Tag Archives: Preview

Power BI Report Server August 2017 Preview now available

Greetings from SQLSaturday in Vancouver, Canada!

Today, we’re excited to release a preview of the next version of Power BI Report Server. This preview release contains some great new self-service BI capabilities, including support for data sources other than SQL Server Analysis Services and viewing and interacting with Excel Workbooks.

Download Power BI Report Server August 2017 Preview!

Publish Power BI reports with imported data

The June 2017 version of Power BI Report Server gave users the ability to create and publish Power BI reports on-premises by connecting to SQL Server Analysis Services data sources. Since then, we’ve heard repeatedly from customers about their need to publish Power BI reports created against other data sources and are pleased to give you an early preview of our progress.

With this August 2017 preview, users can create Power BI reports in Power BI Desktop that connect to any data source, and publish their reports to Power BI Report Server. There’s no special configuration required to enable this functionality — simply install and configure the August 2017 preview version of Power BI Report Server on your machine, and you’re ready to go. You can then use the included Power BI Desktop application to connect to your data source(s), create your report, and publish it directly to the report server to share it with your users.

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Since this is an early preview, there are a few limitations to keep in mind as you try it out. Please note that we plan to support all the below scenarios when we make the GA release available in later in 2017. Some current limitations are:

  • Scheduled data refresh is currently not available for reports using imported data.
  • Direct Query data connections are not currently supported.
  • Scale-out environments for Power BI Report Server are not officially supported using the preview release.
  • Reports must be smaller than 50 MB in size.

View and interact with Excel Workbooks

Excel and Power BI contain a portfolio of tools that is unique in the industry. Together, they enable business analysts to more easily gather, shape, analyze, and visually explore their data. In addition to viewing Power BI reports in the web portal, business users can now do the same with Excel workbooks in the new version of Power BI Report Server, giving them a single location to publish and view their self-service Microsoft BI content.

To do this, customers can take advantage of Office Online Server (OOS), a separate download from Microsoft Office to render Office documents that you can view in your browser. Customers with a Volume Licensing account can download OOS from the Volume License Servicing Center at no cost and will have view-only functionality. We’ve published an easy-to-follow walkthrough of how to add Office Online Server to your Power BI Report Server preview environment. Once configured, users can view and interact with Excel workbooks that:

  • Have no external data source dependencies.
  • Have a live connection to an external SQL Server Analysis Services data source.
  • Have a PowerPivot data model.

4e035ef2 cac7 4ed9 87b0 e3779cd8a22b Power BI Report Server August 2017 Preview now available

To learn about these and other new features in the August preview, including support for the new table and matrix visuals, make sure you read the release notes and supporting documentation we’ve published to the Power BI website. We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback in the comments below or in the Power BI forums.

Try it now

Download Power BI Report Server (Preview)

Check out the preview documentation

Read more about Power BI Report Server at PowerBI.com

Follow @MSPowerBIon Twitter

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Visio custom visual is now in Public Preview and available in the store

We are pleased to announce the Public preview of the Visio custom visual for Power BI.

The Visio custom visual will allow you to visualize data using Microsoft Visio diagrams from within Power BI dashboards and reports. Any Power BI user can add Visio custom visual from the store (get it from the store) to start using this capability right away.

With Visio, you can create illustrative diagrams, such as interconnected workflows and real-world layouts, to pursue operational intelligence. Using Visio and Power BI together, you can illustrate and compare data both as diagrams and as traditional Power BI visuals in one place, driving operational and business intelligence to understand the overall picture.

Note: The Public Preview of Visio custom visual is currently supported in the Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. Support for Power BI Mobile apps will arrive soon.

With this new visual, you can connect to a Visio diagram hosted on SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. The underlying Power BI data is then automatically and intelligently linked to the diagram based on its shape properties, eliminating the need to do this manually. In just a few clicks, Visio diagrams become yet another interactive Power BI visualization that can help you make informed decisions faster.

Try it out now in an embedded report:

Let’s look at this with a fictitious example. Contoso is a large retailer working to improve its inventory management. Using Power BI, the current inventory per store can be represented in a series of visualizations, including a tree-map that shows stock by item (left-side chart in the image below).

