Thursday, September 29, 2011

PASS Summit 2011: My Itinerary

Here goes with what I hope to achieve the following week in Seattle, WA Oct 9-15 for my 4th summit.

I have spent about 1 hour a day reviewing what I have selected for the week with the really cool Build Your Schedule for Summit 2011.

Sunday Oct 9th is travel day, which starts about 1PM central in Baton Rouge and end at 9pm Pacific in Seattle. I will use this time to review my presentation and read parts of Louis Davidson’s book about relational databases.

Monday morning I hope to have breakfast will some SQL friends (Rob) and head to Rob Farley’s Pre-con on Fixing Queries with Advanced T-SQL constructs. I saw a session on 24 Hours of Pass by Rob, and realized I need to learn from this guy. He seems to have some real good customer/employer experience with queries, plus a dynamic personality. I like the fact his abstract says there will be not much PowerPoint Smile

Monday night Andy Warren and Steve Jones have a meet and greet social that I hope to attend with a new Summit person I encouraged to attend. Hopefully, I get to see John from West Virginia that night. Cool dude!!!

Tuesday is full of social activities with SQL people that volunteer on different levels. First, 8am meeting with Virtual Chapter leaders. I am the Co-Chair with Lorra Newton on the PASS Data Architecture VC. After that, there is a meeting of SQLSaturday people up until lunch. The chair of local PASS chapters meet in the afternoon, and I am going to try and represent the Baton Rouge chapter for William Assaf  and Patrick Leblanc. I really hope to meet some new faces in the SQL Server world during this day. There is always someone new that is so fired up about helping the community. I love being around these people of just listen and encourage.

Tuesday night is the Quiz bowl and Welcome reception which is always entertaining.

In addition to Quiz Bowl, Tuesday night is the best evening at Pass with and RedGate Casino Night. Steve Jones is a great guy to be around and SQL Server Central is where I got my first look at how giving the SQL Server community is with information. Thanks Steve, Andy and Brian!!!

If I do not get to blog the summit keynotes, I will skip the first keynote and go to the Lab and play around with Denali. These hands on labs are a great way to introduce new stuff. I will go to the Keynote on Friday with David DeWitt - Maybe Thursday morning I will go chat with the SQL First Aid station and just listen in on some debugging. If you have a problem, this is the place to be to get Microsoft Support to assist. I have used these people with replication problems in the past.

Wednesday starts the 3-day summit with 75, 90 and 1/2 day sessions. It is really hard to pick, but here goes.

I have multiple options for Wednesday thru Friday, the only sure thing is my 3rd Normal Form: That’s Crazy Talk!!! on Friday at 2:30pm.
Wednesday Oct 12th
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM -
[BIA-404] Add It Up: Analysis Services Aggregations
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
[BIA-305] Common Analysis Services Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
[DBA-304] SQL2008 Query Statistics
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
[DBA-500-HD] Inside Tempdb
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
[BID-306] Intelligent Laziness with the Management Data Warehouse – why work harder, when you can work smarter?
4:45 PM - 6:00 PM
[AD-318] Characteristics of a Great Relational Database
4:45 PM - 6:00 PM
[DBA-320] Why are we Waiting..
Wednesday is the Exhibitor Reception and I need to get with Quest people because my new employer uses SpotLight. Still need to say hi to Confio who have Ignite, the best Wait State performance monitor around.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
[DBA-403] Advanced SQL Server 2008 Troubleshooting
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
[BID-301] Reporting Services Techniques and Tricks
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
[AD-400] Physical join operators
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
[BIA-303-HD] So How Does the BI Workload Impact the Database Engine?
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
[DBA-314-S] What Happened? Exploring the Plan Cache
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM
[BID-303] Creating Business Intelligence Dashboards with PerformancePoint Services 2010
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM – I have to see at least one presentation by Peter Myer
[BID-305-S] End-to-End SQL Server PowerPivot
Thursday night I am taking the night off, have some dinner and rest for my presentation on Friday afternoon. I might go by the Community Appreciation Party sponsored by Microsoft for a quick bite.
Friday, October 14, 2011
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
[AD-500-S] Query Tuning Mastery: Zen and the Art of Workspace Memory
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
[DBA-402] Windows Operating System Internals for Database Pros
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
[BIA-307] Vertipaq vs OLAP: Change Your Data Modeling Approach
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
[BIA-308] Delivering KPIs with Analysis Services
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
[AD-206] 3rd Normal Form: That's crazy talk!!!
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
[AD-303] Parameter Sniffing: the Query Optimizer vs. the Plan Cache
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
[BID-302] Multidimensional Reporting: MDX Essentials for Report Design
Friday night find some people to have dinner and wind down, maybe blog some about the Summit. This is definitely the best week of training and networking I have ever experienced. Please go if you ever get a chance.

