PowerBi and API – Visualising my Checkins

For my own amusement and also to show my wife where I have been I use the Swarm check-in app on my phone and check-in to places. Also for my own amusement I used PowerBi to visualise the data via the API and allow me to filter it in various ways.

Whilst at the PowerShell Conference in Asia I was showing the mobile app to a group over some food and saying how easy it was and June Blender, the mother of PowerShell help, said that I ought to blog about it. So I have 🙂

Follow these steps and you can create this report.

powerbi8.PNGYou can also download the blank report and add your own access token to it should you wish. Details at the end of the post

I am using the swarm API but the principle is the same for any other API that provides you with data. For example, I used the same principles to create the embedded reports on the PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter page showing the status of the cards suggesting improvements to the sqlserver module for the product team to work on. Hopefully, this post will give you some ideas to work on and show you that it is quite easy to get excellent data visualisation from APIs

First up we need to get the data. I took a look at the Swarm developers page ( The Trello is here by the way) I had to register for an app, which gave me a client id and a secret. I then followed the steps here to get my user token I was only interested in my own check ins so I used the steps under Token flow Client applications to get my access token which I used in an URL like this.

https://api.foursquare.com/v2/users/self/checkins?limit=5000&oauth_token=ACCESS_TOKEN&v=YYYYMMDD

I added the limit 5000 as the default number of checkins returned was too small for my needs and the date was that days date.

You can do this in Powershell using code I got from the magnificent Stephen Owen’s blog post

## Enter the details
$Clientid =''  ## Enter ClientId from foursquare
$redirect = '' ## enter redirect url from client app in foursquare
##Create the URL:
$URL = "https://foursquare.com/oauth2/authenticate?client_id=$Clientid&response_type=token&redirect_uri=$redirect"
## function from https://foxdeploy.com/2015/11/02/using-powershell-and-oauth/
Function Show-OAuthWindow {
Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms</div>
<div>$form = New-Object -TypeName System.Windows.Forms.Form -Property @{Width=440;Height=640}
$web  = New-Object -TypeName System.Windows.Forms.WebBrowser -Property @{Width=420;Height=600;Url=($url -f ($Scope -join "%20")) }
$DocComp  = {
$Global:uri = $web.Url.AbsoluteUri
if ($Global:Uri -match "error=[^&]*|code=[^&]*") {$form.Close() }
}
$web.ScriptErrorsSuppressed = $true
$web.Add_DocumentCompleted($DocComp)
$form.Controls.Add($web)
$form.Add_Shown({$form.Activate()})
$form.ShowDialog() | Out-Null
}
#endregion
#login to get an access code then close the redirect window
Show-OAuthWindow -URL $URl
## grab the token
$regex = '(?<=access_token=)(.*)'
$authCode  = ($uri | Select-string -pattern $regex).Matches[0].Value
$global:AuthToken = $authCode
Write-output "Received a token, $AuthToken"
Write-Output "So the URL for your PowerBi Data is :-"
$PowerBiUrl = "https://api.foursquare.com/v2/users/self/checkins?limit=5000&oauth_token=$AuthToken&v=20160829"
$PowerBiUrl | Clip

I checked the URL in a browser and confirmed that it returned a json object. Keep that URL safe you will need it in a minute. That code above has placed it in your clipboard. If you want to jump straight to the report using the download stop here and go to the end

So now lets move to Power BI. Go to powerbi.com and download the PowerBi Desktop. Its free. You will need to create an account using a school or work email address if you wish to put your reports in powerbi.com

Once you have downloaded and installed PowerBi Desktop you will be faced with a window like this

powerbi

Start by clicking Get Data

powerbi2

Then choose Web and paste the URL from above into the filename and press ok which will give you this

powerbi3

Now we need to put the data into a format that is of more use to us

power1

I clicked on the record link for response, then converted to table, then the little icon at the top of the column to expand the value.items column and then the value.items column again. It doesn’t look much yet but we are a step closer.

Next I looked in the table for the venue column, expanded that and the location column and the formatted address column.

power2

You can also expand the categories so that you can look at those too by expanding Value.items.venue.categories and Value.items.venue.categories1

powerbi4.gif

Now you will see that we have some duplicates in the data so we need to remove those. I did that by deleting the first 3 columns and then clicking remove duplicates under Delete Rows

power3b.gif

Then click close and apply. Then click on the data button as we need to rename and remove some more columns so that our data makes a little sense. I renamed the columns like this

Value.items.createdAt –> CreatedAt
Value.items.shout –> Comment
Value.items.venue.name –> VenueName
Value.items.venue.location.address –> VenueAddress
Value.items.timeZoneOffset –> TimeZoneOffset
Value.items.venue.location.lat –> VenueLat
Value.items.venue.location.lng –> VenueLong
Value.items.venue.location.postalCode –> VenuePostalCode
Value.items.venue.location.cc –> CountryCode
Value.items.venue.location.city –> City
Value.items.venue.location.state –> State
Value.items.venue.location.country –> Country
Value.items.venue.location.formattedAddress –> VenueAddress
Value.items.venue.url –> VenueURL
Value.items.venue.categories.name –> Catogory
Value.items.venue.categories.pluralName –> Categories

and remove all of the other columns. You can also do this in the Edit Queries window, I am just showing you that there are multiple ways to do the same thing

powerbi5.gif

Once you have done that you should have a window that looks like this. Notice I renamed the query to checkins as well

powerbi4.PNG

Now we need to create a calculated column for the time and a measure for the count of checkins. This is done using this code

[code langauge=”SQL”]Time = VAR UnixDays = [createdAt]/(60*60*24)
RETURN (DATEVALUE("1/1/1970")+UnixDays)

[code langauge=”SQL”]CountCheckins = COUNT(checkins[Time])

and we can move onto the report side of things. Frist we are going to download a custom visual. Go to the PowerBi Custom Visuals Page and download the Timeline visualpowerbi5.PNG

and then import it into your PowerBi report. I have embedded a YouTube video below showing the steps I took to turn this into the PowerBi report. Its pretty easy, you will be able to click on the visuals and then click on the data columns and alter them until you have the report that you want.

Once you have done this, you can upload it to PowerBi if you wish by clicking on the Publish button in PowerBi desktop and signing into PowerBi.com with your work email address.

powerbi6.PNG

and your report is available for you on PowerBi.com 🙂 By clicking on the pins on a visualisation you can add them to a dashboard.

powerbi8.gif

Once you have a dashboard you can then use the natural language query to ask questions of your data. Here are some examples

How many checkins are in GB
How many checkins are in airports
How many checkins by month
How many checkins by month in GB
Which airports
Show me hotel venuename and time
How many hotels by country
Show me hotel venuename and checkins count
metro stations venuename and count checkins as a map
Show me count checkins in Amsterdam by category as a donut

powerbi7.PNG

If you want to use the blank report, download it from here open it in PowerBi Desktop, click Edit Queries and Source and add your own URL and click Apply and then Refresh

powerbi9.gif

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas of ways that you can create some reports from many of the data sources available to you via API

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PSConfAsia 2016

I have just got back to the UK from Singapore following the amazing PSConfAsia conference. I must say that Matt, Milton, Sebastian and Ben did a fantastic job organising this conference and were proud that there was a notable increase in attendees from last year.

sebastians-photo

 

The conference began (unofficially) with a PowerShell User group session in the Microsoft Offices on Wednesday where Ravi Chaganti spoke about DSC

WP_20161019_19_56_07_Pro (2).jpg

and then Desmond Lee lead a Q and A session. In the end we decided that all the answers were

It Depends and Test in your Environment

That evening, I even managed to jump on the PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter session by Scott Sutherland Hacking SQL Servers on Scale using PowerShell the recording of which is here  A session organised and managed online in three different time zones by Aaron Chrissy and myself :-).

