U2U Blog

for developers and other creative minds

Analysis Services Documenter V1.3 launched

In Business Intelligence, meta-data is very important. SQL Server Analysis Services documenter is a tool which extracts meta-data out of an Analysis Services database (OLAP and data mining), such that documentation can be generated from the database, instead of having outdated documentation which is stored outside the database. A few days ago, we released the new version, where the most important improvements are:

  • Support for both 2005 and 2008 versions of Analysis Services
  • KPIs and Actions included in the documentation

So, dive into our resource center, and download your free copy. Have fun!


Loading analysis services profiler traces into a table

Profiler is a handy tool to find out what is happening on your server. Since SQL Server 2005, this tool can also be used to analyze Analysis Services. I’m pleased to see that many people start using this tool, and save the profiler traces into text files, since this is faster than storing them directly in a table (remember, databases are one of the slower mechanisms to store data in: security, reliability, they all come at the price of performance: a stupid binary file is not secure nor reliable, but it is faster to write to).

The problem however is that you need to upload these trace files into a relational table afterwards if you want to query them easily. For trace files coming from tracing the relational database, there is a nice table valued function fn_trace_gettable that helps you loading the data in a table. Unfortunately, this function doesn’t work for trace files from Analysis Services.

But there is a manual workaround: load the trace file in the profiler, and then use the Save As functionality of the profiler, where you can save in a relation table:

Are you certifiable?

Are you certifiable?

Do you possess the knowledge to pass a Microsoft exam?
Do you have what it takes to beat other IT Pros or Developers from around the world?

Try it out with this online game! Hours filled with geeky tech stuff guaranteed!

I managed to get through the first episode with just one mistake. But hey, at least now I know that the mouse was invented by Douglas Ingelbart. :)

And euhh… don’t you love that in-game music?

Silverlight 3 beta released

Microsoft released Silverlight 3 beta, which means that a new time of exploring and exitement has arrived.
A better video experience, running silverlight outside the browser and deeplinking are some of the new cool features.
This might be a reason to make new blog posts.
Keep you updated

Exposing, Finding and Analyzing Dynamics CRM 4.0 Data with SharePoint 2007

Last Tuesday I hosted the CRM Technical Evening Session @ Microsoft Belgium. I spoke about (some of) the integration possibilities between SharePoint 2007 and Dynamics CRM 4.0.

Given the limited amount of time, the session’s scope was limited to:

  • a one way integration only: Getting our CRM data in SharePoint so we could expose, find & analyze it. Also, since the session was targeted at CRM partners, it didn’t cover any CRM customizations (like SiteMap, ISV.config or IFrames) in order to show the results back in Dynamics CRM
  • “Power”-User skills only: it wasn’t allowed to write a single line of .NET code.

The evening was packed with demos build around one simple scenario: We have a bunch of customer satisfaction survey results in Dynamics CRM: “the data”. By the end of the session, we wanted to have “information”: Are our customers satisfied? On what should we focus to improve our overall satisfaction? Should we improve friendliness or is there another aspect that influences the overall satisfaction?
In order to answer these questions we really went through the entire Microsoft stack of products: Dynamics CRM, SharePoint 2007, Office 2007, SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 (& the very handy new Report Builder 2.0) & SQL Server Analysis Services 2008.

Download the slides here.