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    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    KHM BI Event follow up

    Last Thursday KHM Mechelen organized an event on Business Intelligence. Together with 5 other colleagues from the Cronos Group we gave 6 presentations. This was the agenda:

    • Positioning of BI tools in the market – Bart Van Mulders
    • The Buzz Words – Nick Wuyts
    • Skills required for a successful BI project – Bart Gorremans
    • Competitive comparison of some important Business Intelligence Suites
      • BusinessObjectsJorn Vandendriessche
      • Microsoft Business Intelligence – Frederik Vandeputte
      • Oracle BI – Stijn Vandereycken

    Given the audience of about 100 (ex) students I decided to do a rerun of my biTunes presentation. I got pretty positive feedback from a lot students, Thanks for that. Here's a wrap up of the Q&A:
    • What's that nifty tool you used to zoom in and out?
      It's called ZoomIt and is available as a free download from the MS Sysinternals website.
    • Can I download the biTunes source code?
      Yes, I posted it here.
    • Why is the Undo feature missing from Integration Services.
      This is known issue, and feature request on many people's which list.
    • Can you load the iTunes Library with plain T-SQL code?
      Yes, you can check out Peter Debetta's post.
    • Cronos, Datamotive, I4BI, Kohera ... Who's Who?
      • Datamotive is the BI competence center in the Cronos Group using tools like BO, Cognos ...
      • I4BI is the competence center with full focus on Oracle BI
      • Kohera is dedicated to implementing Microsoft's Business Intelligence suite and delivering services on the MS SQL Server platform.

    We really liked the event, and are planning more BI roadshows comparing Microsoft BI with other vendors. So, if you are interested ... drop me a line.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Adding and removing Custom Reports in SQL Server Management Studio

    SQL Server 2005 SP2 contains quite a few interesting new features. A few months ago I blogged about my old time feature requests: logon triggers. Another nice feature in SP2 are the Custom Reports in SQL Server Management Studio which allow you to add your own Reporting Services reports to the Management Studio.

    Just right click anywhere in the Object Explorer, Choose Custom Reports and point to your favourite .RDL file. From now on this report will be just a mouse click away.

    So, adding reports is easy, but how about removing them? All data about custom reports is stored in the a file called reports.xml which resides well hidden in your profile folder (%userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Shell\reports.xml).

    If you want to remove a report from the Context menu follow these steps:
    • Close all running SQL Server Management Studios
    • Open %UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Shell\reports.xml
    • Remove the corresponding section from the XML
    • Save reports.xml
    • Restart SQL Server Management Studio
    • The report should be gone

    By default the Management Studio gives a warning message when you start a custom report. You can suppress these warnings via the GUI. However if want to unsuppress these warnings you need to edit the same reports.xml file. Check out : "How to: Unsuppress Run Custom Report Warnings" from Books Online.

    One more note: Microsoft recently released a set of reports called "SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports". They are pretty cool and can be download here.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    SQL 2005 SP2 - Second try

    Microsoft quietly released an updated version of SQL Server 2005 SP2. The new build number is 9.00.3042.01. The previous build number was 9.00.3042.00. The update corrects an issue with the cleanup task in maintenance plans. Here is the download link for SQL Server 2005 SP2.

    Kinda reminds me of the SQL Server SP3a story ;-)