Showing posts with label SQL Saturday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SQL Saturday. Show all posts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

SQL Saturday 151 BI Pre-con: Stacia Misner

Hello Dear Reader, SQL Saturday 151 Orlando is picking up steam.  The Pre-Con’s have been named and they are fantastic.  SQL Saturday Orlando is always a big event, the schedule has been posted, and the planning is well underway.  First stop the BI Pre-Con Featuring Stacia Misner(@StaciaMisner|Blog) taking place at the beautiful Lake Mary Hyatt Place hotel.

“So Balls,” you say, “Who is Stacia and why should I attend?”

Great question Dear Reader, I work with a lot of really great people in the BI world, even though that area is not my forte, and everyone agrees Stacia is one of the TOP BI experts in the world.  She is one of the instructors for the Microsoft SSAS Maestro Program.  Stacia has been the author of over 12 different books on the subject of SQL Server.  

Her most recent is Introducing SQL Server 2012, available as a free PDF download click here to get it!  I first met Stacia at SQL Saturday #62 back in Tampa in 2011.  She had also written the book introducing SQL Server 2008 R2 and I had some questions about Master Data Services.  I was trying to figure out if Master Data Services in the 2008 R2 release was right for a project I was working on.  I asked her if I could get her advice and she was polite, candid, and very helpful.  Now it is your chance to get to meet Stacia.

A 360-Degree View of SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence

One of the greatest things about SQL Saturdays is that the top SQL speakers and consultants will offer their training services for an unbelievable deal.  Stacia has taught BI Immersion Courses, Pre-Cons, and spoken at seminars that cost thousands of dollars to attend. You can attend her SQL Saturday session, and get one on one time with this expert, for just $99.   So now let’s look at the plan for the day.

In this session, we’ll take a holistic look at the BI features in the latest version of SQL Server by reviewing the architecture requirements, exploring the implications for existing BI applications, and introducing new capabilities that support the transformation of data into business insight. We'll start with data integration and management by reviewing the overhaul that Integration Services received in this release, how to formalize the data cleansing process by using the new Data Quality Services, and how master data management is improved with the updates to Master Data Services. Then we'll discuss the improvements to analytical capabilities by exploring updates to Analysis Services, including the new Tabular Model, and enhancements available in PowerPivot. Last, we'll cover the new presentation layer options available in Reporting Services and the new release of Power View. Of course, you’ll see demonstrations of the new features, but the primary purpose of this session is to give you a chance to ask lots of questions and to get a look “under the hood” to better understand what you’ll need to do to get these BI features up and running properly. You’ll also learn how to prepare your data environment to leverage these features and how best to manage the user experience.

If you are in a BI shop, or are looking to expand your career and get more in-depth in the BI field this is a great training opportunity.  Click here to sign up for the pre-con.  Click here to register for SQL Saturday 151 if you haven’t already.  I hope to see you there!  As always Thanks for stopping by!



Thursday, April 26, 2012

See you at SQL Saturday 130 Jacksonville!

Hello Dear Reader, this Saturday April 28th is SQL Saturday 130 in Jacksonville FL!  The good people from the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group have put together an excellent event.  If you are in the Jacksonville area, (or in FL or GA for that matter) and would like to make it to the event, go register here because we would love to see you!

On Friday the festivities kick off with a great Pre-Con Kevin Kline (Blog|@KEKline)  a full day on Troubleshooting & Performance Tuning for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.  Kevin is one of the top guys in the SQL Server world, he is a Founding member of PASS and a former PASS President, he’s a SQL MVP, an author, and an all around great guy.  This is a full day of training that normally goes for hundreds of dollars, and right now it is only $120 for the full day.  Click on the link above to get more details.

“So Balls,” you say, “What will you be doing at SQL Saturday 130?”

We will get to that in a moment Dear Reader but first let’s go to the line up.


When you go to a SQL Saturday you expect a great line up, and SQL Saturday 130 in Jacksonville is no exception.  Six different SQL Server MVP’s, Six different tracks, two SSAS Maestro’s, all in all over 36 Sessions of pure SQL fun.   As if this wasn’t enough it is free.  That is right Dear Reader, if you have not been to a SQL Saturday in the past you may not know this but they are completely free to attend.  For the full schedule click here.

