String Replacement Puzzle

Courtesy of SQL Server Pro. You can find the original article here. My dad, Gabriel Ben-Gan, passed away recently. He loved numbers, logic and puzzles, and used to solve problems in his own unique way. This article is about a puzzle that incorporates the above... read more

Power BI Workshop Videos

I’ve created a series of five tutorial videos for a set of workshops I’ll be doing at several events this year.  The workshop is available from an hour-long quick demo to a full-day, hands-on workshop with a hosted lab environment in the cloud.  The series teaches how... read more

New Power BI Preview and Pricing

Some exciting announcements were made today about the new Power BI cloud-based business analytics service. Today Power BI is an add-on service for Office 365 that requires an enterprise-level license – about $50 per user per month

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Drill-through to Details from Reporting Services to Excel

Can an SSRS report be designed to drill-through to an Excel workbook in-context (showing only the same filtered detail data)? I have to admit that I have been chasing this solution for a few years now before I was motivated enough to work it through to a viable result. More than a few consulting clients have asked if it is possible to build a dashboard solution with the option to drill-through to transactional details in Excel. The answer has always been “well, sort of” …we could only drill-through to an SSRS report and then export the contents of that report to Excel. That answer usually wasn’t good enough for the Excel power users who need to create their own workbook formulas and calculations, and use other Excel formatting and features; like PivotTables, slicers and conditional visualizations. Over the past few years, I have used some clumsy work-around techniques and discovered things like: if the target workbook were published in SharePoint and managed in a web part, workbook parameters can be used with great effort to achieve this task. However, that option has not proven to be a practical solution in most cases. As my good friend Steve Eaton once said: “Anything is possible if you have a positive mental attitude, tons of money and supernatural powers.” I’ll admit that I’m short on two of the three but I do have persistence and I’m bull-headed enough to apply a little out-of-the-box thinking now and again. The technique I will demonstrate will work in a standard Reporting Services deployment with any edition of Excel on the desktop.

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New Power BI stand-alone Designer, Dashboards, APIs & iOS App

This week Microsoft announced the availability of Power BI Dashboards and the browser-based dashboard designer. What is it and why is it important? The most significant thing about it is that report and dashboard users do not need to have Excel 2013 ProPlus edition or an Office 365 subscription to use Power BI. This is very good news as it opens these amazing capabilities up to a much wider audience; those who work for companies that don’t have Office 2013 ProPlus or who are not using Office 365 ProPlus. Power BI updates and new features are being released at a very fast pace and there is much to consider. The definition of “Power BI” and Microsoft’s larger Business Intelligence and data analytics offering continues to evolve.

First, exactly what’s new and recently available?
•Web-based Power BI dashboard designer
•iOS Power BI app

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