How To: Get data from OLAP cubes

cuberubikToday I had to read some data from different OLAP cubes and show this information in our application. This could be accomplished using ADOMD.NET client library, which is the multidimensional equivalent to the ADO.NET libraries.

This library provides a set of classes (Connections, Commands and Readers) that allows developers to connect, query and get data from these multidimensional sources in the same way the classical ADO.NET library does.

Maybe the easiest way to read data is using the class AdomdDataReader. This object retrieves a read-only, forward-only, flattened stream of data from an analytical data source, and also implements the IDataReader interface (like the good-old DataReader).

In non dynamic scenarios, we developers, tend to use ORMs like NHibertate, EF or Dapper (my favorite), to translate data from our models to classes. But these ORMs doesn’t support multidimensional sources, because after all, they are only supersets or extensions of the ADO.NET model and are based on this existing object model.

So, our goal here will be replicate in a multidimensional environment the way Dapper allows you to connect to a server, read some data and (the most important part) return these data as a typed List<T> of objects.

Let’s see how it works before dig into the details:

First of all we have a SQL script that returns some sample data of 3 different measures year by year (gains in period, gains year-to-date and the amount of money).

mddata

And we’d like to translate these data into a generic List of my own DTO:

Notice that in C# properties can not contain spaces so we previously have to ‘map’ the DataReader column names into valid property names. The trick here is create an attribute for decorating each property with the equivalent column name in the reader.

The magic here is inside the generic Query<T> Method. This method is just an extension method of the AdomdConnection object (Dapper style) and it’s mission will be:

  1. Replace the parameters in the command string “…Where ({ @PortfolioId })”
  2. Execute the command against a valid connection
  3. Transform the returned IDataReader into a List<MyResultDTO>

We’ll focus on the third one. Let’s create another extension method of the IDataReader interface. OMG! Code on interfaces? Yes… I’ll burn in hell, I know it… :D

This is the extension method with some auxiliary functions:

EDIT (2018-12-11) : Added custom attribute to the post, used to decorate our DTO.

As you can see the method iterates over the reader’s data and uses reflection to create an object per each row, map each column’s value to the correct property and then add the new object to the returned collection (*). Easy!

adomd_result

(*) image courtesy of oz-code, the best debugger addin for visual studio #imho ;)

Hope this helps! ;)

Upgrade SQL Server Assemblies .NET version

(This is a personal post, just a reminder)

note-to-self

Damn! :/

Each time a new version of .NET Framework is installed (or upgraded) in our SQL Server I need to update some assemblies we’re using in some projects.

Related posts

HowTo: Send Notifications from SQL Server using SignalR

HowTo: Redeploy CLR assemblies to SQL Server (Newtonsoft.Json version issue)

The issue

Executing the send message to hub stored procedure throws an exception:

EXEC clr.SendMessageToHub 'http://THESERVER:8082', 'NotificationsHub','SendMessageNotification', @jsonmsg

‘Could not load file or assembly ‘System.Runtime.Serialization, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089′ or one of its dependencies. Assembly in host store has a different signature than assembly in GAC.

Solution (it works for me):

1 – Remove clr stored procedure

2 – Remove assemblies (removing Falcon_SqlProxy should remove other dependences, if not, remove manually)

3 – Go to the GAC folder.: C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\assembly\GAC_MSIL

4 – Find the assemblies (in this case only ‘System.Runtime.Serialization.dll and System.Neh.Http.dll were needed) and copy them to the SQL Assemblies folder (C:\Falcon\SqlServerAssemblies)

5 – Create assembly Falcon_SqlProxy again:

CREATE ASSEMBLY Falcon_SqlProxy from
 'C:\Falcon\SqlServerAssemblies\Falcon.NotificationsClient.SqlProxy.dll'
WITH PERMISSION_SET = UNSAFE

6 – Create clr stored procedure again:

CREATE PROCEDURE [clr].[SendMessageToHub]
 @url [NCHAR](125),
 @hubName [NCHAR](75),
 @hubMethod [NCHAR](75),
 @message [NVARCHAR](MAX)
WITH EXECUTE AS CALLER
AS
EXTERNAL NAME [Falcon_SqlProxy].[Falcon.NotificationsClient.SqlProxy.SqlServerNotificationsClientService].[SendMessageToHub]
GO