“So Balls”, you say, “What will you be attending?”

With all of these great speakers it will be tough to choose where to go, but I’m going to do my best!

If you’re new to the blog you may not know this, but I LOVE Compression! 

 One of the most interesting stories on Compression in SQL 2012, in my humble opinion, is ColumnStore Indexes.  So I’m going to start out the day with my friend Gareth Swanepoel (Blog|@GarethSwan) to learn more about them as he presents The Fangorn Forest – ColumnStore Indexes.  Then I’m off to present on Page & Row Compression in SQL 2012 (FYI 99.99% of what I cover works in 2008 R2 as well).  Next I’m off to watch Tom Brenneman (@TomBrenneman)  present on, Job Common Sense 101- Don’t be that Guy!!.  Tom does a lot of work with the Pragmatic Works foundation, runs the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group, and whenever I’ve spoken with him is a very engaging man.  I’m sure his presentation should be very interesting!  

After that I’m off to see Pam Shaw (Blog|@PamShaw)  presenting Taking the Scary out of Monster Reports.  Pam is a flat out expert at SSRS, she recently presented at MagicPASS, my SSUG home away from home, and she is great.  If you work with SSRS I would recommend you stop by and watch her present.  Next up I’m going to attend Chad Churchwell’s (Blog|@ChadChurchwell) session on SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn for HA and DR.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chad since I hopped over to Pragmatic Works, and he is absolutely brilliant, Availability groups are one of the best things to come out of SQL 2012 and I’m really looking forward to seeing Chad’s take on them.  

Finally I’m going to finish off the day watching my friend Rob Volk(Blog|@SQL_R) present on Lego Sets: Relational Building Blocks.  I first watched Rob present at SQL Saturday 85 in Orlando last year, he is funny, engaging, and presenting on a topic I think EVERY DBA should learn about, Set Based Logic.  This is the mathematical foundation of how data set’s inside of SQL server work, and are the most efficient way to move and alter data vs. the Row By Agonizing Row approach (RBAR).  This should be a great way to end the day.


I’m presenting on my favorite topic, data compression.  And I hope you will stop by and join me if you are at SQL Saturday.  Here’s my abstract.

 “Page and Row Compression are powerful new tools. Vardecimal shipped with SQL 2005 SP2, Page & Row with SQL 2008 RTM, and Page & Row with Unicode Compression with SQL 2008 R2. In SQL 2012 we add Spatial Data Types. Get an overview into how each version of compression works internally. Learn how your Allocation Units will determine if your data is a candidate for compression. Understand how your tables Update and Scan pattern’s affect the compression types you should consider. And what you should you take into consideration for additional overhead.

This presentation is always a lot of fun, small crowd or big.  AS what our companies want to track continues to grow, our data volume will only continue to grow, and Compression will be a major component of how to handle that.  Come and learn how you should do it, and I’m not just talking turning it on and off, but really learn what are the internals of compression.  Learn how to decide what you should and should not compress, and walk away with a Monday Morning Checklist that will aid you if you are looking to apply this soon at your job.


As always Thanks for stopping by Dear Reader, I hope to see you at SQL Saturday and if you cannot make it to my session, I hope to see you at the event!



Sunday, October 2, 2011

SQL Saturday 85 – Thank You Everyone!

About a week ago we had SQL Saturday 85 in beautiful Orlando FL.  I wanted to do a quick recap and say a BIG Thank You to everyone who participated!  From the wonderful people on the planning team Andy Warren (@SQLAndy | Blog), Shawn McGehee (@SQLShawn | Blog), Karla Landrum (@karlakay22 | Blog), the O’Fearless Leader of MagicPASS Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA|Blog), to 41 Different Speakers, to the Event Volunteers, to the Attendees, to the Sponsors, and to the great folks at Seminole State College who allow us to use the beautiful facilities, Thank YOU!

“So Balls,” you say, “What was the best part of the day?”

Well Dear Reader, I would have to say the pictures that I took, and those that I wish I had taken. 

