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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 .

TechNet Virtual Labs

There is an excellent site called TechNet Virtual Labs that enables you to quickly and easily evaluate Microsoft’s newest products and technologies via hands-on labs in which you are guided through the lab in about 90 minutes.

There is nothing to set up or install, as all the needed software is available via a Hyper-V session.  All the products you will use are installed, configured, and ready to go.  It’s the best way to play with a new product without having to create your own virtual machine and install a bunch of versions of trial software.  And best of all it is free.

The 26 SQL Server 2008 labs are at TechNet Virtual Labs: SQL Server 2008.

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