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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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Alternating Group Colors

  • 1 June 2010
  • Author: briankmcdonald
  • Number of views: 12526

Formatting reports can be a fun process. I personally look at myself as a Monet or Picasso when creating my reports. I start off with a blank canvas (report), get my materials to paint with (data for my report) and then I get to paint my masterpiece (report). Or at least that’s my goal when creating reports! J At any rate, we have all seen examples on how one could alternate row color of a tabular style report, but not too often does one come across an example where one could alternate the colors of entire groups of records. As such, I have provided a quick snippet you can use to tweak a report to have alternating group colors.

=IIF(RunningValue(Fields!Category.Value,COUNTDISTINCT,NOTHING) MOD 2 = 0,"PaleGreen","White")

As shown in figure 1 below, select the row you want to apply the alternating colors expression on (shown by the RED SQUARE). Then open the properties for your selection. Navigate to the Fill – Background Color property (shown by the YELLOW HIGHLIGHT) and enter the expression shown above.

Figure 1: Sample

Example Design

Using the AdventureWorks database as my source and the above sample, you will have similar results as I have below.

Figure 2: Alternating Group Color Results (Zoomed Out)


For your convenience, I have included a zip file containing this example project. You can download it HERE.

Since I am writing this in order to help others and if you have found this article helpful, please rate it below. If you would like to provide constructive criticism to help me provide the information that you would like to see, I would love to hear that as well!

Until next time, “keep your ear to the grindstone” – Good Will Hunting


Brian K. McDonald, MCDBA, MCSD
Business Intelligence Consultant – Pragmatic Works Consultants

Email: | Blog: BI Developer Network

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