(scottish) sql bob blog

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Some thoughts of your typical data shepard / data groomer / data dance teacher sort of person.


Win 10 Pro and SQL Server 2016 SSRS report mgr

Ok long story, short. I downloaded and installed SQL server 2016 CTP3 on Windows 10 Pro X64 Virtual machine which was set up for testing purposes. Yes l know that was a silly idea, what the heck living dangerously is fun sometimes! The OS was a standard install and it's standalone as in not connected to a domain or clever stuff. When propmted to enter a user account, l used a personal Microsoft account l have.  Next l installed SQL Server 2016 CTP nothing fancy and choose the native SSRS install

(If you just interested in list of steps l followed they are at the bottom of this posting)

Next logged in as the user account that was used during set up, this is Microsoft account. Now l wanted to play with SSRS, so open the default browser (Microsoft Edge) and entered the url “localhost/reportserver” and waited. Next got a dialog box asking me to enter my user credentials 



So l entered my Microsoft account details, and eventually ended up with the error message below.



Yes l know that I should have remembered, an admin account requires to grant permission on Report Manager to the account you are connecting with “Doh!”. Next step was to see if l could run Microsoft Edge (the default browser) as Administrator, no that was not possible.  As can be seen from the screen shot below it was possible to run command prompt as Administrator, which did not make sense, but not Microsoft Edge.

So off to Google and found this link http://www.ghacks.net/2014/11/12/how-to-enable-the-hidden-windows-10-administrator-account/

So following the instructions, I enabled the administrator account and set the password. Just as an aside l loved the fact when you type in the password, nothing appeared on the screen. Yes l expected some stars at least! So password duly set for the administrators account. Next step was to switch accounts to the Administrator account. At this point l thought “simple run Microsoft Edge as when logged in as the Administrator and set the privilege’s in SSRS report manager”. Got the error message below.



Again Google the rescue and found this page - http://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2015/07/windows-10-edge-opened-builtin-administrator-account/. Followed instructions open Microsoft Edge, restarted Windows was able to run Microsoft Edge as Administrator, "Yippee!!!" Typed in the url “localhost/reportserver”, then eventually got the following error message.


During earlier search found this page http://www.windowscentral.com/how-find-internet-explorer-windows-10-if-you-really-need-it. I had tried this before making the change in this page http://www.ghacks.net/2014/11/12/how-to-enable-the-hidden-windows-10-administrator-account/. So entered ‘Internet ‘ into the search box and selected to run Internet Explorer as Administrator.



Success !!!!!! (see screenshot below) As the saying goes “ a long way for a short cut”, however it works!



So l set about making the relevant changes in report manager, setting up the Microsoft user account l normally log in with as content mgr etc. That all seemed to go as expected. Next switched accounts back to the Microsoft account and thought l will just open Microsoft Edge. Since the account has been set up and l do not need to run it as Administrator. This did not work l got the error message below. So l typed into the search box 'Internet' and Internet Explorer was one of the applications l was able choose to run, the result can be seen below. It worked as expected.



Is there an easier way? Then please let me know, this was not the most fun learning journey, and I’m always open to learn.

So what steps did l follow?

1) http://www.ghacks.net/2014/11/12/how-to-enable-the-hidden-windows-10-administrator-account/

Used instructions to enable the administrator account and set the password for the Administrator account.
Switched accounts from Microsoft account to Administrator account 

2) http://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2015/07/windows-10-edge-opened-builtin-administrator-account/
Used these instructions to make relevant change to the security policy

3) http://www.windowscentral.com/how-find-internet-explorer-windows-10-if-you-really-need-it
Used these instructions to find Internet Explorer and open using "Run as Administrator" option

4) Open SSRS report manager (running as local administrator), set the relevant permissions for the Microsoft account

5) Switched accounts from Administrator account, to Microsoft account. Searched for Internet Explorer then browsed to "localhost/reports" and was able to see SSRS report manager.


A picture can be worth > 1000 words
It's been a interesting time in my new role which l have been in for about 12 months now.  The product l get to work with is fantastic in so many ways for the end user.  The way that is configured allows it to be changed and moulded to fit the users wishes (within reason).  The downside to this is that there is a lot of complexity. 

The team l work with has responsibility for migrating data from our clients existing system to our system.  Speaking for myself, this can be a bit of a Rubik's Cube puzzle of what bit of data goes where and how.  Which speaking as a data geek can be fun.  Its taken me a while to understand both the product and the data model that supports the product and l am still learning very day!

