New Build of Windows Server 2019

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Another build of the Windows Server 2019 preview for Windows Insiders was released on June 19 2018. As you may remember, Windows Server 2019 was announced a couple months ago and will be generally available later this year.

With the current Windows Server 2019 preview build, System Insights users can:

  • Browse through predictive capabilities, and either invoke a capability on-demand or configure it to run it on a periodic schedule.
  • Visualize prediction outcomes to intuitively understand capacity consumption trends.
  • Set custom remediation jobs to automatically run after a capability generates a specific result, helping users automatically mitigate the issues detected by the predictive capabilities.
  • View and understand how capacity predictions from an individual Windows Server are trending over a period of time.
  • Use PowerShell on remote instances to aggregate prediction outcomes reported by a fleet of related Windows Server instances – e.g. cluster, application tier, rack, and data center – to understand how the fleet overall is trending along compute, storage, or network capacity dimensions.

Download the preview of Windows Server 2019 at http://aka.ms/WS2019Preview.

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Gmail Changes Happen in July 2018

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New Gmail was released back in April 2018.  Now, in July, Gmail will roll out all the new changes.

Here are some of the new features:

  • Self destructing emails
  • Ability to open attachments directly from your inbox
  • Inline reminders to follow-up
  • Smart replies on the desktop
  • Gmail now lets you “snooze” emails from your inbox without any third party tools.

Check out the article, “The 8 Best Features in the New Gmail” if you want more information on the features.  https://www.howtogeek.com/356781/the-8-best-features-in-the-new-gmail/

How To – .XML Files

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Increasingly, I need to work with .xml files that are produced from cloud based software.  The .xml files frustrate people from time to time because they don’t produce what we expect, especially when we try to use them with Excel.

Here is an excellent write up on using XML files by Brady Gavin.  https://www.howtogeek.com/357092/what-is-an-xml-file-and-how-do-i-open-one/.


Windows Server 2019

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Windows Server 2019 will be generally available in the second half of calendar year 2018. Starting March 20, 2018, users can access the preview build through Microsoft’s  Insiders program.

To see more about Windows Server 2019, take a look at the blog Introducing Windows Server 2019 –   Now Available in Preview. https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2018/03/20/introducing-windows-server-2019-now-available-in-preview/?MC=WinServer&MC=MSAzure&MC=SysMagSof&MC=Windows&MC=Virtual

Office Mix Preview End of Service on May 1 2018

To all users of Office Mix — This is a reminder that Microsoft is  retiring the Office Mix service on M‍ay 1, 20‍18 and need you to take action to save your content.

Please make sure to migrate all of your content from Office Mix to Microsoft Stream or download your Mixes before M‍ay 1 to avoid losing any of your data. Starting March 30, you will no longer be able to upload new content to Office Mix as Microsoft prepares to retire the product on M‍ay 1, 20‍18.

Here is how to migrate your content:

1. Go to https://mix.office.com > Sign in > Click “My Mixes”

2. Click “Migrate” to move your Mixes to Microsoft Stream* or manually download your content as PowerPoint Files (.pptx)

3. Visit your Microsoft Stream account to view your Mixes as videos.

What’s going to happen to your account?

On M‍ay 1, 20‍18 any remaining files in your Office Mix Preview account will automatically get deleted. Mixes migrated to Microsoft Stream will not include any interactive content such as analytics data, quizzes or apps. If you do not have access to Stream, you can save your Mixes as PowerPoint files (.pptx), and your analytics data as Excel files (.xlsx) to your device or a file storage location of your choice at any time before M‍ay 1, 20‍18.

Still need help?

If you have questions or need help with your account, please visit our help article or contact us here: https://aka.ms/mix-support

Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway!

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Figure 1 & 2 from the site https://logs.msdn.microsoft.com

Check it out!   Tons of Free Microsoft eBooks.  The list of all books and the download selection is located at the link below.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2017/07/11/largest-free-microsoft-ebook-giveaway-im-giving-away-millions-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-again-including-windows-10-office-365-office-2016-power-bi-azure-windows-8-1-office-2013-sharepo/ 

Note from Eric:

It’s that time of year again, and today I am kicking off my annual FREE MICROSOFT EBOOK GIVEAWAY extravaganza! And this time, I’m posting MORE FREE EBOOKS in this post than I ever have in any of my previous giveaways! Based on this, you will notice something different about this year’s post… In previous years, I included images of the eBook covers next to each item; however, I would also get feedback from people on the amount of time to load all of the images. So, this year I decided to streamline the list to make it easier to get to the eBooks you want. You will now find a simple list, organized by category, with the download links in the Format column so you can choose which format you want to download.

  1. How many can you download?
    • ANSWER: As many as you want! This is a FREE eBook giveaway, so please download as many as interest you.
  2. Wow, there are a LOT listed here. Is there a way to download all of them at once?
    • ANSWER: Yes, please see the note below on how to do this.
  3. Can I share a link to your post to let others know about this giveaway?
    • ANSWER: Yes, please do share the good news with anyone you feel could benefit from this.
  4. I know you said they are “Free,” but what’s the catch?
    • ANSWER: There is no catch. They really are FREE. This consider it a, “Thank you,” for being a reader of my blog and a customer or partner of Microsoft.
  5. Ok, so if they are free and you’re encouraging us to share this with others, can I post a link to your post here on sites like Reddit, FatWallet, and other deal share sites to let them know, or is that asking too much?
    • ANSWER: Please do. In fact, I would encourage you to share a link to this post on any deal site you feel their users could benefit from the FREE eBooks and resources included below. Again, I WANT to give away MILLIONS of FREE eBooks!
  6. Are these “time-bombed” versions of the eBooks that stop working after a certain amount of time or reads?
    • ANSWER: No, these are the full resources for you to use.

System Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018

Microsoft has announced the system requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 which is to be released on December 1 2017. 

The details are here: https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/GP/learning/documentation/system-requirements/MDGP2018_System_Requirements.

The requirements listing is very thorough, and, needs to be read carefully.

Client Requirements

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New Features in Power BI From June 2017 Release

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Figure 1 – Explanation of Power BI from https://powerbi.microsoft.com

On June 12, Amanda Cofsky, Program Manager for Power BI, provided an overview of the new reporting features available as of June.  The link to download Power BI is…. http://powerbi.microsoft.com/desktop?WT.mc_id=Blog_Desktop_Update.

Here’s the complete list of June updates from Cofsky’s blog posting.

Reporting
  • Data bars for new table & matrix (preview)
  • Markers on line, area, & combo charts
  • Accessible reports
    • Consume Power BI reports with keyboard navigation and screen reader support
    • Create accessible reports
  • Visuals font family setting
  • Horizontal Image Slicer
  • Combo chart formatting updates
    • Force zeros to align between the two axes
    • Shade area of the line
  • Bing maps improvements
    • Map themes
    • Improved geo hierarchy experience
  • High density line sampling
Data connectivity
  • Custom Data Connectors support
  • Power BI service Live Connect to On Premises and Push streaming datasets
  • Impala connector is now generally available
  • Amazon Redshift connector is now generally available
  • SAP BW connector – DirectQuery support (beta)
  • IBM Netezza connector (beta)
Query editing
  • “Add Column from Examples” enhancements

You can watch a video of the new features by clicking on https://youtu.be/YlNVE5dgcSI (Power BI Desktop Update – June 2017).  Remember that YouTube links can change from time to time so this link may change over time.


Create a SQL Server Utility Control Point

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Figure 1 – SQL Server Utility Configuration Steps that show up on the Utility Setup

You may have read my previous post – Solving – WMI Provider Error, and how the issue was solved by creating the Utility Control Point (UCP). 

The Utility Tool has some excellent features that track the health of SQL Server.  So, what do you need to know about it?

Benefits of the SQL Server Utility

The SQL Server Utility models an organization’s SQL Server-related entities in a unified view. Utility Explorer and SQL Server Utility viewpoints in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) provide administrators a holistic view of SQL Server resource health through an instance of SQL Server that serves as a utility control point (UCP). The combination of summary and detailed data presented in the UCP for both underutilization and overutilization policies, and for a variety of key parameters, enables resource consolidation opportunities and resource overutilization to be identified with ease. Health policies are configurable, and can be adjusted to change either upper or lower resource utilization thresholds. You can change global monitoring policies, or configure individual monitoring policies for each entity managed in the SQL Server Utility. – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/sql-server-utility-features-and-tasks

The information below describes that an organization can have many SQL Server Utilities. 

An enterprise can have multiple SQL Server Utilities, and each SQL Server Utility can manage many instances of SQL Server and data-tier applications. Every SQL Server Utility has one and only one utility control point (UCP). You must create a new UCP for each SQL Server Utility. Each managed instance of SQL Server and every data-tier application is a member of one and only one SQL Server Utility, and is managed by a single UCP.+

The UCP collects configuration and performance information from managed instances of SQL Server every 15 minutes. This information is stored in the utility management data warehouse (UMDW) on the UCP; the UMDW file name is sysutility_mdw. SQL Server performance data is compared to policies to help identify resource use bottlenecks and consolidation opportunities.  – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/create-a-sql-server-utility-control-point-sql-server-utility 

The listing of requirements and recommendations is list at the same hyperlink noted above.

Solving – WMI Provider Error Invalid Namespace in SQL Reporting Services Setup

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Figure 1 – SSRS error during setup of SQL Reporting

You’ve installed SQL.  Everything went well and you have all the different tasks showing as being successful.  Then you go to install SSRS Reporting Services, and you get the message….

I keep getting ‘Cannot connect to SERVERNAME’, ‘Report Server WMI Provider Error: Invalid namespace

The answer to fixing this error, at least the answer that worked for me, is:

To install/reinstall/repair SSRS, run the SQL Server setup utility and choose the advanced or custom option which will allow you to choose only the components you wish to install.

Big question – what does the Utility Control Point do?

The SQL Server Utility is managed through a utility control point using Utility Explorer in SSMS. The UCP is configured on an instance of SQL Server. It provides the central reasoningpoint for the SQL Server Utility using SSMS to organize and monitor SQL Server resource health.

1. To create the SQL Server Utility begin with opening the SQL Server Management Studio.  I am using SQL 2014.

2. Then click on VIEW, and find UTILITY EXPLORER, as below.

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3. Click on UTILITY EXPLORER to open up the next window, and click on CREATE UTILITY CONTROL POINT.

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4. This opens up the window below which gives you very clear steps to follow to create the Utility Control Point.  

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The process of creating and validating the SQL Server instance cleared up the issues that I had with WMI not distinguishing instance names, and solved my problem.  I was able to install Reporting Services, and to configure SSRS reporting to suit my requirements.