I’ve been back from SQLBits for a few days and things are slowly starting to settle. It’s been quite a long while since I went to a conference this large in person. A friend of mine commented on being tired but couldn’t grasp why on earth she’d be this tired from just talking to people. I responded that it is probably because of exactly that - talking to people, in person, is not something most of us have done for the past couple of years. I’ve been on stage many, many times over many years and I like to think I’m fairly accustomed to it.
The upcoming week is a hectic one for me. On Tuesday I will be speaking virtually at the Global Power BI Summit - the brainchild of Reza Rad and Leila Etaati of New Zealand. This is an online conference literally spanning the globe. It starts on the 7th and continues to the 11th, moving with the time zones as the world turns. The list of speakers is, put simply, huge, and it feels like every speaker in the Power BI world is present. I’ll be delivering my favorite session: “the Untruthful Art - Four Ways of Misrepresenting Data” at 12:00-13:00 (CET) in Room 6 on the 7th of March.
In 2019 I spoke at 12 conferences outside of Sweden. 2020 was looking up with not only a lot of conferences planned, but also training as well as consulting all over the Nordics. It was not to be. The pandemic hit hard, and just about everything I did stopped in its tracks. When Benni de Jagere told me that they hoped to run DataMinds Connect in Mechelen, Belgium, in person in October, I was elated. The thought of getting to travel again made it an easy choice to send in a completely new abstract. I’m extremely happy to say that the abstract was accepted, and I’m excited to share my new session.
A few weeks ago I created a data lake in Azure and filled it with some CSV files. Then I spun up a Synapse Analytics Workspace and queried the files using Azure Synape Analytics On-demand pools to query the CSV files via the Synapse Analytics Studio. This works great - if you haven’t tried running SQL on text files in Azure data lake, stop reading and go check it out. Next, I created a database in the on-demand pool, and added a view to it, referencing the select OPENROWSET statement. That view can now be used in, say, Power BI or other tools that can connect to the on-demand pool endpoint.
Microsoft Business Applications Summit (MBAS) turned out to be a veritable goldmine for Power BI. The announcements are out in force, and Marc Lelijveld (Twitter|Blog) has penned an excellent summary of the features. I’d like to give my two cents on two of the features I personally find the most exciting: hybrid tables and streaming datasets. Hybrid Tables Let’s start with hybrid tables - they’re what we’ve been wishing for ever since Direct Query and Composite Models came out. This will give us the ability to combine imported data with Direct Query data in a seamless fashion. I have a use case for it right now: I have an application that logs a lot of data from an integration platform.
Thanks to Kendra Little’s blog post Moving from Wordpress to an Azure Static Site with Hugo I was inspired to try the same. Since I’ve already experimented with Hugo for some time, the move to Azure Static Sites was dead simple - and I love the GitHub integration. I save my markdown file, I push to GitHub, and a few minutes later my changes are up there. Fantastic!
It’s T-SQL Tuesday! I’m trying to get back on the blogging bandwagon, and for me, that’s about as fun as pulling teeth. I have the utmost respect for the people who can blog all day and at the same time make it look easy (I know it isn’t), but me, I just have to slog through. T-SQL Tuesday is the brainchild of Adam Machanic (Blog | Twitter). December 2009 was the first T-SQL Tuesday invitation that went out by Adam. It is a monthly blog party on the second Tuesday of each month. Currently, Steve Jones (Blog | Twitter) organises the event and maintains a website with all previous posts.
I’ll go straight to the point: I think live demos in technical sessions are a waste of time. No, no, hear me out, I’ll explain what I mean. Even more importantly, I’m curious to hear dissenting views. I’ll start with a little bit of background so you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I’m a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and I’ve been training people professionally for over 20 years. For me, it’s all about the penny dropping for the learner. To put it simply: if you don’t get what I’m trying to teach you, that’s on me. That’s on me, and I need to do better to help you understand.