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The visuals are perfect for an all-up view of inventory at this store. But what if Contoso needs more nuanced details, such as sales and inventory data for specific clothing racks? What if it needs to understand where each rack is located in the store and how they are positioned relative to one another? Using a Visio diagram of the store’s layout, Contoso can overlay the data in Power BI on Visio’s diagram of the clothing racks. The resulting Power BI dashboard provides an accurate, up-to-date representation of the overall store inventory, while also maintaining the ability to drill into specific items.

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The treemap was replaced with individual item racks that have been color-coded and labeled based on the inventory levels from Power BI data. For example, when “Tea Dresses” is clicked in the Visio diagram, you quickly see that sales are very strong, which helps explain why inventory is low. Similarly, when “Suit Coats” is clicked in the Power BI bar chart, you see the item is well below its sales target and inventory is still high. You can also see that the suit coat rack is located in a back corner of the store, making it less accessible to customers. Based on this information, the Contoso team might decide to use more rack space for tea dresses and less for suit coats, or reposition the racks for greater accessibility.

There are endless types of Visio diagrams that can offer more detailed insights with Power BI, including:

  • Flow charts for identifying interdependencies
  • Fishbone diagrams for root-cause analysis
  • Organizational charts for assessing the impact of hierarchies on process decisions and people management

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Visio flowchart illustrating a sample home loan approval process for a bank. Using the Power BI charts, the bank sees that actual ticket response times for performing property risk assessments are higher than expected. In the Visio diagram, that process step is highlighted in red indicating that, because it’s so early in the process, it could affect other steps in the future if the ticket processing issue isn’t resolved soon.

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Fishbone chart showing that poor working conditions — specifically excessive noise and temperature, which are highlighted in red in the Visio diagram — are the root cause of diminished product quality. The diagram relies on the employee ratings of operational categories depicted in the Power BI charts on the right.

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Dashboard showing how certain people and departments, illustrated by the Visio hierarchy diagram in the upper left, affect different organizational processes. In this case, the marketing and sales department is over budget on tele sales and tele call efforts, all of which are highlighted in red.

Known limitations of the Public Preview:

  • To access the Visio diagram from the Visio custom visual, you will need to sign into the host SharePoint with your organizational ID. The visual will prompt you with a sign-in window.
  • To include a Visio visual in a Publish to Web report, you must use an authenticated Visio diagram. Refer to the documentation for details.
  • The Visio visual public preview is not yet supported for Power BI Mobile apps, Power BI Embedded, exporting to PowerPoint, or email subscriptions.

Visio and Power BI are visual tools—each helps you to dissect data in new, meaningful ways. Together, they can uncover even more insights.

Get the Visio custom visual for Power BI from the Office store, or search for it in the integrated store in your Power BI Desktop or Power BI service.

To know more about Visio Power BI custom visual, please refer step-by-step help articles

Please visit our UserVoice site to submit your suggestions for improving Visio-Power BI connectivity. For questions about this and other features, email us at tellvisio@microsoft.com

Lastly, you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for the latest Visio news.

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Released: Public Preview for SQL Server 2017 and Replication Management Pack (CTP4)

We are happy to announce SQL Server 2017 Management Pack CTP4 bits with new features are ready (6.7.60.0). Please install and use this public preview and send us your feedback (sqlmpsfeedback@microsoft.com).

Please download the public preview bits at:

Microsoft System Center Management Pack (Community Technical Preview 4) for SQL Server 2017

Microsoft System Center Management Pack (Community Technology Preview 4) for SQL Server 2017 Replication

New Features and Fixes for SQL Server 2017 Windows and Linux MP (6.7.60.0)

  •   Implemented Always On monitoring on Windows and Linux
  •   Implemented Disk Latency workflows
  •   Added new “Login failed” alerting rule for SQL Server event #18456
  •   Added support for AD Credentials in Agentless Mode on Windows
  •   Added DB Space Forecast report
  •   Fixed issue: different file location info from “sys.master_files” and “sysfiles” causes error when Availability Group secondary database files are in different path
  •   Fixed issue: workflows cannot connect to an instance when only Shared Memory protocol is enabled
  •   Introduced a number of improvements to the management pack

New Features and Fixes for SQL Server 2017 Replication Windows MP (6.7.60.0)

