Saturday, December 31, 2016

Power BI Content Packs

Power BI Content packs allows users to package your dashboards, reports and datasets and share it with entire organisation or specific groups (users within organisation). This also allows the users to enhance the dashboards within the content packs.

Power BI Content Packs are available only if the users have Power BI Pro. Publishing an organizational content pack adds it to the content pack gallery. This centralized repository makes it easy for members to browse and discover dashboards, reports, and datasets published for them.

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-service-organizational-content-packs-introduction/

Create and publish a content pack - https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-service-organizational-content-pack-tutorial-create-and-publish/

Retail Analysis Sample Content pack - https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-sample-tutorial-connect-to-the-samples/

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A function 'CALCULATE' has been used in a True/False expression that is used as a table filter expression. This is not allowed.

One of the restrictions of using CALCULATETABLE to restrict rows is that the filter cannot be applied to calculated measures. Instead FILTER context need to be used for measures.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Azure Analysis Services

AzureAnalysisServicesAzure Analysis Services is an enterprise grade OLAP engine and BI modeling platform, offered as a fully managed platform-as-a-service (PaaS). It provides capabilities to get your semantic models on to the cloud and to handle spikes and demand. It is built on SQL Server Analysis Services. It is compatible with SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services Enterprise Edition and supports Tabular models 1200 compatibility.

Developers can also use the existing tools, SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio and SQL Server Management Studio to manage the Azure Analysis Services models.

Developers can create a server in seconds and use Azure Active Directory to manage user identity and role based security.

AzureAnalysisServices1

The on-premises data gateway acts as a bridge, providing secure data transfer between on-premises data sources and your Azure Analysis Services server in the cloud.

AzureAnalysisServices-Architectue
Azure Analysis Services – Architecture

Power BI Embedded

Azure Service to add built-in Analytics to Web and Mobile applications. Allows users to easily author interactive reports without writing single line of code using Power BI Desktop. No logins or Office 365 AD Accounts required.

With Power BI Embedded there is no need to register the application in Azure Active Directory and no need for users to login to access the reports. If required users can be authenticated through Forms or application specific authentication.PowerBIEmbeddedSample

Like any other service in Azure, resources for Power BI Embedded are provisioned through the Azure Resource Manager APIs

a) First you need to provision a Power BI Workspace Collection. It can be created either manually using the Azure Portal or programmatically using the Azure Resource Manager APIs

b) Download and Unzip the https://github.com/Azure-Samples/power-bi-embedded-integrate-report-into-web-app/ sample from GitHub.

c) Provision a workspace in the existing Workspace collection created in step a by following the instructions on https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/power-bi-embedded/power-bi-embedded-get-started-sample 

d) Finally import your PBIX file and then you can run your sample application to see your PBIX embedded in the application.

Power-BI-Embedded3

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Access Denied error when trying to import Power BI Desktop report using Power BI Embedded – ProvisionSample

When you try to import the Power BI Desktop report using the ProvisionSample (https://github.com/Azure-Samples/power-bi-embedded-integrate-report-into-web-app/) you might be asked for File Path and make sure to include the complete path including .pbix file. e.g. c:\temp\Test.pbix and also make sure the .pbix is closed before doing the import.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Apache Hadoop – Ecosystem

hadooplogoApache Hadoop is an excellent framework for processing, storing and analyzing large volumes of unstructured data - aka Big Data. But getting a handle on all the project’s myriad components and sub-components, with names like Pig and Mahout, can be a difficult.

Hadoop

Storage

Hadoop Distributed File System: HDFS, the storage layer of Hadoop, is a distributed, scalable, Java-based file system adept at storing large volumes of unstructured data.

Batch Processing

MaPReduce - MapReduce is a software framework that serves as the compute layer of Hadoop. MapReduce jobs are divided into two (obviously named) parts. The “Map” function divides a query into multiple parts and processes data at the node level. The “Reduce” function aggregates the results of the “Map” function to determine the “answer” to the query.

