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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 .

Archives: April 2012

SSAS File System Error

I received this error the other day when trying to process a particular SSAS cube:

Error      18           File system error: The following file is corrupted: Physical file: file:///\\%3f\E:\SQL\OLAP\Data\Options”>\\?\E:\SQL\OLAP\Data\Options BI QA.0.db\Dim Date.0.dim\1.Year No.bstore. Logical file .                                0              0

I also could not process or browse any cubes at all, even cubes… Read more

5 comments, 1,214 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 30 April 2012

SQLSaturday in Houston Presentation

Thanks to everyone who attended my presentation “Scaling SQL Server to HUNDREDS of Terabytes” at Houston SQLSaturday.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation: Scaling SQL Server to HUNDREDS of Terabytes

Scaling SQL Server to HUNDREDS of Terabytes

Learn how SQL Server 2008 can scale to HUNDREDS of terabytes for BI… Read more

3 comments, 461 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 22 April 2012

SQL Server 2012: Certification Upgrade Info

As a follow-up to my SQL Server 2012: New Certification Info, Microsoft Learning has announced the certification tracks for the SQL Server 2012 exams.  There are new names for the certifications:

Your first step is to achieve Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA).

If you are new to certification you… Read more

6 comments, 4,737 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 18 April 2012

SQLSaturday in Houston

I will be speaking at the Houston SQLSaturday this upcoming Saturday (April 21st).  Below is info on my session, which is at 4pm.  I hope you can be there!

Scaling SQL Server to HUNDREDS of Terabytes

Learn how SQL Server 2008 can scale to HUNDREDS of terabytes for BI solutions.… Read more

1 comments, 289 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 16 April 2012

SSDT – Installation confusion

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is a Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) replacement, meaning it has a suite of Visual Studio 2010 add-in tools for building Integration Services (SSIS), Analysis Services (SSAS) & Reporting Services (SSRS) solutions (let’s call that suite SSDT-BIDS).  It is also a suite of Visual Studio… Read more

17 comments, 6,491 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 13 April 2012

Consultants: Corp-to-Corp vs 1099

I blogged previously that when you are a consultant or contractor, you can sometimes be faced with the decision when taking a new contract of whether to go 1099 or W-2 (Consultants: 1099 or W-2?).  However, some staffing firms or clients don’t do 1099, but instead do Corp-to-Corp… Read more

8 comments, 2,756 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 11 April 2012

SSAS development quick tip

When creating a new cube in SSAS, you are frequently making changes that cause the whole cube to reprocess when you use the “Deploy” option (such as structure changes or aggregation design changes).  This means a lot of sitting around and waiting for the cube to process if you have… Read more

1 comments, 1,151 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 9 April 2012

SQL Server 2012: Installing on a Virtual Machine

Now that SQL Server 2012 RTM is out, I have an update to my blog post SQL Server 2012 (“Denali”): Installing on a Virtual Machine, which was for CTP3.  Here is the version for the RTM:

The steps below are what I took to create a virtual machine to… Read more

17 comments, 8,299 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 6 April 2012

SQL Server 2012: Multidimensional vs tabular

To expand on what I talked about in SQL Server 2012 (“Denali”): Details on the next version of SSAS, there is a new data model called Tabular.  So when you are creating a new project, which model should you use, Multidimensional vs Tabular?  Well, there is no clear-cut answer,… Read more

17 comments, 3,586 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 4 April 2012

SQL Server 2012: SSAS enhancements

My previous blog, SQL Server 2012 (“Denali”): Details on the next version of SSAS, talked about the major new feature in SSAS, which is BISM.  But what other changes are there?  Well, not much.  Here are details on the few changes I have found:

  • All development work is now…

Read more

1 comments, 1,588 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 2 April 2012