Philo's WebLog

Musings of a former Office Developer Evangelist

Blog - About

About Philo's WebLog

I'm a Solution Specialist at Microsoft, and author of Pro InfoPath 2007 from APress.

I started at Microsoft in 2003 as an Office Developer Evangelist, showing the value of Visual Studio Tools for Office, SharePoint development, and InfoPath. I then spent fifteen months selling business intelligence to the federal community, in the form of Business Scorecard Manager 2005, ProClarity after it was acquired by Microsoft, and PerformancePoint Server 2007.

I'm now the SQL Server, BI, Visual Studio and BizTalk expert for the Lockheed Martin account team.

This blog is my attempt to help folks understand how to get the most value out of our technologies...

  • Philo's WebLog

    About the changes in PerformancePoint

    • 2 Comments
    If you haven't heard, Microsoft has made changes to the PerformancePoint product alignment . Basically this means PPS no longer exists as a separate product - the dashboard and analytic (M/A) components are being folded into MOSS, while Planning is being...
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    Pro PerformancePoint about to hit the shelves!

    • 1 Comments
    Well, it took the better part of a year, but my second book, Pro PerformancePoint Server 2007: Building Business Intelligence Solutions (Pro) (APress) should be rolling off the presses as you read this. It's almost 500 pages, and I tried to cover Microsoft...
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    All-up BI VPC

    • 1 Comments
    For folks who want to play with our Business Intelligence technologies and don't want to bother with installing everything, you can download a virtual machine image that has just about everything installed you could want, including demo content. The...
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    Transposing rows and columns in SQL Server Integration Services

    • 1 Comments
    Okay, this was a rough one. The challenge was that a customer had Excel spreadsheets where we needed to transpose the rows and columns. In other words, the spreadsheet looked like this: But we needed the records to list Program values by date, like...
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    A simple conceit vs. questions left unasked

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    Here's a fun mental exercise - on the one hand, we have the "everyone is lost but me" syndrome, where someone will charge off on a course of action, despite many many warnings about the perilous nature of his quest, until he runs smack dab into that windmill...
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    Dimension Security in SQL Server Analysis Services

    • 0 Comments
    I know, the mind boggles - a developer writing about security... While I was doing the research for this, I was startled by the number of articles on this topic that immediately talk about using MDX queries for dimension security. While MDX queries...
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    This year's hammer - voice prompts

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    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" I use this quote a lot to warn against the tendency we have to overimplement new technologies and solutions. Even as I go through InfoPath and BI solutions, I will warn that while InfoPath...
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    Scorecards - SharePoint, SQL Server, or PerformancePoint?

    • 5 Comments
    A few years ago, if you asked Microsoft how to build a scorecard, they may have shrugged. Then we released the "Business Scorecard Accelerator" - a free technology mainly designed to showcase SQL Server Analysis Services. It was so popular that Microsoft...
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    InfoPath & SharePoint screencast demo

    • 3 Comments
    As follow-up to the "hook InfoPath to a database" demo, here I'm taking a step back to a simpler form - building an InfoPath form to be used on its own in conjunction with SharePoint. http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=344635 In the next...
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    SQL Server Analysis Services in ten minutes

    • 1 Comments
    Analysis Services has been part of SQL Server for a while, but it's underappreciated by most. I've posted another video on Channel 9 to try to share what a powerful capability this is for understanding large volumes of aggregated data. More than just...
  • Philo's WebLog

    Philo on EDI

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    I wrote this post on Joel On Software in 2004 in response to a newbie asking about EDI. Since then I have referred several people to it, but a few times I've found the post tricky to find. So, instead of constantly relying on the benevolence of Joel acting...
  • Philo's WebLog

    Why InfoPath?

    • 6 Comments
    Okay, I'm going to try a different approach on the "why do I care about InfoPath?" issue. I recorded a short screencast and posted it to Channel9: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=343092 In the screencast, I walk through setting up...
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    Urquhart's Avoidance and product futures

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    I give a lot of product briefings, and of course often get caught between what I know and what I can say. In these cases I often find it useful to use Urquhart's Avoidance, made famous in the BBC miniseries " House of Cards " (which I highly recommend...
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    "InfoPath isn't part of Office"

    • 1 Comments
    Simon said: "Then you find out its not part of the office suite." To be fair, this is somewhat true. At best, it's confusing. With Office 2003, InfoPath wasn't part of the suite you could buy retail or on open license. However, if you bought...
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    Why hasn't anyone heard of InfoPath?

    • 15 Comments
    I recently wrote a book on InfoPath 2007 . What I find most amazing about the book is that it's evangelizing InfoPath. I've shown a number of developers the book, and when they read the description, their reaction is "wow, InfoPath sounds cool - I should...
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    "Is there a treeview for WSS?"

    • 3 Comments
    You know, I never cease to be amazed at how smart people get stuck in ruts (myself included). I was a WordStar user in the '80's. Correction - power user. I knew all the dot commands, advanced commands, could make WordStar sing like the devil's own...
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    Creating a web service for an InfoPath form in 25 easy steps

    • 9 Comments
    It took me a while to figure out how to do the InfoPath/webservice thing starting with an InfoPath form. Maybe this is blindingly obvious to everyone but me, but here it is anyway: 1) Create an InfoPath form from a new, blank form: 2) Lay...
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    Stupid SQL Tricks

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    Argh. Classic Schroedinbug . I had an outer join between two tables to populate an InfoPath multi-select listbox . (So I needed a list of potential options with indications of which options had been selected). I created an outer join and put my parameter...
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    A "drill through" web part

    • 1 Comments
    This MSDN article shows how to implement a SharePoint web part that can act as a consumer or a provider. However, if you try to use it as a "drill through" web part (another web part filters the results in this web part; clicking on this web part filters...
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    Emailing a different InfoPath form

    • 2 Comments
    Enable an InfoPath form to post another form via email....
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    Creating a Structured Product Labeling Editor

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    The challenge: use InfoPath to create an editor for the Structured Product Labeling (SPL) subset of the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) schema. I've done quite a bit of document-centric work, and my philosophy has always been to design an...
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    Healthcare / HL7 solution

    • 2 Comments
    Over the next few days I'll be posting a series of articles covering my trials and tribulations in creating an “HL7 Generator” - specifically using InfoPath to generate XML in the Structured Product Label format, which is a subset of the Clinical...
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    InfoPath Context Sensitive Help

    • 4 Comments
    InfoPath SP1 ( public beta at the link; final due out this summer) includes a lot of cool changes, both in the UI and behind the scenes (most notably the ability to stuff managed code behind the form). First I'm going to cover the OnContextChange event...
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    A Polite Request for Those Who Post Code

    • 1 Comments
    Lots of samples flying around - I think we released new versions of just about everything we publish in the last twelve months, so everyone is publishing all kinds of tutorials and how-tos online. In observation of this, I have one simple request ...
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    Bibliomeme

    • 14 Comments
    1. Grab the nearest book. 2. Open the book to page 23. 3. Find the fifth sentence. 4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions. “Right-click the My Documents folder and select Properties” (from Hillier...
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