Chris Webb's BI Blog

Analysis Services, MDX, PowerPivot, DAX and anything BI-related

Archive for May 2007

Intelligencia OLAP Controls

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Andrew Wiles announced yesterday the availability of a beta version of his new MDX query builder component, ‘Intelligencia OLAP Controls':
I had a quick demo of it this morning and I was very impressed. It has some really quite clever ideas in it such as the spreadsheet-based calculation functionality, and while it doesn’t do absolutely everything I’d like (it is still a beta, after all) it does an awful lot and Andrew is very open to feedback for what needs to be added. If you’re interested in checking it out you can download it here:
 
The product is aimed at ISVs, in-house developers and consultants who want to incorporate MDX querying functionality in their own products. I’ll be blunt: the company that really should be looking at this, and perhaps licensing it for use in Katmai and/or future versions of Office, is Microsoft. The control’s Office 2007 look-and-feel gives a tantalising glimpse of what a power user would want to see in Excel when connecting to AS and it puts the Reporting Services MDX query builder to shame.

Written by Chris Webb

May 25, 2007 at 10:47 am

Posted in Client Tools

Want to work for Microsoft?

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The AS user education team are having a hard time trying to recruit someone who knows MDX. Is this something you, dear reader, would be interested in? Here’s the job description I got from Neil Orint:
 

Do you have a background in Analysis Services and MDX? Are you looking to put your mark on the next version of SQL Server content deliverables? Want to work on a writing team where your development team counterparts are as passionate about your content as you are? If so, the Analysis Services User Education team is looking for an experienced technical writer to assist us in delivering top-notch customer facing technical documentation.

The successful candidate will have a strong background in technical writing, a working knowledge of MDX and OLAP; possess solid project management and planning skills and a passion for learning new technologies. Strong communication skills are a must. As a member of our team you can expect opportunities to:
· Help define and execute upon content strategies and prioritizes
· Listen, analyze and respond to customer feedback
· Learn the entire spectrum of Microsoft’s business intelligence offering – Integration Services, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Office and more.
Qualifications
· A practical understanding of MDX and OLAP.
· A history of developing assistance content for end users in a variety of delivery formats
· The ability to learn new tools, technologies, and processes quickly and independently

Please contact: neilor@microsoft.com

 
Please email Neil on the address given if you want to discuss it further.

Written by Chris Webb

May 24, 2007 at 10:23 am

Posted in MDX

Batch Reporting With SSIS and OfficeWriter

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I’m a long-standing fan of OfficeWriter, the tool that’s just been licensed by Microsoft for possible inclusion in Katmai Reporting Services, and recently I was engaged by Softartisans to write a few articles for their website (yes, that means I was paid). Here’s the first of them, on how to create a batch reporting solution using their components and Integration Services:
 
Seems a bit of a weird thing to want to do when you can do the same thing in Reporting Services, but as I say in the article there are some advantages for using Integration Services for this task. I’m going to write another article next week on using OfficeWriter with Excel 2007 and Analysis Services which I’ve got some fun ideas for…

Written by Chris Webb

May 23, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Posted in On the internet

Dataupia

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Following on from the Teradata post, I was just wondering how well the newly announced Dataupia (their website is rubbish at explaining what the product is – and I can’t even pronounce the name – but see this article for background: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2007/05/15/dataupia_databases/) would work with Analysis Services, if you were using Dataupia underneath SQL Server and using AS in ROLAP or HOLAP mode. Could make for an interesting story for scalability if it does what it says on the box.

Written by Chris Webb

May 23, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Analysis Services

Teradata/Analysis Service White Paper

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(Via BI/BPM – The SeeQuel) Here’s the first fruit of the partnership between Microsoft and Teradata that was announced earlier this year: a paper describing how to use Analysis Services in ROLAP mode with Teradata:
 
I’ve heard of people trying to do this for years, usually experiencing a lot of pain along the way, and by all accounts the situation still isn’t ideal but it sounds like it’s getting there.

Written by Chris Webb

May 23, 2007 at 9:04 am

Posted in Analysis Services

AS2005 MDX Course Now Available

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<Shameless Advertising Plug>
 
As I’ve mentioned before, I do all of my training activities through Solid Quality Mentors (also known as Solid Quality Learning) and earlier this year they persuaded me to write an MDX course for them. You can see the outline on their website here:

 
If you’re interested in booking this as a private course please contact Solid Quality through the address on the site. If you’re in the UK you’d definitely get me teaching it and I’d probably cover certain other European countries too, but the good thing about Solid Quality is that they have a network of top-notch BI people not only in the US but also in Central America and continential Europe too, many of whom will be teaching this class as well.
 
I think there’s a real need for in-depth MDX training out there – even people who know Analysis Services really well sometimes struggle with it, and you can only get so far without understanding the fundamentals. With PerformancePoint on the way the market is only going to grow and I’ve deliberately kept the first day or so as platform-agnostic as possible with a view to adapting the material for SAP BW, Essbase, TM1 and Mondrian MDX at some point in the future.
 
One last thing to mention: Solid Quality have also got a lot of other Microsoft BI courses if you’re not just interested in MDX. Take a look:
They’ve even got an Analysis Services data mining course written by Dejan Sarka:

 
UPDATE: I no longer work with Solid Quality, so if you want MDX or Analysis Services training then come straight to me! You can find out more at http://www.crossjoin.co.uk/training.html
 
</Shameless Advertising Plug>
 

Written by Chris Webb

May 21, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Posted in MDX

Speaking at the NxtGenUG

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Just thought I’d mention that I’m speaking at the NxtGenUG (Next Generation User Group) meeting at Oxford on June 19th, on the topic of "Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services":
 
 

Written by Chris Webb

May 21, 2007 at 10:57 am

Posted in Events

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