Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Partner Training‏

Tomorrow I will be presenting at the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Partner Training! This is a Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago event and is for Microsoft Partners only.

 If you are interested in attending or need more information about the event, please contact Rose Nath at or Indera Ghanesh at
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PASS Azure VC Meeting - November Meeting

Topic: In-Depth Azure’s No-SQL with Azure Tables
Speaker: Herve Roggero, Partner Blue Syntax Consulting LLC
When: Tuesday, Nov 20 2012 17:00 - 18:00 Eastern Standard Time
Summary: In this presentation, Herve will talk about the benefits and practices of Windows Azure’s no-sql offering called Azure Table. Herve will demonstrate the use of Azure Tables, how to migrated data in and out of Azure Tables and a SQL Server environment, and some of the important design considerations when creating Azure Tables from a performance standpoint. Herve will also review the performance and scalability objectives of Azure Tables and how this impacts your design decisions.

About Herve: Herve Roggero, SQL Azure MVP and co-author of PRO SQL Azure, is the founder of Blue Syntax Consulting ( Herve’s experience includes software development, architecture, database administration and senior management with both global corporations and startup companies. Over the last 15 years, Herve has worked in the Education, Financial, Health Care, Management Consulting and Database Security sectors. He holds multiple certifications, including an MCDBA, MCSE, MCSD. He also holds an MBA from Indiana University. Herve is heavily involved with the South Florida SQL Server community, speaks at multiple venues, and runs SQL Saturdays in South Florida.
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SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1

For those who did not see the PASS Summit 2012 Day 1 Keynote or haven't heard the news on the IT grapevine, just thought you should know that  Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 was released last week. Check MSDN to see what updates and capabilities are available in this release. If you want to know what bugs are fixed then check the KB article.

Available Downloads: 

After installing, run SELECT SERVERPROPERTY('ProductLevel') to ensure SP1 is returned!
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PASS Summit 2012 Day 2 Keynote - Live Blog

Welcome to the PASS Summit 2012 Day 2 Keynote. You can see it live here -

I am here at the blogger table again representing Trinidad and Tobago, TTSSUG and SolidQ!

8:20 Douglas McDowell, Executive Vice President of Finance just started the keynote!

He welcomes all the attendees from around the world and is now highlighting the PASS Revenue and Expense Trend - FY2011, FY2012 and FY2013.

Douglas highlights the new elected PASS board members - Wendy Pastrick, James Rowland-Jones and Sri Sridharan. I am sitting new to Wendy at the bloggers table!

8:35 He is now introducing the PASS Vice President of Marketing, Thomas LaRock!

PASSion award winner - Jen Stirrup - I have an interview with her -

PASSion Award Honorable mention - Amy Lewis and Jesus Gil!

Tom just announced PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, NC from October 15-18.

SolidQ highlighted as one of the companies who sent more than 5 people to the summit this year!

Today is the 'Women in Technology' (WIT) luncheon and tomorrow is the 'Birds of a Feather' luncheon.

8:40 Thomas just introduced Quentin Clark, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the SQL Program Management, before leaving the stage.

9:10 Demo with Hadoop and PDW and general BI.

9:50: Demo still going but I have to go get ready for my next session so I am ending my live blog session now.

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PASS Summit 2012 Day 1 Keynote - Live Blog

Welcome to the PASS Summit 2012 Day 1 Keynote. You can see it live here -

Today I am at the blogger table representing Trinidad and Tobago, TTSSUG and SolidQ!

8:15 Bill Graziano, PASS President, kicks off the keynote!

He highlights the PASS TV, a new feature of the PASS Summit.

Some PASS facts:
PASS has over 127000 members. There are 250+ local PASS Chapters in over 65 countries and 20 Virtual Chapters!

Bill thanks all the volunteers for making PASS what it is today.

What's that I'm hearing - A new conference, The PASS Business Analytics Conference in Chicago, April 10-12, 2013.

8:30 He is currently talking about the PASS international Focus, I am very interested in more information about this.

8:40 Bill introduces Ted Kummert, Microsoft Corporate Vice President
Ted welcomes the attendees to the SQL Family.

First big announcement from Ted, SQL Server 2012 SP1 is available today!

Buzz word for 2013 - Big Data. If you never heard of this before then you need to get familiar

Second big announcement - In-memory for OLTP - Codename 'Hekaton'

8:55 A Hekaton and xVelocity ColumnStore Demo

Third big announcement - SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse! Coming in 2013

9:15 Parellel Data Warehouse Demo

Ted introduces PolyBase which would be in Parallel Data warehouse. PDW powered by PolyBase, enables queries across relational data & non-relational Hadoop data.
Ted highlights that PDW is built for Big Data

9:30 Amir Netz is going to do a BI demo using SQL Server 2012 SP1 and Office 2013
Full interactive map in Excel 2013 - how awesome is that!
Most of PASS attendees agree that Excel is now the complete end-user BI tool!

