SQL Pass Day #2

So, on to day 2 of SQL Pass, and a very SSIS focused one – mainly because I attended Matt Masson’s SSIS session and learned about a whole new bunch of nice features that have made it in to the next version.

I took away the following interesting points from that session:

  1. CDC (Change Data Capture) is supported more effectively through some new components – a CDC Control, CDC Source and CDC Splitter
  2. ODBC improvements mean improved performance for non SQL Server databases
  3. Connection Managers get a few new features – Offline, Expression and Project indicators. Also Offline Connection Managers are picked out through a timeout and importantly now halt validation of any related components (so you no longer get those drags as SSIS tries to validate components and flows hooked to dead connections)
  4. File Connection Manager can now handle variable numbers of columns (i.e. it won’t crash)
  5. Pivot gets a UI – hurrah! (Note: SCD still sucks)
  6. Project Parameters can be configured at design time though Visual Studio Configurations
  7. Breakpoints are now in the Script Component so we can see what data is causing or components to blow up
  8. Data Taps – data viewers for live execution that dump out to .csv files
  9. Package Execution via PowerShell or even T-SQL!

Matt also gave a preview of Barcelona in action, and it looks pretty neat.

I also attended a DQS session that showed a few new features on the UI. Elad Ziklik highlighted that the CTP3 release should be viewed more as a capability preview rather than a test drive of a functional product – so looking forward to a new CTP.

One more day down – one to go…!

Read More

SQL Pass Day #1

So the BI Monkey was at PASS and intended blogging on his phone or at one of the many internet pods provided, but sadly WordPress and IE / Android aren’t friends so this is going to be a retrospective.

So, here are my takeaways from day 1:

From the keynote:

Denali becomes SQL2012 and is slated for release in the first half of next year (way to allow yourself some leeway on the final release date!)

Crescent becomes Power View – and will work on multiple mobile platforms – Apple & Android via Browser, WP7 via a richer app

HADOOP is going to be supported in Windows server – the first CTP is due next year. If you have access to the PASS DVD’s / Sessions – see Dr Dewitt’s presentation on HADOOP – very enlightening

From wandering around the summit:

As per Elad Ziklik of the DQS team, performance is one of their focuses for the next release

I got to finally meet Ivan Peev of CozyRoc after many years of email and phone conversations, and he told me about their new SAS Connector – which allows reading and writing to SAS datasets without an actual SAS install.

I also got to meet Matt Masson, guru of the SSIS team who told me about Project Barcelona – a tool that will do data lineage, metadata management and impact analysis via a crawler as opposed to a manually maintained set.

I also got to sit in on a customer feedback session about BI in the Cloud – unfortunately all under NDA – but it was a great forum to discuss and help direct Microsoft’s Cloud BI ambitions.

I also had a chat with fellow Aussie BI guy Roger Noble who told me about a use for the Term Extraction transformation in SSIS – using it to scan through documents and auto-tag them as the were uploaded to SharePoint – which is pretty cool.

So, that was Day 1… Day 2 to follow!

Read More