UTF-8 Support in SQL Server 2019

UTF-8 has been the predominant character encoding system for the world-wide web since 2009 and as of October 2018 accounts for over 90% of all web pages. As of October 2018, UTF-8 is not supported by Microsoft SQL Server. SQL Server 2019 will remedy this situation, as current SQL Server community technology previews illustrate. The […]
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Artificial vs Surrogate Keys

Shakespeare famously asked “What’s in a name?” A great deal, as it turns out, since the words used to describe things affects how we perceive them and think about them. Perhaps it’s the rapid rate of change that makes technology particularly susceptible to the effects of how we use words to describe things. Terms too […]
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A Quick Binary Refresher for Analytic Query Writers

You probably thought that the chapter on binary number systems in your Intro to Computer Science textbook would never have to be opened again, especially now that you’re a report writer or a data analyst and generally don’t get too close to the silicon. SQL Server DBAs bump into binary numbers from time to time […]
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Cube Data and MDX Queries in R

Using Microsoft olapR to Bring Analysis Services OLAP Data Into R Online Anaytical Processing (OLAP) and the R statistical language are both children of the 1990s. However, for much of the intervening time they inhabited different worlds. OLAP, and its query language MDX, lived in the world of databases and queries while R was the […]
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Live SQL Server Data in Power BI: Using DirectQuery

For me, one of the most valuable features of Power BI is the ease with which I can mashup data from a variety of different data sources. This, of course, requires importing data into Power BI’s internal xVelocity engine. For many others, however, it is critical to create Power BI reports and dashboards that reflect […]
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