Data Access

Hive: Hive is a Hadoop-based data warehousing-like framework originally developed by Facebook. It allows users to write queries in a SQL-like language caled HiveQL, which are then converted to MapReduce. This allows SQL programmers with no MapReduce experience to use the warehouse and makes it easier to integrate with business intelligence and visualization tools such as Microstrategy, Tableau, Revolutions Analytics, etc.

Pig: Pig Latin is a Hadoop-based language developed by Yahoo. It is relatively easy to learn and is adept at very deep, very long data pipelines (a limitation of SQL.)

HCatalog: HCatalog is a centralized metadata management and sharing service for Apache Hadoop. It allows for a unified view of all data in Hadoop clusters and allows diverse tools, including Pig and Hive, to process any data elements without needing to know physically where in the cluster the data is stored.

Tez - Extensible framework for building high performance batch and interactive data processing applications, coordinated by YARN in Apache Hadoop. Tez improves the MapReduce paradigm by dramatically improving its speed, while maintaining MapReduce’s ability to scale to petabytes of data

NoSQL

HBase: HBase is a non-relational database that allows for low-latency, quick lookups in Hadoop. It adds transactional capabilities to Hadoop, allowing users to conduct updates, inserts and deletes. EBay and Facebook use HBase heavily.

Data Transfer

Sqoop: Sqoop is a connectivity tool for moving data from non-Hadoop data stores – such as relational databases and data warehouses – into Hadoop. It allows users to specify the target location inside of Hadoop and instruct Sqoop to move data from Oracle, Teradata or other relational databases to the target.

Stream

Storm - Apache Storm is a free and open source distributed realtime computation system. Storm makes it easy to reliably process unbounded streams of data, doing for real-time processing what Hadoop did for batch processing. Storm is simple, can be used with any programming language, and is a lot of fun to use

Flume: Flume is a framework for populating Hadoop with data. Agents are populated throughout ones IT infrastructure – inside web servers, application servers and mobile devices, for example – to collect data and integrate it into Hadoop.

Workflow

Oozie: Oozie is a workflow processing system that lets users define a series of jobs written in multiple languages – such as Map Reduce, Pig and Hive -- then intelligently link them to one another. Oozie allows users to specify, for example, that a particular query is only to be initiated after specified previous jobs on which it relies for data are completed.

Serialisation

Avro: Avro is a data serialization system that allows for encoding the schema of Hadoop files. It is adept at parsing data and performing removed procedure calls.

Machine Learning

Mahout: Mahout is a data mining library. It takes the most popular data mining algorithms for performing clustering, regression testing and statistical modeling and implements them using the Map Reduce model.

Management Ops

Ambari: Ambari is a web-based set of tools for deploying, administering and monitoring Apache Hadoop clusters. It's development is being led by engineers from Hortonworoks, which include Ambari in its Hortonworks Data Platform.

BigTop: BigTop is an effort to create a more formal process or framework for packaging and interoperability testing of Hadoop's sub-projects and related components with the goal improving the Hadoop platform as a whole.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

What is Docker?

Build, ship and run any app, anywhere

dockerlogoDocker containers wrap a piece of software in a complete file system that contains everything needed to run: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries – anything that can be installed on a server. This guarantees that the software will always run the same, regardless of its environment.

Docker uses a client/server model. The server or daemon actually does all the building and running of docker container. Docker containers only run as long as they are needed.

  • Managing application dependencies is definitely easier with Bundler/NPM/Composer
  • Services that app depends on and running properly - Infrastructure Automation Software like Chef/Puppet made this easier
  • Virtualization - Vagrant has been amazing in developing the automation code.

