Showing posts with label Tales from the Field. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tales from the Field. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 02-27-2023 & Some Changes

 Hello Dear Reader!  Change is the one constant in life and over here at Tales from the Field we've been
hard at work making some changes. 

Over the last 5 months since we kicked off the show we've been experimenting with different content.  We started off with the hosting & interview show on Tuesday and the Community Round Table on Thursday.

We added a few sporadic technical videos, and then in February kicked off our MS Tech Bits every Wednesday.

We are data folk at heart, so after looking at the analytics, we were blown away!  In just one month of technical videos we had almost doubled our subscribers, and our viewership.

While we produced 2 Live Shows per week, we received just as many views and almost doubled our subscribers with one technical video a week.

Out of the Live Shows the most popular thing we do is the Community Round Table, and it is our favorite thing!  We get to talk about you and what you are doing.  We get to shine a light on new voices, wonderful established voices, or voices that you may not be aware.  Each of my cohosts brings an amazing and unique point of view to this endeavor.   I love learning new things or getting new videos to check out thanks to Neeraj Jhaveri (Twitter | @Neeraj_Jhaveri),  Andrés Padilla (Twitter | @nodestreamio), Daniel Taylor (Twitter | @DBABulldog), & Josh Luedeman (Twitter | @JoshLuedeman). 

 I guess that is another change as well.  We appreciate the efforts of Daniel Taylor so much that he is now officially part of the team!  Dan is our go-to when we've had someone out of the office and he has an amazing technical mind.  We are lucky to have him as part of our crew.

We want to devote more time to producing technical videos. So this week we are moving our Community Round Table shows to Tuesday and we are pausing the interviews.

We will continue our focus on technical content and making sure that we are rolling out a few technical videos a week.

All based on the work we are doing with customers aka friends over "in the field", answering questions, or covering topics we've had to help our friends with.  A big important part of our job is also our internal work in Azure Engineering, also technically our field.  Hence our name, Tales from the Field.

This week and next week we will be adding a treat of Monday videos and some shorts relating to interviewing for SQL DBA jobs. 

In some fun news we've had the logo refreshed, some laptop stickers made prior to SQLBits & SQL Saturday Jacksonville #1041!  If you are attending those events and want a sticker please find me and I'm taking about 200 so find me I will be happy to share them!

After SQLBits we will be working on a new channel trailer, getting the logo incorporated into our header, and adding it to our video trailers.  We really love it and the graphic designer did a bang-up job!

Ok, enough from me.  On to the Recap!

TUESDAY 2-28-2023

We had the AMAZING Vicky Harp (Twitter | @VickyHarp) on the Tuesday show for an interview.  The subject was Building a Brand.  Vicky is a Principal Group Program Manager for the Windows Developer Experience Team, Vicky has also had a hand in building some of the product, that if you use SQL Sever, you know & love.

This was a fantastic episode were we discussed the concepts of external or community branding as well as internal or building your brand inside of the company you work for.  Both of these brands are ESENTIAL to success.

We covered advice and guidance that Vicky had for people new in their careers and also for those that had been around for a while.  Make sure you check it out!

WEDNESDAY 3-31-2023

On Wednesday we launched our latest MS Tech Bits Make Azure SQL Managed Instance General Purpose FASTER!!I  On a personal note, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE RESPONSE!  As of right now this is the MOST watched video on our channel and it has not yet been out a week.

If you liked this video, we have some really great content planned at the channel.  We hope you will check it out if you haven't already.

THURSDAY 3-2-2023

On Thursday we had our Community Round Table featuring data from you the Azure Data Community or the community at large. 

This is always a fun show where I get to hang out with my friends and share the things we've all found interesting over the past week.  The star of that show is the content, so without further ado.

Content in order of appearance:


The Importance of Personal Branding to Career Growth Plus 12 Tips for Branding Success by Jessica H Hernandez Twitter @GreatResume


DataChick's Secure Your Azure SQL Data Challenge By Karen Lopez Twitter @DataChick


How To Fix Stream Lag: 5 Reasons You are Lagging by Live Streaming Tech Twitter @tech_streaming


Announcing Azure Data Tech Groups v2.0  by Rie Merrit Twitter @IrishSQL & @AzureSQL


Using OpenAI GPT in Synapse Analytics by Thomas Costers 


Programming Databases with T-SQL for Beginners by Buck Woody & Marisa Mathews Twitter @BuckWoodyMSFT, @AzureSQL


Calling REST endpoints from T-SQL by Rob Farley Twitter @rob_farley, @IrishSQL, @AzureSQL


Understanding Change Data Capture for Azure SQL Database Part 1 by Greg Low Twitter @greglow


Personal Branding for Students: 7 Tips You Should Know by Nate Torres


Extracting Data from the AFAS REST API with Azure Data Factory By Koen Verbeeck Twitter @Ko_Ver


How I Built A Streaming Analytics App With SQL and Delta Live Tables by Richard Tomlinson Twitter @tomlinsonr


SQL Server 2022: Measuring Extended Events Performance Impacts by Jonathan Kehayias Twitter @SQLPoolBoy


This week is a big week Dear Reader. We have technical content dropping this Monday and next Monday.  This Monday we have an Introduction to OpenAI by Andrés & Neeraj!  We have our Tuesday Round Table show featuring maybe your content!?!  

