Never again forget to send that email sitting in the Drafts folder!

One evening last week I wrote an important email to a client and I thought I sent it but I didn’t. I wanted to let the client know their project is ready so in the morning they can start using it. And after I finished writing that email, while checking for typos, I got distracted by something, and by another thing…and I never sent it that night.

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Using Power BI to replace a legacy desktop application

GrainSelectorTool

Over a decade ago I had the pleasure to create a small desktop application for Chammas Cutters, this was the Grain Selector tool pictured above, and it helped their clients quickly determine how much gas-generating grain to use in the application of their chemical cutter tool.

While pretty basic (and written in it) the desktop application served a good purpose for the past 10 or so years. Prior to the desktop application, clients would have to resort to a rather bulky and complicated spreadsheet-type catalog tables, which can be more time confusing and can lead to human error.

Now that it needed to be improved or rewritten, I decided to replace it with a Power BI report that took just a few hours to create. Here’s why I chose that path:

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We ❤ Power BI so much we created a custom visual

About a year ago (March 2020) We needed a line chart that can do the following:

  • Allow the viewer of the report to change the Y axis scale on the fly
  • Allow the X axis to be placed near the top of the chart
  • Have the ability to invert the Y axis*

When we started, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, so we searched first but couldn’t find a chart on the App Source marketplace that could do all of these thing I listed above*. So we started creating our first custom Power BI Chart Visual: CHARTURO

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Power BI Line Chart with interactive log & linear scales

As an end-user of a Power BI report, a chart that looked great at first might look not so great once you start applying filters or using slicers. Very large values in the data might throw off the scales and now your line chart might be suddenly all squeezed at the top or the bottom. Does any of the above sound familiar?

EDIT: There is a newer version of this custom visual chart, which is now called CHARTURO and is published to the Power BI AppSource Marketplace, you can read about it here and get it from the Marketplace here

Usually it’s the report designer who has all the power, this article is about giving more power to Power BI end users…

End users’ ability to change the scale, appearance or formatting of that chart is limited. That’s why I started creating the Mi4 Line Chart Power BI custom visual that lets you switch scales on the fly, and eventually have more overall control of the visual without having to edit the report.

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TX RRC OData Feed – Intro

In this series of articles we will take the RRC data from the SQL database and serve it via an OData REST API and show how we did it.

The series will consist of 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Creating the OData REST API in Visual Studio using Entity Framework Core and C#
  • Part 2: Setup Continuous Integration and Delivery for automated build and release pipelines to publish to Azure using Azure DevOps
  • Part 3: Offering the API to the public via a secured Azure API Management gateway and developer portal

Sounds like a lot…I know, so if you want to fast forward to the end and start testing the API and the data just continue reading…you should be up and running in under 5 minutes.

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Visualizing the RRC Data in the Cloud

Part 1: Well Locations

Last week I wrote a blog post talking about the TX RRC publishing data to the public that previously was only available via a paid subscription.

After downloading the different data sets and examining the various types of data and formats, I decided to take a closer look at the data that might prove to be useful to us and to our Productioneer clients.

It is not uncommon for location and depth data, as well as other well-header and meta data to be incomplete or non-existent during a software migration, after all this data might not be considered crucial for the daily gauge sheets. Especially in the case of Excel gauge sheets, where additional columns are a waste of “prime real estate” and might be considered as cluttering that particular production report.

It would be nice if we have a quick way to pull the Lat Long data in bulk to speed up the on-boarding process.

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Cutting month-end closing times in half

The accounting team at TPIC was spending too much time doing manual and repetitive tasks to close out the month and generate regular reporting packets for management. Having worked with us in the past, they asked us to streamline the process.

We promised them we’d make the process as fast and as simple as possible, joking that it would be as easy as pressing a button, and now it is!

A process that used to take days now only takes a few minutes, and all the manual labor has been reduced to a single button press, literally.

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