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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: March 2014

PASS Summit 2012 session videos online

All PASS Summit 2012 recordings are now available for free to all PASS members (201 of them!).  To view, log on to your myPASS account, and watch the sessions from myRecordings.  While there, check out mine: Building an Effective Data Warehouse Architecture

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0 comments, 356 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 27 March 2014

Book: Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

I am happy to say I have published my first book!  It is called Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (order).  Much thanks goes to my co-author and friend Bill Anton.  Below is a brief overview or check out the listing on the Packt Publishing site for… Read more

0 comments, 3,121 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 25 March 2014

SQL Server 2014 released April 1st!

SQL Server 2014 has been released to manufacturers (RTM) and will be generally available April 1.  Here is the official announcement.  Here are my blog posts about some of the new features.

More info:

SQL Server 2014 RTM Announced for April 1 Release

SQL Server 2014 releases April 1 Read more

0 comments, 391 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 20 March 2014

Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) benefits made simple

I have heard people say that the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) is Microsoft’s best kept secret.  So let me give a 10,000 foot overview on what PDW is and its benefits.  Keep in mind the purpose for a PDW is for data warehouses, not OLTP systems.

As opposed to a… Read more

5 comments, 844 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 18 March 2014

Real-time query access with PDW

The Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) officially supports Analysis Services as a data source, both the Multidimensional model (ROLAP and MOLAP modes) and the Tabular model (In-Memory and DirectQuery modes).  The big benefit of using ROLAP or DirectQuery is you get real-time query access to the relational data source in PDW… Read more

1 comments, 575 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 13 March 2014

Book: Expert Cube Development with SSAS Multidimensional Models

Those of you who use SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) are likely familiar with the “bible” for designing cubes: Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services by Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari , and Chris Webb.  Well, a new edition has just been published, with a changed name… Read more

0 comments, 992 reads

Posted in James Serra's Blog on 4 March 2014