We have our Wednesday MS Tech Bits, this will be yours truly with an Introduction to SQL Wait Stats and we are dropping our SQL Interview shorts all this week.

Most important, Thank You Dear Reader for stopping by.



Monday, February 27, 2023

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 02-20-2023

Hello Dear Reader! We had a beautiful weekend here in Florida.  Spring is in the air, mainly because the temperature is ranging between 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  This has lead to some rather pronounced sneezing on my morning exercise routine.  The type of sneezing that has scared children and small animals.

It was a really nice weekend, enjoying the tale end of February before a busy March.

This was a good time to get some recordings done, have some outings with the Mrs., and meet the gentleman for a morning of golf.   I'm not good at golf, quite terrible actually. It is a good excuse to spend two hours with friends talking about life, family, and generally trading our perspectives on things.

As we say goodbye to Winter and begin to focus on Spring it seemed like last week was indeed the perfect way to send off February with a bang.

Off to the wrap up.

Tuesday 2-21-2023
On Tuesday we had a little bit of Christmas in February with out Elfster show.  Our good friend Lonnye Bower (Twitter | @ilovesql) had the brilliant idea to have a gift exchange!  Andrew Nathan (Twitter | @AndrewNathan05) & Daniel Taylor (Twitter | @DBABulldog) were quick to sound off their excitement and we planned our eventual holiday extravaganza!  

We all were super excited for this.  No technical topics in this show, just a bunch of friends joking around, playing Secret Santa, and opening presents.  If you are looking for some fun and a laugh, please tune in.  This was a really fun time!

Wednesday 2-22-2023

On Wednesday we dropped our latest MS Tech Bits.  These are videos that will cover different Azure technologies and how you can incorporate them.  Neeraj Jhaveri (Twitter | @Neeraj_Jhaveri) & Andrés Padilla (Twitter | @nodestreamio) walk us how to use BICEP templates from our GitHub repository to walk you through deploying Pattern 1 in order to deploy you Azure Synapse Analytics environment.       

This is a great video and it is just the start, personally I'm really looking forward to additions to this series.

Thursday 2-23-2023
On Thursday we had our Community Round Table featuring amazing content by you the Azure Data Community & sometimes great authors from our community at large!

Josh Luedeman (Twitter | @JoshLuedeman) wore his hat from the Tuesday show, and we kicked off reviewing the content our team had seleted for the week.  But you don't want to here me talk about it, here are the links!

Links in order of appearence on the show:


SQL Transaction Processing and Analytic Performance Price-Performance Testing By William McKnight & Jake Dolezal via gigaom Twitter @gigaom








json_object and json_array Functions SQL Server 2022 Tutorial  By Daniel Calbimonte Twitter @MSSQLTips




We've got a big week planned this week.  Vicky Harp (Twitter | @vickyharp ) Principal Product Group PM Manager will be on the Tuesday show!

On Wednesday I have some MS Tech Bits that will be posted, on Thursday we have the Community Round table featuring data from the Azure Data Community, and it maybe featuring your content!  Let us know if you are writing a blog, producing a video, or doing something noteworthy in the community! 

As always Dear Reader, Thank you for stopping by.



Monday, February 20, 2023

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 02-13-2023

Josh & myself at Antman & the Wasp Quantumania
 Hello Dear Reader!  It's the Presidents Day holiday today in America. With it comes a 3 day weekend.  To celebrate Josh Luedeman (Twitter | @JoshLuedeman), myself, and our families went to see Antman & the Wasp: Quantumania over the holiday weekend.   

Despite the poor reviews on Rotten Tomatoes the movie was great.  Once again proving why I'm not a movie critic, and why I don't understand how movie critics have a job.  Have no fear, there are no spoilers here.  It was an exciting action-adventure with a really good family theme, and a surprisingly happy ending with a heavy bit of foreshadowing.  I enjoyed it so much I saw it the next day with my oldest son and it was just as enjoyable as it was the first time.

We headed over to visit family for dinner on Saturday, while Sunday was a nice lazy today I am using my
day off to learn a little more about video editing, pre-posting our next two MS Tech Bits , and learning about end screen YouTube pages.  My wife does not have the day off so I'm on dinner duty tonight!

"So Balls," you say "what's for dinner?".

Excellent question as always Dear Reader!  I have some ribeye steaks defrosting in the refrigerator.  I plan to make a homemade chimichurri, put half on the steaks, and vacuum seal them, then sous vide them, before finishing them off on the grill to get a nice char on the exterior.  But enough of us all getting hungry before lunch, let alone dinner, lets head off to the recap!

Tuesday 2-14-2023

Valentines Day kicked off with the Batman of Guy in a Cube (Twitter | @GuyInACube), Mr. Patrick LeBlanc (Twitter | @PatrickDBA) himself!  We had a great conversation about how to Manage Work Life Balance.  Part of that conversation has to involve admitting that we have not always done a good job of managing work life balance. 

