Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Event Info 2015_4: Game Deveopers Conference 2015

Game developers Conference 2015
March 2-6, 2015
Mascone Center, San Francisco, CA
Expo: March 4-6, 2015

As a game developer you must have already visited the GDC site. If you have missed here are some details.

Developer focused Game Developers Conference 2015 begins March2. 
Hurry up, the registration closes tomorrow, Feb 25, 2015.
Microsoft, Sony, Intel are presenting the sponsored sessions:

Visual design highlighted sessions
Highlighted developer sessions
Highlighted Business related sessions

Details here:
Lots of Tutorials here: (Monday and Tuesday)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Event Info 2015_3: Microsoft Ignite

May4-8, 2015
Chicago, IL
McCormick Place Convention Center

Make sure you attend this event in Chicago if you are curious about where technology is heading.
It is the technology conference of the year and do not miss it.

An earlier posting here:

Review the sessions list here, 365 in all:

One of the interesting topics is about Skype. How is it going to evolve? How is it going to work with Office 265 and Lync? Understand diffeerent topologies for Skype. For this and other interesting topics ther arre some 24 sessions.

If you are focused on Internet of Things, I am afaid there are only 3 sessions. Could they ignite you???

Bulk of the sessions, some 123 of them focus on Office 365 and SharePoint. With SharePoint Server 2016 docking in 2016 it looks like SharePoint is here to stay. There is going to be a demo of an early version according to Redmond Magazine.

Watch this promo video from Microsoft:

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Health and Fitness App after OS upgrade

Nokia Icon's OS  was recently upgraded to version 8.1 from 8.0. This resulted in the Health and Fitness app having all its features enabled. With OS 8.0 Machine Data was not supported.

The Health and Fitness app requires a minimum charge of around 40% to produce correct  readings from its GPS. Here are some comparisons of the app before and after OS upgrade. All screen shots are for the same track but on different dates.

With 8.0. Notice no step information. Also notice GPS is smoother and measures lower values.

Windows 8.1 was rolled out sometime today or yesterday. Higher reading for slightly lower duration. Charge on battery before starting 38%

One more measurement this time at 97% charge at start.


BI projects in SQL Server Data Tools

SQL Server  Data Tools(SSDT) installs when you install SQL Server 2012 (even the SQL Server 2012 Express edition). SSDT has all the necessary project templates to start a Business Intelligence project. However it will not have the templates for other language projects such as C#, VB.NET etc.

SSDT allows you to create all the Business Intelligence related projects by providing templates for the projects. You can also create SQL Server projects as shown here:

Here is an example of creating a SQL Server Integration Services project using the Visual Studio Shell launched by SSDT that gets installed with the SQL Server.

More posts on SSDT here:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some of the sites you cannot access without inviting a zillion cookies

As I was getting ever frustrated with all kinds of pop-ups and other similar nasty stuff, I decided to use the Internet Options (this is for IE 11.0) to makes changes to my advance settings. I gave permission to accept cookies from third party and that opened a flood of cooking streaming in. Some of the sites such as Seeking Alpha, StackOverflow and many other sites flooded my browser with cookies. Here is a picture of some of the cookies (over a period of some 6~7 minutes), a really small %tage of the alerts I captured. It is not interesting to go to these sites at all if you can help it.


Finally Verizon upgraded the Nokia Icon OS

In the last couple of days Nokia has upgraded the Nokia ICON OS from Windows Phone 8.0 to Windows Phone 8.1. They took a very long time to do this. Anyway it is better late than never.
Now the Health and Fitness app can record your footsteps as Machine Data has appeared in your Settings list.

Read more about Sensor core here:

I was using the Windows Phone 8.1 developers preview and this also got upgraded.
The apps created using Windows Phone 8.1 Developer's preview cannot be opened in Windows Phone 8.1

I also notice differences in the way the apps react to OS. At least in the case of Health and fitness apps I notice two things (I will confirm in a future post with proof).
  1. The GPS tracing via map in the app appears to have more resolution.
  2.  More imporatantly the distances measured are quite different for the two OS Versions.
The OS 8.1 versions seems to measure a greater value for the measured distance than that measured on a OS 8.0 phone for the same track.

