I’m Baaaack …

What a great week. The weather was nice, but the training was GREAT. It is always amazing how you go somewhere for training on one thing and pick up other things that really help in other areas. We had noticed that our system had been slowing down over time and nothing seemed to help. I was talking to another IT Manager that is running the same ERP release that we are on who was having the same problem earlier this year. She mentioned a few undocumented settings that she found out about through tech support. I tried the changes on our sandbox and got about a 40% increase in speed. When your nightly processing takes almost six hours that is huge. Once I applied the changes to the live system we saw about a 25% increase. The lower return on the live system most likely had to do with the fact that it is running on much better hardware so it was taking a smaller performance hit that the sandbox. I will still take a 25% increase for three hours worth of work on a Sunday.

I did also learn quite a bit about Reporting Services and have to say that I am impressed with it. I’m not sure if I like it more than Crystal Reports, but you can do a lot with it and it is free if you are using Microsoft SQL Server. I started translating some of our custom reports that we have build over the year to Reporting Services. One of the things that are going to bite about the new version is that they have moved all of the support databases into SQL Server. They used to keep all the sales reporting data in a Microsoft Access database that will no longer be available in the new version. We have about 125 custom reports build using just this one database that needs to be updated to work with SQL Server. They have provided a tool to move this database into SQL Server with our current version and keep it updated with the Access database while you are working on updating all your reports.

Well this should be fun working on these things over the next several months.

Off to San Antonio …

I’m leaving for San Antonio tomorrow for some training. The ERP system that we are using is moving all of it reporting and printing functions into Microsoft Reporting Services with its next release. Reporting Services has been free with Microsoft SQL Server since SQL Server 2000. We will be moving to the next release early next year so I am going to San Antonio for a week for training on the new version and to get a crash, hopefully not a real crash, course in Reporting Services. I have poked around in Reporting Services a little bit, but I have not done enough with it to say that I really understand it.

This should be fun.