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Smart Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 (Developer Reference) 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735625808
ISBN-10: 0735625808
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About the Author

Lynn Langit is a developer evangelist for Microsoft in Southern California. She's published three books on SQL Server Business Intelligence and has created a set of courseware to introduce children to programming at TeachingKidsProgramming.org. Read her blog at blogs.msdn.com/b/SoCalDevGal.
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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (February 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735625808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735625808
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, explaining many of the concepts related to Data Warehousing, data mining, and business intelligence would be one of the most difficult challenges to any technical writer. That's why many SQL BI books (dating back to SQL 2000) are so poorly written and lacks crystal clarity of many of the key concepts. Once I was done reading this book, I asked myself one question, "Am I a better BI architect because I have read this book?". From a technical knowledge perspective, yes. From a BI process (plan, design, implement, debug, verify, performance tune) perspective, I felt I did not gain much from this book.

This book would be a good manual if you do not understand some of the key concepts (Dimension vs Measure, Star schema vs Snowflake etc). If you want to actually implement a Snowflake schema, SSIS, and customize the results, the book was lacking. In other words, the book does not focus on the nuts and bolts of SQL 2008 BI. It gives you more of a 5000 ft overview.

It doesn't help that the book has a writing style similar to a college math textbook. You may need to read many paragraphs more than once to obtain the golden nuggets of information. In books such as this, you want writers to be blunt and forthright and not meander using sophisticated prose. The book certainly could be shorter than the 700+ pages.

The writers seem to possess strong technical knowledge of SQL 2008 BI. They have much to offer in terms of key knowledge and concepts. To put it into an analogy, this is like a book that describes how a car battery works but lacks information on how to properly change the car battery.
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Format: Paperback
I think it is a decent book to get a start on SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS. Maybe not for the most experienced MS BI developers, but certainly for those with less experience.
In some areas it goes into a fair bit of detail, in others it doesn't. The authors push quite heavily on the Data Mining bits.
Overall I felt it is a bit too much 'marketing talk' in favour of Microsoft - could probably have shortened the book by 50 pages if they had left that out.
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I recently completed a business intelligence project at my company that included things like aggregating data from various sources into a centralized data warehouse, and then processing that so it could be accessed through both an OLAP cube and a relatively simple relationship database. I believe the project was a complete success, and am very happy with the both the functionality we provide to our end-users (who are regular business people, and not just analysts) as well as how easy to maintain and robust the end-solution is. I think that last part is what probably gets most companies. They develop some type of data warehouse for business intelligence, but it is a house of cards that just continually sucks their time because it is so fragile or always needs to be updated to allow a business analyst to slice or view the data in a new way. I can definitely see how you could end up there, and I believe this book was the primary contributor to the success of our project.

I work for a small business (currently ~65 employees), and right now our IT Team has three members: 1 system admin, 1 full-time developer, and me (my time is split half and half between software and business management). None of us had any experience with OLAP, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), or SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) ... although I had sat through a few sessions/workshops over these topics at conferences. Although it is counter-intuitive (especially to someone who is a developer at heart), I have come to believe in the notion that the sooner you start coding the longer it will take. So, I knew I needed to get some more in-depth expertise in these areas before we started the project, which is why I ordered this book.
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Comment 11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This book is a good overview for BI solutions such as SSIS and SSRS. For an experienced BI developer, this book is not a right pick. There is a very good overview on all the BI terminologies and covers information required to design, develop and deploy SSIS, SSRS and SSAS solutions.

For a beginner BI developer, this is a good book to start with. There is some help on BIDS which will help for a new BIDs user, connecting to source control, design, develop, secure and deploy BI solutions. There is a step by step help to create and manage ETL. The book helps to understand MDX core functions and few extended functions and a little bit about DMX (Data mining). More data mining samples might help a beginner.

Was expecting little bit more on Excel reporting (which is commonly used) and SharePoint reporting (which is more likely a future common reporting tool). Overall, this is a good startup book for beginners not a reference guide for an experienced developer.
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This book was written for someone that wants to obtain a high level overview of Business Intelligence capabilities using the Microsoft BI Stack. The authors state that the book is intended to address a large audience. If you had a basic understanding of SQL Server and want to understand how the Microsoft BI stack is use to solve problems--read this book. If you want an introduction to working with SSIS, SSAS and SSRS--the examples are too complex. If you are experienced with the Microsoft BI stack (I am MS Certified BI Developer)--the examples are not developed or integrated enough to help understand building solutions. The book contains numerous examples, but there is no logical flow between these examples. Everything is based on AdventureWorks--a good understanding of that dB is essential to working through the examples. After working through a few chapters I learned a trick here and there, but my ETL, MDX, Cube and Report Design skills are little improved. I really think this book is best for a "Hands-Off" manager or Business Analyst that wants a high level overview of the BI Stack. The book covers BI from top to bottom and that says a lot. But, the topic is too complex for a beginner or advanced learning.
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