  • Added a number of monitors and performance rules to create the same Health model as presented in SQL Server 2008-2016 Replication MPs
  • Improved and refactored the management pack modules
  • Fixed a number of issues
Feature/Workflow CTP1 (6.7.18.0) CTP2 (6.7.40.0) CTP3 (6.7.55.0) CTP4 (6.7.60.0)
Core objects
DB Engine Discovery W/L W/L W/L W/L
Local DB Engine Discovery (windows only feature) W W W
SQL Cluster instances W W W W
DB Discovery W/L W/L W/L W/L
DB Filegroup Discovery W/L W/L W/L W/L
DB File Discovery W/L W/L W/L W/L
DB Log file Discovery W/L W/L W/L W/L
DB Policy Discovery W/L W/L W/L
Filestream Filegroup Discovery W W W
Memory-Optimized Data Filegroup Discovery W/L W/L W/L
Memory-Optimized Data Filegroup Containers Discovery W/L W/L W/L
DB Engine Resource pool Discovery W/L W/L
SQL Agent Discovery W/L W/L
Always On Discovery W W/L
         
Features      
Agentless Monitoring W/L W/L W/L W/L
Mixed monitoring (windows only feature) W W W W
Agent Monitoring (windows only feature) W W W W
SQL Credentials W/L W/L W/L W/L
AD Credentials W W W W
In-memory OLTP support W/L W/L W/L
SQL Server Express support W W W W
MSSQL LogReader module W/L W/L W/L
Support long names (windows only feature) W W W W
Wizard multithreading W/L W/L W/L
Tasks Execution W/L W/L
Docker Support L L
         
Monitoring Scenarios        
DB Engine Health Status Monitoring W/L W/L W/L W/L
DB Engine Performance Monitoring W/L W/L W/L W/L
DB Engine Service Pack Compliance Monitoring W/L W/L W/L
DB Configuration Monitoring W/L W/L W/L W/L
DB Memory-Optimized Data Filegroup Performance Monitoring W W W
CPU Monitoring and performance metrics W W W
Log Shipping monitoring W W W
WMI Health Monitoring W/NA W/NA W/NA
Event Base monitoring (400+ Alert rules) W/L W/L W/L
DB Space Monitoring and performance metrics collection W W W W
DB Space Monitoring and performance metrics collection for Filestream objects W W W
DB Space Monitoring and performance metrics collection for Hekaton objects W W W
SQL Full-text Filter Daemon Launcher Service Monitoring W W W
SQL Agent Monitoring W/L W/L
Always On Monitoring W W/L

Legend

Completed

W – Supported on Windows

L – Supported on Linux

W/L – Supported on Windows and Linux

W/NA – Supported on Windows but no applicable to Linux

All the details regarding the new functionality can be found in the Operations Guide that can be downloaded along with the Management Pack. Full functionality will be available with SQL Server 2017 GA. This CTP release only covers a subset of monitors and rules. We will work towards full functionality as we release new CTPs.

We are looking forward to hearing your feedback (sqlmpsfeedback@microsoft.com).

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Released: Public Preview for SQL Server 2017 Management Pack (CTP3)

We are happy to announce SQL Server 2017 Management Pack CTP3 bits with new features are ready (6.7.55.0). Please install and use this public preview and send us your feedback (sqlmpsfeedback@microsoft.com). On the download page, you will see references to SQL Server vNext instead of 2017. We will update all references to vNext with 2017 in our next CTP, planned for June.

Please download the public preview bits at:

Microsoft System Center Management Pack (Community Technical Preview 3) for SQL Server 2017

New Features and Fixes in CTP3

  • Implemented new workflows:

