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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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SSIS 2012 XML Task - Namespaces in XPath

  • 7 April 2012
  • Author: Russel Loski
  • Number of views: 7698

You have an XML document.  You want to get the text from the first node named "i."


So you decide to try your hand at using the XML Task.  You select the XPath operation type, you enter the XPath "(//i)[1]" which means give me the first i node text.  But it doesn't do anything.

The problem is that there is a default namespace defined in the document.  What the XPath "(//i)[1]" is translated to is not "give the first i node." Rather it is translated "give the first i node with no namespace."

In previous versions of SSIS, you were limited to using the no namespace in your XPath.  There was no way to declare the namespace context for your XPath. It led to some very interesting XPath such as "(//*[local-name()='i'])[1]" which gets the first node that has the local-name (ie the name with out a namespace) i.

In SSIS 2012, this has finally changed.  The team at Microsoft have added the means to associate the namespace with your XPath.  The process is similar to the process of creating a XPath XML Task in previous versions of SSIS.  You specify the source and output.  However, notice that I can use a namespace prefix (i:) in my XPath (the SecondOperand).  This prefix refers to a namespace that I specify in the Namespaces collection.

XML Task Editor for XPath Operation Type

You enter some prefix that you will be using to reference this namespace (test.uri).  Note that it does not have to be the same as the prefix used in the document, as long as the namespace uri in the XML document matches the namespace uri in the Namespaces collection.  So I click on the elipsis to the right of the Namespaces collection box.

Namespace declarations edit screen

Note that you can't leave the Prefix blank and expect it to work as the default.  You have to assign a prefix.

This is a major improvement to the SSIS XML processing. I am currently reading several nodes in a document that specifies the namespace (as should all useful XML documents). It is a pain to have to dance around the XML Namespaces issue.

Day one of my adventures in SSIS 2012 complete and it is definitely Christmas (call me wierd, my daughters do).  I look forward to digging deeper into more.

Categories: Analysis Services
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