Saturday I travel home and hopefully I get some sleep on the plane and get some idea how LSU is doing against Tennessee. GEAUX TIGERS!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

24 Hours of PASS: Answer questions…

I will try my best to answer some of the questions after the Standard Operating Procedure webcast for 24 Hours of PASS.

First one is what design tools are out there. Here is a list I found from Louis Davidson’s book Pro SQL Server 2008 Relational Database Design and Implementation:

  • All Fusion ERwin Data Modeler
  • Toad data Modeler
  • ER/Studio
  • Visible Analyst DB Engineer
  • Visio Enterprise Edition

I would not suggest using the one built into SQL Server, because if you change the design then and save it, the tables will be updated automatically with the changes.

The second one had to do with having views in a data modeler tool and showing the relationship between other tables or views: I do not have a good answer to this, and have asked others with no available tool.

3. What ER diagram tool are you using for the presentation? Which do you recommend?

I used Visio for my presentation because it is what I have a license for, but the companies I have worked for recently use ERwin.

4. Where can we download the example document I used?

I cannot let you have it because it is from a company I worked for, but I did relink the Parts 1 thru 6 of a generalization of the SOP.

5. One comment was for me to read up more on normalization –

This is true, I gave a brief (very brief) explanation of 1st, 2nd and 3rd normal forms. I should not have done that and just referenced a website.  Or suggested to go to the PASS Summit and watch my session 3rd Normal Form: That’s crazy talk!!!

6. Singular or Plural on table name?

Singular, like Louis says, pick a standard and be consistent.

7. The CHAR(1) for IsActive is much better for using the column directly in Reports (for example - If the value is Y or N it is much easier to simply write the sql to display than to logically determine the meaning of the Boolean.

That is a good point, reporting is very important. Some report writers might even convert Boolean to a text equivalent.

8. Please repeat the contact/blog/web site information. Thank you!  --> Here it is Smile

9. Will the recording be available - answered yes.

Keep checking back on 24HOP site, or you can watch it from the PASS Data Architect Virtual Chapter

10.  will there be an example of the SOP available? –> see Number 4 above

11. Have you found an ERI application which allows joins to be defined on a view. Visio and Erwin do not allow this. –> see Number 2 above

12. I recall sometime ago while trying to use Visio 2010 to import SQL 2008 database for database diagrams it wasn't supported. Any ideas on future support for Visio and database diagrams?

Look on the database menu choice to reverse engineer a database, then it connects thru ODBC (DSN)

13. Preferred data type for ID?

It depends on the amount of rows in the table, but you can go with tinyint, smallint, int or biint

God Bless,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Database Standards: Links to past blogs

After a great session on 24 Hours of PASS, lots of people wanted the SOP document. While I cannot give the one from the company to you, here is a post of the links to the blogs about them

Parts 1 thru 6 and Lookup tables. Please review and place comments on the blog!!!

Database Standards Part I: Defs, Abbreviation & Data Types

Database Standards Part II: Schemas, Tables & View and Columns

Database Standards Part III: Indexes, Constraints & Primary/Foreign Keys

Database Standards Part IV: Stored Procedures

Database Standards Part V: Triggers and User-defined Functions

 Database Standards Part VI: code and design

Lookup tables

I will answer the other questions in a blog next week as soon as I can get come reliable answers. Thanks again for attending and all the great questions and comments. Thanks to PASS for this opportunity

God Bless,


Monday, September 5, 2011

24 Hours of PASS: More free training from experts (and me)

I try not to say I am an expert, I just have some years of experience with some failures that were turned into successes. Experience is a good teacher.

I was an alternate for 24 Hours of PASS (#24HOP twitter hash tag) until Karen Lopez had to cancel because of a flight she was going to be on.

I will be giving a Database Standard Operating Procedure talk as a preview to the 3rd Normal Form: That’s Crazy Talk!!! that I was selected to do at the PASS Summit 2011.

If you have never been to a PASS Summit, I would bet you would leave there more excited about SQL Server than when you arrived. The Summit has some of the most enthusiastic SQL Server professionals I have ever meet.

Most talks are by IT people in the field, not salesman trying to sell you software. You get real world experience. The 24 Hours of PASS will have some of these speakers giving previews of their Summit talks. Some Summit talks are regular sessions like mine(75 minutes), but most are doing either 90 minute Spotlight sessions, 1/2 day sessions or Pre-conference sessions which are Monday and Tuesday of the Summit.

I have been to the PASS Summit 3 of the last 4 years, have gone to pre-conference sessions every year and plan of doing the same this year. I have also watched 24 Hours of PASS the last 2 years when I can at work.

Please join us this Wednesday and Thursday for 24 hours of free training by SQL Server experts and ME!!!