Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012


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Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012

  2. 2. ContentsIntroduction 3The arrival of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 4Adding cream to your BI cake 6Excel PowerPivot grows up with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 8Microsoft SQL Server 2012 extends partition functions 9Data Quality Services & Microsoft SQL Server 2012 11Microsoft Power View and Visualisation 14New Features of Reporting Services in SQL Server 2012 16Sharepoint 2010 Business Intelligence 18High Availability and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 23Improvements to SQL Server Integration Services in SQL Server 2012 26Security and Management in SQL Server 2012 28SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services Enhancements 30SQL Server 2012 Developer Tools: New and Familiar 32Understanding Columnstore Indexes in SQL Server 2012 34Summary 36I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 2
  3. 3. IntroductionThe release of a new version of Microsoft SQL Server is always significant for the Microsoft communitygiven the importance of the database platform to most Microsoft solutions and platforms. So many keysolutions – ranging from SharePoint, through to the Dynamics range, and the development solutions –rely on SQL Server to underpin their capabilities.Earlier this year, Microsoft released SQL Server 2012, building on the core functionality that everyoneis familiar with, while adding a range of new business intelligence and reporting capabilities. Inanticipation of this release, Intergen published a number of articles on its blog, highlighting the newcapabilities of the platform from multiple perspectives, including from consultants, developers anddatabase administrators.Published between December 2011 and June 2012, these posts were written by our experts in theseareas, looking at what’s changed and what’s stayed the same, both of which are equally important toorganisations invested in SQL Server.This ebook is a compilation of these posts, bringing the 14 posts together in a single place so thatanyone interested in SQL Server 2012 can quickly get an independent analysis of the latest offeringand understand what the database platform has to offer.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 3
  4. 4. The arrival of MicrosoftSQL Server 20122012 will be an exciting year for all of us who utilisethe broad features of the SQL Server platform.A few weeks ago, Microsoft made available the releasecandidate (RC0) of SQL Server 2012 (previouslyknown as Denali). The release candidate term is usedwhen a product is considered “production ready” –feature and code complete and in a form that canbe released, unless fatal defects emerge. The nextstage is ‘release to manufacturing’ (RTM) whichis currently touted for Q1 2012. The RC0 releaseenables the Intergen team to continue to build on theknowledge gained from utilising the CTP releases.As we have come to expect from the Microsoft SQL Rapid data exploration. Empower end users with newServer team, the three CTP (Community Technology insights through rapid data exploration and visualisation.Preview) releases have been of a high standard and Discover new insights at the speed of thought withhave been continually improved. The CTP releases more feature/functionality in Power View, the highlyhave been downloaded by more than 100,000 interactive, familiar browser-based data exploration,people who have been actively providing stability visualisation, and presentation experience for end users.and feature requests over the past year to help shape Credible, consistent data. In addition to Datathe product that we see in the RC0 release. Quality Services and Master Data Services,SQL Server 2012 is a major release: there are many new customers can better support heterogeneous datafeatures in this release that will continue to position this within Data Warehouses through new Changeplatform product as world-class. To summarise the major Data Capture (CDC) support for Oracle.themes of this release, the SQL Server team have outlined Optimised productivity. Optimise IT and developerbelow what they believe is the core value proposition: productivity across server and cloud with the new SQLGreater availability. Deliver the required 9s and Server Data Tools, a unified development experiencedata protection with AlwaysOn, delivering added for database and business intelligence projects, andfunctionality that allows customers to experience cloud-ready capabilities within SQL Server Managementmultiple, readable secondaries for distributed scale Studio for snapshot backups to the Windows Azureof reporting and backup workloads, and support Platform. Additionally, SQL Server 2012 offers a newfor FileTable and FILESTREAM which brings first- version of Express – LocalDB. SQL Express LocalDB is aclass high availability to complex data types. lightweight version of Express with all its programmability features, yet runs in user mode with a fast, zero-Blazing-fast performance. More effectively govern configuration installation and short list of prerequisites.performance in multi-tenancy environments like privatecloud. Resource Governor enhancements include Of interest as well to us is that Microsoft is eliminatingsupport for 64 resource pools, greater CPU usage three of its current SKUs when it launches SQL Servercontrol, and resource pool affinity for partitioning of 2012, standardising on three main editions: Standard,physical resources and predictable resource allocation. Business Intelligence and Enterprise (alongside theI ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 4
  5. 5. Developer, Express and Compact editions). Note that Aside from the revamped line of product editions,Microsoft presents the Web edition as an available the biggest licensing change for SQL Server 2012 isedition, but this is only available to organisations that Microsoft’s shift from counting processors and movingsign a Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) and toward a core- (and virtual core-) based approachthis edition will no longer be available to enterprises. for SQL Server Standard and Enterprise editions.The differences between the three main As mentioned above, SQL Server 2012 is a major releaseeditions can be summarised as follows: with a large number of new features and enhancements. To help you understand the relevance and benefit of»» Standard Edition offers “basic database, these new features to your organisation, both from reporting and analytics capabilities.” a technical and business perspective, from January»» Business Intelligence Edition includes all of the the Intergen team will start posting a range of blogs Standard Edition’s capabilities, plus Power View covering in detail the following high-level categories: (code name “Crescent”), reporting and analytics, Database Engine – including topics such as data quality services and master data services. high availability, management and security,»» Enterprise Edition includes all the Standard and scalability and performance, programmability BI features, plus the “AlwaysOn” high-availability, and SQL Azure (SQL Server in the cloud) ColumnStore data warehousing functionality, and Business Intelligence – including topics such as “Maximum virtualisation” (for users with Software Analysis Services, Integration Services, Visualisation, Assurance licenses). Enterprise has a 20-core BI Semantic model and programmability maximum, while the Business Intelligence and Standard editions support a maximum of 16 cores. Enterprise Information Management – including Data Quality Services and Master Data ServicesA detailed breakdown of what features are supported bywhat edition can be found here: Developer tools – the standardisation of a single developercom/en-us/library/cc645993%28v=SQL.110%29.aspx experience delivered through SQL Server Data Tools. Tim Mole Service Line Lead – Business Intelligence ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 5
