Have you voted for the DBA in space competition? If not then make sure you do.

I’ve voted for Victoria, not just because she’s one of only two women finalists but also for the sheer balls of playing the trombone in her video.

Whats more Victoria is a true geek and a great DBA supporting a large SQL infrastructure in the UK.

You can see here video here https://dbainspace.com/finalists/victoria-holt

Having sent her name on previous space missions vote for her so this time she can go in person.


Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

Many people have reported that you can’t install the CTP4 of Juneau/SQLServer Data Tools (SSDT) even though you already have Visual Studio SP1 installed.

The problem is the install for SSDT requires Visual Studio SP1 and if it can’t find it, the setup tells you to install it. But you have it installed so what can you do?

Well the team have found one cause of this problem and have detailed in this blog post


For your ease I’ve copied the supported resolution here

“Since the release of SSDT CTP4, we have become aware of an installation issue dealing with Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1. We are working on a fix, but below is temporary workaround that can be employed to successfully install SSDT CTP4.

Symptom: When attempting to install SSDT, you will receive an error, stating the following, “You have to upgrade your Visual Studio 2010 to SP1 before installing SQL Server Data Tools,” even when you have previously taken steps to install SP1.

We have identified the primary scenario in which this error is wrongfully encountered:

1. Install VS2010 Professional or above from the install media

2. Install full VS2010 SP1

3. Install SQL Server 2012 setup, including Management Tools

4. Attempt to install SSDT CTP4

Installation of SSDT CTP4 in step 4 of this sequence should be successful, as VS2010 SP1 is applied when SQL Server Management Tools are installed. However, due to an issue in the application of SP1, you will indeed be blocked from installing CTP4.

The suggested workaround for this scenario is to reinstall VS2010 SP1 from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=23691. Manually reapplying this pack will perform the necessary actions to repair this problem. After reinstalling SP1, you will then be able to successfully install SSDT CTP4.”

There is an unsupported solution but I will let you go to the blog post (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ssdt/archive/2011/11/30/ctp4-installation-issue-with-vs2010-service-pack-1.aspx) to get those details.

I am looking for 2 SQL Contractors to join my data team to help build our database platform.

The role is for a SQL generalist. The person will be doing TSQL, SSIS, SSRS and maybe some SSAS.

Experience of agile development processes would be great.

This is a great opportunity to work in a great team.

If you are interested them please let me know.


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If you are looking for SQL Server training they there is no better place to start than a new company Technitrain Its been setup by a fellow MVP and SQLBits Organiser Chris Webb.

Why this company rather than any others?

Training based on real world experience by the best in the business.

The key to Technitrain’s model is not to cram the shelves high with courses and get some average Joe trainers to deliver them. Technitrain bring in world renowned experts in their fields to deliver courses written by the experts themselves based on their experience.

This means the course are focused on what you need to know, not just every feature in SQL Server.

If you’ve got questions then these trainers will definitely know the answer, and if they don’t they will definitely know someone that will and more often than not thats someone on the SQL Server team itself.

So if you are considering training now or in the future then make sure you keep an eye on Technitrain and the courses it is offering.

At the moment they have 4 courses available.

Christian Bolton - Advanced Internals and Troubleshooting Workshop for SQL Server

Jeremy Kashel - Introduction to Master Data Services

Andy Leonard  - From Zero to SSIS

Chris Webb - Introduction To MDX

Chris Webb - Real World Cube Design and Performance Tuning with Analysis Services

Web Edition will have all the features of web edition in 2008 R2 and the following features which are new for 2012

· Windows Server, Server Core Support

· Database Recovery Advisor

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I just found this on a hosted SQL server I use. The query was trying to enable service broker and was just waiting for an exclusive database lock which it wasn’t getting.

So it was sitting there for 58 days.



Do you have a query thats been running for longer ?

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The demos, presentations and all code from my Advanced Reporting Services precon are now available here



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This is what I like to see. I hope that means no problems with internet today.