On Thursday the conference proper started with a pre-con day at the Amazon Web Services office. Yes, you read that right. This conference really highlighted the cross-platform direction and adoption of open-source that Microsoft is taking.  Jason Yoder spent all day teaching a group “PowerShell for Beginners” in one room

WP_20161020_09_24_43_Pro.jpg

while The Amazon Web Services Team showed DevOps on AWS with PowerShell in the morning and June Blender gave a SAPIEN Toolmaking Seminar.fter this we went back to the Microsoft Offices for another User Group where Jason Yoder gave a (nother) session with Jaap Brasser on PowerShell Tips and Tricks (Demo)

WP_20161020_19_26_24_Pro (2).jpg

Friday started with The PowerShell Team represented by Kenneth Hansen & Angel Calvo talking about PowerShell Past, Present and Future. It was really good that there was such great access to the product team at the conference and I saw lots of interaction around the conference as well, in addition to the sessions they provided.

Next up for me was another session from the PowerShell Team, this time Hemant Mahawar & Jason Shirk taking us on a Journey Through the Ages of PowerShell Security

Execution Policy is not a security feature

That took us to lunch, we were treated to excellent lunches at this conference

WP_20161020_12_07_14_Pro (2).jpg

After lunch I sat in the PowerShell Teams Ask Us Anything session although I was mainly preparing for my own session Powershell Profile Prepares Perfect Production Purlieu which followed. There were excellent sessions on JEA, Nano Server, Chef and DSC, Containers, ETS and securing PowerShell against malware whilst I attended Flynn Bundy’s session about Windows Containers and Building GUIs with XAML with David Das Neves

WP_20161021_15_58_12_Pro (2).jpg

That evening, organisers, speakers and attendees all went to the Penny Black pub on Marina Bay and enjoyed some food, refreshments and networking

Saturday started slowly after the rain (another impressive ‘feature’ of Singapore)  but the first session was a brilliant one with Hemant Mahawar & Jason Shirk talking Pragmatic PowerShell and answering questions. I am glad Jason used Carnac to show what he was typing so that people could (just about 🙂 ) keep up. I then attended the excellent session about contribution with Microsoft.

The rest of the day had amazing sessions on Azure Automation, IoT, AWS Cloud Formation, Centralised Repository Server, Chef, Puppet, Professional Help, Nano Server, Docker, DSC, Release Pipeline and of course some bearded fella talking about Installing SQL Scripts and creating Pester Tests for them and combining PowerShell, SQL, SSRS, PowerBi and Cortana 🙂

Jason Yoder's photo.jpg

My takeaways from the conference were that Microsoft is very open to all members of the open source community, DevOps is a very important topic and also the following points from the PowerShell team

PowerShell Team want YOU to contribute.
Interact with them
File bugs
Feature Requests
Documentation
Tests
Code

and

Fixing is better than complaining 🙂 @HemanMahawar #psconfasia You can help fix the documentation. Use the contribute button on the doc

and

If you are thinking of starting or run a PowerShell usergroup Microsoft would like help. Tag 1 of the team such as @ANGELCALVOS #psconfasia

Special thanks and congratulations must go to Matt, Milton, Sebastian and Ben for their excellent organisation and for creating an awesome event. I am looking forward to seeing how they can better it next year and also hoping that seeing all the fabulous speakers and sessions will inspire some attendees from this years event to share their own knowledge and experience at local user groups and even next years conference.

DBA Database scripts are on Github

It started with a tweet from Dusty

Tweets

The second session I presented at the fantastic PowerShell Conference Europe was about using the DBA Database to automatically install DBA scripts like sp_Blitz, sp_AskBrent, sp_Blitzindex from Brent Ozar , Ola Hallengrens Maintenance Solution , Adam Mechanics sp_whoisactive , This fantastic script for logging the results from sp_whoisactive to a table , Extended events sessions and other goodies for the sanity of the DBA.

By making use of the dbo.InstanceList in my DBA database I am able to target instances, by SQL Version, OS Version, Environment, Data Centre, System, Client or any other variable I choose. An agent job that runs every night will automatically pick up the instances and the scripts that are marked as needing installing. This is great when people release updates to the above scripts allowing you to target the development environment and test before they get put onto live.

I talked to a lot of people in Hannover and they all suggested that I placed the scripts onto GitHub and after some how-to instructions from a few people (Thank you Luke) I spent the weekend updating and cleaning up the code and you can now find it on GitHub here

github

I have added the DBA Database project, the Powershell scripts and Agent Job creation scripts to call those scripts and everything else I use. Some of the DBA Scripts I use (and links to those you need to go and get yourself for licensing reasons) and the Power Bi files as well. I will be adding some more jobs that I use to gather other information soon.

Please go and have a look and see if it is of use to you. It is massively customisable and I have spoken to various people who have extended it in interesting ways so I look forward to hearing about what you do with it.

As always, questions and comments welcome

 

 

Power Bi, PowerShell and SQL Agent Jobs

Continuing my series on using Power Bi with my DBA Database I am going to show in this post how I create the most useful daily report for DBAs – The SQL Agent Job report. You can get the scripts and reports here

Please note this project became dbareports.io

AG1

This gives a quick overview of the status of the Agent Jobs across the estate and also quickly identifies recent failed jobs enabling the DBA to understand their focus and prioritise their morning efforts.

I gather the information into 2 tables AgentJobDetail

and AgentJobServer

The Detail table holds the results of every Agent Job and the Server table holds a roll up for each server. The script to gather this information is based on the script I used to put the information into an Excel Sheet as described in my post How I Check Hundreds of Agent Jobs in 60 Seconds with PowerShell which I also altered to send an HTML email to the DBA team each morning. This however is a much better solution and allows for better monitoring and trending.

As I have explained in my previous posts I use an Instance List table to hold the information about each instance in the estate and a series of PowerShell scripts which run via Agent Jobs to gather the information into various tables. These posts describe the use of the Write-Log function and the methodology of gathering the required information and looping through each instance so I wont repeat that here. There is an extra check I do however for Express Edition as this does not contain the Agent service

The Agent Job information can be found in SMO by exploring the $srv.JobServer.Jobs object and I gather the information by iterating through each job and setting the values we require to variables

I found that some Jobs had names and descriptions that had ‘ in them which would cause the SQL update or insert statement to fail so I use the replace method to replace the ‘ with ”

I then insert the data per job after checking that it does not already exist which allows me to re-run the job should a number of servers be uncontactable at the time of the job running without any additional work

I put this in a here-string variable and pass it to Invoke-SQLCmd I do the same with the roll up using this query

This job runs as a SQL Agent Job every morning a half an hour or so before the DBA arrives for the morning shift vastly improving the ability of the DBA to prioritise their morning routine.

To create the report open Power Bi Desktop and click Get Data

ag2

Then choose SQL Server and click connect

ag3

Enter the Connection string, the database and the  query to gather the data

ag5

The query is

Once we have gathered the data we then create some extra columns and measures for the reports. First I create a date column from the datetime Date Column

I also do the same for the LastRuntime. I create a day of the week column so that I can report on jobs outcome by day

My friend Terry McCann b | t helped me create a column that returns true if the last run time is within 24 hours of the current time to help identify the recent jobs that have failed NOTE – On a Monday morning you will need to change this if you do not check your jobs on the weekend.

I create a measure for Succeeded, Failed and Unknown

Next we have to create some measures for the sum of failed jobs and the averages This is the code for 7 day sum

and for the 7 Day average

I did the same for 30 days. I used the TechNet reference for DAX expressions and got ideas from Chris Webbs blog

ag6
First I created the 30 day historical trend chart using a Line and Clustered column chart using the last run date as the axis and the succeed measure as the column and the Failed, Failed 7 Day Average and failed 30 day average as the lines

I then formatted the lines and title and column

ag7

To create the gauge which shows how well we have done today I created a measure to quickly identify todays jobs

which I use as a filter for the gauge as shown below. I also create two measures zero and twenty for the minimum and maximum for the gauge

ag8

The rest of the report is measures for 7 day average and 30 day average, a slicer for environment  and two tables, one to show the historical job counts and one to show the jobs that have failed in the last 24 hours using the Last Run Relative Hour measure from above

ag9

There are many other reports that you can or may want to create maybe by day of the week or by category depending on your needs. Once you have the data gathered you are free to play with the data as you see fit. Please add any further examples of reports you can run or would like to run in the comments below.

