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Archive for the ‘Agile’ Category

tX2012 was released earlier in the month and we will be upgrading a lot of out clients to this new version. One would assume that you could export your timeXtender project created in 4.5.X and then just import it into tX2012 but unfortunately it’s not that straight forward. If you do try this, you’ll get the error message below:

In order to perform a successful upgrade, backup your 4.5.x projectRepository database. Uninstall timeXtender 4.5.x and install tX2012. After opening the new application, point it to the restored database. You will then be prompted with the following popup:

 

 

 

 

Click on the Upgrade button. You will then be presented with another pop-up confirming if you would like to use Local files or the Web service method. Select Web service and wait while your project database is upgraded.

I did receive an error message after the upgrade process (see below) but my upgraded projects processed without any issues despite this. A call has been logged with the timeXtender support team and I’ll update the post as soon as I have more information.

In conclusion: upgrade your project in a Development or QA environment first and perform thorough testing before upgrading your Production environment.

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Two weeks ago I was luckily enough to join our general manager for a Business Architecture review in Dubai. This was my first trip to the UAE and I was in for a few surprises. First up as an “eye examination” at 01:00am in the morning. Apparently all the chaps with ZAF passports have really poor eyesight for some reason. Needless to say my eyes weren’t tested. My form got stamped and I was told to re-join the first queue I had stood in. Next up was the heat, a cool 35 degrees when we were picked up at the airport. Temperatures managed to get to 45 degrees at their peak making it less than pleasant to go for a stroll outside. Mind you, the humidity was pretty insane as well. And then finally, the cost of food and booze. A Heineken will set you back around 60 ZAR and for a 300g fillet – anything between R400 – R650. Eish.

On the brighter side were the friendly people, amazing buildings and malls you could never even dream of – full with ski slopes, aquariums and 1,200 stores!

Ok, so why were we out there? A potential client had asked us to review their infrastructure, business processes and technical implementation with the core focus relating to operational efficiencies. I was there more from a technical perspective and had the exciting job of building out a few POCs while we were on-site. This is where I have to give credit to the Microsoft stack, especially to PowerPivot. In just a few hours one is able to mash up multiple data sources and present back analysis that the client thought would take a very long time to complete. Our rapid BI development tool, timeXtender, also came in very handy when building out a finance cube on a subset of the client’s database.

These tools not only accelerate the ability to quickly create POCs, but also significantly reduce the development time for full-scale projects. The company I work for has recently had numerous success stories where ROI has been realised very quickly, sometimes within the first month of going live! The common denominator – timeXtender.

The review came to an end all too quickly but I was happy to be back in SA again. There is nothing quite like your own bed. Well, we’ve compiled an exciting roadmap for the client – let’s hope they want us to partner with them on the journey.

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I’ve read various posts on agile BI and which methodologies would best suit this type of approach. In some instances it’s a really good idea and others, not. Today I got to experience a new type of agile BI. Let me set the scene.

I’ve been pretty busy lately building POCs so when a new one came by one of our Account Executives decided to help me out by building it himself (Schneeberger likes this). We had a good model to start with and building out the reports would also not be too hectic.

The client feedback session was setup for 09:00 this morning and let’s just say that our model wasn’t working as expected. So at 07:45 I was trying to fix the model while the AE was building out some reports. We left for the client at 08:15 leaving me some time to finish off the reports in the car. Well we hit another road block when the AE’s VM blue-screened on the way there. At 08:40 I started loading the client’s data into the model (using my bosses SUV boot as a desk) on my VM. The data completed loading as we sat down in front of the client. Could this really be happening?

It ends up the client is not too interested in the model but more in the reports that can be created from it. So off I go building out reports in Excel 2010 and the client is loving it. Now that’s what I call Agile BI!

I believe there was a fair amount of luck involved but it also confirmed that the BI model we are using is really solid. Testament to all the hard work that has been put in to accelerate BI implementations.

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