Often it is times of trial and error, life, and loss that teach us that we have to do better.  On Thursday, our good friend Lonnye Bower (Twitter | @ilovesql) challenged us to call it a Life-Work balance, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Wednesday 2-15-2023
First off thank you Dear Reader for the reception of our MS Tech Bits!  This is quickly becoming some of our most viewed content.  This past week was no exception.  In less than a week this has become our 2nd most viewed MS Tech Bits!

I'm working with some friend on the Azure SQL MI PG and we have videos that we will be cross posting helping people to further understand one of my favorite products Azure SQL Managed Instance.  In this video we show how to backup and restore a SQL MI DB from a SQL MI Instance and restore it on a SQL Server 2022 instance.

We do this in an unencrypted manner, but it is completely possible to do this in an encrypted manner.  We will cover that in a future video.  

Thursday 2-16-2023
On Thursday we kicked off our Round Table with our good friend Daniel Taylor (Twitter | @DBABulldog) sitting in for Josh Luedeman.  Dan joined Andrés Padilla (Twitter | @Nodestreamio), Neeraj Jhaveri (Twitter | @Neeraj_Jhaveri) to review the AMAZING CONTENT created by you the ccommunity!  

As I mentioned earlier Lonnye challenged us to stop referring to Work-Life balance and instead say Life-Work balance.  Bravo to Lonnye for pushing us to be better!

Here is the content in the order of appearance on the show:













This week is the week Dear Reader!  Christmas in February, our Elfster show is happening.  Who got who?  What gifts did we each get?  We will finally find out Tuesday 2/21/2023 at 1 pm EST.  This will be a packed show, and it looks to be a lot of fun.

On Wednesday we have another great MS Tech Bits that will drop.  This time Andés and Neeraj are back for the first of what will be a series of videos teaching you how to use BICEP to deploy Analytics Pattern 1 for Azure Synapse Analytics using our Analytics in a Box GitHub repo!

Thursday we will be back with the Community Round table, potentially featuring your content!

Ok, time to rest up while I can.

Oh, one other thing.  We broke a milestone and it is all thanks to you Dear Reader.  We offically hit over 100 subscribers on our YouTube channel!  Thank you so much for joining us on this ride.

And as always Dear Reader, Thank you for stopping by.



Monday, February 13, 2023

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 02-06-2023

 Hello Dear Reader!  We had a great last week on Tales from the Field.  This weekend was also a really nice one.  On Saturday a group of friends gathered to share some friendship, conversation, and remember a dear friend that is no longer with us at one of my favorite places in Orlando, Lee & Rick's Oyster Bar.  

Lee & Rick's has been around since 1950 and it doesn't look like much has changed in that time.  That's just the way I like it.  My friends Juan, Dan Taylor (Twitter | @DBABulldog), Brad Schacht (Twitter | @BradleySchacht), and myself had a great time.

That wasn't the only thing going on this past weekend as it was also Super Bowl day.  That's sports ball  for the non-sports followers.  The one day of the year that even non-sports ball fans will at least watch the game to see some of the best commercials we will get all year.  Not to mention the halftime show is always amazing.  It did not disappoint!  The game was incredible, two amazing teams playing their hearts out.  Or as I would translate to my friend Buck Woody (Twitter | @BuckWoodyMSFT), one sports ball team sports balled better than the other sports ball team.  Which is fairly normal. 

On to the show!

Tuesday 2-7-2023

On Tuesday we had iAsia Brown (Twitter | @TechPicasso) Producer at X-Box Game Studios Publishing on the show!  Neeraj had won and was the host this week.  Our topic was Diversity and Inclusion.  iAsia is a brilliant, wonderful, amazing human being.  She is a Veteran of the US Airforce & the Marine Corps. and we THANK her for her service!  Our discussions were wide ranging, poignant, and incredibly valuable.

I understand that this topic could be a trigger to many people because of current events.  If that is the case please take the time to watch this show.  When we make things better for everyone we open them up to have an amazing experience.  Inclusivity opens new markets and individuals to capitalistic opportunities that they may not otherwise have access to.

If you feel I'm wrong, its not hard to find me and I am open to your feedback.

Wednesday 2-8-2023

On Wednesday we dropped our second February video for our MS Tech Bits!  Neeraj Jhaveri (Twitter | @nodestreamio) and Andres Padilla (Twitter | @neeraj_jhaveri) share with us the Tips & Tricks for Azure Data Lake Gen 1 to Gen 2 Migrations.

This topic is a big deal!  Andres worked with the PG to develop the program and work with some of our largest customers in the world to migrate off of ADLS Gen 1 to ADLS Gen 2.  He and Neeraj share their experience and many links that will help you through this journey.  Speaking of which, if this is a situations where you find yourself or your company finds itself, then you should DEFINITELY be working with our team Azure FastTrack CXP.  We are a complimentary Product Group in Azure Engineering that works directly with customers on their move or adoption to Azure.  Here's a link to a video on how you can engage with us!

