Speaking at SQL Saturday 347, Washington D.C. – Pre-Con

Tim Mitchell and I will again be delivering a Getting Started with Biml all day session. This time we will head to the east coast to deliver a precon prior to the SQL Saturday event in Washington D.C. If you are new to Biml and want to see what all of the buzz is about come join us for a great day of training.

Getting Started with Biml (Business Intelligence Markup Language)

Have you ever needed to generate dozens (or even hundreds) of similar SSIS packages? Do you ever find yourself needing to regenerate a lot of packages when some piece of the upstream data format changes? These are not uncommon scenarios faced by ETL developers, but historically there haven’t been any good tools to help with this. However, we’re going to introduce you to one of the most useful tools you may ever use: Biml.

For ETL developers, Biml (Business Intelligence Markup Language) is a game changer. This is a great new tool for Microsoft business intelligence developers who want to make the most of their development efforts. In short, it’s an XML-based language that will allow you to programmatically create SSIS packages. Even better, it can be enhanced with VB.NET or C# scripting to create BimlScript, which allows you to dynamically build and modify a few, dozens, or even hundreds of packages with minimal effort. Best of all, you don’t need budget approval – if you already have Visual Studio, you can use Biml and BimlScript for free!

In this full-day presentation, we’ll introduce you to dynamic package generation through Biml. Business intelligence consultants Tim Mitchell and Reeves Smith will walk you through the essentials of Biml – getting started, syntax, and common uses – followed by dozens of design patterns to improve your efficiency as an ETL developer.

Among the topics that we’ll cover:

  • Overview of Biml – What is it? Where do I use it?
  • Introduction to Biml syntax
  • Biml in the Visual Studio environment
  • Introduction to BimlScript syntax
  • Dynamic package generation with BimlScript
  • Metadata management with Biml
  • Create a simple staging package project with dozens of packages in less than an hour
  • Package (re)generation
  • Source control
  • Common design patterns for Biml in the enterprise
  • Taking Biml to the next level with Mist

By the end of this full-day presentation, you should be equipped to get started immediately using Biml. It’s a revolutionary technology, and we hope that you’ll be as excited about Biml as we are.


This course is intended for business intelligence developers and other database professionals with experience creating and supporting SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages. Attendees should have a working knowledge of the SSIS essentials. In addition, some experience with either C# or VB.NET, and a basic understanding of XML (or other markup language) would be helpful.

For more details go here: Event Site

Hope to see you there.


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Speaking at SQL Saturday 347, Washington D.C.

I will be speaking at the upcoming SQL Saturday in Washington D.C. I have two sessions, one on DAX and one on Power Query.

Get Into Evaluation Context with DAX, the Language of PowerPivot

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is the language of PowerPivot and the Analysis Services Tabular engine. Review the basics of the DAX language and get introduced to evaluation context: including row and filter context. Learn why different cells return different results based on the same formula. Understanding evaluation context is the driving force behind releasing the potential to create truly dynamic DAX formulas. The demo will walk through various examples the DAX query language and demonstrate row and filter context.

This session will be at 9:40 AM on Saturday December 6th.

Data Discovery with Power Query for Excel

Power Query, a free add-in for Excel 2010 and 2013, will enhance the self-service business intelligence offering from Microsoft. With Power Query the business analysis along with the BI developer can combine and shape data from a wide variety of data sources in a quick and easy manner. This task can enable more time to be spent in analysis and discover and less time build ETL plumbing.

This session will demo the ease of the data extraction process in Power Query. We will explore multiple data sources and even modify the language to create a foundation for further exploration into Power Query.

This session will be at 2:55 PM on Saturday December 6th

Hope to see you there.


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SQLAuthority.com – Notes from the Field


Another article was posted to the Notes From the Field series that is hosted out on SQLAuthority.com. This blog post continues the introduction of Biml with a good use case for why you might want to give Biml a look on your next Integration Services project.

What is Biml and How Can it Help Me with SQL Server BI?

