Deploying AdventureWorksDW to SQL Azure, Filling in Missing Indexes

By Julie Smith

 

I’ve been working with both Power BI and Azure SQL for the past nine months. One advantage to using Azure SQL Databases with Power BI is that there is no need for a gateway, personal or enterprise. The data refreshes every 15 minutes, period. You do not need to schedule a refresh or configure anything beyond the initial connection strings with server, database, user and password.

In planning for future SQL Saturday presentations in Chattanooga, Pensacola, and Atlanta I definitely wanted to show the happy green path that I feel is a viable pure cloud solution now for data warehousing. No problem, I’ll just use AdventureWorksDW, the warehouse sample database of our beloved Adventureworks bicycle shop, right?

Not so fast. There’s not a sample Data Warehouse for Azure SQL like there is for the transactional Adventure Works:

(Go here for full instructions on deploying AdventureWorksLT from the Azure portal.)

Not deterred, Continue reading

April Power BI Updates are Here!

By Julie Smith

April 28, 2016

 

Today, Microsoft announced the April Power BI Desktop updates and they include something I and my colleagues at Innovative Architects have been long awaiting: formatting for table reports!

 

While it was understandable that initially Power BI wanted to focus on visualizations first and foremost, the display for pure tabular data in Power BI was lackluster. There was no control over any of the following:

  1. Font size
  2. Colors –of any element in a table, font, background color, title, totals. Nada
  3. Borders

See the below, created in Power BI desktop. A sad little table showing sales figures for the year 1998 in Northwind.

Continue reading

Power Query Functions–Some Scenarios

By Julie Smith

I was happy to co-present a session at this week’s Atlanta BI User Group with Rob Volk (@SQL_R) meeting entitled “Harvesting XML Data from the Web with Power Query and Curl.” The demo gods were not with me on my grand finale demo that night however. I had spent the demo building a Power Query Function and when I tried to invoke it against a list of values, I got a failure which I couldn’t resolve that night. Of course, as soon as I opened the spreadsheet the next day I immediately saw the problem, which I will share here, as I think it is probably going to be something people encounter frequently as they start to work with Power Query.

What the Function Did:

Here’s the setup: www.SQLSaturday.com contains a page for every SQL Saturday, and if it’s available, the schedule for the event. Atlanta’s last event was this month and was SQL Saturday #285-hence, its schedule is located at  http://sqlsaturday.com/285/schedule.aspx. Any other SQL Saturday event number works in the same manner. If I want to use Power Query to view this data as a page, I would enter that url as the source in Power Query:

After choosing Table 1 from the choices on the Navigator pane: Continue reading