The Day Started out with an early wake up call.  I the Dodge Durango was so loaded with drinks for the event that it was actually sagging, (I wish I had a picture of that ).  I drove over to Seminole State College and the Volunteers were already there and the tables were set up.  We quickly unloaded the drinks, and I returned to the hotel to put the projectors and screens from our Pre-Con’s into the back of the truck. 

Between the two trips I saw that we had the road signs up directing people in, and that we even had a volunteer standing on the Ellipsis to ensure people drove the right way.  Our volunteers are amazing!  When you stand outside in the Florida sunshine, for hours, to direct people on an Ellipsis so others can learn about SQL Server, then that is above and beyond dedication (I wish I had a picture of that).

And it was off to the races.  Making sure people knew where they were going.  Walking the halls to make sure that it was apparent which way to go, and putting up signs when it wasn’t.  Taking pictures of the Speakers while they were entertaining our attendees.  And Tweeting more than I do in most weeks.  I didn’t get to attend many sessions.  I was in my buddy Dan Taylor’s Session, the Deep Dive on Compression that this Bradley Ball guy did (not bad needs some work), and in Mike Davis’s SSIS vs. T-SQL Smackdown.

This was a very gratifying perspective however.  Normally I'm here just to learn, but this was completely different.  I was there to Serve.  To make sure that our attendees made it to where they wanted to go, to make sure that our sponsors had power outlets, to make sure we had signs, to find the correct speaker room, and occasionally to join into the fray and do some speaking.

This was a very different perspective indeed, and as much as I love learning about SQL today it was learning about all the time and hard work that goes into the great events.   Learning about the magic that goes on while we slide from one session to another.   Thinking about the event in review I'm still left in awe at all the hard work that our volunteers achieved.

So now without further ado, let’s get to some pictures.

SESSION PICTURES FROM 8:30 am to 9:30 am

Erin Stellato (@erinstellato | Blog) You Are My Density: Making Sense of Statistics

William E. Pearson III  Getting Started with MDX

Mike Antonovich Introduction to PowerPivot

Andy Warren Building a Professional Development Plan.

Don Stevic The Fundamentals of DBA-Ism

The One & Only Buck Woody From Ground to Cloud for Databases

Bradley Schacht Introduction to SSIS

SESSION PICTURES FROM 9:45 am to 10:45 am
My Buddy Dan Taylor on Useful tools for a DBA or Database Developer

Janis Griffin on Performance Management 2008 MDW-How & Why

Adam Jorgensen Analysis 0 to Cube & PowerPivot

Michael Wells Rapidly Deploying SQL Server with Powershell

Eric Wisdahl SSIS Data Flow Buffer Breakdown

Kendal Van Dyke Working with XML in SQL Server

SESSION PICTURES FROM 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Nathan Heaivilin Introduction to Execution Plans

Phillip Rosen Biz Intel Dashboards w/ Excel OLAP formulas

Ronald Dameron Powershell by Example

Rob Collie PowerPivot BI & Massive Data Analysis for Humans

Mike Davis Using Script Task and Components in SSIS

Craig Purnell Upgrade Roadmap Taking YOU to R2!

Rodney Landrum T-SQL Alphabet Soup


I was up during this time slot so I didn’t get to make it around to all the other Presenters.  There were a lot of great people presenting in this time slot, and I hear we all did great.  I had a nice group for my first Deep Dive at a SQL Saturday.  This was on Compression, and I got a great question that will deserve a future blog on the bit structure of nvarchar compressed records.

I got a lot of great feed back, it was positive which is nice.  But I think all of the folks that made it realized that the second time I present this session it will be at the PASS Summit.   So even though it was positive, I got a lot of good suggestions as far as, expand here, maybe skip this and make more time for this.   I really like that feedback because it matched how I felt.

As a presenter I like to tell a story.  Even though we are talking technology and it isn’t hot and sexy like the movies, we can still have a good story with a solid flow.  I realized I have a little work to do on my story, and it was better to learn that now than at the Summit.  There were a lot of great speakers that made it to my session, Buck Woody (@buckwoody | Blog) stopped by to play the Piano, Eric Wisdahl (@EricWisdahl| Blog),  and Craig Purnell (@CraigPurnell | AboutMe) came by to help expand the cast.