Docker is a mashup of the above concepts. Visual Studio Tools for Docker

docker-vm-container

  • Docker containers are just binary files that you download and run. These contain the application and dependencies needed to run the application
  • The containers use the docker engine that provides the thin layer over the top of host OS vs a traditional VM
  • Uses host to run processes, these processes are sandboxed like iOS
  • No conflicts between containers
  • Can run on top of VM and make deployment easy

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a technique of data science that helps computers learn from existing data in order to forecast future behaviors, outcomes, and trends.

Solely focused on writing software that can learn from past experience.

A computer program is said to learn from experience 'E' with respect to some class of tasks 'T' and performance measure 'P', if its performance at tasks in 'T', as measured by 'P', improves with experience 'E'

Machine Learning can be split into three categories:

  • Supervised Learning - Train machine using dataset that is well labelled
  • Un-supervised Learning - Train machine using dataset that is not well labelled
  • Reinforcement Learning- Train machine using dataset that is not well labelled but when asked question about the data the outcome will be graded

The forecasts or predictions from machine learning can make apps and devices smarter. When you shop online, machine learning helps recommend other products you might like based on what you've purchased. When your credit card is swiped, machine learning compares the transaction to a database of transactions and helps detect fraud. When your robot vacuum cleaner vacuums a room, machine learning helps it decide whether the job is done.

References: http://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-machine-learning-621659/,

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Microsoft Developer Day NZ - 2016

Today we had the opportunity of meeting Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who visited New Zealand for the first time and spoke at the Microsoft Developers Day. He inspired nearly 600 Developers including students. He walked us through the Microsoft Products and it changes and touches customers life. Each technology presentation today was supplemented with a Customer Case Study and I really liked this approach. 

satya-nadella-at-microsoft-nz-developer-day

Satya Nadella also emphasized on Microsoft’s mission:

“Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Connect() 2016 Day 1 - Announcements

  • Microsoft joins Linux Foundation.
  • Visual Studio is now available for Mac.
  • Visual Studio Mobile Center supports the complete lifecycle of mobile development.
  • Azure App Services supporting Docker Container support.
  • The following table compares the list of features which were only available in Enterprise edition which are now enabled in Standard, Web, Express, and LocalDB editions with SQL Server 2016 SP1.

111616_0403_SQLServer201
Reference - https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlreleaseservices/sql-server-2016-service-pack-1-sp1-released/

  • SQL Server now available for Linux – Preview
  • Azure Bot Services – Preview
  • Azure Data Lake Service generally available.
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

How to choose the right reporting tool?

Download PDF

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft-TeamsMicrosoft launched Microsoft Teams in preview mode, a new work chat Application for Office 365 suite. Microsoft Teams is a direct competitor to Slack which also bring team communications in one single place.

Microsoft Teams allows users to create channel, integrates with the Office suite this will mainly to share documents, spread sheets etc. and automated systems and chat bots. It also enables voice and video chat through Skype integration. It includes a project planning tool to assign tasks directly to team members.

Microsoft Team clients are also available for Mac, Windows, Android and iPhone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAqAtI6K7NY

You can enable Microsoft Teams with your existing Office 365 subscription as shown in the below screenshots.

a) Login to your Office 365 portal and navigate to “Services and Add-ins” and you can see the “Microsoft Teams”

MSTeams1

b) Turn on “Microsoft Teams” and you can see the following features.

MSTeams2

MSTeams3

c) Once enabled, navigate to the URL https://teams.microsoft.com and also you can download a desktop app of Microsoft Teams.

MSTeams4

d) Also a bot is waiting to answer my questions already. Really cool….

MSTeams5

e) It allows you to change Themes through Settings.

MSTeams6

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Google – Android Instant Apps


android-instant-appsJust finished watching a video on Android Instant Apps which Google is currently experimenting. Instant apps just launch by tapping the link without the need for the full app to be installed. e.g. if you have been sent a link for a recipe you can instantly access the video of the recipe without the need for installing the app.

The other cool thing is once you close the instant app, it just lives in the cache only for a few hours and the app is gone and you need to click the link again if you need to access it. Basically it allows to reclaim the space once you finish with what you wanted to do with the Instant App.