7 – Check if SP is working:

DECLARE @jsonmsg VARCHAR(MAX)
SET @jsonmsg = '{"message": "GenerateProposalProgress", "description": "Resolving Portfolios", "userid": "' +
 REPLACE(ORIGINAL_LOGIN(), '\', '\\') +
 '", "formName" : "Falcon.Client.Strategies.Proposals.Forms.ObjectSelectorForm", "value" : '
 + CAST(5 AS VARCHAR(MAX)) +'}'
EXEC clr.SendMessageToHub 'http://elsuper:8082', 'NotificationsHub','SendMessageNotification', @jsonmsg

Hope this helps to my future me :P


Note: Today (12/07/2017) after moving some databases to other disks I had to do it again, so I’ve discovered other related issue.

It seems sometimes the USER SID changes after a backup/restore and throws an error:

The database owner SID recorded in the master database differs from the database owner SID recorded in database ‘Falcon’. You should correct this situation by resetting the owner of database ‘Falcon’ using the ALTER AUTHORIZATION statement.

So, before create the assemblies you (I mean me) you’ll need to change the database owner to sa.


EXEC sp_changedbowner 'sa'

ALTER DATABASE [database_name] SET TRUSTWORTHY ON
exec sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

exec sp_configure 'clr enabled', 1;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

exec sp_configure 'show advanced options', 0;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

HowTo: Redeploy CLR assemblies to SQL Server (Newtonsoft.Json version issue)

 

sr

The Story

Hi again,

Some time ago I published a post about how to send notifications from SQL Server using SignalR. We are using SignalR self-hosted in a Windows Service in a separated server, and it had been running fine until now.

This week I had to set up a new SQL server which will replace the old one, which will replace the current ‘preprod’ one, and (entering recursive mode…).

After configuring the new SQL Server settings, I tried to update the previously imported assemblies to the database to the latest versions I’m currently using in the .NET project (Newtonsoft.Json & Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Client).

References map:

  • MyAssembly
    • Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Client
      • Newtonsoft.Json

As you can see, the app references the SignalR client, which references Newtonsoft dll.

So, in order to redeploy the assemblies it’s necessary to:

  • Remove all the CLR Stored Procedures that are using these assemblies, otherwise you cannot delete the assemblies.
  • Remove the main assembly and then all its dependencies in the correct order (Note: It’s not necessary to remove Framework assemblies if it’s not changed).
  • At this point you’ll be able to create the assembly again via CREATE ASSEMBLY
CREATE ASSEMBLY Falcon_SqlProxy FROM
'C:\Falcon\SqlServerAssemblies\Falcon.NotificationsClient.SqlProxy.dll'
WITH PERMISSION_SET = UNSAFE

All dependent assemblies will be created again in the database (in this case Newtonsoft.Json & Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Client). Easy…

BOOM!

However, when tried to import the assembly to SQL Server I’ve got this error:

“Assembly ‘Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Client’ references assembly ‘newtonsoft.json, version=6.0.0.0, culture=neutral, publickeytoken=XXXXXXXXX.’, which is not present in the current database. SQL Server attempted to locate and automatically load the referenced assembly from the same location where referring assembly came from, but that operation has failed (reason: version, culture or public key mismatch). Please load the referenced assembly into the current database and retry your request.”

I decided to import the assemblies one by one, from down to top.

Firstly I imported Newtonsoft.Json with no problems, but when I tried to import the SignalR client I received this error:

ie1

It seems a versions issue, because I’ve imported Newtonsoft.Json version 9, not 6! Let’s see what’s in the assemblies view:

select * from sys.assemblies

ie2

It’s correct. I’ve imported version 9 of the library… so why the hell SQL is looking for version 6? Well, if you inspect Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Client you’ll see that this library has a reference to Newtonsoft.Json version 6.0.0.0 :S

ie3

This version number is used to determine the minimum version number (the library won’t work with previous versions), but it seems SQL Server is trying to match this version number with the assembly version number in its catalog, and if the number is different is unable to import the assembly.

