Archive for March, 2015

My colleague asked me this morning how to debug an SSIS package to see the value of a variable at run time. His SSIS package contains many control flow components that are contained in one sequence container. We then set a breakpoint against one component within this sequence container and then executed the sequence container. We expected to see the variable value under the “Locals” window but we saw none. That was really odd.

I then came back to my desk to play further. My finding is that the breakpoint does not work within a sequence container.  You will only get to see the variable values if the “package” is executed. So if you have components contained in a few nested sequence containers, disable the ones that are not of your interest before you start debugging.

Tested this in both BIDS and SSDT against SSIS 2008R2 and 2014.

The following screenshot shows the value of the User::TodaysDate variable under the Locals window when a “package” is executed.

SSIS debug tool

The following screenshots shows nothing under the Locals window when the “Sequence Container” is executed.

SSIS debug tool against a sequence container


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I am dissatisfied with Power View in Excel 2013.

First of all, it cannot connect to a multidimensional cube. See the error message below.

Powerview error to connect to multidimensional cube

Secondly, it is a cut down version of Power View in SharePoint. The charts or maps are not available for use.

Powerview ribbon in Excel 2013

Only table and tile are available (as shown below).

Power View in Excel 2013

If you ask me to choose, I will choose Power BI Designer Preview.

Update – I just managed to find out how to change the table to a chart (after searching on Google). The charts are available in the “Design” tab (not in the “PowerView” tab).  ~~~~ :_ {

Power View - Design tab

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I am able to connect the Power BI Designer Preview to SSAS Multidimensional, which is a big plus for someone like me who have worked with SSAS multidimensional for a few years! 🙂 I just tested it and it has worked. Of course, it can also connect to SSAS tabular.

What I like about Power BI Preview is that you can add many pages to a dashboard, it is a stand alone application (not dependent on SharePoint or Excel), and that it is more interactive.  I still need to find out how to host this in a shared environment (upload into SharePoint?) and how to manage security (is it done through cube?). Also yet to find out how to add an URL link on the graph, edit the graph title and the graph legends (we can do this in SSRS!).

What’s worth noticing is that I still have no idea how to create a drilldown from one graph to another. The only way to display the details of your graph is by creating a table or card next to it, it seems.

Screenshots below show a pie chart of the reseller sales amount by the reseller business types. There are 3 reseller business types I.e. warehouse, specialty bike shop and value added reseller. On the right side of the pie chart is a card showing the reseller order quantity and reseller freight cost of each business type. At the bottom side of the pie chart is a bar chart showing the reseller sales amount for each calendar year.

Clicking on a pie slice will show its details on the card and bar chart. Warehouse Value Added Reseller Specialty Bike Shop

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Apparently you need to install 2 instances of SSAS in 2014 if you want to both Tabular and Multidimensional to co-exist. Right click on the SSAS server instance then select Properties to check if the server mode is tabular or multidimensional.

The difference between the two when opened in SSMS is shown below.

SSAS Tabular vs Multidimensional


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