Category Archives: Business Intelligence – BI

Digging into SQL Server 2012 columnstore index

The SQL Server 11.0 release (code named “Denali”) introduces a new data warehouse query acceleration feature based on a new type of index called the columnstore. Columnstore indexing is officially announced in SQL Server 2012. It is working based on xVelocity memory optimised technology and it improves data warehouse query performance significantly. Due to the fact that data warehousing, decision support systems and business intelligence applications are growing very quickly, we need to be able to read and process very large data sets quickly and accurately into useful information and knowledge. Columnstore index technology is especially appropriate for data warehousing data sets. It improves the common data warehousing queries’ performance significantly.

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How to send more precise SSIS logs (errors) through email

First of all you need to read my previous article called “How to send SSIS logs (errors) through email” as the processes are pretty the same. However, you need to create some changes in the Execute SQL Task (ref.: section “J” number 5 and 12 of “How to send SSIS logs (errors) through email”). As an Execute SQL Task is used to collect the logs stored in SQL Server you need to be familiar with parameter mapping in Execute SQL task and know how it works. Assume that we need to just send the “Error” logs that are happened between “Event Handler Start Time” and the current time for the current package execution. As you can imagine it is slightly different from what we did in the previous article to email the SSIS logs to the system administrators. As there was just one system variable that we mapped in parameter mapping section in the Execute SQL Task. But, here we need to have one more system variable mapped to a parameter. Please note that we are using OLEDB connection to connect to the SSIS log database that we created before to store SSIS logs. So there are some important points with OLEDB Connection and Execute SQL Task parameter mapping and its SQL statement.

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How to send SSIS logs (errors) through email

First of all I want to explain the process of sending SSIS Logs through email for better understanding. As you might know you can save SSIS logs in several ways for administration purposes. In this article our focus is on how to send SSIS logs to the administrator whenever an event like a package failure is occurred. Just assume that we have several SSIS packages and we are storing the logs in a SQL Server database. Almost all of the packages are running over night. Now, what if a package or some packages failed? Generally one of the most essential activities is that a notification email should be sent to the system administrators to let them know that something’s wrong with the package execution. It could be more helpful to send them the relevant information about the failure. Reading the following lines you can handle this important part of the process in your organisation.

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How to hash sensitive data for maximising security in SQL Server 2005 and later versions?

SENSITIVE DATA! It’s an interesting topic! In this post I’m trying to explain how to hash data to increase security during ETL. Assume that we have sensitive data stored in several secured source systems. The source systems are located in different countries and different regions. As the source systems themselves are secured, how we can cover data security needs during ETL process to read data from source systems and load into staging area? Apart from using secured network infrastructure, VPN, network tunnelling etc. we need to cover data layer security to extract sensitive data. One of the best ways is hashing data when it is extracting from source databases. Hashbytes is a T-SQL function that is available in SQL Server 2005 and later. As you might know there are many hashing algorithms, but, different SQL Server versions are supporting different range of hashing algorithms. For instance SHA1 is supported by SQL Server 2005 and later, but, if you are looking more secure hashing systems like SHA2, 256 (32 bytes) or 512 (64 bytes), you should use SQL Server 2012. Actually the hashbytes function will return null in earlier versions of SQL Server. If you are looking for a higher level of security like SHA3 that is originally known as “Keccak” you should wait for it for a long time as based on my investigations it is not supported even in SQL Server 2014 OR you can write your own SHA3 code OR just rely on some third party codes available on the Internet! So let’s get our hands dirty with using hashbytes in different versions of SQL Server.

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Three different approaches for creating a BISM in SSAS 2012, Tabular vs. Multidimensional vs. PowerPivot

SSAS 2012 supports three different approaches for creating a BISM (Business Intelligence Semantic Model):

1. Tabular

a. Uses relational modelling constructs like such as tables and relationships

b. Uses xVelocity in-memory analytics engine for sorting and data calculations

c. Needs to use SSDT (SQL Server Data Tools) to implement

d. Can import data from relational data sources using OLE DB native and managed providers

e. Tabular solutions only support one model.bim file per solution, which means that all work must be done in a single file. Development teams that are accustomed to working with multiple projects in a single solution might need to revise how they work when building a shared tabular solution.

f. support DAX calculations, DAX queries, and MDX queries

g. Tabular model databases can use row-level security, using role-based permissions in Analysis Services (DAX implementation required)

h. It might be not a good choice for the systems that are going to load terabytes of data

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Installing SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2012 integrated mode with SharePoint 2013

Reporting services 2012 integrated with SharePoint 2013

 

In this post I’m going to describe installing SSRS 2012 integrated mode with SharePoint 2013. As some guys are pretty new to SSRS 2012 or SharePoint or even SSRS integrated with SharePoint, I am explaining the situation from scratch.


Requirements:

Note: Reporting services will not install on standard or express editions

  • Windows Server 2008 or later

Note: You can download Windows Server 2008 R2 180 days trial from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11093 and Windows Server 2012 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/trial.aspx

Note: SharePoint 2013 is available only in 64-bit version, so you need a 64-bit operating system.

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