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.

How I Use OneNote

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Figure 1 – My Technology notebook showing multiple sections

Thank you to the folks that have emailed me and asked me how I use OneNote in my daily work. 

I am happy to answer that question.  OneNote has a tiered organizational system that begins with notebooks, and divides the notebook into sections, and then lets you record notes in each section by page.

I have several notebooks.  However, the one that I use the most is my TECHNOLOGY notebook.  You can see how I break down the sections in Figure 1 above.

Below, in Figure 2, is a sample of the section – Dynamics GP – and an illustration of the different pages that I have in that section.

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Figure 2 – Sample of pages from my section on Dynamics GP in OneNote

Everyone will arrange their information differently.  This is the arrangement that works for me.  Why I like OneNote so much is that it is online, and I can pull it up from any of my devices, or from a browser at a client site.  While it is easy to say that one should remember all the things that you have done on a software, I have learned that if you only do something once a year, sometimes you need to go back and look at the steps and rules.  I am often changing my pages because process and steps get updated during the passing of the year, either because the software was updated or because of third party add-ons that change the process.

Why I love working with OneNote

1) With OneNote Clipper, I can take articles or information from the internet and store it until I am ready to clean it up and add it to my notebook.

2)  If I am working on a research project, I can create a notebook for the research, copy it in, and then categorize it, and then wipe it out when I am done.

3) I don’t use them often, but the drawing tools are pretty good and let me create quick work flows or mind maps.

4) I love the fast SEARCH function.

5) The VIEW toolbar lets me pin my OneNote info so it is easy to get at.  See Figure 3.

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Figure 3 – The VIEW Toolbar in OneNote, highlighting the DOCK to DESKTOP feature

As with starting anything new, using OneNote does require some practice and you may not get it right the first time.  I didn’t. The trick is to wipe it out and to start over until you get it right for the way that you work.

More on OneNote

Note: use CTRL+Click to go to sites

OneNote for Beginners
Insert online videos into OneNote 2016 for Windows
New Features Added to OneNote
How To Move from Evernote to OneNote
New Features in OneNote At January 2016

Microsoft Press Sale Until July 31 2017

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If you are looking at writing any Microsoft exams over the next several months, then you will want to look at all of the Exam Reference guides that are on sale until July 31, 2017.  Click on this link to see all of the volumes that are available.

https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/promotions/cert-sale-save-up-to-55-on-exam-prep-books-ebooks-141071

There are two good reference on Office 365.

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Sandbox Applications for Window 10

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Figure 1 – Visual image of what a Sandbox environment looks like when a Sandbox is installed on a PC (Image from Comodo.com)

I have some testing that I want to do on my laptop, and I was looking for the safest way to create an environment for completing this testing.  I know that I can use the Hyper-V on my Windows 10.  However, I am finding that it is not so user friendly.  I wanted something really easy.

I found a great article on www.maketecheasier.com called “5 of the Best Sandbox Applications for Windows 10” https://www.maketecheasier.com/best-sandbox-applications-windows10/.

If you are wanting to create a Sandbox environment to test out software, take a look at the article.

Let me know which sandbox app that you choose with some feedback on how it works for you.

Creating Reports for Power BI Phone Apps

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Figure 1 – Visual of Sales Dashboard created in Power BI – from Maggie Sparkman’s article “Create reports optimized for the Power BI phone apps”

Maggie Sparkman published a great article on creating desktop reports in Power BI that will translate to the mobile apps on the phones.

Her article appears at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-create-phone-report/?mobileclient=ios.

In her article, she provides clear, step-by-step instructions on creating the visual.  The article is well worth the read if you are into Power BI.

Have You Heard About "Sway" from Microsoft?

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Figure 1 – Microsoft now has a great presentation tool called Sway.  https://sway.com/

I confess!  I love gadgets and I love gadget software.  I really love software that does story telling.  I found this information on SWAY by a happy accident when I was looking for something else.  Now that I have found it, I am enjoying finding out all of the things that one can do with it. 

To start, look at this presentation on the Sway website about the Universe.  https://sway.com/universe_cheatsheet.

The details of Sway are below, thanks to the introduction email from Sway when I signed up.

Check it out and tell me what you think. 

What is Sway?

Sway is a digital storytelling app where you can easily put in ideas, photos, videos, and other multimedia. Just drag and drop your content into Sway, and it will turn them into visually striking creations that will look great on any device.

What do people use Sway for?

All kinds of things! Presentations, newsletters, and travel blogs are some of the most popular ones. We’ve also seen businesses use it for company reports, teachers for interactive lessons, and students for animated projects.

How much does it cost to use Sway?

Sway has a free version that is fully functioning and great to use. It also comes with some premium features exclusively for Office 365 subscribers.

Can I share a Sway or work on it with someone else?

Yes, just send them your Sway’s link. Or if you’re working together, send them an edit link and you can see one another’s updates in real time.

Where Can I find Sway?

You can find the information on Sway at https://sway.com/.  Note that it has lots of templates.  Some of them are below. 

Most of all, go and have fun!

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Cumulative Update 31 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 has been released

Cumulative Update 31 includes all application and platform hotfixes and regulatory features that have been released for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015.

You can download the cumulative update from KB 4021394  – Cumulative Update 31 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015.

Or you can download the cumulative update from the Microsoft Download Center.

For a list of all cumulative updates for this version, see Released Cumulative Updates for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015.

Windows 10 Creator Update Has Some Great Features

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Every time that Microsoft does a Windows update, I check to see if there are features that I will actually use.  In the Creators Update, there are several processes that will make my life easier.  If you want to check out all the features, go the blog link listed below. https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2017/04/05/whats-new-for-it-pros-in-the-windows-10-creators-update/?MC=Windows&MC=SysMagSof&MC=SecSys&MC=EntMobile 

Here are some of the cool things that I will use… note that these features are lifted from the blog noted above.   

1.  New Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) capabilities, including the ability to create custom threat intelligence alerts, investigate a specific user account, and take immediate actions on a machine or file to contain a breach. (Watch the demo for more insight.)

2.  Hyper-V improvements, including:

  • “Quick Create,” a new option to create virtual machines in Hyper-V.
  • Checkpoint and Save for nested Hyper-V
  • Hyper-V instances will now remember your zoom level for the next session.
  • You can now override the scaling in Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • You can now resize Hyper-V windows in Enhanced session mode.
  • Networking improvements (NAT)
  • Developer-centric memory management

You can see more in a blog from Windows, and see videos embedded in the blog that show off some of the features.

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/04/11/whats-new-in-the-windows-10-creators-update/

Visual Studio 2017 Launch

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March 7 and 8, beginning at 8am PST, join Microsoft for an exciting, two-day virtual event announcing the release of Visual Studio 2017 and celebrating 20 years of Visual Studio.

For more information, check out https://mva.microsoft.com/colleges/visual-studio-2017-launch.

Schedule:

March 7: Keynote and Demo Sessions 

March 8: Application Development

March 8: Web Development