T-SQL Tuesday #025 – Reporting on Reports

This month's T-SQL Tuesday blog party is being hosted by Allen White (Blog | Twitter) and the theme for the party is 'Sharing your T-SQL Tricks'.

This topic sounds like an easy topic to blog about but when I sat down and thought about it the first thing that had me stumped was the concept of what is considered a 'trick'. What I consider a trick might not be a trick to some people so I decided to stop thinking about tricks and start focusing on the concept of what makes someone's life/job easier. Finding out about information that I didn't know existed and learning how to take advantage of existing information always creates an 'Ah-ha' moment in my life. This brings me to my T-SQL Tuesday focus on Reporting Services.

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SQLSaturday #102 Review

On November 11th we hosted SQLSaturday #102 in Trinidad and Tobago. Putting this event together was not simple but I believe that was because of the fact that it was the first time we were hosting it in the Caribbean and also it was the first time that I was planning an all-day event. Besides the issues the event was in my eyes an overall success!

We had a total of 86 people registered but on the day of the event we had 68 attendees from 35 different organisations. The attendees included Database Administrators, System Administrators, Software Developers, Analysts, Consultants, Team Leads, Managers and Company Owners.

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One More Day before SQLSaturday #102!

Today is the last day to register for SQLSaturday #102 Trinidad and Tobago!

We have PASS President and SQL Server MVP, Rushabh Mehta as well as SolidQ Mentor, Joe Chang flying in today. We also have two local speakers stepping up for the event, Hasani Holder and Jason Deyalsingh. I will also be  presenting on a requested topic.
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PASS Summit 2011 Review: Day 2- Day4

I had composed a review of Day 1 while I was at the summit and even though my plan was to write reviews for each day while at the summit; my days were so busy that I never got a chance to finish them.  When I got back to Trinidad, I decided to sum up the events for the day into one post however this post also suffered some delays due to all my free time being focused on SQLSaturday #102.
Finally I was able to complete this post, let the review begin!

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PASS Summit Day 2 Keynote - Live Blog

Welcome to the PASS Summit Day 2!

Today I am at the blogger table representing Trinidad, TTSSUG and SolidQ! If you can't see the name 'Nigel Sammy' in my badge you can recognise me with my spidey t-shirt (black suit for the comic book fans).
Today’s keynote session with Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, starts at 8:15am today! You can see it live here

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PASS Summit Experience Day 1

I am now blogging about my first day because my first day actually ended last night. I left Trinidad at 6:50 am on Monday and landed in Seattle at 8 pm (11 pm TT time). By the time I got to the hotel, checked in and got dinner it was 11 pm (3 am TT Time) and since I had to reach Trinidad airport by 3:50am it means I was up for 24 hours!
I got 2 hours rest (no not sleep) before getting up to check some mail and then I got ready to heading out for my ‘almost’ full day of meetings/events:
9:15 am- 12:15 am - SQLSaturday Meeting
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TTSSUG Event Review: SQL Server Security Best Practices

Last week Tuesday I presented at the TTSSUG September meeting which was a part of the Microsoft Tech Week! The session had less than twenty people but they were very lively and this led to various discussions. This contributed to a fun and very interactive session.
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Only 10 More Days...

Until the PASS Summit 2011!

Never heard about the PASS Summit?
The PASS Summit is the largest, most-focused and most-intensive SQL Server and BI conference in the world. This annual conference brings together SQL Server professionals for deep-dive technical learning, hands-on labs, and the best networking in the community. I will describe the summit as a 'must-attend' event for anyone who 'lives in the SQL Server world.'
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SQLSaturday comes to Trinidad and Tobago!

You may have been hearing rumours about an all-day SQL Server event, so I thought it would be best to write a blog post to confirm that SQLSaturday #102 will be held in Trinidad. SQLSaturday is an international event that would be occurring for the first time in the Caribbean on Friday November 11th 2011 at the Courtyard by Marriott and best of all it is FREE!

I decided to post a General FAQ session below to give more information about the event!
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TTSSUG Meeting during Microsoft Tech Week

I will be presenting at this month's TTSSUG meeting which will be held on September 27th as a part of the Microsoft Tech Week (September 27th to 29th). Due to requests and questions that I have encountered over the past few months, I have decided to focus on SQL Server Security for this meeting. The information being provided will be very useful to upcoming Database Administrators as well as Developers. For more details see the invite below and register now!