 I feel really solid about the presentation and I’m looking forward to the Summit!

SESSION PICTURES FROM 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm
Rob Volk Revenge: The SQL!

Patrick Thompson Where to with NoSQL

James McAuliffe SSIShare The Code Man

William E. Pearson III Becoming DAX: An Introduction....

Kevin Boles Parallel Query Execution Deep Dive

Jeff Garbus Rewriting Bad Code

Herve Roggero SQL Azure Performance Considerations

SESSION FROM 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Once again I wasn’t able to run around, I was a part of the show this time around!  I was the referee for the SSIS vs. T-SQL Smackdown between Adam Jorgensen(@adam_jorgensen|Blog) and Mike Davis (@MikeDavisSQL | Blog).  As always it was a great battle between two Intellectual power houses. 

Mike Davis was displaying how he could fast load a data warehouse using SSIS, and Adam was doing the same using T-SQL.  Both competitors did a great job of layething the Smackdown on the data in the form of ETL processes.  Mike showed how versatile SSIS is with the ability to switch data sources and interface with multiple Database platforms.  Adam showed how versatile T-SQL is, tossing out Merges, CTE’s, and old pictures of Mike in the Navy like they were going out of style.

At the end of the bout I spoke briefly with Vince McMahon(WWE) and took a poll of the audience.    I would like to say that the results surprised me, but Adam had managed to really get Mike’s goat, or was the goat Brian’s (@brianknight | Blog)?  Regardless, there was a goat, fisticuffs, Adam was pronounced the winner, and then I was viciously and savagely attacked by Mike.   No sooner had he left the room then he returned and we all took a bow.

It is an amazing thing to watch professionals that are so good at what they do that they can have fun doing it.  It was something else all together to be a part of the action, and it was a lot of fun.  I hear Mike is having a Smackdown in Tampa for SQL Saturday 86.  I’ll be there doing my presentation on Compression.  I wonder if they have steel chairs there…..


When I was kid I remember sitting in the 6th grade watching some cheesy mandatory movie educating us on some subject that my memory doesn’t care to retain, and one line stood out to me.  “Take a picture and remember it in your heart.”

 I laughed about it with my friends.  I believe the phrase “how lame” was uttered, but for some reason it always stuck with me.  I take a lot of mental pictures as I go about the day.  Some end up in the recycle bin just as fast as they hit the desktop, others never leave. 

For years to come I will remember meeting Buck Woody and getting to drive him to buy Orange Juice, looking at the speaker dinner room and smiling at all the great people that come together to share a passion, the BBQ Line at lunch, running the halls to take pictures and Tweet about each presenter as they were working their magic, my buddy Dan Taylor’s (@DBABulldog | Blog) first presentation ever, forcing Kyle Walker (@WalkerSQLRanger) to get on Twitter, getting to meet Craig Purnell and his wonderful wife Julie, talking with my friend Adam Jorgensen, and having the SQL SMACKDOWN layethed on me by Mike Davis.

Less than a year ago, I walked into my first SQL Saturday in Orlando.  I left with a feeling that I had come home.  I wanted to dive right in with both feet, and it helped me to grow in ways that I hadn’t even realized I needed to grow. So I found it strange to have come full circle, and this year I was one of the guys standing up top, getting to toss t-shirts out to the crowd.   Andy Warren looked at me and asked how I felt about helping putting something together like this, I just smiled and said it felt Awesome.  

We wound up the night at Liam’s Fitzpatrick’s, and I got to speak with people I’ve connected with over the last year.  Eddie Wuerch (@EddieW| Blog ) from SQL Rally, Craig Prunell from earlier in the week at MagicPASS, Ron Dameron (@RonDBA | Blog) from SQL Saturday 62 in Tampa, Don Stevic(@SQL_Superman | Blog)  from SQL Saturday 74 & 79, Nathan Heaivilin from last year at SQL Saturday 49 (and 62), Bryan K Mcdonald (@BrianKMcDonald | Blog) from just this week.

