Home > PowerPivot > Introducing Project DateStream (CodePlex)

 

Introducing Project DateStream (CodePlex)

October 6th, 2011

I recently blogged about The Case for an Azure DataMarket Date Table. I finished the blog post with a bit of a critique of the DataMarket team at Microsoft, which I can now wholeheartedly apologise for. This is because since my last post I was contacted by Max Uritsky who is a Group Program Manager on the Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket team (a long name for a team, yes). He and Belinda Tiberio managed to help me with creating and hosting a new Date feed. Not only they helped with making it available for free on the DataMarket website, but also gave me a 1Gb free SQL Azure database for the project. A big “thank you” goes to Julie Strauss from the SSAS team for making the contact, as well.

To summarise, the DateStream project is a free date table available as a feed and intended to be used by PowerPivot BI users. As most, if not all, BI projects include a date table, the goal is to provide an easy-to-use, correct and simple mechanism for creating such tables.

After some deliberations on the format of the feed we decided that it would be best to split the feed in a number of localised Basic tables and one Extended table. Currently we have only two Basic (US and EN) versions and a fairly straight-forward Extended one. However, the plan is to inlclude more and more column in the Extended one and provide extra localised (Italian, French, Spanish, German, Russian, etc.) tables. When I am saying “we” I mean fellow SSAS professionals, which I had the pleasure to discuss this idea (among which Marco Russo, Thomas Kejser, Willfried Faerber and Grant Paisley).

The CodePlex page of the project contains more details about the feed and the tables and also allows for commenting on existing features, as well as requesting new ones. It can be found at http://datestream.codeplex.com/.

The actual feed can be used directly from https://datamarket.azure.com/dataset/1542c52d-d466-4094-a801-9ef8fd7c6485.

Note the logo – it was created by Daniele Perilli from SQL BI with the assistance provided by Marco Russo. Thanks to them we did not have to resort to my graphic design skills, which definitely is a win for the DataMarket website.

One note - please let me know if the performance you get from the feed is not satisfactory (please remember that once pulled, the feed does not need to be refreshed as the data will remain valid forever). If many people agree that it is too slow I could potentially host it on an alternative location as well. It is possible to download a CSV version from the DataMarket as a workaround, which also allows removing unnecessary date ranges.

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  1. | #1

    Hi Boyan! This is a fantastic idea. Thanks for putting up the work time to get it done! One thing… I tried to connect through PowerPivot and I am getting a 403 Forbidden error. Do you know what this could be or how to solve it?

    Thanks again,

    Javier Guillen

  2. | #2

    Hi Javier,

    Thank you. I am assuming you’ve registered, etc..for the Azure DataMarket and that you are using your account key. I know there was a problem before with a backslash which needed to be in the end of the URL for the feed, but I am testing now and it seems to have been fixed. How do you get the feed? What happens if you go to Explore in the Azure DataMarket and then Export to PowerPivot?

  3. | #3

    Hi Boyan,

    Yes I registered for Azure DataMarket and have a key. However, I am still having trouble reading the data from PowerPivot… I am able to see the three tables listed in the ‘Select Tables and Views’ section of the Table Import Wizard (BasicCalendarEnglish, BasicCalendarUS and ExtendedCalendar), however when I select any of them and click next I get the error:

    The remote server returned an error (403) Forbidden.

    I am using the data feed Url of:

    https://api.datamarket.azure.com/BoyanPenev/DateStream

    plus my account key.

    Do you believe I am missing some configuration on my side? (PowerPivot window side, that is)

  4. | #4

    There was an issue with the feed URL. Try adding a backslash in the end of it.

  5. Robert Stamsnijde
    | #5

    https://api.datamarket.azure.com/BoyanPenev/DateStream/
    When I use “Preview & Filter” I get:
    ExtendedCalendar: The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.

  6. Bhavik Merchant
    | #6

    Hi mate.. how was PASS?

    Im getting the same error as Rovert above. At the Table Selection i can see the 3 calendar tables, but “Preview and filter” or trying to Finish the wizard give me a 403

  7. Bhavik Merchant
    | #7

    Marco pointed out the issue.. i forgot to Subscribe to the feed! :)

  8. | #8

    I know about the issue and it has been reported to the DataMarket team. Hopefully it will be resolved soon. Apparently it is not specific to DateStream…

  9. | #9

    For all those getting the 403 error when clicking on “Preview and Filter”, make sure that you go to https://datamarket.azure.com/browse?Query=datestream and subscribe for the service. Once you have done that, you should be able to preview.

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