Entertaining demo by Amir, this dude is a very energetic individual!

Keynote Day 1 is over, time for some PASS Summit 2012 sessions and networking!

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Interview With Dr. David DeWitt - PASS Summit 2012 Special

Last week, when I saw the announcement on the PASS Summit Keynote Page that Dr. David DeWitt was coming to the PASS Summit 2012, my first thought was “cool” and then my second thought was “it would be really cool if I did an interview with him”.  If you are interested in seeing him present, then check out his Spotlight Session on “Big Data Meets SQL Server”.

The following interview with Technical Fellow and past Keynote speaker, Dr. David DeWitt is my special treat for the SQL Community!

Tell us about yourself

After finishing my PhD degree in 1976, I spent 32 years as a computer science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison teaching database courses and conducting a research program in the database area. I supervised 35 Ph.D. students over the course of my career as a professor. I spent 5 years as department chair.

In March 2008, I retired from academia and started a small research and advanced development facility for Microsoft in Madison which, organizationally, is part of the SQL Server product team. In addition to 8 full time employees, the lab also houses 8 graduate students as well as a couple of faculty members as consultants. The URL for our site is

Tell us your favorite thing about your PASS session(s)

I love the enthusiasm and energy at the keynote talks I have given over the past 5 years. While the talks always take a long time to prepare (sometimes dismaying my bosses about the amount of time I spend on them) it is always worth the effort. The audience is truly amazing. Having seen the tweets, a couple of years ago my wife decided she had to come see me in person. Not only did she find a math error on one of my slides, she decided that I was not as good a speaker as the tweets might indicate.

While I was disappointed that I was not asked to do another keynote this year, I am very pleased to be able to give a spotlight talk.

Tell us about your first time presenting at PASS Summit

The first time I gave a keynote at PASS was in 2008. I had only been a Microsoft employee for about 6 months at the time and I decided to talk about parallel database systems, an area I had been working on for more than 30 years. Only after Bill Graziano rode a motorcycle across the stage did I fully understand how different PASS is than the typical academic conference I had attended as a professor. I had never spoken to more than 500 people. I was truly terrified to find myself in front of more than 2000 people. But the audience was incredibly gracious in their comments and I found the entire experience very satisfying - forcing me to up my game at every successive keynote.

As a previous keynote speaker, you know what it takes to present to a PASS audience. What advice can you give to new, current and future PASS speakers?

Prepare, prepare, prepare. I typically start on a talk at least a couple of months in advance and strive to have a complete initial draft of the talk a month in advance. I fine tune every single slide repeatedly, striving for maximum understanding by the entire audience. Having taught undergraduate and graduate classes for many years I have developed a pretty good sense of how to communicate complicated ideas as simply as possible, but I still find that every talk requires a large amount of work on my part.

Do you have any general advice for the professionals who are trying to increase their in-depth knowledge of SQL Server?

There is no better place to do this than by attending PASS. It is an incredible community of individuals willing to share their expertise with their peers.

Do you have any general advice or words of encouragement for the SQL Server Community?

This is an amazing time to be involved in the database field. The amount and types of data being accumulated by every business and organization is simply incredible. The move to the cloud opens many new opportunities that we are only beginning to appreciate.

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Interview With PASS Summit 2012 Speaker - Davide Mauri

This is the tenth and last in a series of interviews with speakers leading up to the 2012 PASS Summit which will be held in Seattle from November 6th - 9th.  My last post with Cindy Gross was done before I left Trinidad and this one was done in Chicago! This interview is with my Italian SolidQ colleague and friend, Davide Mauri.

Tell us about yourself

I am a SolidQ Mentor and member of the Board of Directors of SolidQ Italia.  I am also a Microsoft SQL Server MVP who speaks at international SQL Server conferences. I enjoy working with T-SQL and relational modeling and studying the theory behind it. My knowledge of Reporting Services, .NET, and object-oriented principles as well as my understanding of Integration Services and Analysis Services, gives me a broad area of expertise around the Microsoft Data Platform and the vision and experience to handle development of complex Business Intelligence solutions.

Twitter: @mauridb

Tell us your favorite thing about your PASS session(s)

DMVs are my favorite thing! Right from when Microsoft started to ship them in SQL Server 2005, they made my life much easier (and customers happier) since you can have a great understanding of what’s happening inside SQL Server, which is great when you have to do performance tuning or database administration.

Tell us about your first time at PASS Summit

My very first time was in Dallas. It was really great, since you can really feel the community and understand that there is not difference between being a speaker or not. Everyone is here just to share, learn and grow…and that’s really incredible!