To everyone I mentioned Thank You, to everyone I didn’t Thank You, Volunteers, Speakers, Sponsors, Attendees, and my fellow Team Members Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.  And to my friend Jack Corbett (@unclebiguns | Blog), newly minted SQL Server MVP, Thank You for your recommendation, your faith, and for the encouragement to get involved! 

I hope I see you all next year!

Thanks Again,


Friday, September 23, 2011

SQL Saturday 85 Pre-Cons

We are a little over half way through the Pre Confrence Sessions for SQL Saturday 85 and I couldn't be happier.   

We are located at the Marriott in beautiful Lake Mary Florida which is just on the north end of Orlando.

Tommorrow is the big day where we will be coming to you live from the campus of Seminole State College.

The Marriott is beautiful the staff has been wonderful, and the lunch that they served was absolutely delicious.  The pictures that I'm showing were all taken by me onsite, and I'll grab a few more as this is just a beautiful location for us today.

"So Balls," you say, "How's it going?"

So as an orginizer I have spent very little time in the room with the guys today, which is bad for me, but absolutely wonderful for out attendees.  I will be trying to sneak into a room and take some notes at some point but unlike most of my blogs on events this one (unless I get some notes I can take), will be very non-technical.

So I am going to make an effort to get into each session and get some details so you know just what these experts are doing. 


Buck has a pretty packed room but I will make it in there and do some learning.  Buck is a master at this field and the feedback I've been getting from people has been incredible.  So more on this later.  

You can tell he is a Professor when he walks the room, he has a Commanding presence and a Tricksters eyes.    I liked him before I met him but seeing him in action I like Buck Woody even more.
The little bit I got to see Buck was teaching all about indexes.  Buck’s advice stay away from the hard drive as much as you can.  Sucketh Mightely is a technical term and Indexes are great for reads and Sucketh Mightely on writes.

Buck goes on to discuss Indexes and their physical B-Tree structure.  He recommends applying 3 rules to Clustered Indexes; 1. The should be Narrow, 2. They should be Unique, 3. They should be ever Increasing.  We discussed the difference between Unique Clustered Indexes, and Primary Key Clustered Indexes, and Yes there is a difference!

One of the most interesting things he said with regards to the use of Primary keys and Foreign Keys, you can have a Unique Clustered Index and a Primary Key Clustered Index that have the same constraints.  The Algebrizer will use these constraints in the same way when creating the plan to retrieve the physical data.  However, deeper in the Algebrizer process the Primary Keys and Foreign key values will assist in computations that will assist the Optimizer. 

In other words using Primary Keys & Foreign Keys can make SQL work faster for you.  You should be using them.  He waded into the Holy war that is Surrogate Key’s vs. Natural Keys.  And then he assigned the Audience some hands on in class room work, finding usage statistics and table sizes using only the Built in reports.

I’ve got more Dear Reader and an further update will be coming.  Now on to the Pragmatic Works Pre-Con.

Don't let the picture fool you these guys are such consimate proffessionals, they work hard they play hard but when the guy with the camera isn't in the room they are all business.  Once again I'm hearing some great stuff from out attendees and I'll try to get the low-down a little later.


I'll get to the wrap up a little later.  This is just the teaser for now.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SQL Saturday 85: Pragmatic Works ONE NIGHT ONLY

We are in the final countdown to SQL Saturday 85, and everything is starting to come together.  Yesterday we discussed the DBA Pre-Con for SQL Saturday 85.  Today we will discuss the men from Pragmatic Works and the All Day Business Intelligence Workshop.   

“So Balls,” you say, “Give me One reason that I should attend the Business Intelligence Workshop?”

I can’t give you one Dear Reader, but I can give you four.


Mike Davis (@MikeDavisSQL | Blog) is a Sr. Consultant for Pragmatic Works.  Mike has been using SSIS to help people all over the US.  Mike has spoken at countless PASS events, and will be a speaker for the upcoming PASS Summit 2011.  Have I mentioned the books that he has written?  Also don’t miss out on his SQL Smackdown vs SSIS Session at SQL Saturday 85, how do you know you’ve got a great instructor?  When they know a technology so well they can have fun in any setting and still teach you at a deep technical level.