    • Discoveries for SQL Server Agent and SQL Server Agent Jobs
    • Unit and rollup monitors for SQL Server Agent
    • Performance rules for Resource Pools
    • Alerting rules for SQL Server Agent on Windows
    • Tasks for the Database
    • Tasks for starting/stopping Windows services
    • Monitors and performance rules for Memory-Optimized Tables
    • Always On discoveries
    • “Resource Pool Memory Consumption” monitor
    • “Discover Database Custom User Policy on Windows and Linux” and Discover Database Engine Resource Pools on Windows and Linux” discoveries
    • Console tasks on Windows and Linux
  • Improved SQL queries in the resource pool and database discovery
  • Added discovery of “SQL Server vNext Resource Pool Group on ” to DB Engine discoveries
  • Fixed issue: “Failed to replace parameter while creating the alert for monitor state change” warnings for workflows of Memory-Optimized Tables containers
  • Fixed log reader issues
  • Fixed “SPN Configuration” issue
Feature/Workflow CTP1 (6.7.18.0) CTP2 (6.7.40.0) CTP3 (6.7.55.0)
Core objects
DB Engine Discovery W/L W/L W/L
Local DB Engine Discovery (windows only feature) W W
SQL Cluster instances W W W
DB Discovery W/L W/L W/L
DB Filegroup Discovery W/L W/L W/L
DB File Discovery W/L W/L W/L
DB Log file Discovery W/L W/L W/L
DB Policy Discovery W/L W/L
Filestream Filegroup Discovery W W
Memory-Optimized Data Filegroup Discovery W/L W/L
Memory-Optimized Data Filegroup Containers Discovery W/L W/L
DB Engine Resource pool Discovery W/L
SQL Agent Discovery W/L
Always On Discovery W
Features
Agentless Monitoring W/L W/L W/L
Mixed monitoring (windows only feature) W W W
Agent Monitoring (windows only feature) W W W
SQL Credentials W/L W/L W/L
AD Credentials W W W
In-memory OLTP support W/L W/L
SQL Server Express support W W W
MSSQL LogReader module W/L W/L
Support long names (windows only feature) W W W
Wizard multithreading W/L W/L
Tasks Execution W/L
Docker Support L
Monitoring Scenarios
DB Engine Health Status Monitoring W/L W/L W/L
DB Engine Performance Monitoring W/L W/L W/L
DB Engine Service Pack Compliance Monitoring W/L W/L
DB Configuration Monitoring W/L W/L W/L
DB Memory-Optimized Data Filegroup Performance Monitoring W W
CPU Monitoring and performance metrics W W
Log Shipping monitoring W W
WMI Health Monitoring W/NA W/NA
Event Base monitoring (400+ Alert rules) W/L W/L
DB Space Monitoring and performance metrics collection W W W
DB Space Monitoring and performance metrics collection for Filestream objects W W
DB Space Monitoring and performance metrics collection for Hekaton objects W W
SQL Full-text Filter Daemon Launcher Service Monitoring W W
SQL Agent Monitoring W/L
Always On Monitoring W

Legend

Completed

W – Supported on Windows

L – Supported on Linux

W/L – Supported on Windows and Linux

W/NA – Supported on Windows but no applicable to Linux

All the details regarding the new functionality can be found in the Operations Guide that can be downloaded along with the Management Pack. Full functionality will be available with SQL Server 2017 GA. This CTP release only covers a subset of monitors and rules. We will work towards full functionality as we release new CTPs.

We are looking forward to hearing your feedback (sqlmpsfeedback@microsoft.com)

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Released: Public Preview for SQL Server Management Packs Update (6.7.30.0)

We are getting ready to update the SQL Server Management Packs. Please install and use this public preview and send us your feedback (sqlmpsfeedback@microsoft.com)! We appreciate the time and effort you spend on these previews which make the final product so much better. We are introducing a new monitor in this release (see the first bullet below) based on customer feedback. You have now a better solution for monitoring backups of AG databases.

Please download at:

Microsoft System Center Management Packs (Community Technical Preview) for SQL Server

Included in the download are Microsoft System Center Management Packs for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2/2012/2014/2016 (6.7.30.0).

New SQL Server 2008-2012 MP Features and Fixes

  • Added new “Availability Database Backup Status” monitor in Availability Group to check the existence and age of the availability database backups (this monitor is disabled by default)
  • “Database Backup Status” monitor has been changed to return only “Healthy” state for the databases that are Always On replicas, since availability database backups are now watched by the dedicated monitor
  • Fixed issue: “Active Alerts” view does not show all alerts
  • Fixed issue: DB space monitoring scripts fail with “Cannot connect to database” error.
  • Fixed issue: PowerShell scripts fail with “Cannot process argument because the value of argument ‘obj’ is null” error
  • Fixed issue: Alert description of “Disk Ready Latency” and “Disk Write Latency” monitors displays the sample count instead of the performance value that was measured
  • Fixed issue: Different file location info from “sys.master_files” and “sysfiles” causes error when Availability Group secondary database files are in different path
  • Fixed issue: “DB Transaction Log Free Space Total” rules return wrong data
  • Introduced minor updates to the display strings

