsible to free up a string returned from COM? My understanding was that the interop layer setup by .NET will automatically take care of this. However, I thought a mock test would not do any harm. To my surprise…


Shared Source CLI 2.0 book

Yesterday I accidentally stumbled upon a goldmine: the Shared Source CLI 2.0 Internals book! This book covers the Shared Source CLI (if you don’t know what that is, check out the references at the end of this post) from an internals perspective. I find it extremely useful because a lot of what is written there…