Once you have your report written you can publish it to PowerBi.com and create a dashboard and query it with natural language. I have explained the process in previous posts

For example – How many Jobs failed today

ag110

Which server had most failed jobs

ag11

or using the category field which database maintenance jobs failed today

ag13

I hope these posts have given you ideas about how you can use Powershell, a DBA Database and Power Bi to help you to manage and report on your environment.

You can get the scripts and reports here

I have written further posts about this

Using Power Bi with my DBA Database

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Server Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Databases

Power Bi, PowerShell and SQL Agent Jobs

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Databases

Following my post about using Power Bi with my DBA Database I have been asked if I would share the PowerShell scripts which I use to populate my database.

In this post I will show how to create the following report

db1

db2

Although you will find so many items of data that I expect that you will want to create different reports for your own requirements. You will also want to put the report onto PowerBi.com and explore the natural language querying as I show at the end of this post

You will find the latest version of my DBADatabase creation scripts and PowerShell scripts here.

The SQLInfo table is created using this code

CREATE TABLE [Info].[Databases](
	[DatabaseID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
	[InstanceID] [int] NOT NULL,
	[Name] [nvarchar](256) NULL,
	[DateAdded] [datetime2](7) NULL,
	[DateChecked] [datetime2](7) NULL,
	[AutoClose] [bit] NULL,
	[AutoCreateStatisticsEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[AutoShrink] [bit] NULL,
	[AutoUpdateStatisticsEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[AvailabilityDatabaseSynchronizationState] [nvarchar](16) NULL,
	[AvailabilityGroupName] [nvarchar](128) NULL,
	[CaseSensitive] [bit] NULL,
	[Collation] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[CompatibilityLevel] [nvarchar](15) NULL,
	[CreateDate] [datetime2](7) NULL,
	[DataSpaceUsageKB] [float] NULL,
	[EncryptionEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[IndexSpaceUsageKB] [float] NULL,
	[IsAccessible] [bit] NULL,
	[IsFullTextEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[IsMirroringEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[IsParameterizationForced] [bit] NULL,
	[IsReadCommittedSnapshotOn] [bit] NULL,
	[IsSystemObject] [bit] NULL,
	[IsUpdateable] [bit] NULL,
	[LastBackupDate] [datetime2](7) NULL,
	[LastDifferentialBackupDate] [datetime2](7) NULL,
	[LastLogBackupDate] [datetime2](7) NULL,
	[Owner] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[PageVerify] [nvarchar](17) NULL,
	[ReadOnly] [bit] NULL,
	[RecoveryModel] [nvarchar](10) NULL,
	[ReplicationOptions] [nvarchar](40) NULL,
	[SizeMB] [float] NULL,
	[SnapshotIsolationState] [nvarchar](10) NULL,
	[SpaceAvailableKB] [float] NULL,
	[Status] [nvarchar](35) NULL,
	[TargetRecoveryTime] [int] NULL,
 CONSTRAINT [PK_Databases] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
(
	[DatabaseID] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]

GO

The Powershell script uses Jason Wasser @wasserja Write-Log function to write to a text file but I also enable some logging into a new event log by following the steps here http://blogs.technet.com/b/heyscriptingguy/archive/2013/02/01/use-powershell-to-create-and-to-use-a-new-event-log.aspx to create a log named SQLAutoScript with a source SQLAUTOSCRIPT

To run the script I simply need to add the values for

$CentralDBAServer = '' ## Add the address of the instance that holds the DBADatabase
$CentralDatabaseName = 'DBADatabase' 
$LogFile = "\DBADatabaseServerUpdate_" + $Date + ".log" ## Set Path to Log File

And the script will do the rest. Call the script from a PowerShell Job Step and schedule it to run at the frequency you wish, I gather the information every week. You can get the script from here or you can read on to see how it works and how to create the report and publish it to powerbi.com and query it with natural langauge

I create a function called Catch-Block to save keystrokes and put my commands inside a try catch to make the scripts as robust as possible. I won’t include the try catch in the examples below. I gather all of the server names from the InstanceList table and set the results to an array variable called $ServerNames holding the server name, instance name and port

 $Query = @"
 SELECT [ServerName]
      ,[InstanceName]
      ,[Port]
  FROM [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList]
  Where Inactive = 0 
    AND NotContactable = 0
"@
try{
$AlltheServers= Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $CentralDBAServer -Database $CentralDatabaseName -Query $query
$ServerNames = $AlltheServers| Select ServerName,InstanceName,Port
}

I then loop through the array and create a $Connection variable for my SMO connection string and connect to the server

foreach ($ServerName in $ServerNames)
{
## $ServerName
 $InstanceName =  $ServerName|Select InstanceName -ExpandProperty InstanceName
 $Port = $ServerName| Select Port -ExpandProperty Port
$ServerName = $ServerName|Select ServerName -ExpandProperty ServerName 
 $Connection = $ServerName + '\' + $InstanceName + ',' + $Port

 try
 {
 $srv = New-Object ('Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server') $Connection

Even though I place the creation of the SMO server object in a try block you still need to an additional check to ensure that you can connect and populate the object as the code above creates an empty SMO Server object with the name property set to the $Connection variable if you can’t connect to that server and doesn’t error as you may expect
The way I have always validated an SMO Server object is to check the version property. There is no justifiable reason for choosing that property, you could choose any one but that’s the one I have always used. I use an if statement to do this ( This post about Snippets will show you the best way to learn PowerShell code) The reference I use for exiting a loop in the way that you want is this one In this case we use a continue to carry on iterating the loop

 if (!( $srv.version)){
 Catch-Block " Failed to Connect to $Connection"
 continue
 }

I then loop through the user databases

foreach($db in $srv.databases|Where-Object {$_.IsSystemObject -eq $false })
{
$Name = $db.Name
$Parent = $db.Parent.Name

To gather information on all databases just remove everything after the pipe symbol or if you wish to exclude certain databases from the collection gathering, maybe the database you keep your Change log table and DBA Team info in you can do that as well here

foreach($db in $srv.databases|Where-Object {$_.Name -ne 'EXCLUDENAME' })
{
$Name = $db.Name
$Parent = $db.Parent.Name

If you wish to view all of the different properties that you can gather information on in this way you can use this code to take a look. (This is something you should get used to doing when writing new Powershell scripts)

$Connection = 'SERVERNAMEHERE'
$srv = New-Object ('Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server') $Connection
 $srv.databases | Get-Member

An alternative method of doing this is to set a variable to a $db and then to select all of the properties so that you can see the values and identify the ones you want. Again this a good thing to do when exploring new objects

$db = $srv.databases['DBNAMEHERE'] 
$db| Select *

You can see from the screen shot below that there are 170 properties available to you on a SQL2014 instance. You can gather any or all of that information as long as you ensure that you have the columns with the correct data types in your table and that your script has the logic to deal with properties that do not exist although I have had less issue with this for the database object than the server object

db3

You can look for the property that you want by using the Get-Member cmdlet as shown above or use MSDN to find it starting from here or by GoogleBingDuckDuckGo ing “Powershell SMO” and the property you wish to find.

The rest of the script follows exactly the same pattern as the previous post by checking the SQL Info table for an entry for that instance and updating the table if it exists and inserting if it does not.

This is how I created the reports shown above.

Connect to the DBA Database and run these queries to gather the data for the report.

