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Day: August 16, 2022

KQL StartOf Functions

Robert Cain continues a series on KQL:

In the previous post, Fun With KQL – DateTime Arithmetic, we had hard coded a date for the start of the year, in order to find out how much time had elapsed between it and datetime columns. I had mentioned there are ways to dynamically calculate such values.

In this post we’ll look at one way, using the StartOf... functions. These include startofyearstartofdaystartofmonth, and startofweek.

Read on to see how they all work.

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From Kafka to Azure Data Explorer with Protobuf Data

Anshul Sharma and Ramachandran G do a bit of converting:

Kafka is increasingly become a popular choice of scalable message queueing for large data processing workloads. This makes it very popular in IoT based ecosystem where there is large ingress in data before data processing (or) data storage. Azure Data Explorer  is a very powerful time series and analytics database that suits IoT scale data ingestion and data querying.  

Kafka supports ingestion of data in multiple formats including JSON, Avro, Protobuf and String. ADX supports ingestion of data from Kafka into ADX in all these formats. Due to excellent schema support, extensibility to various platforms and compression, [protobuf]( is increasingly becoming a data exchange choice in IoT based systems. The ADX Kafka sink connector leverages the Kafka Connect framework and provides an adapter to ingest data from Kafka in all these formats. 

The following section aims to provide configuration to support ingestion of protobuf data from Kafka to ADX. 

Click through for the high-level architecture and a deeper dive into the process.

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Improvements to Parameter Sensitive Plan Optimization

Erik Darling is not good at being on vacation:

Several weeks back, I blogged about a missed opportunity with the new parameter sensitive plan feature. At the time, I thought that there was indeed sufficient skewness available to trigger the additional plan variants, and apparently some nice folks at Microsoft agreed.

If we step back through the old demo, we’ll get different results.

Click through for those results.

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Embedding Power BI into PowerPoint

Matt Allington integrates a Power BI report into PowerPoint:

I first blogged about this back in October 2021 when Microsoft announced live Power BI embedding was coming to PowerPoint. Believe it or not, the ability to embed Power Pivot reports into PowerPoint was one of the first features delivered by Microsoft way back in 2014 or 2015. It used to be possible with the first release of Power Pivot for Excel and SharePoint Enterprise Edition. Sometime after releasing this feature, Microsoft refocussed its efforts away from Power Pivot/SharePoint Enterprise and started to re-build again from scratch as a new standalone BI app known to us today as Power BI. It then took another 7 years for this PowerPoint feature to be returned. It’s here now, so let me cover what it is and how you can use it.

I’d joke about how much of an atrocity this is but it really isn’t. Thinking about how many meetings get derailed by the person trying to leave PowerPoint, struggling to open another application, having things fall apart, and then going back to the slide deck (inevitably from the beginning rather than the current slide), this is a good idea.

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A Wake for Distributed Replay

Grant Fritchey thinks about what could have been:

Honestly, sincerely, no kidding, I love Distributed Replay. Yes, I get it. Proof positive I’m an idiot. As we needed proof. To be a little fair to me, I love what Distributed Replay could have been, with a little more love. However, fact is, it’s on the deprecation list for 2022. Which means, what minimal amount of love, if any, that Microsoft was giving to it, it’s all gone, forever. Unlike the Little Engine That Could, turns out that Distributed Replay was the Little Engine That Almost Could, But Didn’t. Really Didn’t. Let’s discuss it a bit.

I liked the concept a lot but the tooling was so finicky and there were just so many built-in assumptions that tended to fall apart in real life. Grant actually got it to work outside of toy environments, which was one step further than I could ever get.

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Attaching All SQL Server Data Files in a Single Directory

David Fowler migrated a bunch of databases:

Have you ever had the need to attach a large number of database in one go? There’s no way to attach multiple databases in SSMS or via script, so you’re probably going to be left with the slow, arduous task of doing them one by one.

I recently had to deal with a DR situation (I won’t go into details of what happened just yet as things are still quite sensitive, but I might look at it at some point in the future) where I faced exactly that issue. For one reason or another I needed to attach several hundred databases quickly. I didn’t fancy doing that via SSMS or script each one individually so I knocked together this script to do the job for me.

Click through for that script and instructions. Alternatively, a bit of Powershell and the right dbatools command could get you to the same result but this is good in the event that you can’t leave SSMS.

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Comparing Pre- and Post-Event in Power BI

Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari do a bit of comparative analysis:

Many article ideas come from questions we receive from our customers and readers, and this article is no exception. The requirement is to analyze the sales volume before and after a selected time period, to a specific customer segment. In this case we define the segment as the brand that the customers have purchased in the past. For example, considering the customers who purchased Contoso-branded products in February 2018, what is the Sales Amount of Contoso and other products sold to those same customers 180 days before and after February 2018?

Read on to find out.

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