Thursday 2-9-2023

On Thursday we had our Community Round Table featuring incredible content from you the community.

I could write more about what we did on the show but I'd rather share all the amazing content that we covered in the order of appearance:


What is Diversity & Inclusion? - Global Diversity Practice by Global Diversity Practice Twitter @gdptweets


Microsoft’s commitment to the data community By Jeremy Kadlec Twitter @MSSQLTips  


The elephant in the room: How to write PySpark Unit Tests by Prashanth Xavier


Structured Streaming in Synapse Spark by Ryan J Adams Twitter @ryanjadams


Bing With AI: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Why Search Is Changed Forever by Joanna Stern Twitter @JoannaStern


Resolving Azure Data Studio's Identity Crises by Frank Boucher & Erin Stellato Twitter @fboucheros @erinstellato


Combining the power of Optimum, OpenVINO™, ONNX Runtime, and Azure by The AI Show Live (Cassie Breviu, Akhila Vidiyala, Devang Aggarwal)


SQL Server on Linux Install - The Basics by Phil Ekins Twitter @SQLPhilUK


Black History Month: Why we celebrate it in February : NPR by Scott Neuman Twitter @ScottNeumanNPR


Sessions and Speakers by Numbers (SQLBits 2023!)  By Rob Sewell Twitter @sqldbawithbeard 


Creating Azure Monitor alerts for Cosmos (and other databases) queries by Andre Dewes 


SQL Server Transactional Replication by Gareth Newman 


We hope you will all join us this week, on Tuesday we have a BIG guest.  No spoilers on who won and will be the host, but the one and only Patrick LeBlanc (Twitter | @PatrickDBA) from Guy in a Cube on the program on Tuesday at 1 pm EST.  

I've known Patrick for well over a decade at this point in my life.  He's an incredibly man and I cannot wait for the conversation!

Don't forget we will have another MS Tech Bit this Wednesday and as always the Community Round table will be live on Thursday.

We hope to see you there.  And as always Dear Reader, Thank you for stopping by.



Monday, February 6, 2023

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 01-31-2023

 Hello Dear Reader!  After a weekend with a lot of activities, it was a down week here at Casa Balls.  Woke up and walked a lot.  I'm still not back to running.  A groin pull is not something I've had a lot of experience with, yet it entered my life in December and I cannot wait for it to leave.

I miss running, last year I ran 755.1 kilometers.  Right now I can walk, as long as my pace is not too quick, and I can ride a bike.  The key is really to get out in the morning, take in some sunshine, and get the blood flowing.  

If I can do that I find that helps put me in the proper headspace to be productive during the day.  One of my favorite things as of late it take pictures.

In the morning I set out and take pictures as I walk around the neighborhood.  Even when I did "run", it was actually interval running.  The reason I note that is I tend to take pictures when I'm in the walking portion of my interval run.  With the exception of my phone, I do not carry a camera on me.  I still  manage to get some really great pictures of the day.  

So this weekend was a lot of walking, cooking, and hanging out.  I hope you had a great weekend, and made it out to enjoy some time outside or inside amongst family and friend. On to the re-cap!

Tuesday 1-31-2023

On Tuesday we had Andrew Nathan (Twitter | @AndrewNathan05) Principal Engineering Manager from the Azure FastTrack Core team was our special guest.  We discussed the Zero Trust Security imitative by Microsoft that all customers should consider when building their architecture.  We also discussed International Travel Tips ahead of SQLBits!  SQLBits is the largest Microsoft focused Data Community conference in Europe.  This year it is Hybrid which means Dear Reader, if you cannot make it in person you could still attend this fantastic conference.

We played our hosting show, I was the host this week!  Want to know who won?  Check out the video above to enjoy the show and find out!

Wednesday 2-1-2023

NEW THIS YEAR! We will be dropping weekly technical content every Wednesday, our MS Tech Bits.  This week it was my turn to produce a video.  I was working with a friend and they wanted to know how to troubleshoot deadlocks they were experiencing.  The first step in that process is understanding what is a deadlock and how to find them when they occur.  So I made this video How to Monitor Deadlocks in Azure SQL Managed Instance to help.

This is a fun little video where I walk you through the process.  Also there is a bit of an easter egg in this vide.  If the shirt I'm wearing on the video looks familiar that's because I wore this in another blog post, and it means a lot to me.

Thursday 2-2-2023

On Thursday we had our Community Round Table.  This is one of my favorite shows every week because we get to give a shout out to the great content producers in the community.  People writing blogs, producing videos, or even GitHub repositories that help people get things done.  It's just amazing.

