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Treasures for Microsoft Business Intelligence found On Codeplex

Posted by Elon B. on January 4, 2010

I was fortunate enough to attend Microsoft’s Tech-Ed event in Berlin in Nov 2009 and went to a good session on useful projects to be found on Codeplex, for MS BI Developers/Architects, given by Markus Raatz (General Manager, ixto GmbH)
“Looking at the wealth of information that is present on Microsoft’s open source platform Codeplex.com, do you ever wish you could take a 14 days holiday on a remote island, just to have the time to explore all the good stuff?”
BIDS Helper, OLAP PivotTable Extensions, MDX Parameter, Slowly Changing Dimension component, and many more projects were shown in this presentation so that you can make use of some free tools in your Microsoft BI project.
So, What is CodePlex?
CodePlex is Microsoft’s open source project hosting web site. You can use CodePlex to create new projects to share with the world, join others who have already started their own projects, or use the applications on this site and provide feedback.
It should be noted though that these projects are not supported by Microsoft, but rather the community.
Markus highlighted several useful tools, developers should be aware of that can dramatically help with SQL Server 2005/2008 BI projects.
A Visual Studio.Net add-in with features that extend and enhance the functionality of the SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 BI Development Studio (BIDS).
Can be very useful for project documentation, amongst other things. Includes tools for SSIS, SSAS and SSRS
An Excel 2007 add-in which extends the functionality of PivotTables on Analysis Services cubes
The MDX Parameter sample is a tool that can capture SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) MDX query trace with parameter values, and substitute the MDX query parameter names with values. After the MDX parameters are substituted with parameter values, it is easier to debug and test the MDX query in SQL Server 2005 Management Studio.
DTLoggedExec is a tool that allows you to run a Sql Server Integration Services (SSIS) Package producing a full and detailed logging informations of execution status and package runtime data, including dataflow profiling information. In brief it allows to fully log and instrument package execution
A custom Data Flow component for SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) that replaces the standard SCD Wizard with a superior experience, from the configuration UI to runtime performance. Performs 100x faster than the standard component, and edits are non-destructive.
The solution tracks the selected parameters from a report execution and uses them later for the next execution to take them as default parameters. This enables users to log parameters and inspect the execution statistics of reports as well as caching former execution parameters.
Other Projects to look at include
  • ReportServerExplorer – This windows application lets you manage a Microsoft Reporting Services server
  • StandardCDC – StandardCDC is a project to enable customers on Standard Edition SQL Server (2005 or above) to implement data capture in a manner conceptually equivalent to the Change Data Capture feature in SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition.
  • SQL Server 2-D Matrix Builder – This project is all about bringing a “2-D matrix builder” to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (or later).
  • SSRSDeployer – Commandline tool which u can use to deploy your reports, resources, folders and datasources to
    SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Analysis Services Parent-Child Dimension Naturalizer – Parent/Child dimensions, wherein each member references the ID of its parent member rather than being assigned a specific level of a hierarchy, can cause poor performance in Analysis Services databases. One way to deal with this problem is to convert a poorly performing P/C dimension table to a natural one.
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