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T-SQL Tuesday #22: Have you seen PowerPivot for Excel?

"Wow it's T-SQL Tuesday already!" was the thought I had when I saw this month's T-SQL invitation yesterday. This month the blog party is being hosted by Robert Pearl and the topic he has chosen is 'Data Presentation'.

Initially I thought about not submitting a post this month because I wouldn’t have enough time to do a post with examples or tip and tricks. However as I thought about it more I realised that this is a good opportunity to highlight a product that has been very helpful to me: PowerPivot for Excel.

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Free SQL Server Training in September!

PASS is once again giving free SQL Server training '24 hours' style. That’s right, another 24 hours of PASS (24 HOP) event will be happening in September and since the PASS Summit is right around the corner they decided to go with the theme 'Summit Preview'. All the sessions would be done by world-renowned SQL Server and BI experts who are presenting at the PASS Summit 2011 in order to give you a free preview of the type of sessions you can expect at this year’s event.

Never been to a 24 hours of PASS event before? Not sure what you have to do to attend? Just go to the homepage and register! Don't miss the 24 free technical webcasts occurring on two days - 12 on September 7th and the other 12 on September 8th.
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TTSSUG Event Review: Demonstrating T-SQL Constructs

Our meeting on Tuesday did not have as many people as we hoped but the presentation done by Mitra Sinanan was very informative to the few that attended. He created some scripts to highlight the difference between some T-SQL constructs and explained when would be the best situations to use them. He also spoke about one of the command line utilities that came with SQL Server 2005 - the TableDiff Utility.
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T-SQL Tuesday #21: Too Much Of A Good Thing Can Sometimes Be Bad

This is the first time that I am taking part in a T-SQL Tuesday event but it seems that Adam knew I was going to take part so he did something special to celebrate my post and made it a T-SQL Wednesday event this month (the real reason is explained in his blog post).
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Help Wanted: NoSQL Information Required!

Earlier today, a developer contacted me to get some information about SQL Server since he is trying to decide which DBMS to use for his project.  Our conversation eventually moved away from SQL Server and brought us to the 'Relational vs. Non-Relational' discussion and of course 'NoSQL' was there waiting to be called next.
During that conversation I realised what little knowledge I had of NoSQL and not understanding both sides of the story made it difficult to give advice without seeming one sided. After the discussion I decided to go do some reading on it and thought it would be a good idea to blog about it as well. However with the number of things that I have to do I would probably take forever to get a blog post like that published.
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TTSSUG Event: Deploying and Managing Applications on Azure

Our presenter for this event, Hasani Holder, is a Teleios MessageCentral Software Engineer who has been using Azure since last year September. If you have no knowledge of Azure then this event will help you understand what Azure is and how to use it.
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Free E-Book: Data Quality and Master Data Management with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

I have been so busy for the last few weeks that I didn’t even get a chance to blog last month. Now that I have some time I decided to start the blogging this month with a SQL gift: a free e-book.

The book Data Quality and Master Data Management with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2”, written by Dejan Sarka and Davide Mauri, deals with master data. The book serves as a guide for achieving good quality of your master data and also a reference manual whenever you have master data issues.

Dejan and Davide are Microsoft MVPs and also SolidQ mentors.
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TTSSUG Event Review: SQL Azure 101

Earlier this month I presented at the TTSSUG's first event for 2011: an introduction to Microsoft SQL Azure titled ' SQL Azure 101'.

I started the presentation by explaining what a SQL Azure Database is and then moved into a discussion about the benefits of the product. The SQL Azure Architecture and Network Topology were described in order to give more insight into the security and high availability capabilities that exist. I also spoke about the differences between SQL Server and SQL Azure and then ended the session by highlighting how SQL Azure can be used in some typical business scenarios to benefit an organisation.

