Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Standard setting Microsoft Power BI enters GA

PowerBI 2.0 was released recently (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powerbi/archive/2015/07/24/power-bi-is-generally-available-today.aspx).  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.

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 live.com 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?

Review all the data sources from which you can get data for visualization here.


Supply chain efficiency improvement with RFID technology and Microsoft Azure

Shipping is one area where movements are fast and errors can be costly. Combined with volume and variety keeping track of which container went where can be very challenging.

RampRFID uses RFID tags on equipment which actually do the moving of containers and keeping track of container movement on Microsoft Azure by storing information on SQL Azure database. The tracking is automated thanks to the RFID tags and data get stored on Microsoft Azure.

RampRFID recently implemented the Azure + RFID tags based solution in Australia:

Learn more about RampRFID's Products and Solutions here:
  • RFID Solutions:
  • RFID Asset Tracking
  • RFID Vehicle Tracking
  • RFID Inventory Tracking
  • RFID Project Materials Tracking
The verticals from Ramp's web site:
Oil, Gas & Mining – RFID solutions to track personnel, assets and vehicles leading to higher levels of safety and efficiency.

Construction – RFID solutions to track and automate the materials handling processes and improve inefficiencies.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods – Item level RFID solutions to automate manual processes, enabling retailers to improve the speed and precision of receiving, matching, restocking and cycle counts.

Transport & Logistics – Technology delivering real-time visibility, up-to-date information and control of all operational processes in the port and maritime supply chain.

Healthcare –  RFID solutions providing real- time asset management, personnel tracking, proximity detection, and environment monitoring to reduce the risk and cost of providing excellent healthcare.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Install Visual Studio Express 2015 for Windows Desktop

In order to develop Windows Desktop applications such as Win 32 Console applications you cannot use the Visual Studio Express 2015 Community.

For the templates supported by Visual Studio Express 2015 Community review this  post. Visual Studio Express 2015 Community also has a Windows node in the templates, but that allows
you to create Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 applications only as described in this post.

However to create Windows Desktop and console applications you need to install Visual Studio Express 2015 for Windows Desktop.

This post describes the details of this installation.

You can download this free edition from this location  and you may have to do some registering.


Double click the downloaded executable to begin installaiton. You require 3GB space for this application.


It takes less time than the Visual Studio Express 2015 Community. You can launch it soon after installation and it takes a little while to prepare the IDE.


Here are the Installed Templates in this edition.
Installed templates01

Visual C# -Classic Desktop


Visual C# - Test
  • Unit Test Project
Visual Basic -Classic Desktop

Visual Basic - Test
  • Unit Test Project
Visual C++


Visual C++ - CLR


Visual C++ - General
  • Empty Project and
  • Makefile Project
Visual C++ - Test
  • Managed Test Project
  • Native Unit Test Project
Visual  C++ - Win32
  • Win32 Console Application
  • Win32 Project
SQL Server
  • SQL Server Database Project- Get more templates here using the link
Visual Studio Solutions
  • Blank Solution
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