Power BI Costs

Adam Saxton looks at pricing in Power BI:

You can get a quick look at the differences between free and Pro by looking at the Power BI Pricing page. You can also look at the official documentation for what is Pro content.

So, that’s it! Right?

No so fast! There are other factors that may come into play, or you may be wondering about. You may think they are part of Power BI, but they may be separate.

What I like about this post is that Adam goes into detail on some of the other potential costs involved aside from product licensing.

Missing Query Plans

Jack Li explains when you might not get a result back for query_plan in sys.dm_exec_cached_plans:

When you first execute a batch or stored procedure which may contain multiple statements.   Not every statement will be compiled when you first use the procedure.   If there are some code paths that result in the statement not being executed, SQL Server may choose not to compile that statement in a small set of scenarios. In other words, some statements will only be compiled upon first execution.  So far, I have found the following two scenarios that a statement will not be compiled (deferred compilation) if code path result in that statement being skipped.

  1. Statement involving temp table.   Data could have been changed when the statement is actually executed.  So it doesn’t make sense to compile right off the beginning.

  2. Statement that has option (recompile) attached to it   We need to recompile that statement every time anyway.  If we don’t use, it why compile in advance?

Read the whole thing.

New Features In SSAS 2016 Multidimensional

Chris Webb takes a look at SQL Server 2016, specifically around Multidimensional Analysis Services:

In fact the drillthrough/multi-select improvements (which I blogged about here) already shipped as part of SSAS 2014 and are reliant on improvements in Excel 2016 as much as in SSAS; similarly the Excel 2016 query optimisations are not reliant on any changes in SSAS 2016 and will benefit users of all versions of SSAS.

So what has actually changed with SSAS 2016 Multidimensional? I don’t know all the details on every change, but here’s what I know right now:

It sounds like the answer is “not much.”  Tabular has been getting more love in Analysis Services.

Copying Tables

Stephen West shares a few methods for copying tables between databases:

The last method is done by generating scripts and it will help user in copying not only the table schema or data, but also allows user to copy views, functions, constraints, triggers, etc.

These are three built-in methods which require no additional tooling.

More On DBCC CLONEDATABASE

Melissa Connors digs into the DBCC CLONEDATABASE command:

Finally, keep in mind that because the clone is a read-only, empty database, you should be able to test repeatedly without updating statistics and skewing your results. Since I wanted to see this for myself, I executed a set of updates and selects against the SQLSentryData and SQLSentryDataClone databases. As a result of the lack of data and read-only database status, there were no actual updates in SQLSentryDataClone. Consequently, the statistics were updated in the SQLSentryData database, but remained the same in the SQLSentryDataClone database:

Read the whole thing.

New In-Memory OLTP Whitepaper

Kalen Delaney has a final version of her In-Memory OLTP whitepaper:

Click on “SQL Server 2016 In-memory OLTP technical white paper” and you can open or save.

OR

You can use this direct link: http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/3/6/8360731A-A27C-4684-BC88-FC7B5849A133/SQL_Server_2016_In_Memory_OLTP_White_Paper.pdf

It’s 90 pages long, so you might reserve it for beach reading.

Indexes And Stats

Brent Ozar looks at a case when adding a suggested index monkeys with stats:

The query runs faster, make no mistake – but check out the estimates:

  • Estimated number of rows = 1
  • Actual number of rows = 165,367

Those estimates are built by SQL Server’s cardinality estimator (CE), and there have been major changes to it over the last couple of versions. You can control which CE you’re using by changing the database’s compatibility level. This particular StackOverflow database is running in 2016 compat mode – so what happens if we switch it back to 2012 compat mode?

Based on this result, there might be further optimizations available.  Read on for more of Brent’s thoughts.

Documenting Replication Using Powershell

Shane O’Neill learned a bit of Powershell in the process of documenting replication:

Now, due to an unfortunate incident when I was a Software Support Engineer that involved a 3 week old backup and a production database, I prefer to not to use the GUI if I can help it.

I’m not joking about that as well, if there is ANY way that I can accomplish something with scripts instead of the GUI, I will take it!

Especially when the need was to document the properties of over 100 articles, I was particularly not looking forward to opening the article properties window for each of the articles and copying them out individually.

Check it out.

Enhanced Scatter Visualization

Devin Knight continues his Power BI custom visuals class:

The Enhanced Scatter functions very similarly to the standard Power BI scatter chart but with a few new properties added to it including:

  • Shapes as markers

  • Background image support

  • Crosshair interaction

I’ve enjoyed going through this series and getting a chance to dig into custom visuals others have created.

Use Source Control

James Anderson wants you to use source control:

SSC and SSDT require the use of compare tools to build deployment scripts. This is referred to as a state based migration. I’d done deployments like this in the past and saw that people reviewing the release found it difficult to review these scripts when the changes were more than trivial. For this reason, I decided to look at some migration based solutions. Migration solutions generate scripts during the development process that will be used to deploy changes to production. This allows the developer to break the changes down into small manageable individual scripts which in turn makes code reviews easier and deployments feel controlled. These scripts sit in the VS project and are therefore source controlled in the same way as the database.

James recommends Git here.  I’m not Git’s biggest fan, but it’s much, much better than not having any source control at all.

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