Web & technology Re-downloading Microsoft Office 2010 using an existing Product Key

Just a quick one for now, as I’ve still not got around to finishing up the several posts I currently have in the offing, due to playing about with HDInsight on Windows Azure. I did however, spend a rather frustrating couple of hours at the weekend trying to find a way to re-download Office 2010 for an older PC after upgrading my laptop to Office 2013. I had the absolute brainwave of signing up to Office 365, which would allow me to install the latest suite on each of my PC’s. Only after signing up did I realise that my old desktop, running Windows Vista, didn’t support Office 2013. Luckily, I have a copy of Office 2010 on my account, so all I needed to do was go to my office account and re-download the 2010 installer, right? Right?

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Extending the ForEach File Enumerator in SSIS
Development Extending the ForEach File Enumerator in SSIS

One of the primary reasons for using SSIS is to process multiple files, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) data, and feed it into a destination, for example, a data warehouse. Built-in components such as the For Loop Container and the ForEach Loop Container make it very simple to enumerate a collection and perform some processing tasks for each entry, be it an array, a dataset, or a directory containing files. In fact, the ForEach File Enumerator option of the ForEach Loop Container allows you to even specify a mask to filter the list of files in a directory prior to processing, so you can weed out unwanted files from the loop. But what if a simple string match isn’t powerful enough to perform the filtering you need?

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Microsoft BI 2012: A Year In Review
Development Microsoft BI 2012: A Year In Review

With the year drawing to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to recap the major developments in Microsoft Business Intelligence throughout 2012. Unsurprisingly, the launch of SQL Server 2012 proved to be the focal point of this year’s releases, although we had a few extra surprises along the way:

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Development Time Format on non-Date Dimensions in SSAS

I ran into a rather strange situation recently while attempting to set up some new calculated measures in an SSAS cube. I’m still new to MDX, so I ended up chasing my tail around for a while (and crying out for help on both StackOverflow and MSDN) before I eventually tracked down the culprit and solved the issue. Basically, I was trying to create a calculated measure, which, using a couple of date attributes from one dimension, would apply to my [Time] dimension and filter the value of a specified measure to match. Not hard, right?

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Gaming 10 Years of Xbox LIVE Infographic

Love them or hate them, there’s no escaping infographics these days. They are EVERYWHERE. Personally, I’m a fan. I’ve always been interested in visualisation techniques and better ways to represent data visually. After all, the human brain can process images and patterns much faster than it can text. The best visualisations are the ones that need no explanation, while the worst are the ones that basically just overlay some text or numbers on some graphics and still make you read the content to understand what’s going on. Even then though, I’m a sucker for a nice infographic (yes, event the overly textual ones).

Anyway, the point of this post was to show off a little infographic that I received from Xbox LIVE Rewards the other day to celebrate 10 years of Xbox LIVE, and illustrate my contribution to that:

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Microsoft’s Mobile BI “Project Helix” Unveiled
Development Microsoft’s Mobile BI “Project Helix” Unveiled

Some pretty interesting information leaked out of last week’s SharePoint Conference 2012 regarding Microsoft’s upcoming Mobile BI (Business Intelligence) solution. There’s been surprisingly little reaction to the unveiling of the solution, apparently codenamed “Project Helix”, perhaps due to the fact that it was unveiled at a SharePoint event and not a SQL Server one. However, courtesy of one attendee tweeting some screenshots to SSAS guru Chris Webb, this little nugget of information landed in my inbox this morning and immediately piqued my interest. Unfortunately there’s very little information available on “Project Helix” at the moment, but from the 2 screenshots provided by attendee Just Blindbaek, there are a few things that are immediately apparent, and a couple more that can be reasonably inferred:

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Development Editing a PowerView RDLX file in Sharepoint 2010

Since I’ve not managed to get a post written up in about a month, I figured it was well past time to pull my finger out and get something posted.  As part of my recent work with PowerPivot and Sharepoint 2010, I’ve also been playing about with PowerView as a quick UI. For anyone who hasn’t tried/heard of PowerView, I suggest checking it out here.

Although a PowerView report is actually run as a Silverlight object when viewed in your browser through Sharepoint, you’ll see if you choose to download the file that it is actually saved as a .RDLX file, remarkably close to the standard SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) report file format of .RDL. So, this suggests there might just be some similarities in there somewhere, right?

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Development Calculate the difference between two dates in DAX

Another quick Data Analysis eXpressions (DAX) update, given that I’ve been playing about with PowerPivot again this week. Following on from my exertions trying to work out how to return a month name in DAX, I found myself looking for a DAX equivalent of SQL Server’s DATEDIFF function. Fortunately, this is reasonably straightforward. All we need to do is perform a regular subtraction on two dates and multiply the result by 1.0, which will return the number in serial date-time (the number of days since “1900-Jan-0”, which is how Excel stores dates).

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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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