Posts tagged ‘Presentations’

Slides From “Processing Flat Files with SSIS”

Thanks to the Columbia Enterprise Developer’s Guild for letting me present last night. The audience was great, and I got a lot of good questions. Several people asked if the samples could be made available, and I also had a request to post the slides for some people who weren’t able to make it. So, here they are. I’ve posted them to my SkyDrive here. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here.

A New Year and Upcoming Presentations

It’s a new year, and already a lot going on. The new job is going well, but keeping me extremely busy. I’ve got several upcoming presentations, and there’s a SQL Saturday event planned for Charlotte in March that I’m helping organize. I’m also happy to say that my MVP status was re-awarded for 2010.

I have an upcoming presentation at the Columbia Enterprise Developers Guild, next Wednesday the 13th. The presentation will be on handling flat files in SSIS.

Processing Flat Files with SSIS

When doing data integration, a common requirement is to work with flat files, whether for importing data into a system from an external source, or to export it to provide to other systems. SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) supports flat files, but there can be a number of challenges when working with them. This is particularly true if your flat files have multiple data formats contained in a single file, the data has complex formatting, or the files have inconsistent formatting. This session will help you to be more efficient when working with these types of files. You’ll learn to handle missing delimiters in the files, and parsing files that have multiple data formats. You’ll also see how to produce complex output formats, like headers and footers that contain summary information.

I’ll also be doing a couple of presentations at the Columbia Code Camp on January 30th.

Creating Custom Components for SSIS

SSIS data flows are great tools for moving data. But what if you need to go beyond the out-of-the-box components provided with SSIS? Custom components are a great way to encapsulate and reuse functionality for the data flow in SSIS. We will discuss what it takes to create and deploy custom components in SSIS, review the pros and cons of using custom components instead of scripts, and discuss some of the common challenges and issues with creating them.

Introduction to SSIS

SQL Server Integration Services is a tool provided with SQL Server for moving data between data stores. It is the successor to DTS, but there are many fundamental changes in how SSIS works. This session will provide an overview of SSIS, with a focus on the key elements of SSIS that you need to know to get the most use out of it. This session will help developers efficiently use SSIS when they need to move data around the organization.

If you happen to be in the area, please drop by for these presentations.

New Path, Same Focus

I’ve worked with Mariner for almost 12 years. It’s been a very good journey, with many great experiences. I’ve worked with a lot of great people, and delivered some really interesting BI solutions to clients in a number of industries. One aspect of my job that I always particularly enjoyed was helping developers be more productive when creating BI solutions, and reducing the repetitive (read: “boring”) aspects of developing solutions on the Microsoft stack.

Recently, a new opportunity to focus more heavily on that came along. As a result, after a long and enjoyable career with Mariner doing business intelligence consulting, I am taking a new position with Varigence, a company that is producing tools that will make implementing BI solutions faster and easier, as well as introduce new capabilities and better integration into the Microsoft BI stack.

I’m really looking forward to the new role and the new experiences it will offer. I will continue to be heavily involved in Microsoft BI, so I plan to maintain this blog and continue speaking and writing on it as often as often as possible.

Sample Files for Introduction To Analysis Services 2008

We had good turnout at the Greenville, SC SSIG on Tuesday. If you attended, I hope you enjoyed the presentation. After the meeting, I promised several attendees that I would make the samples developed during the demo available, and here they are. The zip includes both the SSAS project files, and a backup the sample database that the cube was built on. Both are done using the 2008 version of SQL Server.

If you have any questions about , please post them in the comments.

Presenting At SSIG in Greenville, SC

I’ll be doing a presentation on Analysis Services at the SQL Server Innovators Guild in Greenville, SC on Tuesday, Dec. 1st. I’ll be delivering an introduction to SSAS, with lots of demos. If you are interested in attending, please register here. It’s a presentation that I’ve done a few times now, but because it’s mostly demo, something new and interesting always comes up.


Introduction to Analysis Services 2008

This session is intended to introduce database developers to Analysis Services 2008, with a focus on being able to quickly construct usable OLAP cubes. This presentation will be light on slides, and heavy on demonstrating how to perform the steps to create the cubes. During this session, we will cover the creation of a new cube from an existing database step by step. We will also highlight the reasons for using Analysis Services, and applicable scenarios for using it.

Presenting at the SQL Server Best Practices Conference

I’m going to be presenting two sessions at the SQL Server Best Practices Conference on August 24-26 in Washington, DC. This conference has a different focus than many of the technical conferences that I’ve presented at in the past. Instead of technical deep dives, the focus is on providing attendees with information on the decision points they are likely to encounter in their projects, and guidance on how to choose the best course of action at those points. It promises to be a very interesting conference.

I’ll be presenting on two topics. The first, Unit Testing SSIS Packages, is a topic I’ve presented on before, but not with this focus. I’m a big fan of unit testing and the test driven development (TDD) model, but I’ve found that there are numerous challenges in applying this approach to SSIS. So my session will focus on the best practices you can use to make this successful.

My other topic, SQL Server BI in the Cloud, is a new one for me (and for pretty much everyone, considering that SQL Azure is still pre-CTP). However, I’ve been doing some work with it and other cloud based models for BI, and there are some clear key decision points that you need to consider when embarking on this type of project. I’m really looking forward to this one, as it’s a new area, and that always prompts good discussions.

If you are attending, please consider dropping by for my sessions. If you’re not registered for the conference, there’s still time, and there’s a great lineup of speakers.



Presenting at Midlands SQL PASS Chapter

I’ll be presenting at the Columbia, SC PASS user group on July 7. I’ll be speaking on “Getting Started with Analysis Services 2008”, which is a demo heavy introduction to using SQL Server Analysis Services 2008. If you want to use SSAS, but aren’t sure quite where to start, this session should help.

If you are in the Columbia area on July 7, please drop by. You can find more information here:

SSWUG Business Intelligence Virtual Conference and SDS

It’s been a busy first quarter, but I should have a little more time available to blog now. 

I’ve just completed shooting my sessions for the SSWUG Business Intelligence Virtual Conference, which has been one of the things occupying my time recently. I had a few changes in my lineup of presentations. With the recent announcements about changes to SQL Data Services (SDS), there was really no reason to present the sessions on using SSIS and SSRS against SDS. If you haven’t seen the changes, you can review them here, but as a quick overview, Microsoft is eliminating the ACE model and the requirement to access SDS through SOAP or REST. Instead, they will offer traditional TDS access to SDS, meaning that accessing a database in the cloud will be a very similar experience to accessing an on-premise SQL Server. In fact, many tools, like SSRS and SSIS, that required custom extensions in order to use SDS under the old model, should work out of the box with the new model. So, there really wasn’t much point in presenting how to do something that won’t be necessary any longer.

So, I ended up still doing the SDS 101 session, which gives an overview of the changes to the service, and some reasons why you might want to look into this for new applications. I also did two other sessions. “Doing More (ETL) With Less (Effort) by Automating SSIS” focuses on how to build packages programmatically, and focuses on some of the simpler options for accomplishing this, like EzAPI. “Processing Flat Files with SSIS” runs through many of the common issues developers encounter when using SSIS against flat files, and shows a number of ways to work around those problems. If you have trouble working with flat files, this would be a good session to attend.

You can register for the conference here, and if you use the code SPVJWESP09 when you register, you should get $10 off the registration fee.