Monday, April 22, 2013

Appending to Existing Backup Set in SQL Server

When you are taking a backup of SQL Server database, you can append the backup to an existing backup set, which is the default option selected. This can be done by selecting an existing backup file (if you are using a disk backup) as the destination. Appending to an existing backup set is also possible with tape backups. Once you select the same backup file, and choose to append to an existing backup set, the new backup will be appended to the end of the previous backup.

When it comes to restoring, if you select a backup file, it will select, by default, the last backup set in the backup media. But how can we select a different backup set to be restored? Once you select the backup media for restoring, the last backup set will be selected. You can see that in the "Backup sets to restore" list, the name of the last taken backup set is shown. However, you can select a previous backup set by clicking  "Timeline" button in the "Destination" section, right above the backup set list. There you get a timeline of backup sets available in the selected media, and provides the option to select which backup set should be restored. You can simply click on the backup set, or select the date/time of the backup set based on which the correct backup set will be selected from the timeline. Once the backup set is selected, SQL Server will restore it instead of the latest.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Hekaton from Microsoft

The project, code named "Hekaton", brings the latest in memory technology that integrates with Microsft SQL Server, and is  planned to be released with the next version of SQL Server. This promises upto 50 times performance improvement on industry level hardware. Below are some links for more information,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

PowerView Add In for Excel not Detecting Silverlight, Trouble installing silverlight for Powerview Excel Add in

I came across this situation where I have enabled PowerView on excel and still it kept on saying that SilverLight is installed, even when Silverlight is installed on my computer. The reason for this is, the version of silverlight installed was the one downloaded through chrome ( or any other browser, not Internet Explorer). For powerview to work,  you need to download Silverlight through Internet Explorer and install. This would solve the problem.

Choosing between Tabular Model and Multidimensional Model

A document with detailed information on choosing the right model for the BI project. Can be download from the below link,

Click here to go to download page

Monday, January 07, 2013

SQL Server Reporting Services - Multiple Personality Syndrome with Dynamic Borders

Recently I was working with a SSRS 2012 report on a BI project and it required to have dynamic border styles for some of the tables in the the reports. SSRS gives you option to write "Expressions" for the border style property, for each side (Top, Bottom, Left and Right). So I simply wrote my expressions for each to dynamically change the border style to either "Solid" or "None" based on a condition. I ran the report in the debug mode, within Data Tool, and it was all fine. The border styles changed as expected.

However, The reports were supposed to be uploaded to a Report Server and executed through the web interface When I tested the same report via the web interface, non of my dynamic styles were present. It always had "Solid" style, in all the scenarios. I rechecked the source files, re-tested it within data tools and the report was running fine. But again, when I uploaded it to the report server and ran it through the web interface, the borders were always solid.

After hours of struggling with this tiny issue, I have found that border styles work in two different ways in data tools and web interface. The border style property has one extra property called "Default". The value that is specified here for default (None, Solid ...etc), will override all the expressions specified for each side (left, right ..etc) only when the report is run via the web interface.