Monthly Archives: March 2013

PASS Business Analytics Conference 2013 – Return on Investment

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Need help justifying your attendance at the PASS Business Analytics Conference?

I’m looking to…  

How the PASS Business Analytics Conference delivers:

Learn best practices and how to get the most out of Business Analytics

Join top industry and Microsoft experts for over 60 sessions offering exceptional learning guided by real-world solutions, thought leadership, and prescriptive technical guidance to capture the value of business analytics for your organization.  

Upskill to broaden my knowledge and career opportunities

Five comprehensive tracks will cover: Data Analytics and Visualization; Advanced Analytics and Insights; Information Delivery and Collaboration; Big Data Innovations and Integration; Strategy and Architecture.

Develop a deeper understanding of Business Analytics

Deep dive with a track dedicated to sentiment analysis, predictive analysis techniques using algorithms, data mining, statistic modeling, and advanced visualization.

Build valuable contacts

Join in our special networking and evening events and take advantage of group breakfasts and lunches to engage with a dynamic Business Analytics community and immerse yourself in innovative learning experiences with peers and industry leaders.

Stay ahead of the game

Learn about the latest advances, roadmaps, and strategic vision for the Microsoft Business Analytics platform. Get up-to-date on what’s important now and going forward.

Gain information on key BA platform

The exhibit hall brings together the top Business Analytics tools and services under one roof. Get hands-on demos and information without having to do all the research yourself.

Increase the knowledge and skills of my entire team

Take advantage of our group discount rate: Register as a group of 5 and save.

Be inspired

The PASS BA Conference is all about meeting and talking with people, sharing issues and solutions, and gaining knowledge that will make you a better Business Analytics professional. You’ll find new ideas everywhere for improving your business.



SharePoint 2013 Databases Documented on Codeplex

A client requested recently that I document each of the SharePoint 2013 Databases and Compare them to the SharePoint 2010 Databases. I used ApexSQL Doc 2012 to document the databases and ApexSQL Diff 2012 to compare the differences . Apex is great I think its the only tool that is works with SQL 2012 at this time. I started with the ContenDbs. Below are screenshots fro the Admin ContentDb. Be sure to check out the Apex SQL Tools when you have the time..

All of the SharePoint 2013 Databases are documented on Codeplex at I have included a few screenshots below for folks who may not be familiar with database documentation tools like Apex and what they provide..

The first screen shot below is the DB Object Index


The next we will jump down to the datatypes


An just to keep drilling through we find the details of tContentTypeId that start with the properties of the datatype, the  lists all of the locations where the column is defined, all of the dependencies and this page lists where the columns are defined and all of the dependencies from tables, procs, and functions with every column, tables, procs, and functions rendered as links that will then provide you with the detail of the property you click on


For instance lets take a table we use quite often the AdminContentDB.dbo.AllDocs table and the first information you will see is the table properties


Next you will see the creation Options and all of the columns that are make up the AdminContentDB.DBO.AllDocs Table along with the detail of each column like Data Type, Max Length, Nullable, Default, isGUID and Sparse


If you would like to understand more about how SharePoint uses the databases to store information and the relationship between stored procedures, triggers, functions and the object model you should check out the SharePoint 2013 Databases Documented on Codeplex, I have included a few of the links for direct downloads below:

Documentation SQL 2012 AS PowerPivot Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint 2013 Social Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint Content Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint 2013 Metadata Service Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint 2013 Profile Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint 2013 Secure Store Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint 2013 All Search Related Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint 2013 Configuration Database Documentation

Documentation SharePoint 2013 Application Management Database Documentation

But don’t stop, If you think this is pretty cool and even if you Don’t, you should read everything on SharePoint Protocols, I have included a link as reference below:




PASS Business Analytics Conference – Quick Facts


Key Dates


April 10

Welcome Reception

April 10 (evening)

Day 1 Keynote: Microsoft

April 11

Appreciation Event

April 11

Day 2 Keynote: Steven Levitt

April 12

General Sessions

April 11-12


  • § 60 + technical sessions presented by Microsoft and Community Speakers
  • § Steven Levitt Keynote – Bestselling co-Author of Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics
  • § 5 session tracks including:
  •    ▫ Data Analytics and Visualization
  •    ▫ Advanced Analytics and Insights
  •    ▫ Information Delivery and Collaboration
  •    ▫ Big Data Innovations and Integration
  •    ▫ Strategy and Architecture

imageWhy Attend?