If I’m wrong, please correct me! Thx :)

Solution?

After spending some hours trying different solutions , the only way to solve that -at this time- is register a previous version of Newtonsoft.Json instead of the latest one.

Any version? Nope.

The only version it worked for me is 6.0.8, previous ‘6’ versions didn’t work because of this error:

“‘Method not found: ‘Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JValue Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JValue.CreateNull()’.'”

Finally, once I’ve copied the 6.0.8 version of the Newtonsoft.Json to the server path the import process has worked like a charm.

ie4

Now I’m looking for a better solution, because I don’t like using old versions of assemblies. I will update this post with a better solution as soon as possible :D

In the meanwhile, hope this helps.

HowTo: Send Notifications from SQL Server using SignalR

sr

Overview

In our current project we’ve to push some notifications directly from the database server (SQL Server 2014) to different apps. For example, we’ve scheduled some SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) projects that pre-calculates large amounts of data. And well, should be nice notify all the apps when new data is available without unnecessary round trips to database. And you know? we’re already using SignalR in our apps… so, why not try to build a lightweight client for sending SignalR notifications?

Dear architects, please, don’t judge me :P

The idea

  1. I finally decided to create a small project in C# that connects to our SignalR (which is self-hosted in a Windows Service). That project contains a single method for sending notifications with a message (just a string for simplify).
  2. Once the project is ready and tested, the next step is create an ASSEMBLY, that is, a module that contains class metadata and managed code as an object in an instance of SQL Server. By referencing this module, common language runtime (CLR) functions, stored procedures, triggers, user-defined aggregates, and user-defined types can be created in the database.
  3. And finally, create a Stored Procedure that use our previous assembly CLR function (for isolation purposes and decoupling), and then use it in our SSIS projects with a simply ‘Execute SQL Task‘ when the process finalizes.

Creating the C# project

Create a blank class Library project and add the SignalR client (Nuget will add depending assemblies -like Newtonsoft.Json- automatically)

addSignalRClient

Once we added SignalR Client references to the project we need to create the C# method, so let’s add a class item to the project with this code:

public class SqlServerNotificationsClientService
{
    internal static HubConnection hubConnection = null;
    internal static IHubProxy hubProxy = null;
    [SqlFunction()]
    public static void SendMessageToHub(
        string severURL, string hubName, string hubMethod, params object[] args)
    {
        try
        {
            if (hubConnection == null || isConnectionClosed())
                hubConnection = new HubConnection(severURL.Trim()) 
                { Credentials = CredentialCache.DefaultNetworkCredentials };
            if (hubProxy == null || isConnectionClosed())
                hubProxy = hubConnection.CreateHubProxy(hubName.Trim());
            if (isConnectionClosed())
                hubConnection.Start().Wait();
            if(args.Length == 0)
                hubProxy.Invoke(hubMethod.Trim()).Wait();
            else
                hubProxy.Invoke(hubMethod.Trim(), args).Wait();
        }
        catch (Exception exc)
        {
            SqlContext.Pipe.Send(string.Format("{0}.{1} error: '{2}'{3}", 
                hubName.Trim(), hubMethod.Trim(), exc.Message, Environment.NewLine));
        }
    }

    private static bool isConnectionClosed()
    {
        return !(hubConnection.State == ConnectionState.Connected
            || hubConnection.State == ConnectionState.Reconnecting
            || hubConnection.State == ConnectionState.Connecting);
    }
}

Note: Before continue, take a look to the last parameter ‘args’. This parameter allows you to pass a different number of arguments to this method, which is nice because when we invoke the hub’s method we can use the same argument type. Unfortunately this argument type is not compatible with SQL CRL and will crash when creating the Stored Procedure in the database :( So we need to change this argument to a simple string.

