Oct
21
2008

Didn't make it to the recent Microsoft BI Conference?

Well, you saved a ton of money, but missed a lot of fascinating presentations. Each hour brought another panicked decision over which talk to choose, from the several available tracks. (Except when Donald Farmer's title promised to make me "cool, smart, and sexy" by hearing about the Data Mining Add-ins for Excel.)

But all is not lost! Content from many of the Integration Services presentations is, or will soon be, available...

  • Official SSIS team blogger Matt Masson presented on "best practices for using Lookup". Matt has just today begun to share his presentation in a series of blog postings, of which this is the first.
  • Denny Lee from the SQL Customer Advisory Team, and dev lead Matt Carroll from the SSIS team, presented on "top 10 best practices for Integration Services". When I proposed that Denny write up an article for us, I learned that, duh, it had already just been published here.
  • Representatives from Attunity presented on their recently-released connectors for Oracle and Teradata. White papers that describe how to use the connectors in greater detail are in progress, and will be announced as soon as they're available.
  • MVP and blogger John Welch from Mariner led a walkthrough of his Codeplex project for unit testing of Integration Services packages, ssisUnit, which is already released on Codeplex. John also gave another talk on programming custom data flow components, and demonstrated with a relatively simple code sample that he may also share through Codeplex or his blog.
  • Len Wyatt reported on his team's success in loading 1 TB of data in 30 minutes using Integration Services. Len tells me that a white paper is in progress, but may not be available until after PASS because of the team's other obligations.
  • Joy Mundy of the respected Kimball Group presented on using SSIS to load a Kimball method data warehouse. Since the Kimball Group earns much of its revenue from books and training, I know that I'm not going to convince Joy to write up her talk for free. But her book The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit: With SQL Server 2005 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Tools has 65 pages on the same subject.
  • Finally, MVP and PASS EVP Rushabh Mehta delivered a thorough talk on data cleansing using only out-of-the-box SSIS components and methods, including the new Data Profiling task. It's so rare to see a simple demo of Fuzzy Grouping and Fuzzy Lookup! Rushabh is one busy guy, but I hope he may find time to write up (or record) a summary of his talk. In the meantime, you can fill in the gap with my 10-minute video intro to the Data Profiling task, and the existing white paper on the Fuzzy components by their creators.

For another angle on the BI Conference, both technical, strategic, and, uh, more light-hearted, see the series of posts by Jamie Thomson's colleague from Conchango, Mick Horne, about his several days in Seattle. The story begins at 5:20 am in the street in the rain in underwear, continues with the Vampire Women of the Washington State Convention Center, and survives the risk of a black hole caused by "a room full of overweight technologists" endlessly circling the table of crab cakes at high velocity.

-Doug