Category Archives: User Groups

CodeStock 2010

It’s June, must be time for CodeStock! For those who don’t know, CodeStock is a conference but on annually by the East Tennessee .Net Users Group. This year I am fortunate to have been selected for two presentations.

The first is The Decoder Ring for Data Warehousing / Business Intelligence. This is a concepts talk in which you’ll learn about the terms and overall design of a Data Warehouse, and what they mean when they say Business Intelligence. While we’ll mention the products SQL Server offers, unfortunately we won’t have time for much in the way of a demo.

My second session of the day is a nice follow on to the above session, but will also work even should you not have been in the first session. In SSIS For Developers, we’ll look at how SSIS, commonly used in Data Warehousing, can also be used by most developers to solve issues that frequently come up in the course of their job. Data conversion and exporting data are two good examples, and we’ll also look at how to call your new SSIS job from your .Net application.

There are two code demos used during the presentation, both available at my Code Gallery site. The first is the basic SSIS For Devs demo with the three packages. The second is the more complex example showing how to call SSIS from your .Net application.

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Off and Running with PowerPivot for Excel 2010 at the Huntsville .Net Users Group

Tonight, April 19, I will be presenting at the Huntsville .Net Users Group. The subject will be PowerPivot for Excel 2010. Attendees will get to learn all about Microsoft’s new self-service Business Intelligence tool. Both the Excel and SharePoint pieces of PowerPivot will be discussed, plus the audience will get to see demonstrations of the new Excel add-on.

The slides in PDF format are available, PowerPivot.pdf

Spring seems to be a busy time for user groups, code camps, and SQL and SharePoint Saturdays. This Saturday, April 24 I will be speaking at the SQL Saturday in Atlanta Georgia. On May 1 I will be presenting at the Huntsville, Alabama SharePoint Saturday. The SQL Server event is already sold out, with a waiting list. There are still a few seats left for the share point Saturday event so hurry now before it gets sold out too!

SQL Saturday 29 Birmingham

We just finished up our SQL Saturday here in Birmingham Alabama. It was number 29 in the list of SQL Saturdays. First off let me cover some supporting material for the two sessions I gave. The first was an introduction to Microsoft’s new self service BI tool, PowerPivot. Attendees can download my slides here: PowerPivot Slides  You can also see all my posts so far on PowerPivot at https://arcanecode.com/category/powerpivot/ or by picking PowerPivot from the drop down over on the right side of this blog.

My second session of the day was an introduction to SSIS. Step by step instructions, the sample project, and the slide deck can all be found on my Code Gallery site. At the end we got a bit rushed for time, hopefully some of your questions can be answered from some of my past posts on SSIS. If not feel free to send me an e-mail (rcain at comframe.com or arcanecode at gmail.com) and I’ll see what I can do to help.

Attendees of both sessions may also find my Introduction to Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence slide deck helpful to clarify some BI terminology.

In my roles as speaker, volunteer, and event planner I had little time to take pictures, but I did grab a few at the very end of the day, I thought I’d share them here:

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Some lucky winners of books looking over the remaining stack to pick out their prize.

John Baldwin, our fearless leader is in the grey shirt all the way on the right.

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Obligatory crowd shot. Dividers broke this big room down to 4 rooms where we had our sessions.

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One more crowd shot, showing some of the higher end swag including a Wii, a Garmin GPS, multiple

copies of Office and Windows 7, and two copies of the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives book I coauthored.

My role in event planning was acting as the speaker coordinator. Finding quality people willing to travel to Birmingham, on their own time and expense,  to give presentations. Thanks to Sven Aelterman, Kevin Boles, Louis Davidson, Janis Griffin, Kevin Grohoske, Geoff Hiten, Rodney Landrum, Vincent Mayfield, Aaron Nelson, Barry Ralston, Joe Webb and Jim Wooley. It was their presentations that helped us draw the big crowd we did.

Speaking of the crowd, much thanks to all of you who attended. The folks in my sessions were very attentive, asked many good questions, and kept the discussion lively and interesting. I’m glad all of you came and hope to see you all next year.

I also would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of our sponsors. Without their donations we would not have been able to put on the event. Microsoft, Teksouth, Bit Wizards, Confio, Redgate, Attunity, Telerik, Intellinet, CozyRoc, Wrox, TekSystems and O’Reilly Publishing and to the SQL PASS organization.

I should also give personal note of thanks to my employer COMFRAME, for putting up with my extended lunches and letting me juggle my schedule to run errands and do other planning activities and presentation prep time.

Finally a few last thanks and kudos are definitely in order. The first should go to Vito Amato and his merry band of volunteers. They kept everyone in cold drinks, helped the speakers with their needs, answered attendees questions, checked folks in at the door, and in general did everything that needed to be done to keep the event running smoothly.

A big thanks and congratulations to John Baldwin, our fearless leader, and his right hand man Morgan Smith for taking the leadership to plan and organize the event. They worked long and hard to make the event the success it was.

If you want to keep the fun and education continuing, we’d love to have you join us at our monthly user group meetings, http://www.steelcitysql.org/. Thanks for a great SQL Saturday, and I can’t wait for next year’s!

