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Day: January 26, 2022

Using the Azure Form Recognizer

Cem Ayberkin shows off the Azure Form Recognizer:

Shopping malls are facing strong competition and effective loyalty programs boost customer retention. The primary goal of the loyalty scheme is to promote loyalty at the mall, increase footfall whilst understanding shopping habits. With large number of stores and various receipt formats in a mall, the process of manual checking and verification of the data submitted in place did enable rewards to be issued, but proved slow, expensive, inconsistent, and non-scalable. It did not include the valuable line item/product information the mall needed to understand the shopping habits. Therefore, one of the largest shopping malls used Azure Form Recognizer automating receipt scanning and data extraction and feeding the data as rewards points into the customer’s loyalty program, which greatly improved customer shopping experience.

I was pleasantly surprised with how the Form Recognizer works. It’s not perfect but it is useful.

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Great Features in R 4.0.0

Colin Gillespie looks at a few new features in R version 4:

version 4.0.0 was released almost two years ago. The change in the major version, 3.x.y to 4.0.0, represented significant and potentially breaking changes. For an organisation to start using these new features, everyone in the company must have access to that version; otherwise code isn’t shareable. This naturally slows down adoption.

We moved our internal R projects to depend on version R 4.0.0 around twelve months ago – a few months after the release date. Over the last year we’ve also assisted a number of clients in making the move; typically with Shiny applications. This post aims to highlight some of the features we’ve found useful and also some of the potential pitfalls.

It’s crazy to think that it’s been so long

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Synapse and ADF Pipeline Dependency Diagrams

Kamil Nowinski uses one of my favorite tools for diagram creation:

Documenting objects dependencies of ETL processes is a tough task. Regardless it is SSIS, ADF, pipelines in Azure Synapse or other systems. The reasons for understanding the current solution can vary either: handover to other team/member of the team, troubleshooting, refactoring, debugging, investigating dependencies due to error, performance issue or others, as well as keen to remove selected/duplicated pipelines or logic.

But there is never a good time to make documentation, and even if that has been done – no one knows how much it’s up to date. The situation is not improved by the fact that quite often there is a lack of (free or built-in) tools for generating such documentation. Sounds familiar? I bet it does.

Click through to learn more and to see how to use that tool (Mermaid).

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Using the Power BI Embedded Playground

Gilbert Quevauvilliers shows off the Power BI Embedded Playground:

One of the great things about Power BI is how they make things a lot easier and better to use.

I have been answering some questions in the Power BI Community and other people have been looking into using Power BI Embedded.

This led me to find out that there is a quick and easy way to test out Power BI Embedded. The best part is that I can use my own reports and do a drag and drop test!

Click through to see how.

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Row Yielded No Match during Lookup in SSIS

Nick Edwards plays match-maker:

Have you ever been faced with the SSIS error “Row yielded no match during lookup”? If so, this blog is for you!

A customer of ours recently faced the same issue in one of their SSIS packages and asked us to investigate this for them. Initial investigations on their side highlighted that when they replicated the lookup component using a standard join in T-SQL (similar to the image below) it returned the expected results.

So why was SSIS reporting an error and ultimately causing the package to fail?

Read on to learn why. For bragging rights (and a demonstration of how much SSIS pain I’ve suffered through the years), I got it in one.

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Automating Pipeline Migration to Synapse via Azure DevOps

Kevin Chant deploys some Synapse pipelines:

In this post I want to cover how you can automate a pipeline migration to a Synapse workspace using Azure DevOps. As a follow up to a previous post I did about one way to copy an Azure Data Factory pipeline to Synapse Studio.

Because even though the post is good it deserves a follow up showing an automated way of doing it. I wanted to show that it can be done more gracefully.

And we all want to be graceful, right?

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Causality Tracking with Extended Events

Chad Callihan puts on the lab coat and safety goggles:

Causality is defined as the relationship between cause and effect so it’s safe to say that “causality tracking” is an appropriate name.

When you have causality tracking turned on for an Extended Events session, you can follow along with how one event in SQL can lead to various other events. By following the initial attach_activity_id.guid that gets assigned, you can follow statements, waits, statistic changes, and more. It’s a great way to filter the flury of events occuring on your server and narrow your focus.

Read on to see what causality tracking does and how you can benefit from it.

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