Here's a list of the content featured on the Round Table in order of appearance:


International Travel Tips: 26 Things to Know Before Going Overseas by Clark Howard Twitter @ClarkHoward


Network, Develop & Share @ SQLBits 2023 | Data Exposed Exclusive   By Rie Irish & Simon Sabin Twitter @IrishSQL & @simon_sabin & @SQLBits


How to integrate Azure Databricks with Azure Machine Learning for running Big Data Machine Learning jobs?   by Pieter Sterkens


Introducing 'Managed AirFlow' in Azure Data Factory  by Avishek Narain Twitter @narainabishek


12 Tips to Prepare for an International Trip by Benét J. Wilson Twitter @benetwilson


Tempdb Performance Improvements in SQL Server 2022 are Dramatic by Monica Rathbun Twitter @SQLEspresso


Unleashing the power of AI with Azure OpenAI: A simple guide to get started.  by Meer Alam Twitter @alamMeer


Beginner's Guide to Azure Data Factory by Catherine Wilhelmsen Twitter @cathrinew


International Travel to and from the United States   | CDC by The CDC Twitter @CDCgov


Ready to be a Kusto Detective with Azure Data Explorer? By Patrick Leblanc & Guy In A Cube Twitter @PatrickDBA & @GuyInACube


MLflow 2.0 and Azure Machine Learning by Facundo Santiago Twitter @santiagofacundo


When to have Multiple Data Lakes   by James Serra Twitter @jamesserra


And now we draw the blog to a close.  We have a great line up this week!  Make sure to tune in Tuesday at 1 pm EST for a very special guest.  Wednesday we have our second MS Tech Bit coming up with my co-hosts Andres Padilla and Neeraj Jhaveri covering Tips and Tricks for Migrating Azure Data Lake Gen 1 to Gen 2.

On Thursday we will wrap up our week with our Community Round Table also at 1 pm EST.  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and as always Dear Reader.  Thank you for stopping by.




Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 01-23-2023

 Hello Dear Reader!  It's been a while since I had time to sit down and write out a Monday re-cap

This past week was my birthday week.  With all the stress of the current modern world it was really nice to have some dedicated family time.  

The fun started on my actual birthday, my wife gave me an amazing birthday present for me and my oldest son to go to the Mega-Con comic book convention this year!

My parents drove over and took me plus my youngest son to lunch at Yellow Dog Eats, an AMAZING BBQ joint nearby.  

That evening the family went out to eat, we played games, checkers, and topped it off at home with a Double Fudge Coca-Cola cake.  Not on the list of approved items for diabetics, but the goal is to have a little fun.  This was genuinely one of my best birthday.

This weekend we went to Disney Springs with a group of 10 friends.  We headed over to Splitsville Lanes and to go bowling.

The music was surprisingly good, food was solid, and the drinks were flowing.  Which is good, because none of us will becoming professional bowlers anytime soon.

We walked around, enjoyed some live music, and because it was Disney, the shopping.  Enough about that, let's move on to the recap!

Tuesday 1-24-2023

We Had Paloma Garcia (Twitter | @PalomaGarcia40) Sr. Support Engineer from the Azure SQL PaaS Solutions team on the show!  The theme of the show was IT Troubleshooting Skills!

We had a lot of fun, some insightful, and some surprising conversations.  In a very lucky turn of events, I won the hosting duties and will be the host for the Tuesday show on 1/31/2023!

Thursday 1-27-2023

On Thursday we had the Community Round Table!  

Our good friend Dan Taylor joined the show in place of Josh Luedeman who was out for the day.   The guys surprised me by singing "Happy Birthday", very sweet of them to do so, and we covered amazing community content!

Here's a list of all the content covered in order of appearence:


All of Paloma Garcia’s Blogs -   (dropdown and select written by) by Paloma Garcia 


  6 Best Practices for Effective IT Troubleshooting by Robert Reselman (Twitter |@Rapid7)


Azure Analysis Services Migration to Power BI Premium By Andy Cutler (Twitter | @MrAndyCutler)


  Application Insights telemetry in Azure Functions  by Orestis Meikopoulous (Twitter|@ormikopo)


Troubleshooting SQL Server Connection Errors  by Mike Wolfe (Twitter | @NoLongerSet)


Defining Customer Support in 2023: 7 Keys of Modern Support  by Declan Ivory (Twitter | @Intercom)


Azure Synapse Analyzer Report to monitor and improve Azure Synapse SQL Dedicated Pool performance by Sanjay Raut


  Ingesting Time Series Data  by Luis Delgado


  TSQL Scripts for Troubleshooting Common Issues with SQL Server  by Esther Xin


  6 Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills Effectively   by Zoe B (Twitter|@Slifestrategies)


  SQL Managed Instance: Transactional Replication By Sasa Popovic (Twitter |@SasaPopovicMSFT)


  ML Inference on Edge devices with ONNX Runtime using Azure DevOps+MLOps   by Wolfgang Pauli (Twitter | @neurobabel)


  The Art of Troubleshooting for Customer Support Professionals  by Sarah Chambers (Twitter | @sarahleeyoga)


Quick Programing Note: We have to move the Elfster show.  Coordinating schedules with so many wonderful people can be tricky.  But everyone who is on our list is exceedingly important to one another and we have to make sure everyone is there!  So we are moving the Elfster show to Tuesday February 21st.  So a little Christmas in February! 

Alright Dear Reader, I'm heading out for some quick morning exercise before the day begins in earnest.  We appreciate you and hope you have a wonderful day!

As always, Thank You for stopping by!



