Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Microsoft BI Demo, VPC 7.1 - Expiry

A couple years ago, Microsoft made available a pre-built, virtual demo environment (BI VPC 7.1) that included demo scenarios for fictitious businesses called 'Contoso' and 'AdventureWorks'.  This demo environment consisted of Excel 2007, SharePoint 2007, SQL Server 2005, PerformancePoint Server and ProClarity.

Several BI consultants (and internal MS field teams) have used this virtual image over the years.  Many folks have further customized this environment to showcase sample data sets and scenarios, and to build Proof of Concepts.

This week I heard from one such consultant whom I have been in touch with for several years, Eliot MacDonald (Director of Consulting Services, Market Forte).  Eliot works with SSAS and ProClarity quite a bit, and he has used the BI VPC 7.1 extensively. 

Eliot emailed me yesterday to mention the Expiration Date of the environment... 

the latest “BI-VPC” has a deadline of 2 days from now. For me, that’s a big deal since I’ve used it for development purposes and have a ton of stuff contained within that virtual hard drive that may well have been lost had I not marked a warning on my calendar.

Since it had a 2-year-plus time frame on it (the 7.1 version), there may be others out there who have just been happily using it daily and will suddenly be unable to access it in a couple of days. So thought it might be worth sending such a warning to others.

He was smart, he set a calendar reminder in Outlook to assure he didn't miss the deadline.  If he hadn't paid attention to expiry, he would have lost the work he'd done and would have to rebuild the demo environment and reconfigure all of his customizations.
Thought I'd post a mention of this for everyone out there who are using BI VPC 7.1
Thank you Eliot, for the insight!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 2010 v.36 – Business Intelligence Update

President Obama Appoints Edward Tufte – Big Victory for Data Visualization And Transparent Government
Obama’s Data Visionary

Why Predictive Analytics Is A Game-Changer

SQL Server 2008 R2 gets an official date
Microsoft ships the final Technology Preview for SQL 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse
Overview: Parallel Data Warehouse
New Data Visualizations in SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2

Tableau Public – How it Works Blog: Tableau Public - A Powerful New Tool for Democratizing Data

Kerberos SPN Generation Setup Tool –

All webcast times are in Eastern Time Zone unless otherwise specified

System Center Service Manager 2010: The CMDB, Connectors, and Data Warehouse
Hosted by Microsoft
Apr 2, 2pm
Click here for more info

Unleash the Power of PowerPivot
Hosted by Panorama
Apr 20, 10am
Click here for more info

Insight Through Microsoft Business Intelligence Solutions
Hosted by ComFrame
Apr 22, 10am
Click here for more info

Visualizing Success – Visualization with SharePoint PerformancePoint Services
Hosted by Mariner
Apr 29, 8:30am
Click here for more info


Executive Business Intelligence Roundtable
Hosted by ComFrame
Apr 13, Jackson, MS
Click here for more info

Business Insight Lunch and Learn
Hosted by MPS Partners and Microsoft
Apr 20, Granger, IN
Click here for more info

Convergence 2010
Hosted by Microsoft
Apr 24-27, Atlanta, GA
Click here for more info

SQL Saturday #39 NYC
Hosted by NJ SQL Server User Group in NYC
Apr 24, New York, NY
Click here for more info

Microsoft Business Intelligence
Hosted by Quilogy
May 4, Naperville IL
Click here for more info

TechFuse 2010
Hosted by Benchmark Learning
May 6, Bloomington, MN
Click here for more info

Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference
Hosted by Microsoft
Jun 7-10, New Orleans, LA
Click here for more info


Web-based Training
SQL Server: Training Portal
SharePoint 2007: Training Portal
SharePoint 2010: Getting Started with SharePoint 2010
PerformancePoint Monitoring and Analytics: Dashboard basics IDashboard basics II
Up to Speed with PerformancePoint Dashboards and Web Parts
Excel 2007: Training Courses

Instructor Led Training
SQL Server and Business Intelligence Training
Pragmatic Works
April Courses, Online
Click here for more info

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Training
Apr 7-9, Minneapolis, MN
Click here for more info

Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services
Apr 12-14, Online
Click here for more info

Solving Business Problems with MDX in SQL Server 2008
Solid Quality Mentors
Jun 15-17, Minneapolis, MN
Click here for more info


Microsoft BI
2010 Betas are here, including Office, SharePoint, Project, Visio

SQL Server Business Intelligence: SQL 2005, SQL 2008
SSAS: SQL Sentry, Performance Optimization Software
SSAS: list of front end applications
Data Mining: SQL 2005, SQL 2008
StreamInsight: Versions and SQL Server SKUs, Developers Training Kit
SQL Server 2008 R2 gets an official date

Download: SQL Server 2008 R2 November CTP
Hands On Lab: PowerPivot in SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL 2008 R2: Home, Parallel Data Warehouse
Whitepaper: Best Practices for Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2008

SQL 2008 Books Online: Planning and Architecture (Analysis Services – Data Mining)
SQL 2008 Books Online: Architecture of Integration Services
Whitepaper: Top 10 Performance and Productivity Reasons to Use SQL Server 2008 for Your Business Intelligence Solutions
Blog: SQL Server 2008 for Oracle DBA

SharePoint Server 2007
Business Intelligence: Overview, Using BI Features
Technical Library
Download: PerformancePoint SP2 (64-bit or 32-bit) Blog: Using Excel Services Reports with PerformancePoint Server (PPS)
Online Book: SharePoint guidance for SQL Server database administrators

SharePoint Server 2010
Describing SharePoint 2010 in 1 Sentence, 8 Categories and 40 Feature Areas
New Features in PerformancePoint Services 2010

Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 Feature Support, Dashboard Improvements, Upgrading PerformancePoint Server 2007 to PerformancePoint 2010
Planning for Upgrade from SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to SharePoint Server 2010
Blog: What is Time Intelligence?

Office 2010
PowerPivot Team Blog
The Great PowerPivot FAQ

Download: PowerPivot for Excel 2010
Blog: The Business User’s Perspective
Blog: How PowerPivot and SSAS could work together
Blog: Diagnostic Guide for Usage and the PowerPivot Management Dashboard
Screencast: Using datamining with PowerPivot in Excel

Microsoft BI Certifications
Blog: New 2008 Microsoft BI Certifications Reviewed
Blog: Obtaining Microsoft BI Certification
Learning Plan: BI Developer
Exam: 70-448
Exam: 70-452

Related BI Resources
Notes from the Field

Article: Microsoft PowerPivot vs. Tableau
Blog: Using a Data Warehouse for CRM
Blog: Thoughts on: Who are the BI Personas?

Strategy Companion’s Analyzer Named 2009 EDITOR’S BEST Award by SQL Server Magazine


A High Level Comparison Between Oracle and SQL Server
SharePoint 2010 Steps Up to the ECM Plate
SharePoint 2010: A More Viable Cloud Option
SharePoint 2010: An Evolutionary Step Toward Content-Centric Middleware

Launching an Analytics Practice: Ten Steps to Success
Zen BI: The Wisdom of Letting Go
It Takes a Village to Drive Predictive Analytics

Blog: PowerPivot/Excel/SharePoint and SSRS – should they merge?
Blog: Comparing Analysis Services and PowerPivot
Blog: Great Visualizers: Mike Deal Charts the Beatles