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«October 2015»

Data Warehouse from the Ground Up at SQL Saturday Orlando, FL on Oct. 10th

SQL Saturday #442SQL Saturday #442 is upon us and yours truly will be presenting in Orlando, Florida on October 10th alongside Mitchell Pearson (b|t). The session is scheduled at 10:35 AM and will last until 11:35 AM. I’m very excited to be presenting at SQL Saturday Orlando this year as it’ll be my first presenting this session in person and my first time speaking at SQL Saturday Orlando! If you haven’t registered yet for this event, you need to do that. This event will be top notch!

My session is called Designing a Data Warehouse from the Ground Up. What if you could approach any business process in your organization and quickly design an effective and optimal dimensional model using a standardized step-by-step method? In this session I’ll discuss the steps required to design a unified dimensional model that is optimized for reporting and follows widely accepted best practices. We’ll also discuss how the design of our dimensional model affects a SQL Server Analysis Services solution and how the choices we make during the data warehouse design phase can make or break our SSAS cubes. You may remember that I did this session a while back for Pragmatic Works via webinar. I’ll be doing the same session at SQL Saturday Orlando but on-prem! ;)

So get signed up for this event now! It’s only 11 days away!

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Create Date Dimension with Fiscal and Time

Here are three scripts that create and Date and Time Dimension and can add the fiscal columns too. First run the Dim Date script first to create the DimDate table. Make sure you change the start date and end date on the script to your preference. Then run the add Fiscal Dates scripts to add the fiscal columns. Make sure you alter the Fiscal script to set the date offset amount. The comments in the script will help you with this.

This zip file contains three SQL scripts.

Create Dim Date

Create Dim Time

Add Fiscal Dates

These will create a Date Dimension table and allow you to run the add fiscal script to add the fiscal columns if you desire. The Create Dim Time will create a time dimension with every second of the day for those that need actual time analysis of your data.

Make sure you set the start date and end date in the create dim date script. Set the dateoffset in the fiscal script.

Download the script here:


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New features of SSRS 2008 R2 - Part 1 Naming Excel sheets when exporting reports

  • 4 December 2009
  • Author: Bret Updegraff
  • Number of views: 63065

This is the first of what I hope to be a long series of posts that demonstrate some new features of SQL Server Reporting Services in the 2008 R2 upcoming release. At some point I may define and go into more detail but for now, I simply want to expose you, the reader, to some new features in the next version of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).

At the company that I work for, we have created a series of reports that have been enhanced over the years based on customer feedback. These reports were built on SQL Server 2005 while it was in beta. The application is still running in SQL 2005 and it uses all of the BI componants of SQL Server -

Enough of the background....
The Problem
One of our enhancements was taking several reports that were very similar in nature and combining them into one report. The key requirement was that these reports need to export into seperate tabs when exported into Excel. This meant that the user could run one report that contained several pages of seperate reports where as before the user would have had to run the reports seperately. We were able to tell SSRS to create a new page for each grouping of the dataset and so we combined all of the seperate reports into one dataset and seperated the data by using these groups. This worked well with one problem. When you export the data to Excel it names the sheets "Sheet 1", "Sheet 2", etc... There was no way to control this nameing without really digging under the covers of the rendering engine and creating custom code. Newsgroups were full of posts enquiring on how to name sheets in Excel with no good answers.

There was hope... SQL Server 2008 was released... but still no solution. Denied!

The Solution
Back in November I got my first view of SSRS 2008 R2 Nov CTP release during a presentation at SQL PASS. Bob Meyers and Sean Boon did a great job of showing off many new features of SSRS - many of these will hopefully be bloged in the next parts of this series soon. At the end they did a quick demo and showed that in the R2 release we will have the ability to name the sheets for exports to Excel. This 90 second demo earned the applause of the entire room.

Here is how it is done:
I have created a boring and simple report using the Adventure Works database simply for the purpose of showing this feature.
This report simply pulls Sales Person data and groups it by Territory so that each territory has it's own page.

Here is an example of the report exported to Excel before setting the sheet names.

In order to name the Sheets appropriately all you have to do is select the Group that has the page breaks from the Row Groups shown below

Then in the properties window navigate into the Groups section and find the PageName attribute.  By clicking on this attribute you can select the TerritoryName field from the dataset used to fill the report.  This can be any field or expression that you want to use, but for my example I wanted to use the name of the territory as the name of the sheets.

Here is a screen of the final result - SIMPLE!!

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