Sunday, October 14, 2012

Using SSRS with Silverlight, HTML5, JavaScript, Flash, Google Charts and other third party products.

I'm reading: Using SSRS with Silverlight, HTML5, JavaScript, Flash, Google Charts and other third party products.Tweet this !
SSRS, Powerpivot, Powerview, Excel Services, Powerpoint Services, Sharepoint Dashboarding all offer variety of data visualizations. But most of them end up with a static graphic image on a web browser, which is neither interactive nor appealing enough to the end users. Many architects take the route of custom development or try seeking reusable assets (third party / in-house) that can be used to bring a wow-factor on the user interface. These report platforms are not packaged with those rich interactive graphical capabilities that can blend on a portal or by itself serve the high-end UI needs.

For example, the charts and graphs that are generated by SSRS report output, are in the form of static images. There is no way that user can click on a chart/graph and it would drill down to the next level of hierarchy. Also if I have two charts/graphs and I want to configure them in a way such that I click on one of them and the other shows context sensitive information related to the same. Often reporting systems require such graphical interactivity, but the present stack of reporting tools are not yet capable of presenting such information with user interactivity.

There are different options that can be taken to provide reporting using a rich UI, which are mentioned as below:

1) Develop UI using Silverlight applications (.xap)
2) Develop UI using Silverlight + .Net or plain .Net
3) Develop UI using HTML5 + JavaScript + Adobe Flash based graphics
4) Develop UI using online charting services like Google Charts
5) Develop UI using third party tools.

A sample architecture diagram is shown below where application layers makes calls to SSRS web services. Above mentioned options would fit in one or other layer and have its own advantages and limitations.

Below listed are different chart and graph options to generate interactive charts and graphs, and blend with your UI along with SSRS reports.

1) Highcharts

2) JS Charts

3) gRaphael JavaScript Library

4) amCharts : JavaScript / HTML5 Charts

5) RGraph JavaScript Chart and Graphs

6) FusionCharts : JavaScript, HTML5 and Flash based data visualizations

7) JPowered JavaScript graphing library

8) CHAP Links Library using Google Charts Visualization

9) TeeChart JavaScript and HTML5 charting library

10) jQuery Sparklines plugin

11) jqPlot : jQuery plotting plugin

12) Microsoft Silverlight Toolkit

13) Infragistics NetAdvantage Ultimate

14) Dojo Charting

15) CanvasXpress - JavaScript library based on HTML5 Canvas Tag

16) Flotr2- JavaScript library based on HTML5 Canvas Tag

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Using Microsoft Office Project Server with MS BI ( SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS )

I'm reading: Using Microsoft Office Project Server with MS BI ( SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS )Tweet this !
Microsoft Office Project Server (MSPS) is one of the healthiest source of data in the microsoft ecosystem. Many departments especially CIOs have the greatest potential and probability to make extensive use of the data contained in Project Server. Almost every organizations have different projects for which they carry out planning, tracking, monitoring, resource assignments and related activities. MS Project Server is a chef's knife for this purpose.

From a technical standpoint, the way MSPS stores data is very interesting. Like Sharepoint, it stores data internally into SQL Server. But unlike Sharepoint, it gives a very neat and clean mechanism to use to data it stores internally in the form of a database intended for reporting known as Reporting database and is operated using a service known as Report Data Service. Also it has a service called Cube Build service (CBS), which can be operated using a web based console known as Project Web App (PWA).

The Reporting database (RDB) is the staging area for generating reports and OLAP cubes. Data in the Reporting database is comprehensive and is updated nearly in real time. The tables and views are optimized for read-only report generation; for example, the RDB tables are denormalized to provide redundant data and reduce the number of relational tables. As data is updated in real time in RDB, in case if you are considering extracting data from it to some other data store, consider reading how data gets to the RDB and Report Data Service. Schema documentation of the reporting database as well as the OLAP cubes is available and  can be downloaded from Project 2010 Reference: Software Development Kit, in the documentation\schemas subdirectory.

Microsot Office Project Server 2010 Architecture Diagram can be seen below:

As apparent in the above diagram, MS Project Server is very well integrated with Sharepoint 2010. Hence using reporting related tools like Excel Services, Performancepoint Services and BI + Dashboarding capabilities in-built into Sharepoint, a rich reporting platform can be provided to end users from data contained into Project Server 2010.

From an MS BI perspective,
  • SSIS can be used to extract data from reporting database and merge this data into a corporate warehouse
  • SSAS can be used to source and enhance cubes and OLAP database exposed by project server
  • SSRS can be used to generate reports on the top of OLTP reporting database and cubes contained in OLAP database exposed by Project Server.
I seriously wish that perhaps Sharepoint can expose such databases for reporting and analysis, as that makes it very easy to facilitate reporting and analysis of the content stored in sharepoint.

