PASS Summit 2016-Wednesday

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As all Summits, the first Regular Session day in Seattle started with the Keynote. Well, really it starts with a great breakfast at the Seattle Convention Center, but I digressed. Microsoft released information about new features for its Microsoft Data Platforms. The Keynote provided Customer specific examples of some of the newer features being used plus Program Managers demoing great examples of what is to come. For a summary, go to watch the PASStv Recap. A feature I am looking forward to seeing in action is Analysis Services in the cloud.

Congratulations to Malathi Mahadevan as PASS Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. She is a great representative of the PASS community and people love her service and passion.

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The Summit is an amazing trip.Wednesday, I spent time with Bill Anton rehearsing a 3 hour Analysis Service Performance Tuning session for Thursday he has put together. His knowledge of this subject is top tier so I learned a lot. I spent time in the Speaker Ready talking and practicing for a session on Excel Tips & Tricks With SSAS Cubes. This session takes all the technical work we IT people put together in a Cube and start to have some fun with it. What amazed me was half the people in the session (there was at least 100 attendees) were Cube builders. They were in the session to find out how people use cubes in Excel to develop better cubes. That is a lot of people still building cubes.

Before the Vendor Reception, I spent time after the Excel session talking to an attendee. He was very unique to me because he was not an IT person, but hired as a Financial/Accounting analyst. He was using data feeds from their hosted applications in PowerBI. It was difficult to explain to him the difference between a Cube, the Tabular Model, PowerPivot AND the modeling in PowerBI. Dimensional Modeling might be to advanced for him, he just wanted basic table design hints.

He was also concerned that there were not enough beginner T-SQL and database design sessions available for him at the Summit, so I spent time with him going through all the remaining session that were a fit for him plus vendors he should visit. He has never heard of Pluralsite or other online training like from PragmaticWorks. We exchanged business cards and wished each other a pleasant week as we walked past the Community Zone and into the Vender Reception.

PASS Summit 2016–Tuesday

For the first day at the Summit this year, I spent half my time in a Pre-Conference session with Idera as an outgoing Idera Ace. The session include a 45 minute presentation for me on a Customer Use-Case. The second half of the day was spent in #SQLPASS Community sessions.

The Customer Use-Case included screen captures of real-world diagnosis using Idera products. Diagnosis Manager provided most of the screens. I was able to show the forecasting reports for data file and table usage/growth. We were able to show a large table that indexes were occupying lots of space and investigated the Index Usage through Glenn Berry scripts on a historical level. Removing some large include indexes help alleviate the table growth in storage size.

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The other slides were about Alerts/EMails, User T-SQL History, BI Manager and Free Tools like SQL Check and SQL Fragmentation Analyzer.

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The Community sessions were for #SQLSaturday and User Group/Virtual Chapters. The SQLSaturday session was a full house with many comments and questions. Money and Sponsorship was the hot topic. Growth is still being encouraged, but overall the session had a lot of good points with many thanks to such a great community event system. At the end, an emotional Karla talked about the end to her five reign as PASS Community leader for PASS. What a wonderful ending to the session!!! I won’t show any pictures of her crying (or Grant crying).

The User Group and Virtual Chapter session were a lot about speakers than money or sponsorship.

Truly amazed at the turn out and range of areas represented. I wonder how many User Groups use remote speakers and how often? Interesting discussion about getting a Microsoft TAM or related MS employee to help sponsor or host monthly meeting. You do not pay them but it helps them in their reviews/bonuses.

Ryan Adam announces new features in SQLPass hosted user group pages. There will be an option to send out event notifications for email, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Matchup and other social media at one place, not manually doing many. Cheers from the crowd!!!

The evening end with a bite to eat at Welcome Reception and visiting with new and old friends, too many to list.