  6. 6. Adding cream toyour BI cakeBusiness Intelligence (BI) applicationshave long been compared to cakes,with many layers needed to create acomplete and flavorsome experience.With SQL Server 2012, Microsoft hasadded a user-friendly end user interfaceto their BI solution that supports all enduser querying tools. The advantage: SQLServer now provides a single, consistent,easy to use model across all tools.Microsoft calls this the Business IntelligenceSemantic Model, or BISM. The objectiveof the BISM is to have one model for alluser experiences – reporting, analytics,  scorecards, dashboards, and customapplications (the cream in the cake). Microsoft’s representation of its BISM.The BISM is a business translation layer that sits between The BI Semantic Model can be considered as a three-the database and the end user. The primary goal of layer model as the above diagram suggests:the BISM is to allow users to interact with their data »» The Data Model layer is the conceptual datausing familiar business terminology instead of having model that the model developer and theto understand where the data resides, the naming model consumer work with. The BI Semanticconventions and what business rules to apply to the data. Model is a hybrid model supporting bothIn other words, the BISM provides the linkages between multidimensional and tabular data modelling.the reporting tools and the physical data models. »» The Business Logic layer that encapsulates theWith the introduction of the BISM, there are now intelligence in the model. An author creates atwo flavours of Analysis Services databases in business logic model using either DAX (Data AnalysisMicrosoft SQL Server: multidimensional (ROLAP, Expressions) or MDX (Multidimensional Expressions).MOLAP) databases, which are the mainstay of SQL The beauty of the new model is that DAX is anServer Analysis Services; and tabular (VertiPaq) expression language based on Excel formulas thatwhich are the basis of Excel PowerPivot. was introduced in PowerPivot and built on relationalYou can create a BISM using Excel PowerPivot concepts. While DAX doesn’t give the raw poweror SQL Server Data Tools (formerly BIDS). You and flexibility that MDX offers, it can be written bycreate one of three things: a multidimensional trained users, does not generally require a backgroundmodel, a tabular model, or a PowerPivot workbook. in development, and infrequently requires tuning.Each of these items is a BI semantic model. »» The Data Access layer integrates data from multiple sources, including relational databases, business applications, flat files, OData feeds and Cloud Services.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 6
  7. 7. REPORTS BI SEMANTIC MODEL DATA BASESAs many of the BI professionals agree, based on what It allows solutions to scale from tens of millionswe know and seen in PowerPivot, BISM has a huge of rows (using Excel PowerPivot), to hundreds ofpotential and will bring welcome enhancements when millions of rows (using Microsoft SharePoint) tousing the tabular models. These benefits include: billions of rows (with Microsoft SQL Server 2012).»» Schema simplification – There is no need to From a business perspective the BISM enables end users define explicit cubes, dimensions, measures, (both technical and non-technical) to use any Microsoft eliminating the perceived complexity of client tool to self-serve BI content via a consistent implementing an OLAP solution. semantic model, reducing their requirements for training and support. It also enables subject matter experts to»» Improved performance – At first glance it may not architect semantic models relevant to their end users, be obvious, but as the BISM utilises the VertiPac further removing the dependency on specialised IT engine (a proprietary columnular data store skills which more often than not impacts a business’s engine) – which works well for BI-type querying. ability to support the demand for information.»» Flexibility – There will be no distinction between In summary the BISM that is coming with Microsoft SQL measures and dimensions. Every attribute can Server 2012 is a great evolution of the BI stack, adding be used for aggregating and slicing. This is capability while simplifying the process for creating and one PowerPivot feature that I really like. using BI content. We are looking forward to the impending»» The DAX expression-based language removes release so we can have some more cream with our cake. much of the complexity of MDX. Nick Draper»» Possibility of real-time data access. Consultant – Enterprise Applications ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 7
  8. 8. Excel PowerPivot grows upwith Microsoft SQL Server 2012Since its inception, I have been impressed with Excel and it creates the database.PowerPivot. It was released early in 2010 to provide You can then create rolesgreater analytical functions to business users. I have to secure the database asrecently been using the beta version of PowerPivot well as manage the datathat will be released in the next few months along refreshes and monitorwith SQL Server 2012 and I have been really impressed performance and usage –to see how it has matured as an end user tool. the best of both worlds.PowerPivot is a free Excel 2010 add-in that gives you In my opinion this functionthe ability to create Business Intelligence solutions in is a big deal. It allowsthe familiar spreadsheet environment. It is a powerful for better separationtool for business analysts and accountants who know of duties in the development of Business Intelligencetheir data well and are comfortable with Microsoft Excel, solutions. The business experts, who understand theand who don’t have a background in IT development. business goals and processes – and know the data – canPowerPivot will quickly link data together from disparate participate in the creation of data models, building andsources and apply business logic to create Business enhancing the business logic themselves prior to passingIntelligence solutions. All data is stored in memory so the model to the IT professionals who can ensure it isPowerPivot is incredibly fast and performs impressively secure and can perform in a managed environment.well, handling multi-million row tables with ease. PowerPivot does have some limitations in functionTo date, I have been reluctant to use it for anything more (compared to traditional Analysis Services databases),than prototyping. PowerPivot has been called by some but it is easier to learn and faster to ‘spreadsheet hell on steroids’ because although it is We always recommend that our Business Intelligencereally powerful, the models can get too big to manage clients take a long-term view creating a Businessand can potentially spread through an organisation Intelligence roadmap that is aligned to their businesswithout any form of control. PowerPivot sheets can be goals, and then work incrementally in small stepsloaded into Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise, but if the to add functionality. I would therefore suggestPowerPivot model is sizeable, that process is slow and that clients look seriously at how they can includemanageability is limited. Although business users love PowerPivot into their technology roadmap and plan forthe PowerPivot capability, IT professionals get nervous adjustments to their development roles and processesabout how to manage its use within their organisation. to ensure a successful introduction of the tool.POWERPIVOT IMPROVEMENTS IN SQL In summary, the enhancements to PowerPivot mean thatSERVER 2012 it has grown from a great end user tool for analysis andWith the upcoming release of Microsoft SQL Server 2012, prototyping to becoming a solution that can be fullythe PowerPivot engine has been brought into SQL Server. integrated into the development lifecycle. In doing so, this provides better linkage between the business and technicalThis provides manageability and scalability, without teams which has to benefit organisations at multiple levels.compromising on the ease and simplicity of use. With thenew version of PowerPivot you can simply create a new SQL Nick DraperServer Analysis Services database by restoring it from a Consultant – Enterprise ApplicationsPowerPivot model. You simply select the PowerPivot model ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 8
