Power BI support for Amazon Redshift data source

Redshift connectivity officially announced for Power BI Service

Last year, Microsoft added a preview connector enabling Power BI to query Amazon Redshift.  This wasn’t publicised as an “official” data source, and took some steps in order to be able to even see the connector in Power BI Desktop.  Crucially, you could only use this connector in Power BI Desktop, not when workbooks are deployed to the cloud.  Yesterday, Microsoft announced the connector is now available within the Power BI Service, which means that workbooks containing Redshift data connections can now be deployed to the cloud.  I’ve been working a lot with Redshift over the past year or so, and Power BI’s still my go-to data-viz solution, so I’m delighted to see the this announcement, as it means that Redshift-based workbooks can now be shared with others via powerbi.com. Continue reading “Redshift connectivity officially announced for Power BI Service” »

Amazon Quicksight now in General Availability!

Late last night, Amazon announced that their proprietary AWS data visualisation tool, Quicksight was now generally available in the US and Ireland.  Quicksight aims to be a PowerBI-esque drag and drop visualisation tool, that allows you to access your data from AWS (and other sources) in seconds, regardless of scale.  I’ve had a very quick go this morning, and visualised some data from a modest 1TB Redshift cluster after just a few minutes.  The biggest challenge was finding out the correct IP range for Quicksight to enable access to my VPC (Thank you serverfault).

More to follow…In the meantime, try Quicksight for yourself here: https://quicksight.aws.amazon.com

Power BI iOS app

Impressions of Microsoft’s new-look Power BI

A couple of months ago, Microsoft’s new-look Power BI Preview rolled out globally.  Ditching the Office 365/Sharepoint Online requirement, the new Power BI is a streamlined, simplified version of the product that attempts to lose some of the bloat and give users a focussed, easy-to-use, self-service BI platform.

So has it worked?

Continue reading “Impressions of Microsoft’s new-look Power BI” »

Data Quality Services SSIS component error

Debugging Errors in SSIS Data Quality Services Cleansing Component

As part of Microsoft’s push to include business users in the Business Intelligence space, the addition of Data Quality Services to SQL Server’s feature set opened up the ETL process to the people who, arguably, know the data best.  Integration with SSIS was a great move, meaning that this user control extends to automated processes, further closing the gap between data and the business.

However, like most new components, Data Quality Services has some teething problems, and these can be quite hard to find when debugging your SSIS packages.  Here’s a quick tip that should help solve some of those tricky to find DQS issues. Continue reading “Debugging Errors in SSIS Data Quality Services Cleansing Component” »

SQL Server example of datetime and datetime2

Mapping C# DateTime to SQL Server datetime2 via SSIS

With SQL Server 2008, Microsoft introduced the new, improved datetime2 format.  This newer time storage format is great, because it takes up less storage space, plus you have control over precision and can define your field to the exact specification required.  Database columns defined as datetime2 can be mapped in SSIS by using the DT_DBTIMESTAMP2 type.  However, in the scenario where you may have a Script Transformation in your SSIS package, and want to assign a .NET DateTime type to a Data Flow column that is mapped to a datetime2 field, you might encounter a DoesNotFitBufferException.

The reason for this is likely down to your specified field precision, and is easily fixed. Continue reading “Mapping C# DateTime to SQL Server datetime2 via SSIS” »