New SQL Server 2014 MP Features and Fixes

  • Added new “Availability Database Backup Status” monitor in Availability Group to check the existence and age of the availability database backups (this monitor is disabled by default)
  • “Database Backup Status” monitor has been changed to return only “Healthy” state for the databases that are Always On replicas, since availability database backups are now watched by the dedicated monitor
  • Fixed issue: “Active Alerts” view does not show all alerts
  • Fixed issue: DB space monitoring scripts fail with “Cannot connect to database” error.
  • Fixed issue: PowerShell scripts fail with “Cannot process argument because the value of argument ‘obj’ is null” error
  • Fixed issue: Alert description of “Disk Ready Latency” and “Disk Write Latency” monitors displays the sample count instead of the performance value that was measured
  • Fixed issue: Different file location info from “sys.master_files” and “sysfiles” causes error when Availability Group secondary database files are in different path
  • Fixed issue: “DB Transaction Log Free Space Total” rules return wrong data
  • Introduced minor updates to the display strings
  • Deprecated “Garbage Collection” monitor and the appropriate performance rule
  • Resource Pool Discovery is disabled by default for pools not containing databases with Memory-Optimized Tables
  • “XTP Configuration” monitor now supports different file path types (not only those starting with C:, D:, etc.)
  • Fixed issue: “Resource Pool State” view shows incorrect set of objects

 New SQL Server 2016 MP Features and Fixes

  • Added new “Availability Database Backup Status” monitor in Availability Group to check the existence and age of the availability database backups (this monitor is disabled by default)
  • “Database Backup Status” monitor has been changed to return only “Healthy” state for the databases that are Always On replicas, since availability database backups are now watched by the dedicated monitor
  • Fixed issue: “Active Alerts” view does not show all alerts
  • Fixed issue: DB space monitoring scripts fail with “Cannot connect to database” error.
  • Fixed issue: PowerShell scripts fail with “Cannot process argument because the value of argument ‘obj’ is null” error
  • Fixed issue: Alert description of “Disk Ready Latency” and “Disk Write Latency” monitors displays the sample count instead of the performance value that was measured
  • Fixed issue: Different file location info from “sys.master_files” and “sysfiles” causes error when Availability Group secondary database files are in different path
  • Fixed issue: “DB Transaction Log Free Space Total” rules return wrong data
  • Introduced minor updates to the display strings
  • Deprecated “Garbage Collection” monitor and the appropriate performance rule
  • Resource Pool Discovery is disabled by default for pools not containing databases with Memory-Optimized Tables
  • “XTP Configuration” monitor now supports different file path types (not only those starting with C:, D:, etc.)
  • Fixed issue: “Resource Pool State” view shows incorrect set of objects
  • Fixed issue: Invalid group discovery in SQL Server 2016 Always On

For more details, please refer to the user guides that can be downloaded along with the corresponding Management Packs.
We are looking forward to hearing your feedback at sqlmpsfeedback@microsoft.com.

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Power BI Report Server preview now available

On May 3, Microsoft announced Power BI Premium, a capacity-based licensing model that increases flexibility for how users access, share and distribute content. The new offering also introduces the ability to manage Power BI reports on-premises with the included Power BI Report Server.

Today, we’re excited to make available a preview of Power BI Report Server.

Download Power BI Report Server (Preview)

With Power BI Desktop and Power BI Report Server, you can:

1. Create beautiful, interactive reports using Power BI Desktop

2. Publish reports to Power BI Report Server

3. View and interact with reports in your web browser or in Power BI Mobile on your phone or tablet

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At launch, Power BI Report Server will support most Power BI report features, included but not limited to:

  • Create reports in Power BI Desktop
  • Connect to Analysis Services data models (Tabular or Multidimensional)
  • Visualize data using built-in or custom visuals
  • View and interact with reports in your web browser
  • Export report data to CSV
  • Print a report page
  • View and interact with reports in Power BI Mobile

With this first release, you connect directly to an Analysis Services data model, which in turn can connect to a variety of other data sources, including SQL Server, Oracle, Teradata, and more. We aim to extend direct connectivity to the other Power BI Desktop data sources, targeting later this year.

