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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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Sample Interview Questions for SSIS jobs

  • 5 April 2010
  • Author: kylewalker
  • Number of views: 11727

I don't know about you, but for some reason, one of the most terrifying experiences for me is interviewing for a new job.  There are a few things that you can do to prepare yourself for an upcoming interview and make it slightly less terrifying.  You can work on improving your communication skills and managing whatever nervous habits you may have developed over the years.  Or spend some time thinking of some questions that you would like to ask your hopefully-soon-to-be employer, so that when they ask you, "so, do you have any questions for us?", you can say something other than "nope, I'm good" ("Nope, I'm good" isn't a very impressive response... Just ask all of your unemployed friends.  Try to always ask at least one question about the job you'll be doing or the environment you'll be working in).  The most ideal preparation aide (not H) would be having a cheat sheet or a list of the questions that you will be asked in the interview.  Well here's the best I can do for you.  Here are some real-world questions that I have encountered while interviewing for SSIS specific jobs.  (Along with some answers)

Explain the difference between Synchronous and Asynchronous components.  A synchronous component will reuse the input buffer because the number of output rows is exactly the same as the number of input rows.  This basically means that a synchronous component can start before the previous component completes.  With an asynchronous component, a new buffer is used because there can be a different number of output rows than input rows.  And this means that in some cases the component may need to wait for the previous component to fully complete before it can even start.

What can you use an OLE DB Command for?  The OLE DB Command is a pretty simple transformation that's available within a Data Flow that can run a SQL statement that can insert, update, or delete records to, in, or from a desired table.  It's good to keep in mind that this transformation initiates a row-by-row operation, so you may experience some performance limitations when dealing with large amounts of data.

What are checkpoints and why are they important?  Checkpoints offer the ability to restart failed package at a specified point.  If you have configured a checkpoint on a package, information about that package will be sent to a checkpoint file.  In the event of a failure, the package will use this information to know where to start.  In the event of a successful completion, this file is automatically deleted.

What are the benefits or advantages of using Raw Files in ETL?  Aside from the possibly that a Raw File might be your only option as a source.  Raw files do offer a slightly better advantage when it comes to speed and performance.

What is a Common Table Expression?  A common table expression is basically a result set that is temporarily stored within the scope of a SELECT, UPDATE, INSERT, or DELETE statement.  The data stored from the common table expression can be used by the SQL statement that follows it.

What can you tell me about Ralph Kimball?  Ralph Kimball is an author on the topic of data warehousing and BI.  He has been regarded as one of the original architects of data warehousing.  Kimball has always had the firm belief that data warehouses should fast and understandable.  Oh, and he developed this whole methodology of dimensional modeling.  There is that.  (It's also probably a good idea to know the basic idea and structure of dimensional modeling)

I hope this helps as you prepare for your next SSIS interview!  Good luck!

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