  • § Top community speakers including big data ZDNet blogger Andrew J. Brust; BI experts Alberto Ferrari, Stacia Misner, Peter Myers, Marco Russo and Chris Webb; data mining and predictive analytics gurus Mark Tabladillo and Cristian Vava; data science expert Mark Whitehorn; and Decision Sciences professor, Mathletics expert, and two-time Jeopardy! champion Wayne Winston.
  • § Hear from the Microsoft experts: Kamal Hathi, Director of the BI Group for Microsoft SQL Server; Ashvini Sharma, Group Program Manager in the Office Data Experiences team; and Tim Mallalieu, Principal Group Program Manager for Microsoft HDInsight.
  • § Connect with us for real-word insights, prescriptive guidance, best practices, and strategic vision
  • § Expand your ability to analyze, manage, and share information to predict business performance
  • § Walk away with the tools and connections for maximum impact within your organization
  • § Dig deeper into Microsoft’s collaborative BA platform – Excel, SharePoint, Azure, Hadoop,
  • Parallel Data Warehouse, and SQL Server.

Connect with us: clip_image001 clip_image002 clip_image003[7]



Internet SharePoint & IIS News – Issue Resolution, Betas, & Lab Content

I have included below a few links on content on topics ranging from troubleshooting Claims Based Authentication to the new Application Router Beta and test labs available for download. All content is in line with learning more about SharePoint and the under lying technology and architecture that support your SharePoint environments.

Enabling modern SharePoint experiences on Windows 8 for students and teachers – ​The Contoso Learning Companion is a modern Windows 8 application built to work with SharePoint 2010 and 2013. It uses SharePoint sites as collaboration spaces for classes and study groups and integrates with the popular OneNote application for lessons and assignments. This popular starter kit provides everything you need to deliver tailored Windows 8 solutions for SharePoint.

Troubleshooting "Claims authentication in SharePoint environments – To determine the root cause of an arbitrary problem and its solution, you can spend years developing deep technical understanding and experience. This article describes the primary tools that you use to collect information about claims authentication and make configuration changes in SharePoint 2013 to get you back on track.

Customizing the SharePoint 2013 Developer Dashboard using custom scripts – The Developer Dashboard has undergone some significant changes in SharePoint 2013 and can now be extended by injecting custom JavaScript code into the developer dashboard window. This article explains how.

Announcing Application Request Router 3.0 Beta! – We are happy to announce that we have just released the Beta version for ARR 3.0. Click here to install ARR v3 beta using Microsoft Web Platform Installer.

Announcing: Smooth Streaming plugin for OSMF – We are pleased to announce that Windows Azure Media Services team released a preview of Microsoft Smooth Streaming plugin for OSMF.

IT Professional Reviewer’s Guide for SharePoint Server 2013 – Read about how SharePoint Server 2013 builds on the investments of previous SharePoint releases to help you do the following: lower IT costs with a flexible and scalable collaboration platform; better manage risk by safeguarding your business with secure and reliable capabilities; increase productivity through cost-effective and efficient management.

Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate Social Features for SharePoint Server 2013 – Introduction to the social features in SharePoint Server 2013 and step-by-step instructions for configuring and then demonstrating My Sites, Newsfeeds, Community Sites, and Team Site feeds.

Databases that support SharePoint 2013 – This poster illustrates the databases that that support SharePoint 2013.

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Architecture – This poster provides guidance about logical and physical architectures for SharePoint Server 2013

Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate Intranet Collaboration with SharePoint Server 2013 – This paper helps you configure an environment to demonstrate the intranet collaboration features of SharePoint Server 2013.

Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate SAML-based Claims Authentication with SharePoint Server 2013 – This paper provides a brief introduction to SharePoint Server 2013 and illustrates how to create a three-tier test lab that uses SAML-based claims authentication.

Test Lab Guide: Configure SharePoint Server 2013 in a Three-Tier Farm – This paper provides a brief introduction to SharePoint Server 2013 and illustrates how to create a three-tier test lab.

Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate Forms-Based Authentication with SharePoint Server 2013 – This paper explains how to configure and demonstrate form-based authentication for SharePoint Server 2013 based on the Test Lab Guide: Configure SharePoint Server 2013 in a Three-Tier Farm (

Using a Data Collector to Troubleshoot Server Performance – Whether you have a Windows Cloud Server or a Windows Dedicated Server, having it run at optimal capacity is critical for the success of your business. You need to know about any performance issues before your customers or visitors are impacted.

Using Classic ASP and URL Rewrite for Dynamic SEO Functionality How to use Classic ASP with the IIS URL Rewrite module to dynamically generate Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml files.

Professional Microsoft IIS 8 – This book is a must have for an IIS 8 administrator. Its chalked full of information not detailed as complete anywhere else I know of. I’d highly recommend you pick up a copy, either an e-book or paperback copy.

Scaling up IIS Server – When it comes to the scalability of web servers, first thing customers think about is scale out. While scale out is great option, there are many scenarios which can benefit from scale up. In Windows Server 2012, IIS team has done a good amount of work to scale up IIS server on latest industry standard hardware. IIS team, along with HP and Microsoft EEC has recently published a case study on how IIS 8.0 performs on HP Proliant DL980, an 8 socket, 80 core machine.