  9. 9. Microsoft SQL Server 2012extends partition functionsThis is the latest in a series of posts about the upcoming WHAT’S A PARTITION (OR SUBSET) OF Arelease of Microsoft SQL Server 2012. These posts are RESULT SET, AND WHY IS IT USEFUL?predominantly written for technical users of SQL Server. Partitions are useful for providing more flexible accessMicrosoft SQL Server 2012 has continued what SQL to the data in your SQL Server. As an example, oneServer 2005 started by extending the partition can now group values by month within year, andfunctions that allows users to rapidly, and with another is being able to identify employees within aless code, calculate analytical information about department. We may have sales by employee; nowrows of data relative to all data within partitions we can quickly (both in terms of coding effort andor a subset of the complete data result set. in processing time) for each employee look at: »» where they rank in the department.WHAT ARE SQL SERVER 2012 PARTITION FUNCTIONS? »» what percentage of sales they haveTraditionally in SQL Server, one defines a group of logical compared to best and worst performers.conditions and SQL Server returns a result set that satisfiesthese conditions. From day one users have been able »» how they perform compared to theto ask SQL Server to perform set manipulation, typically next best/worst performer.using “group by’s”, but these are somewhat limiting. »» the percentage of employees theyWith the addition of partition functions in SQL Server are better or worse than.2005, users were given the ability to get informationabout how a row relates to other rows within a subset »» where their sales sit as a percentage(partition) of the result set (or, to other rows within of department sales.the result set, as the result set is a sub-set of itself). Then, on top of this, we can quickly pull out percentile values within the group. That is, for a given percentile (e.g. 50% if we want medians) SQL Server will calculate this value within our given partition (either discrete (i.e. the closest actual value) or continuous (i.e. the calculated value)). Could we do this before the partition functions? Yes, but it required significantly more code. Most related values can be obtained by using a sub-query joining on the attributes that define your subset, then ordering and grabbing the min/max (or min/max greater/less than our row) of that set of results. That said, if you have ever tried this approach on large data sets it can take a long time to achieve a result, not to mention requiring a complex query which therefore creates the possibility of coding errors and maintenance nightmares.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 9
  10. 10. WHAT CAN’T WE DO WITH PARTITION FUNCTIONS? SUMMARYWhen using partition functions we are trapped within The new partition function in SQL Server 2012 allows us toour defined partition which means we can’t, directly, achieve analytical and data summaries much faster, withaccess values from previous or following partitions. cleaner, easier to read code. This results in a faster deliveryThis is the sort of thing we often do when we are time and a solution that can be modified and extendedanalysing data by month or quarter (e.g. comparing with less effort or risk of coding errors. Additionally,one month to the same month in a previous year). the new (SQL Server 2012) code runs faster than the equivalent code in previous versions of SQL Server.Of course we are now getting into the realms of cubes andMDX, and should maybe use – or at least consider – using Graham Hoodthe tools which are fit for purpose, rather than force the Senior Developer – Enterprise Applicationsone tool to do everything. That said, this approach is only step away from SQL Server indexing (and accessinginformation from related rows) the rows within a subset,to it then indexing each subset and accessing informationfrom related rows in related subsets.(That said, I haven’t properly investigated theperformance hit in using the existing partitionfunctions on very large result sets.)I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 10
  11. 11. Data Quality Services &Microsoft SQL Server 2012With the introduction of SQL Server 2012 and its new This process can take time and a level of maturity, butData Quality Services, it is timely to understand to knowing where you sit in terms of maturity, your targetwhat extent the Microsoft solution will support our and how to get there, you are in a good position toneeds and at the same time present some thoughts on consider how to achieve data quality. For the most part,data quality as a function within your organisation. this process is implemented in small steps and quick wins are certainly possible early on in this cycle – data qualityLet’s start by looking at the cost of poor data quality. is a great candidate to be one of these quick wins.At the lowest level, poor data quality directly affectsthe ability of a business to perform its core business HOW DO YOU APPROACH A DATAfunctions. If you look at any business function in an QUALITY PROGRAMME?organisation, there will be a direct cost that can beattributed to poor data quality including non-recoverable Firstly, data quality is relative. Your baseline of qualitycosts, rework of products and services, workarounds, should be measured relative to the purpose of its use (i.e.lost and missed revenue, compliance issues and poor to the extent it does not satisfy the intended use). Gooddecisions through misleading information. For any measures of data quality include accuracy, timeliness,organisation it is challenging to estimate what that exact completeness, reliability, relevance and clarity.cost is, but feedback from leading industry commentators Secondly, addressing data quality is not a one-off process. Itsuggest it is somewhere between 8-25% of operating is a continual cycle of analysing, improving and monitoring.revenue – a significant amount in anyone’s terms. Implementing a suitable methodology with support at allArmed with this knowledge, it makes sound commercial levels of the organisation will enhance your success greatly.sense that organisations take an active interest in Thirdly, implementing a Data Quality toolset in isolationthe quality of their data and resolve to address it. will not be sufficient. You need the right balance ofSo how should organisations approach data quality? people (skills and adoption), technology and process.In my opinion, data quality needs to be recognised With this in mind, let’s consider the new Microsoft SQL Serveras one of a number of activities delivered through a 2012 Data Quality Services offering. Instead of diving deepbusiness-wide function called ‘Data Management.’ into using these tools I will present a high-level architecturalTo achieve effective data management, organisations overview and describe the major components and theirneed to work through a process where they start to usage. For a deep dive technical show-and-tell, I suggestrecognise data as a corporate asset and accept that you look the many resources that exist on the management should have strategic focus and bedelivered through an effective data governance function. DATA SIZE DISCOVERY CLEANSING SSIS CLEANSING MATCHING 10K 1 minute 1 minute 2-5 minutes 1 minute 100K 5-10 minutes 2-7 minutes 40-75 minutes 5-10 minutes 1M 1.5-3 hours 0.5-1.5 hours 7-12 hours 1-4 hoursI ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 11