Monday, November 21, 2022

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 11-14-2022 Live! 360

 Hello Dear Reader!  Last week was a week we have been building towards since the launch of Tales from the Field.  My favorite conference every single year, Live! 360.  Live! 360 is 5 conferences in one.    TechMentor, Visual Studio Live, Artificial Intelligence Live, Cloud & Containers Live, & SQL Server Live.  

Much like the SQL community became the Microsoft Azure Data Community SQL Server Live is largely about the Data Community as a whole with sessions on Synapse, COSMOS, Azure Arc Data Services, SQL Server 2022, Power BI, and many other topics. 

My favorite part about this conference is the organizers and the people who attend.  Of course, a big bonus is I get to see friends of my and other Microsoft colleagues, and that is always incredible.  But these organizers are something else.  Everyone I get to come here immediately understands how great they are to work with, what an amazing job they do taking care of the attendees, the speakers, & the staff involved.  I've been presenting at Live! 360 since 2012 at the first SQL Live event.  The organizers have been the same this whole time.  They are great people, that you just love to work with.

The audience at Live! 360 is also different than what I find at most community events.  This is a much more developer & enterprise customer centric conference, and it forces you to look outside of the traditional DBA events.  I started my technical life as a developer, and it is a chance to stretch my old technical skills.

This year I had some fun and created several videos where I was walking up each day.  I will post those soon, and we have a big surprise for you this week when we will drop a whole lot of Live! 360 content on Thanksgiving Day!

"So Balls", you say, "When do we get to the wrap up?"

I hear you Dear Reader. Away we go!

SUNDAY 11-13-2022

This was a great event.  My colleagues Josh Luedeman (@JoshLuedeman | Twitter), Buck Woody (@BuckWoodyMSFT | Twitter), & myself started the week by delivering our Hands on SQL Server Ground to Cloud workshop on Sunday!  

If you didn't make it and would like to take the course, I have good news for you.  The whole SQL Server Ground to Cloud course is posted on GitHub and you can access it here!

TUESDAY 11-15-2022

"WHOA, WHOA, WHOA BALLS!", you say.  "What happened to Monday?". 

I was busy working with customers and setting up the Microsoft Booth for the conference on Monday Dear Reader.  There were great pre-con's underway by Davide Mauri (@mauridb | Twitter), Thomas LaRock (@SQLRockstar | Twitter), Karen Lopez (@DataChick | Twitter), and many more.  We had a meet and great with speakers and attendees, dinner, then bed, because we had to be up early for the keynote!

Tuesday kicked off with a Keynote by Henk Boelman (@hboelman| Twitter) and Buck Woody AI for Good - Using the Intelligent Data Platform to Create Assistive AI.

During the keynote Buck started off by showing how he assisted the owner of a grocery store with the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform.  We used Azure Synapse Link for Azure SQL Database to create a seamless workflow migrating OLTP data to our data warehouse. Buck then used Power BI in an Azure Synapse Analytics Workspace to generate reports going against the real time data.

That's great Henk replied.  Buck helped the seller.  Henk wanted to empower the shopper.  He gave an example of someone with sight impairment.  He show how to train a voice assistant, which was amazing and a little scary.  He could then use that voice assistant, using his voice, to say anything he typed.

He then DELETED HIS DEMO TO SHOW US HOW TO REBUILD IT!! Talk about high stakes.  I don't think Buck will complain about me typing in a demo again..... actually he will.  He has.  He has complained about me typing in a demo. 

Henk then used ML Flow to train a synaptic model that could verify and describe items using a camera.  He then created a work flow using both models so he could scan an item and use his voice assistant to read the contents.  In this case a can of Sprite.  It not only read the can, it read out the calories and ingredients!

But that's not all.  Tuesday also had our LIVE SHOW!  Yes, we were live from Live! 360 with special guest's Thomas Larock & Buck Woody!

I Hosted!!! Want to see who won? the video!

WEDNESDAY 11-16-2022

Wednesday started off with in a really nice way.  There's this really great guy on the other side of the Pond named Hugo Kornelis (@Hugo_Kornelis| Twitter).  Hugo is battling a really tough disease.  He has blogged about it prolifically. He's a good man.  He's a good friend.  We all want him to get better.  Some months ago another of his very good friends reached out to many of us, and we all spread the word behind the scenes and we all got t-shirts that said #TeamHugo.  At our conference and the PASS Summit out in Seattle, many people wore a shirt and took pictures sending our love to Hugo on Wednesday.

My friend Ginger Grant (@DestertIsleSQL | Twitter) and I had our picture taken by Buck supporting our friend. Like I said really nice way to start off the day.

The majority of Wednesday was spent working in the Microsoft Booth and interviewing some people for this Thursday's show!  Davide, Karen, and Alan Hirt (@SQLHA | Twitter) all amazing people in the own right, sat down with me for interviews.  Lunch was the Bird's of a Feather luncheon where we sit with attendees and talk about anything they want to discuss.  I had a full table and we had a lot of great discussions.  Some performance tuning, some Azure related, some analytics, some Azure Security and Azure Policy based questions.