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Recovery Models: Selecting and Switching

A recovery model is a database configuration option that controls transaction log maintenance. The recovery model basically specifies how SQL Server manages logs files and controls what kind of backup and recovery procedures can be used for a database. The three types of recovery models that you can choose from in SQL Server are:
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TTSSUG April 2011: SQL Azure 101

Due to some unexpected issues we had to cancel our previously planned event so this meeting will actually  be the first TTSSUG meeting for 2011!

This event, SQL Azure 101, will be on April 13th from 9:30 am to 11:00 am in the Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, Ezekiel Conference Room, Chamber of Commerce. See the invite below for more details. To register click here.
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SQL Azure Gurus Online (SAGO)

Last year, the SQL Azure Virtual Chapter Leader, Scott Klein met with Paula Emery, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Azure at Microsoft, who expressed an interest in our group and assisting us with improving our membership and visibility. She also invited our committee members to join a premier SQL Azure Influencer group that was being started in the US called SAGO - SQL Azure Gurus Online. 

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24 Hours of PASS 2011 - Celebrating Women in Technology

March is Women's History Month and PASS is celebrating by having a 24 Hours of PASS (24HOP) event this month featuring 24 skilled Women in technology. Register as soon as possible to learning from some of the top female SQL Server and BI experts from around the world such as Kathi Kellenberger, Jen McCown, Cindy Gross, Kendra Little, Stacia Misner, Gail Shaw and many more. This two day online event is being held on March 15-16 and will begin at 12:00 GMT each day. For more information check the homepage: http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/spring2011

Don't miss the first 24HOP event for 2011!
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Require Information About Your SQL Server Instance?

Once you are responsible for an instance of SQL Server, whether it is an Enterprise edition or an Express edition, you should know some basic information about the instance.  There are various reasons why this information may be necessary so it is important that you know how and where to find it.

Some of the basic information such as the instance name, SQL Server edition, SQL Server version, etc. can be found on the General Page of the Server Properties dialog box.
To access this dialog box, perform the following steps:
  1. Start SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
  2. Connect to your instance using the necessary Authentication.
  3. Right-click the server name in the Object Explorer View and select 'Properties' (see diagram below).

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First TTSSUG Meeting For 2011!

This meeting, which is being held on the 15th of March 2011, will be focusing on SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS).  SSAS, an important component of The Microsoft Business Intelligence Platform, is used to create comprehensive analytic solutions which can drive actionable insight to users through familiar tools. This event is recommended for Developers, Database Developers and Database Administrators. See the invite below for more details. To register click here.
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Back to Basics

In life there are some tasks that  seem difficult to complete initially but as time goes by it becomes easier due to various reasons such as knowledge, understanding and of course practice. The easier it is for us to complete, the easier it is for us to forget how difficult it was initially. Many people take it for granted that what is easy or simple for them should be easy or simple for other people as well.
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SQL Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Guide

Interested in upgrading your existing SQL Server 2000 or 2005 instances to SQL Server 2008 R2? If you need advice or assistance then you should definitely check out the SQL Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Guide written by Solid Quality Mentors (SolidQ). The document, which is a supplement to the SQL Server 2008 R2 books online, provides essential phases and steps to ensure a smooth and successful transition. SolidQ are writers for the SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Upgrade Guides as well so you are definitely in capable hands. 
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PASS SQL Azure VC Meeting - Jan 2011

The PASS SQL Azure Virtual Chapter will be having its first event for 2011 on Wednesday 12th January at 12:00 PM PT. The Live Meeting event, SQL Azure Performance, will be presented by Herve Roggero and will focus on various aspects of performance and scalability of SQL Azure, including the importance of connection pooling, data federation, performance measures and more.
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2011 Blog Posts: What To Expect!

Since this is my first blog post for 2011, it is only right to start by wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

I was reviewing some of my blog posts for the past 2 years and realised that I need to make some changes to the type of blog posts this year. Before I highlight what to expect let me just do a recap:

As I mentioned in my first post, I had been trying to start a blog since 2007 but I only actually succeeded after viewing Steve Jones' 24 Hour PASS session - 'Building a better blog'. The main reason for the blog was to share the database information that I had inside my head and then after I became a Team Lead in 2008 I thought that blogging would be a great way to keep the database professional in me alive. The plan was to have various technical articles written in a style which will allow the blog to become a one stop site for SQL Server information.
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