  12. 12. INTRODUCING DATA QUALITY SERVICESAt the highest level, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Domains can be developed specific to yourQuality Services (DQS) presents a set of functions to organisation and can also reference externally-perform data cleansing, duplicate detection, and profiling sourced industry domains and reference data.of your source data. These functions are managed by acentralised DQS server and through a DQS web-based I particularly like the clear separation between buildingapplication. DQS can also be integrated with SQL Server a knowledge base and applying it in the data correctionIntegration Services through DQS-specific transforms, process. I also like that the DQS solution has beenis integrated with SQL Server Master Data Services designed with the data steward in mind; a key role in(MDS), and can also source industry reference data from data management as they hold the deep knowledgethird parties (e.g. the Windows Azure Marketplace). about our data and the interest in keeping quality high.Core to DQS is the Data Quality Knowledge Base In addition to maintaining the knowledge base and(DQKB). The DQKB is responsible for managing profiling source data, two core functions supportedquality-related knowledge. Within the DQKB, users in DQS are Data Matching and Data Cleansing. Datacreate domains and one or more of these are then Matching looks for duplicate data records in theassigned to data source elements which DQS source data, and Data Cleansing uses the domainsuses to assess quality. A domain can contain: in the DQKB to identify data quality issues.»» A list of correct values for the domain. A critical concept to understand in both the cleansing and matching processes is that DQS doesn’t automatically»» A list of common errors and how to fix them. attempt to fix records at source. Instead, DQS runs a quality assessment process and indicates through this»» A list of common variations for terms in process its confidence (represented as a percentage) in the a domain and how to fix them. quality of each record and a suggested action (a status).»» A list of rules for that the correct Status include suggested, new, invalid, corrected and domain values must adhere to. correct. Once this process has been run, the next step is forI ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 12
  13. 13. the data steward to accept, reject or manually modify the WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATIVE USES FOR DQS?record through the user interface (shown below). The last I see a big opportunity to use DQS to support the datastep in the process is to export the changes to a database migration activity as part of our larger projects, especiallytable or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet so that the changes our large ERP and CRM implementations. Managing datacan be saved and applied manually back to the source. quality and data transformations is inherently difficultIn the case of Integration Services, the developer and DQS is well suited to providing a useful solutioncan utilise the DQS Status field of each record to to many of the data quality and duplication issuesdetermine what the subsequent logic should be, as we face during this predominantly manual process.shown below; in this case the SSIS package writes thedifferent records to different destination tables. WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?A word of advice when considering using the DQS In summary, I like what I see in Microsoft’s DQStransform activity in SSIS packages: the cleansing implementation; it provides a solid foundation that seemsand matching process is resource intensive and to have been well thought through and is supported bytakes a reasonable amount of time, so careful capable tools. The Data Quality service comes with aconsideration is required. Microsoft has officially SQL Server Enterprise or Business Intelligence licence,published the following baseline against their so compare that to other data quality solutions in therecommended hardware configuration along with best market and that certainly presents good value. It’s toopractice documentation at early yet to see if the platform lives up to the promise incom/download/en/details.aspx?id=29075. enterprise scale implementations, but give us a few months and we’ll be able to provide some accurate feedback. Tim Mole Service Line Lead – Business Intelligence ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 13
  14. 14. Microsoft Power Viewand VisualisationThe new release of SQL Server 2012 includes a brand Data Visualisation can help create a shared view,new Business Intelligence (BI) reporting tool called because it clearly shows how data is trending. ThePower View (formally known as Project Crescent). Slider feature in Microsoft’s Power Pivot provides the functionality for users to interact with the dataEnd-user reporting was introduced in SQL Server 2005 and also see how performance trends over time.with Report Builder. This concept has been extended inSQL Server 2012 with the graphical report designer Power WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUTView. This is a self-service reporting tool which allows MICROSOFT POWER VIEW?business users to create interactive reports. Power View isnot a replacement for Report Builder, but rather a natural Microsoft describe Power View as “an interactive dataprogression and amalgamation of PowerPivot and SSRS. exploration, visualisation, and presentation experience.” It is a tool for business users to use to create intuitiveWHAT IS DATA VISUALISATION? ad-hoc reports. A user creating a report with PowerIn his article “A Tale of Two Types of Visualization and View is not required to know about security, databaseMuch Confusion” names, and table structures, as the tool nativelytwo-types, Robert Kosara explains Pragmatic Visualisation understands the relationships between the a way to visually represent data in such a way as togain new insights into the data. A visualisation should POWER VIEW BENEFITSallow us to visually gain insight into data, and develop Power View is a tool where a visually rich andan understanding of the data. This can replace traditional interactive report can be created quickly andnon-visual methods such as data mining or statistics. easily using a drag and drop interface.If a report created with Microsoft Power View allows During my trialling of Power View, one of the featuresusers to visually gain new insight, and to understand that I was most impressed with was the ability to createthe data, then I believe the tool will be a success. multiple views of the same report. There isn’t just one view of the data, as typically found in a traditionalWHY SHOULD WE USE DATA VISUALISATION? reporting tool. Many different views of the data canWhen the amount of data is large or abstract, a be created. The user can navigate between using avisualisation can make the data easier to read and Microsoft Office style ribbon. The view of the data canunderstand. A good example of this is a public transport be instantly switched from a bubble chart to a linemap such as the London Tube map. This contains a chart, or a bar chart, as well as various others. Thislarge amount of data which would be very difficult to provides another medium of interaction for the user,absorb and understand in any other way. Visually being and allows them to select a view of the data which bestable to see if a station on one line is within walking helps their absorption and understanding of the data.distance to a station on another, is something that would I found the slider which I mentioned earlier in this blog,be difficult to present in a non-visual manner, making to be a very intuitive and interactive feature. I thinkvisualisation the optimal way to present the data. that many company directors would enjoy using this tool because they can visualise how their company’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) trend over time.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 14
  15. 15. CONCLUSIONVisually Power View’s interface reminded me of Power View is not the first tool of its type to arriveMicrosoft Powerpoint. Another feature of this tool is in the market. However I think Microsoft has madethat reports can be exported to Powerpoint, where great gains in making reports more interactive,they are presented as fully interactive reports. enjoyable and easy to develop with this tool. It is a change in the mind-set of what reporting means.There are some great interactive PowerView demos available here: Reporting no longer has to be a function carried out by the IT Department, creating a dry, static, and limited view of the data. It can now be about Businessbusiness_intelligence1/archive/2012/02/16/ Users having fun while interacting with the data, andthe-power-view-contest-is-here.aspx learning more about their business at the same time.A Windows Live account and Silverlight Version 5are required to view the Power View demos. Glenn Busch Intermediate Developer – Enterprise Applications ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 15
