The Biml Book is here!

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Co-Authored The Biml BookWoohoo! The Biml Book: Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Automation is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Apress! :D

This is the first book I’ve co-authored, and I have to admit it’s a very strange feeling to see my name on the cover of a book. Am I allowed to say I’m quite proud? Oh, I’ll say it anyway. I’m proud and very honored to have written this book with such a talented group of people: Andy Leonard (@AndyLeonard), Scott Currie (@scottcurrie), Ben Weissman (@bweissman), Bill Fellows (@billinkc), Martin Andersson (@frysdisken), Peter Avenant (@PeterAvenant), Simon Peck (@biguynz), Reeves Smith (@SQLReeves), Raymond Sondak (@raymondsondak) and Jacob Alley.

What’s in The Biml Book?

The first part of the book starts with the basics: getting your development environment configured, Biml syntax, and scripting essentials.

The next part of the book guides you through the process of using Biml to build a framework that captures both your design patterns and execution management. In addition to leveraging design patterns in your framework, you will learn how to build a robust metadata store and how to package your framework into Biml bundles for deployment within your enterprise.

In the last part of the book, you will learn more advanced Biml features and capabilities, such as SSAS development, T-SQL recipes, automated documentation, and Biml troubleshooting.

When can I get The Biml Book?

Amazon says early December, but it might be available sooner. If you don’t want to wait, you can pre-order The Biml Book from Amazon or Apress right now.

Yay! This has been a long journey, and I’m so happy the other guys let me be a part of it :)

Speaking at SQLSaturday Denver 2017

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Speaking at SQLSaturday Denver 2017

On Saturday, September 16th, I’m speaking at SQLSaturday Denver 2017! I’m presenting my Level Up Your Biml: Best Practices and Coding Techniques session: Learn how to centralize and reuse code with include files and the CallBimlScript methods. Make your code easier to read and write by utilizing LINQ (Language-Integrated Queries). Share code between files by using Annotations and ObjectTags. And finally, if standard Biml is not enough to solve your problems, you can create your own C# helper classes and extension methods to implement custom logic.

Since I last presented this session, BimlExpress 2017 has been released with a bunch of new features. I have updated my session to include some of these new features, and I’m looking forward to presenting with the new preview expanded Biml pane. Being able to see the expanded Biml is hopefully going to make it a lot easier for me to explain some of these things and for attendees to follow along :)

If you really like Biml, check out the three other Biml sessions at SQLSaturday Denver: Biml 101: Automation and Patterns by Yuliya Quintela, Stop Repeating Yourself – Automating Azure Data Movement With BimlScript by Levi Syck (@levisyck), and Metadata driven development by Bill Fellows (@billinkc).

Will you be attending SQLSaturday Denver? Come and say hi when you see me! :)

New Release: BimlExpress 2017!

BimlExpress 2017What day is it today? It’s the BimlExpress 2017 release day! Yay! :) I’ve waited for this release for a long time, and I know I’m not the only one. People have asked me many times if Varigence is still around. The answer is most definitely yes! It has been rather quiet from Varigence this past year, and I know we’ve all been waiting for news and updates. But don’t forget that they’re a small company, and that they’re actually giving us BimlExpress for free. They’ve focused on development this past year, and have been working like crazy to rewrite the Biml engine, add new features to BimlExpress, rebrand Mist to BimlStudio and make it even more powerful, and finish their BimlFlex framework. And today? Today we all get to enjoy the new releases! More yay! :)

Download and install BimlExpress 2017

You can download BimlExpress 2017 from the Varigence BimlExpress page:
BimlExpress Download VSIX

The new installer is a lightweight VSIX (Visual Studio Extension) Installer:
Install BimlExpress 2017 - License Agreement Install BimlExpress 2017 - In Progress Install BimlExpress 2017 - Finished

After installing, you will find BimlExpress in the list of Visual Studio Tools and Extensions:
BimlExpress 2017 Visual Studio Extension

What’s New in BimlExpress 2017?

I will show you some of the exciting new features below. Spoiler alert: there are some gamechangers in this release! Let’s take a look at some of the exciting new features in BimlExpress 2017 :)

Continue reading →

Create your own BimlExpress Keyboard Shortcuts

Are you tired of right-clicking on your Biml files to Check Biml for Errors or to Generate SSIS Packages? Did you know that you can create your own BimlExpress Keyboard Shortcuts? :)

Go to ToolsOptions:
BimlExpress Keyboard ShortcutsToolsOptions - Tools -> Options

Select EnvironmentKeyboard, then type Biml in the Show commands containing box:
BimlExpress Keyboard Shortcuts

Select a Biml command, click in the Press shortcut keys box, click the keyboard shortcut combination of your choice, and click the Assign button. In this example, I have used Ctrl+Shift+C, Ctrl+Shift+B (I chose C then B for “Check Biml”):
BimlExpress Keyboard Shortcuts - Assign Shortcut

Click OK, and that’s it! You can now use your keyboard shortcuts while having one or more Biml files selected. The shortcuts will appear in your BimlExpress menus in the toolbar and when you right-click on a file :)
BimlExpress Keyboard Shortcuts Menu

Presenting remotely for Malta Microsoft Data Platform User Group

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Presenting for Malta Microsoft Data Platform User GroupWoohoo! On Tuesday, March 28th, I will be doing a remote session for the Malta Microsoft Data Platform User Group. I will be presenting my Biml for Beginners: Speed up Your SSIS Development session, one of my favorites :)

The meeting starts with my remote session, then there’s a short break before moving on to Gossip Geek – “… your one and only source into the fabulous lives of Geek’s elite…”. I have no clue what that is, but it sounds fun, so make sure to attend if you’re in the area :D And if Business Intelligence, SSIS and Biml is not your thing, maybe Columnstore Indexes are? The meeting finishes with Slawomir Drzymala (@sdryzmala) presenting Columnstore Index – do we need another one?!.

The Malta Microsoft Data Platform User Group is brand new. It was started in January 2017, and this will be their third meeting. I’m very happy I get to help support a new local group! If you’re a speaker and want to do a remote (or on-site!) session, you can find Malta Microsoft Data Platform User Group on Meetup, Facebook and Twitter (@MMDPUG).

And of course, if you’re from Malta, make sure you join and attend the meetings! If the sessions that day aren’t super interesting, attend anyway for the networking :)

Wow, I haven’t written one of these posts for a long time! It feels great to slowly move back into the world of speaking again. Thanks for inviting me to speak, MMDPUG! I wish I could be there in person, but I’m really looking forward to presenting for you :)

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