Tallan's Technology Blog

Tallan's Top Technologists Share Their Thoughts on Today's Technology Challenges

Introducing the New Office 365 Profile Experience

Tallan Partner

In the modern workplace, an organization’s most important assets are its people. The knowledge, skills and expertise found throughout your carefully recruited teams are tantamount to individual and collective success.
All too often, however, this specialized knowledge is obfuscated by physical and organizational barriers. People know what information they need, but are unable to track down the answers they’re looking for. The popular adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” reminds us that the best-connected employees get the most done.
That’s where Office 365 can help. As Microsoft works to reinvent productivity for the modern workplace, their goal is to put people at the center of the connected suite experience. When you’re able to tap into the hidden knowledge throughout your organization and leverage your talent pool, you’re able to achieve more.
Starting today, Microsoft is rolling out an extended…

Storing Customer Data in Microsoft Datacenters

Jason Zandri

Office 365 customers, known as tenants within the configuration, all share Microsoft’s global datacenter infrastructure, which is composed of hundreds of thousands of servers located all over the world.
Within the tenant, customer data is housed in a region, based on their location and settings, as shown from the drop-down box displays.

Microsoft replicates customer data automatically across at least two datacenters at any given time to minimize against losses during any failover.
When you choose a region, you can see what data is where (when at rest) between the zoomed view and the details in the right margin:

Microsoft operates over 100 datacenters globally and continues to open more datacenter regions for Office 365 for business services. That being said, not every datacenter is used to host Office 365 and its services, but they do add to the available capacity (storage) and other…

Design-Time Properties for Custom SSIS Objects – Part 1 – Intro & Tasks

Matthew Gajdosik

Managing the editable properties of your custom objects in SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is a great way to improve their usability, but how can you? By properties, I mean the common fields exposed on the Properties tool window in Visual Studio, any time you’re working with a visual designer, and which you’ve probably used any time you wanted to make a precise change, or a quick change.
In SSIS, you can create your own class to handle all of the following types:

Data Flow / Pipeline Components
Control Flow Tasks
Connection Managers
Log Providers
For Each Enumerators (for the for each loop task)

For the most part, these custom classes can be directly modified when editing SSIS packages in Visual Studio, and so anything properties you expose on the class can be edited right from Visual Studio without opening up any new UIs. For simple objects especially, these can…

How Microsoft Treasury uses Power BI

Tallan Partner

 
The Microsoft Treasury group manages $158 billion in assets, including cash and investments, account receivable, equity, and other investments. They act as an in-house bank for operations in over 190 countries, monitor thousands of bank accounts, and provide just-in-time cash management on a global basis. With a preview this large, Microsoft Treasury relies on vast amount of data in order to make fast, accurate, and actionable decisions to keep their operations running smoothly.
In the past, Treasury used a combination of Excel, PowerPoint, and third-party services to analyze and present their data, but Corporate VP, Treasurer George Zinn saw the future in the integration of a different product: Microsoft Power BI.
Power BI is a cloud-based suite of business analytics tools that make it easy to combine data from multiple sources, analyze and visualize information, and share insights. It features easy drag-and-drop…

StaticDynamicInference

Synthetic Type Inference in JavaScript

Aesa Kamar

TypeScript is Microsoft’s Open Source solution to the dynamic nature of JavaScript. It served the job of making code safer and more maintainable, but a lot of people find it bulky and cumbersome to use. By enabling a new compiler flag in VS Code, you can get IntelliSense, static type information, and code completion for free. And the best part is, you can keep writing vanilla JavaScript!

 
To start, you can add a file called “jsconfig.json” to the root of your project. You’ll need to add some compiler options, and set “allowSyntheticDefaultImports” to true.

 
This allows the VSCode precompiler to get type information about your variables and functions, presenting you with handy information when you hover over a symbol.

 
You can get type information about primitives, or even more complex objects.

 
And your es6 class declarations too!

 
The synthetic type inference is smart and can…

Microsoft’s SQL Platform Continues to Lead the Market with Advanced Data Security

Tallan Partner

Securing customer data while maintaining the highest levels of privacy have always been top priorities for Microsoft and the SQL organization. As a result, SQL Server, which also powers Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse, continues to be one of the most secure Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) on the market.[1]
At the RSA Conference last year, Microsoft talked about their commitment to security and privacy. Microsoft wants to share a few examples of industry-leading security features they shipped since then and update you on their plans to deliver the highest levels of security across the SQL Database product lineup.
Announcing the April general availability of Azure SQL Database Threat Detection for proactive monitoring and alerting of suspicious database activities and potential vulnerabilities.
Using machine learning, SQL Database Threat Detection continuously monitors and profiles application behavior, and detects suspicious database activities…

Fixing SQL Server 2012 Support for Custom SSIS Objects in Visual Studio 2015+

Matthew Gajdosik

You’re using the new One Designer cross-versioning in SQL Server Integration Services, and everything breaks when you try to downgrade to SQL Server 2012. The little icon that indicates that everything has gone wrong shows up,
or when you try to interact with any custom components or tasks you get the following error, or something similar:

 
Now, there are three things worth checking:

Are your UpgradeMapping files set up correctly? They should point to a valid strong-named assembly, and use the same alias, for both versions of SQL Server that you’re attempting to deploy to. If not, fix this issue first and try again.
After migrating your custom objects, navigate to the UserComponentTypeName property (for PipelineComponents) or to the CreationName field of the corresponding DTS:Executable in the package XML.

These should contain either the alias (typically the qualified name of the class, i.e. Sample.SSIS.CustomTask),
or the strong-name associated with…

Bots Rising: Skype to Continue Conversational Innovation in 2017

Tallan Partner

In the spring of 2016, Microsoft introduced you to a new world of conversational computing—where conversations become the new platform. This paradigm shift is enabling their machines to harness the power of human conversation, leading to endless improvements in efficiency, intelligence, and, of course, fun. In 2017, Microsoft can’t wait to show you how they’re pushing this shift even further.
At the forefront of this push is Skype. Since the emergence of conversational computing Microsoft has seen an ever-growing presence of bots. While they’re still in the early days of innovation, they believe that they’re truly changing the way consumers engage with their partners. And Microsoft partners? They’re already demonstrating this tidal shift.
One of those new partners is Expedia.com, coming soon to all Skype platforms. With the Expedia bot, you can easily search for hotels, quickly book, manage reservations, and confirm…

Analysis Services Tabular: Displaying History and Slowly Changing Dimensions

Matthew Gajdosik

Historical reporting is common enough, but what are some ways to slice through your historical data in SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Tabular? Tracking and including historical data or Slowly Changing Dimensions (SCDs) is common enough in data warehousing, and Business Intelligence as a whole, but putting it into an easily-digested form is always a new set of issues.
In this post, I will walk through some strategies we’ve used for integrating historical data into reporting and analytics solutions with SSAS Tabular, as well as some ways you can restrict this information to give your users a cleaner experience.

Driving Power BI Adoption in your Organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at Scale

Tallan Partner

At Microsoft leaders across the company have committed to fostering a data culture and are often asked how to drive this type of change. An internal program designed to drive adoption of Power BI internally has been at the center of this cultural shift.
Through a combination of training, a comprehensive communication strategy, and user-centric features and design, BI@Microsoft drives adoption of Microsoft data culture with Power BI. This program enables Microsoft employees to use data visualization, business intelligence and statistical analysis in their day-today jobs. Employees were previously limited by a mindset that they didn’t have the technical skills or time necessary to model data. Or they thought the data was not available or accessible. The BI@Microsoft program has proven that data driven decisions are possible at every level of the organization, while also creating loyal fans that influence their…

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