  16. 16. New Features of ReportingServices in SQL Server 2012With the release of SQL Server 2012, Reporting DEALING WITH INFORMATION OVERLOADServices is establishing itself as a mature product Information is great, but information overload isn’t.with the introduction of a several improvements Managers can end up with hundreds of reports inrather than any substantial new functionality. their inbox but not have the time to view them all.The key new features to Reporting Services 2012 They risk spending their time viewing reports whichinclude SharePoint integration configured as a shared don’t need attention, while missing the criticalservice, Report Server Projects which can be opened reports which may require immediate Visual Studio 2010, Word and Excel rendering for What if you could save time by only viewingboth 2003 and 2007-2010 formats, and Data Alerts. the reports which showed the data you needSharePoint administrators will be pleased that the to take action on? The new Data Alerts featureReporting Services SharePoint integration is now of SQL Server 2012 allows you to do this.configured as a service application using the SharePoint Scheduling reports has been part of previous versionsCentral Administrator tool. This takes advantage of the of SQL Server Reporting Services and it allows users toSharePoint features including scale-out, claims-based subscribe to reports from SharePoint, and it is a convenientauthentication, and backup and recovery. But my favourite way of receiving reports on a regular basis. Sometimes,new feature of Reporting Services 2012 is Data Alerts.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 16
  17. 17. though, it doesn’t make sense to receive reports regularly would like the data alert to run, who it will be sent to,but only when the data in the report meets certain criteria. and what the subject and description of the email will say.If you are receiving too many reports, you may miss the Users can also easily manage and execute their Data Alertsinformation most critical to your decision making. from the Data Alert Manager page from within SharePoint.Data Alerts are similar to schedules, but they only execute As Data Alerts will be sent out less frequentlywhen the data meets the rules you have specified. This than scheduled reports, inbox sizes will bemeans you only get the email containing the report smaller Administrators can also monitor andwhen the data meets the criteria you set. Maybe your manage all data alerts set up in SharePoint.sales have dropped below estimates, deliveries fallen With Data Alerts in SQL Server 2012, business usersbehind schedule, or your revenue has exceeded your can now create alerts to monitor the information theylatest milestone (and you need to celebrate!). need in order to make the correct decisions at thePreviously, in SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 you right time without overloading their inbox and withoutcould mimic this behaviour with some workarounds. You the overhead of reviewing unnecessary reports.could create a Data-Driven Subscription using some customSQL code to only include the recipients when certain SQL David Lyescondition s were met. You could also create the report Developer, Enterprise Applicationsin such a way that it would throw an error under certain, which would stop the report being sent.However, none of these approaches are easy for an enduser to create and the responsibility typically fell on the ITteam to create and manage subscriptions for everyone.Data Alerts are created in SharePoint using an easy-to-usewizard which enables business users to add rules againstthe data from the report without any knowledge of SQL,MDX or any other programming language, or withoutmodifying the report. The user can define how often theyI ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 17
  18. 18. Sharepoint 2010Business IntelligenceI spend a lot of time in the intersection between capability is still provided under the SharePoint Standardtwo traditionally distinct but increasingly connected license, and indeed SharePoint Foundation. For thatworlds: SharePoint and Business Intelligence (BI). reason I have mentioned the coverage alongside the respective technologies’ headings below.To me, business intelligence isn’t just about tables,graphs, and dashboards. It’s about decision makingand providing ready access to the information SQL SERVER REPORTING SERVICES [ALL EDITIONS]required for making smart, informed decisions. SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) has beenSharePoint, on the other hand, specialises in the around since SQL Server 2000, but ever since SQLbringing together of all sorts of information; and Server 2005 was released SSRS has been integratedmanaging, classifying and collaborating on it with into SharePoint so the reports themselves becomebusiness area and subject matter experts. documents in SharePoint document libraries.It’s in the intersection of these two specialties that This allows them to benefit from themakes SharePoint Business Intelligence an ideal place following SharePoint capabilities:to present your decision makers with the information »» classification with business termsthey need to make effective and informed decisions. (e.g. Department, Business Unit, ReportIn this post I’m going to cover the various Owner, Reporting Frequency).forms of BI integration in SharePoint and »» participation in workflowswhen each is most effectively used. (e.g. notification, approval).Note: Most of these offerings are only available with »» version control.the Enterprise Edition of SharePoint (in fact BI is oneof the main compelling features of the SharePoint »» placement on web pages as a web part orEnterprise license). That said, the Reporting Services as part of a dashboard of information. Figure 1 - SSRS Reports in a SharePoint Document LibraryI ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 18
  19. 19. Figure 2 - SSRS web part EXCEL SERVICES [ENTERPRISE EDITION ONLY]In terms of when to use SSRS reports it’s worth noting With Excel Services we combine the numberthat they are great at delivering a specific outcome with crunching and enhanced visualisation capabilitiesa specific experience. They can be highly interactive of Excel with the document management andand highly capable with a very specific presentation web part sharing capabilities of SharePoint.format, but they can only answer the questions that Excel sheets can be produced by analysts and businessthe BA who designed them (or the developer who built area experts – often in response to requests from thethem) had in mind. Through the use of parameters, board or for annual reporting. Rather than living ongroupings and expressions, the user can ask and answer the file system in an ever-increasing collection, thesea number of questions, but generally the flexibility sheets can be managed, classified and collaborated inis limited when compared to other alternatives. SharePoint document libraries and then brought to life onFor that reason, I often suggest to customers that they use dashboards and web pages in SharePoint. Furthermore,SSRS reports when they have predefined data, a predefined they don’t require the end user to be running Microsoftlayout, and a predefined interaction, or when they wish to Office to view the report – the browser handles all that.prescribe how users can interact with the information. Your As with SSRS, however, the end user can only glean thepower bill is a good example of this – it always looks the information that the person who built it had in mind. Bysame, it presents the same information in the same place using parameters and groupings the user can interact witheach month (although the numbers seem to get ever- the data, although flexibility remains somewhat limited.larger!) and there’s no further information you can gleanfrom it, apart from what the utility provider had in mind. The true power of Excel Services lies in the hands of the Number Crunchers.That said, SSRS reports are very effective and come withmany data visualisation capabilities and two highlyeffective editing tools: Microsoft Visual Studio for thedeveloper and Report Builder for the Business Analyst.The true power of Reporting Services liesin the hands of the Report Writers. Figure 3 - Excel Chart as a SharePoint Web PartI ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 19