This code is just an example, maybe would be a better idea split it into different methods (remember the ‘S’ of SOLID?) :)

Let’s assume the code is ok and is able to connect and send the notification. Now…

Create the SQL Assembly

In order to deploy your assemblies to a SQL Server you need the same version of the .NET Framework installed on the server. Yep, it’s too obvious but…

Create a folder in the server called ‘C:\SQLServerAssemblies’ (or wherever you want) and copy all the assemblies generated by the previous project.

signalRClientBaseAssemblies

But we’ve not finished yet… Now we’ve to add some related assemblies (assemblies dependencies). Otherwise, assembly creation will fail.

signalRClientFullListAssemblies

You can find these assemblies in the same server, in the correct version of .NET Framework. In my case:

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319 -> Microsoft Framework 4.5

Once we’ve all the necessary assemblies copied, let’s create the assembly. First we need to activate some things in the server:

ALTER DATABASE Falcon SET trustworthy ON

exec sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

exec sp_configure 'clr enabled', 1;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

exec sp_configure 'show advanced options', 0;
GO
RECONFIGURE;
GO

CREATE ASSEMBLY Falcon_SqlProxy from 
  'C:\SQLServerAssemblies\Falcon.NotificationsClient.SqlProxy.dll' 
WITH PERMISSION_SET = UNSAFE 


signalRSqlAssemblies

Yes! Assemblies created successfully in SQL Server ;)

Creating the SP

Finally we only need to create the Stored Procedure. I recommend you use a custom schema. I’ve created one called ‘clr’

CREATE PROCEDURE clr.SendMessageToHub
@url nchar(125) ,
@hubName nchar(75),
@hubMethod NCHAR(75),
@message NVARCHAR(MAX)
AS
EXTERNAL NAME [Falcon_SqlProxy].[Falcon.NotificationsClient.SqlProxy.SqlServerNotificationsClientService].SendMessageToHub

Remember the note? Have you changed the last argument of the method  SendMessageToHub to a string?

If you did it and copied all the assemblies to the folder it should have worked like a charm ;)

Now it’s time to test our SP… Success!

signalR_SPOk

Bonus:

If you wanna use this SP from a SSIS project to send notifications to your apps, just add a Execute SQL Task to your project and configure the SQL statement:

signalRExecuteSQLTask

Hope this helps! :)

Curiosity: What happens if you remove all the Trim() in the c# code? Why connection to SignalR fails? ;)

See you,

How to: Server Side Filter database (Entity Framework + DevExpress Filter control)

Imagine you have a table with millions of rows. It’s not a good idea showing all these data in a grid or similar, and it doesn’t matter you’re developing a web or desktop application… It’s not a good idea at all.

In these cases we should use conditional filters applied in the data source (usually a database) to get part of the information and return only the rows that match with the specified criteria. Using this technique the amount of network traffic could be reduced to a hundreds of rows or less, depending on the criteria.

There are different ways of accomplish that, but today I’d like to focus on apply this technique using a control from the DevExpress suite: The Filter Editor control.

DXFilterControl

 

As you can see the control looks nice, and it’s quite simple to use: You just need to link this control to another (usually a Grid or Tree), and automatically will retrieve the columns and values information from the source control. Then you’ll be able to filter the linked control and get a filter string which you can reuse later in other controls of the suite.

However the previous filter has the disadvantage that is a client filter, and is applied after we retrieve all the rows from the data source, not before. Our goal have to be apply the filter before getting the information.

Today I’ve been playing a little bit with this control, using a SQL Server database that contains a products table with 3.7 million rows and Entity Framework 6.0 as an ORM.

Note: For this test I’d like to use a SQL Tabled-Valued Function to access the data instead of using the default DbSet, because it’s supposed that I’ve to do some hard calculations inside the function. But you can also use the EF DbSet directly, as usual.

EFModel

Now our goal here is:

  1. Create at runtime a filter over the Products table using the filter control.
  2. Parse that filter string and adapt it to the EF syntax.
  3. Append the filter to the mapped function (thx to IQueryable!) before execution.
  4. Finally, execute the filtered query against the data source

First we need to add an EF designer (we won’t use Code First because we’re going to map a Tabled valued function with is not supported). And add the table Products and the GetAllProducts function.

In our form, we just need to add a couple of Devexpress controls: A GridControl and a FilterControl, linked using the FilterControl SourceControl property (this allows the filter control to retrieve the names and data types of the grid columns).