Also if you need to retain the app then Instant App allows you to download the app using the Install button from the top right corner of the Instant App.

This is really cool as you can direct your users straight to the required link of the app.

https://youtu.be/cosqlfqrpFA

You can upgrade your existing Android apps to Instant App. It works on Android Jelly Bean devices and up.

Currently the SDK is open for early adopters so watch this space.

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Thursday, November 03, 2016

What is Serverless?

serverlessServerless is a new cloud computing trend that changes the way you think about writing and maintaining applications. Serverless is code with no maintenance.

The phrase “serverless” doesn’t mean servers are no longer involved. It simply means that developers no longer have to think that much about them. Computing resources get used as services without having to manage around physical capacities or limits. Service providers increasingly take on the responsibility of managing servers, data stores and other infrastructure resources.

The essence of the serverless trend is the absence of the server concept during software development.

Serverless pattern encourages development focus on well defined units of business logic, without premature optimization decisions related to how this logic is deployed or scaled.

Servers are alive and well in the serverless world, but their role has changed in an important way. Instead of supporting a specific application, clusters of servers provide a generic execution environment for any number of applications

https://auth0.com/blog/what-is-serverless/

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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Power BI Preview Features

If you would like to keep track and try the Power BI Preview features, you can view them under Power BI Desktop > Options > Preview Features as shown below.

PowerBI-Preview

Note: Preview features might change or removed in future releases so need to be cautious on how to use them.

Thanks Christopher Webb and Marc Reguera for sharing this tip.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pin SSRS 2016 Reports to Power BI

To pin SSRS 2016 Report to Power BI,

  • Connections must use stored credentials
  • Only the following items can currently pinned using SSRS 2016 and Power BI Integration
    • Charts
    • Gauge panels
    • Maps
    • Images

a) Open SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services Configuration Manager and select Power BI Integration

SSRSPowerBI-Integration1

b) Register your SSRS Report Server with Power BI by clicking the Register with Power BI button and provide the necessary Power BI credentials.

SSRSPowerBI-Integration2

c) Go to your SSRS 2016 Portal and click on “My Settings”

SSRSPowerBI-Integration3

d) Make sure your SSRS is connected with Power BI

SSRSPowerBI-Integration4

e) Select the SSRS report to pin to Power BI and click the Power BI icon.

SSRSPowerBI-Integration5

f) Clicking the Power BI icon allows to select only the Chart and not the table. Currently it is a limitation and need to watch the space for any updates in the future.

SSRSPowerBI-Integration6

g) Click the Chart and Pin to PowerBI Dashboard dialog will appear and Select the Group, Dashboard and Frequency updates.

SSRSPowerBI-Integration8

h) Open Power BI and view the SSRS Chart

SSRSPowerBI-Integration9

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Create a Mobile Report using SQL Server Dataset

a) Create a new Connection on SSRS 2016 Portal connecting to AdventureWorks Database.

MobileReportSQLServer1

b) Create a new Dataset on SSRS 2016 using the AdventureWorks2012 connection created in Step a

MobileReportSQLServer2

c) Add the query to the Dataset using Report Builder.

MobileReportSQLServer3

d) Now you can add data using the above Dataset in the Mobile Report

MobileReportSQLServer4

e) Final dashboard using the above dataset

MobileReportSQLServer5

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Building your first SQL Server Mobile Report

a) Download SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher tool from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50400

b) Open Mobile Report Publisher and click Data

MobileReport1

c) Click on Add Data

MobileReport2

d) Select Excel and Sheet2MobileReport3

e) Change Title of the Mobile Report and Save Mobile Report to Server (SSRS Report Server – native mode)

MobileReport4

f) Here is fully built dashboard.

IndianPlayersDataAnalysis

Download Mobile Report

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Build modern BI solutions using SSRS 2016 – Slides and Useful Links

As promised, here are the responses for the questions I remembered and I will watch the recorded video and post some responses over the next week just in case if I missed any.