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if you are looking to work with Analysis Services then you need to learn MDX and there is no better person to learn it from than Chris Webb

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and a leading expert on MDX. He is the co-author of two books, "MDX Solutions" (second edition) and "Expert Cube Development with SQL Server Analysis Services 2008", and blogs about Microsoft BI topics at http://cwebbbi.wordpress.com/

Chris is doing an introduction to MDX course Wednesday, 26 October 2011 to Friday, 28 October 2011

To register for the Introduction to MDX course or get more details click here


Day 1

  • What is MDX and why should I use it?
  • Understanding the structure of a cube: recognizing cubes, measure groups, dimensions and hierarchies
  • Understanding the concepts of members, tuples and sets
  • Writing simple queries: using SQL Management studio to write SELECT statements
  • Creating simple calculated members: when to use query, session and cube-scoped calculations, using simple MDX expressions and functions

Day 2

  • Standard Calculations: looking at the best ways to implement common calculations, such as time series, market shares and rankings
  • Using set functions: using common MDX functions such as Crossjoin, Filter, Order, Generate to create more complex queries
  • Advanced concepts: autoexists, solve order and subselects

Day 3

  • MDX Script Assignments: making scoped assignments, understanding how assignments affect aggregation, using assignments with calculated members
  • MDX for Reporting Services
  • Performance Tuning and Troubleshooting: using Profiler, building aggregations, functions to avoid

Cost £749 + VAT

File:ForensicsScene.jpgI was reading the news today about the Kercher murder trial and the acquittal of Amanda Knox. The reason for the acquittal was the DNA evidence that was collected, and was the foundation of the prosecution in the original trial, could not be relied upon. Over years the forensic community have defined how data should be collected and processed. In this case it doesn’t matter if the DNA evidence was correct or not, the way means by which it was collected and processed could not be relied upon and thus the information is discarded.

How does this relate to BI? 


You are producing data which is going to be the foundation of decisions in your business. If your data can not be relied upon then the business wont trust that data and so the data becomes useless. I’ve seen far too many BI systems where there is no trust of the data. This results in the data being questioned at the slightest hiccup of the data. Rather than looking at what caused the hiccup in the business, the business turn back on the data and say the data is wrong. This means all the time that has been spent building the BI system has been for nothing.

What does this mean for your projects?

Some of the aspects of BI projects that I feel undermine any trust in data are,

1. Not delivering data on time

If data is not delivered on time then questions are raised as to what is wrong with the system. If you can’t deliver data on time then the key thing to do is to inform the business of the situation. Its always better to be upfront about these problems than try and hide the fact. Whats more the problems might be due to a source system, if thats the case then your BI system shouldn’t take the hit for a problem in a source system. Why not have a dashboard informing the users of the status of your BI system and its processing.

2. Changing results

Once a result is delivered to the business it shouldn’t change. Ok its a little more complex than that but in principle you shouldn’t changed something thats already been calculated. If results have to change then you and your users need to be aware of what and why. Do you have a latency problem in collecting information and so it takes 7 days to get to a final figure. If so your daily figures may change for 7 days, but after that they shouldn’t. You should have exception reporting so that if you get late facts after the 7 days you can manage the system by informing the users that a problem with another system and not the BI system, will mean the figures will change.

3. Not informing the business of a problem

If someone makes a decision based on the information in your BI system and 2 days later they are told the system hasn’t been working properly for 2 days they aren’t going to be happy. Its going to make them think twice about using your system as the foundation of their decision in the future. If you had informed them at the time then they would likely understand and whilst the system has had a problem it won’t undermine the trust in the system.

File:Lego tower.jpg


4. Providing two different values at the same time

Many BI systems have evolved over time, usually in a Lego fashion. A bit stuck on hear, a bit stuck on there. This almost always leads to information being consumed by the business from systems with different latencies and potentially different calculations. This is the worst case as the business won’t know which figure to look at and so won’t trust any of them. The single version of the truth is a core concept that I always try to adhere to. If you have to have multiple versions then the end users have to be aware of what the differences are so they can trust the data and your systems.


Information is King, if you have the information then you can do anything you want. However if its wrong then thats the worst situation to be in.

Make sure you do what you need to to make sure that your business trusts your data and doesn’t have reasons not to trust your data.

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