Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer

The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

Hierarchies avoid arguments

Just when you thought you had heard the last of hierarchies there’s another post.  This one is a little different – it’s about managing confrontation and arguments, not with the code in the SQL server CLR but with other humans! In a hierarchy you navigate upwards to see information at a summary level e.g. from January to… Read more

What are you doing with SQL Server 2008

I have heard SQL Server 2008 described as SQL Server 2005 sp4 implying that there isn’t a significant amount of new features in the new release.  This perception has partly come from the Community Technology Preview (CTP) program has changed for the next release.  For SQL Server 2005 each CTP showed the latest state of play of every… Read more

Making Hierarchies Natural

I though it might be worth another post on hierarchies in Analysis Services 2008 CTP4 to show some more attribute relationship. If we look at the attribute relationships in the date dimension of adventure works below: the relationships match the hierarchies and so the design is well optimised and there are no blue squigglies.  However… Read more

Unnatural Hierarchies in Analysis Services 2008

Continuing on from my last post, I explained what Natural Hierarchies were but I thought it would also be worth mentioning what the opposite was and the issues around that.  Unnatural hierarchies can be created between any two attributes for example in the world of human resources (HR) it is becoming more and more important… Read more

Hierarchies in Analysis Services

Looking at that product dimension for my last post, I noticed that there were five hierarchies defined for the product dimension.  A hierarchy is a very important part of any OLAP engine and allows users to drill down from summary levels down to detail levels much as you might want to zoom in on a… Read more

Mental Models – Attributes in Analysis Services

  I had many happy debates with a business analyst on one of my recent projects because he was bought up an an early olap product called HOLOS and he couldn’t see how the dimensional model I was presenting was ever going to work.  If we had been using HOLOS, and pretty well any other… Read more

SQL Server 2008 Samples

If like me, you are trying out the new stuff in SQL server 2008 you might need some data to work with.  The standard Adventure Works sample databases for OLTP and data warehousing are not in the CTP nor is the the analysis services project.  So you’ll need to get them from Codeplex  which not only has these but some useful… Read more

Performance Point 2007

16 October will be the UK launch for Performance Point 2007 which is going to illicit three reactions: Fantabidozoo it’s out at last! Oh oh Microsoft have released another thingy that costs half as much as our whatsit so let’s get marketing to tell everyone that it doesn’t scale for the enterprise and it won’t… Read more

New Kid on the Blog

Viral Tarpara our latest IT Pro Evangelist and ranking new guy has now blogged his way onto Technet.  His chosen specialist subject is the many Office components such as Sharepoint, Groove etc. For some bizarre reason Viral has left warm and sunny LA for Cool Britannia and as he was telling us at our last monthly meeting, he has his blog… Read more

Are you Ready for Business Intelligence?

I have come across many occasions where IT Professionals have pushed really hard to use all of the BI stuff in SQL Server and have got nowhere fast.  Not because they don’t know what they are doing nor because they didn’t give it their best.  So before you have a go it might be worth exploring why business intelligence… Read more