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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: January 2013

SSIS 2012: Empty toolbox?

This is an annoying problem I have had a few times: I open a SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) project in SSDT, and see that the Toolbox pane is empty, displaying a “There are no usable controls in this group.  Drag an item onto this text to add it to… Read more

20 comments, 1,260 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 29 January 2013

Missing Data Quality Service (DQS) buttons in Excel

The Master Data Services add-in for Excel has Data Quality Services functionality to help you match data before publishing it to the MDS repository.  When you make a connection, if a DQS database is installed on the same instance of SQL Server as the MDS database, you will be able… Read more

2 comments, 924 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 24 January 2013

PASS Business Analytics Conference Presentation

I am fortunate enough to have been selected to give a presentation at the PASS Business Analytics Conference in Chicago on April 10-12.  Below is my presentation abstract along with more info about the conference.  My session will be on Friday, April 12th at 11:15am in the Chicago Ballroom IX.… Read more

0 comments, 994 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 23 January 2013

SQL Server 2012 SP1 Causes MsiInstaller Application Log Entries

After installing SP1 to SQL Server 2012 (11.0.3000) on one of our servers, I noticed higher than normal CPU loads due to msiexec.exe running non-stop.  The cpu percentage would bounce from 0% to 13%, and the application log would have five new entries about MsiInstaller and RestartManager about every 30… Read more

1 comments, 853 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 17 January 2013

SSAS: One giant cube or many small ones?

When using SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) to build a cube, you may start out with one fact table, but then decide to add another fact table.  You are then faced with a decision: Do you add that fact table to your existing cube and have multiple measure groups, or… Read more

8 comments, 4,440 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 15 January 2013

MDS Error SYSERR207 after SQL Server 2012 SP1 Upgrade

After upgrading to SQL Server 2012 SP1, I ran into a bug in Master Data Services (MDS) that applies only to models that are deployed or created after SP1 is applied (models deployed or created before SP1 is applied are fine): When executing a staging entity load stored procedure… Read more

1 comments, 704 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 10 January 2013

Master Data Management (MDM) Hub Architecture

The Master Data Management (MDM) hub is a database with the software to manage the master data that is stored in the database and keep it synchronized with the transactional systems that use the master data.  There are three basic styles of architecture used for Master Data Management hubs: the… Read more

0 comments, 5,697 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 8 January 2013

MDS: The Microsoft SQL Server license has expired

When installing Master Data Services (MDS) in SQL Server 2012 or installing SQL Server 2012 sp1 (and possibly a CU), you might see the message “The Microsoft SQL Server license has expired” when trying to pull up the MDS web UI.  The page is redirected to ‘/MDS/EvaluationExpired.aspx’ with the title… Read more

4 comments, 1,556 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 3 January 2013