In addition to its self-service BI capabilities, Power BI Report Server includes the enterprise reporting capabilities of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), so you can generate the precisely-formatted reports your business needs.

Power BI Report Server will be generally available along with Power BI Premium late in the second quarter of 2017.

Try it now

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Data Connector SDK Developer Preview

As part of the Microsoft Build event, we are announcing a developer preview of the Data Connector SDK. You can begin to create your own custom data connectors.

What are data connectors? Simply put, they are how you connect to data within Power BI. These are extensions on the connectivity/Mashup engine that powers the “Get Data” experience in Power BI and Excel.

You can see examples of data connectors, within Power BI Desktop, by going to Get Data.

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Data Connectors for Power BI enable users to connect to and access data from your application, service, or data source, providing them with rich business intelligence and robust analytics over multiple data sources. By integrating seamlessly into the Get Data experience in Power BI Desktop, data connectors make it easy for power users to query, shape and mashup data from your app to build reports and dashboards that meet the needs of their organization.

Data connectors are created using the M language and allow you to define new functions for the M language and can be used to enable connectivity to new data sources.

How to begin

You can begin to use the preview by installing the Power Query SDK from the Visual Studio Marketplace and creating a new Data Connector project. You can define your logic within this project.

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Building the project will create an extension file.

You will then want to create a directory called extensions within your Power BI Desktop\bin folder. It should be in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Power BI Desktop\bin\ by default. Then copy the extension file to that directory.

During this preview, you will need to enable an environment variable to enable the use of extensions within Power BI Desktop. Custom Data Connector consumption experiences will be offered as a preview feature within the Power BI Desktop options starting with the June release.

You should see your connector in the Get Data list.

What you can do with a Data Connector

Data Connectors allow you to create new data sources, or customize and extend an existing source. Common use cases include:

  • Creating a business analyst friendly view for a REST API
  • Providing branding for a source supported by an existing connector (such as an OData service, or ODBC driver)
  • Implementing an OAuth v2 authentication flow for a SaaS offering
  • Exposing a limited/filtered view over your data source to improve usability
  • Supporting different authentication modes when creating a Power BI Content Pack
  • Enabling DirectQuery for a data source via an ODBC driver

Currently, Data Connectors are only supported in Power BI Desktop.

More improvements and updates are coming, and you can stay tuned to the Power BI blog for these updates. Please give the preview a try and share your feedback! You can provide feedback, report issues or add feature requests through the GitHub issues page of the Data Connectors repo.

More resources

Data Connectors GitHub repo

Data Connector technical reference

M Library functions

M Language specification

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Released: Public Preview for SQL Server vNext Replication Management Pack (6.7.40.0)

We are happy to announce that public preview for SQL Server vNext Replication Management Pack is ready. Please install and use this public preview and send us your feedback (sqlmpsfeedback@microsoft.com).

You can download the public preview at: https://www.microsoft.com/download/details.aspx?id=55098

This management pack was thoroughly built from the ground up in accordance with Best Practices for SQL Server vNext. The monitoring provided by the management pack includes performance, availability, and configuration monitoring, as well as performance and events data collection. All monitoring workflows have predefined thresholds and complimentary knowledge base articles. You can integrate the monitoring of SQL Server vNext Replication components into your service-oriented monitoring scenarios.  In addition to health monitoring capabilities, this management pack includes dashboards, diagram views, state views, performance views and alert views that enable near real-time diagnostics and remediation of detected issues.  The management pack automatically selects the monitoring type used by the management pack for SQL Server vNext to monitor the appropriate SQL Server instance. Replication objects discovered and monitored by the management pack are as follows:

  • Distributor
  • Publisher
  • Subscriber
  • Publication
  • Subscription

Feature Summary The following list gives an overview of the features introduced by Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Management Pack for SQL Server vNext Replication. Please refer to Microsoft SQL Server vNext Replication Management Pack Guide for more details. Full functionality will be available with SQL Server vNext GA. This CTP release only covers a subset of monitors and rules. We will work towards full functionality as we release new CTPs.

