Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Paperback – Dec 10 2008
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About the Author
Brian Larson (Arden Hills, MN) served as a contract member of the Reporting Services development team and contributed to the code base. He has contributed to SQL Server Magazine and is the Chief of Technology for Superior Consulting Services. With over 18 years of experience in the computer industry, and 14 years as a software development consultant, Brian is an MCSD as well as an MCDBA, and has authored and delivered training curriculum for SQL Server 2000 and C#.NET as well as numerous custom applications.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that you need the custom database that is free and is downloadable and that he refers to throughout the book. What's not to like about that? You cannot find any link on the publisher's site, the reference to the page in the book doesn't work and searching for the code on the publisher's site returns empty. I finally contacted customer service who sent me over to technical services that finally sent me the link. Not the author's problem but maybe technical books should come out of the technical press.
It includes complete coverage of "what SQL Server 2008 BI can do" but is short on "how to do it". There is a good mix of theory, examples, and practice with many "Learn-by-doing" exercises. These are very valuable. The book does include enough detail to answer most beginners' questions.
Big problem with the examples though.
There is a cube project called MaxMinSalesDM. This is created by one VS2010 project. It is populated by another. Problem is the column names in one of the tables are incorrect (in the analysis services project, a table is called SalesPerson, but in the SSIS projects that populate the cube, the table is referenced as Sales_Person. When populating the Slowly changing dimension, this causes an error.
For a beginner, i need to learn by example of these projects, and dont have the knowledge to fix these errors. This has caused me hours of trouble and for this reason, i might just skip this book if you are going to rely on the projects.
Maybe surprisingly, the SSAS section is the best part of the book - in particular, the MDX and Data Mining chapters. MDX is a quirky #if incredibly powerful# language, and the examples and diagrams in Chapters 11 and 12 are VERY well thought out and presented. You'll have to go to other sources to truly master either MDX or Data Mining, but this book contains a fine foundation. I dived straight into both these topics previously, using more 'advanced' books, and regretted it.
The final section is around SSRS, to my mind the dullest, most vanilla, part of the MS BI stack. Ploughing through plumbing/security/drudgery is not something I ever find interesting, but even SSRS was made interesting here through examples consuming OLAP and DM. Finally, a cool little bonus hidden away in Chapter 18 showing an example of programming through [...].
I'd highly recommend the book - it's a comprehensive and practical overview.
In short - an excellent book for starters.
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