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The Voice of the DBA

Power BI Desktop on the Mac

Power Bi is one of the neatest tools that Microsoft has built for data professionals. It allows anyone to build fantastic interactive visualizations that can help tell a story and help someone make decisions. There have been some amazing demo visualizations from Microsoft customers. I've seen a predictive maintenance visualization for airplanes, one for diabetes trends and a fun basketball visual. There are also a fantastic set of custom visual controls, quite a few of which are described in Devin Knights blog series.

If you don't know anything about Power BI, there are lots of resources, including some amazing tips from the Guy in a Cube. Adam Saxton has an amazing channel and puts together some impressive videos with Patrick LeBlanc. They might be one of the best sources for learning to work with the tools. You might want to spend some time playing with Power BI as I can almost guarantee that you'll build better reports with this tool than you would otherwise. You'll impress your customers, clients, and boss with your design work.

Plenty of people have Mac laptops, especially business people, and for quite some time they've had to deal with a lack of native tooling. Certainly there are lots of software ports, and no shortage of web software, but there are always places where a lack of a native solution is problematic. I don't know that we'll get lots of software ported to a new OS, but there is a better solution. Containerization can help smooth the way.

A few years back I met the Kenji Obata, founder of Turbo.net. He was doing some interesting work with containers, and I was fascinated by their work. Since then, they've grown and refined their technology, and now they have Power BI for Mac available. As soon as I saw their walk-through video, I wanted to share the experience. It's pretty amazing, and if I were still running OSX, I'd be looking to use some of the Microsoft tools I want on the native desktop.

This isn't really native, but the experience feels native. The use of containerization technology might be debatable for databases, but for client applications, it's amazing. The way that Turbo.net packages up applications is incredible. I like Turbo, and if you need to use Microsoft client applications on a Mac, you might give them a try. It's not free, but it's way better than virtualization and has some really cool features as well. I'm sure lots of non-technical people, especially management, that might build reports would love the experience of running Power Bi Desktop on their Mac.

They even have SSMS available as a turbo container for the Mac, if you're interested.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 4.6MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and Libsyn. feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music.

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Featured Contents


One Million Tables

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

A quick experiment to create one million tables in a database. More »


Setting up SQL Server on Red Hat Linux in AWS - Part 1

Additional Articles from MSSQLTips.com

In this post, Pinakin Patel looks at the preliminary steps you need to peform to build an instance in AWS to run SQL Server on Red Hat Linux. More »


SQL Compare Snapshots: a lightweight database version control and rollback mechanism

SQL Compare snapshots provide an easy way to keep track of changes during development work, whether they are small changes between iterations, or significant changes between releases. Snapshots can be used to quickly generate rollback scripts during releases even in environments which are isolated by infrastructure design for security reasons. More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Database testing and ETL processes

Ed Elliott from SQLServerCentral Blogs

Unit testing using tSQLt is really great, you call FakeTable on any tables your code touches and then insert the... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Using CAST() function with User-Defined Data Types…Did you know…

Cláudio Silva from SQLServerCentral Blogs

I'm converting some Firebird database code to T-SQL and I'm seeing a lot of code that doesn't work in the... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I don't have time to worry about indexes. I need to create a new database for an application and I have some choices. I want the database engine to run create and drop index statements itself, based on the workload being executed

In which one of these versions of SQL Server should I create my database to allow for automatic indexing? (as of May 2018)

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SQL Server Query Store In Action

The Query Store changes the way you monitor performance on your databases and the way you tune the performance of those same databases. This book represents a deep dive into a large number of topics in and around the Query Store. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

I decide to build a short Python function from the command line that looks like this:

>>> def add99 (x):
...      x.append(99)
...      print(x)

I then execute this code from the REPL.

>>> y = [1,2,3]
>>> add99(y)
[1, 2, 3, 99]

If I now do this in the same REPL, what is returned?


Answer: [1,2,3,99]


As with other mutable items, the parameter passed to the function is a pointed to the value. When the function changes the list to add a 99, y points to the same location as the x in the function. Therefore, y  will also show the additional value.

Ref: Python Mutable and Immutable Function Arguments - https://learnandlearn.com/python-programming/python-how-to/python-function-arguments-mutable-and-immutable

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Database Pros Who Need Your Help

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