  20. 20. POWERPIVOT SERVICES [ENTERPRISE EDITION ONLY]A free extension to Microsoft Excel 2010, PowerPivot various data sources and what those business rulesallows users to consume information from a variety of ought to be. It is therefore at the ad-hoc end of thesources (e.g. SQL Server, Microsoft Access, XML, text, spectrum, so while a potentially very powerful analyticand various OLEDB and ODBC sources). Users can tool I often suggest it is best for analysts that:link to data sources and define relationships between »» don’t have the luxury of a data warehousedisparate sources, allowing pivot tables to be created and cubes, or wish to analyse data thatagainst quite logically separate information. is not yet in their data warehouse.PowerPivot Services can be compared to PowerPivot »» understand the data and the relationshipsin the same way as Excel Services can be compared between the systems Microsoft Excel. It allows the PowerPivot sheet tobe surfaced in SharePoint and there are a number of »» are aware of the potential to draw the wrongvisualisations and schedules in place to ensure data conclusions if they misalign their data.can be interacted with and refreshed appropriately. If these concepts are respected, PowerPivotI often describe PowerPivot as a beautiful way of presents an incredibly fast and effective way tobringing information together from a variety of sources combine information from disparate sources.– but with a warning: You are relying on the analystto determine and model the associations between the The true power of PowerPivot Services lies in the hands of the Business Analysts.Figure 4 - PowerPivot Gallery in Carousel ViewI ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 20
  21. 21. PERFORMANCEPOINT SERVICES[ENTERPRISE EDITION ONLY]Now we come to a technology thatcan start answering some of the ‘Why?’questions and the ‘What about this?’questions. PerformancePoint is allabout creating Reports, Scorecards andDashboards that consume data fromdata warehouses and cubes. Here weare standing on the shoulders of thedata warehouse designers and all thehard work they have done in combiningand transforming data into a ‘single source of the Figure 6 - PerformancePoint Decomposition Treetruth.’ Now we want to start surfacing the value ofthe aggregated information out to the business.Business Analysts and Report Writers can create and The true power of PerformancePoint Servicesdeploy reports and scorecards using the provided lies in the hands of the End Users.Dashboard Designer tool, but with a difference. This time In my opinion the Dashboarding capability ofthe end user can actually ask some of the questions that PerformancePoint is quite limited and I find it muchthe designer may not have had in mind because they have more useful assembling dashboards manually from thethe full power of the aggregated data behind them. individual PerformancePoint scorecards and reports,For example, a chart might present sales by region together with other useful SharePoint webparts suchfor 2011, but the user may wish to see a breakdown as list views, contacts and SSRS and Excel web parts.of the sales generated in the Northern Region by theproducts that were sold. This would have been quite VISIO SERVICES [ENTERPRISE EDITION ONLY]difficult with SSRS or Excel unless the report or sheetdesigner was aware of this requirement and had built Microsoft Visio has also taken up residenceit in to the report or sheet. In Performance Point it’s a in SharePoint and has its own Servicematter of right-clicking on the bar and selecting Drill Application. The main benefits of this are:down into Product. Additionally drill downs can be »» As discussed above, we can treat Visio documents inpresented as a decomposition tree. All of these views document libraries exposing them to all that SharePointand presentations can be selected and changed by the offers (i.e. versioning, metadata, collaboration, etc.).user, sorted, filtered and exported for further analysis. »» Users can view Visio documents without Figure 5 - PerformancePoint having Visio installed on their PC. Analytic Chart and User Decision »» Visio diagrams can be data-bound to data sources in the enterprise. This means, for example, that diagrams relating to a supply chain, network infrastructure, or floor plan can be coloured according to metrics in the business. Consider as another example your organisation’s strategic goals, coloured according to KPIs in the business that indicate progress toward these goals. Visio also makes a foray into SharePoint territory as a visual design surface for SharePoint workflow and as a means to view the progress of a given workflow through its stages. But that’s probably a topic for another day.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 21
  22. 22. CHART WEB PART [ENTERPRISE EDITION ONLY]The Chart Web part allows graphs to be inserted intoweb pages in very similar fashion to those of Excel.There are many chart visualisations available, as wellas many ways to connect to data (including SharePointlist data, line of business systems and Excel Services).There are some limitations with this: for example youhave to graph columns of data against other columns.In particular you don’t seem to be able to aggregatedata in a chart (e.g. plotting a value against the numberof times the value occurs) which is trivial in Excel. Thatsaid, there are a lot of advanced settings that canenable some quite compelling charts to be displayed.PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: DASHBOARDS Figure 7 – Sample of Chart Web PartAND THE BI CENTREOnce you have some or all of these pieces in place, IN SUMMARYit’s a matter of deciding what tool is appropriate forwhat type of job and how you wish to present it to your There is a wealth of Business Intelligence integrationBusiness Users. From individual reports for general use, potential in SharePoint, most of which really comesgraphs for the cafeteria and annual reports, through to life with the Enterprise Edition and the backingto targeted individual dashboards for managers and of a data warehouse, but without both (or either)executives, there’s something in there for everyone. of these, there are still some highly effective ways to surface your business data in SharePoint.If you have the Enterprise Edition of SharePointthere’s even a logical home for all the BI content: the Bryce SaundersBusiness Intelligence Centre Site Template. For other Senior Consultant – Portals, Content and Collaborationeditions, it’s just a matter of creating lists and libraries to hold the SSRS reports and data sources.You can then assemble and present the web pages anddashboards of information to your heart’s content… Figure 8 - What Tool is Right?I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 22
  23. 23. High Availability andMicrosoft SQL Server 2012In this blog I will be providing a high-level overviewof the high availability options in Microsoft SQLServer 2012, and how these compare with thesolutions provided in earlier versions of SQL Server.Before explaining the differences, I thinkit’s important to differentiate between highavailability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR), termswhich can often cause some confusion.Essentially, a HA solution minimises or eliminatesdata loss and impact to the users. Depending on thewhatever client service level agreements may be inplace, the annual downtime can range from five minutes(99.999% availability) to three days (99% availability).To be able to achieve this goal, an automated failover is The downside of clustering is that shared storage isrequired which delivers little to no impact to the user. required; this can be costly and only single database copies exist – which can be considered a point of failure.Conversely, a DR solution requires manual interventionto achieve failover, and because of this delaythere will typically be some level of data loss. MirroringIt’s worth noting that any self-respecting DBA would Mirroring was introduced in SQL Server 2005 andrecommend using a combination of both HA and DR. has proven to be a great high availability solution.Such a “belt and braces” approach ensures that in a Mirroring has three different operating modes: Highhighly unlikely situation of the HA solution collapsing, we Availability, High Performance and High Safety.still have a DR instance of SQL Server to fall back on. »» High Availability: Uses a witness server to achieve aBelow is an overview of the current high availability quick automatic failover between the principal andfeatures available in Microsoft SQL Server 2012, mirrored SQL Server. All transactions are committedincluding two tried and tested options (Clustering and to both the mirror server and the principal serverMirroring) that have been available in past releases in (synchronous-commit) ensuring there is no dataSQL Server, and a completely new feature (AlwaysOn). loss. There are costs to achieving these benefits: performance overheads are incurred for the application, there are high-speed network requirementsClustering and there can be geographical restrictions.First introduced in SQL Server 6.5, clustering has been »» High Performance: Does not have a witness serveraround for many years and has progressively improved. and only has manual failover. All transactions areThe main advantage of clustering is that it can recover committed on the principal server before transferring tofrom either a software or hardware failure. The failover the mirror (asynchronous-commit), while performance,is seamless to the application and, in the case of a overall, is not affected. It is possible to lose transactionsfailover cluster, only one SQL Server license is required. in the event of a failover. This approach is ideal for DR.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 23