To understand more about Project Server, you should consider reading about Project Server Architecture and Project Server Programmability. Also consider reading more about how to configure reporting for Project Server 2010.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

HTML5 Browser Compatibility for BI Solutions

I'm reading: HTML5 Browser Compatibility for BI SolutionsTweet this !
Consumers of a BI solution are increasing and BI solution are increasingly becoming web-based. Technologies like Silverlight are not supported on platforms like iOS and browsers like Safari Mobile. HTML5 due to its capability to render rich media on mobile devices, is receiving more and more adoption day by day. Below mentioned are some nice references that can be handy for various purposes when you are playing with html5. Some of these purposes can be cross browser compatibility, local storage on devices, feature support across devices, testing your application compatibility for html5 and others.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SSRS Report prototypes using Google Charts

I'm reading: SSRS Report prototypes using Google ChartsTweet this !
Contemplating and conceptualizing design of any application starts with almost no tools at hand. MS Office - Powerpoint and Excel, or similar products are the tools that remain available with the design and development teams for developing application screen design prototypes. MS Visio is generally used to develop wireframes. In an application / report centric design, users preference remains viewing reports blended with the web application itself. As the need for a mature prototype develops, html - css - javascript based prototype starts getting developed.

Report prototypes are generally developed as excel spreadsheets or raw reports exported to excel, which are evidently totally isolated and hard to visualize how they would gel with the hosting environment. Google charts provides excellent variety of visualizations. The best part about this visualizations are:
  • Visualizations are interactive, but they don't use Silverlight. Interactive term is used very loosely but its a very valuable term. SSRS reports are rendered as an image file which is not interactive. But these visualizations have one or other form of user interaction feature available along with tooltips.
  • These visualizations are generated using HTML5 so they are cross-browser as well as mobile device compatible. Also visualizations are drawn using SVG or VML.
  • Embedding these visualization and populating it with data is mere couple of html and javascript tags. Visualizations are exposed as google javascript libraries. Include those libraries in your page, create objects from the exposed object model and add data in the form of a very simple array. And your report visual is ready.
  • Visualization such as treemap / intensity map, motion charts etc are also available which missing in SSRS.
  • These visualizations are exposed in the form of classes, and they also have event listeners. This means you can bind user interaction on this visualizations with your server side code too.

One might also think why not use these visualizations in production environments ? The main reason I would have resistance against using these in production, is that firstly these are provisioned for free on google infrastructure. So you can't commit any SLA with confidence to end-clients regarding performance. Next google publishes a deprecation policy that supports backward compatibility for 3 years. This means that once any visualization is classified as deprecated, after 3 years that would disappear from google charts. This is not acceptable in any serious production environments. If I compare this with Microsoft policies, any deprecated or even discontinued products like Proclarity / PPS 2007 have a support policy for 10 years. But of course these products are not free.

So I suggest that its one of the best tools to use to create great report prototypes that are almost closest to the actual reports. Below is a sample code to create a pie-chart.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SSRS reports on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile for Mobile UI

I'm reading: SSRS reports on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile for Mobile UITweet this !
Viewing applications on mobile devices might sound like a small problem statement, but the actual solution requirement is much broader than just resolution adjustment. Some of the major challenges involved in the solution architecture are:

1) Single codebase for the model and controller layer, and using the same for creating different view layers for different devices and platforms.

2) Whether to create a webapp optimized for devices or whether to create a native application that calls webservices / displays web content.

3) HTML5 is supported in different capacities by different browsers, and most of the microsoft frameworks do not emit HTML5 by default. In fact features like local storage is not supported below IE8+. Also its quite heavier to use as the data exchange format for devices, compared to JSON.

4) Whichever framework is used, cross-browser compatibility is always an implicit / explicit business mandate.

5) Using same navigation design, for different sized devices like iPhone, iPad, Tablets and Desktops, would not be admired by users from a usability and user experience perspective.

6) REST based services are more faster and lighter to use compared to WCF based webservices. But WCF has got a very wide support, features and integration with .NET.

Below are some pointers that can be kept in mind while designing the solution / technology architecture:

1) HTML5 is supported by most modern browsers used on different devices. Creating a web application with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript is the most advisable step if you are completely inexperienced in mobile application development.

2) Web-based frameworks like jQueryMobileSencha, and Dojo can leverage the existing web based SDKs / codebase to build more sharper mobile applications in faster, easier and efficient manner. These frameworks have built-in libraries to use REST and JSON too for client-server communication. Even if web application is converted native application in the future, http/rest/json based communication protocol is supported by platforms like android, iOS and others.

3) To take your web application development framework to the next level, use frameworks like appMobi, Appcelerator, PhoneGap, ApplicationCraft and others to build native applications using JavaScript.

4) More about how to build iOS application from scratch can be read from here.

I have implemented architectures, where we create .NET user controls that makes programmatic calls to SSRS webservice for reports execution. The HTML output returned by SSRS report is collected and rendered in the control. These controls are hosted in .NET pages, which are hosted on Sharepoint. Finally when server leaves control, entire web content gets transmitted as HTML. By introducing HTML5 conversion wrappers at different layers depending upon the design of the solution, not only SSRS reports but any web application can be optimized for mobile devices.