Web Deploy XML File Parameterization  – As part of its Parameterization feature, Web Deploy also supports parameterization of XML files.  If you are unfamiliar with parameterization, it’s basically a feature that Web Deploy uses to change values of certain objects before committing them to a destination.  In this post, I’ll walk you through some examples of how to do XML parameterization using XPath queries.

phpMyAdmin on Windows Azure Web Sites – This post describes how to install and configure phpMyAdmin on Windows Azure Web Sites. –

Authenticated SMTP Using System.Net.Mail – Using to send email messages from your web site makes life so easy. –

Using Wildcard SSL Certificates on IIS 7 –




SQL 2012 Business Intelligence Automation of Demo Builds Part 4 – Visio Graphics Services

Prior to discussing the Visio Graphics Demo Builds I would like to say that it was a privilege to work with Mariano Teixeira Neto, Stacia Misner, Ken Brown, and especially Norm Warren who I owe the most gratitude for taking a non-author under his wing and somehow bringing me through the process.

If you haven’t ever had the opportunity to write a book on technology of any kind prior to its release while maintaining your own business, it was a challenge to say the least. I worked more hours in the last 6 months than I would have ever thought possible. Business Intelligence in SharePoint 2013 is a great guide to the numerous Business Intelligence features to be found in the combination of SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint 2013. There were times, well most of the time I found parts difficult to write. In some ways I learned (always have know) I can build and automate anything. But what I didn’t know or have a clue about, though I have been writing technical guidance for years for clients is that when writing to a diverse audience you had better have folks on your team to learn from that have been there and delivered the end product many times before.

My difficulty was due in part to the the diversity of the audience, I don’t think I am eloquent enough to write to a non-technical audience in any meaningful way. This may be due in part to being a geek and all I speak is geek. It may have been I was so impressed with the other authors work that it made mine seem to me sophomoric. However, it was a great learning experience and allows me to share some pretty cool Demo Builds with you including this Visio Services Demo 2.0 Content Pack that you can download from Codeplex.

In addition, though this work has been modified so there isn’t any stuff that is broken. The diagrams broken or not  have been around in many forms for a couple of SharePoint Releases. So, I would also like to thank Microsoft for providing these diagrams as learning tools and though I don’t know the folks directly who created most of the diagrams I have modified most of them,  and left  a few in lace for you to go through the upgrade process. I would just like to thank everyone involved that I haven’t mentioned previously from O’Reilly, Microsoft, and the folks that originally provided this collection of content. Though it is a work in progress it enabled me to learn Visio Services more quickly than I would have without having this work as a resource.


Its a pretty simple page with a few Visio Diagrams like the following network diagram


or it can be as simple as a wireframe as Contoso Casinos


We have even more content samples for everyone to play with so that you can learn Visio Services easily and have fun


Most people don’t realize that you can drop one the Visio Shapes on the page, then highlight and drop Excel Workbook information and if you had 50 rows of information you would end up with 50 labeled Visio Shapes in the diagram. Much like what’s been done in the next Visio Diagram


In summary this is a way to build not code Visio Diagrams and then add them to dashboards attached to live meaningful data., Because we know that executives love red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light and who they need to get in touch with to find out what’s up..

If you want to use these examples along with 30 or 40 more, we have the presentations, walkthroughs and scenarios on Codeplex at and download / install the Visio Demo 2 Content Pack.

The following Demo installations are available for download now.




Windows Server 2012 New Features – Data Deduplication

This is another post based on migrating the functions of a few of my Servers to Windows Server 2012. Another favorite features even better than DHCP Failover is Data De-Duplication.

Data deduplication optimizes the file data on the volume by performing the following steps:

1. Segment the data in each file into small variable-sized chunks.
2. Identify duplicate chunks.
3. Maintain a single copy of each chunk.
4. Compress the chunks.
5. Replace redundant copies of each chunk with a reference to a single copy.
6. Replace each file with a reparse point containing references to its data chunks.

I assume everyone is familiar with Server Manager in Windows server 2012, Click on Server Manager from the lower left of your task bar, then click on File and Storage servicesimage

Then Click on Volumes and one of the issues you notice immediately is the disk space savings if you have enabled data deduplication. I am saving 856GB out of 3258GB total space for a 26% savings and I am rounding down the benefit. I would think I might say it looks like you have another 465GB for 3723GB. well one of the rules is you should not deduplicate data on you Boot Partition and there are a few more that I will either mention later in this post or provide the reference on TechNet for your review and use.image

Prior to walking through the 4 or 5 steps to enable Data Deduplication in the next post, there are a couple of issues that you need to be aware of, Data deduplication Requirements:

Data deduplication is supported only on the following:

