New MSSQLDUDE Videos: SQL Inventory with MAPS and WP7 Cloud BI

If you would like a short 10-minute intro on how to get started using the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAPS) to inventory, discovery and record your SQL Server footprint, versions, utilization, users, licenses, etc., then you can have a look at the video that I just posted on our Microsoft YouTube channel for SQL Server data warehouse & BI group here in the East Coast U.S. field organization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdHs8Ee1iZI. BTW, the MAPS tool is a FREE download from Microsoft.com, see it here. This is version 6.5 of this tool and if you have any version prior to it, I suggest that you upgrade to it and run another SQL Server assessment on your network. This version of MAPS now has the awesome feature of virtualization discovery, proposal and recommendations built-in. This makes MAPS the premier SQL Server tool when consolidation your SQL Server environment.

And if you have a Windows Phone 7 and would like to see what a WP7 Mobile Cloud BI App would look like, take a look at this video that I just posted for our Microsoft field national DW & BI team: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P1akSjiZasU#!. This describes the updated V2 improved version of the WP7 App for Microsoft Cloud BI on a mobile device which I described in my slide presentation here.

These are some of the BI data visualizations that you get out of the box with this WP7 app on your phone through the native app:

   

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How EZ are Bing Maps in SSRS 2008 R2?

IMHO, ridiculously easy using Report Builder 3.0. I put this together in 10 minutes by using this Microsoft tutorial that shows you how to take geospatial data, link it to analytical data and display it on a map, overlay Bing Maps and visualize data points for awesome BI dashboards.

What you will notice right away from my screenshot below is that I am not a graphic artist! But this is an awesome point in a visualization project to get to quickly and then modify the details as you need for your project.

Keep in mind, though, if you walk through that tutorial on your own as well, is that it is a bit of a cheat because the code in the tutorial wraps-up the geography points together with the analytical data for displaying points in the SELECT query instead of pulling the data from a data source. You would likely never do this in the real world. Instead, what you will do is take the points from your geospatial data and your BI data from a DW or cube and then link it in the Reporting Builder Maps Wizard.