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James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger (JamesSerra.com) and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Archives: November 2012

Power View for Multidimensional Models – Preview Available

Microsoft introduced an interactive data exploration, visualization and presentation experience called Power View with SQL Server 2012.  Power View can only consume data from tabular models.  At the PASS Summit (see PASS 2012 Announcements) it was revealed that you would soon be able to use Power View on a… Read more

3 comments, 2,351 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 30 November 2012

Reasons not to upgrade to SQL Server 2012

As exciting as SQL Server 2012 is, with its multitude of new features, it’s not always possible to upgrade right away.  Here are some reasons that may cause you to delay your upgrade:

Training – Your developers and dba’s will need to learn the new features of SQL Server… Read more

5 comments, 2,804 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 29 November 2012

Billing rates – other side of the fence

The following is a guest post by Tim Morgan from Sullexis in response to a resent blog of mine:

Thanks for letting me reply to your last post, “Should a placement firm tell you what they are billing the client?“.  This question has been around for many years… Read more

6 comments, 1,663 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 27 November 2012

Master Data Services Web Services API Error

In Master Data Services (MDS), I received an error when using C# code in the script task in SSIS 2012 to call the MDS web services API:

To fix this, I had to edit the web.config in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Master Data Services\WebApplication:

Under ” <behavior name=”mdsWsHttpBehavior”>”


<serviceMetadata httpGetEnabled=”false”… Read more

0 comments, 1,021 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 20 November 2012

PASS 2012 Announcements

Some announcements and notes from the SQL PASS Summit 2012 last week (If you don’t know what PASS is, check out What is SQL PASS?):

  • PASS Summit 2012 had 3,894 delegates – up 13% from last year’s previous record attendance – and 1,717 pre-conference registrations across 57 countries for…

Read more

2 comments, 1,145 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 15 November 2012

Data Warehouse Architecture Presentation Slides

Thanks to everyone who attended my “Data Warehouse Architecture” presentation to the South Florida PASS chapter.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation: Data Warehouse Architecture

Data Warehouse Architecture – comparing Kimball and Inmon methodologies

You’re a DBA and your boss asks you to determine if a data warehouse would help… Read more

2 comments, 1,649 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 15 November 2012

Dell Quickstart Data Warehouse Appliance 2000

As a follow-up to my blog Dell Quickstart Data Warehouse Appliance for SQL Server 2012, Dell announced the availability of the second appliance in the Quickstart family: the Quickstart Data Warehouse Appliance 2000 (QSDW2000).  This is a pre-built appliance for data warehouses up to 12 TB based which are… Read more

0 comments, 882 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 13 November 2012

Data Warehouse Architecture Presentation

I will be presenting the session “Data Warehouse Architecture” to the South Florida PASS chapter on Wednesday, Nov 14th, at 5:30PM CST.  Below is the abstract.  It will be a remote presentation that you can join online.  Details at South Florida PASS chapter.  I hope you can make it! Read more

0 comments, 1,014 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 12 November 2012

SSIS: Execute SQL task vs Execute T-SQL Statement task

In SSIS there are two tasks than can be used to execute SQL statements: Execute T-SQL Statement and Execute SQL.  What is the difference between the two?

The Execute T-SQL Statement task tasks less memory, parse time, and CPU time than the Execute SQL task, but is not as flexible.… Read more

13 comments, 15,849 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 8 November 2012

Problem copying large files to a USB flash drive?

I thought I would write a quick blog on a problem I see frequently: You try to copy a large file, such as the iso image of SQL Server, to a USB flash drive, and get the error message “There is not enough free space on the drive”.  But you… Read more

0 comments, 989 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 6 November 2012

Jumping from SSIS 2008 to SSIS 2012

Being a long-time SSIS 2008 developer, I have been working with SSIS 2012 for the past few months, and I wanted to jot down a quick guide for those of you also making the jump from SSIS 2008 to SSIS 2012.  Here are the major changes and things to learn… Read more

2 comments, 2,426 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 1 November 2012