Douglas McDowell

Douglas
McDowell

Douglas McDowell is director of Business Intelligence at Solid Quality Learning, a SQL Server MVP, and a charter member of the Professional Association of SQL Server Regional Mentor program. He is an MCSE, an MCDBA, an MCT, and winner of Microsoft's Worldwide Business Intelligence Solution of the Year.

Articles
Master Data Management Challenges
Microsoft is rebuilding Stratature's MDM solution for release later this year, so it's smart to start talking about MDM now.
My PerformancePoint Server Wish List
Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 can enhance your BI and BPM capabilities. But the product could be even better—here's a wish list for new features and for how to integrate the various components of PPS in future releases.
A Total BI Solution from Dell and Microsoft 2
SQL Server Magazine live at PASS 2007 Community Summit

* Hear a solution to your BI needs

* Dell and Microsoft panelists, moderated by Douglas McDowell, discuss the latest Dell and Microsoft partnership

Can’t Wait for SQL Server 2008! 1
Maybe it’s not too soon for SQL Server 2008, especially when you consider how 2008 offers strong BI enhancements in three key areas: Reporting Services, Database Services, and operational management.
2007 PASS Community Summit and PerformancePoint 2007 Launch

Last week (September 17-21) was quite a week for SQL Server and Microsoft business intelligence (BI) folks. Two big events happened: the 2007 Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) Community Summit and the Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 launch.

Reasons Why You Might Think You Should Build a Cube on a Transactional Data Model
SSAS lets developers create OLAP cubes based on relational data models that aren't designed for BI. Does this mean you should build a cube? No, but here are some reasons why you might think you should.
4 Darn Good Reasons for Not Building Cubes on Transactional Systems
Don't build that cube! OLTP–based cubes are usually poorly designed for BI and contain dirty data. Still not convinced? There's more.
Back-to-Back SQL Server 2008 CTPs 1

This June, instead of kicking back for the summer, I was ramped up about SQL Server 2008 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1. (See last month's commentary, "SQL Server 2008 CTP1: BI Is Coming, We Promise," InstantDoc ID 96374.) And then, only six weeks after the CTP1 was released, and setting an aggressive pace for itself, Microsoft released CTP2. In the latest CTP, you'll find:

What's the Best Way to Carve Up a SAN? 1
Your SAN engineer might not know the finer points of BI database storage. To stave off trouble, you need to be involved in the SAN configuration process.
Is BI Agnosticism Always Best?

Why is everyone so "platform-agnostic" when talking about business intelligence (BI)? I think the lion's share of BI content out there is far too noncommittal regarding BI platforms and tools. People want best practices and prescriptive guidance about how to execute those practices. This lack of commitment goes beyond print media; I often find myself in discussions about BI that smell a lot like political correctness: Everyone talks generally about best practices but never gets down to platform specifics for fear of offending someone.

SQL Server 2008 CTP1: BI Is Coming, We Promise

It's summer. Schools are out; folks are heading out to vacation; it's time to sit back and take it easy. At least that's what I thought until I showed up at this year's TechEd in Orlando, Florida. There, I found out that the rumors are true: SQL Server 2008 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1 has been released!

Microsoft's First-ever BI Conference Was a Success

You missed a great event if you weren't in Seattle May 9-11 for Microsoft's first-ever business intelligence (BI) conference. Of course you know I'm biased, but I was just tickled pink to finally get a conference dedicated completely to Microsoft BI instead of just a small corner of a mega-conference's master agenda (like there will be at TechEd 2007 in Orlando June 4-8). It was quite a change to not spend my time convincing folks to attend BI sessions—-all of the sessions were BI!

PerformancePoint Server CTP2 Introduces "Planning"

Microsoft just released Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Community Technology Preview 2 (CTP2), bringing it one step closer to the final release. In my December commentary, 'Tis the season for CTPs: PerformancePoint Server 2007 CTP1" (InstantDoc ID 94693), I talked-up the first CTP of Microsoft's performance management application server, Office PerformancePoint Server 2007.

Do You Know Your MVPs? 1

Where do you go for expert SQL Server technical guidance? MSDN or TechNet, SQL Server Magazine, Microsoft newsgroups and MSDN forums, your local user group, technical conferences, or regional education events? If so, chances are you've been helped by a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP).

Sleeper BI

Last week, my friend Brian Moran scooped me by telling his readers all about Gartner’s first quarter 2007 release of its "Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms." Despite his RDBMS-bias, Brian did a nice job of summarizing the Magic Quadrant concept and the way the report applies the Quadrant to current BI platforms.

Digital Magazine Archives

Browse back issues of SQL Server Pro, from January 2007 through the last issue published in April 2014. Find the back issues here.

 

From the Blogs
Mar 14, 2015
Commentary

For Data Quality, Intelligent Rules Add Value to the Golden Record 4

The quest for the Golden Record to achieve a single, accurate and complete version of a customer record is worth the pursuit to attain survivorship. Record matching and consolidation are only the beginning. Melissa Data takes a new approach. Learn how to apply intelligent rules based on reference data to make smarter and better decisions for data cleansing....More
Mar 12, 2015
blog

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 20: Avoiding Backup Fragmentation

On SQL Servers where Availability Groups (or Mirroring) isn’t in play, I typically recommend keeping a combination of on-box backups along with copying said backups off-box as well. Obviously, keeping databases AND backups on the SAME server is the metaphorical equivalent of putting all of your eggs in one basket – and therefore something you should avoid like the plague....More
Mar 6, 2015
blog

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 19: Availability Group Database Backups

One of the biggest strengths of AlwaysOn Availability Groups is that they allow DBAs to address both high availability and disaster recovery concerns from a single set of tooling or interfaces. But, this doesn’t mean that you won’t still need backups....More
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