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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Development Calculating Month Name from a Date Integer in DAX

I’ve been playing about with PowerView and PowerPivot recently, while also getting used to the Analysis Services (SSAS) Tabular model in  SQL Server 2012 (Denali). The tabular model provides a high-compression, in-memory store for easy data model construction and analysis. Ad-hoc calculated fields can be defined within PowerPivot (built on the same xVelocity technology) using Microsoft’s Data Analysis eXpressions language, which is very similar to Excel functions. However, DAX is still pretty basic in some places, and while looking for a simple Month Name function (similar to the GetMonthName function in .NET) I ran into a couple of interesting issues.

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Manchester City FC Analytics make OPTA data publicly available
Data & analysis Manchester City FC Analytics make OPTA data publicly available

In a move to stimulate the analytics community, Manchester City Football Club have teamed up with English Premier League statistics provider OPTAPro to release a full data set of Premier League players for the 2011-2012 season. The MCFC Analytics project has been created to harness some of the amazing talent out there in the analytics community and provide fresh ways of analysing OPTA’s performance data.

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Development Metadata Discovery in SSIS 2012 not working with temp tables

SQL Server Integration Services is a tidy bit of kit and an absolute must have on any SQL Server developer or administrator’s toolbelt.  However, it is as frustrating as it is sublime, with many obfuscated error messages, quirky behaviours and downright oddness.  I ran into one such quirk recently while setting up a Data Flow Task using an OLE DB Source that loaded its data from a Stored Procedure, specified by a package Variable.  Everything was working fine until I identified that I needed to do something in the stored procedure that resulted in my using a temporary table.  As soon as I updated the procedure and attempted to refresh the columns in my OLE DB Source, I was hit with the following error:

Msg 11525, Level 16, State 1, Procedure My_Stored_Procedure_Name, Line 1
  The metadata could not be determined because statement 'My SQL Statement Here;' uses a temp table.

So why does this happen, even when I’ve defined the type of the column in my procedure?

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Subscriptions failing after migrating a Native mode SSRS Report Server database
Development Subscriptions failing after migrating a Native mode SSRS Report Server database

I was recently involved with the migration of a Native mode SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) database from a non-domain server to a domain-based server. The migration itself was fairly straightforward (as it usually is) thanks to the inherent portability of the Report Server database and required configurations, such as encryption keys and .NET config files. However, after getting everything up and running on the new server, and successfully testing the reports manually, I discovered that the report Subscriptions were failing.

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How To Connect SSRS Report Builder to an SSAS Cube
Development How To Connect SSRS Report Builder to an SSAS Cube

I was asked recently how one could use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Report Builder construct a report using a SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) cube as it’s data source.  The good news is that is just as simple as connecting to a SQL Server database, there’s really very little difference, at least if you using the GUI route.

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Calling external DLLs from a Script Task in SSIS 2012
Development Calling external DLLs from a Script Task in SSIS 2012

The 2012 version of SQL Server has brought with it a number of new features, not least the new, Visual Studio 2010 shell-based Management Studio. However, the changes are more than just aesthetic, as I found out when I came to try and upgrade some SQL Server Integration Studio (SSIS) packages from SQL server 2008 to 2012. Most packages upgraded fine, but there were some issues when I tried to upgrade any packages that used Script Tasks containing references to external DLLs.

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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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