Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Data Model Capabilities

In SQL Server 2012, there is a new data model called Tabular which is an addition to the existing Multidimensional Model.

So what are the limits for Tabular data model?

Feature Multidimensional Tabular

Calculated measures

Yes Yes

Distinct count

Yes Yes (via DAX)


Yes Yes



Yes (not trends)


Yes No

Linked objects

Yes No

Many-to-many relationships

Yes No

Parent-child hierarchies


Yes (via DAX)


Yes Yes


Yes Yes

Semi-additive measures

Yes Yes


Yes No

User-defined hierarchies

Yes Yes

Custom assemblies

Yes No

Custom rollups

Yes No


Yes No

Data mining

Yes No

If you require data mining, writeback, or translations within a data model, this can only be facilitated by multidimensional data models.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Microsoft Launches SQL Server 2014 Preview 2

On Wednesday Microsoft announced the release of SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 2 (CTP2).

SQL Server 2014 was announced a few months ago. It continues much of the technologies of SQL Server 2012, which was shipped about two years ago. However, Microsoft is stressing several new capabilities in SQL Server 2014 CTP2: The use of in-memory online transactional processing (OLTP) technology that formerly went by the code name "Hekaton," and the ability to use SQL Server 2014 with Windows Azure to enable scalability, as was as backup and disaster recovery support.

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2014 CTP2

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 2

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ford drives in the right direction with big data

Nowadays, Ford uses big data to find out what their customers want and to develop better cars faster. Developing a product that requires 20.000 – 25.000 different parts to develop, big data seems to be the only way forward and Ford bets heavily on big data.

Ford actually opened a lab in Silicon Valley to improve its cars with big data. In order to progress their cars regarding fuel consumption, safety, quality and emissions, Ford gathers data from over four million cars with in-car sensors and remote application management software. All data is analysed in real-time giving engineers valuable information to notice and solve issues in real-time, know how the car responds in different road and weather conditions and any other forces that could affect the car.

Ford is also installing numerous sensors in their cars to monitor behaviour. They install over 74 sensors in cars including sonar, cameras, radar, accelerometers, temperature sensors and rain sensors. As a result, it Energi line of plug-in hybrid cars generate over 25 gigabytes of data every hour. This data is returned back to the factory for real-time analysis and returned to the driver via a mobile app. The cars in its testing facility even generate up to 250 gigabytes of data per hour from smart cameras and sensors.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Getting Started with Data Mining in SQL Server

As database professionals, we typically work in a field of exact science. For example, a common practice in business intelligence (BI) solutions is creating duplicate copies of data sets, then comparing the results from the different sources to make sure they're the same. If you extract five years' worth of data from an application's database and put it into a data mart, the results in the data mart must be the same as the results in the application's database, even if the table structures were changed and older records were archived. You might build a cube or semantic model and again check to make sure the results are exactly the same as the source system. If the numbers don't add up, the results are rejected because you know that something is wrong and must be corrected. I have to confess that not getting a conclusive result when working on a tough data problem sometimes keeps me up at night.

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