PowerPoint Slides: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AqQY0KY6_6uRmQiXQ6wP1Xrq4hEm

Custom Brand Package using SSRS 2016

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlrsteamblog/2016/03/20/how-to-create-a-custom-brand-package-for-reporting-services-with-sql-server-2016/
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt710551.aspx


SSRS 2016 Native mode vs SharePoint Integrated mode


Feature
Integrated Mode
Native Mode
HTML 5 based rendering Engine
X
X
New Chart Types
X
X
PDF based printing (No ActiveX)
X
X
PowerPoint rendering and Export
X
X
New UI for Report Builder
X
X
Customisable Parameter Panes
X
New Web Portal
X
Mobile Reports
X
KPIs
X
Pin to Power BI
X
Render Power BI Reports in SSRS Portal
X (preview released)

SSRS 2016 and Windows Authentication and Mobile Reports
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc281253.aspx

Whether Mobile Reports are available for Standard Edition? – No, it is available only for Enterprise Edition currently. Check Data Sheet for SQL Server 2016

Checklist to decide on Paginated Reports vs Mobile Reports – Coming soon

Pin Reporting Services item with Power BI
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt604784.aspx

Check blog post - http://codespot.blogspot.co.nz/2016/10/pin-ssrs-2016-reports-to-power-bi.html

Note: You can pin only certain report elements only to the Power BI Portal. e.g. tables cannot be pinned for now. Sorry, I wasn't able to validate that perfectly until now as I had to fix an issue with linking Power BI and SSRS 2016.

Is it possible to access the Reports both through Report Server and Reports URL?
Yes, it is still available for Paginated Reports but not yet for Mobile Reports and KPIs.https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms153586.aspx
ReportServerURL1

Below is the error you get for Mobile Reports and KPIs if you try to access it through the Report Server URL.
ReportServerURL2

Mobile Reports Samples

Thanks Christopher Finlan

Report Authoring Tools - https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms155792.aspx

Mobile Reports and Version Control – Coming soon

List of Data Sources supported by SSRS and mobile reports - https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/ms159219.aspx
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-nz/library/mt631348.aspx

MS Ignite NZ 2016 – Day 3

Day 3 was personally special to me as I was doing a talk at the MS Ignite NZ 2016 for the first time. Was I nervous? Of course, a little bit but Thanks to Microsoft for providing Speakers Training especially for first time speakers like me.

I attended the following sessions even though I had a talk to do.

Learn about the Dynamics 365 Roadmap

Nicole and Mike presented on the Roadmap of Dynamics 365 where AX and CRM are integrated to one. It really made sense why MS made that decision but interesting to know it only available on the cloud. Cloud First, Mobile First Microsoft Strategy definitely could understand that. Really good session and so impressed with the capabilities Dynamics 365 is going to offer customers and of course we are a Dynamics customer too.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse Made Simple

Chris Lowe and Myles Matheson took us through the journey of moving data (large volumes) to the Azure SQL Data Warehouse and really showed us how simple that was. The demo on using Power BI to then connect to the Azure SQL Data Warehouse and how quickly you can visualise it using Direct Query even though you are aggregating billions of data in real time. Really cool demo and thanks for sharing it with us.

Women in Technology Lunch Session

I was looking forward for this session and unfortunately could attend the entire session as I had to do a talk following this session. I attended it briefly and really had a great panel of speakers who really shared their experiences with us and need to watch the recording for the missed part. Truly inspiring.

Build modern Enterprise BI Solutions using SSRS 2016

It was my time to give my first presentation at MS Ignite NZ 2016. What a great experience it was? First of all thanks to Microsoft for giving me this wonderful opportunity to present at the Ignite Conference, Speakers Training was really useful too and Thanks Olivia Mitchell for that and of course Meridian Energy Limited (the place I work, best workplace) for the encouragement and support from day one all the way up to the final presentation day. My colleagues who attended the Ignite session with me and thoroughly supported me throughout. Few more mentions, Kirk Jackson for encouraging me to speak at the Local .NET User Group sessions in Wellington and also being there attending my session to support me. Bevan Arps and James from Spark whom I know from .NET user group days.

