Blog

  • Azure Business Intelligence – The Icon Game!

    As Azure becomes the new normal for many organisations our architecture diagrams become ever more complicated. Articulating our designs/data flows to management or technical audiences therefore requires a new group of cloud service icons in our pretty pictures. Especially for hybrid solutions. Sadly those icons aren’t yet that familiar for most. So, here’s a very simple blog post to help you recognise what’s in the Azure stack from a…

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  • Connecting PowerBI.com to Azure Data Lake Store – Across Tenants

    Welcome readers, this is a post to define a problem that shouldn’t exist. But sadly, does exist and given its relative complexity I think warrants some explanation. Plus, I’ve included details of what you can currently do if you encounter it. First some background… Power BI Desktop With the recent update to the Power BI desktop application we now find the Azure Data Lake Store connector has finally relinquished its ‘(Beta)’ status and…

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  • My Advice for Speaking in the Community

    I wanted to do something a little different with this blog post. I’ve certainly not ran out of technical content to blog about. But I wanted to write something to help all those new speakers out there that are about to stand up at the front of an event and share there knowledge, maybe for the first time, or maybe a veteran speaker that wants to see if they agree with my advice. The former is basically where I found myself about 18 months…

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  • Cognitive Services with U-SQL (Reference Guide)

    This post is a reference guide to support an event talk or webinar. The content is intended to assist the audience only. Thank you. Abstract Microsoft’s Cognitive Services are basically the best thing since sliced bread, especially for anybody working with data. Artificial intelligence just got packaged and made available for the masses to download. In this short talk, I’ll take you on a whirl wind tour of how to use these massively…

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  • Recursive U-SQL With PowerShell (U-SQL Looping)

    In its natural form U-SQL does not support recursive operations and for good reason. This is a big data, scale out, declarative language where the inclusion of procedural, iterative code would be very unnatural. That said, if you must pervert things PowerShell can assist with the looping and dare I say the possibility for dynamic U-SQL. A couple of caveats… From the outset, I accept this abstraction with PowerShell to achieve some…

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  • Calling U-SQL Stored Procedures with C# Code Behind

    So friends, some more lessons learnt when developing with U-SQL and Azure Data Lake. I’ll try and keep this short. Problem You have a U-SQL stored procedure written and working fine within your Azure Data Lake Analytics service. But we need to add some more business logic or something requiring a little C# magic. This is the main thing I love about U-SQL, having that C# code behind file where I can extend my normal SQL behaviour. So,…

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  • Wearing Four Hats at SQLBits 2017

    I know there are lots of great blog posts already out there from great people sharing their experiences from SQLBits. However, I hope none of them can offer an account quite as unique as mine from this years event. Why? Well, most people go to SQLBits as attendee’s to learn, network and socialise. This certainly applies to me. But ‘attendee’ was just 1 of my 4 hats (roles) at SQLBits 2017. In this post I’d like to…

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  • Storing U-SQL Assemblies in Azure Blob Storage

    I’m hoping the title of this post is fairly self explanatory. Your here because like me you found that the MSDN language reference page for creating U-SQL assemblies states that it’s possible to store the DLL’s in Azure Blob Storage. But it doesn’t actually tell you how. Well please continue my friends and I’ll show you how. The offending article: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/mt763293.aspx The…

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  • Creating a U-SQL Date Dimension & Numbers Table in Azure Data Lake

    Now we all know what a date dimension is and there are plenty of really great examples out there for creating them in various languages. Well, here’s my U-SQL version creating the output from scratch using a numbers table. Remember that U-SQL needs to be handled slightly differently because we don’t have any iterative functionality available. Plus its ability to massively parallelise jobs means we can’t write something that…

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  • Passing Parameters to U-SQL from Azure Data Factory

    Let’s try and keep this post short and sweet. Diving right in imagine a scenario where we have an Azure Data Factory (ADF) pipeline that includes activities to perform U-SQL jobs in Azure Data Lake (ADL) Analytics. We want to control the U-SQL by passing the ADF time slice value to the script, hopefully a fairly common use case. This isn’t yet that intuitive when constructing the ADF JSON activity so I hope this post will save…

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