Bradley Schacht (@BradleySchacht| Blog) is a Consultant for Pragmatic works.  I met Brad at SQL Saturday 79 down in South Florida.  Brad has presented at multiple PASS events, Code Camps, SQL Lunch, and SQL Server User groups.  If you’ve been on you may have run into him helping in the forums or you may have ran into him in SQL Server  did I mention the book that he co-wrote as well, SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence 24-Hour Trainer. 

Kyle Walker (Blog) is a Consultant for Pragmatic Works.  Kyle has been very active in the community and is an active blogger on on  Kyle has presented for the Free Webinar Series that Pragmatic Works does, WEEKLY, as well as appearing at SQL Saturdays, and SQL Server User Groups. 

And last but certainly not least is Jorge Segarra (@SQLChicken | Blog).  Jorge is a Consultant for Pragmatic Works, that means that he doesn’t just preach BI, he uses BI.  In his spare time he’s the Dean of SQL University, which assembles the experts in our field to blog in a Semester Schedule for you to learn, did I mention that he is a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server?  Perhaps we could talk about his book, THE BOOK, on Policy-Based Management for SQL Server, or that he will be writing the SQL Bible for the newest version of SQL Server Denali.


These are some of the top guys in their field, covering the full Microsoft BI Stack from Beginning to End.  In a intimate setting were you will get a lot of one on one time, and the best part Dear Reader? 

When you have a group of instructors that know their material inside and out, and you have a setting like this you may learn some tips and tricks, because it is in the venues like this where you get to have the professionals go off script.  You learn what they learn.  You hear about their experiences in the field.

And maybe just maybe you find out some previews.  With Denali barrelling down upon us, and all of the major BI Initiatives that Microsoft will be offering up, this would be a good chance to ask some questions, and maybe see what our Professionals are running on thier laptops.

This is a day that you will not want to miss out on, Click Here to Sign Up for the BI Full Day Pre-con!  I hope to see you there, because this is going to be BAD@$$!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SQL Saturday 85: Buck Woody is a Wanted Man

Hello Dear Reader!  SQL Saturday 85 coming to you from beautiful sunny Orlando Florida is just around the corner.  What better way to start of a Saturday then starting it on Friday!

“But Balls,” you say, “How do you start a Friday on a Saturday?”

You start it off with not One, but TWO Amazing Pre-Conference Seminars.  Today we will be discussing our DBA Pre-Conference Session with Microsoft's Buck Woody.


Microsoft’s Buck Woody(@buckwoody | Blog) is a wanted man.  He is a highly sought after speaker, he is a highly sought after consultant, and he is an educator in the ways of Database Information Systems, specializing in SQL Server.  He was a Microsoft MVP before he decided to go home to the mother ship and work for Microsoft as a Sr. Technology Specialist.   The man teaches Database Design for the University of Washington. 

If I wanted to go on even further I could mention the hundreds of published articles he has on SQL Server, I could name drop some of the conferences he has presented at in the past, TechEd, the PASS  Summit, or SQL Cruise just to name a few.  Perhaps I could tout his work in the SQL Community, serving as the President for the Tampa Bay SQL Server Users group for FIVE years.

Perhaps I could tell you about the prestigious places he’s worked, other than Microsoft, like when he was a contractor for NASA or the US Air Force.   Perhaps we could look at the multiple books that he has written, or the multiple certifications that he has obtained across multiple database platforms.  We could talk about his antics, his quick wit, his uncanny delivery that stems from his time in radio. 

However you want to spell it Buck Woody is a wanted man.  And I can tell you where he will be Dear Reader.  I can tell you exactly where he will be on Friday September 23rd from 9 am until 5 pm.  And I can tell you what he will be doing as well.  He will be doing one of the things that he does the very best.  He will be teaching.  And you Dear Reader, if you are lucky enough to attend you will be learning.

And what will you be learning about Dear Reader?  We’ll let’s get that straight from Buck.