There is lot more to consider like performance, navigation design, user experience, local data storage and others such points. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences by commenting on this post.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hadoop tools for SSIS, SSRS and SSAS like Integration, Reporting and Analytics

I'm reading: Hadoop tools for SSIS, SSRS and SSAS like Integration, Reporting and AnalyticsTweet this !
Data hosting, processing and reporting is dramatically changing on a variety of extremely different platforms than ever. With the emergence of NoSQL and Big Data, systems such as Hadoop host unimaginable volumes of data. Google is soon to hit 1 Billion Android device activations. US and China collectively contributes to almost 300 million iOS + Android activations. Sourcing data from systems like Hadoop, mashing it up with relational data sources and provisioning reporting and analytics on the most aggressively growing platforms like Android and iOS is not an easy job, leave apart the complexity, cost and skills involved in the process.

Recently I have seen quite a couple of SQL Server and MS BI related blogs writing about how to write code for HBase, Pig and for other similar sources. Industry matures in terms of developer productivity and user friendliness much aggressively than one knows. Talend - an open source provider of tools for managing Big data, provides a tool called Talend Open Studio for Big Data. Its a GUI based data integration tool like SSIS. Behind the scenes this tool generates code for Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), Pig, Hbase, Sqoop and Hive. This kind of tools really take Hadoop and Big Data to a extremely wide user-base.

After you have the ways to build a high-way to a mountain of data-source, the immediate need is to make meaning of these data. One of the front-runners of data visualization and analytics, Tableau, provides way to create ad-hoc visualizations from extracts of data from Hadoop clusters or straight live from the Hadoop clusters. Creating visualization from in-memory data and staging extract of data from Hadoop clusters into relational databases and creating visualizations from the same; both are facilitated by Tableau.

Other analytics vendor like Snaplogic and Pentaho also provides tools for operating with Hadoop clusters, which does not require developers to write code. Microsoft has an integrated platform for integration, reporting and analytics (in-memory/olap) and an IDE like SSDS (formerly BIDS).

If tools similar to Talend and Tableau are integrated into SSIS, SSAS, SSRS, DB Engine and SSDT, then Microsoft is one of the best positioned leaders to take Hadoop to a wide audience in their main-stream business. When platforms like Azure Data Market, Data Quality Services, Master Data Management, StreamInsight, Sharepoint etc join hands with tool and technology support integrated with SQL Sever, it would be an unmatched way to extract intelligence out of Hadoop. Connectors for Hadoop has been the first baby step towards this area. Still lot of maturity in this area is awaited.

Till then look out for existing leaders in this area like Cloudera, MapR, Hortonworks, Apache and GreenPlum for Hadoop distributions and implementation. And for Hadoop tools, software vendors like Talend, Tableau, SnapLogic and Pentaho can provide the required toolset. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

iOS integration with MS BI Solution Architecture

I'm reading: iOS integration with MS BI Solution ArchitectureTweet this !
In my career experience, reporting has been the biggest piece of any solution. Mobile applications owns a large stake these days as an end-client application. Web is thought to be the ultimate platform for exposing your applications, but native applications that sits on mobile computing platforms like Android and iOS are huge stakeholders in the reporting consumers ecosystem. Benefits of web applications versus mobile platform native applications is a huge topic in itself, and demands a dedicated post.

As an architect, recently I have been given the helm of delivering an MS BI solution. The application has to be delivered as an iOS / OS X native application and the end clients have iPad and this application should be available as a native application on the same. Generally professionals with an architect cap, try to escape from the intrinsics of technology but in most of the cases I have seen that such professionals are not the dark horses of this game. If you give an attitude that I am an Architect (thou not an enterprise architect but just architect of your 2-3 applications) so I don't know anything about technology stack and nor can I analyze the skeleton of different technologies, then any business would want such professionals only on contract for the shortest time possible.

If you understand the entire different kinds of technology stack skeleton, you would be able to integrate your solution with joints of steel, and that is your job as an architect. Quick points that an architect would be interested in knowing about iOS world are listed below, which would help any architect to get a quick launchpad about iOS world of native applications. 

1) If you have made up mind to develop web applications that can target a variety of mobile devices, you can use native wrapper classes using frameworks like Adobe PhoneGap.

2) App Store and iTunes are great examples of native applications displaying web content inside it.

3) XCode is the SDK from Apple used to develop applications for iOS platform.

4) Most of the iOS applications are implemented using MVC design pattern.

5) Objective-C is the programming language used to develop applications, and its quite similar to C# too.

6) Interface Builder is the IDE that is used to develop application user interface and associate code with the UI. A simulator designer is provided inside this IDE.

7) Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) is the garbage collection mechanism of the iOS platform.

8) TableViews can be thought of synonymous to .NET configurable data grids.

9) Depending upon the complexity of the screen there are different kind of projects template available in XCode. For single screen apps one can use project types like "Utility Application" and for more complex apps that require different screens can use "Tabbed Application".

10) Different applications are targeted for different devices like iPhone and iPad. "Master-Detail Application" is a project type that would work seamlessly on iPhone as well as iPad.

11) Its possible to embed web content inside the application. UIWebView class would be a quick starting point to begin your base technical framework.

12) View Controllers can be considered synonymous to specialized controls that are aimed at specific tasks.

13) API to make calls to webservices synchronously and asynchronously is available in XCode SDK.

14) JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is advisable to use for data exchange instead of XML. JSON is data exchange format, that is light-weighted, partly human readable, and consumes almost half the bandwidth compared to XML for the same size.

15) SQLite is the database management library and also supported by iOS SDK to store data on the device. Apple Mail itself uses the same.

16) iPad screen have 1024 * 768 pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch, which is a good screen resolution to develop interactive applications.

17) iOS apps can use iCloud to enable different instances of their application to interchange data. Entire user data that sits in the "Documents" directory of the device, is backed up on iCloud daily.

18) iCloud has two types of storage: key-value storage for small amounts of data and document storage for larger volumes of data.

19) iOS applications are packaged as iOS App Store Package (.ipa) file. For internal beta distribution, applications can be distributed via ad-hoc method or ad-hoc (OTA) over-the-air method. Others third-party methods like TestFlight and BetaBuilder for iOS can also be used. Generally enterprises develop internal Enterprise Application Catalog (EAC) for mobile application distributions for company provided devices to download and install these applications. So this is also a good medium to publish your mobile applications.

20) Finally you have to submit your application to App Store team, if you intend to publish your application for iOS devices globally. It goes through a review and approval process from the same team, and they have their own set of standards for approving the application.

21) Important Apple Websites:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Excel 2013 BI versus SSRS 2012

I'm reading: Excel 2013 BI versus SSRS 2012Tweet this !
1) Excel 2013 has PowerPivot 2012 integrated / inbuilt into it. This means access to vertipaq engine, data processing, and dashboard related benefits. Powerpivot 2012 is able to harness the power of Windows Azure Data Market too. More on the same can be read from here.

2) Excel 2013 had PowerView integrated / inbuilt into it. This means all the reporting related benefits, visualizations like charts - graphs - bing maps, KPIs and dashboarding and other dashboard related components like hierarchies etc. PowerView is designed to interpret DAX queries on BISM model, and integration with Excel means that now Excel is even more capable of reporting BISM data models than PowerView itself. More on the same can be read from here.

3) Excel 2013 can connect to Hadoop on Azure using Hive ODBC Driver. This means excel can exploit data from cloud from related data stored in Azure databases as well as big data stores like Hadoop. More on the same can be read from here.

4) Excel 2013 facilitates sourcing media and other rich content from the web using it's newly introduced Content app and Task pane app. This means very rich integration using a relatively least complex tool compared to other self service tools available in the industry. More on this can be read from here.

5) Excel 2013 ships with some great advancements in visualizations. Users are not expected to be very deeply insighted into reports development, and components that can even make suggestions on the kind of reports suited for the kind of data they are available. More on this can be read from here.

6) Most of the applications provide features to export data into excel, which means any kind of data can be easily imported into excel. Also most of the applications provide plug-in for Excel to provide deeper integration with excel to make the data exchange process easier.

7) Excel 2013 now supports decoupled PivotTable and PivotCharts, that means better representation of trend analysis. And even Excel Services supports this feature. More on this can be read from here.

This list is not an exhaustive list of features, and I am sure there are many more features worth listing. Above listed are just those that I could remember quickly. I am not saying SSRS is a weak tool by any means and on top of that its a server line of technology and integrated with SQL Server. It has great visualizations and available in the form of service which is suitable from a scalability and architecture standpoint.

But clients with
  • lots of data stored in variety of data stores
  • limited funds and even limited time and patience to wait for IT to facilitate their analytical needs
  • totally resistant to learn another tool claiming to be their analytics angel
  • and seeking to retain the power of determining the landscape of analytics in their own hands
would definitely find Excel 2013 as their BI magnet.

If you have more Excel 2013 BI features worth listing, feel free to comment the same on this post.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Excel 2013 Visualizations with SSRS 2012 Visualizations

I'm reading: Excel 2013 Visualizations with SSRS 2012 VisualizationsTweet this !
I see lot of data management and exploration giants busy in building bridges with big data territory driven by Hadoop. But once the mashed query results are out of heterogeneous data stores made up of relational as well as big data, humongous amount of data would be returned. Tabular or even pivotal form of data representation using grids goes almost out of question. Perfect data representation becomes even more important than ever.

In MS BI world, SSRS 2008 R2 came with a lot of visual enhancements in terms of enhancements in visualizations. But SSRS 2012 came with PowerView only in this area. I see improvements in the reporting area from a developer productivity standpoint as graphs and charts comes with granular fine tuning capabilities. But a reporting product should be mature enough to direct its users to build the right kind of reporting.

Generally a reporting team builds a reporting solution with unsuited types of visualizations for data sets. This builds perception of the user that the underlying tools / technology is incapable of delivering the intelligence in an easy manner what they need for their business. As I often say most report developers or even reporting teams don't know what graph is suitable for the kind of data they need to analyze. A component that analyzes data and suggests a visualization is almost inevitable for any reporting product to ensure that the product is getting used in correctly, which is one of the best means to increase adoption and popularity of the tool.

Excel 2013 comes with a "Chart Recommendations" functionality which is unfortunately missing in SSRS 2012. Combo Charts feature lets you combine any two combination of charts or graphs which can be very exciting. Image a Pie-chart with bar-chart in each pie !! Data labels can be as flexible as any autoshapes that you see in a word document. More about Excel 2013 Charting enhancements can be read from here.

