Why I Love SQL Server 2016’s SP1

Service Pack 1 (SP1) for SQL Server 2016 pleasantly surprised a lot of us by coming out less than 6 months after SQL Server 2016 RTMed. What was even more pleasantly surprising were the several Enterprise-only features that have now been enabled for Standard and even Express editions with this release.

Two of my favorite features that have been enabled for Standard Edition are In-memory OLTP and ColumnStore. Why? In my line of work, there are lots of instances when I propose a business intelligence solution, that I have to envision a BI strategy for the organization that I deal with. This strategy of course, will not be a one time implementation. Business Intelligence is a journey, you would in a lot of cases need to start small, where budget is a primary concern, and you need to show the stakeholders value, and then based on the value you showcase you expand on technology, usage scenarios and more. And in these cases, value should come with costs that are not insane; Insane as in proposing an Enterprise Edition of SQL Server at the inception, just so that you could show value and performance.

And so now you know why I love Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2016 — It helps me envision strategy with less cost.

 

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Configuring Power BI Integration with Reporting Services

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), the de-facto reporting tool in the Microsoft business intelligence stack has been losing attention while its cousin Power BI, has been stealing the limelight with updates and goodies coming out at a regular pace. While, Power BI is a nice little tool for flashy reports and dashboards, it lacks the features to build complex reports. But that is just how Power BI is meant to be used. But once in a while there comes a requirement where someone might think that it would be nice to have a portion of an SSRS report pinned onto a Power BI dashboard – SQL Server 2016 makes this possible.

When configuring Reporting Services in SQL Server 2016 (I’ve noticed it beginning CTP3) using the Reporting Services Configuration Manager, you will see a new tab for Power BI Integration.

SSRS_PowerBI_Configuration_01

SSRS_PowerBI_Configuration_01

All you have to do is hit the Register with Power BI button and sign in to your Power BI account, and you are registered!

SSRS_PowerBI_Configuration_02

The next post on this theme would be more in-depth where I’ll get into the next steps…