Transposing rows and columns in SQL Server Integration Services

Okay, this was a rough one. The challenge was that a customer had Excel spreadsheets where we needed to transpose the rows and columns. In other words, the spreadsheet looked like this: But we needed the records to list Program values by date, like this: Of course, I did that by simply copying the cells…

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A simple conceit vs. questions left unasked

Here’s a fun mental exercise – on the one hand, we have the “everyone is lost but me” syndrome, where someone will charge off on a course of action, despite many many warnings about the perilous nature of his quest, until he runs smack dab into that windmill. And yet we have “there is no…

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Dimension Security in SQL Server Analysis Services

I know, the mind boggles – a developer writing about security… While I was doing the research for this, I was startled by the number of articles on this topic that immediately talk about using MDX queries for dimension security. While MDX queries offer powerful fine-tuning capabilities for restricting access to data in Analysis Services,…

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This year’s hammer – voice prompts

“When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” I use this quote a lot to warn against the tendency we have to overimplement new technologies and solutions. Even as I go through InfoPath and BI solutions, I will warn that while InfoPath is a forms solution, it’s not the solution to…

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Scorecards – SharePoint, SQL Server, or PerformancePoint?

A few years ago, if you asked Microsoft how to build a scorecard, they may have shrugged. Then we released the “Business Scorecard Accelerator” – a free technology mainly designed to showcase SQL Server Analysis Services. It was so popular that Microsoft made a product out of it – Business Scorecard Manager 2005. While BSM…

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InfoPath & SharePoint screencast demo

As  follow-up to the “hook InfoPath to a database” demo, here I’m taking a step back to a simpler form – building an InfoPath form to be used on its own in conjunction with SharePoint.  https://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=344635 In the next few videos I’m going to cover: InfoPath, xml schemas, and xml An advanced InfoPath form connected…

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SQL Server Analysis Services in ten minutes

Analysis Services has been part of SQL Server for a while, but it’s underappreciated by most. I’ve posted another video on Channel 9 to try to share what a powerful capability this is for understanding large volumes of aggregated data. More than just the simple demo (showing a cube, clicking through some dimensions, pulling the…

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Philo on EDI

I wrote this post on Joel On Software in 2004 in response to a newbie asking about EDI. Since then I have referred several people to it, but a few times I’ve found the post tricky to find. So, instead of constantly relying on the benevolence of Joel acting as a library for me, I’m…

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Why InfoPath?

Okay, I’m going to try a different approach on the “why do I care about InfoPath?” issue.  I recorded a short screencast and posted it to Channel9: https://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=343092   In the screencast, I walk through setting up an InfoPath form to connect to a database, and show how the idea is to free up developers from…

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Urquhart’s Avoidance and product futures

I give a lot of product briefings, and of course often get caught between what I know and what I can say. In these cases I often find it useful to use Urquhart’s Avoidance, made famous in the BBC miniseries “House of Cards” (which I highly recommend): “You might very well think that; but I…

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