SSRS reports can be rendered inside Excel worksheets too through a RS command call. Instead of exposing SSRS reports through reports manager, I would suggest exposing reports by wrapping it up inside Excel, where you could add more value to reports and add better UI, sometime even better than SSRS itself too.

If someone from Microsoft is reading this, I would suggest SSRS team should collaborate with DataViz team of Excel and port those newly developed charting capabilities into SSRS and release it as a cumulative update. SSRS is already bleeding enough due to its age-old parameter toolbar !

Architecture Design Tools for MS BI

I'm reading: Architecture Design Tools for MS BITweet this !
I got married last month, just returned from my honeymoon and catching up with the workload and routine life. Visual Studio 2012 got RTM and can be downloaded from here. Some of the new enhancements introduced in VS 2012 caught my attention and I find it really impressive.

One of the famous tools for architecture design modeling has been Enterprise Architect. Generally the gap between an architect and design (physical and/or logical) and development team is created by the tooling platform they use for their own set of works. Out-of-box you don't find an integrated platform that bridges deliverables of an
  • Architect i.e. Layered Architecture Diagram(s)
  • Design Team i.e. Class / Entity / Workflow Diagram(s)
  • Development Team i.e. Code modules
Lineage tracking across these artifacts using an integarted tool can keep the solution totally in place. VS 2012 diagramming features provides exactly the same. Check out the following videos to get a quick overview of those features.

1) Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate 2012: Improving architecture through modeling

2) Visual Studio Ultimate 2012: Using layer diagrams to design and validate your architecture

3) Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate 2012: Understand your code dependencies through visualization

Only thing that feels disappointing is the extent to which these can be applied in the database / MS BI world. Once you move out of the application world and enter the world of data, I wish same could be applied to data warehouse architecture designs. As of now these features can be used to a limited scope for DW architecture blueprints.

It depends upon the eye and mind that knows how to use a piece of paper as a disposable glass !!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

PowerView with SSRS 2012 Native mode and Excel 2013

I'm reading: PowerView with SSRS 2012 Native mode and Excel 2013Tweet this !
Office 2013 Preview has been released and is available for download from here. More about Office 2013 enhancements can be read from here. Powerpivot has now become a native part of Excel 2013, which was available as a separate add-in in prior version. This very of powerpviot comes with few new inevitable enhancements like ability to edit tabular models. This is a very welcome news. But the news that I am not happy with is, there is also an add-in available for PowerView with Excel 2013.

After reading some of you might wonder why am I not happy with this news as this makes Excel a very powerful client tool as the reporting capabilities would get a silverlight based animatory touch. The reason is that as of this draft and to the best of my knowledge, PowerView is not available with SSRS 2012 native mode. It's a Sharepoint only available feature. In my opinion, it should be made available in BIDS as well as SSRS native mode too, in the form of an external add-in and rendering extension respectively.

Another thing that seems strange to me is why is PowerView add-in available as a COM add-in. I am not that deeply aware of office add-ins, but from a general development standpoint, from the name I understand that its a COM component. In .NET terms it's unmanaged code / component, instead of a .NET Framework based managed code. If that's the case, my curiosity asks why COM ?

An interesting outcome of this can be that Powerpivot in Excel 2013 would become the new BIDS as well as reports manager for PowerView based reports, instead of buying entire enterprise class license for better compressed reports, data alerts and powerview which are the major enhancements available in SSRS 2012 Sharepoint integrated mode.

One another such very interesting capability is provided by PivotViewer Extension for Reporting Services, but its in CTP2. But even this application is available with Sharepoint only.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Download Free SQL Server Ebooks , Download Free Sharepoint Ebooks and more

I'm reading: Download Free SQL Server Ebooks , Download Free Sharepoint Ebooks and moreTweet this !
 Deploying an ASP.NET Web Application to a Hosting Provider using Visual Studio
Tom Dykstra

This series of tutorials shows you how to make an ASP.NET web application available over the internet by deploying it to a third-party hosting provider. The deployment method used is Visual Studio one-click publish. The tutorials illustrate deployment first to IIS on the development computer for testing. They then show you how to deploy to the hosting provider as the production environment.
Applies to: ASP.NET 4.0 and earlier, Visual Studio 2010
Source: ASP.NET site

E-book publication date: May 2012
162 pages

EPUB | MOBI | PDFSource content  

 Getting Started with ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms (Beta)
Erik Reitan Step-by-Step
This series of tutorials guides you through the steps required to create an ASP.NET Web Forms application using Visual Studio 11 Beta and ASP.NET 4.5 Beta.
Applies to: ASP.NET 4.5 Beta, Visual Studio 11 Beta, ASP.NET 4.5 RC, Visual Studio 2012 RC
Source: ASP.NET site

E-book publication date: May 2012
59 pages

EPUB | MOBIPDF | Source content

 Intro to ASP.NET MVC 4 with Visual Studio (Beta)
Rick Anderson and Scott HanselmanStep-by-Step
This tutorial will teach you the basics of building an ASP.NET MVC Web application using Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Web, which is a free version of Microsoft Visual Studio.
Applies to: ASP.NET MVC 4 Beta, Visual Studio 11 Beta, ASP.NET MVC 4 RC, Visual Studio 2012 RC
Source: ASP.NET site

