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 .

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

1 comments, 123 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, 201 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, 177 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, 220 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, 205 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, 240 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, 198 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, 2,341 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 6 May 2014

Presentation Slides for Modern Data Warehousing

Thanks to everyone who attended my session “Modern Data Warehousing” at the PASS SQLSaturday Business Analytics edition in Dallas.  The abstract is below.  Great turnout for the last session of the day!

Here is the PowerPoint presentation: Modern Data Warehousing

Modern Data Warehousing

The traditional data warehouse has served… Read more

0 comments, 396 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 4 May 2014

Modern Data Warehousing Presentation

I will be presenting the session “Modern Data Warehousing” on Saturday at the PASS SQLSaturday Business Analytics edition in Dallas at 4:30pm CST (info).  The abstract for my session is below.  I hope you can make it!

Modern Data Warehousing

The traditional data warehouse has served us well… Read more

0 comments, 246 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 30 April 2014

What is the Microsoft Analytics Platform System (APS)?

Analytics Platform System (APS) is simply a renaming of the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW).  It is not really a new product, but rather a name change due to a new feature in Appliance Update 1 (AU1) of PDW.  That new feature is the ability to have a HDInsight region… Read more

1 comments, 340 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 17 April 2014

Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) AU1 released

Microsoft’s PDW has seen a big boost in visibility and sales over the past year, and part of the reason is due to frequent upgrades to the hardware and software.  About every six months there is an appliance update, which is sort of like a service pack, except that in… Read more

2 comments, 360 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 15 April 2014

PASS Summit 2012 session videos online

All PASS Summit 2012 recordings are now available for free to all PASS members (201 of them!).  To view, log on to your myPASS account, and watch the sessions from myRecordings.  While there, check out mine: Building an Effective Data Warehouse Architecture

Read more

0 comments, 236 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 27 March 2014

Book: Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

I am happy to say I have published my first book!  It is called Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (order).  Much thanks goes to my co-author and friend Bill Anton.  Below is a brief overview or check out the listing on the Packt Publishing site for… Read more

0 comments, 2,929 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 25 March 2014

SQL Server 2014 released April 1st!

SQL Server 2014 has been released to manufacturers (RTM) and will be generally available April 1.  Here is the official announcement.  Here are my blog posts about some of the new features.

More info:

SQL Server 2014 RTM Announced for April 1 Release

SQL Server 2014 releases April 1 Read more

0 comments, 288 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 20 March 2014

Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) benefits made simple

I have heard people say that the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) is Microsoft’s best kept secret.  So let me give a 10,000 foot overview on what PDW is and its benefits.  Keep in mind the purpose for a PDW is for data warehouses, not OLTP systems.

As opposed to a… Read more

2 comments, 624 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 18 March 2014

Real-time query access with PDW

The Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) officially supports Analysis Services as a data source, both the Multidimensional model (ROLAP and MOLAP modes) and the Tabular model (In-Memory and DirectQuery modes).  The big benefit of using ROLAP or DirectQuery is you get real-time query access to the relational data source in PDW… Read more

0 comments, 411 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 13 March 2014

Book: Expert Cube Development with SSAS Multidimensional Models

Those of you who use SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) are likely familiar with the “bible” for designing cubes: Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services by Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari , and Chris Webb.  Well, a new edition has just been published, with a changed name… Read more

0 comments, 801 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 4 March 2014

Introduction to Hadoop

Hadoop was created by the Apache foundation as an open-source software framework capable of processing large amounts of heterogeneous data-sets in a distributed fashion (via MapReduce) across clusters of commodity hardware on a storage framework (HDFS).  Hadoop uses a simplified programming model.  The result is Hadoop provides a reliable shared… Read more

7 comments, 4,098 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 27 February 2014

What is HDInsight?

There are two flavors of HDInsight: Windows Azure HDInsight Service and Microsoft HDInsight Server for Windows (recently quietly killed but lives on in a different form).  Both were developed in partnership with Hadoop software developer and distributor Hortonworks and were made generally available in October, 2013.

Windows Azure HDInsight… Read more

4 comments, 440 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 25 February 2014

Older posts