The Why of Biml?


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Speaking at SQL Saturday 349 – Salt Lake City, UT

Increase your SSIS productivity with Biml

Discover the power of Business Intelligence Markup Language (Biml) and increase your Integration Services development productivity.

Business Intelligence Markup Language (Biml) is an XML language for Microsoft Business Intelligence that can take your Integration Services package development to the next level. Creating template packages added productivity to your Integration Services development effort. If the template design changes after development begins, a fair amount of rework to packages could be needed. See how Biml can help create template packages that can better adapt to changing business needs and allow for more comprehensive design or redesign. This session will be a demo based session that will inspire you to make Biml your number one integration services development tool. Learn how to use Biml scripts to create staging tables and integration services packages. Add metadata to your Biml scripts and really watch the possibilities expand. 

Come by and see this session the 25th of October at 1:20pm, at Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building 1655 Campus Center Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84112


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PASS Summit 2014 – Speaker Idol

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The Speaker Idol participants were released yesterday and I was lucky enough to make the cut. With that being said, I guess I will be speaking at the PASS Summit 2014, well kind-of.

This will be the first ever Speaker Idol competition and the group of people speaking are very talented. I think this will be the start of a great program to give less known speakers (speaking for myself only) an opportunity on the big stage and receive some great speaking feedback. We all like that, ummm… yea…

Does this schedule mean I’m going first?


  • Reeves Smith
  • Pieter Vanhove
  • Mike Byrd
  • Wagdy Ishac


  • Sergey Olontsev
  • Ed Leighton-Dick
  • Rob Volk
  • Tim Costello


  • John Flannery
  • Luan Moreno Medeiros Maciel
  • Mitchell Bottel
  • Jason Carter

Best of luck everyone.


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Microsoft MVP, WOW

I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for SQL Server this month and I am a bit overwhelmed, to say the least. It is an honor and privilege to be added to the group of current MVPs. This is an award that is granted for giving time back to community. SQL Server is the product that I have been working with since 1996 when I started working for MCI. Ever since that time I have worked hard to better understand it and maybe even master it. Not sure if the day will ever come that I master it, but I will chase that goal each and every day.

I would like to recognize the people that made this possible. First and foremost, this award is about time being given, and since time is a finite resource, the time spent contributing to this community takes away from time spent in other areas of my life. I’d like to thank Amy Smith, my wife and best friend. She makes it possible for me to contribute to this community. She takes care of the kiddos and lets me travel without ever saying a word. Thanks Amy.

The second group would be Linchpin People, a great company with truly rock star people. I am very blessed to work with a company whose people provide the motivation to put in the extra time. Thanks.

The last group and no less important is the community itself. The people who I have met along the way and have become friends with are outstanding. Unlike me, they might be weird, (yep that is you Jason Horner) but are some of the nicest people in all of the technical communities. <evil grin>

This is a journey that I’ve just begun and hope to continue for quite some time.

By the way, I love my job…

Reeves Smith

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for SQL Server

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Speaking at the Greenville BIG

I like the sound of that.

I will be in Greenville, SC this coming week to meet with the folks at Varigence and talk all things Biml.

I will be speaking on Master Data Services at the Greenville Business Intelligence Group on Thursday September 11th.at 6:00 pm

Master Data Services, How Does it Apply to My Enterprise

Understand how a Master Data Management (MDM) and Data Governance methodology can enable business clarity across the enterprise. Get introduced to Master Data Services (MDS) which is a Master Data Management solution on the Microsoft Platform. This solution enables the management of non-transactional data that defines a business entity within the enterprise. Get a good business and technical understanding of how MDS can help obtain better business clarity across the organization through a data governance strategy. Data governance is a methodology that represents quality, policies, and process management, in relation to handling your enterprise data. The demo will walk through the basics of getting started with Master Data Services 2012 including the Excel Add-in for Master Data Services.

For all of the details and registration please visit the event site here.

Hope to see you there.

- Reeves

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