Friday, July 31, 2015

Azure SQL Datawarehouse for RedPoint Global Campaign Management Service

RedPoint is a leading provider of Campaign Management providing data management and personalized customer engagement software that interacts across various channels using a single user interface.

Find out how RedPoint became a leader in cross-channel campaign management after giving your details here;

For such a global service dealing with big data, Microsoft is a natural fit as RedPoint recently announced support for Azure SQL Dataware house and Azure Data Lake Service.

You can start creating a RedPoint Campaign from the Microsoft Preview portal as shown using either the default Service Management Stack or the Resource Manager Stack.

Here is a brief summary of the RedPoint capabilities as found on the preview portal:

"RedPoint’s campaign management software enables marketers to design and execute customer interactions across any channel. Users can build omni-channel campaigns and set up real-time inbound marketing strategies – all from the same, intuitive drag-and-drop interface. All these cross-channel campaign management capabilities are built into one marketing automation product, including the ability to: select and segment audiences; design multi-stage emails, triggered campaigns, landing pages, mobile or social messages; do A/B testing with just a few clicks; coordinate work and align activities with easy-to-use collaboration and asset management features; easily track, analyze and use results to improve future efforts."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Microsoft Power BI enters a new phase with recent release

PowerBI 2.0 was released recently (  According to the link there appears to be two items, Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop. Power BI Visualization framework and its library will be available on GitHub as well. Microsoft seems to have included an unbelievable sources of data which you can use to create and enjoy your visualization (Review screen shots at the conclusion of this post).

Review articles on\using previous version here:

Power BI Unchained
Spin out a cutting edge report with Power BI
Visualizing data on SAP's SQL Anywhere
Excel data visualization with Power BI

Power BI Service: Cloud Hosted Bi and Analytics
Power BI Service download is from this link.

I used Sign-in on the above linked page with my personal acccount. It appears you cannot use just your Microsoft account (that anybody can get for free) but the Office 365 or enterprise account.


However this did not work for me. I am trying to resolve this issue with Microsoft.
Well, the mantra, 'five seconds to sign up, five minutes to WOW' did not work for me. I shall WOW later.

Installing the Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop can be downloaded from here:

Install double clicking the Windows Installer Package PBIDesktop_x64 (55.6MB).

Agree to licensing terms. Accept default location. After one or more screens page with Install button will be displayed. Click Install. User Control Access window is displayed. Click OK. Progress page is displayed.

PowerBI Desktop is installed quite rapidly.


A new desktop icon replacing the one from the preview version is created.

Launching the application displays the following window.


Dismiss the start up screen and you will see the Power BI Desktop with the 'ribbon'.


Happy Visualizing Data!

How does this stack up against Tableau and Qlik?

Sources of data which you can use to create your visualization

These are the most popular data sources:


Here is the complete listing



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Before you encrypt a database

In order to enable encryption for a database you should set the encryption key.

Here is a database (TestEncrypt with three simple columns) which needs to be encrypted and for which no Encryption key is set.


Change Encryption Enabled from False to True by clicking on the handle.

Click OK.
You get the following error message:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Notes 2: Installing SQL Server Management Studio July 2015 Preview

In order to install SSMS July 2015 Preview using the web installer you should remove the SQL Server 2016 CTP2 as this version has compatibility problems.

When you upgrade it to SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.1, you will also install the SQL Server Management Studio 2016. This version of SQL Server Management Studio is the same as the one you would get if you start with the Web Installer after the upgrade.

I am not sure that after removing SQL Server 2016 CTP 2, if you were to install with web installer, you would also install SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.1. Since I upgraded from CTP 2 to CTP 2.1, the web installer hardly made any change.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Upgrading SQL Server 2016 CTP 2 to SQL Server 2016 CTP2.1 --Continued

The installation of SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.1 did not proceed to completion and it got blocked during the features rule checking and a error message was displayed.

Upgrade 16

This post describes the problems and fixes that led to successful installation.
tip: If the installation stops there is no need to cancel the installation. Just leave it as is and correct the problem.

As the message was related to SQL Server Analysis Services it was assumed that it had problems starting. It was correctly surmised that it could have been due to some authentication failure. Since there was a password update in the past couple of dates, the password for the SQL Server Analysis Services for the CTP 2.0 was updated. The SQL Server Analysis Services was restarted successfully after the password change.

It may be recalled that during SQL Server installation each of the installed components can get their own authentication.

After this the CTP 2.1 installation was continued (you can use the back button to go a step(s) backwards). The Ready to Upgrade window appeared as shown.

Upgrade 18.png

Clicking Next takes you to the Upgrade Progress window as shown. The CTP 2.1 really takes a long time at this step.

