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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: October 2013

SQL Server Data Tools for SQL Server 2014 CTP2 now available

From Microsoft, SSDT is now available for SQL Server 2014:

We’d like to announce the availability of SSDT that supports SQL Server 2014 databases.  SQL Server Data Tools for SQL Server 2014 CTP2 is pre-release software, does not support upgrade from an existing SSDT install or upgrading to any new… Read more

2 comments, 362 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 31 October 2013

PASS Summit 2013

Not much news came out of the PASS Summit 2013 from last week, but boy did I have a blast!  I met over 100 people who were presenters or bloggers (I counted).  I made an effort to find them as I wondered around the halls.  I also had a lot… Read more

0 comments, 275 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 29 October 2013

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2014 CTP2

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2014 CTP2 (download):

What’s new in SQL Server 2014 CTP2?

New Mission Critical Capabilities and Enhancements

  • Enhanced In-Memory OLTP, including new tools which will help you identify and migrate the tables and stored procedures will benefit most from In-Memory OLTP, as well…

Read more

4 comments, 773 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 24 October 2013

Recording Audio of Meetings

As a consultant I am often starting from the ground floor on a new data warehouse/business intelligence project, and usually one of the first tasks is to interview business users from various groups.  During these interviews I am doing an assessment – trying to understand the current environment and documenting… Read more

2 comments, 251 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 22 October 2013

Presentation Slides for Transitioning to a BI role

Thanks to everyone who attended my session “Transitioning to a BI role” at the PASS SQL Saturday Charlotte.  The abstract is below.  Another packed room with a number of people standing!

Here is the PowerPoint presentation: Transitioning to a BI role.

Transitioning to a BI role

Business Intelligence… Read more

0 comments, 303 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 21 October 2013

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 Summit 2013.  The abstract is below.  It was a packed room with many people having to stand.  Maybe next year I’ll get a bigger room  I hope you enjoyed it!

Here is the… Read more

0 comments, 336 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 21 October 2013

PASS Summit 2013

The PASS Summit 2013 is almost here!  Check out all the great sessions and speakers.  I feel very fortunate to be able to speak alongside many of the experts in the industry.

I will be arriving Sunday night in Charlotte and attending a pre-conference session on Monday and Tuesday.… Read more

0 comments, 281 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 10 October 2013

Data Warehouse Maturity Model

I have talked about the Business Intelligence Maturity Model (see Business Intelligence Maturity Assessment), but I wanted to dig further into one area and talk about the Data Warehouse Maturity Model.  The graphic below, from Wayne Eckerson, is very accurate based on my dozens of interactions with clients:

Business… Read more

1 comments, 651 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 8 October 2013

Does Business Intelligence equal Data Warehousing?

I have seen many times at clients where the terms business intelligence and data warehousing are used interchangeably.  In reality, these are two separate disciplines. This is especially true for enterprise data warehouses due to an EDW’s scope, complexity, and large volumes of data.

As seen in the data warehouse… Read more

0 comments, 408 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 3 October 2013

I’m a Microsoft SQL Server Most Valuable Professional (MVP)!

I have been honored to be chosen a Microsoft SQL Server Most Valuable Professional (MVP).  Here is a video on my reaction: I’m a Microsoft MVP and I feel great!

The Microsoft MVP Award is an annual award that recognizes exceptional technology community leaders around the world who actively… Read more

6 comments, 465 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 1 October 2013