Most of our customers use XLCubed for reporting, analysis and data visualisation, but an increasing number use it for data updates, either within budgeting and forecasting solutions or in niche applications.
XL3RunSQL is a neat method for running SQL updates from Excel, and allows users to build input forms (which can ultimately be web-enabled) quickly and easily.
In this blog, we will walk through the steps to set this up.Continue reading “Updating SQL Tables from Excel”
In an ideal world for report designers, all the data required for a report is available in one data source, and the structure and hierarchies perfectly match the reporting needs. Sadly, the world isn’t always ideal (just ask Theresa May…).
We often see scenarios where users are reporting numerical data from Analysis Services but want to include descriptive or textual information held elsewhere. People have approached this in different ways, but XLCubed’s mashup capability can make it a much more streamlined and maintainable process.
Continue reading “Data Mashups 101”
SQL server 2012 has recently been released to manufacturing, and at XLCubed we’re well placed to take advantage of everything that is new in 2012.
SQL 2012 delivers Business Intelligence under the ‘BISM’ umbrella (Business Intelligence Semantic Model). BISM comes in different flavours though:
- BISM Multi-dimensional
- (Latest version of Analysis Services as we know it)
- BISM Tabular
- In-Memory Vertipaq
- Direct Query
For client tools, BISM Multi-dimensional is largely the same as connecting to existing versions of Analysis Services, with MDX being the query language. For XLCubed we can leverage what we already have in that respect, and the transition is seamless.
BISM tabular is different though. If you choose to deploy in-memory to Vertipaq, client tools can still use MDX, and as such don’t need significant change, other than to handle the tabular rather than hierarchical data environment. However if the deployment is Direct Query (for example for real-time BI), the only available query language is DAX.
There are best use cases for the different deployment options, but it’s fair to say there is a degree of confusion in the space at the moment about the relative merits of each. We’ll try to shed some light and guidance here over the next weeks and months. As a product though, it’s important for us to support and extend the full range of 2012 BI deployment options, and to make these available and accessible to our customers. That’s exactly what we’ve done for version 7.
XLCubed v7, which releases next month, is a client for both MDX and DAX, and as such provides one consistent client interface in Excel and on the Web which can access any of the SQL 2012 deployment models for BI. We are also adding a much richer relational SQL reporting environment.
We are really pleased with some of the beta feedback we’ve had to date, and if you’d like to trial the beta version contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We’re looking forward to releasing the product next month, and will be previewing it at SQL Server Connections next week in Vegas.