  • Agentless monitoring is now available along with traditional agent monitoring. Agentless monitoring target is defined by SQL Server vNext Monitoring Pool.
  • Usage of scripts is discontinued in favor of .Net Framework modules.
  • SQL Server Dynamic Management Views and Functions are now used for getting information on health and performance. Previously some of these monitors were using WMI and other system data sources.

We are looking forward to hearing your feedback.

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IDUG Tech Conference 2017 – Anaheim Preview

It’s been almost a whole year since Austin, Texas hosted IDUG 2016 and there’s “much to know before you go” to the IDUG Tech Conference 2017 in Anaheim, so here’s a preview for you!

Forrester Keynote

Monday’s Keynote, “Forrester’s View on Big Data, Analytics & Open Source” features Mike Gualtieri, Vice President at Forrester and is one I’m looking forward to this year. It will be followed by IBM’s take on a trending topic, “Winning with Machine Learning. Monetize the Data Behind Your Firewall.” It’s always good to know how IBM is approaching a trending topic and see how it compares to the competition.

Opportunities in Optimization

Don’t miss your European colleague Roger Biel, who is coming all the way from Germany to present, “Before You Tune Your SQL Performance You Need to Find Real Good Tuning Opportunities.”

Roger presented at IDUG in Brussels about how his luxury carmaker was able to tune their way to remarkable DB2 cost savings and performance enhancements and was asked to come to IDUG Anaheim for an encore presentation with even more insights, so don’t miss him on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30pm in Alternate Meeting Room F.

blog New DB Optimization IDUG Tech Conference 2017 – Anaheim Preview

On-Site DB2 Certification

With 100 newly-certified-in-Austin DB2 experts on the job for a year now (and more expected to come in Anaheim), the future for DB2 optimization has never been brighter! If you haven’t gotten certified yet, don’t miss the free opportunities on Monday through Thursday to take your certification test while in Anaheim.

Mingle with the IDUG Elite

While I’m in CA (California) I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at CA (Computer Associates) and I want to invite all CA Detector customers to stop at the Syncsort booth and ask us about how we can seamlessly add powerful index analysis to what CA Detector does already.

Speaking of old friends and colleagues, check in with the DB2utor himself Troy Coleman at IDUG. If you like his regular columns in IBM Systems Magazine, meet the man himself at the IBM booth or the IBM Systems Magazine booth with Kathy Ingulsrud and her magazine and DestinationZ team. Also, be sure to stop in at the Enterprise Systems Media booth and say hello to Mainframe Hall of Fame founder Bob Thomas and his co-star, Denny “The Typin’ Texan” Yost.

Meet Syncsort’s DB2 Experts

It’s been a big year since IDUG 2016 for DB2 at Syncsort, and one of the biggest events was the acquisition of Cogito, a pioneering company in database management for z/OS. Their EZ-DB2 suite complements (and can even replace) many traditional DB2 performance tools by taking a unique end-to-end “workload-centric and workload-aware” approach to performance optimization for both dynamic and static SQL to deliver big improvements with minimal overhead.

Developed working directly with some of the biggest mainframe shops in the world, Cogito’s (now Syncsort’s) technology and tools are the epitome of “customer-centric” solutions. Schedule a meeting with the founder of Cogito and for more about how you can learn and win big at the Syncsort booth. Of course you can always check out Syncsort’s EZ-DB2 to learn more about all these innovations, many of which are patented and yet surprisingly affordable.

With DB2 12 looming large, you’ll want to understand all that it offers and see which solutions (like EZ-DB2), are ready to help you maximize your value when you do your upgrade or even plan to make the long-overdue switch from IMS to DB2 (which can be easier than you think so come ask us how); maybe the time to make some mainframe optimization moves can coincide with your project to standardize on DB2 12.

Well, that’s a wrap for this blog as I need to pack for my trip to “The happiest place on earth!” (IDUG of course).

If you’d like a sneak peek at EZ-DB2, check out the graphic below:

blog EZ DB2 IDUG Tech Conference 2017 – Anaheim Preview

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Syncsort blog

Quick Measures Preview

Quick measures, a new feature we released in our April Power BI Desktop update, lets you quickly create new measures based on measures and numerical columns in your table. These new measures become part of your model and can be used in any of your charts, just like manually created DAX calculations. You can also see the underlying DAX, and edit it if you need to tweak the results.

