Friday, March 21, 2008

BI Tools - SQL2008 CTPFebruary Bug (SSIS)

Dear friends,
I found the gold…… I found the bug! J This mistake is because I never thought that a simple person like me, here in my small country with the name of Portugal, that sometimes people think the country is a state of Spain would found a Microsoft bug in SQL 2008 (SSIS)... ok… but let’s talk about the bug. Sorry for this introduction…

As I told you in a previous post, I’m developing a SSIS project for my master BI degree, using the new SQL 2008 CTPFebruary version. I found a bug, that I think is critical and very important.
If you already worked with SSIS 2005, you are probably familiarly with the warning messages that advise you for unused columns in your pipeline:

For those people who never saw the messages, I made a very simple example. (Note: One of the best practices to develop an ETL package is to try to minimize the size of each row in your pipeline. If you forget to delete these unused columns you will be decreasing ETL performance. If you already used SSIS 2005 and never saw the messages, take care)
This simple example in previous version of SSIS (2005) only executes a query in the table “Person.Contact” on AdventureWorks and inserts the returned rows into a temporary table.

1. Add a dataflow “DFT TestBug” to the ControlFlow
2. Goto the dataflow created in the previous step
3. Add an OLEDB Source to get some data from AdventureWorks database:
SELECT Title, FirstName, MiddleName FROM Person.Contact
4. Add an OLEDB destination to insert the data into a #tempTable. Map the source and destination columns title and firstname and intentionally leave the column MiddleName without map.

As you can see for the image below, the SSIS 2005 advice you for the unused columns with warning messages. In the new version, these messages doesn't appear!!!

I posted this bug in MSDN Forums
and James Thomson and Bob Bojanic kindly suggested me to submit this bug to Microsoft. I submit the bug as you can see for the link below:

Sorry MSFT team for this post, but for me this messages are very important and it will be a problem if the final version doesn’t correct this!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

BI Education - The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit

Dear Friends,
I ‘m very busy with my job and my master BI degree, but I will try to come here with more frequently. I have too many things to blog and I don’t know where I will start from.

For now, I’ll write few words about the recent book of Ralph Kimball. I confess that I always was a fan of Kimball books, but normally those books have a lot of years. Although the subjects of almost the books are in use, I think that they was a little old and could be better adapted and integrated.

Ralph Kimball Group launched a new and fantastic book, “The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit” (second edition) on last January 2008. I read only four chapters yet, but I really feel that this book is better than others from Ralph Kimball Group. Check the contents of the book in the amazon or wiley website.
Obviously, I bought this book, and it has a fantastic price on Amazon (UK) at I paid for the book about 18€ (Euro) with shipment included and received in 2 days!!! (I’m in Portugal… don’t forget it) Normally, I buy the books at Amazon directly to the Amazon partners because is more cheaply, but in this case there is no difference between Amazon official price and the partners price.
I’m preparing a post about Reporting Services 2005 and 2008 querying an OLTP database.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

BI Conference - SQLBits - Birmingham (UK) - After

Dear Friends,
I’m just arriving from Birmingham (UK) and I only have one Word to describe the experience: FANTASTIC! I have several things to write but if you weren’t there you missed a fantastic day!
As you already know, I’m currently living in Portugal but last Friday I pick my girlfriend and went to Birmingham (UK) to attend the SQLBits conference and back to the city where I’ve finished my degree some years ago. Microsoft Portugal is not investing too much in SQL BI tools, and in the last summer it had only one person specialized in these tools… To prove it, the next TechDays 2008 in Portugal there will be just a few sessions in SQL BI tools and probably too basic… The possibility to hear some “gurus” and the authors of my preferred books from Wrox and Wiley, it was an opportunity that I couldn’t missed!
I will describe in general how it was this journey to Birmingham and I will detail my preferred sessions on detail in a next post.

The Conference
There was several sessions in this conference, and I attended the sessions related with Business Intelligence MS SQL tools. Darren Green, Allan Mitchell and Chris Webb didn’t disappointed me in their sessions, and the money expended in this journey was a very good investment on my career and a good opportunity to “open my eyes” more and more to the world.

Allan Mitchell Session
Allan spoke about the new features of SSIS 2008 and compares it with the SSIS 2005. He shows some details that usually some developers don’t pay much attention, the performance… he show some details behind the scene, and in my opinion he done it good!
Pipeline Limiter
LookUp Component (Cache Options)
Data Profiling Task
Change Data Capture

Chris Webb Session
This session was very interesting… I expecting to see something about new features and good advantages of SSRS, and what I saw was the opposite and I’m totally in agree with him and this session prove that this type of events are not to sell products but is a place where we can receive very good and sincerely tips and tricks from developers to developers. And Microsoft was one of the sponsors…

Darren Green Session
Darren session was very cool and he spoke about a subject that I normally in SSIS avoid but after the session I will take more attention… and the subject is custom data components. I bought the WROX book that Darren wrote and refer this subject but I didn’t read those chapters… But is really interesting , not only to understand better the pipeline engine but also to develop more specific and complex transformations.

The City and BullRing
As I told you before, I finished my degree in Birmingham some years ago. There are several improvements in the city but it still beauty! A very good improvement was the BullRing Center that is a big shopping place with an area equivalent to 26 football stadiums!!!

The Hotel
Normally, hotels in England are not comfortable or modern, but this Hotel is very modern and I knew a Portuguese man that works there!

The NightLife
The night bars and discos are incredible on pressure of safety guards…

So... in resume, was a fantastic journey!! I will try to detail more about the conference in a next post!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...