Join Me at Hands-on Monday

Monday May 9th at DeVry University in Ft. Washington, PA, I’m joining Bill Wolff and the Philly.NET users group for a hands-on lab on Windows Azure and SQL Azure. I’m going to walk through my Cloud BI demos with Azure and talk about SQL Azure, PowerPivot, Azure Reporting Services and Azure Data Market.

I hope to see you there, it’s FREE! You can register by going to this URL:

UPDATE: Here is the Slideshare link to the slides with the URLs and resources for tonight’s HOL.


8 thoughts on “Join Me at Hands-on Monday

  1. Nice to meet you at the Philly.Net tech session.
    I run an Open Source project, OpenDomain, where we let people use Domains for Free. In fact, WordPress.Com is one of the first domain we gave away. I would like to talk to you about using the domains NoSQl.Com and NoSql.Org

  2. Was nice to hear you at the Philly.NET session.

    We have a need to create reports by querying the contents of a file (primarily), and need this to work in a desktop environment. These reports will include images that have been created based on that data. The desktop solution is the primary use case, but we eventually want to extend it to a server based solution, and to collect/aggregate data from other databases, etc.

    We have been looking at Crystal Reports for this, and have been experimenting to expose the data in the file to it through the various mechanisms. The idea is to let the users customize the report design through Crystal, and we integrate it with our application the best we can.

    Can we use SQL Server Reporting solution for this? Can that work outside SQL Server for the desktop scenario? If that’s possible, any recommendations on the mechanism we can use to get the data? We have been trying to setup the ODBC driver to query the contents of the file, which can then be used by other reporting apps including Excel.


    1. Yes, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) can do this. The tool that you’ll want to give to users for ad-hoc reporting is called Report Builder. The reports can be shared by users and render on Internet browsers with or without SharePoint. There are a number of data drivers and connectors available to connect to SQL Server, SQL Azure, Oracle, files, Excel, etc. Below are the links that you will need to get started with these efforts:

      SSRS 2008 R2 overview:
      Report Builder 3.0 video tutorials:
      Report Builder 3.0 download:
      SSRS data connectors:
      SSRS Excel Connector:

      1. I went through the links and am trying it out.

        Do you know if we can bundle ReportBuilder with our application?

        Also, is there some API that will let us setup the ReportBuilder with our configuration/data-source – the overall intent is to just simplify the user experience to create a report of our data from within our application.


      1. I did look at the ReportViewer control – was hoping to provide better integration of the designer/builder also. It looks like with ReportBuilder (and Crystal Reports for that matter), there isn’t a control that we can include as part of our desktop application – the best integration is to call the builder out-of-process.

        My search has led me to xTraReports and other reporting controls for this now – I suppose we now need to weigh the integration possibilities of such controls against the richness of features offered by ReportBuilder.

        Thanks for the help.

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