Monday, June 27, 2011

Creating Time Filters in PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer

This post is about creating time filters in PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer, as the title suggests. Of course there are more than one way to do this, but one very simple way is to correctly add Time Intelligence (you can ask me how to do this) to your cube in BIDS and then when you are working in Dashboard Designer, you can add a "Member Name" filter. For this filter, you have to then choose the correct time dimension that is associated with your cube. Once you have chosen the correct time dimension, select the members of the hierarchy, that you want to use for the filter. Once you are done configuring the filter, you have to create a connection between it and the region that you want to be influenced by this filter.

To do this, you can add your filter to one of your dashboards, for instance. Towards the right side of the filter, there should appear a down arrow, that, when clicked, will give you two options, one of which will be Create Connection. Click on this and then select the item that you want to connect to e.g a chart). On the Values tab select the time dimension of the chart that you want to connect to and then you can select Member Unique Name in the bottom drop-down list.

Your filter should now be configured correctly. Save and deploy your Dashboard. Test it.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

MDX: Define "Empty" cells so that they are not displayed

This post might not be important to many readers as this is probably a very simple technique to someone who knows MDX well, but I am hoping that at some point someone will find this helpful.

I had named calculations in my SSAS cube and the IIF formula defined a cell to contain "" (empty string) when the calculation could not be completed. The problem with this definition was that the "Filter Empty Rows" setting in Dashboard Designer did not work since these cells were not empty (although the looked empty), but instead they contained the empty string. The easiest fix is to instead of defining the cell to contain "", define it to contain null. Now the cell will be considered empty by Dashboard Designer and would be filtered.


Friday, June 24, 2011

HTC Sensation 4G

I had the HTC Sensation in my hands for the first time today. I myself own a LG G2X and without being bias, my experience with the HTC Sensation interface was not as smooth as the one on my G2X. Physically, it is smaller than my phone, and I have to say that the screen quality is very high. I am not sure if it comes out with Android Gingerbread, but nevertheless from what I experienced in my 10 minutes with the phone, the G2X is still at the top of the line for T-mobile.


The new Barnes and Noble Nook

I just had the new Nook in my hands about an hour ago. Very impressive device indeed. Extremely light, complete touch screen, and a complete, simple user experience makes this the top reader for me at the moment. It has very impressive battery life - up to 2 months! It is not ideally optimized for web surfing, but it nevertheless provides for a very smooth experience. It is much shorter and a little wider compared to the first generation nook.

At this moment I don't know all the ins and outs of the device yet, but I have quite a lot of experience with e-readers and I played around with it for about 10 minutes. I was very impressed. I also think that it comes at a very reasonable price at $139. Let me know if anyone wants to know more about this device.


Thursday, June 23, 2011


I am currently getting to spend quite a bit of time diving into the MDX language. MDX stands for Multidimensional Expressions. A very interesting and powerful language indeed. It is different from any other computer language that I have come across and is specifically used to query multidimensional structures like SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Cubes) cubes. I am just starting off with it, but it seems like I will be spending an enormous amount of time on it so I hope that I can help anyone with questions about it, out soon!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

T-mobile G2X

I recently exchanged my old phone and got the T-mobile G2X. I had done a lot of research on the phone because, unlike for many people in this day and age, this was going to be my first smart phone. The smart phone market is so huge now that it is sometimes almost impossible to decide which phone you want. I looked at the three major options: Apple, Microsoft and Google (Android).

I really like the new Microsoft OS. I think the experience is really smooth (although that should be a given on a smartphone) and there are some very interesting and user-friendly design aspects incorporated into the OS. One thing I had against the OS was that it still did not (and does not) run on a 4G device. For me it was not worth it to buy a 3G device with 3G being a relatively old technology. I have also heard people say that the app store for Microsoft is not yet big enough, although this was not the deciding factor for me.

As far as Apple's option goes, I had never been quite as into the iPhone as many other people have. I admit that it is a high-quality product and being a Software Engineer myself, I can vouch for the quality of the iOS. With the biggest app store currently available, this is obviously an option well worth consideration for many.

My choice to go with Google was based on a couple of things. Compared with the Apple strategy of restricting access to anything that's not from the "Apple Realm" I think goes against the whole concept of reaching as many people as possible with your device. I understand that it has its advantages. For instance, from a software standpoint, applications can be tweaked exactly to run extremely well on a very specific set of hardware components. Though that may be, I think Google's open approach is probably paving the way for the future. The Internet giant has taken over Apple with regards to smartphone OS sales an is gaining ground as far as tablets go as well.

More about the G2X: So far I have been very impressed with the phone. It sports a dual-core 1GHz process and is very fast. Since the process is made by Nvidia, the phone's visual quality is excellent. Some people have complained about the battery life of the phone; however I have gotten at least 36 hours off of every charge (while using the phone quite often for online tasks).

I will write more soon, but for now all I can say is that this phone provides for a very smooth experience and will not disappoint!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Microsoft Exam 70-448: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

Hi all,

I apologize for my absence from the blog. I intend to write more often now that I am working full time and not looking for jobs anymore. I am currently preparing for a Microsoft Exam, the more specific title of which can be found in the title of the blog. I am taking the exam this weekend and will post more about it after I pass it :)