Posts
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Implementing a custom expression editor

    • 9 Comments
    I’ve seen a few forum posts about providing a richer expression editing experience in a rehosted workflow designer. There are two main scenarios in which you would want to implement your own expression editor: Work around the rather unfortunate...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    ExpressionTextBox 101

    • 8 Comments
    The ExpressionTextBox is the basic building block for editing expressions in custom activity designers. If you’re writing a custom activity designer that uses expressions, you’ll use this control. This post is meant to provide an overview for custom activity...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Recovering your model when you can’t save the BIM file

    • 7 Comments
    It is possible for the tabular designer to get into an error state. If you try to save the model, you can get this error message: “Unable to save the file Model.bim. Reason: The file cannot be saved because it is marked as readonly.” Most of the time...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    DAX Editor for SQL Server going to CodePlex

    • 6 Comments
    Hi, today at my PASS session I gave a demo of a DAX Editor. This is a sample written by three testers on the Analysis Services team - Nick Medveditskov, Karen Aleksanyan, and Sergey Volegov. We will making this sample available on CodePlex as soon as...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    The BI semantic model, MDX, DAX, and you

    • 3 Comments
    When I was at PASS I fielded a bunch of questions about the BI semantic model, multidimensional (OLAP), and tabular (VertiPaq) models. I think there is some confusion about what the BI semantic model, multidimensional, and tabular models actually are...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Working with the ACE provider in the tabular designer

    • 3 Comments
    The Office ACE provider is used to import from text files, Excel files, and Access files. Just like for any data provider, you need to install the provider on both the client side (machine with BIDS) and on the server side (both the machine running the...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Managing tabular models

    • 3 Comments
    Managing tabular models is pretty much like managing multidimensional models. We have a full array of tools available for you to use. Here is a summary. SSMS SSMS has the backup , restore , attach , detach , delete , and synchronize features that you...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Least discoverable feature: importing more tables from an existing connection

    • 3 Comments
    You’ve run the import wizard, and imported a bunch of tables into your tabular model. Now you want to import one more from that same connection. How do you do this? What you need is the Existing Connections dialog. To start the Existing Connections dialog...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    The Hans Rosling project

    • 3 Comments
    About a year ago, I read a profile about Hans Rosling in the Economist magazine . Apparently I had been living under a rock, as I had never seen his data visualizations before. Pretty impressive: Rosling made sure all his information was put up publically...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Last day at Microsoft

    • 2 Comments
    Hi, today is my last day at Microsoft. I am moving back home to Vancouver, BC. I won’t be allowed to post to my MSDN blog any more, so I found a new home at http://cathydumas.com/ . You can watch there for updates.  You can also contact me through...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    When to choose tabular models over PowerPivot models

    • 2 Comments
    Sometimes people ask me for the slide deck to my PASS presentation . I send out the deck, but there is only one slide in there that is worth anything. This post summarizes the only useful slide in the entire deck. Let’s think about this question – why...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Processing tabular models 101

    • 2 Comments
    With a new storage engine comes new processing options. Here are some fast facts about processing tabular models, in Q&A format. What are my processing options? The following table shows the available processing options for each object. ...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Heading to SQL PASS

    • 2 Comments
    I am spending the next couple of days getting ready for PASS Summit 2011 . I have a session on Thursday afternoon, 3 PM, on Developing and Managing a Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) in SQL Server Code Name “Denali” Analysis Services . The...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Collation and language settings in tabular models

    • 2 Comments
    Collation and language settings are tricky; so tricky that my two planned blog posts on this topic can only scratch the surface of what goes on under the covers here. This post is a simplified overview of collation and language settings for Denali. In...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Deploying tabular projects using a custom msbuild task

    • 2 Comments
    I have received a few questions from customers about how to build and deploy Analysis Services projects in an unattended way, for integration into an automated build process. The stock reply is a multi-step solution, where you build from command line...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Managing tabular models using PowerShell

    • 2 Comments
    As I mentioned in my previous post on deploying tabular models using msbuild , we now have AMO for PowerShell support. Unfortunately, the documentation for the AS PowerShell cmdlets didn’t make it into TechNet or into the product for CTP3, so they are...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Pointing PowerPivot pivot tables to tabular models

    • 1 Comments
    After you import or restore from PowerPivot , you are left with a workbook with pivot tables and slicers to point to the PowerPivot model. The next logical step in the import/restore process is to re-point these objects to your new tabular model. How...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Using an ExpressionTextBox in a custom property editor

    • 1 Comments
    I have fielded a couple of questions from customers and also a forum post asking how to get the binding correct for the ExpressionTextBox correct in the property grid (well Eric fielded that one with some help on our side, thanks Eric!). For the record...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Welcome

    • 1 Comments
    Hi, I’m Cathy Dumas, and I’m a program manager on the Workflow Designer team. We write the tools that you use inside of Visual Studio when you create Workflow projects. We’ve been hard at work on the .Net 4.0 release shipping with Visual Studio 2010,...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    VB for C# Developers

    • 1 Comments
    The lack of C# expressions in WF 4.0 is painful for all of you C# developers out there. We know, and we won’t forget about C# support when planning for future releases. However, if you are using WF 4.0, you will need to figure out how to cope with VB...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Least discoverable feature: changing the Workflow Designer fonts and colors

    • 1 Comments
    The MSDN documentation on the WF designer shell has a very short section describing how WF designer fonts and colors work. Here is a bit more detail. You can manually change the colors and fonts used by the WF designer using the Tools->Options dialog...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Configuring a workspace database server

    • 1 Comments
    Marco Russo has a nice post about the basics of configuring the workspace database server . You can use his post to learn how to set the tabular instance to use for the workspace database server for new and existing projects. However, there’s more to...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Design time expression editing 101

    • 1 Comments
    Here are the basic implementation details that you should know about the design time expression editing experience in the WF designer. An expression is bound to an activity argument or property. In the designer, the expressions are displayed inside of...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    Importing a subset of data using partitions, step by step

    • 1 Comments
    This is a follow up to part 1 – dealing with large row sets in the tabular designer . In this post I will show how to import just a subset of your table data to get started, add partitions while you go, and then process the whole model at deployment time...
  • Cathy Dumas's Blog

    DirectQuery 101

    • 1 Comments
    DirectQuery is to tabular modeling what ROLAP is to multidimensional modeling. It’s a way to get query results from your model in real time without processing data into the model first. You can get started with DirectQuery by perusing some of our...
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