Fun times at SSAS Workshop

I had the extreme pleasure of attending the SSAS Workshop by PragmaticWorks this week, which was a two-day session with a bonus third day entirely focused on Denali (Expedition Denali). Brian Knight (blog | @brianknight), Dustin Ryan (blog | @SQLDusty) and Lonnie Mejia (LinkedIn) were on site at the Microsoft Southwest District office in Tempe, AZ which has a beautiful view of Tempe Town Lake.

I have only had a little exposure to SQL Server Analysis Services before this and from what I have learned I do know that our own data warehouse group could significantly benefit from this workshop. I am not mocking them whatsoever, but I am saying some processes could be handled differently. For example cube updates. Instead of providing me the entire visual studio solution they can easily provide me a XMLA script which I can use in SSMS to deploy the dimension update. Things like this I never knew, so this was a real eye opener for me and gives me the needed ammo to fight with our developers. Kidding! It does however allow me to extend my freshly acquired knowledge to that group in a non-confrontational way of course (fingers crossed behind back).

Business intelligence has a warm place in my heart and the time I did spend developing reports was exciting. To be honest I would love nothing more than to be able to go from zero to data warehouse to SSAS slice and dice to full publish on reporting services, sharepoint, etc… in a week or so. I believe as a DBA that would be a valuable skill-set to have under my belt. This course is my step towards that direction.

There is no doubt that this workshop packs in a lot of information. The two days are literally bursting at the seams with information but this is definitely a MUST for those looking to get into the SSAS world. The PragmaticWorks staff really demystified SSAS. Their lectures and labs are delivered in such a manner that it is really easy to keep up with the pace. Throughout the course you are walked through the process of setting up an SSAS project all the way through creating cubes, dimensions, mining structures, roles and everything in between. The price of the course is a bargain given everything you walk away with.

I think the most action came towards the ending of day two. The room was divided down the middle and the groups were paired against each other to build an SSAS project from start to finish following a set of requirements. Then you needed to create a report in either reporting services or excel based on the cube we published. Everyone participated either by being the designated drivers (at the computer), yelling out the requirements, providing assistance and so on. It was intense! I must mention that “Team Dustin” my group WON the challenge against “Team Brian”. Better luck next time Brian! We literally beat them by 1-2 seconds at best. Nonetheless a fantastic method to illustrate not only what we had learned but more importantly what we had retained. If you get the opportunity to attend this workshop I would highly recommend it. You will not be sorry!

Expedition Denali (Day 3) was very exceptional. I have not touched Denali at all but from what Roger Doherty (blog | @Doherty100) and Brian Knight were covering and demoing I cannot wait till RTM. I would totally spill the beans because there are so many very cool and sexy things coming… but their “body-guard/new sales guy” Lonnie is a pretty big guy so I will refrain. Here he is working through the demo.

Random pics

    

Get IP Address From Windows Command Line

I know many can and will say I can simply use ipconfig or ping the local computer name and to an extent that’s true. In my case I really only want the IP Address and nothing else, just the plain IP Address. I don’t want the extra verbiage that goes along with it.

To get started let’s run through a simple statement, but before we do know that this is geared towards a command prompt and not a batch. The syntax is slightly different.

Step 1: Get only one reply

ping %computername% -4 -n 1 | find /i "reply"

Step 2: Get all left of the colon

FOR /f "tokens=1 delims=:" %d IN ('ping %computername% -4 -n 1 ^| find /i "reply"') DO ECHO %d

Step 3: Get the IP Address

FOR /f "tokens=1 delims=:" %d IN ('ping %computername% -4 -n 1 ^| find /i "reply"') DO FOR /F "tokens=3 delims= " %g IN ("%d") DO echo %g

Step 4: Get the first octet


You might question why you would only want the first octet and the answer is simple. Based on that single value I can determine what the backup share is. So if I were to return only the first octet into a stored procedure then it can dynamically perform backups accordingly to the appropriate share.

FOR /F "tokens=1 delims=:" %d IN ('ping %computername% -4 -n 1 ^| find /i "reply"') DO FOR /F "tokens=3 delims= " %g IN ("%d") DO FOR /F "tokens=1 delims=." %h IN ("%g") DO ECHO %h

At this point you might be asking yourself what the syntax means. Well here is the scoop using (Step 2) as a reference point. Well consider tokens as segments of a single item that is separated by a specific value.

Let’s examine the following string:

Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Looks pretty straightforward for the most part but if you think about what the separating value that you’ll want to use then the string begins to appear differently. For example I want to set the delims otherwise known as the deliminator character to a colon. Well there is only one colon therefore making two tokens. All characters left and all character right of the colon.

So by me running (Step 2) I am essentially requesting all characters to the left of the colon, because I am only asking for token 1. If I specified token 2 then I would get all characters to the right of the colon including the leading space.

FOR /f "tokens=2 delims=:" %d IN ('ping %computername% -4 -n 1 ^| find /i "reply"') DO ECHO %d

Now moving onto (Step 3) I am essentially breaking apart the string into three tokens because I am setting the delims to a space which is represented by delims= “. There is a space between the = and the “.

Let’s examine the string:

Reply from 127.0.0.1

Hopefully at this point you are able to see the three tokens in the above string. So in order to return only the IP Address I only request token 3.

POP QUIZ

Q1. What would be the delims value for 127.0.0.1?
Q2. How many tokens will be as a result?
Q3. What token will I need to request to get the first octet?