SELECT 
IL.ServerName
,IL.InstanceName
,IL.Location
,IL.Environment
,IL.Inactive
,IL.NotContactable
,D.[DatabaseID]
,D.[InstanceID]
,D.[Name]
,D.[DateAdded]
,D.[DateChecked]
,D.[AutoClose]
,D.[AutoCreateStatisticsEnabled]
,D.[AutoShrink]
,D.[AutoUpdateStatisticsEnabled]
,D.[AvailabilityDatabaseSynchronizationState]
,D.[AvailabilityGroupName]
,D.[CaseSensitive]
,D.[Collation]
,D.[CompatibilityLevel]
,D.[CreateDate]
,D.[DataSpaceUsageKB]
,D.[EncryptionEnabled]
,D.[IndexSpaceUsageKB]
,D.[IsAccessible]
,D.[IsFullTextEnabled]
,D.[IsMirroringEnabled]
,D.[IsParameterizationForced]
,D.[IsReadCommittedSnapshotOn]
,D.[IsUpdateable]
,D.[LastBackupDate]
,D.[LastDifferentialBackupDate]
,D.[LastLogBackupDate]
,D.[Owner]
,D.[PageVerify]
,D.[ReadOnly]
,D.[RecoveryModel]
,D.[ReplicationOptions]
,D.[SizeMB]
,D.[SnapshotIsolationState]
,D.[SpaceAvailableKB]
,D.[Status]
,D.[TargetRecoveryTime]
FROM [DBADatabase].[Info].[Databases] as D
JOIN [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList] as IL
ON IL.InstanceID =D.InstanceID

To get all the database and instance information and

SELECT C.ClientName
 ,[DatabaseID]
 ,[InstanceID]
 ,[Notes]
  FROM [DBADatabase].[dbo].[ClientDatabaseLookup] as CDL
  JOIN [DBADatabase].[dbo].[Clients] as C
  ON CDL.clientid = c.clientid

To get the client information. The client information needs to be manually added to the table as this (in general) needs a human bean to understand. When the script runs every night it will pick up new databases and I add a default value of “Not Entered” to the table which makes it easier to identify the databases that need this additional work. (This also means that as a Team Leader I can monitor that my team are doing this) It can also be added to any scripts which create new databases for deployment.

Then we need to create some measures and calculated columns for our report. I did this as I realised that I needed it when making the report rather than all up front.

I created two calculated columns for size for the databases one for Gb and one for Tb by clicking on the data icon on the left and then new measure

SizeGb = Query1[SizeMB]/1024
SizeTb = Query1[SizeGb]/1024

Some measures for count of Databases, Instances and Servers

Databases = COUNT(Query1[DatabaseID])
Instances = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[InstanceID])
Servers = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[ServerName])

I also wanted to be able to differentiate between ‘External’ and ‘Internal’ customers. So I created a calculated column for this value using a switch statement.

External = SWITCH(Clients[ClientName],"Not Entered", 0 , "Dev Team",0,"Mi Team",0,"DBA Team",0,"Finance Department",0,"HR",0,"Operations",0,"Payroll",0,"Test Team",0,"Systems Team",0,"Unknown",0,1)

I create a donut chart to show the size of the database in Gb by client (and no, my real clients are not rock bands 🙂 ) as shown below. I formatted the title, legend and background by clicking on the paintbrush in the visualisation pane. I would encourage you to investigate the options here.

db4
The other donut chart is number of clients per location (and those are SQL User group locations in the UK and my hometown Bolton)

db5

The rest of the visualisations on that report are cards and tables which I am sure that you can work out.

I created a map to show the location of the databases

db6

And after reading this post http://sqldusty.com/2015/08/03/power-bi-tip-use-the-treemap-chart-as-a-colorful-slicer/ by Dustin Ryan I created a colourful slicer for environment and the client and then added some other information. The important thing here is to pick the information that the person looking at the report needs to see. So if it is recovery model, compatibility level, collation, page verify setting, mirroring, replication, size and number of databases then this report is correct but I doubt that’s what you want 🙂

You can slice this report by location, client or environment. For example, I can easily see which clients have data in Exeter and the size and number of databases

db7

Or if Metallica ring me up I can quickly see that they have 4 databases, just under 69Gb of data in Exeter and it isn’t mirrored. You will notice that it is not easy to see the recovery model or the compatibility level. If you hover over the results you get a highlight figure which shows the data is filtered but it is not shown visually very well as there are over a thousand databases using full recovery model.

db8

If we are asked about the Integration environment we can see that it is hosted in Bolton, Manchester, Southampton and Exeter and comprises of 394 databases and 739 Gb of data. It is also easier to see the compatibility level and recovery model as the ratios are larger

db9

Once we have created the report in the way that we want we can then publish it to powerbi.com and share it with others if we wish. Publishing is as easy as pressing the publish button and entering your powerbi credentials but if you want your data to automatically refresh (and this is the point of the exercise to remove manual work) then you will need to install and configure the PowerBi gateway and schedule a refresh I will post about this later.

Once the report is published you can access it in the browser and create a dashboard by clicking the pin in the top right of a visualisation and a pop up will ask you which dashboard you wish to pin it to (Another recent update to Power Bi)

db10

Once you have a dashboard you can then perform some natural language question and answer on it. This can be quite interesting and not always quite what you (or your report readers) might expect but it is getting better all the time

db11

You have to remember to use the names of the columns correctly

db12

But once you have the query correct you can alter it by adding “as a VISUALISATION” and choose the visualisation

db13

db14

And once you have the visualisation you can pin it to the dashboard

I think you can see how useful it can be

db15

This doesn’t work quite as you expect

db16

But this does

db17

How about this (and yes it felt wrong to type!)

db18

And the auditors would love to be able to do this. (This is an old copy of the database in case The Eagles people are reading this – your database is backed up every 15 minutes)

db19

Or this for a DBA ( Yes, my obfuscation script database naming convention is a bit bland)

db20

Or the DBA team manager might choose this one

db21

The advantage that I cannot show via static pictures is that the data, visualisation and the suggestions alter in real time as you type

I hope that you have found this useful and that you can see the benefits and advantages of using a DBA Database and empowering people to use self-service to answer their own questions leaving the DBA time to do more important things like drinking coffee 🙂

As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them on the blog.

I have written further posts about this

Using Power Bi with my DBA Database

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Server Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Databases

Power Bi, PowerShell and SQL Agent Jobs

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Following my post about using Power Bi with my DBA Database I have been asked if I would share the PowerShell scripts which I use to populate my database.

In this post I will show how to create the following report

1

2

Although you will find so many items of data that I expect that you will want to create different reports for your own requirements. You will also want to put the report onto PowerBi.com and explore the natural language querying as I show at the end of this post

You will find the latest version of my DBADatabase creation scripts and PowerShell scripts here.

The SQLInfo table is created using this code

CREATE TABLE [Info].[SQLInfo](
	[SQLInfoID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
	[DateChecked] [datetime] NULL,
	[DateAdded] [datetime] NULL,
	[ServerName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[InstanceName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[SQLVersionString] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[SQLVersion] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[ServicePack] [nvarchar](3) NULL,
	[Edition] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[ServerType] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[Collation] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[IsHADREnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[SQLServiceAccount] [nvarchar](35) NULL,
	[SQLService] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[SQLServiceStartMode] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[BAckupDirectory] [nvarchar](256) NULL,
	[BrowserAccount] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[BrowserStartMode] [nvarchar](25) NULL,
	[IsSQLClustered] [bit] NULL,
	[ClusterName] [nvarchar](25) NULL,
	[ClusterQuorumstate] [nvarchar](20) NULL,
	[ClusterQuorumType] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[C2AuditMode] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[CostThresholdForParallelism] [tinyint] NULL,
	[MaxDegreeOfParallelism] [tinyint] NULL,
	[DBMailEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[DefaultBackupCComp] [bit] NULL,
	[FillFactor] [tinyint] NULL,
	[MaxMem] [int] NULL,
	[MinMem] [int] NULL,
	[RemoteDacEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[XPCmdShellEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[CommonCriteriaComplianceEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[DefaultFile] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[DefaultLog] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[HADREndpointPort] [int] NULL,
	[ErrorLogPath] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[InstallDataDirectory] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[InstallSharedDirectory] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[IsCaseSensitive] [bit] NULL,
	[IsFullTextInstalled] [bit] NULL,
	[LinkedServer] [nvarchar](max) NULL,
	[LoginMode] [nvarchar](20) NULL,
	[MasterDBLogPath] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[MasterDBPath] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[NamedPipesEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[OptimizeAdhocWorkloads] [bit] NULL,
	[InstanceID] [int] NULL,
	[AGListener] [nvarchar](150) NULL,
	[AGs] [nvarchar](150) NULL,
 CONSTRAINT [PK__SQL__50A5926BC7005F29] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
(
	[SQLInfoID] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY] TEXTIMAGE_ON [PRIMARY]