I invite anyone who reads this to comment.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

PowerBI Preview reports using data on an EXCEL file

Excel is a well known number cruncher and a super hero of Self-Service BI while PowerBI is an easy to use interface for turning out eye catching, cutting edge reports. PowerBI is still in preview.

This post describes visualization report creation using PowerBI previewon a Windows 8.1 machine which does not have Office installed.

This starts of from an MS Excel  file that was created using the Export-Import Wizard and the AdventureWorks2012 database on an instance of SQL Server 2012 running on a Windows 8.1 laptop. If you want to know how AdvTest.xls was created follow this link:

The screen shots shown here may not be step-by-step. Please review by previous posts on this topic:

When PowerBI is launched and Get Data for an Excel application is clicked you will get the following displayed:

For some reason I am not able to explain presently, PowerBI seems to duplicate the entries here for each of the tables on the SQL Server. Perhaps this will go away in the release version.
When I tried to load three of the chosen tables, the program cranks to load as shown:

However it does not load and comes up with this excuse:
If you over come this objection then you can load the table/tables as shown. The designers could have imagined this scenario and provided a direct link if not a download and install of required file.
This was the table (vSalesPerson) loaded to create the report. The Excel file (AdvTest.xls) had all these columns in several sheets in the workbook.
To create a report few of the columns in the table was used. Here is a Card Type report created using this table exported to Excel File "AdvTest.xls".

The columns chosen for the visualized report are shown on the right presently highlighted. They are just numbered column names that must be associated with the list of fields shown earlier. However the visualized report shows the names correctly.
Something the designers could have done easily was during loading of the file they should have brought in the original column names and not the numbered columns as shown here.  Also in the visualized report the column name appears as one of the cards (3r or 4th) in the above report.
Another feature that (perhaps I missed this time) perplexed me was how to move the fields to the Vertical and Horizontal axes. The drag and drop did not work.
I could list out few more problems but considering the fact it is in preview things can only get better.

p.s: One of the screen shots was replaced with the correct on

Friday, February 13, 2015

PowerBI Preview reporting from SQL Anywhere 16 - Part 2

Connection problem mentioned  in the previous post:
PowerBI Preview reporting from SQL Anywhere 16 - Part 1
was resolved.

This post describes the correct way of making a connection to SQL Anywhere 16 from Power BI and generating a report from a View on the server.

If this is the first time you land on this page, please review the following post that describes the step-by-step process:

Make sure the SQL Anywhere 16 network server has started. After launching PowerBI and hitting the Get Data link the following screen will be displayed:


Click connect to connect to the SQL Anywhere 16 server running on your laptop. The following screen is displayed.


Enter Server and Database name as shown. You can read this from the server startup screen superimposed.

Click OK on this screen. The following screen is displayed. If instead of this you may get an authentication window. In which case choose 'Database' login and use the sql/dba pair for authentication.


You may recognize these as the tables on the 'Demo' database on the samples provided by Sybase (SAP).

By default only the tables are displayed. In order to display views you may have to search for them. Review this screen from Sybase Central connected to the same server.


There is a  View called ViewSalesOrders. Insert this in the search box and click search. The ViewSearchOrders data will be displayed as shown.

Clock Load and load the data to the BI Designer. Perhaps this data may not be the greatest data ti mine, but let us go ahead and see. The data gets loaded to the mode as shown.

As shown in my previous post choose the items to be included in your report as shown on the right extreme of the next image which shows all the fields contained in the View. The report gets generated in no time at all. All that was done was to choose the fields. it cannot get any dumber!

That is all folks! Namaste


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

PowerBI Preview reporting from SQL Anywhere 16 - Part 1

This post describes the steps you may take to connect to SQL Anywhere 16's 'demo' server. Previously you have seen that it is possible to create a linked server successfully using the drivers provided with SQL Anywhere 16.

In a future article here are on my other blog,  you will learn how to use PowerPivot to connect to SQL Anywhere 16.

Here are some screen shots of PowerBI  connecting  to SQL Anywhere.
Before you start connecting make sure you have started the SqlAnywhere 16 server successfully and also Sybase Central to verify that you can access the objects.

