3 Important Lessons about Test Automation in Business Intelligence

As you might know, I'm keeping an eye on how I can automate my Data Warehousing testing. In "Automated Testing for the Data Warehouse" my observation was

In essence, testing a Data Warehouse isn't that complex

It turns out I'm not the only one thinking about this (really? ūüėČ ). Some time ago¬†I listened to episode 72 from SQL Data Partners podcast, starring Lynn Winterboer. Really deep¬†insight in the requirements for test-driven Data Warehouse work there, I definitely recommend listening the full podcast

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VSTS Continuous MSBuild for DWH / BI

Wait, didn't I post this already several weeks ago? Well, almost. A few weeks ago, I showed how to set up a build agent using devenv.com. Unfortunately, I ran into some problems like failing builds not reporting failure and SSAS Tabular projects not building correctly. However, it turns out to be pretty easy to build almost everything using MSBuild. Here's how.

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VSTS Continuous Build for DWH / BI

In my earlier post "Automated Deployments using Visual Studio" I metioned that the method described was a workaround because I hadn't figured out how to do a continuous build in VSTS (Visual Studio Team Services) yet. With hindsight, that workaround was not really needed: VSTS build turns out to be só easy, that it's ridiculous to try anything else. If you, like me until yesterday, don't know where to start to set up continuous build within VSTS, you're lucky. Below is a step-by-step explanation to setup your automated build for VSTS.

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Automated Deployments using Visual Studio

In my earlier post "Automated Testing for the Data Warehouse", I sketched the outlines of what would be needed in order to achieve automated testing for your Data Warehouse solutions. Today, I want to look at the first step: build & deploy. Between the previous post and the current one, some useful content about this has been written already by Jens Vestergaard - he even uses VSTS to do his builds, something I still have to look into. Meanwhile, here's my method of acquiring the latest sources & building them using Visual Studio.

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Automated Testing for the Data Warehouse

Case: we've integrated two sources of customers. We want to add a third source.

Q: How do we at the same time know that our current integration and solutions will continue to work while at the same time integrating the new sources?

A: Test it.

Q: How do we get faster deployments and more stability?

A: Automate the tests, so they can run continuously.

When integrating data, especially in agile environments, our already-integrated data is very likely to get some more integration. So WHY does automated testing happen so rarely within Data Warehouse projects?

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Hard Work Pays Off: Aligning matrices (SSRS non-ugly #6)

In the previous posts in the 'SSRS non-ugly' series, we looked at grid-based report layouts, a powerful technique to standardize your layout and align all elements within your report. All this grid stuff is cool, but how to cope with matrices? I mean, c'mon Koos - last time you just deliberately left out the matrices in your example, while your original example used a matrix displaying 12 columns AND a row descriptor - which makes 13 columns! That obviously won't fit into a 12-column grid, will it?

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SSRS non-ugly #3: Chart styles

This is the third post in a new series on non-ugly SSRS reports. As I stated in the opening post:

SSRS doesn't have to be ugly

This week, lots of folks are tweeting and blogging about the new SSRS 2016. Exciting stuff, looks really great! But what about when you're still stuck with one of the RTM versions of SSRS? Can you improve the looks of your old SSRS versions too? In this blog series I'll dive into this.

In part 1 (the use of typography & fonts), we¬†already touched some graph styling issues in this post, so you'd wonder what is left to say about chart styling. Read on, & you'll know ūüôā

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