  24. 24. »» High Safety: Not recommended for normal operations, this option should only be used if replacing the witness server as it prevents any new connection to the mirrored databases.»» The downside of mirroring is that three SQL Servers are required for the principal, mirror and witness. While the witness server can be run using SQL Server Express, the other two servers will require SQL Server licenses. The mirror SQL Server is also unusable when the databases are in a restoring state.SQL Server AlwaysOnAlwaysOn is the new integrated HA solution for SQL »» Flexible Failover Policy: Eliminates the issueServer 2012. AlwaysOn consists of two features: AlwaysOn of false failover by allowing you to chooseAvailability Groups and AlwaysOn Failover Cluster. what failure conditions trigger failovers.AlwaysOn Availability Groups is database mirroring It’s also worth noting that the FCI can also be usedon steroids, providing flexibility in terms of database with Availability Groups, as long as the Availabilityfailover as well as zero data loss. Availability Groups use Groups have shared storage and manual failover.Windows failover clustering and support both shared Operating System Support for SQL Server 2012 Deploymentand non-shared storage. Databases are placed intoavailability groups; multiple availability groups can be Windows Server Core was first released with Windowscreated allowing a DBA to separate the databases by Server 2008, however earlier versions of SQL Serverclient or by application. Each of the availability groups were not compatible with Windows Core; this hascan be added to a replica; SQL Server 2012 allows one changed with the release of SQL Server 2012.primary replica and up to four secondary replicas. Theadvantage is not just database redundancy, but the The advantage of Server Core is that it’s a minimalsecondary replicas can be used for executing reporting deployment of Windows, which dramatically reducesand other read-only operations (database backups patching and potential planned downtime (up toincluded). The limit to the number of replicas that can 60%). The attack surface is also reduced which makeshave synchronous-commit and therefore automatic failover the server more secure. Only a subset of SQL Server’sis two. The number of replicas that can have asynchronous- features are available on Windows Core. These include:commit and manual failover is also limited to two. »» Database Engine ServicesAlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances (FCIs) is, as »» SQL Server Replicationthe name suggests, failover clustering with extras.The new features available in FCI are as follows: »» Full Test Search»» Multi-Subnet Clustering: This is new to SQL Server »» Analysis Services and allows clusters to be geographically dispersed »» Client Tools Connectivity (otherwise called ‘stretch clusters’) without the need for shared storage. Data is replicated between storage »» Integration Services devices on multiple subnets, delivering a “belt and braces” solution that ticking both boxes for HA and DR. The additional SQL Server features can only be used by remote connection to the SQL Server Core instance.»» TempDB on Local Disk: TempDB generates some of the highest disk I/O, and the ability to move TempDB on to a local disk will certainly improve performance.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 24
  25. 25. SummaryMicrosoft has significant enhanced high The failover clustering option offered by the Standardavailability in SQL Server 2012. Edition remains the same as SQL Server 2008 R2 with the advantage of running on Windows Server CoreHistorically, a general rule with high availability Edition; to me is an ideal cost effective HA is that the more uptime you require, thegreater the cost. This rule still applies in SQL Server Finally, I would also recommend using the2012, as the AlwaysOn feature is only available Server Core Edition for those clients that havein the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2012. replicated SQL databases in the DMZ.With SQL Server 2012 having only recently been Overall the SQL 2012 HA features provides DBAsreleased, it’s still too early to see if they are any cost with significantly more flexibility and stabilitysavings in adopting the SQL Server AlwaysOn feature in implementing a better-fitted solution thatfor clients with small to medium sized SQL Servers. can meet clients’ needs while also requiring lessEven though each replica can be used as a read-only support and maintenance in the long-term.database, a production SQL Server license is still needed.However, AlwaysOn does give the DBA the ability Steve Sharpeto achieve a 99.999% uptime benchmark straight Senior SQL / DBA Consultant – Infrastructure Supportout of the box and that in itself is a cost saving. ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 25
  26. 26. Improvements to SQL ServerIntegration Services in SQL Server 2012SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is another aspect ofSQL Server that has been overhauled in SQL Server 2012.Because SSIS is a development tool, and the updatesare mostly of a technical nature, trying to explain theirbusiness value is quite challenging. Putting it simply,the main value to business is that with the updates,development will be easier and therefore faster.I will focus on a few of the developmentimprovements about which I’m the most excited.Visual Studio 2010Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) hasbeen replaced with SQL Server Data Tools, which usesthe core of Visual Studio 2010. This does not just applyto SSIS but the whole BI development environment.This is due to Microsoft’s internal realignment of their Change Data Captureinternal product delivery cycles which should help reducethe mismatch between functionality in related tools. Although Change Data Capture (CDC) is not is not newThis makes deployments much simpler and integration to SQL Server, there are now CDC Tasks and Componentswith Team Foundation Server 2010 a lot smoother. within SSIS that make it easier to implement.Ability to debug Script Tasks Undo and RedoIn previous versions of SQL Server, you had the ability to At long last you are now able to undo or redo any actionsdebug Script Components but not Script Tasks. With the – such as bringing back the data flow that you accidentlyrelease of SQL Server 2012, this is no longer the case: deleted – without having to reload the whole project. In myyou can forget about having to output to the console to opinion this improvement alone makes it worth upgrading!try and figure out where exactly your code is failing. Flat File Source Improvements Two great additions to SQL Server 2012 that will solve a lot of headaches when importing data from flat files are the support for varying numbers of columns and embedded text qualifiers. Project Connection Managers Gone are the days where you had to recreate connections to your source and destination within each SSIS package. Connections can now be set up at a project level which can then be shared within the packages.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 26
