Step, Ball, Change and We’re Hiring

Stopping by because you heard there’s a job opening? Click here.

“Hey, I know Gina…why is she posting this manager-y stuff?” Click here.

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Help Us Help Others at SQL Saturday Madison 2015

Ever been so happy you could burst? That’s how I’m  feeling about SQL Saturday #387 in Madison, WI. We have over 400 registered attendees, forty sessions from fantastic speakers, and support from generous sponsors. Our event will be in the heart of downtown Madison this year at the beautiful Pyle Center, a great location with some rooms overlooking Lake Mendota!

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It’s Just a Matter of Time: Power BI Date & Time Dimension Toolkit

Ever had report usage data and needed to figure out which day of the week is quietest so you can do maintenance? Want to visualize spikes in sales activity based on hour ranges within the day? Need a date or time dimension for a proof of concept in Power Pivot before you bother to spin up a real data warehouse? You’ve come to the right place!

Many excellent BI bloggers have covered creating a basic date dimension using Power Query. Indeed, I learned a great deal from Chris Webb and Matt Masson as I was creating my own date & time dimension toolkit. What I’d like to cover in this admittedly long post is how to create Power Query functions that you can spin up and configure quickly in Power Pivot. These functions build in the fields you need for both the attributes you display and the hidden fields you use to make those display nicely.

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Why Your Company Should Sponsor SQL Saturday #287 – Madison, WI


What would you think if I told you that there’s a network of full day training events that SQL Server professionals attend, on their own time, all over the world? Would you believe that these events include topics from all aspects of the SQL Server stack plus professional development topics, and the attendees only have to pay for their lunch? How about this surprising fact: the speakers at these events are well-respected professionals in their field with years of experience, yet they volunteer their time to teach people they may never see again?

I’ve just described the amazing phenomenon known as SQL Saturday! These events are connected with the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS), and are attended by thousands of SQL Server professionals each year. We’re thrilled to announce that SQL Saturday is coming back to Madison for the third year running on March 29, 2014. Here’s a few reasons why your company doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to sponsor SQL Saturday #287.

Incredible Training Dollar ROI

Have you priced out sending a staff person to a full day of training lately? And that’s probably just training on one topic. Can you imagine what it might cost to send them to a training session where they had their pick of five or six different topics every 90 minutes? Think of the instructor fees! And the quoted cost is probably per person – who on your staff would have to miss out because it costs too much to send the whole team? And we haven’t even looked at travel costs, figured out weekday coverage while people are out…

Don’t panic – take a look at our sponsorship levels! A veritable bargain and it’s right in Madison, WI! On a Saturday!

Quality Learning Opportunities For Your Team

The SQL Saturday community is wildly fortunate to have presenters with experience in every SQL Server topic imaginable. This experience is current – they’re teaching these topics because they’ve been there, done that, and often gotten the certification to prove it. These presenters are also practiced instructors who spend their own time and money to make sure they are passing on their skills as effectively as possible. Our schedule from last year was amazing, and we’re expecting an incredible line-up this year as well. We welcomed nearly 250 attendees to SQL Saturday in Madison last year, and if you sponsor SQL Saturday, you can make sure that hundreds more learn from the best this year. Your team can attend with pride, knowing that their company cares about professional skill development and takes an active role in the regional technology community.

And the benefits aren’t just from the formal presentations. SQL Saturday is a place where attendees can trade stories and brainstorm with others that “get them”. The connections they make might lead to a problem solved, a new solution designed, or a wrong technology choice avoided. You cannot beat the value of connections with other engaged, excited professionals in your field. SQL Saturday is a place to make those connections, and sponsors make SQL Saturday possible.

Get Noticed by the Best Local Talent

It’s no secret that data skills are hot in the current employment market, and the data geeks that are the most motivated to grow and innovate attend events like SQL Saturday. After all, the “Saturday” in “SQL Saturday” shows that our attendees are a rare bunch: they take time away from their family and friends to improve their knowledge and discover new possibilities. Wouldn’t you like to meet them? Wouldn’t you like to show them that your company is doing amazing things with data, or is excited to take their data architecture to the next level with the right talent? As a sponsor of SQL Saturday, your company will get noticed by the type of employees you want to hire!

Sponsorship Levels for Every Training Budget

We know that there are employers large and small in the area that use Microsoft SQL Server, and we want to make sure that everyone can find a level that fits their budget. We have sponsorship levels from $250 to $1,000, and all of these levels come with plenty of benefits for our generous sponsors. Please see our Sponsor Page for all the details!

I hope I’ve been able to pique your interest in sponsoring SQL Saturday #287. The SQL Saturday Madison committee is immensely proud of what these events have achieved the past two years, and we are grateful beyond measure for those who make this possible. Show your commitment to the Wisconsin technology community and join in!

Migrating from Native to Integrated Mode SSRS Part 5: Testing, Subscriptions, & Implementation

***Update October 2014: Microsoft has put greater emphasis on Power BI and SharePoint online in the past year, and the future of on-premises SharePoint SSRS is uncertain. Microsoft may instead find a way to connect Power BI to native mode SSRS. At this time,  I’d caution teams with an eye to future Microsoft BI against undertaking a migration from native mode  to on-premises SharePoint online. This is just my opinion, not the opinion of Microsoft or my employer, but a project of this magnitude must be very carefully planned and risks weighed against the benefits.***


Huzzah, the reports are in SharePoint! Time to take a bow and exit stage left, right?

Not so fast! Have you tested them properly? Are your subscriptions configured in their new home? And what about the users – how do you get them rolling with SSRS in SharePoint? Read on to find out!

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Migrating from Native to Integrated Mode SSRS Part 4: Migrating Reports to SharePoint

At long last, it’s time to get your reports in SharePoint! Here comes the manual labor, otherwise known as the “I know I won’t be short on stuff to do today” section.

Here’s an overview of the main migration steps:

  1. Create the necessary shared data sources for the report on the SharePoint site reports library
    1. If you’re using ODBC connections, don’t forget to set up the DSN’s on your SharePoint servers!
  2. Open a copy of the existing report in Report Builder or SSDT
  3. Edit the report data source(s) to point to the applicable SharePoint data source
  4. Save the report to the SharePoint reports library
  5. Edit the report’s properties and apply the correct Report Category and any other metadata being tracked

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Migrating from Native to Integrated Mode SSRS Part 3: Installation & Configuration

By this point in the process, you should have a sense from Part 2 of what your native mode instance has in terms of reports, subscriptions, and data sources. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and configure some servers! I’ll point you to some good references to get you started, then review what we learned about configuring a reports library that you won’t find on TechNet.

Instance Installation & Configuration References
Configuring a Reports Library
Configuring the Default View
Library Security

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