E-book publication date: May 2012
115 pages

EPUB | MOBIPDF | Source content
 First Look: Microsoft Office 2010Katherine Murray
Welcome to Office 2010. Whether you work primarily in the office or on the go, you’ll find smart tools in this release that enable you to get your work done easier, faster, and more professionally than ever. All the freedom to multitask built into Office 2010 has an upside you might not expect: being able to work anywhere, anytime means more flexibility, which translates to higher efficiency and effectiveness. And when your work is done quickly and well, you have more time left over for the people, places, and possibilities that intrigue you.

Applies to: Office 2010
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: January 2010
202 pages

XPS | PDF | Source content

 Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime Katherine Murray
This book shows you how you can use cloud computing—and specifically,
Office 365—to get more done, collaborate more easily, and work more
flexibly than you ever have before.

Applies to: Office 365
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: August 2011
337 pages

EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

 Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses: Help and How To
Office 365 User Assistance Team

Your organization uses Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses to communicate and collaborate. Office 365 includes email, document sharing, Microsoft Office Web Apps and more. There are important tasks that you need to do to use all of the features of Office 365. This guide leads you through those steps.
Applies to: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses
Source: Microsoft Online Help

E-book publication date: June 2012
197 pages

EPUBMOBIPDFSource content

 Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 UsersMitch Tulloch

Take control—and put the built-in security and privacy features in Microsoft Office to work! Whether downloading documents, publishing a presentation, or collaborating online—this guide offers concise, how-to guidance and best practices to help protect your documents and your ideas.

Applies to: Office 2010
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: February 2012
98 pages
EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

 Configure Kerberos Authentication for SharePoint 2010 Products
Tom Wisnowski

This document covers the concepts of identity in SharePoint 2010 products, how Kerberos authentication plays a critical role in authentication and delegation in business intelligence scenarios, and the situations where Kerberos authentication should be leveraged or may be required in solution designs. It also covers how to configure Kerberos authentication end-to-end within your environment, including scenarios which use various service applications in SharePoint Server. Additional tools and resources are described to help you test and validate Kerberos configuration.
Applies to: SharePoint 2010
Source: White paper

E-book publication date: May 2012
220 pagesEPUBMOBIPDF | Source content

 Business continuity management for SharePoint Server 2010
Office and SharePoint content publishing team

Provides information about the business decisions, processes, and tools you put in place in advance to handle crises, such as backing up and restoring data. Information includes features of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 that are likely to be part of your business continuity management strategy.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
942EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

 Deployment guide for SharePoint Server 2010
Office and SharePoint content publishing team

This book includes information deployment scenarios, step-by-step installation instructions, and post-installation configuration steps for deploying Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
936EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

  Get started with SharePoint Server 2010
Office and SharePoint content publishing team

This book provides basic information about the capabilities of and requirements for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. The audiences for this book include application specialists, line-of-business application specialists, information architects, IT generalists, program managers, and infrastructure specialists who are just starting to learn about SharePoint Server 2010 and want a quick introduction plus installation steps.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
50EPUBMOBIPDF | Source content

 Governance guide for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
Office and SharePoint content publishing team

This book provides guidance to help you determine the aspects of a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 deployment to govern and the governance techniques to use. Governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that you establish in your enterprise to guide, direct, and control how it uses technologies to accomplish business goals. To strike the right balance between the needs of the users of your SharePoint Server 2010 deployment and the IT professionals who deploy and operate SharePoint Server 2010, we recommend that you form a governance body that includes representatives of all stakeholders in the SharePoint Server 2010 deployment. This body can then create and enforce rules that govern the use of SharePoint Server 2010.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
128EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

  Profile synchronization guide for SharePoint Server 2010
Office and SharePoint content publishing team

This book describes how to plan and configure profile synchronization in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. Also included is technical reference information about profile properties, data types, and permissions.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
263EPUBMOBIPDF | Source content

  Remote BLOB storage for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
How to use Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 together with Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express to optimize database storage resources.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
63EPUBMOBIPDF | Source content

 Technical reference for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
Office and SharePoint content publishing team

This book includes technical information about the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 provider for Windows PowerShell and other helpful reference information about general settings, security, and tools.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
1557EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

 Upgrading to SharePoint Server 2010
Office and SharePoint content publishing team

This book is designed to guide administrators and IT professionals through the process of upgrading to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
Source: TechNet library

E-book publication date: October 2011
605EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

 Master Data Services Capacity Guidelines
Yair Helman
Quick Guide
This document provides capacity planning guidelines for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services (MDS).

Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: TechNet Wik

E-book publication date
: May 2012
6 pages

EPUB | MOBIPDF | Source content

 Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
LeRoy Tuttle, Jr.
Quick Guide

This white paper discusses how to reduce planned and unplanned downtime, maximize application availability, and provide data protection using SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn high availability and disaster recovery solutions.
A key goal of this paper is to establish a common context for related discussions between business stakeholders, technical decision makers, system architects, infrastructure engineers, and database administrators.
Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: White paper

E-book publication date : May 2012
32 pages

EPUBMOBIPDF | DOC | Source content

 Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Multidimensional Performance and Operations Guide
Thomas Kejser and Denny Lee

Download this book to learn about Analysis Services Multidimensional performance tuning from an operational and development perspective. This book consolidates the previously published SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Operations Guide and SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Performance Guide into a single publication that you can view on portable devices.
Applies to: SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012
Source: White paper

E-book publication date: May 2012
200 pages

EPUBMOBIPDF | Source content 1Source content 2

 QuickStart: Learn DAX Basics in 30 Minutes
Owen Duncan
Quick Step-by-Step

This QuickStart is for users new to PowerPivot or tabular model projects authored in SQL Server Data Tools. It is meant to give you a quick and easy introduction on how you can use Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) to solve a number of basic data modeling and analytical problems.
Applies to: PowerPivot for Excel (all versions), SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012
Source: TechNet Wiki

E-book publication date: May 2012
13 pages

EPUBMOBIPDF | Source content

 SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services - Data Mining
SQL Server 2012 Books Online
Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services makes it easy to create sophisticated data mining solutions. The step-by-step tutorials in the following list will help you learn how to get the most out of Analysis Services, so that you can perform advanced analysis to solve business problems that are beyond the reach of traditional business intelligence methods.
Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: SQL Server 2012 Books Online

E-book publication date: June 2012
213 pages

EPUBMOBIPDFSource content

 SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services - Multidimensional Modeling
SQL Server 2012 Books OnlineStep-by-Step
This tutorial describes how to use SQL Server Data Tools to develop and deploy an Analysis Services project, using the fictitious company Adventure Works Cycles for all examples.
Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: SQL Server 2012 Books Online

E-book publication date: June 2012
168 pages

EPUBMOBIPDFSource content

 SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services - Tabular Modeling
SQL Server 2012 Books Online
Quick Step-by-Step 

This tutorial provides lessons on how to create a SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services tabular model running in In-Memory mode by using SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT).
Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: SQL Server 2012 Books Online

E-book publication date: June 2012
57 pages

EPUBMOBIPDFSource content

  SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide
Ron Talmage, Nigel Sammy, Allan Hirt, Herbert Albert, Antonio Soto, Danilo Dominici, Régis Baccaro, Milos Radivojevic, Jesús Gil, Dejan Sarka, Johan Åhlén, Simran Jindal, Paul Turley, Craig Utley, Larry Barnes, Pablo Ahumada

This technical guide takes you through the essentials for upgrading SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008 R2 instances to SQL Server 2012.
Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: White paper

E-book publication date: June 2012
454 pages


Visual Studio
 Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010Patrice Pelland, Pascal Paré, and Ken Haines

This book is for professional developers who are working with previous versions of Visual Studio and are looking to make the move to Visual Studio 2010 Professional.

Applies to: Visual Studio 2010
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: September 2010
36 pages

XPS | PDF | Source content


 Deploying Windows 7: Essential GuidanceWindows 7 Resource Kit and TechNet Magazine
Looking for guidance specific to Windows 7 deployment? Check out what the industry's leading experts have to say in this free Microsoft Press eBook with selected chapters from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and TechNet Magazine.

Applies to: Windows 7
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: October 2009
332 pages

PDF | Source content

 Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (First Preview)Kraig Brockschmidt

This book is about writing Metro style apps for Windows 8 using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Our primary focus will be on applying these web technologies within the Windows 8 platform, where there are unique considerations, and not on exploring the details of those web technologies themselves. To work through this book, you should download and install the Windows 8 Release Preview along with the Windows SDK and tools.

Applies to: Windows 8
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: June 2012
158 pages

PDF | Sample code | Source content

 Windows Azure
 Moving Applications to the Cloud, 2nd Edition
patterns & practices

This book demonstrates how you can adapt an existing, on-premises ASP.NET application to one that operates in the cloud. The book is intended for any architect, developer, or information technology (IT) professional who designs, builds, or operates applications and services that are appropriate for the cloud. Although applications do not need to be based on the Microsoft Windows operating system to work in Windows Azure, this book is written for people who work with Windows-based systems. You should be familiar with the Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Visual Studio, ASP.NET, and Microsoft Visual C#.
Applies to: Windows Azure SDK for .NET (includes the Visual Studio Tools for Windows Azure), Windows Azure SQL Database, Microsoft SQL Server or SQL Server Express 2008, Windows Identity Foundation, Enterprise Library 5, WatiN 2.0, Microsoft Anti-Cross Site Scripting Library V4, Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.0, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
SourceMSDN Library (patterns & practices)

E-book publication date: June 2012
128 pages

EPUBMOBIPDFSource content

 Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance
Larry Franks, Sidney Higa, Suren Machiraju, Christian Martinez, Valery Mizonov, Walter Myers III, Rama Ramani, Jason Roth, Mark Simms, Paolo Salvatori, Adam Skewgar, Ralph Squillace, Patrick Wickline, Trace Young

Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance provides you with some of the best practices and recommendations for working with the Windows Azure platform. Categories cover planning, designing, developing, and managing a variety of different types of Windows Azure applications, including mobile, enterprise, and consumer-based applications. It also provides guidance for developers using non-.NET applications, libraries, and stacks with Windows Azure.