Last but not the least the technical crew who assisted me and made everything so easy and simple as I didn’t find anything hard all the way from setting up my laptop and doing my demos. You were really great and thanks for assisting me being a first time speaker at Ignite NZ 2016.

Coming to the audience, my session was full of questions and made my session more interactive. It was really good to understand what people wanted to know about the topic and the questions helped me to cover off anything I missed. Personally thoroughly enjoyed presenting at the Ignite Conference.

Thanks to everyone who gave some wonderful feedback about my session and it is really encouraging and motivating to do more in the future. As promised at the session, I will put a blog post on responses for some questions along with some useful links.

Thanks for my family too who were supporting me from India and US and encouraging me through their WhatsApp messages.

Feel free to contact me on twitter handle @shantha05 if you have any more questions.

Thanks to Kirk for taking some photos during the session.
20161027_13413720161027_13420620161027_14021620161027_14022520161027_14362220161027_143905
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MS Ignite NZ 2016 – Day 2

Day 2 was pretty interesting as it was full of technical sessions to attend. I attended the following sessions:

Power BI for Developers - An Introduction to the API, the new Custom Visual SDK and Power BI Embedded

Custom Visuals is something I am really excited with Power BI and the ability to generate Visuals and sharing it with the community through the Custom Visuals Gallery is great. The session was with the demo of creating a Custom Visual from scratch and also showed us how to take D3,js code and turn into a Custom Visual for Power BI. Thoroughly enjoyed though the speaker couldn’t cover much on Power BI embedded which is really a cool functionality where by you can now embed Power BI reports in your application quite easily. This will avoid developing reports within applications and try and re-use existing Power BI reports within it.

DevOps in the real world: a true story

DevOps, I really like that. It’s not about developers develop the App and throw it over the fence with Operations instead Developer and Operations need to work together starting from the initial development of the application through to deployment. It definitely involves a bit of culture change too. The session talked briefly on what DevOps is and how VSTS DevOps pack could be used mostly from a real world perspective. Great talk.

The NZ Fire Service Journey to the Cloud

I never want to miss Customer case studies as they are really good examples on understanding what pains and approaches people take in real world scenarios. Chris from NZ Fire Service took us through their journey of moving to the Cloud and also gave us a good intro about NZ Fire and how they serve the NZ community. Great talk and truly honest and valuable information and Thanks a lot for sharing a real world case study with us.

Architecting IOT for Smart Buildings: Deep dive into Microsoft's first engagement on energy smart buildings

Where do I start on this? IOT is big but Energy Smart Buildings, taking us to the next level of imagination. Really cool stuff and thoroughly enjoyed the Videos in the session and again how Microsoft applied this in their own premises to show how it added value to them before taking it to their customers. Really cool case study.

Integrating SaaS into your I.T. Strategy

Sonia Cuff and Regan Murphy took us through what things we need to be considering when we think about integrating SaaS applications with our application landscape. Really great session and highlighted the list of questions you need to asking your SaaS vendor before you integrate your app. It’s all about understanding the risks before we start to use them. Well presented session and personally really useful one for me as Architect where I get challenged to integrate with a lot of SaaS applications.

On the whole had a really wonderful day at MS Ignite and once again thanks to the Sponsors and Microsoft for such an event where you get to see experts within your community as well as across the world coming and sharing their experiences.

This time I got the photo of our proud sponsors for the MS Ignite 2016 event.

