Excited to be participating in the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp Next Saturday April 27th, 2013

from Julie Smith

Saturday I was at Innovative Architects with several of my colleagues prepping labs for an exciting event being held April 27th. It’s the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp and it’s a very cool idea and thing that Microsoft is doing.  There will be sessions all over the world (see below map) where Microsoft will be hosting free training on Azure.  While we are all training, we will also each deploy a processor to a Global Render Farm. Here is a cute video explaining what a render farm is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VUWrZRCtI8 (this video is a plug for renderfarm.fi , which is a volunteer/free service, NOT affiliated with Microsoft, I just thought it offered a cute and good explanation of what a render farm is.)  Here (link) is another video showing creator Alan Smith explaining the render farm he created for Azure.

The session in Atlanta will be hosted by two of my colleagues from Innovative Architects, Vaishali Shah and Rob Bramhill.  They have devoted weeks of time to prepping the day and their hard work was very evident yesterday as we were doing final preparations.

Apparently penguins are participating from Antarctica.
Apparently penguins are participating from Antarctica.

I look forward to working more with Azure, specifically creating HDInsight clusters to apply the same type of scalability to data as this Render Farm experiment applies to processing animations.

Importing Values into DQS Domains from Excel, and Gratitude

by Julie Smith

I’m back from the MVP Summit and processing a staggering number of thoughts. Not only am I processing the brain dump of NDA technical goodness of exciting new stuff coming to the product, but a number of personal reflections. How lucky I am to have been somehow deemed worthy of this honor. How fortunate the SQL MVPs are in the number of sessions, pampering and genuine respect we receive from the SQL Server Product team. How lucky I am to be a part of one of the closest technical communities out there. The SQL Community calls itself family because we truly have a network of close, warm friendships. It dawned on me recently that I could go practically anywhere in the world (the world!) and find a colleague I have met from being a part of the SQL Community. I am a happy lady right now (in spite of the double ear infection).

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Another benefit to you, my readers from my attendance to the Summit is a new motivation to continue sharing my knowledge with the community. That said, let me be the millionth prodigal blogger to apologize for my lack of blogging. Insert every lame but true excuse here: I’ve been busy, I’ve had things come up in my personal life, all true, but I know you want to hear from me.

So from the back logs of my “things I wanted to blog about” I picked a random DQS tidbit: How to import domain values and synonyms into DQS from Excel. Get ready for a wee bit of technical content! Continue reading Importing Values into DQS Domains from Excel, and Gratitude

Full Day of Training Offered by the DataChix! (On Pi Day, no less)

Do you want to learn about Data Warehouses? Do you want to learn about Extract, Transform, Load with SSIS?

Do you like Pi?

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Do you like Pie?

Learn DataWarehousing with the DataChix!

SQL Server MVPs and popular blogging team Audrey Hammonds and Julie Smith of DataChix.com offer this one day of training to benefit The Cloverleaf School of Atlanta in cooperation with The American Legion Post 251, Duluth, GA. Audrey will take you on a guided tour of converting a transactional model into Dimension and Fact tables. After the model has been created, Julie will guide you through loading those tables using SQL Server Integration Services.

To top it all off, it’s happening on March 14th folks.

That’s right. 3/14 Pi Day. Could there be a better way to celebrate the irrational number which represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter than by using SSIS? NOPE! But maybe we’ll get some delicious Pie to celebrate as well!

Audrey and Julie bring over 25 years of warehousing experience to this fantastic day of training, but don’t say that to their faces!

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Part I Dimensional Modeling with Audrey

Why Transactional databases are the way they are—Codd’s rules to live by

Why Codd’s rules don’t work for Reporting– Kimball’s rules to live by

Fun at the whiteboard converting a transactional model to a dimensional model.

Part II Extract Transform and Load using SSIS with Julie

A tour of SSIS

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Control Flow Basics

Data Flow Basics

How to load Dimensions with SSIS

How to load Facts with SSIS

Why SSIS has got such a bad rap sometimes.

Frameworks

What happened and when

When things go wrong, how to know the details

Top quirks of SSIS—what, why, and how to get around them.

Data Quality! We’ll throw in a little Data Quality Services with our ETL!

Lunch and Continental Breakfast provided. Please contact the organizer at the above email for any special dietary considerations! Thanks and see you on Pi Day!

FOR TICKETS—–http://datawarehousingdatachix.eventbrite.com/#

Can’t make it to this great day of SSIS training to benefit the school, but you’d still like to support our mission? http://t.co/VX6yGftC

“Pattern Matching” in Data Quality Services –Domain Rules

Guess what guys?  I’m speaking at PASS Summit this year!  My session titled Data Quality Services—Finally!    was selected and I get to go to the premier SQL Server conference and present on a topic which I find truly exciting.  Data Quality Services (DQS) is new with SQL Server 2012.  Along with Master Data Services (MDS), it represents Microsoft’s entry into Master Data Management (MDM).

The ideal use of MDS and DQS represent to me a paradigm shift in the way I.T. folks and business folks interact.  These tools are not just another way for I.T. to develop solutions for “the business” based on requirements (whether those requirements are thoroughly documented via a watershed lifecycle or verbally shared with agile).  DQS and MDS were explicitly designed for continued and iterative use by business users with expert Knowledge about their data.  In MDM speak, these experts are called Data Stewards.  I recommend that anyone in Data continue getting familiar with these concepts.  Data Governance and Master Data Management are terms you are likely to see from now on.  For more information I recommend David Loshin (http://mdmbook.com/) .  His book,  Master Data Management is a comprehensive guide to this topic.  I’ve also found useful articles here , including articles on ways for I.T. to get “buy in “ from C-levels.

So, back to today’s post.  As I was prepping my session for PASS Summit on Data Quality Services, I was extremely fortunate to be in communication with Matthew Roche and Matt Masson of Microsoft, who are also presenting on DQS  (and MDS– actually all of EIM) at Summit.  These two are both uber “ersum”, always willing to help me, answering emails at all hours of day and night.

Let’s dive in:  Keeping data clean with DQS starts with creating a Knowledge Base.  This is done in the Data Quality Client.  Inside a Knowledge Base you create and maintain Domains.  Single domains are the equivalent to a column or attribute in a database.

The Data Quality Client.

Continue reading “Pattern Matching” in Data Quality Services –Domain Rules

Mulligan–Don’t Forget to Vote for PASS Summit’s Lightning Talks–Again!

A glitch somewhere caused PASS to redo the Community Vote for Lightning Talks–Another Chance to make your choice known for your favorite sessions.  And if you need help with the menu, may I suggest the ham?

Also, if you are in the area, I hope you are considering Columbus, Georgia’s first SQL Saturday (#167) !  I am delighted to be speaking at this event!

SQL Saturday 126: I presented DQS Finally! in Indianapolis

Thanks to the folks who came out to see my DQS presentation in Indy this past weekend.  Thanks to Caroline Bailey, Hope Foley, Kyle Neier , Eddie Weurch, and the rest of the Indy crew who put on an excellent event.  Here is my slide deck as promised.  I met many fantastic folks and had a paleolithic good time.

VMWare Player Version Issues

A Non SQL Server Blog post

I was working on a presentation last night and I tried to open a virual machine on vmware player, and I got this error:  Invalid configuration file. File “filename.vmx” was created by a VMware product with more features than this version of VMware Player and cannot be used with this version of VMware Player.  Cannot open configuration file filename.vmx. Continue reading VMWare Player Version Issues