SharePoint Saturday Birmingham – Intro to Microsoft PowerPivot

spsbham Last Saturday I not only attended but presented at SharePoint Saturday Birmingham. First I have to give Terry Webster a shout out, he did a fantastic job organizing and running the event. I learned a lot, although I admit I felt a bit like a fish out of water, being a SQL Server guy in the SharePoint pond.

Thanks too to all the volunteers who helped run the show, my co-presenters, and the many vendors who attended. Without the support of all those folks this event would not have been possible.

I also want to thank everyone who attended my PowerPivot presentation. Last Friday I did a rather lengthy overview that encapsulated much of my presentation; here are the slides that you saw at the event.

I also want to give you a quick overview of the steps I did in my demo so you can follow along. First you’ll need the bits. The PowerPivotPro has a good blog entry on where to download them from:

http://powerpivotpro.com/2009/11/18/powerpivot-ctp3-beta-download-links/

All you need are the first two items, Office 2010 Beta 2 and PowerPivot for Excel 2010 to reproduce what I did in the demo I presented.

Next you’ll need some data. I had a SQL Server instance installed and used the AdventureWorks2008 LT database available at CodePlex. The LT version is the light weight version of the full AdventureWorks sample, I chose it for it’s simplicity.

http://msftdbprodsamples.codeplex.com/

If you don’t have SQL Server on your box you can use alternate data, or check with your friendly neighborhood DBA. Many have AdventureWorks installed on a test box and might be able to help you out.

OK, so to get this far you’ve downloaded and installed everything, and have access to a dataset. Ready? Let’s go.

1. Launch Excel 201, and click the PowerPivot tab.

2. Click the PowerPivot window button.

step01

3. Click the “From Database” button on the Home tab. In the menu select “From SQL Server”

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4. The Table Import Wizard will appear. In “Server name” field, click the drop down and pick your database server. Leave it set to the “Use Windows Authentication” (unless told otherwise if you are using a database provided by a DBA). Under Database name, pick AdventureWorksLT2008. It’s probably a good idea to click the Test Connection button just to make sure everything is correct. If so press Next to continue.

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5. On the next screen, leave it at the default of “Select from a list of tables and views to choose the data to import” and click Next.

6. On the next screen pick these tables: SalesOrderDetail, SalesOrderHeader, Product, Product Category, Address, Customer, CustomerAddress. Note the “Preview & Filter” button. In the future you may wish to experiment with this to filter the data you are importing, but it’s not needed for this demo. Click Finish to move on.

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7. On the next screen you’ll see it importing the tables. When it gives you the Success message click Close.

8. (Note, this next step differs just slightly from the live presentation, in it I added a column but did it in a different place.) Click on the SalesOrderDetail tab. Click on a blank cell under the Add Column out to the right of the data.

9. In this example we’ll decide that 80 percent of our Line Total is cost, which means the other 20% is profit. We’ll calculate the profit by clicking in the fx bar and typing =[LineTotal]*.20

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10. Right click on the “CalculatedColumn1” column header and select “Rename column” from the menu. The column header will highlight and allow you to type over it. Change the name to Profit.

11. Click on PivotTable and pick “Single Pivot Table” in the drop down menu.

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12. In a pop up dialog, it will ask if you want a new or existing worksheet. Pick “New worksheet” and click OK.

13. Over on the right you will see the “Gemini Task Pane”. Gemini is the original code name for PowerPivot. To create a basic PowerPivot pivot table, follow these steps.

14. Under SalesOrderDetail, click on then drag the LineTotal and Profit fields to the Values area.

15. Under ProductCategory, drag the Name down to Row Labels.

16. Under Product drag the Name to the Row Labels area.

17. Under the Address, click and drag the CountryRegion, then StateProvince to the ColumnLabels area.

18. Drag the StateProvince to the Slicers Vertical area.

19. Your Gemini Task Pane should look something like:

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20. Your spreadsheet should look something like:

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At this point you have completed all of the steps as shown in the presentation. Now start playing. You can jump back to the PowerPivot data sheets by clicking the “PowerPivot window” button as shown in step 1. Back there you might try experimenting with a chart, or on the pivot table apply different effects and slicers.

TechMixer University – SSIS for Developers

In addition to help recruit speakers, I also had the privilege of speaking at TechMixer University 2009.

The slide deck and main demo can be found at my Code Gallery site:

https://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ProjectName=SSISForDevs&ReleaseId=2883

The calling of SSIS from .Net demo can be found at:

http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/ssisfromnet

Thanks to everyone who attended TechMixer University. I look forward to seeing you next year!

SQL Saturday 25 Gainesville GA – October 10 2009

SQL Saturday 25 Logo

SQL Saturday 25 occurred in the lovely town of Gainesville GA on October 10th. At the event I did two presentations.

My first presentation of the day was Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services. The sample project, slide deck, and step by step instructions can be found at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/introssis . In addition I also showed how to call SSIS from a .Net application. You can find that sample at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/ssisfromnet

The second presentation is SQL Server Full Text Searching. You can find the slide deck in PDF format as well as sample code at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/SqlServerFTS.

Thanks to Stu and the crew for a great event!