Blog

  • SQLBits and Microsoft BI conferences

    Following the launch of SQL Server 2008 R2 this week, the ever dedicated SQL Bits team are putting on the next installment tomorrow with SQL Bits VI – ‘the Sixth Sets’. The Purple Froggers will of course be there, hopefully in time for a pre-conference bacon butty! Also worth mentioning is ‘Microsoft Solutions for Business Intelligence’, a seminar that Microsoft are holding at their Reading campus on May 12 2010.…

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  • Clearing SSRS Query cache

    When developing SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports, BIDS caches the query results when you preview the report. This cache is then used next time you run a preview. This has the benefit of speeding up report development, but it does cause a problem when you want to test changing data. A simple way of forcing the cache to refresh is to open the folder containing the .rdl report files, and delete the corresponding .rdl.data files. The…

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  • Excel Cube Pivot drillthrough limited to 1000 rows

    When browsing a cube using Excel 2007, you can drillthrough the measures to display up to 1000 rows of the transaction level source data. I often get asked whether this limit of 1000 rows is configurable – well the good news is yes it is. There is an option in the actions tab of the BIDS cube designer which allows you to specify the maximum rows, but helpfully this is ignored by Excel. Instead, you have to set it in Excel when you create a…

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  • Loan Amortisation in SQL Server (PMT, FV, IPMT, PPMT)

    Whilst designing a data warehouse for a banking client recently, I needed to calculate projected future loan payments (including breaking this down by interest and capital payments) for every customer throughout the life of the loan. In Excel this is a pretty simple job, as Microsoft helpfully provide a number of functions to do just that (namely PMT, FV, IPMT and PPMT). In SQL Server however we do not have the luxury of having ready made…

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  • SQL Bits 6 – Registration Open

    For anyone interested in SQL Server, the unmissable SQL Bits conference is returning for round six. “SQL Bits – The 6th Sets” is being held in central London for the first time, and unlike previous conferences it will be for one day only on Friday 16th April 2010. It’s being held as part of the SQL Server 2008 R2 release, also happening that week in London. Registration is now open, you can find out more at the SQL Bits…

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  • MDX Sub select Vs WHERE clause

    I’ve just read an interesting thread on the SQL Server Developer Center forum, regarding how to filter results. Specifically the difference in MDX between using a subselect SELECT x on COLUMNS, y on ROWS FROM ( SELECT z on COLUMNS FROM cube)) or using a where clause SELECT x on COLUMNS, y on ROWS FROM cube WHERE z In a simple query they produce the same results, but what is the actual difference? You can read the full thread here, but to…

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  • Data Warehouse Presentation

    Purple Frog is presenting a session on data warehouse design concepts at the South Wales SQL Server User Group on Thursday 25th February 2010. If you’re in the area and want to come along you can register for free here. Eversheds are hosting the event in their Cardiff office. Adam Morton will be demonstrating an ETL control framework in SSIS, and Alex Whittles will be discussing the concepts of data warehousing and the fundamental…

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  • Scope Problems with MDX Calculated Members

    We were recently investigating a problem for a client regarding the use of Scope within MDX calculated members. The code in question was similar to this: CREATE MEMBER CURRENTCUBE.[Measures].[Test Measure To Date] AS "NA", VISIBLE = 1; Scope([Date].[Calendar].MEMBERS); [Measures].[Test Measure To Date] = SUM(NULL:[Date].[Calendar].CurrentMember, [Measures].[Test Measure]); End Scope; Scope([Date].[Fiscal].MEMBERS); [Measures].[Test Measure To…

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  • Excel 2007 and SSAS 2008 Error

    I was working on a new SSAS 2008 cube today, and came across an error which Google was unable to help with. I thought I’d post the solution here to help anyone else who may encounter it. The cube in question will be primarily be accessed using Excel 2007, so I’d been dutifully testing it along the way to ensure all was well. And then, after a number of changes the following error appeared when connecting to the cube from Excel to…

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  • Style Sheets with Reporting Services

    Firstly sorry for not posting anything for a while, I can only blame spending too much time working and on my uni assignments – not much time free these days! I stumbled upon a great post by Barry King, demonstrating a way of applying database driven style configuration to a set of reporting services reports, in the absence of any style sheet support in SSRS. It doesn’t rely on custom code (most people’s favourite way of…

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