There are a lot of resources, products and features you can use to tune the performance of your SQL Server system. Many assume you’re familiar with 400-level concepts, others don’t consider the whole stack of the client, the network, the operating system, platform and the database server. Buck Woody, Microsoft’s real-world DBA, will explain a simple, repeatable process you can follow to tune your entire application – from the client to the server. All of the tools we’ll cover are included with Windows and SQL Server:

·         Using Windows System Monitoring Tools

·         The SQL Profiler and Server Trace

·         Database Engine Tuning Advisor

In this pre-conference session you’ll cover not only the process, but also review a real-world evaluation. You’ll take home a system and a spreadsheet you can use to monitor and tune your applications, in a simple, easy-to-understand session.

But that’s not all, he’s not just going to be teaching about the subject.  He wants to give you hands on experience with it.  Not that long ago I received this email from Buck.

“Hello – thanks for signing up for the pre-conference session on SQL Server Performance Tuning. I’ve done quite a lot of speaking and teaching, and the most informative way for us to learn together is by working through some projects during the session. If you’re able, I’d like you to bring a laptop, a copy of SQL Server 2008 (Evaluation Edition is fine, Developer Edition is best) and the AdventureWorks sample database. You can learn more about that here:

Also, feel free to bring any performance questions you have. As always, make sure you protect your company’s private information, but we’ll work through some real-world issues in class, so feel free to share what you can.

See you there!


So you will have a full day with one of the best, brightest, and most respected in our field today.  But to add icing to the cake he wants you to bring a copy of a database and your computer so you can get some hands on training.

This isn’t just telling you what you need to do, and then you leave sitting in a situation at work thinking, “Man that Buck Woody Pre-Con was great!  Now if only I could remember what he said about that DMV!?”.  This is hands on training so you can go back to work and apply what you’ve learned right away.  Did I mention that it includes coffee, tea, and Lunch? 

Here is your chance Dear Reader, go sign up and we’ll see you there!  Click Here to Sign UP!



Monday, August 29, 2011

SQL Saturday 85 for a Mid Level Business Intelligence Developer

 SQL Saturday 85 is just a little under 4 weeks away, and you if you are a Mid Level Business Intelligence Developer you maybe wondering what SQL Saturday could offer to you.  The answer is PLENTY!

“But Balls,” you say, “You’re not a Business Intelligence guy, how would you know if there is a lot to offer?”

That is an excellent point Dear Reader.  I’m not a BI Developer.  My work with cubes, SSAS, SSRS, and many things in between is slim.  Don’t get me wrong I’ve worked with it, but not to the extent that I do pure DBA work on a regular basis.  But one of the great advantages I have to putting together the schedule is that I am learning A LOT about my speakers.  And let me tell you who we have speaking.

 We have two dedicated BI tracks, an Microsoft Certified Master presenting on Parallel Data Warehouse, a SQL SSAS Maestros Instructor, Three SQL Server MVP’s presenting on BI topics, and one of the original team members that developed the Powerpivot plug-in for Excel, and Developed most of the Client.

And that isn’t to mention the Pre-Con’s!


 We have not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR of the best Business Intelligence Experts in the game today training you in the full Business Intelligence Stack from start to finish.  These four experts are none other than SQL MVP  Jorge Segarra (@SQLChicken | Blog), Mike Davis (@MikeDavisSQL | Blog), Bradley Schacht (@BradleySchacht | Blog), and Kyle Walker (Blog).   All four are out in the field working with clients for Pragmatic Works and doing what you do every day. But don’t take my word for it, let’s get the word from the guys.  Gentlemen what will you be covering in your pre-con?

In this full-day workshop, you'll learn from the author team of Jorge Segarra, Mike Davis, Brad Schacht, and Kyle Walker how to build a data warehouse for your company and support it with the Microsoft business intelligence platform. We'll start with how to design and data model a data warehouse including the system preparation. Then, we'll jump into loading a data warehouse with SSIS. After SSIS, you're ready to roll the data up and provide the slice and dice reporting with SSAS. The team will walk through cube development and data enrichment with things like key performance indicators, which are essential for your future dashboards. Lastly, we will cover how to report against the data warehouse with SSRS including a primer in how to write MDX queries against the SSAS cube.
Take Home Skills:
  1. Practical knowledge of building a Dimensional Model
  2. Designing a simple ETL process using SSIS
  3. Designing a Cube
  4. Designing simple SSRS Reports
  5. Building an integrated process that fully leverages the entire MS BI stack to load a Data Warehouse