Upgrade 19.png

Again there was another hiccup as there was another SSIS related problem.

Upgrade 21.png

Again the installation was not stopped or cancelled. It was left in that position.

The same assumption was made for the SQL Server Integration Services as well. The password was corrected in the Control Panel|Services. The retry button on the error message was activated.

The installation completed and the computer needs a restart.

Upgrade 23.png

After restarting the install log was checked and verified.
Feature:                       Management Tools - Complete
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Client Tools Connectivity
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Client Tools SDK
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Client Tools Backwards Compatibility
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Management Tools - Basic
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Reporting Services - Native
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       PolyBase Query Service for External Data
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Database Engine Services
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Data Quality Services
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Full-Text and Semantic Extractions for Search
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       SQL Server Replication
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Master Data Services
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Distributed Replay Client
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Distributed Replay Controller
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Integration Services
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Data Quality Client
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Analysis Services
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Reporting Services - SharePoint
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Products
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       SQL Browser
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Documentation Components
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       SQL Writer
  Status:                        Passed
  Feature:                       Setup Support Files
  Status:                        Passed

The SQL Server Management Studio for the CTP 2.1 is the following (although it is still the SSMS 2016):


Download and review SQL Server 2016 CTP2.1

SQL Server 2016 CTP2 (May 21) was available (see here and here) not too long ago and the CTP2.1 (June 24) is now available. This is an evaluation version good for 180 days.

As described in an article here, many incremental releases may follow before the final 'boxed' version by that time most of the fixes would be in place making it smoother.

SQL Server Management Studio June 2015 could not be installed unless, SQL Server 2016 CTP2.1 was installed. SSMS June 2015 is not compatible with SQL Server 2016 CTP2 .

Updating the SQL Server CTP2.1 from CTP2 is coming up on Hodentek soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Notes on installing SQL Server Management Studio June 2015 Preview

SQL Server Management Studio June 2015 Preview released recently (June 27) supports the latest capabilities of Azure SQL Databases and SQL Server 2016 (?CTP). ). This version also has bug fixes to the earlier version as well as customer requested features. You could also work with other versions of SQL Server.

Read more here.

However, in order to install this version on your computer you should first remove the SQL Server 2016 CTP2 (version SQL Server 2016 CTP2 version as the new version is not compatible.

You need to upgrade your SQL Server version to the new version or remove the old version and install the June 2015 Preview downloading the web installer.

7/12/2015: After installing SQL Server Management Studio 2016 CTP2.1 the version of SSMS you have is the following:

The June 2015 preview is probably an even more recent SSMS version (to be checked).
7/13/2015: Looks like the SSMS version for both SQL Server 2016 CTP 21 and SQL Server Management Studio June 2015 Preview are one and the same.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Analyze Azure SQL Data Warehouse with ClearStory Data

As soon as Azure SQL Dataware House was announced  there was an announcement of a data loading business(Attunity CloudBeam) and now we have a high speed on the fly data analysis solution ready.

ClearStory Data pairs with recently announced Azure SQL Data petabyte Warehouse to provide business insights on the fly, at ultra-speeds  for large data volumes. This highly scalable data analysis platform is based on Apache Spark Speed.

Key features of this pairing:
1) Out-of-the-box fast data access and data prep – ClearStory provides highly scalable and fast, Spark-based access to data in Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Upon accessing data from these sources, ClearStory’s Data Inference Engine determines attributes in the source data to accelerate data prep and data harmonization, eliminating traditional, lengthy, complex data prep operations.
2) Rapid diagnostic, exploratory and ad-hoc analysis – Users can ask more questions, blend and harmonize new data on the fly, and uncover deeper insights. Insights evolve as new data is discovered and update as your data updates without needing human intervention or more data modeling cycles. The business benefits from deeper insights, on more data, that update intraday, daily, weekly or whatever speed
3) Business consumption of insights via Interactive, Collaborative StoryBoards™ – Business users view StoryBoards to spot insights as data updates, capture and maintain analytic context, and collaborate in real-time to speed consistent, data-driven decisions. At any point, a StoryBoard can be augmented with more data to answer a bigger question, without requiring old-style data modeling and data wrangling

Read more here:

About Apache Spark from here.
"Apache Spark is a fast and general-purpose cluster computing system. It provides high-level APIs in Java, Scala, Python and R, and an optimized engine that supports general execution graphs. It also supports a rich set of higher-level tools including Spark SQL for SQL and structured data processing, MLlib for machine learning, GraphX for graph processing, and Spark Streaming."

What is the latest MySQL Version available?

The latest version for Windows (x86) version of MSI installer can be found here: ...