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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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PowerPivot - Diagram View

  • 21 July 2011
  • Author: DevinKnight
  • Number of views: 15747

The new “Denali” PowerPivot has a lot of fanatic new additions that I’ve really been looking forward to.  Many of my biggest complaints from the first version of the product have been addressed.  One of these complaints was the lack of a visual representation of object relationships.  You had to rely on the little window shown below (the Active column is new) to create and manage relationships.

In the latest version of PowerPivot you will now have the ability to view these relationships in a diagram view as shown below:

To change to the diagram view simply click the Diagram View button in the Office Ribbon or in the bottom right of the tool inside PowerPivot.

Now this may seem like a simple add but there’s a lot more that comes with the diagram view.  For example notice that in my diagram screenshot that DimDate has 3 relationships to the Fact table.  Yes, that’s right you can now use role playing dimensions inside PowerPivot, which was previously not possible.  I’ll devote a future blog post to that topic because it’s actually fairly lengthy to describe (this is where the new Active column in the manage relationships window comes into play).

You can also create new and manage existing relationships in the diagram view with a drag and drop interface.  By clicking and dragging your foreign key on top of the corresponding primary key the relationship will be created for you.  A much nicer interface than the prior version of PowerPivot!

In the top left of the diagram you can filter the objects Columns, Measures, Hierarchies and KPIs.  This makes it much easier to find object that you’ve built.  Did I say hierarchies and KPIs?  This is also new to PowerPivot that will require its own write up.  In the top right you will find a navigation window, which will allow you to resize and move more freely through larger diagrams.

If you right-click on any of the tables from inside the Diagram View you will find a few more options exposed.

Some of these options are obvious what they do but some are new so I’ll detail them all:

·         Delete – Deletes the object from the model

·         Create Relationship – Defines a new relationship between objects (without drag and drop).  You’ll generally select this option from the table that stores the foreign key.

·         Create Hierarchy – Very exciting!  You can now do hierarchies in PowerPivot.  I’ll write details later on how this works but these are similar to user defined hierarchies that you may have built in Analysis Services.  These are very simple to create and work great!

·         Hide from Client Tools – Just hides the table from the PowerPivot Field List so users cannot use it.

·         Go To – Opens up the traditional PowerPivot grid view of the data in the table you’ve selected.

·         Rename – Renames the table.

·         Maximize – This is a nice usability feature that enlarges the table to a near full screen view, making it easier to manipulate.  Below is what the maximize view looks like this:

 I love this change I think it helps a lot as far as the usability of managing relationships but it’s also opened the door for new functionality like hierarchies.

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