GO

ALTER TABLE [Info].[SQLInfo]  WITH CHECK ADD  CONSTRAINT [FK_SQLInfo_InstanceList] FOREIGN KEY([InstanceID])
REFERENCES [dbo].[InstanceList] ([InstanceID])
GO

ALTER TABLE [Info].[SQLInfo] CHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_SQLInfo_InstanceList]
GO

The Powershell script uses Jason Wasser @wasserja Write-Log function to write to a text file but I also enable some logging into a new event log by following the steps here http://blogs.technet.com/b/heyscriptingguy/archive/2013/02/01/use-powershell-to-create-and-to-use-a-new-event-log.aspx to create a log named SQLAutoScript with a source SQLAUTOSCRIPT

To run the script I simply need to add the values for

$CentralDBAServer = '' ## Add the address of the instance that holds the DBADatabase
$CentralDatabaseName = 'DBADatabase' 
$LogFile = "\DBADatabaseServerUpdate_" + $Date + ".log" ## Set Path to Log File

And the script will do the rest. Call the script from a PowerShell Job Step and schedule it to run at the frequency you wish, I gather the information every week. You can get the script from here or you can read on to see how it works and how to create the report and publish it to powerbi.com

I create a function called Catch-Block to save keystrokes and put my commands inside a try catch to make the scripts as robust as possible.

function Catch-Block
{
param ([string]$Additional)
$ErrorMessage = " On $Connection " + $Additional + $_.Exception.Message + $_.Exception.InnerException.InnerException.message
$Message = " This message came from the Automated Powershell script updating the DBA Database with Server Information"
$Msg = $Additional + $ErrorMessage + " " + $Message
Write-Log -Path $LogFile -Message $ErrorMessage -Level Error
Write-EventLog -LogName SQLAutoScript -Source "SQLAUTOSCRIPT" -EventId 1 -EntryType Error -Message $Msg
}

I give the function an additional parameter which will hold each custom error message which I write to both the event log and a text message to enable easy troubleshooting and include the message from the $Error variable by accessing it with $_. I won’t include the try catch in the examples below. I gather all of the server names from the InstanceList table and set the results to an array variable called $ServerNames holding the server name, instance name and port

 $Query = @"
 SELECT [ServerName]
      ,[InstanceName]
      ,[Port]
  FROM [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList]
  Where Inactive = 0 
    AND NotContactable = 0
"@
try{
$AlltheServers= Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $CentralDBAServer -Database $CentralDatabaseName -Query $query
$ServerNames = $AlltheServers| Select ServerName,InstanceName,Port
}

I then loop through the array and create a $Connection variable for my SMO connection string and connect to the server

foreach ($ServerName in $ServerNames)
{
## $ServerName
 $InstanceName =  $ServerName|Select InstanceName -ExpandProperty InstanceName
 $Port = $ServerName| Select Port -ExpandProperty Port
$ServerName = $ServerName|Select ServerName -ExpandProperty ServerName 
 $Connection = $ServerName + '\' + $InstanceName + ',' + $Port

 try
 {
 $srv = New-Object ('Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server') $Connection

Even though I place the creation of the SMO server object in a try block you still need to an additional check to ensure that you can connect and populate the object as the code above creates an empty SMO Server object with the name property set to the $Connection variable if you can’t connect to that server and doesn’t error as you may expect
The way I have always validated an SMO Server object is to check the version property. There is no justifiable reason for choosing that property, you could choose any one but that’s the one I have always used. I use an if statement to do this ( This post about Snippets will show you the best way to learn powershell code) The reference I use for exiting a loop in the way that you want is this one In this case we use a continue to carry on iterating the loop

 if (!( $srv.version)){
 Catch-Block " Failed to Connect to $Connection"
 continue
 }

If you wish to view all of the different properties that you can gather information on in this way you can use this code to take a look. (This is something you should get used to doing when writing new Powershell scripts)

$srv = New-Object ('Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server') $Connection
 $srv | Get-Member

As you can see from the screenshot below on my SQL2014 server there are 184 properties. I havent chosen to gather all of them, only the ones that are of interest to me, our team or others who request information from our team such as auditors and project managers etc

3

You can choose to use any or all of these properties as long as you ensure you have the columns in your table with the correct data type and that you have the correct knowledge and logic to stop the script from erroring if/when the property is not available. Here is an example

if ($srv.IsHadrEnabled -eq $True)
 {$IsHADREnabled = $True
 $AGs = $srv.AvailabilityGroups|Select Name -ExpandProperty Name|Out-String
 $Expression = @{Name = 'ListenerPort' ; Expression = {$_.Name + ',' + $_.PortNumber }}
 $AGListener =  $srv.AvailabilityGroups.AvailabilityGroupListeners|select $Expression|select ListenerPort -ExpandProperty ListenerPort
 }
 else
 {
 $IsHADREnabled = $false
 $AGs = 'None'
 $AGListener = 'None'
 }
 $BackupDirectory = $srv.BackupDirectory

I check if the property IsHADREnabled is true and if it is I then gather the information about the Availability Group names and the listener port and if it doesn’t exist I set the values to None.

You will find that not all of the properties that you want are at the root of the Server SMO object. If you want you max and min memory values and you want to know if remote admin connections or xp_cmdshell are enabled you will need to look at the $Srv.Configuration object

 $MaxMem = $srv.Configuration.MaxServerMemory.ConfigValue
 $MinMem = $srv.Configuration.MinServerMemory.ConfigValue
 $RemoteDacEnabled = $srv.Configuration.RemoteDacConnectionsEnabled.ConfigValue
 $XPCmdShellEnabled = $srv.Configuration.XPCmdShellEnabled.ConfigValue

You can look for the property that you want by using the Get-Member cmdlet as shown above or use MSDN to find it starting from here or by GoogleBingDuckDuckGo ing “Powershell SMO” and the property you wish to find.

The rest of the script follows exactly the same pattern as the previous post by checking the SQL Info table for an entry for that instance and updating the table if it exists and inserting if it does not.

There are other uses for gathering this information than just for reporting on it. You can target different versions of SQL for different scripts. You can identify values that are outside what is expected and change them. If xp_cmdshell should not be enabled, write the TSQL to gather the connection string of all of the servers from the DBADatabase where the SQLInfo table has XPCMDShellenabled = 1 and loop through them exactly as above and change the value of $srv.Configuration.XPCmdShellEnabled.ConfigValue to 0 and then $Srv.Alter()

It is a very powerful way of dynamically targeting your estate if you are looking after many instances and with great power comes great responsibility.

ALWAYS TEST THESE AND ANY SCRIPTS YOU FIND OR SCRIPTS YOU WRITE BEFORE YOU RUN THEM IN YOUR PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT

Yeah, I shouted and some people thought it was rude. But its important, it needs to be repeated and drilled in so that it becomes habitual. You can do great damage to your estate with only a few lines of PowerShell and a DBA Database so please be very careful and ensure that you have a suitable test subset of servers that you can use to test

The other thing we can do is report on the data and with Power Bi we can create self service reports and dashboards and also make use of the natural language query at powerbi.com so that when your systems team ask “What are all the servers in X data center?” you can enable them to answer it themselves or when the compliance officer asks how many SQL 2005 instances do we have and which clients do they serve you can give them a dashboard they can query themselves.

