Singapore NUS buys into Microsoft’s big data vision

I have been working with Jeffery Tay from NUS on various projects. Just like to share the news release about NUS embracing SQL and Big Data capabilities.

Singapore NUS buys into Microsoft’s big data vision

SINGAPORE–The National University of Singapore (NUS) today announced the successful implementation of SQL Server 2012 to give employees in its Centre for Instructional Technology (CIT) the ability to run hypotheses and validate IT proposals on a self-service basis.
This, in turn, empowered the team to better deliver content and services to the student population via its learning management system–the Integrated Virtual Learning Environment (IVLE), according to Jeffery Tay, associate director of CIT at NUS.
In a briefing session Tuesday, Tay revealed the CIT had started thinking about big data implementation in 2010 and when it finally deployed its IT system in 2011, the IVLE usage dashboard was “static, basic and liable to data corruption”. It also needed the IT team to be heavily involved in re-configuring the dashboard as and when there were new information added to it, he said, adding the system took some two years to set up and be fully functional.
By contrast, the implementation of Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012 took between three to six months, he revealed. Besides cutting down on time, the Power View dashboard for IVLE usage was significantly improved in that it was easily understood, configurable and managed almost entirely by end-users, he said.
This then allows the team to run their hypotheses and back these up with concrete proposals to improve the IVLE platform, Tay added. For instance, the previous analytics dashboard did not show mobile usage among NUS’ student population. With the new dashboard, CIT found out that content consumption and usage were increasingly done via mobile devices running on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, he said.
Backed up by hard data, the CIT was able to justify the need to create native mobile apps for the two platform, as well as a video delivery program for course content to Android mobile devices , the executive said.
Additionally, as part of its 2015 IT roadmap, CIT aims to use Microsoft’s big data analytics tool to better monitor student usage of IVLE such as whether they are using it in school or at home, and to better personalize the ways students learn, Tay said.


Updated Gartner Chart for SQL 2012–BI and Data Warehouse

Updated in Feb 2013


Updated in Jan 2013


For those of you looking into using SQL 2013 for Academic Analytics, just a simple liner. Smile If you intend to do Acad Analytics, which is a big part of the work I’m doing at my customer location in Singapore. We are able to use SQL, completed a POC and Pilot. It allowed our customer to lower attrition rate by bringing up important information and allowing us to find patterns.

I can’t reveal too much, as the project isn’t complete, but if you like to know, write to me.

Most importantly, buying SQL 2012, you get both functions in a single product. You do not have to purchase add on modules, or anything, you buy SQL, you get BI and Data Warehouse functionality.

If you’re an academic customer of Microsoft, these are available at really low costs. If you are based in Singapore, contact me.


Catching up with SQL Server 2008 R2

My first brush with SQL was in 1996, with SQL 6.5. It was known as the “mickey mouse” database for some reasons i couldn’t understand then (well, i was still a student u know). I had huge respects for DBA (Database Administrators) and earned my first DBA Certification (MCDBA) from Microsoft in 2002. And subsequently upgraded my certifications several rounds.

Yes, i’m on my next round of certification updates. This time i’m eyeing on SQL Server 2008 R2. From a simple database server to now, it has grown so much (Felt like my brains are swelling from picking it up).

I just wanted to share a very cool set of resources that i picked up on Channel 9. It is a Developers Training Course for SQL Server 2008 R2. Supposedly to be meant for developers, but i felt IT Pros benefits from understanding the information too. (Warning to IT Pros: Might be a bit too developer focused. Good for DBAs to know the capabilities).

To make it easy, i’m listing the topics here. But do visit the main page for a collection;

SGSQLUG Sharing on Reporting Services in Apr 09

Topic: SQL Server Reporting Services
Speaker: Alvin Lau

Venue: Level 21, One Marina Boulevard
Date: 30 April 2009
Time: Registration starts at 6:30, session starts promptly at 7PM
Ever felt that SSRS is behaving slightly below your (or your customer’s) expectations? Come and join me in sharing some of the ‘better’ practices of using SSRS. Don’t just listen to me, chip in with your very own good practices, tips or tricks.


Want your PHP scripts to connect to SQL 2005??

Now you can. Microsoft has released a SQL 2005 Driver for PHP CTP.

It is a PHP5 extension that allows you to read and write information/data to a SQL Server 2005 from within PHP Scripts. Isn’t that good, one more choice of database for PHP users.

To get it, download from here, Get SQL 2005 Driver for PHP.

Also, IIS7 in Windows Server 2008 is also able to support PHP. Which means, users of PHP now has a new hosting choice (IIS7) and a new database source (SQL 2005).

Another good news for the ability to inter-operate.


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SQL 2005 SP2 offers Unlimited Virtual Licenses

I know, this may be outdated news. But I think its really good that SQL 2005 SP2 now permits unlimited Virtual Licenses.

New Features of SQL 2005 Service Pack 2

Download SQL 2005 SP2