  1. 1. Windows Server operating systems beginning with Windows Server 2012 with NTFS data volumes

Deduplication is not supported on:

  • 1. System or boot volumes
  • 2. Remote mapped or remote mounted drives
  • 3. Cluster shared volumes (CSV) (but it does support clustered configuration with NTFS volumes)

Deduplication skips over the following files:

  • 1. System/ state files
  • 2. Encrypted files
  • 3. Files with extended attributes
  • 4. Files whose size is less than 32 KB
  • 5. Reparse points (that are not data deduplication reparse points)
  1. Best Practices:
  2. 1. Exclude your Virtual Server Volumes from Data Deduplication
  3. 2. Always perform a full backup before and after the first time you run data deduplication on a volume.
  4. 3. Schedule backups to be performed after your scheduled Garbage collection due to the number of changes that occur in the chunk-store during Garbage Collection
  5. 4. By default Garbage Collection, is configured to run weekly

Note: using data deduplication on SSDs has not had any effect on the SSDs.

  1. Requirements for Drive removal for use in other systems, if keeping the data on the drive
  2. 1. The OS is Windows server 2012 
  3. 2. You have configured Data deduplication on the new system.
  4. 3. OR, You have removed data deduplication from the drive prior to moving the drive to a platform that does not support Data deduplication

Note: as mentioned above to get the drives to work without the documents / files having the appearance of corruption when you attempt to open them on the new system, you will to install and configure data duplication on the new system .prior to moving the drives to the new systems What this means is that you would need to remove data deduplication from the volume prior to installing the drive in ANY Operating System that is MOT Windows Server 2012, this includes Windows 8, I have been attempting to get Data deduplication on my Laptop and it would ne awesome if any of you have done so, I enjoy hearing the step’s you took to get data deduplication to work ion Windows 8



Window Server 2012 New Features – DHCP failover

While replacing my 2 Domain Controllers today I also took the opportunity to clean up DHCP and DNS and DHCP which led me to one of my favorite new features in Windows server 2012 DHCP Failover. My only question is was there any reason beyond the lawsuits over giving away free software to end users that we didn’t have this years ago. If you haven’t used Windows Server 2012 with DHCP failover, you are missing out.. I know we had Split DHCP and DHCP Clusters with Windows Server 2008 R2 but this is much cooler.

DHCP failover: This feature provides the ability to have two DHCP servers serve IP addresses and option configuration to the same subnet or scope, providing for continuous availability of DHCP service to clients. The two DHCP servers replicate lease information between them, allowing one server to assume responsibility for servicing of clients for the entire subnet when the other server is unavailable. It is also possible to configure failover in a load-balancing configuration with client requests distributed between the two servers in a failover relationship. For more information about DHCP failover, see Step-by-Step: Configure DHCP for Failover

In Windows Server 2008 R2, there are two high availability options available for DHCP Server deployment. Each of these options is associated with some challenges.

1.DHCP in a Windows failover cluster. This option places the DHCP server in a cluster with an additional server configured with the DHCP service that assumes the load if the primary DHCP server fails. The clustering deployment option uses a single shared storage. This makes the storage a single point of failure, and requires additional investment in redundancy for storage. In addition, clustering involves relatively complex setup and maintenance.

2.Split scope DHCP. Split scope DHCP uses two independent DHCP servers that share responsibility for a scope. Typically 70% of the addresses in the scope are assigned to the primary server and the remaining 30% are assigned to the backup server. If clients cannot reach the primary server then they can get an IP configuration from the secondary server. Split scope deployment does not provide IP address continuity and is unusable in scenarios where the scope is already running at high utilization of address space, which is very common with Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4).

DHCP failover in Windows Server 2012 enables administrators to deploy a highly resilient DHCP service to support a large enterprise without the challenges of the options discussed earlier. The main goals of the feature are the following:

Provide DHCP service availability at all times on the enterprise network.

  • If a DHCP server is no longer reachable, the DHCP client is able to extend the lease on its current IP address by contacting another DHCP server on the enterprise network.


1. Right-Click on the Scope you want to enable failover from, Choose Configure Failover

2. Choose the Network that you want to provide Failover for or Select All, Click Next


3. Either enter the name of your Partner server or Click on Add Server to choose from other DHCP Servers on you network, Click OK, then Click Next


4. You can choose from 2options from the Mode Dropdown, we left the default “Load balance” but you can also choose the alternate “Hot standby”


5. You can also choose the interval between State Switch Failover Interval. Last, as mentioned earlier review the options available in the drop-down menu next to Mode. You can choose Load balance or Hot standby. By default, Load balance mode is chosen. Click Next verify your settings., and Click Finish


6. Once Completed Verify Success, and Click Close.


Note: When you choose the DHCP Fail Over Partner the partner should not have the Network you are going to be using to Fail over configured as part of any scope..



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