Resolving GUID SSIS Import Error “The value could not be converted because of a potential loss of data”

Perhaps one of the most fiendish aspects of working with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is the inevitable data transformation/conversion issues that get thrown up, even as part of relatively simplistic Extract, Transform & Load (ETL) packages. It doesn't help as well if, having come from a strictly T-SQL focused background, you are then having [...]

Combining T-SQL Sub Queries with CHECK Constraints

The biggest headache when managing any database system is enforcing data quality and consistency across the entire dataset. This can range from ensuring that field values are entered correctly through to enforcing rules to prevent duplicate records from even touching the periphery of your database. If you are using an application like CRM Online/Dynamics 365 [...]

What’s New in SQL Server 2017

The very recent Microsoft Data Amp event provided an excellent forum for the SQL Server 2017 announcement, which is due to be released at some point this year. Perhaps the most touted feature of the new version is that it will be available to be installed on Linux; an entirely inconceivable premise 10 years ago, which [...]

Using SQL Server Functions to Simplify Option Set Label Retrieval (Dynamics 365 for Enterprise Data Export Service)

When you have spent any length of time working with Dynamics CRM Online/Dynamics 365 for Enterprise (D365E) data programmatically, you become accustomed to how Option Set, State and Status Reason values are presented to you in code. To explain, the application does not store your Option Set value display names within the SQL Server Entity [...]

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Data Export Service: Review

Although CRM Online/Dynamics 365 for Enterprise (D365E) does provide a plethora of different tools aimed at satisfying reporting requirements for users of the application, you are restricted in how data can be queried within the application. For example, you cannot just connect straight up to the applications SQL database and start writing stored procedures that perform complex [...]

Utilising SQL Server Stored Procedures with Power BI

Those who have experience working with an RDMS system like SQL Server will become accustomed towards a certain way of going about things. These can often involve a mixture of "lazy" query writing (e.g. using SELECT *... as opposed to SELECT Column1, Column2...), the manner in which you write your query (ALL CAPS or lower [...]

Becoming a Dynamics CRM/365 for Enterprise Swiss Army Knife: Essential Study Areas

Getting to grips with how to use Dynamics CRM/365 for Enterprise (D365E) is no easy feat. You can imagine just how difficult it is for an end user to get to grips with how the application works and functions; with more detailed knowledge around customisation and development being an entirely different ball game altogether. Compounding [...]

A New Template for Success? Word Templates vs. CRM Reports (Part 1)

For those who have done a lot of work previously creating bespoke document templates within CRM, the only effective way in which you would traditionally do this within CRM was via a Report. For the uninitiated, reports are .rdl files that are created within CRM (for very basic reports) or via SQL Server Data Tools [...]

To Online or Not Online: Factors to Consider when Comparing CRM Online/On-Premise

For those businesses or individuals who are currently considering Dynamics CRM, one of the decisions that you will ultimately need to make is regarding whether you intend to use CRM Online or CRM On-Premise. For those whose first reaction to the previous statement is "Say what?", heres a brief breakdown of the two different options: [...]