You can create measures based on 19 different calculations across five different categories. Let’s take a look at those five different categories.

Aggregate within category

These calculations let you apply different aggregates at different levels in your data. For example, you can sum revenue up to the month level, and then take an average of that total to display at the year level.

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The result would look something like this:

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The calculations included in the Aggregate category are:

  • Average within category
  • Variance within category
  • Max within category
  • Min within category

Filters and baselines

This category of calculations lets you calculate values for a specific category in a column, or compare values to a specific baseline. For example, the following quick measure calculates the SalesAmount for just Deluxe Class products:

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A card is a good way to display these filtered measures:

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The calculations included in this category of quick measures are:

  • Filtered measure
  • Difference from baseline
  • Percentage difference from baseline

Time intelligence

If you need a measure that shows period-to-date or period-over-period values, the time intelligence category of calculations lets you do this.

For example, you can calculate the sales amount over the order year to date.

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Here’s the result of that calculation alongside the unaggregated value:

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The included calculations are:

  • Year-to-date total
  • Quarter-to-date total
  • Month-to-date total
  • Year over year change
  • Quarter over quarter change
  • Month-over-month change

At present, the time intelligence calculations only work with date fields with Power BI’s built-in date hierarchies. If you’re using your date field in visuals and see Date Hierarchy on the field well menu, then you can use that field in the time intelligence quick measures.

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We’re looking to remove that date hierarchy restriction in the future, so you can easily use your own date tables too.

Running total

This category (it’s just one calculation, so far) is similar to the YTD calculation, but lets you apply a running total over any field, not just dates.

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Here’s an example adding up the sales amount over each product class:

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Mathematical operations

These calculations run simple mathematical functions, which can become powerful when chained together.

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Here’s an example showing a few chained together to produce line item total values.

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The included calculations are:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Percent difference

You can create a quick measure by selecting Quick measures from the field menu, either in the field well of a chart or from the field list.

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In the dialog, you can choose which of the 19 different calculations you want to perform on your selected measure. Depending on the calculation, you’ll see different parameters you’ll be required to fill in. You can also change which fields are being used in the calculation by using the field list on the right half of the dialog.

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After you provide the required parameters and click OK, the quick measure is now part of your model and available to use in your other visuals. If you had originally launched the quick measures dialog from the field well of a visual, the new measure is added to the visual.

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In addition, just like any other measure, you can see the DAX formula that Power BI used to create this new measure. This is a great way to learn more about DAX.

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Preview Feedback

Of course, since this is a preview feature we need your feedback! We’d like to know how well these quick measures meet your business needs, whether they produce the results you expect, and whether it’s easy to create them. Try out the calculations, create a few in your models, and then please fill out this survey.

We’re also looking for help creating more measures to share with everyone. If you have common calculations that would be helpful for the rest of the community, you can submit them using the following template. We’ll evaluate the DAX statement and may use it as the basis of a future quick measure.

Template

To see what your submission should look like, let’s take the Average per category quick measure as an example.

This is how the dialog looks when configuring the calculation:

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And here’s how it would look in the template that you submit:

Name:

Average per category

Description:

Calculate the average of the base value within the category

Parameters:

Name: Base value

Tooltip: The value you want to average

Type: Numerical field / measure

Name: Category

Tooltip: The category in which you want to calculate the average

Type: Categorical field

DAX:

Average {Base value} per {Category} =

AVERAGEX(

     KEEPFILTERS(VALUES({Category})),

     CALCULATE({Base value})

)

The valid ‘types’ for the parameters are:

  • Numeric field / measure
    • These are aggregates that you might use in your calculation, for example {Base value} used above.
  • Categorical field
    • These are fields, typically text, used as categories in your measure, for example {Category} used above.
  • Instance value
    • These parameters are specific values from a field. The ‘Filtered value’ quick measure uses this in the ‘Filter’ parameter.
  • Date field
    • For time intelligence type measures, this specifies a date field is needed.
  • Integers
    • Whole numbers that might be used as parameters in DAX functions

So get writing! The most useful measures will be generic and applicable to many different businesses and scenarios. You can submit your ideas for quick measures using this template on our community forum. While we can’t guarantee that we’ll use them in the product, and we may have to edit the DAX, we will review all the submissions and prioritize those that get the most votes on the forum. Thank you!

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