As it stands, I’m currently getting organised to head to SQL Saturday #105 which takes place tomorrow (March 24th) in Dublin. This is the closest SQL Saturday event to Edinburgh so far, so I jumped at the chance to go. SQL Saturday is a regular event, created by the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) to provide SQL Server professionals and enthusiasts with opportunities to network with colleagues and experience some top quality training, while also being able to grow their own membership.
I recently encountered a scenario where I wanted to display my report content in the form of a multi-column list. In essence, I was looking to create the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) equivalent of an ASP.NET Repeater, to render my report content both horizontally and vertically (in this case a dynamically repeated SubReport) a number of times dictated by my source dataset. I spent a little bit of time investigating some more complicated possibilities such as building a matrix of row and column groupings when the solution finally hit me. It is simply brilliant in its simplicity. Here’s how to do it. Continue reading “How To Create Multi-Column Lists in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)” »
Far too long ago, I posted part 1 of an article solving the import of large data files with varying columns using SQL Server integration Services (SSIS). This is the belated follow up. In part 1, I explained some example file structures and how we approach the problem of inserting these files, which all have a varying number of columns with different data types. The solution combines a mixture of SSIS script tasks, external C# code in a referenced DLL and a flexible SQL Server DB schema. This post will walkthrough my overall SSIS Control Flow, as well as detail how we translate a code based, dynamic object model into something well-defined which we can insert into a SQL Server DB.
Just over a year ago I posted a question on my favourite programming Q&A site, Stack Overflow regarding an issue I was having with processing some large, variable column data files using SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services). Thanks to the great community there, I received an answer rather quickly and was able to develop a solution to solve the problem. I’ve been intending to document this for some time, as it’s a good solution, combining SSIS Control and Data Flow logic with custom C# code and a flexible SQL server database schema. I was working with a database schema which was set up to handle variable columns from a number of different files by transposing the columns into rows within the database. The upside of this is that it could support any number of columns from different files, in any order and with any type of data. The downside is that each row in a file, suddenly becomes row x column number of rows in the database, meaning processing large files can slow down exponentially if not handled correctly.
July 12th was a good day for all SQL Server enthusiasts and professionals as Microsoft announced the release of both Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2008 R2 as well as Community Technology Preview 3 for the next installment in the series, Codename Denali.
SP1 brings with it a number of stability and security fixes as well as some more advanced configuration options to fine-tune performance. The most interesting update from my point of view is the updated syntax on the FORCESEEK index hint, which now has extra options to further fine tune queries. Continue reading “SQL Server Denali CTP 3 and 2008 R2 SP1 released” »