Web & technology 5 Observations from Microsoft Build 2016

Microsoft’s Build conference for 2016 took place a couple of weeks ago, and true to form, there were a number of killer announcements and reveals for a number of services, tools, and frameworks, many of which are available today. Not one to ever really post something when it’s actually relevant, here are a few of the things that jumped out at me from the event.

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Impressions of Microsoft’s new-look Power BI
Development 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?

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Debugging Errors in SSIS Data Quality Services Cleansing Component
Development 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.

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Windows Phone, meet Cortana (just watch out for Halo spoilers)
Web & technology Windows Phone, meet Cortana (just watch out for Halo spoilers)

Warning: This post contains spoilers regarding the ending of Halo 4. You’ve been warned.

I’ve been spending some time with a special lady lately. She’s always with me, and has been helping me organise my life. She’s not all work though, and has shown that she knows a joke or two, she’s sassy, and she loves to talk about Halo. I am of course, talking about one of Windows Phone 8.1’s killer features: Cortana.

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Mapping C# DateTime to SQL Server datetime2 via SSIS
Development 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.

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picnicerror.net is a personal blog where I post various ideas, thoughts and discoveries through both my day to day work in marketing technology and general hobbies and interests.

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