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.

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

Open Live Writer Version 0.6.2 Is Now Available

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For those of you that missed it, Open Live Writer had an update in May 2017.  Remember, Open Live Writer works with many popular blog service providers such as WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Moveable Type, DasBlog and many more.  This is my favorite blogging tool.

I have provided some information from the team’s release notes, but not everything that is changed is included.

From their website http://openlivewriter.org/

We’re happy to announce a new release of Open Live Writer. We hope you enjoy the new features as much as we enjoyed working on them. Read on to learn more about what issues have been fixed and what features have been added.

The next time you start Open Live Writer and are connected to the internet, it should get updated automatically. But if you can’t wait to try out the goodness, download the updated setup here.

Bug fixes

  • #562 Error: Can’t Publish Files- The remote server returned an error: (501) Not Implemented

This is the master issue for the Google Blogger image publishing problem. Other issues associated with this problem include #608, #600, and #564

  • #437 Blogger dynamic templates #438 Fixed WordCounter regex to support Hebrew/Arabic #521 Support atompub service link with relative url #487 Adding new intillesense db file to gitignore. Minor annoyance

Features

#450 Fix scaling of categories dropdown and options dialog #585 Implement per-monitor DPI Support #180 Add support to CSS3 templates

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.

Microsoft Sway #2

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Figure 1 – Sway Picture from blogs.msdn.microsoft.com

Tutorials for Sway

You can check out the tutorials on Microsoft Sway on YouTube.

More Information

For more information on Sway, check out the blog at:

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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Microsoft Dynamics CRM is now Dynamics 365

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Picture from http://www.erpsoftwareblog.com/

Microsoft published a very important blog on December 7, 2016 on the Blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/CRM. You can read the entire blog at https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2016/12/05/now-in-preview-relationship-insights-for-dynamics-365/.

What is very important for end users to know is this first paragraph of the blog:

“This year brought major changes to the Microsoft CRM platform—even its name changed from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 still provides all the familiar capabilities of Dynamics CRM, but now also aims to break down the invisible barriers that have traditionally existed between CRM, ERP, productivity software, and other systems that business professionals use every day. Going forward, the platform will also take increasing advantage of the scalability, data integration, and advanced processing power of the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing infrastructure. And already now, you can get your first glimpse of some of benefits this change has made possible by previewing the new Relationship Insights suite of features.”

The other helpful information in this blog details where you can find information online about the new RELATIONSHIP INSIGHTS suite, in the Dynamics 365 Online Help. Here are some of the links:

  • For a detailed overview of the various Relationship Insights features and their capabilities, see the Relationship Insights overview.
  • For prerequisites and instruction on how to enable and configure the preview, see Configure Relationship Insights features.
  • For details about auto capture, which finds email messages from your Outlook mailbox that could be relevant to the record you are currently viewing in Dynamics 365, see the Auto capture topic. Messages found by auto capture remain private to you, but you can choose to track any found message with a single click without having to open Outlook. Tracked messages are imported into Dynamics 365 and added as an activity for the relevant record, where the rest of your team can also see them. Auto capture is only available in the web interface for Dynamics 365, though you can also track messages manually using existing controls in Outlook.

If you are having difficulty with understanding the functionality, reach out to your Microsoft Partner.

Dynamics GP Update on Strategy At November 15, 2016

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Figure 1 from Pam Misialek’s blog post of November 15 at https://community.dynamics.com/gp/b/gpteamblog/archive/2016/11/15/product-roadmap-and-strategy

If your company is using Dynamics GP, you can now plan your next update or upgrade based on the roadmap that “Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP” has released.  Here are the highlights:

  1. After the December 1 R2 release, Microsoft Dynamics GP will be updated annually in the late fall time frame.
  2. If you have new features that you want to see in a future release, enter them at Connect.Microsoft.com
  3. See the GP 2016 R2 Videos at https://community.dynamics.com/gp/b/dynamicsgp/archive/2016/11/11/microsoft-dynamics-gp-2016-r2-new-feature-blog-series-schedule

 

GP 2016 R2 Release For Dec 1 2016

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Figure 2 – Slide from the User Group presentation.  Slides are at https://docs.com/pam-misialek/9145/microsoft-dynamics-gp-roadmap-oct-2016?c=GFj46s

Here is the slide that announces the new features available in GP 2016 R2 which is being released on December 1.  You will notice that there are some features that users have been asking for.  This slide illustrates that Microsoft is listening to the requests from users and implementing them as new features.  You can see in the Figure 1 slide that the release in 2018 will be based on user requests.