Monday, May 31, 2010

Deliver a knock out punch with PowerPivot

In the last couple of Microsoft events PowerPivot took a pivotal role and I could not ignore it anymore. It's awesome. Microsoft Excel was (and is) darling of those who crunched numbers. What PowerPivot has done is to give them even more crunching power; a strong analytical and data visualizing tool; a larger canvas to plug-in (a COM Plug-in) their numbers; a lot more access to resources of all kinds and all of this in a file size hard to believe; and a processing time even harder to comprehend.

What do you need to have. Well for starters you need to have Excel 2010 as the core application to which you add-on PowerPivot. In fact you need all of the following (according to documentation):

•Requires Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 Trial
•PowerPivot for Excel supports 32-bit or 64-bit machines
•PowerPivot requires a minimum of 1 GB of RAM (2 GB or more recommended)
 The amount of memory needed will depend on the PowerPivot solution you are designing
•Requires Windows XP with SP3, Windows Vista with SP1 or Windows 7
•If you are running a version of Windows other than Windows 7, you will need to download and
 install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1

I run on Windows 7 Ultimate and using an evaluation version of Office Professional Plus 2010 Beta
You can download PowerPivot (Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 - PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010 - RTM) from here:

When you install PowerPivot you get a menu item appear on your Excel spread sheet as shown:

Do you need to know SQL? No, it has its own DML called DAX (Data Analysis Expression Language)

You also need samples to work with. You can get them on a spread sheet or in an MS Access file from here:

Although it is for massive number crunching you can bring in images as well. Well you need yet another tool - Silverlight Pivot Control. This is still baking and will be ready in the near future. But you can get ready by downloading and installing Pivot Collection Tool for Microsoft Excel(there is a command line version also).

You download Pivot collection tool from here:
I will skip this detail for you (I did it as I did not know about the CodePlex stuff. When you install it you add another menu item to your Excel) there is a CodePlex tool even better here:

All of this getting really memorable on this Memorial Day more of the rest in my next.

You can learn all about PowerPivot from here:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New York Launch of Office 2010 and SharePoint

On May 13th 2010 Microsoft launched the Office 2010 through its "Launch 2010 Technical Readiness Series" in Brooklyn at the Marriott. The event was attended by a large gathering of both IT Track and Developer Track enthusiasts.

It was a 7:30 A.M to 5:00 PM event complete with lectures and vendor exhibits. There were a number of interesting talks delivered by Microsoft Evangelists and MVPs.

These were some I attended and paid attention to:

Windows Development with VS 2010
Web and Cloud Development with VS 2010

Actually the cloud part was small.

The vendors that I talked to were among the following:

Windows Phone
SolarTech [Microsoft Training Provider]
Open Text
Sogeti [Global reach with a Local Touch] --There was also a vendor presentation
Computer Generated Solutions Inc
eMazzenti [Computer Network Solutions-setup, support and management]
K2 [SharePoint Workflow and Process driven apps]
Newsgator [SocialSites for SharePoint 2010]
Nuance [Speech and Imaging Solutions]
MS Dynamic[Business Productivity Infrastructure]
Windows 7

Some of them were consulting or training companies; some were adding value to SharePoint and some talking about what is coming.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Using Microsoft sample SQL Server databases (2000,2005,2008)

Often times you may want to test something simple and you don’t want to create a database of your own. You can use Microsoft relational database samples. These samples are available for most versions. Recently samples are not bundled with the servers and you may have to get them from online sources.

Read the rest of the story here:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Optimize experience using PHP on Windows OS and SQL Servers

One of the bastions of LAMP has arrived at Windows OS with full regalia . This highlights two facts, firstly Microsoft's increasing willingness to accept PHP despite the rich flora and fauna of .NET technology; secondly the world got that much larger with ability to fork out in other directions. It is not just because Microsoft is nice, but because PHP userbase is large and sky is the limit for the cloud. Most importantly it is free.

Details of phpBB3 that makes it possible here:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exclusively Microsoft SQL Servers

I have started a new blog exclusively covering topics that interested me (off /On) related to Microsoft SQL Servers. I also plan on posting links to my older articles on this subject.

I am a busy guy, you will also find new stuff that may help you in your learning experience.

Well, Hodentek is all about learning.

Welcome to the new blog.


Monday, May 03, 2010

Oracle follows up on VS2010

ODAC in beta became available. It has new versions of Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio,

  • Oracle Providers for ASP.NET
  • .NET Stored Procedures
ODAC Beta download down here:

VS2010 has .NET 4.0 and so Oracle's new feature is the support it provide for NET Framework 4 and .NET Framework 4 Client Profile support as well as support for ASP.NET 4.0.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Troubleshooting a SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP Windows 7

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 was recently released. It is a major upgrade with many new features and a 'Cloud ready' database server. Accessing SQL Azure has become very easy and new features such as 'Mars' are added frequently. SQL Azure being a subset of SQL Server 2008 R2 is sure to expand to support most of the major features.

Installing SQL Server 2008 on more recent OS versions such as Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 will continue to draw attention.Installation of SQL Servers; modifying them; adding feauters and removing features / software has become very easy thanks to Microsoft in this endeavor. However it is not always a repeatable process. Read my article on installing an earlier version of SQL Server 2008 here

What makes it frustrating is the fact that there is no repeatability. For example, although this version of SQL Server software is supported on Windows XP Professional with SP3, I have not been able to install it successfully. I have not tried it recently as installation and repair of SQL Servers is neither what I do routinely nor for another reason.
I could install SQL Server 2008 R2 November-CTP easily on a new Windows 7 RC but not on this version in this article. Another reason for all this could be that being a CTP the guarantee that it is supported on a given OS is not rock solid.

This article is for an installation of SQL Server 2008 R2 NOV-CTP (x32) on a notebook computer after a fresh install of Windows 7 ultimate(x32). The download of the server software is from the Microsoft site which unpacks to a tree-view folder structure that has the file to start installing the software and all required files. The article describes the installation and troubleshooting of the installation and the work around.

Read the full article here:


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