Now normally if you went to a pre-con like this at the PASS Summit you would be paying hundreds of dollars.  But we are offering this Dear Reader for $99, and this includes all the tea & coffee you can drink in a day, and lunch.  As a Mid level Business Intelligence Developer come and see the experts up close.  This will be a good way to see what you can become if you work hard and keep learning.  So do not delay!  Join us on Friday September 23rd.    Click Here to go to the Full Day Business Intelligence  Pre-Con site!


So  here we are you went to the Pre-con, you got to talk to Jorge, Mike, Bradley, and Kyle up close and personal.  You are brimming with new skills, what should you tackle?

Michael Antonovich (@MPAntonovich|Blog)- Introduction to PowerPivot for Excel
Eric Wisdahl(@EricWisdah | Blog)– SSIS Data Flow Buffer Breakdown
Phillip E. Rosen(@BIwPhil) – Biz Intel Dashboards W/Excel OLAP formulas
Robert Biddle(@Robert_Biddle | Blog )– Loading a Data Warehouse with SSIS
William E. Pearson III(@Bill_Pearson ) – Becoming DAX: An Introduction...
Brian Mitchell(@brianwmitchell | Blog) – Applying FastTrack & PDW Best Practices to your Data Warehouse

I’ve had the opportunity to see Michael Antonovich present at MagicPASS, the SQL Server User Group we both call home.  And I saw this presentation.  And let me tell you that if you are not using PowerPivot by the time you are done you will understand it’s power and have a few great selling points for your boss.  After a great day of Pre-con Training where this topic will be covered, this session is icing on the SQL Cake.

Eric Wisdahl is next up, and he is covering a subject that will be advanced enough to challenge you, and pertinent enough to make you WANT to listen to everything he has to say.  He will be covering how the Buffer’s work in the internal SQL Memory and how they work with SSIS.  SSIS likes to use memory and Eric will give you some tips on how to troubleshoot your systems, and make sure the memory is being used properly.

Phillip Rosen will be covering how you utilize Dashboards and he will cover the different ways you can view them.  Saving them locally to the PC using Excel, publishing them using SharePoint, and using Excel OLAP formulas.  Before this session is done he will cover SharePoint 2010 BI Center and give you some references to continue your learning.

Robert Biddle will be covering something that is a must know in our field.  How to load a Data Warehouse using SSIS, after all you’ve got your OLTP database.  You need to put the data in a Data Warehouse, but what is the best way to go about it.  Maybe you’ve done this before, but it never hurts to get the tips and tricks from the experts.  Go check out Roberts session and walk out of it with more confidence for the next time you need to pull some SSIS tricks out of your hat.

William E. Pearson III will give you an Introduction to DAX.  Being self taught often times I find that I’m missing some fundamentals.  When I go to a SQL Saturday it is always a great opportunity to find experts in the field and see how they go about doing things.  If you already know DAX, or if you are a beginner wouldn’t you want to get your tips from a SQL Server MVP?  Well look no further because William is a SQL Server MVP.  Go to his session and walk out with the tips and tricks of an MVP under your belt.

Brian Mitchell is a Microsoft Certified Master.  Brian Mitchell is a Microsoft employee.  Brian Mitchell is a Microsoft Premier Support Field Engineer that specializes in Parallel Data Warehouse.  Maybe your company isn’t looking at PDW, maybe it is.  Either way it would not hurt to go learn what a Master has to teach.  I saw Brian at SQL Rally earlier this year and it was one of the best sessions that I sat in.  He is smart, he is quick, and he knows his stuff inside and out.  What better way to end a great day of learning than with a Master.

Okay Dear Reader,  GO Sign Up for the SQL Saturday Full Day BI Pre-Con and then Go Register for SQL Saturday 85.  I look forward to seeing you on Friday September 23rd and on Saturday September 24th for two incredible days of learning!