Ignite2016sponsors

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

MS Ignite NZ 2016 - Day 1

MS Ignite is the major technology conference in New Zealand and it started in its own style yesterday with the Keynote. Initially I was surprised to see a whole list of speakers for the Keynote but it really made sense in the way they presented it. There are some key topics that was covered as part of the Keynote

  • Chris Auld, talking about Surface-HubHololens and it was cool to have a look at it and pre-orders are available for NZ now.
  • Jordanna Murray, on Surface Hub with 84'' and 55'' screen sizes. The highlight is its multi touch capability and that will take collaboration to the next level.
  • Hannah Gray, from Xero walked us through Power BI and how simple it is to create interactive dashboards and use them
  • Hannes Nel, who celebrated his birthday yesterday gave us a demo on Universal Windows Platform
  • Donovan Brown, talked to us about Cross Platform Mobile Development using Xamarin and I have used Xamarin personally from MonoTouch days but Xamarin Test Cloud was really good.
  • Regan Murphy, demonstrated the use of Azure Dev/Test Labs, a solution of sorting out DEV and TEST environments for organisations
  • Thiago Almedia, showed us a cool demo on Bots using Microsoft Bot Framework using Skype.
  • Nigel Parker, gave us a demo on Cognitive Services and it how it can recognize vision, text, speech, face, language etc. Clearly can see the future...
  • Vishesh Oberoi, also gave us a demo on the Bot Framework
  • Jennifer Marsman, gave us an example on Machine Learning
  • Charlotte Walshe, talked to us about Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Angie Judge, on Big Data and Analytics and showing us how Dexibit provide Data Driven Insights to museums
  • Dona Sarkar, she really inspired the audience through her Keynote speech.

I attended 3 sessions yesterday.

What's new in Data Platform - SQL Server and Microsoft Azure - Really got a lot of information from this session. There was one diagram in the presentation which clearly outlined about the different products under SQL Sever on-premises and Azure. This session also lightly touched on Bots and Cognitive Services.

Managing Complex Implementations in the era of the Digital Transformation (DT) - Really good presentation which more or less explained on what things to be taken into account when you are working on DT projects. Also highlighted the fact that planning in DT projects must be a team activity and also how Architect are centric for DT projects.

Using Azure API Management, Logic Apps and Functions to speed up Integration projects - Good overview and demo on using Azure API management and how to use Logic Apps to orchestrate Services together and of course tips and tricks we need to consider.

So really a great day yesterday and looking forward for Day 2 - full of technical sessions. Thanks to all the sponsors of MS Ignite NZ 2016.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

PowerApps – Turning Data into Apps

PowerappsMicrosoft PowerApps is a solution to build custom business applications that enables increased productivity with business apps that are easily created, shared and managed. PowerApps offers a modern, intuitive experience for LOB application development

Power Apps allows you to create applications automatically without writing any code and can be built over existing datasets stored in the form of Excel spreadsheets, SQL Databases, Custom SharePoint List, CRM Online, Salesforce or using Microsoft Common Data Model.

This may sound similar to the LightSwitch Application which Microsoft introduced back in 2011. But PowerApps are not only just used to create applications but also allows applications to integrate with other SaaS products in the market.

PowerAppsArchitecture

Note: Microsoft have released a blog post on LightSwitch update and advised that Visual Studio 2015 is the last release of Visual Studio that includes the LightSwitch tooling and we recommend users not begin new application development with LightSwitch.

Creating your first PowerApp

a) PowerApps are still in preview mode but you can sign in using an organisation email address. Register for PowerApps

Signup

b) Once logged in, click on “Create an app”

PowerApp-1

c) Select “PowerApps studio for Web”

PowerApp-2

d) Select One Drive for Business from the list of Datasets

Screen1

e) Choose OneDrive and connect to your OneDrive with your credentials and provide PowerApps the necessary permissions.

Screen2

Screen3

Screen4

f) Choose the sample Excel spreadsheet from your OneDrive folder.

Screen5

g) Choose the table from the Spreadsheet and click Connect

Screen6

h) PowerApp will be created for the selected dataset.

Screen9

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