  27. 27. Column MappingsIn SQL Server 2012, SSIS is a lot smarter about how it There are quite a few more additions to SSIS (includingdeals with column mappings and now uses the column its built-in reporting capabilities, improvementsnames instead of the lineage ID. This means that if you to the user interface, and integration with Datadecide to recreate your data source task, you do not have Quality Services), but the features I have focusedto remap all the columns as was the case in the past. SQL on in this post are improvements to issues that IServer 2012 also comes with a Resolve Column Reference have frequently come across on previous projects.Editor which allows you to link unmapped output columns I’m sure these improvements and additions to SSISto unmapped input columns across the whole execution will be greatly appreciated by the industry.tree; in the past this had to be done from task to task. Dylan VenterParameter Handling Senior Consultant – Enterprise Applications. are a new addition to SSIS and are veryuseful. In the past you had to use configurations whichcould only be assigned at a package level. Parameterscan now be set at both a package and project level. Youcan assign three different types of values to parameters,namely Design default, Server default and Execution.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 27
  28. 28. Security and Managementin SQL Server 2012The security and management enhancements included inMicrosoft SQL Server 2012 offer some small but significantimprovements over those included in SQL Server 2008 R2.In this blog, I will focus on the improvements thatI believe will deliver the most benefits, based onexperiences I have had with SQL Server in the past.Contained DatabasesMicrosoft SQL Server 2012 includes a new feature calledthe Contained Database. Had this feature been availablein earlier versions of SQL Server, it would have saved me aconsiderable amount of time when I was moving databasesbetween instances, during development and deployment.With a Contained Database, login information is server-level logins. The authentication of logins isstored directly in the User Database rather than the more complicated, but this is a price I’m happy toMaster Database. This means that when the database pay for the benefits it delivers. Overall I believe itis moved to another instance, logins do not have to be is a positive step in the right direction. deleted and then recreated. Not only that, but the taskof having to update user SIDs can also be avoided. Default Schema for GroupsSQL Server 2012’s Contained Database will create the With previous versions of SQL Server, you could definetemp table within the scope of the Contained Database. a default schema for a user. Now with SQL Server 2012This feature means avoiding the time consuming work default schemas can be created for Windows Groups.of moving a database to another instance, making This helps reduce the administrative nightmare ofthe required adjustments to get the users working having to manage large numbers of schemas, or evencorrectly, and having everything looking like it is if you are not an overly big user of schemas, beingready to go, only to find that one is getting collation faced with the headache of having to remove them.conflicts due to this new instance having a different Like most of us, I am a creature of habit, and one ofcollation to the database that has just been moved. these habits is explicitly stating the schema when I createThis feature doesn’t require that you set the database tables. I also explicitly reference the schema in queries,compatibility to the latest version because it is views, functions and stored procedures. But being able tosupported back to SQL Server 2005. Given that a assign a default schema to a group is not as necessaryclear boundary is established between the Contained as before, because the administrator does not haveDatabase and the SQL Server instance, it may be a to set the default schema for each and every user.useful feature for simulating a cloud environment. User-Defined Server RolesWhile this new feature has some great benefits,including those mentioned, it still has some way to go With SQL Server 2008 R2, and earlier versionsbefore it is ideal. The database can only be considered of SQL Server, we could create databasePartially-Contained, as the database can still have roles and assign permissions to them.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 28
  29. 29. However these were restricted to fixed roles at a serverlevel. If one of the nine fixed roles didn’t match the securityrequirements, then permissions had to be signed at anindividual level. To keep these in sync quickly became anadministrative nightmare, especially when a server-levelpermission had to be granted to a large number of users.A major improvement has been made with securitymanagement in SQL Server 2012. We are now able tocreate user defined server roles and assign permissionsto them. This can be done either through SQL ServerManagement Studio (SSMS), or by using TRANSACT-SQL with the GRANT SERVER ROLE, ALTER SERVERROLE and DROP SERVER ROLE commands.As a result of this new feature, SQL Server managementhas become easier and more secure. With the DBA nowhaving the ability to create server level roles, the securityrequirements are specific to the security requirement.Glenn BuschIntermediate Developer – Enterprise ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 29
  30. 30. SQL Server 2012 AnalysisServices EnhancementsThe use of OLAP capabilities by Microsoft customers is An overview of the Tabular modelamong the highest when compared to other vendors, The concepts behind the tabular modellargely due to the success and adoption of Microsoft were originally introduced in PowerPivot, aSQL Server Analysis Services, bundled with Microsoft free add-in for Microsoft Excel 2010.SQL Server. With the release of SQL Server 2012,Microsoft is adding even more benefits for OLAP users. With the release of SQL Server 2012, the model has been further enhanced, and users can now develop tabularIn addition to the Multidimensional model that has models using SQL Server Data Tools (which replaces thebeen available in previous releases of SQL Server, Business Intelligence Development Studio previous versionsSQL Server 2012 provides the ability to develop of SQL Server) for consumption by OLAP client tools suchsolutions using the Tabular model, a relational as Excel and PowerView, another SQL Server 2012 additionmodel which enables in-memory analytics. that can only report off tabular models at this stage.With the addition of the Tabular model, the Unified Tabular models use the xVelocity engine, previouslyDimensional Model that was introduced in SQL Server known as VertiPaq, which is an in-memory column2005 is now replaced by the Business Intelligence store engine which can store billions of rows ofSemantic Model (BISM), which had been labelled as data in memory and produce rapid response“one model for all user experiences – reporting, analytics, times and high data compression rates.scorecards, dashboards and custom applications.” Tabular models also bridge the gap between businessUsers now have the choice of developing solutions users and developers. Business users can develop a modelin either the multidimensional model, which is great in PowerPivot which can then become the basis of anfor analysing data, but can be complicated to set Analysis Services tabular model application – they don’tup initially; or the tabular model, which is easier need to resort to software development, which may haveto understand because of its relational model. been the case in the past. Users that are familiar with relational database structures will also find developing with the tabular models much easier than the multidimensional model Although it is still strongly recommended to have a data warehouse as a source for tabular model cubes, the tabular model can use a variety of data sources including tables, Microsoft Excel spread sheets, SQL Azure data and even multidimensional cubes. This makes it ideal for fast prototyping exercises but also enables users to enrich data in the data warehouse using data from external sources. There is also no need to first perform ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) procedures on these sources before using them, which can often be a lengthy and time consuming process.I ntroducing M icrosoft S Q L S erver 2 012 B us i n e s s I n t e l l i g e n ce 30