Databases, Development, and Other Anecdotes


The folks at Microsoft were so kind as to include a quote from me on my experience creating the First Responder Kit extension. “I want everyone to understand that in 1-2 hours you can go through an extension writing tutorial and start working on crafting your own solutions. The development platform is just as accessible as the application itself – Windows, Mac, and Linux. Building a SQL Operations Studio extension is a great way to be a data community contributor, especially for someone who might not be keen on giving talks or writing blog posts.

This post is going to assume you are familiar with the .xlsx/.zip conversion that was used in a previous post on BI360.

I have a report that I would like to distribute the summary information without any drill-to capabilities. After triple checking all of the report options, I came to the conclusion that I would have to edit each individual cell and uncheck the “use default drilldown” option in the layout editor under drill-to.  That felt unsatisfactory, so I found another way to disable all drilldowns in a BI360 report.

Solver Global’s flagship reporting tool, BI360 Report Designer has several strong features and enables many businesses to create financial and operational reports. Unfortunately, one of the limitations of the report designer (v4.6 at this time) is that creating custom drill-down views is extremely repetitive.  There isn’t a built-in copy function for the drill-to definitions, which would be especially handy for reports where the row filters deviate just slightly (such as a P&L statement).

Earlier today I needed to create a ton of nearly identical drill-to definitions in BI360 report designer (~40) for a single report and cut a corner using the XML definitions inside the Excel file.  This isn’t as user-friendly as the Excel report designer interface, but it saved me about 3-7 minutes per drill-to definition. 

If you’re not familiar with SQL Operations Studio – here’s my quick take on the application: it’s a cross-platform open-source data platform tool built by Microsoft on the groundwork of VS Code. Current functionality is a fundamental and can be extended or customized to fit your required toolset through available APIs and an extension marketplace.

I LOVE extensibility. Especially for small/medium businesses, extensibility of software can extend the usefulness of software to the business in both impact and longevity. Here’s how you can take the reins and get started creating extensions for SQL Ops Studio.

I’m a player/coach, a developer/manager. I spend part of my day elbows deep in SQL Server or web development but the other part knees deep in interdepartmental discussions. Switching gears between the 2 is an acquired skill. Ultimately, the velocity of productivity by myself and my team relies on a steady output. Some days are easier than others – but when 5, 6, 7, or more meetings pile up the output comes to a screeching halt.

I’m going to talk about a bad day. It could have been a very very bad day, but it wasn’t.

Around 3am, one of our main storage devices restarted and when it booted - BAM “Pool 1 RAID Group 1 is inactive.” Excuse me?  The drives are in RAID 10 and hadn’t reported any faults until this moment.  Granted, this particular model of QNAP device, the QNAP TS-879U-RP, has caused us significant heartache in the past.

There are only a handful of things I despise more than Crystal Reports. We’ve been using SSRS reports for Flexible Billings invoices ever since we deployed Dynamics SL in 2013. We have over 15 (!) invoice formats in use, all branched from this main report format. The RDL file is enclosed in the zip folder here: DefaultBI_Invoice  Feel free to download and use with your own SQL Server Reporting Services setup with Dynamics SL.

On a Gantt chart of tasks we’ve been displaying a highly dynamic attribute next to the task. The attribute is dynamic in 2 ways: The information changes daily The requested information changes for particular tasks types on a quarterly to yearly basis. When the attribute was first introduced, it was changed almost weekly while we tested what information was most useful.  The original rendering was a scalar-valued function in the SQL query.

I’m interested in opportunities to share knowledge of: <ul> <li> Open-source software and communities </li> <li> Azure Data Studio, capabilities and extension development </li> <li> Serverless in Microsoft Azure </li> </ul> <p> </p> </div> <div class="is-layout-flow wp-block-column" style="flex-basis:60%"> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="tm_timeline__event tm_timeline__event-odd"> <div class="tm_timeline__event__dot"> </div> <div class="tm_timeline__event__date"> 2021/07/28 </div> <div class="tm_timeline__event__title"> Data Exposed Live </div> <div class="tm_timeline__event__description"> <a href="https://youtu.be/_I0sPvQonus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Azure Data Studio Power Hour</a> </div> </div> <div class="tm_timeline__event tm_timeline__event-even"> <div class="tm_timeline__event__dot"> </div> <div class="tm_timeline__event__date"> 2021/06/12 </div> <div class="tm_timeline__event__title"> Data Toboggan </div> <div class="tm_timeline__event__description"> <p> <a href="https://www.

Microsoft offers tons of information in FREE MVA courses, complete with videos, slide decks, white papers, and assessments.  However, the sometimes lengthy videos can be a lot to take in from a laptop screen, especially when you want to play along from your machine.

The every present struggle to incorporate more learning into busy days can be helped out by making learning materials more accessible.  If you have a Roku player connected to your tv and on the same network as your PC, you can watch Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) videos from the comfort of your big screen.

There comes a point in many IT technician’s lives where they wonder if they’d like to go beyond putting out fires. Hopefully, they’re not thinking about setting fires, but that’s another topic.  What I’m alluding to is that one of the skills that you will likely need in your progressing technology career is project management.  Back in October 2016, I gave a webinar for the cool folks of the Dynamics SL User Group on “Technical Project Management.”