This is how I create the two reports you see at the top. I start by connecting to the data source, my DBA Database

4

And I use this query

SELECT 
	IL.ServerName
	,IL.InstanceName
	  ,IL.Location
	  ,IL.Environment
	  ,IL.Inactive
	  ,IL.NotContactable
	  ,SI.[SQLInfoID]
      ,SI.[DateChecked]
      ,SI.[DateAdded]
      ,SI.[ServerName]
      ,SI.[InstanceName]
      ,SI.[SQLVersionString]
      ,SI.[SQLVersion]
      ,SI.[ServicePack]
      ,SI.[Edition]
      ,SI.[ServerType]
      ,SI.[Collation]
      ,SI.[IsHADREnabled]
      ,SI.[SQLServiceAccount]
      ,SI.[SQLService]
      ,SI.[SQLServiceStartMode]
      ,SI.[BAckupDirectory]
      ,SI.[BrowserAccount]
      ,SI.[BrowserStartMode]
      ,SI.[IsSQLClustered]
      ,SI.[ClusterName]
      ,SI.[ClusterQuorumstate]
      ,SI.[ClusterQuorumType]
      ,SI.[C2AuditMode]
      ,SI.[CostThresholdForParallelism]
      ,SI.[MaxDegreeOfParallelism]
      ,SI.[DBMailEnabled]
      ,SI.[DefaultBackupCComp]
      ,SI.[FillFactor]
      ,SI.[MaxMem]
      ,SI.[MinMem]
      ,SI.[RemoteDacEnabled]
      ,SI.[XPCmdShellEnabled]
      ,SI.[CommonCriteriaComplianceEnabled]
      ,SI.[DefaultFile]
      ,SI.[DefaultLog]
      ,SI.[HADREndpointPort]
      ,SI.[ErrorLogPath]
      ,SI.[InstallDataDirectory]
      ,SI.[InstallSharedDirectory]
      ,SI.[IsCaseSensitive]
      ,SI.[IsFullTextInstalled]
      ,SI.[LinkedServer]
      ,SI.[LoginMode]
      ,SI.[MasterDBLogPath]
      ,SI.[MasterDBPath]
      ,SI.[NamedPipesEnabled]
      ,SI.[OptimizeAdhocWorkloads]
      ,SI.[InstanceID]
      ,SI.[AGListener]
      ,SI.[AGs]
        FROM [DBADatabase].[Info].[SQLInfo] as SI
  JOIN [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList] as IL
  ON IL.InstanceID =  SI.InstanceID

So that I can easily add any and all the data to the reports if I choose or query using them in powerbi.com

First I created 3 measures.

[code 1=”=” 2=”2="2="2="""SQL""""” language=”language”]
AG = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[AGs])
Instances = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[InstanceID])
Servers = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[ServerName])

I click on map

5

And drag the location column to location and the Instances measure to both the Values and Color Saturation

6

I then click on edit and format the title and change the colours for the data

7

Next I created I heat map for Instances by Edition. The picture shows the details

8

And a column chart for Instances by Version

9

I also add a table showing the number of instances in each location and a slicer for environment.

Even though you have added one slicer, you are able to slice the data by clicking on the charts. If I click on Developer Edition I can quickly see which versions and locations they are in

10

This works for the map and the column chart as well. This has all been created using live data as a base with all identifying information altered, Bolton is where I was born and the other locations are chosen at random, all other figures and rollups have also been altered.

11

To create the other report I create two donut charts for Instances by version and by location using steps similar to my previous post and then add some tables for location, edition and xp_cmdshell enabled as well as some cards showing total numbers of Servers, Instances and Availability Groups and a slicer for environment to create a report like this, you can use the donut charts to slice the data as well

12

But there are so many different points of information gathered by this script that you get extra value using the natural language query on powerbi.com.

Click Publish and enter your powerbi.com credentials and then log into powerbi.com in a browser and you will see your report and your dataset. (Note, you can easily filter to find your dashboards, reports and data sets)

13

Click the plus sign to create a new dashboard and click the pin on any of the objects in your report to pin them to the dashboard

14

Then you can view (and share) your dashboard

15

Once you have done this you can query your data using natural language. It will cope with spelling mistakes and expects the column names so you may want to think about renaming them in your report by right clicking on them after you get your data.

You can ask it questions and build up information on the fly and alter it as you need it. As a DBA doing this and imagining enabling others to be able to ask these questions whenever they want from a browser and as many times as they like, it was very cool!

16

17

18

19

20

Pretty cool, I think you and any of your ‘requestors’ would agree

You can get all of the scripts here

I have written further posts about this

Using Power Bi with my DBA Database

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Server Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Databases

Power Bi, PowerShell and SQL Agent Jobs

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Server Info

Following my last post about using Power Bi with my DBA Database I have been asked if I would share the PowerShell scripts which I use to populate my database. They are the secondary part to my DBADatabase which I also use to automate the installation and upgrade of all of my DBA scripts as I started to blog about in this post Installing and upgrading default scripts automation – part one – Introduction which is a series I will continue later.

In this post I will show how to create the following report

1

You will find the latest version of my DBADatabase creation scripts here.

I create the following tables

dbo.ClientDatabaseLookup
dbo.Clients
dbo.InstanceList
dbo.InstanceScriptLookup
dbo.ScriptList
Info.AgentJobDetail
Info.AgentJobServer
Info.Databases
Info.Scriptinstall
Info.ServerOSInfo
Info.SQLInfo

By adding Server name, Instance Name , Port, Environment, NotContactable, and Location into the InstanceList table I can gather all of the information that I need and also easily add more information to other tables as I need to.

The not contactable column is so that I am able to add instances that I am not able to contact due to permission or environment issues. I can still gather information about them manually and add it to the table. I use the same script and change it to generate the SQL query rather than run it, save the query and then run the query manually to insert the data. This is why I have the DateAdded and Date Checked column so that I know how recent the data is. I don’t go as far as recording the change however as that will be added to a DBA-Admin database on every instance which stores every change to the instance.

The ServerOSInfo table is created like so


/****** Object: Table [Info].[ServerOSInfo]&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Script Date: 26/08/2015 19:50:38 ******/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO
CREATE TABLE [Info].[ServerOSInfo](
[ServerOSInfoID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
[DateAdded] [datetime] NULL,
[DateChecked] [datetime] NULL,
[ServerName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[DNSHostName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
[Domain] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
[OperatingSystem] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
[NoProcessors] [tinyint] NULL,
[IPAddress] [nvarchar](15) NULL,
[RAM] [int] NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK__ServerOS__50A5926BC7005F29] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED
(
[ServerOSInfoID] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]
GO

The Powershell script uses Jason Wasser @wasserja Write-Log function to write to a text file but I also  enable some logging into a new event log by following the steps here http://blogs.technet.com/b/heyscriptingguy/archive/2013/02/01/use-powershell-to-create-and-to-use-a-new-event-log.aspx to create a log named SQLAutoScript with a source SQLAUTOSCRIPT

To run the script I simply need to add the values for

$CentralDBAServer = '' ## Add the address of the instance that holds the DBADatabase
$CentralDatabaseName= 'DBADatabase' 
$LogFile = "\DBADatabaseServerUpdate_" + $Date + ".log" ## Set Path to Log File

And the script will do the rest. Call the script from a PowerShell Job Step and schedule it to run at the frequency you wish, I gather the information every week. You can get the script from here or you can read on to see how it works and how to create the report

I create a function called Catch-Block to save keystrokes and put my commands inside a try catch to make the scripts as robust as possible.

function Catch-Block{
param ([string]$Additional)
$ErrorMessage = " On $Connection " + $Additional + $_.Exception.Message + $_.Exception.InnerException.InnerException.message
$Message = " This message came from the Automated Powershell script updating the
DBA Database with Server Information"
$Msg = $Additional + $ErrorMessage + " " + $Message
Write-Log -Path $LogFile -Message $ErrorMessage -Level Error
Write-EventLog -LogName SQLAutoScript -Source "SQLAUTOSCRIPT" -EventId 1 -EntryType Error -Message $Msg
}

I give the function an additional parameter which will hold each custom error message which I write to both the event log and a text message to enable easy troubleshooting and include the message from the $Error variable by accessing it with $_. I won’t include the try catch in the examples below. I gather all of the server names from the InstanceList table and set the results to an array variable called $Servers

$AlltheServers = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $CentralDBAServer -Database $CentralDatabaseName -Query "SELECT DISTINCT [ServerName] FROM [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList] WHERE Inactive = 0 OR NotContactable = 1"
$Servers = $AlltheServers| Select ServerName -ExpandProperty ServerName

I then loop through the array and gather the information with three WMI queries.

