Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 

James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Analytics Platform System (APS) AU3 released

The Analytics Platform System (APS), which is a renaming of the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), has just released an appliance update (AU3), which is sort of like a service pack, except that it includes many new features.  These appliance updates are made available frequently, about every 3-4 months.… Read more

0 comments, 89 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 17 December 2014

The Modern Data Warehouse

The traditional data warehouse has served us well for many years, but new trends are causing it to break in four different ways: data growth, fast query expectations from users, non-relational/unstructured data, and cloud-born data.  How can you prevent this from happening?  Enter the modern data warehouse, which is… Read more

2 comments, 5,509 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 3 December 2014

What is Azure Data Factory?

The Azure Data Factory is a service designed to allow developers to integrate disparate data sources.  It is a platform somewhat like SSIS in the cloud to manage the data you have both on-prem and in the cloud.

It provides access to on-premises data in SQL Server and cloud data… Read more

0 comments, 208 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 26 November 2014

Fast Track Data Warehouse Reference Architecture for SQL Server 2014

I have previously blogged about the Fast Track Data Warehouse, a reference configuration optimized for data warehousing (see Microsoft SQL Server Reference Architecture and Appliances).  That was version 3.0 of the reference configuration that was for SQL Server 2008 R2.  Released a couple of years ago was version 4.0… Read more

3 comments, 203 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 19 November 2014

Should you move your data to the cloud?

Should you move your data to the cloud?  That is the question.  The answer is not simple.  While moving data to the cloud is all the rage, the fact is a large majority of the Fortune 500 companies are not keeping any data in the cloud at all.  At least… Read more

2 comments, 206 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 12 November 2014

Book: Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence Development Beginner’s Guide

I was fortunate to be a technical reviewer for a new book, SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence Development by Reza Rad.  Below is the abstract.  It’s a great book for those of you trying to learn about all the various tools in the Microsoft BI stack.  Click here to check… Read more

0 comments, 188 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 5 November 2014

Analytics Platform System (APS) AU2 released

The Analytics Platform System (APS), which is a renaming of the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), has recently released an appliance update (AU2), which is sort of like a service pack, except that it includes many new features.  These appliance updates are made available frequently, about every 3-4 months.… Read more

1 comments, 179 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 16 October 2014

Non-obvious APS/PDW benefits

The Analytics Platform System (APS), which is a renaming of the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), has a lot of obvious benefits, which I discuss here.  For those of you who find your database is getting too big, or becoming too slow, or you need to integrate non-relational data,… Read more

3 comments, 191 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 7 October 2014

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS explained

You might be reading a lot about Cloud computing and see three acronyms frequently: IaaS, PaaS, Saas.  Cloud providers offer their services according to these three fundamental models:

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)

This is the most basic model which is essentially your virtual machines in a cloud data center.  You… Read more

0 comments, 292 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 30 September 2014

Presentation slides for Modern Data Warehousing

Thanks to everyone who attended my session “Modern Data Warehousing” at the Central New Jersey SQL User Group yesterday.  The abstract for my session is below.  I hope you enjoyed it!

Here is the PowerPoint presentation: Modern Data Warehousing

Modern Data Warehousing

The traditional data warehouse has served us well… Read more

1 comments, 453 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 14 August 2014

Modern Data Warehousing Presentation

I will be presenting the session “Modern Data Warehousing” tomorrow (Wednesday, August 13th) at the Central New Jersey SQL User Group at 6:30pm.  The abstract for my session is below.  I hope you can make it!

Modern Data Warehousing

The traditional data warehouse has served us well for many years,… Read more

0 comments, 225 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 12 August 2014

24 Hours of PASS videos online

All the videos for the sessions at 24 Hours of PASS (Spring 2014) are available for free.  Check the session schedule for a complete list.  Also, many of the PASS virtual chapters have recordings of their meetings online.  Enjoy!

Read more

0 comments, 654 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 7 August 2014

SQL Server Agent job steps vs SSIS

When doing ETL, you have the choice of using T-SQL or SSIS (see When to use T-SQL or SSIS for ETL).  If you decide T-SQL is the way to go and you just want to execute a bunch of T-SQL statements (individually or within a stored procedure), it’s… Read more

2 comments, 314 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 22 July 2014

IT books that should be on your shelf

I have a lot of books on my shelves dealing with business intelligence, data warehousing, master data management, and consulting.  Below are my favorites:

Data Warehouse Books:

Ralph Kimball Books

Building the Data Warehouse

Corporate Information Factory

DW 2.0

Mastering Data Warehouse Design

Data Warehouse from Architecture to Implementation

Microsoft… Read more

1 comments, 394 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 16 July 2014

PASS BA Conference 2014: Sessions Recordings Now Available

All PASS Business Analytics Conference 2014 recordings are now available.  If you purchased the online sessions, to view, log on to your myPASS account, enter your activation code, and watch the sessions from myRecordings.  You can also purchase all recordings on a USB drive.  While there, check out mine: Building… Read more

0 comments, 303 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 19 June 2014

Presentation slides for Modern Data Warehousing

Thanks to everyone who attended my session “Modern Data Warehousing” for Pragmatic Works last Thursday.  The abstract for my session is below and the recording is available here.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation: Modern Data Warehousing

Modern Data Warehousing

The traditional data warehouse has… Read more

0 comments, 354 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 25 May 2014

Presentation slides for Houston SQLSaturday

Thanks to everyone who attended my two sessions at SQLSaturday in Houston (more info).  Here are the abstracts and PowerPoint links:

Best Practices to Deliver BI Solutions

If your company is planning to build a data warehouse or BI solution, you need to be aware that BI projects… Read more

1 comments, 367 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 12 May 2014

Presentation Slides for Building an Effective Data Warehouse Architecture

Thanks to everyone who attended my session “Building an Effective Data Warehouse Architecture” at the PASS Business Analytics conference.  The abstract is below.  I hope you enjoyed it!

Here is the PowerPoint presentation: Building an Effective Data Warehouse Architecture

Building an Effective Data Warehouse Architecture

You’re a DBA and… Read more

0 comments, 402 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 9 May 2014

SQLSaturday in Houston

This upcoming Saturday I will be presenting two sessions at SQLSaturday in Houston (more info).  I hope to see you there.  Here are the abstracts:

Best Practices to Deliver BI Solutions

If your company is planning to build a data warehouse or BI solution, you need to be… Read more

0 comments, 324 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 8 May 2014

Hadoop and Data Warehouses

I see a lot of confusion when it comes to Hadoop and its role in a data warehouse solution.  Hadoop should not be a replacement for a data warehouse, but rather should augment/complement a data warehouse.  Hadoop and a data warehouse will often work together in a single information supply… Read more

2 comments, 2,768 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 6 May 2014

Older posts