If you have followed my earlier article here:

You will notice that PowerBI can obtain its data from a Sybase Database as(I am assuming that SQL Anywhere 16 is a Sybase database) shown

Choose Sybase Database and click Connect button. The following screen will be displayed

I have superposed the server start up screen on the PowerBI's screen. The server name is demo16. This server takes the pair dba/sql as username and password for connection, a database authentication.

When I complete the database name 'demo' and click Ok on the PowerBI's Sybase Database page, the following will be displayed:

I enter the authentication information (dba/sql) and click Connect, the following will be displayed

Looks like the program is looking for an IP Address.  Since the server is running on the local computer the IP address should be the same as the computer's IP address. Also from Sybase Central 16 you find the following:


Every connection turns up in a Query in PowerBI and you can delete the query to connect to a new connection. Following the above reasoning the following connection was tried:


After clicking OK the following was displayed.

However trying to connect produces the following:


It appears that there is a connectivity problem via PowerBI where as ODBC Ole DB seems to work as well as ODBC drivers. The PowerBI program certainly needs enhancements in terms of allowing ODBC and OLE DB drivers in addition to the vendor products.  Also the interactive screens should provide a gateway for a solution rather than a hard stop.

I am sure these will improve in the final version. In the mean time if I find a work around you may find it on this blog should you revisit.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Spin out a cutting edge report with Power BI under 10 minutes

PowerBI presetnly in preview is available free for users in USA. You only have to agree to licese terms and you are on your way to creating a great looking report under 10 minutes. Any programming requirements? None.

What do you need to get this great report going?

You need to get the PowerBI and download it to your machine from here:


Launch it and connect to your data. Here is a screen shot of PowerBi designer right after launching it. It is the starting page. It looks like a Office page with ribbon and a main menu.

To author a report, you will have to provide information about your datasource. In the present post PowerBI was used to connect to SQL Server 2012. The Sales.SalesPerson table in AdventureWorks2012 database was used to generate the report.

You also have to provide connection information and more importantly information about what you want to report upon. This involves choosing the preferred table or view.There was no programming involved. If you have worked with Power View reports in SQL Server 2012 you sail through very easily, even otherwise it is intuitive.

If you want a thorough grinding in Power View, I have a whole chapter on Power View in my illustrated book, Learn SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services shown below:

As I emphasized earlier you have to know what you are reporting about and server authentication.

Here SalesLastYear and SalesYTD for some of the store personnel is reported. The fields are the ones you choose and voila you a report ready.

PowerBI is still in preview and by the time it gets released it will have gotten input from so many you will be getting a very superior product.

You can find a more descriptive post on my other site in a day or two:


Sunday, February 08, 2015

Copyright infringement on Blogger

Google support for alleged violation of copyright infringment takes you to filling up this form on this page:

However, you are required to report violation of a single specific URL.
This means if your blog has some 900 posts and all of them are plagiarised you need to fill up 900 forms. This is not helping at all.

I am sure Google advertisers are hurt if proper action is not taken by Google.  If the whole blog is violated then Google should provide a means to report the violation as in my case:

My blog is: and the Blogger blog which has violated the copyright is:

I have not given permission to the  site owner (hodentekhyperloop2)

Friday, February 06, 2015

Power BI unchained

I do not think this post is strongly worded. Everything Microsoft did anytime was tied to either Windows or Office.  The New Power BI, a natural language accessible, Microsoft new product is not just for some thing 'Microsoft'. In fact, I heard that the new Power BI was released first to iOS.

Power BI and Machine learning are going to play out big in coming months and years. PowerBi is going to squeze out all data that enters Microsoft that is exposed as a collection and crunched in Machine Intelligence. Once there, creating an app to levarage is no brainer. Of course BI is
the motivation. No data is lost which does not contribute to BI. Stop.

Actually this is considered 3rd gen BI. The first gen where you struggled with cubes and all in Analysis Service; the second gen with self-service BI for those who were uninitatiated to the mysteries of SSAS. The motivation and the drive has always been to make it easy for the

How does this stack against Tableau? Well read more here.

Making PowerBI free is a very wise move. If not, Google will be readily
Power BI has come of age and it has ascended to the cloud and there to stay..

Look at all the places from where you can mine the intelligence: Protection Status