Chris Webb's BI Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Off-topic’ Category

The Twelve Days of a BI Project

leave a comment »

Here’s a Yuletide song for you and your colleagues to sing (to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas", if you haven’t guessed already) before you disappear down the pub for an important offsite meeting this Christmas:

On the first day of work my consultants gave to me
A bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the second day of work my consultants gave to me
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the third day of work my consultants gave to me
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the fourth day of work my consultants gave to me
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the fifth day of work my consultants gave to me
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the sixth day of work my consultants gave to me
Six star schemas,
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the seventh day of work my consultants gave to me
Seven ETL jobs,
Six star schemas,
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the eighth day of work my consultants gave to me
Eight UDMs,
Seven ETL jobs,
Six star schemas,
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the ninth day of work my consultants gave to me
Nine slow reports,
Eight UDMs,
Seven ETL jobs,
Six star schemas,
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the tenth day of work my consultants gave to me
Ten lame excuses,
Nine slow reports,
Eight UDMs,
Seven ETL jobs,
Six star schemas,
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the eleventh day of work my consultants gave to me
Eleven hotfixes,
Ten lame excuses,
Nine slow reports,
Eight UDMs,
Seven ETL jobs,
Six star schemas,
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

On the twelfth day of work my consultants gave to me
Twelve angry users,
Eleven hotfixes,
Ten lame excuses,
Nine slow reports,
Eight UDMs,
Seven ETL jobs,
Six star schemas,
SQL 2005,
Four Gb of RAM,
Three servers,
Two project plans
And a bill for their exorbitant fees.

Written by Chris Webb

December 16, 2006 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Off-topic

I’m an MVP!!!

with 9 comments

I found out earlier this week but I thought I’d mention it here. Obviously I am very chuffed indeed. Time for a tearful Oscars-style acceptance speech: I’d like to thank everyone out there who has helped me over the years, whether at work, on the newsgroups or on this blog… (sniff)… I love you all!

Written by Chris Webb

April 5, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Off-topic

MDX Limericks

with 8 comments

Since last summer’s ‘OLAP Jokes’ entry was the most popular (in terms of links to it) entry I’ve made on this blog so far, I’ve been wracking my brains for a suitable follow-up. During my lunchtime browsing today I came across this posting on a certain Phil Factor’s blog:
…and thought that anything those SQL guys can do, us MDX-ers can do better. So I’d like to announce an MDX limericks competition. No prizes apart from the admiration and respect of the entire Analysis Services community, I’m afraid, but who needs prizes when faced with a noble challenge such as this?
 

Here are the rules:

  • Each entry must be an MDX query executable against any cube/perspective in the Adventure Works database, and must take the form of a limerick (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerick_(poetry for details)
  • The query must return at least one cell which contains a value other than null
  • Entries should be posted as comments to this blog entry
  • Extra points will be awarded for wit and creativity

It’s actually pretty difficult. Here’s my first attempt:

WITH MEMBER [Date].[Day Name].[TODAY]
AS 1 + [Date].[Day Name].[THURSDAY]
SELECT [Average Rate]
ON 0, [Date].[Date]
ON 1 FROM [Direct Sales] WHERE([MAY])

As an aside, this brings up the vexed question of how you should pronounce MDX. In my limerick I’m not pronouncing the punctuation so it reads:

WITH MEMBER DATE DAY NAME TODAY,
AS ONE PLUS DATE DAY NAME THURSDAY,
SELECT AVERAGE RATE,
ON ZERO, DATE DATE,
ON ONE FROM DIRECT SALES WHERE MAY.

However I’m prepared to be flexible on this point.

So come on all of you (and especially you Jon, as I know you can never resist something like this) and get composing!

 

UPDATE: I’ve decided two rule changes, to make things easier. First I’ll allow queries from Foodmart 2000 for those of you on AS2K; second I’ll allow statements other than SELECT statements (eg CREATE SET, UPDATE CUBE etc) so long as they execute without errors.

 

Written by Chris Webb

January 19, 2006 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Off-topic

Blog Birthday

with 3 comments

It’s my blog’s first birthday today! Seems like I’ve been writing it forever… Anyway, I’m quite pleased with how the first year of blogging has gone – I’ve managed to keep my resolution and posted something just about every week, and hopefully it’s been interesting and useful. I’ve learnt a lot too, made a lot of new friends and even managed to become the top-ranked "Chris Webb" on Google (for the moment)!
 
Next year will see a lot of changes for me professionally and with a bit of luck they will leave me more time for blogging as well as provide me with some new Microsoft-BI-related topics to blog about. As always, I welcome any kind of feedback/suggestions/tip-offs for news, either in public via comments or by email (check my profile for how to contact me).
 
Happy New Year!

Written by Chris Webb

December 30, 2005 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Off-topic

Do you know anyone Scottish?

with 2 comments

Here’s something fun to show them:
  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio
  2. Connect to the AdventureWorks cube
  3. Run the following query:
    select [Measures].[Internet Sales Amount]
    on 0,
    [Geography].[Geography].[State-Province].[England].children
    on 1
    from [Adventure Works]
  4. Scroll down the result set and point out that according to AdventureWorks, Scotland is a city in England.

