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SQL User Group Meeting

I went to my first SQL User Group meeting last night (I make it sound like a self help group…), completely out of the blue as Andrew Sadler appeared in the office and told me it was happening. I should keep my ear to the ground more as it was a genuinely useful evening.

The first session was on Excel Services programmability from Jez Kirkup at TAH. Without a doubt there are some amazing things that can be done with EWS in creating dataviews within SharePoint that are very interactive and visually compelling. But the one key take away that I think all the attendees were amazed by was DelegConfig. It’s a tool created by Brian Murphy-Booth that takes away the pain of setting up Kerberos. This would have been an incredibly useful tool for me to have had a couple of months ago when we were doing a PoC that used SharePoint, Reporting Services and Analysis Services together – we spent ages fiddling around with SPNs, App Pools etc. which this could well have solved. Definitely something to bookmark for a later date!

After some beer and pizza (clearly essential at any geek meeting) Jeremy Kashel from Adatis consulting spoke around PEL vs MDX. PerformancePoint Expression Language is used to create business rules in PPS, and was designed with business users in mind – the GUI provides a simple way to define half of the statements, but knowledge of the script language syntax is still required and it’d be a pretty steep learning curve for someone who’s only used to Excel… I think the general consensus in the room was that PPS Business Modeller isn’t quite ready for business users to have free reign yet, but 90% of what’s required to translate complex Excel models into PPS is very intuitive and accessible. No doubt something we’ll see improved as we get towards V2. Most impressive thing: A PPS demo that didn’t include Excel! Kudos 🙂

All in all – great content, good chance to meet some ‘Real World’ SQL people and see what people are doing with MS BI products…

Categories: SQL / BI
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