At the end of the day we had a quick dinner out, before heading back to the dessert luau.

At this luau Tom had insisted one of his co-workers go up and participate in the show.  She repaid him by ensuring he would have to go up later.  When his name was called, I could see him shrinking away.  He clearly wanted to pull his hat down, and step further in the shadows so he would not have to go on stage.  It was apparent.  He really wanted this to pass over.

So I did what any good.... no scratch that, any truly great friend would do.

I held my hand up high and yelled at the top of my lungs, "HE'S RIGHT HERE!  THOMAS LAROCK IS RIGHT HERE! IT'S OK I FOUND HIM."

Naturally, when he took the stage the next name called could not be found.  The man on stage said he needed someone.  Thomas leaned over and gave him a name.  "BRADLEY BALL", the man bellowed.

I looked at Josh shrugged and said, "Yep.  Seems fair.", and walked up to the stage.  After that it was time to head back to the hotel room because I had to present at 8 am.  Oh, if you want to see what happened, watch the video. 

THURSDAY 11-17-2022

First session of the day was me presenting Indexing Internals for Developers & DBA's.  The audience was amazing.  We had almost 100 people in the room.  Great crowd, great feedback, really wonderful follow up questions and conversations with attendees.  My thanks to them, without attendees showing up in the room speakers cannot do what we do.  Over half of my audience was developers, and I love it when we discuss concepts.

SQL Server is an application.  It is written by developers.  It is used by DBA's.  We live it we breath it, but we should never forget it is an application.  Developers & DBA's must work hand in hand to exchange knowledge in order to be successful in any enterprise.  The best places I've ever worked have great interpersonal relationships that span IT teams.  They have to.  We all depend on one another. 

Next up was the SQL Server Live! Panel Discussion: Azure Cloud Migration Discussion. Buck, Karen, Alan (filling in for Ginger), and myself were on the panel and Thomas was our host. This was a great Q & A with the audience were they asked us questions and we gave them answers. There were lot's
of great questions from "how do I convince my boss to move to Azure", "does the fact that we are using M365 help us in a migration", to "what are the gotcha's", "what mistakes have you seen made", "what are the best strategies" were asked.  Two people working for Microsoft PG's and two Microsoft Data Platform MVP's with over 25 years of being MVP's did our best to give out the answers.

Once again, amazing attendees!

Next up I presented Azure Synapse Serverless Pools: POLARIS DEEP DIVE.  I love this session.  This is a fun one where we discuss the architectural differences between Dedicated Pools and Serverless Pools.  I show a bunch of demos, the last is a customized SQL Stress test against two external tables hitting the same object to show the concurrency scale of the Polaris engine on Serverless Pools. 

Then we talk about some architecture patterns.  I love giving this talk to user groups or conferences.  Serverless Pools are one of my favorite new products to use in Azure Synapse. I wish I got a picture of the room and the great audience.  Alas I did not, I was busy talking, answering questions, and having a
good time with the crowd and I forgot to take a picture.

The final session of the day was the NEXT? LIVE! 360 Networking Event.  Another event were we the speakers were 1:1 with the audience.  Any attendee who wanted to come and ask us questions could.  Questions we received!  We had questions on data modeling, secure data centers, replication, SQL Server 2022 and why we should upgrade from SQL 2019, tips on migrating from SQL 2012 to 2022 including a discussion on how to use the Query Data Store, and more.

Here's a quick video summarizing the day!

All of that and we also had the Tales from the Field Community Round Table!! We recorded this last week because Josh and I were both delivering sessions during our normal broadcast time.  Great discussion up front about Thanksgiving & Time travel.

Of course, OUTSTANDING content provided to the community from:


So you want to talk at conferences? This is what its like.  by Todd Motto Twitter @toddmotto


Pro SQL Server 2022 Wait Statistics Book by Thomas LaRock Twitter @SQLRockstar


Azure Purview Deployment Checklist by Zeinab Mokhtarian 


PowerBI Row Level Security by Thomas LeBlanc Twitter @TheSmilingDBA


Introducing the SQL Server 2022 blog series - Microsoft SQL Server Blog by Bob Ward Twitter @bobwardms


Synapse Spark Delta Time Travel by Liliam Leme Twitter @LemeLiliam


Azure Stream Analytics releases slew of improvements at Ignite 2022: Output to Delta Lake and more!  by Ajeta Singhal Twitter @ajeta_singhal


Four Different ways to Incorporate Azure Synapse and PowerBI  by Ginger Grant Twitter @DesertIsleSQL


Best Thanksgiving Deals by Twitter @theblackfriday


Performance Tuning Table Visuals With Filters Applied In Power BI by Chris Webb Twitter @cwebb_bi


Optimize your Stream Analytics job’s performance using Job Diagram Simulator by Alex Lin


DAX Date Calculations Cheat Sheet by Arthur Graus Twitter @ArthurGraus


This was an amazing week.  A busy week.  A week to see old friends, make new ones, and help people learn. 