Write-Log -Path $LogFile -Message "Gathering Info for $Server "
foreach($Server in $Servers)
{
Write-Log -Path $LogFile -Message "Gathering Info for $Servers"
$DNSHostName = 'NOT GATHERED'
$Domain = 'NOT GATHERED'
$OperatingSystem = 'NOT GATHERED'
$IP = 'NOT GATHERED'
try{
$Info = get-wmiobject win32_computersystem -ComputerName $Server -ErrorAction Stop|select DNSHostName,Domain,
@{Name="RAM";Expression={"{0:n0}" -f($_.TotalPhysicalMemory/1gb)}},NumberOfLogicalProcessors

I give the variables some default values in case they are not picked up and set the error action for the command to Stop to exit the try and the first query gathers the DNSHostName, Domain Name, the amount of RAM in GB and the number of logical processors, the second gathers the Operating System version but the third was the most interesting to do. There are many methods of gathering the IP Address using powershell and I tried a few of them before finding one that would work with all of the server versions that I had in my estate but the one that worked remotely the best for me and this is a good point to say that this works in my lab and in my shop but may not nessacarily work in yours, so understand, check and test this and any other script that you find on the internet before you let them anywhere near your production environment.

Unfortunately the one that worked everywhere remotely errored with the local server so I added a check to see if the server name in the variable matches the global environment variable of Computer Name

$OS =&nbsp; gwmi Win32_OperatingSystem&nbsp; -ComputerName $Server| select @{name='Name';Expression={($_.caption)}} 
if($Server -eq $env:COMPUTERNAME)
{$IP = (Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $Server -class win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter 'ipenabled = "true"' -ErrorAction Stop).ipaddress[0] }
else {$IP = [System.Net.Dns]::GetHostAddresses($Server).IPAddressToString }
Write-Log -Path $LogFile -Message "WMI Info gathered for $Server "

Once I have all of the information I check if the server already exists in the ServerOs table and choose to either insert or update.

	$Exists = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $CentralDBAServer -Database $CentralDatabaseName -Query "SELECT [ServerName] FROM [DBADatabase].[Info].[ServerOSInfo] WHERE ServerName = '$Server'"
	
	if ($Exists)
	{
	$Query = @"
	UPDATE [Info].[ServerOSInfo]
	   SET [DateChecked] = GetDate()
	      ,[ServerName] = '$Server'
	      ,[DNSHostName] = '$DNSHostName'
	      ,[Domain] = '$Domain'
	      ,[OperatingSystem] = '$OperatingSystem'
	      ,[NoProcessors] = '$NOProcessors'
	      ,[IPAddress] = '$IP'
	      ,[RAM] = '$RAM'
	WHERE ServerName = '$Server'
	"@
	}
	else
	{
	$Query = @"
	INSERT INTO [Info].[ServerOSInfo]
	           ([DateChecked]
	           ,[DateAdded
	           ,[ServerName]
	           ,[DNSHostName]
	           ,[Domain]
	           ,[OperatingSystem]
	           ,[NoProcessors]
	           ,[IPAddress]
	           ,[RAM])
	     VALUES
	   ( GetDate()
	      ,GetDate()
	      ,'$Server'
	      ,'$DNSHostName'
	      ,'$Domain'
	      ,'$OperatingSystem'
	      ,'$NoProcessors'
	      ,'$IP'
	      ,'$RAM')
	"@
	}
	Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $CentralDBAServer -Database $CentralDatabaseName -Query $Query
	

And that’s it. Now if you wish to gather different data about your servers then you can examine the data available to you by

get-wmiobject Win32_OperatingSystem -ComputerName $Server | Get-Member
get-wmiobject win32_computersystem -ComputerName $Server | Get-Member

If you find something that you want to gather you can then add the property to the script and gather that information as well, make sure that you add the column to the table and to both the insert and update statements in the PowerShell Script

Creating the report in Power Bi

All data shown in the examples below has been generated from real-life data but all identifiable data has been altered or removed. I was born in Bolton and SQL SouthWest is based in Exeter 🙂

Open Power Bi Desktop and click get data. Add the connection details for your DBA Database server and database and add the query

	SELECT SOI.[ServerOSInfoID]
	      ,SOI.[DateChecked]
	      ,SOI.[ServerName]
	      ,SOI.[DNSHostName]
	      ,SOI.[Domain]
	      ,SOI.[OperatingSystem]
	      ,SOI.[NoProcessors]
	      ,SOI.[IPAddress]
	      ,SOI.[RAM]
	,IL.ServerName
	,IL.InstanceName
		  ,IL.Location
		  ,IL.Environment
		  ,IL.Inactive
		  ,IL.NotContactable
	        FROM [DBADatabase].[Info].[ServerOSInfo] as SOI
	  JOIN [dbo].[InstanceList] as IL
	  ON IL.ServerName =  SOI.[ServerName]
	

2

Create a new column for the Operating Edition by clicking data on the left and using this code as described in my previous post

Operating System Edition = SWITCH([OperatingSystem], "Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Datacenter", "DataCenter",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard","Standard",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter", "DataCenter",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard", "Standard",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise", "Enterprise",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Standard", "Standard",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise","Enterprise",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Standard Edition", "Standard",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Enterprise Edition", "Enterprise",
"Microsoft Windows 2000 Server", "Server 2000",
"Unknown")

And one for OS Version using this code

OS Version = SWITCH([OperatingSystem], "Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Datacenter", "Server 2012",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard","Server 2012",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter", "Server 2012 R2",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard", "Server 2008 R2",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2", "Server 2008 R2",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise", "Server 2008 R2",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Standard", "Server 2008",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise","Server 2008",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Standard Edition", "Server 2003",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Enterprise Edition", "Server 2003",
"Microsoft Windows 2000 Server", "Server 2000",
"Unknown")

I also created a new measure to count the distinct number of servers and instances as follows

Servers = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[Servers Name])
Instances = COUNT(Query1[Instance])

Then in the report area I start by creating a new text box and adding a title to the report and setting the page level filter to InActive is false so that all decommissioned servers are not included

3

I then create a donut chart for the number of servers by Operating System by clicking the donut chart in the visualisations and then dragging the OS version to the Details and the Servers Name to the Values

4

I then click the format button and added a proper title and the background colour

5

Then create the server numbers by location in the same way by clicking donut chart and adding location and count of server names and adding the formatting in the same way as the previous donut

6

I created a number of charts to hold single values for Domain, Instance, Server, RAM, Processors and the number of Not Contactable to provide a quick easy view of those figures, especially when you filter the report by clicking on a value within the donut chart. I find that managers really like this feature. They are all created in the same way by clicking the card in the visualisation and choosing the value

7

I also add a table for the number of servers by operating system and the number of servers by location by dragging those values to a table visualisation. I find that slicers are very useful ways of enabling information to be displayed as required, use the live visualisation to do this, I add the environment column to slice so that I can easily see values for the live environment or the development environment

I create a separate page in the report to display all of the server data as this can be useful for other teams such as the systems (server admin) team. I give them a lot of different slicers : – Domain, Location, Environment, OS Version, Edition and NotContactable with a table holding all of the relevant values to enable them to quickly see details

8

You can get all of the scripts here

I have written further posts about this

Using Power Bi with my DBA Database

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Server Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Databases

Power Bi, PowerShell and SQL Agent Jobs

 

Using Power Bi with my DBA Database

Every good DBA should have a DBA database. A place to store information about all of their instances and databases.