Applies to: Windows Azure, Windows Azure SQL Database, Windows Azure Cloud Services, and Enterprise Integration Applications
Source: MSDN Library

E-book publication date: May 2012
422 pages
Source content

 Windows Azure Service Bus Reference
Seth Manheim and Ralph Squillace

The Windows Azure Service Bus provides a hosted, secure, and widely available infrastructure for widespread communication, large-scale event distribution, naming, and service publishing. The Service Bus provides connectivity options for Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and other service endpoints – including REST endpoints -- that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach. Endpoints can be located behind network address translation (NAT) boundaries, or bound to frequently-changing, dynamically-assigned IP addresses, or both.
Applies to: Windows Azure Service Bus
Source: MSDN Library

E-book publication date: May 2012
260 pages

EPUB | MOBIPDF | Source content

Windows Phone
 Programming Windows Phone 7
Charles Petzold

Get started building applications for Windows Phone 7—expertly guided by award-winning author Charles Petzold. You’ll focus on the core concepts and techniques for creating apps with Microsoft® XNA and Microsoft Silverlight®, with coverage of Microsoft Visual Studio®, .NET Framework managed code sandbox, the phone emulator, sensors, and location. As always, Charles brings a unique combination of pragmatism and authority to his instruction—along with an eminently readable style and a wealth of hands-on examples.

Note: This book is not applicable to Windows Phone 7.5 or Windows Phone 8 development.

Applies to : Windows Phone 7
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: October 2010
960 pages
EPUB MOBI | PDF | Source content
Windows Server
 Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker with the Windows Server Team at Microsoft

In this book, we focus on the new features and refinements in Windows Server 2008 R2. This book is targeted primarily at Windows server administrators who are responsible for hands-on deployment and day-to-day management of Windows-based servers for large organizations.

Applies to: Windows Server 2008 R2
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: October 2009
200 pages

XPS | PDF | Source content

 Introducing Windows Server 2012 (Based on Beta)Mitch Tulloch with the Windows Server Team

This book represents a “first look” based on the public beta release of Windows Server 2012 and is intended to help IT professionals familiarize themselves with the capabilities of the new platform.

Applies to: Windows Server 2012
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: June 2012
256 pages

EPUB | MOBI | PDF | Source content

 Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions: From the Desktop to the Datacenter, Second EditionMitch Tulloch with the Microsoft Virtualization Teams
This book is for IT professionals who want to learn more about the latest Microsoft virtualization technologies, including Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, and Microsoft’s private and public cloud computing platforms including Windows Azure.

Applies to: Windows Server 2008 R2, System Center
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: February 2010
466 pages
XPS | PDF | Source content

Learning & Career 
 Own Your Future: Update Your Skills with Resources and Career Ideas from Microsoft
Katherine Murray

In this book, students will find a wealth of Microsoft resources they can 
use to identify the technology skills they need, and gather knowledge and 
experience to help them take charge of their careers. Here at Microsoft, we care about students’ career success and hope these resources will open doors to learning that will lead them to better opportunities and a deeper understanding  of the way technology continues to change and improve the ways people work—both here in the U.S. and around the world.
Applies to
Publisher: Microsoft Press 

E-book publication date: February 2010
126 pages
XPS | PDF Source content

SQL Server
 Backup and Restore of SQL Server Databases
SQL Server 2012 Books Online 

This book describes the benefits of backing up SQL Server databases, basic backup and restore terms, and introduces backup and restore strategies for SQL Server and security considerations for SQL Server backup and restore.
Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: SQL Server 2012 Books Online

E-book publication date: June 2012
288 pages

EPUBMOBIPDFSource content

 Transact-SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML) Reference
SQL Server 2012 Books Online

Data Manipulation Language (DML) is a vocabulary used to retrieve and work with data in SQL Server 2012. Use these statements to add, modify, query, or remove data from a SQL Server database.
Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Source: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Books Online
E-book publication date: May 2012
263 pages
PUB | MOBIPDF | Source content

 Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner
Our purpose in this book is to point out both the new and the improved in SQL Server 2008 R2. There are a lot of exciting enhancements and new capabilities engineered into SQL Server 2008 R2 that will have a positive impact on your applications, ranging from improvements in operation to those in management.

Applies to: SQL Server 2008 R2
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: April 2010
216 pages

XPS | PDF | Source content

 Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is Microsoft’s first cloud-ready information platform. It gives organizations effective tools to protect, unlock, and scale the power of their data, and it works across a variety of devices and data sources, from desktops, phones, and tablets, to datacenters and both private and public clouds. Our purpose in this book is to point out both the new and the improved capabilities as they apply to achieving mission-critical confidence, breakthrough insight, and using a cloud on your terms.

Applies to: SQL Server 2012
Publisher: Microsoft Press

E-book publication date: March 2012
288 pages

| MOBI | PDF | Source content

Reference: Microsoft Technet
Related Posts with Thumbnails