Remember this week there are no Live Tales from the Field shows, HOWEVER we WILL DROP NEW CONTENT on Tuesday & Thursday just for you!

As always Dear Reader, I hope you have a happy holiday weekend if you celebrate, as always Thank You for stopping by.



Monday, November 14, 2022

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 11-07-2022 Run Disney, Gareth, & Veteran's Day

 Hello Dear Reader!  Last week I was fresh off of finishing the Run Dinsey 5K, 10K, & Food and Wine Half Marathon.  My good friend Josh Luedeman (@JoshLuedeman | Twitter), his wife Lisa, and my wife Sue all did the 5K together.

The 5K was particularly meaningful to me.  

My dear friend Gareth Swanepoel and I once did the Princess 5K together.  Gareth was famously known throughout the Microsoft Data Community.  

If you knew him, you have only to close your eyes to see his beaming smile and hear his booming laughter.  Gareth was the one who got me to start running in the first place.  

Gareth didn't do anything half way.  So when we were set to run the race he insisted we dress up for the occasion!  He dressed as Donald Duck, with a tutu that had lights interlaced inside of it.  To match him, I dressed as Mickey Mouse complete with black tutu that had lights as well.

We were supposed to walk, but the excitement got to me.  I had trained for this and was not yet running longer races and I ran off.  I then ran back, in the end I completed a 7K instead of the mere 5K we had signed up for.  I was worried I had upset him by running off, instead we laughed and he loved the progress I had made.  In the end we finished how we started.  Together.

Josh & I had signed up, and as we walked the expo floor I saw tutu's and better yet! Sparkly headbands!  I bellowed out, "OH WE ARE DOING THIS"!

Josh, to his credit, was a fantastic sport.  While these tutu's did not light up, we found tutu's that matched our jerseys.  To make it even more special Gareth's sister Tessa had given me two of Gareth's shirts.  A rugby jersey that bore his name and his favoirte Rugby team, which I wore.  Another was his Captain America Sharks jersey which was given to Josh and he wore.  Both of those shirts have special significance outside of just them belonging to Gareth.  Gareth wore these multiple times around us and for special occasions.  

So we two friends started out the weekend, in tribute to our dear friend and we finished the way we started.  Together. 

"So Balls", you say, "I miss him too."

Well said Dear Reader.  Well said.  

On to the show. 

TUESDAY 11-8-2022

On the Tuesday show we had Andrew Nathan (@AndrewNathan05 | Twitter) Principal Engineering Manager from the Azure FastTrack Infrastructure team.  Andrew is also a Veteran, and he is very active in Veteran's organizations within Microsoft.  Andrew shared with us his experience transitioning from the Military to Microsoft.  

His perspective is one that we have encountered many times with former and current Military members.  Operational excelence is the standard operating procedures.  Many veterans do not realize that the skill set they have translates to a career in technology and in IT Security. It was a fantastic conversation, and it will lead to many more conversations we have with Andrew in the future.

Neeraj was the host this week, I WASN'T DISQUALIFIED!!! I won!  So I am the host this week at Live 360!

THURSDAY 11-10-2022

Thursday is Community Round Table day!  We had a call for content this week and recieved some great submissions. 

Here are the links that we covered:


Data Security Explained: Challenges and Solutions By Mike Tierney Twitter @Netwrix


Data Science For Power BI Developers  By Sandeep Pawar Twitter @PawarBI


Zero Trust Security for IoT  by Arjmand Samuel Twitter @arjmandsamuel


  Configure Bicep code scanning in GitHub with Microsoft Defender for DevOps  By Will Velida Twitter @Willvelida


Veterans in Tech: Transitioning From Service into the Tech Industry By Kristen Capuzzo Twitter @KCapuzzo @QwasarSV


Mastering DP-500 Exam: Querying JSON Data in Serverless SQL Pools  By Andy Cutler Twitter @MrAndyCutler


Microsoft Defender for IoT Ninja Training   By Kim Wall


  Fun with KQL - Arg_Max and Arg_Min By Robert Cain Twitter @ArcaneCode


Krebs on Security – In-depth security news and investigation By Brian Krebs Twitter @briankrebs 


Database Projects – Merging changes By Olivier Van Steenlandt Twitter @Oli_Vsteenlandt


DevOps Security Workbook By George Wilburn 


  Granular Cost Management for Azure Data Factory  By Koen Verbeeck Twitter @Ko_Ver


The week went well.  I have the medals at home, but I realized that I did not take a picture of the medals themselves.  

As I type this I am sitting in our pre-con at Live 360!  

So here's a quick picture of me with the medals after the race.

A quick programing note, we are NOT doing Live shows the week of Thanksgiving.  

We are taking some time off to spend with our families and we hope Dear Reader, that you too have some time off planned.

HOWEVER, we do have NEW content that will drop Tuesday at 1 pm and Thanksgiving Day at 1 pm!  

Tuesday will be technical content dealing with ACID and Transaction Isolation Levels within SQL Server, Thursday will be a really fun suprise!

We hope you will check out the content, but most importantly we hope you have a great week with your family!  As always Dear Reader, Thank you for stopping by.