After many conferences and travels, this summer I had some time to write and prepare new sessions for the next wave of conferences. In reality I am just doing that, even if I already restarted traveling for consulting and training. So expect new content about DAX and Tabular coming in the next months! Starting to see real customer adopting Tabular is showing many new challenges and there is still a lot to learn and to create.
If you still didn’t started working on Tabular, well, you should. As I always say, as a BI developer you should be able to choose between Tabular and Multidimensional, and in order to do that you should know both of them! One thing that I don’t like very much about marketing is that “Tabular is simpler”, because it’s often translated in “Tabular is for simple projects” when this last statement is not true. Actually, I see a lot of good reasons to adopt Tabular in complex data models, especially in non-traditional scenarios. I know, this is because I love to understand what are the actual limits of a technology, and I’m learning that there is simple a lot of space of improvement also for Tabular. It’s already fast, but it could be faster!
How can you start? Well, first of all, by reading our book. Then, by attending to our SSAS Tabular workshop. There is an online edition of the workshop on September 3-4, 2012 (hurry up if you want to register), and there are already several dates planned for the next months (and others will be added soon!). And, of course, by installing SQL Server 2012 and trying to create models over your databases. If you are too lazy, just start with PowerPivot.
As soon as you start working with Tabular or PowerPivot, you will see that there is one important skill you need: learning DAX. In the next few days I should publish an article that I’m finishing these days about best practices using SUMMARIZE and ADDCOLUMNS. If only someone published this article one year ago, I would have saved many hours of my life. But, you know, flight manuals are written in blood… and someone has to write!