Whilst working on a migration for one client, the form in which we received the data was a set of a large number of spreadsheets.  The information was spread over several spreadsheets mapping the data had been done by my colleague.  During a regular telephone conference with the client, we released that the client was not completely clear on how the data was being mapped from the spreadsheets to the application.  The spreadsheet view was a in a form they as the client understood and trusted (think trusted blanket).   Where as the application was still new shiny complicated and cold.  So my colleague took some screenshots of the spreadsheets, and of the application of where the data was being mapped to.  Using Google Diagrams, they drew some lines showing where values on the spreadsheet was placed in the application.  This was then passed to the client to review.

During the next telephone conference, the client was delighted with this simple diagram.  What my colleague had done was to delight and reassure the client at the same time.  They received from both the client and our own team praise for we saw as a simple task.

As l write this post l am creating some diagrams for another client we are working with.  One their requests was for a data dictionary for the views we provide for reporting.   The data dictionary was to include primary and foreign keys including which tables the foreign keys referenced. I was tasked with this bit of work, which l duly delivered to the client, it when down well.  The client then asked could be do some Entity Relationship Diagrams, with the object names and foreign keys.

At first l did not think this was going to be of much benefit.  All the required information was in the data dictionary after all.  Once l had completed the first one l had to say that my mind was changed.  Even though l had a good grasp of the data model, mapping the data dictionary to the ERD diagram was not as easy and simple as l first thought.  Even worst than that first l was enjoying the process, secondly l was learning as l went along.  Another of our regular meetings came round again.  So l had completed a rough draft of two diagrams, so l presented them.

During the updates l presented the two diagrams, explaining that they where intended primarily for non-technical users who might be required to do some work on reporting.  Much to my surprise the client was delighted, and related that these would prove to be very useful to all users.

The take away for me is that even the simplest scruffiest diagram (back of a paper napkin) can communicate so much more than we might appreciate.  As adults we spend much of time, complicating verbally.  We should from time to time get the crayons out and just draw lines, circles, shapes.  It might be possible to explain in words something.  Yet l am reminded of the simple diagram of joins that has cemented firmly in my mind SQL joins (http://blog.codinghorror.com/a-visual-explanation-of-sql-joins/).  To this day, when l am thinking of a left or right join, that diagram pops into my head.  This says to me that what l need to remember its not how l communicate something, more that l communicate it in a way the client can readily (or instantly) understand.  Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

Why go to SQL Bits?
On the face of it going to a conference looks expensive.  So why should you commit the time and effort to go?  That's a good question.  Do you know everything you need to know to do your job?

a) if not then going to SQLBits is the ideal opportunity to learn more, make yourself a better ( insert your job tile here ) assuming you want to be?

b) if you do then why are you not speaking at SQL Bits?  Knowledge matures, develops and then fruits as it is shared.

Stand on the shoulders of giants
At the conference there is a wide variety of subjects covered these range from technical deep dives, to the geekest technical humour you could ever ask for.  All the way over to advice on leadership, and managing your career .  You also get learn from other peoples hard won wisdom and experience, which has been won over thousands of person hours.   The speakers are delighted and eager to share their experience and save you the hours of effort it to gain the knowledge they have.  Writing this post after SQL Bits XXII l feel that l gained more practical knowledge in 4 days than l did in the previous 12 months.  That alone is what l call value for money. 

Continuing Professional Development 
Having worked with a number architects (they that design building) companies l have been made aware of the concept of Continuing Professional Development. In that any qualified architect is expected to learn and refine their skills for as long as they are a practising architect.

Sponsors
Another big part of the conference is the sponsors, they have stands set up in the main part of the conference.  Yes they are their to sell their products, on the other hand they are very generous and have many have prizes to give away.  Entering the competitions to win prizes can be as simple as giving your email address, others you might have to work for.  Such playing a racing car or sail boat simulator, these are geeks what do you expect !  Some of the sponsors have technical evangelists who are there to speak all of whom in my opinion are worth going to just for their sessions alone.   Next how often do you get to meet with representatives from Microsoft and ask them questions face to face.?

Fun and Games
There's even more fun to be had.  So far l have only attended two SQL Bit conferences.  The evening parties are well something to be experienced, the best way to put it is that these are dreamed up by geeks and attended by geeks.  Both of these groups of people know how to have a good time.  Also if you visit the sponsors you might just come away with tokens, for free drink, at the parties.  Need l say more?

The last question that occurs to me is why do l go?  Personally and ultimately l want to be the best possible person doing my job.  To provide my customers with the best possible service l can offer.  To achieve that will take time, energy, and sacrifices.  Part of that will be paying my way these conferences till l can convince my manager to pay for at least part of them.  Until then l will go to learn and develop, then one day return and speak myself to starting paying back my technical debt.