Peter Avila

“My goal in class is to help students get what they came to get by providing them with an experience. When you have an experience, things stick with you, and you have something to draw on.”


Peter is a consultant specializing in the design and development of database systems using SQL Server and .Net technologies. Peter has operated a nation-wide consulting business since 1991. He was a course designer and instructor of database and software development technologies at Harvard University; UC Berkeley, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and he is author of “An Intuitive Approach to Database Design; An Introduction to Data Modeling.”

Peter uses an intuitive approach to learning that applies the way we all learn in the real world and gives students experiences on which to draw when they’re back on the job applying their new skills.

“People love to learn,” Peter says. “Learning is what we do. We’re good at it. It’s fun! Sometimes we learn by being told how something works, other times we observe others doing things; but learning is the most fun, satisfying, and enduring when we have our own empirical learning experiences—our own AHA! moment when we experience a discovery. The classroom offers a great opportunity to create those moments in a fun and focused environment. It is very rewarding to me when a student tells me afterward that the experience they had in the classroom is what allowed them to finally understand a topic and solve a tough problem at work.


Using Custom Code in SSRS

Posted December 15, 2014

While expressions allow you to use limited VB.Net to create advanced dynamic functionality in your SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports, custom code allows you to leverage much more of the power of VB.Net. The focus of this article is … Continue Reading

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How to Display Blanks as Zeros in a SSRS Report

Posted November 12, 2014

Some of the cells in this SSRS matrix report are blank: To display zeros instead, we will use two functions: 1. [crayon-546e19a04483f299097842/] 2. [crayon-546e19a044846079896293/]   In the design of the matrix, right-click on the textbox containing the values in question, … Continue Reading

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Multiple Joins Work just like Single Joins

Posted August 18, 2014

Before reading this article, you should have a good understanding of single joins between two tables and be clear on the differences between inner and outer joins. Check out my previous post A Primer on Joins to help you accomplish this. Have you … Continue Reading

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