What advice do you have for PASS Summit First Timers?

Ah, good question and a complex oneJ. I wrote a blog entry on this topic: PASS Summit for SQL starters, since it’s quite a broad one. In addition to what I said there, I would also add that the DVD is really a must have, since there are by far too many interesting session happening at the same time. And also networking is important too and you cannot do that after the event.

What are your can't-miss PASS sessions?

As said before I have wrote a blog post on this topic dedicated to the first-timers. My personal selection of session is the following:

 1. Inside SQLOS 2012 (Bob Ward)
2. Dive into the Query Optimizer: Undocumented Insight (Benjamin Nevarez)
3. Big Data Meets SQL Server (David DeWitt)
4. Performance Tuning Through the Plan Cache (Jason Strate)
5. Recovering Lost Data (Robert Davis)

And, of course, my session J DMVs are really a life saver, so everyone working with SQL Server should become very confident with them.

Besides sessions, what's on your must-do list at Summit?

Networking! Connect with other people, talk to speakers, discuss your ideas and problems with SQL CAT and SQL Development team….learn as much as you can, there’s no other place like this for someone involved with SQL Server. 

How can attendees become involved in the SQL Server Community and continue their learning throughout the year?

Well, the PASS website is surely a great resource, but also local PASS chapters are a great way to stay connected and up-to-date. In addition to that SQL Saturdays and 24 Hours of PASS (24HOP) offers additional possibilities to learn and improve.
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Interview With PASS Summit 2012 Speaker - Cindy Gross

This is the ninth in a series of interviews with speakers leading up to the 2012 PASS Summit which will be held in Seattle from November 6th - 9th.  This interview is with Microsoft Certified Master Cindy Gross.

Tell us about yourself

I have worked with SQL Server since 1993 when we had to feed stacks of diskettes to the OS/2 machines to install SQL Server 1.11. Since then I have worked with many different feature sets within SQL Server and I currently focus on the SQL BI stack and Big Data, including our new HDInsight offerings. As a member of SQL CAT I work with challenging scenarios to remove real world implementation roadblocks and publish lessons learned back to the community. I have spoken at SQL PASS Summits, SQL Saturdays, and local and virtual user group meetings. One of the hardest things I’ve done is earn the SQL Server 2008 Microsoft Certified Master certification. I live in Boise, ID where I can enjoy outdoor activities right outside my front door while also being only a short bicycle ride from our vibrant downtown.

Twitter: @SQLCindy

Tell us your favorite thing about your PASS session(s)

Hive is such an easy entry point for SQL Server professionals into the world of Big Data. It makes Hadoop data look like familiar tables with columns and rows and you can reuse your existing SQL language skills to enter into this new Big Data World. I’m excited to introduce Hive to whole new group of SQL Peeps and give some additional insights to those who have already dipped their toes into Hive!

Tell us about your first time at PASS Summit

I first attended the PASS Summit in Dallas. I was working the local Microsoft PSS support office at the time and went to PASS to work in the SQL Clinic. It was a great experience to meet so many people I had previously only met virtually. The wealth of knowledge and sense of #SQLFamily at the PASS Summit is astounding and it’s great to be part of that experience.

What advice do you have for PASS Summit First Timers?

Reach out to your fellow geeks and share your experiences with them. No matter how little or how much time you have been working with SQL Server you have valuable insights, questions, and answers. The PASS Summit is your chance to learn from the best in the SQL world and make some great friends along the way.

What are your can't-miss PASS sessions?

The SQL CAT team members are well known for presenting “can’t miss” sessions based on real world scenarios. Make sure you attend at least a couple of those. Base your decisions not just on the content but on the speakers, there are some people like Kalen Delaney that you just have to hear speak in person.

Besides sessions, what's on your must-do list at Summit?

Everyone should visit the SQL Clinic and talk to the CAT and PSS folks. Ask architectural or troubleshooting questions, get advice on something you’re thinking about or struggling with, and meet some of the people who get to work heads down on SQL Server every day. Networking with your peers is also very important – the connections you make at PASS can help you solve problems, become a member of the #SQLFamily, and maybe even help you find that perfect career move.

How can attendees become involved in the SQL Server Community and continue their learning throughout the year?

Attend local user group and SQLSaturday events, talk to people during breaks and at lunch. Find an active discussion group on a forum or mailing list and start reading the posts. Find some questions you are willing to answer and start answering. Sometimes just asking for clarification on the question can be a great help to both the questioner (who may find their answer while trying to add the information) and to the other readers. Start thinking about what you’re really good at or what you struggled to learn but figured out, whether it’s something basic or something really complicated someone else will be interested in knowing that same thing. Blog about it or put it together into a talk and demo and share it!

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