DynamicFiltersEF

Then we’ll add three buttons. The first one will retrieve the first 25.000 rows from the database (previously I’ve tried to get all rows from table, but the app crashed with an OutOfMemory exception ;))

The second button (this is the interesting one) will execute the current filter from the FilterControl.

Let’s code:

The first button is really simple. It’s just a query over the GetAllProducts function adding a where clause which will be resolved later (because EF is based on IQueryable<T>) when calling ToListAsync method.

private async void simpleButton1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    using (var context = new TestBigDbEntities())
    {
        var filteredproducts = context.GetAllProducts().Where(p => p.ProductId <= 25000);
        await ExecuteQueryAsync(filteredproducts);
    }
}

private async Task ExecuteQueryAsync(IQueryable filteredProducts)
{
    clock.Restart();
    productBindingSource.DataSource = await filteredProducts.ToListAsync();
    clock.Stop();
    Text = clock.ElapsedMilliseconds.ToString("n2");
}

For the second button we need something more. Something that allows us to translate the filter into a valid where clause, and append it to the function.  The good news are that this functionality is provided natively by Devexpress:

private async void simpleButton2_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    var converter = new DevExpress.Data.Linq.CriteriaToEFExpressionConverter();
    using (var context = new TestBigDbEntities())
    {
        var filteredproducts =
                DevExpress.Data.Linq.Helpers.CriteriaToQueryableExtender.AppendWhere(
                context.GetAllProducts(),
                converter,
                filterControl1.FilterCriteria);
        await ExecuteQueryAsync(filteredproducts);
    }
}

All we’ve to do is that:

Clean and simple. The first one creates a converter for translating the filter into EF syntax, while the second one appends the filter to the EF function using the previous converter.
And finally, here’s the SQL in the profiler. Exactly what I’ve expected.

SQLProfiler

So well… if you’re using Devexpress in your current project there’re no excuses for not including dynamic filters that user can save and reuse at runtime, uh? :P

Happy coding!

Bonus

The third button code shows how to get the TSQL syntax from the Filter control, that you can use it to query the database directly ;)

private void simpleButton3_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    var tsql = DevExpress.Data.Filtering.CriteriaToWhereClauseHelper.
        GetMsSqlWhere(filterControl1.FilterCriteria);
    MessageBox.Show(tsql);
}

BonusTSQLFilter

Using ASP.NET Membership in SQL Azure

The scenario:

Sometimes we forget SQL Azure is not SQL Server. This morning in the project I’m working, we needed to create a small ASP.NET membership database in SQL Azure.

It seems easy! Would you expect troubles with this? Nope? Ok, me neither… until I tried to execute aspnet_regsql to create the database:

An error occurred during the execution of the SQL file ‘InstallCommon.sql’. The SQL error number is 208 and the SqlException message is: Invalid object name ‘master.dbo.sysdatabases’.

Notice that this error is absolutely normal, because in SQL Azure we can’t access to sysdatabases table. In fact, if we try to execute this script:

SELECT * FROM master.dbo.sysdatabases

We will receive this error:

Reference to database and/or server name in ‘master.dbo.sysdatabases’ is not supported in this version of SQL Server.

The solution:

When using SQL Azure we cannot create the database with aspnet_regsql. Instead, we should use a new set of scripts optimized for SQL Azure.

There are a couple of files to download, but we only need InstallAspSchema.zip which contains all the needed scripts separated by themes (memberships, roles, etc.) which I think is great! So we will install only the parts that we will use:

aspnet_scripts

The most important step is installing the scripts in the correct order. The first one must be InstallCommon.sql, and after (in my particular case) installing the InstallMemberShip.sql and InstallRoles.sql scripts is -by far- enough.

Note: Be aware with the scripts, I’ve had to execute the membership script twice, because the first one some tables haven’t been created. If you have the same problem please send me feedback about it.

Hope you enjoy it! :-)

More info:

ASP.NET Membership scripts for SQL Azure:

http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/KB2006191

General Guidelines and Limitations (SQL Azure Database)

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336245.aspx