 

Written by Chris Webb

November 24, 2005 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Off-topic

A new form of MDX

leave a comment »

I guess those of you in North America have already seen this on TV:
(Thanks to George for sending the link)
 
"Coming to a store near you in November" – to coincide with the launch of SQL2005, no doubt.

Written by Chris Webb

October 27, 2005 at 10:37 am

Posted in Off-topic

Who reads my blog?

with 5 comments

Sorry, this is completely off-topic, but I’ve got a little tired of the poor information that MSN Spaces provide on blog visitors and I’m curious to find out who is reading. So I’m going to run a little experiment with Site Meter – just click on the link below to see some detailed stats about visits to this blog:
 

Site Meter

 
Pity there’s no way of putting this permanently on my front page that I can see.

Written by Chris Webb

October 21, 2005 at 11:51 am

Posted in Off-topic

OLAP Jokes

with 13 comments

With the cricket rained off we had nothing to waste our time with today at work, so Jon decided to challenge the rest of the team to come up with some OLAP jokes for my blog. Naturally Colin and I were up for the challenge and 50 (yes, 50) jokes later here are some of the best – although I thought a few were too risque to post and they were, of course, the funniest. If you aren’t a fan of puerile humour then now’s the time to stop reading…
 

Q: What does a calculated member have in common with a eunuch?

A: They both can’t have children

 

Q: Why couldn’t the hierarchy become a tightrope-walker?

A: It was unbalanced

 

Q: Why did [Year-Quarter-Month] beat Measures at an arm wrestle?

A: Because it was a strong hierarchy

 

Q: What does tired cube do?

A: Has a KPI

 

Q: Why did the dimension go to prison?

A: Because it was degenerate

 

A cube walks into a bar, pops himself on a bar stool and says "Whisky please".

"Double?" says the barman

"No thanks replies the cube "Just a measure"

 

A girl goes speed dating and after a run of duff prospects a dimension sits down opposite her and they engage in sprightly conversation. After the event is over, her friend asks "Did you get that dimension’s number? You two really seemed to hit it off"

"No" replies the girl "He was really deep at times – had a lot of levels – but you know parent-child dimensions, just too much of a mummy’s boy"

 

Q: Was the cube straight or gay?

A; Neither, it was BI.

 

Have you heard that the [Date Shipped] dimension is playing Hamlet at the National Theatre? It’s a role-playing dimension!

 

Q: What kind of a dimension is [Dictionary]?

A: A reference dimension

 

Q: What do pre-menstrual BI developers suffer from?

A: PTS

 

Q: How did the police catch the serial-killer query?

A: They used a Profiler

 

Did you know that Disney want to turn the Adventure Works cube into a multi-million dollar blockbuster movie? They’ve already optioned the MDX Script.

 

Q: What on earth was the cube trying to do when it set fire to its wallet?

A: It must have been trying to warm its cache.

 

Q: What’s the angriest MDX function?

A: Crossjoin

 

Q: What’s a dentist’s favourite MDX function?

A: Extract

 

Q: Why did the dimension take all day to take off its suit and put on a pair of jeans?

A: It was a slowly-changing dimension

 

Q: Why did the dimension keep itself to itself?

A: It was a private dimension.

 

Q: Why wasn’t the Level allowed in the fascist cube?

A: It was disabled

 

Q: What’s the porn director’s favourite MDX function?
A: BottomCount

 

Q: Why did the YTD calculation always finish last?

A: It always lagged too far back.

 

Q: Why were the other hierarchies frightened of Year-Week-Quarter?

A: It was unnatural

 

Q: Did you hear about the badger whose home wasn’t allowed in the subcube?

A: It was an arbitrary shaped set.

 

Q: Why was the MDX expression never able to get a date?

A: It was rank.

 

Q: What MDX function makes Previous Year Growth and Market Share blush?
A: StripCalculatedMembers

 

Q: How did the BI developer send his backed-up database to a colleague on the other side of London?

A: In a .cab file

 

Q: What do cellsets use to cut down trees?

A: Axes

 

Q: What did the cube leave on the floor when it fell over in the toilet?

A: A minidump

  

Q: What function would you use to retrieve [Product].[All].[Dried Fruit].[Raisins]?

A: CurrentMember

 

Q: Why did the cube have nothing to do after the meeting?

A: It had no actions

 

Q: Whilst walking through the MDX Script mountain range, why did the assignment not mind reports of a FREEZE on the peaks?

A: He was in a lower pass

 

UPDATE: if you think you can do better then leave your jokes in a comment. We tried to think of a prize for the best one but baulked at the idea of giving away something worth having and paying for the postage.

 

 

Written by Chris Webb

August 25, 2005 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Off-topic

Improving performance of VPC

leave a comment »

Great tip from Roman Rehak here, if like me you’re running Yukon on Virtual PC. NTFS compression certainly hasn’t harmed my performance and it’s saved me 4Gb of disk space!

Written by Chris Webb

March 21, 2005 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Off-topic

Jon Axon’s blog

with one comment

OK, this is nothing whatsoever to do with BI, but my colleague Jon Axon has started his own blog here. If you’re interested in concurrent programming then check it out – and make sure you hit the site several times to make him feel like someone is actually reading his blog! It will make him feel so much better…

Written by Chris Webb

January 20, 2005 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Off-topic

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,868 other followers