I have an InstanceList table which looks like this

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[InstanceList](
[InstanceID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
[ServerName] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
[InstanceName] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
[Port] [int] NOT NULL,
[AG] [bit] NULL,
[Inactive] [bit] NULL CONSTRAINT [DF_InstanceList_Inactive] DEFAULT ((0)),
[Environment] [nvarchar](25) NULL,
[Location] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK_InstanceList_ID] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED
(
[InstanceID] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]

I use this as the basis for all of my information gathering. By adding Server name, Instance Name , Port, Environment and Location to the table I use overnight Agent jobs to run Powershell scripts to gather information about all of the instances. This way the information is dynamic and gathered from the server, so when we add RAM and change Max memory this is updated the next time the script runs. You can also automate your installation and decommission procedures (using Powershell scripts) to add the information to the DBA database automatically

I have 4 scripts

  • ServerInfo which gathers Windows OS information such as Version and edition of the operating system, number of processors,amount of RAM, IP address, domain name etc
  • SQLInfo which gathers information about the instance such as SQL version, edition, collation, max and min memory, MAXDOP , service accounts and start modes, default file locations etc
  • Database information such as size, data usage, index usage, last backup dates, owner and many more
  • Agent Job which gathers the outcome of the jobs that have run, their names, category into two tables one for a server rollup and one for details about each job

Recently I have received a lot of requests for information from various sources, auditors asking about encryption and backup policies, Project managers asking about database and sql versions, compliance asking about numbers of Windows 2003 servers or SQL 2005 servers, system teams asking which serves in a particular location can be turned off at which time dependant on which system they are supporting for a power down

Before we had the DBA database holding all of the information about the instances we would have struggled to be able to compile this information and when I saw Power Bi was released to GA I thought that it would be a good place to start to learn about it. By using data that I understood and answering questions that I knew the format of the answer I could be more confident about experimenting – ie. if I know I have 100 servers then any result for servers that exceeds that is incorrect

I have never been a BI guy, I claim no expertise in the correct methods of manipulating the data. There may very well be better methods of achieving these results and if there please feel free to comment below so that I can improve my knowledge and keep on learning

All data shown in the examples below has been generated from real-life data but all identifiable data has been altered or removed. I have no servers in Bolton, it is where I am from originally!!

I downloaded Power BI Desktop from powerbi.com and ran the installer and the first screen you see is this one

1

I then clicked on Get Data

2

And then SQL Server and filled in the details for my DBA Database and clicked connect

3

I used my current Windows credentials

4

It then asked me which tables I wanted to load so I said all of them 🙂

5

Once I had loaded the data I looked at the queries and renamed some of the columns to make more sense to me. I also created some calculated columns by clicking New Column

I created a relative date column using this code from Chris Webb http://blog.crossjoin.co.uk/2013/01/24/building-relative-date-reports-in-powerpivot/

Relative Date Offset=INT([Date] – TODAY()
Relative Date=IF([Relative Date Offset]=0
, "Today"
, "Today " & IF([Relative Date Offset]>0, "+", "") & [Relative Date Offset])

This will enable me to show data for the last day

I also did the same for days of the week

DayOfWeek = CONCATENATE(WEEKDAY('Info AgentJobDetail'[LastRunTime],2),FORMAT('InfoAgentJobDetail'[LastRunTime]," -dddd"))

Because I struggled to show the information about the Operating system I also created two columns for OS name and OS edition by adding columns as shown below

Operating System Version = SWITCH('Info ServerOSInfo'[OperatingSystem], "Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Datacenter", "Server 2012",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard","Server 2012",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter", "Server 2012 R2",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard", "Server 2008 R2",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2", "Server 2008 R2",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise", "Server 2008 R2",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Standard", "Server 2008",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise","Server 2008",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Standard Edition", "Server 2003",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Enterprise Edition", "Server 2003",
"Microsoft Windows 2000 Server", "Server 2000",
"Unknown")

And

Operating System Edition = SWITCH('Info ServerOSInfo'[OperatingSystem], "Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Datacenter", "DataCenter",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard","Standard",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter", "DataCenter",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard", "Standard",
"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise", "Enterprise",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Standard", "Standard",
"Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise","Enterprise",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Standard Edition", "Standard",
"Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Server 2003, Enterprise Edition", "Enterprise",
"Microsoft Windows 2000 Server", "Server 2000",
"Unknown")

Then I started to play with the data.

This is probably not how a professional would phrase it but I would say that if you don’t know how to use a new application be brave and give it a try.

OBVIOUSLY you are a PROFESSIONAL DBA and will not do anything that would endanger production, use a backup of your database and work locally if you need to.

The first thing I wanted to know was how many servers I had by operating system, how many by SQL version and the location of them so that I could answer the questions I had been asked. I had already written a query to get the correct information to give to the requestors so I knew the correct answers which was also an advantage. I did this like this

I expanded the Info ServerOSInfo query and dragged the ServerName field to the report which created a table of names

6

I then changed the ServerName values to Count

7

I then dragged the calculated column Operating System Version to the table

8

If I click on the table and then donut chart in the visualisations it changes to

9

So you can quickly see how you want the data displayed

I then decided to look at the number of SQL 2005 instances that I had and as I had relationships between SQLInfo and Instancelist and Clients I could build a more dynamic report.

I created a donut chart with SQLVersion as the legend and InstanceID as the values and a table of SQLVersion, ServerName and Instance Name. I also created a card that was count of InstanceID

10

Now it starts getting really useful. If I want to know how many SQL 2005 instances I have I simply click on SQL2005 in the donut chart and the rest of the report changes

11

This is very cool and I hope you can see how useful this could be and how brilliant it would be to enable relevant people within the organisation the ability to look at that report and answer their own questions.

Lets take it to the next step. I have a location column in the InstanceList table which comprises of town names. If I choose a map and drag that column to the Location field and set Values and Color Saturation to the Count of InstanceID

12

and create two tables one of client with a count of instanceid and one location with a count of instance id I can do this

13

Look at how it dynamically changes as you click on the data labels – This is very cool and makes me smile every time!! I altered the colour saturation colours to make it easier to see. Now if I am asked about SQL 2005 servers I can quickly click on SQL 2005 and

14

I can see that there are 32 instances, most are in Southampton, and which clients they support

If I click a location rather than SQL version the report alters like so

15

So you can simply pass the report file to your colleagues to enable them to use it or you can publish it to Powerbi.com. I am not going to go into any detail about the costs or licensing etc I will just say it is as easy as clicking publish. If you wish to have the information automatically refreshed there are some more steps that you would need to go through which are detailed here which enable you to connect your on-premise database to Powerbi using the data management gateway, alternatively you can simply refresh the data in the report and then publish it and replace the existing report.

Once the report is in powerbi.com you can enable Q and A on the data. This is some kind of supernatural mystical magical query language which enables you to query your data with natural language and will alter the results as you type and even cope with (deliberate for screenshot) spelling mistakes 🙂

16

I also created a report for my Agent Jobs to enable me to quickly and easily see which Jobs have failed in the last day

17

I did this by filtering the report by Relative Date Offset greater than -1 (today) and isenabled = True and Outcome = Failed

There are many many more ways I can see this being useful and I hope I have given you some ideas and encouraged you to try for yourself and find out more

I have written further posts about this

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Server Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Databases

Power Bi, PowerShell and SQL Agent Jobs