Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PASS Summit 2012 - Done!!!

Thursday afternoon

Thursday afternoon concluded with How to run SSRS in Sharepoint integration mode, Enriching Tabular with DAX and Monitoring SSAS. The best was the last.  Tim Peterson (SolidQ) shared his 12+ years working with SSAS to give us 3 ways to monitor SSAS – SQL Profiler, PerfMon and a CodePlex module call ResMon. Most of the time was spent showing Profiler while running MDX after clearing the Cache, File Cache and Script Cache. These three demos paid for the whole conference. I love watching presentations from seasoned experts.

Below are pictures from Day One pre-conference session on the left – Rob Colledge, Day Two meeting with PASS Virtual Chapters leaders – Denise McInerney and Ryan Adams talking about promoting Virtual Chapters.

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The DAX sessions was demoed in Excel 2013 and PowerPivot (which I am not using), so it was kind of disappointing and the SSRS integration was mostly in 2008 R2 (he did show 2012 at the end) and all on one machine. It would have been nice to show deployment on multi-server SharePoint farms because that is what most enterprises use. Even though I did not get what I wanted (gotta stop the selfishness), both were great sessions with experience presenters and 2-3 bits of information I had not known before.

One the left is Chuck Heinzelman and the right is Tim Mitchell preparing for his SSIS session.

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Friday morning

The last morning started with conversations at breakfast with some Germany user group leaders where we talked a lot about last year’s summit and SQLSaturday. They are hosting I believe #170. The first session was Mike Davis(a consultant from the north) showing demos of starting and improving a SSAS Tabular Modular cube. Do you call it a cube or semantic model? His examples where great and very simple to understand. Maybe that has more to do with tabular than his demos.

The second part of the morning was Tim Mitchell showing SSIS and some patterns to use for handling errors and validation of data. I really like Tim’s presentation skills. You can tell he has been doing this for some time. I probably took 2 pages of notes to use back at work. He showed event handling and properties like propagate that I had never seen or use before.

Lunch was at the Birds of a Feather table on Database Development. The attendees were from South Africa, San Diego, Louisiana and others. We talked mostly about our backgrounds and some of the more comical situations at work where we learned some lessons. There was more laughter than seriousness, which helped with digesting the food (not that it was bad, the food is top notch). This is were I try to practice some listening and slow down on the talking. While most tables started to empty out, we were still going at it. That was a nice way to end the day.

Below is Peter Meyers and Matthew Roche, the middle is Carlos Bossy and the right is a view from the bloggers table during the WIT luncheon.

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I am typing this at the airport with the sun in my eyes, but it does not bother me because of the great time I just had. You know, I never got out in the city at all and spent most of the time with SQL Server professionals. I do not even want to use the terms geeks or tweeps or SQLFamily, we are definitely a group of IT professionals that are employed to do a serious job of protecting, mining, speeding and handling data the runs business profitably and governments effectively yesterday, today and tomorrow. I love my job!!!

Mount Rainer from the plane.

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It was also nice to have attendees come up to me later and say how much they enjoyed my session. I always reminded them to fill out the evaluations to help me(us) with future sessions.

God Bless!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Live Blog: PASS Summit–WIT Luncheon

WIT – Women In Technology 10 anniversary PASS Summit Luncheon

Please go to this link for more info on the speakers and content. I am blogging and tweeting from this luncheon to help with exposure of the message and to learn more myself.

Louisiana has a WIT community - http://www.la-wit.org/


Room is filling up, many conversations at tables. Bloggers table is full, actually overflowing and the session should start at 12noon pacific


PASS president Bill introduces Wendy as moderator. 10 years for WIT. Room for 700 people and Wendy reviews how they would recruiter people like the PASS Ambassadors of today. Wendy thanks SQLSentry and volunteers for support. Wendy also recognizes SQLSaturday organizers for running these events.Embedded image permalink


Stefanie is keynote speaker of WIT luncheon and says how overwhelmed with the attendance. Talks about have 60+ at the first luncheon and now 700+. Talks about her early years in technology and using COBOL.

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Up next is Wendy, the VC leader on the WIT chapter. Talks about in 2002 search for a woman at PASS. But, now that has changed. A 24-HOP of women speakers have helped more women speaker at PASS, SQLSaturday and local user groups. Now, promotion of women in IT has grown. About 15% at PASS Summit are women in 2011 and 2012. Denise wants to she more woman create the technology not just support. she is concerned about the amount of women leaving tech jobs.

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Kevin Kline is up next. Kevin has been involved with PASS since it started. Talks about the early days not having the money to help but we do have the attitude and heart to help the community. Leads the conversation of not being segregated and compares the different places that have welcome signs but a exclusive. PASS is goodness and we want to share with you

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Mentions the need to have women in IT teams in order to bring the a different dimension to the task at hand. As a father of teenage girls, he is trying to find away to encourage them in IT. Always a Work In Progress.


Jen, the PASSion award winner up next. Very soft spoken woman, but experienced with the BI stack from Microsoft. Scottish accent is strong. Talks about the IT job helps her as a single mom to support her family. More diversity helps team dynamics. Mentions government studies in Scotland and US.

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Kendra (MCM and MVP) talks about her search for the comfortable in the IT field and the different jobs she worked in. As she started speaking at SQLSaturday, She realized that when an attendee came up and asked more questions, being a consultant was a possibility. The encouragement she gives is start talking about what you know.

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Rap Up

Question and answer period continues…

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This luncheon was sponsored by


WIT Panelists
Stefanie Higgins
Stefanie Higgins has been a PASS member since 1999 and was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as a PASS volunteer and eventually a PASS Board member from 2000 – 2005. She is one of the founders of the WIT luncheon event at PASS and as a mom of four she has a passion for encouraging working women especially in the area of work/life balance. Stefanie has worked as a Sr. DBA for IndyMac Bank, The Walt Disney Co. and as an IT Manager at DirecTV. She is an MCITP SQL Server 2008 R2, currently working as a Sr. DBA for Disney and enjoys telecommuting days from her home in beautiful San Diego CA.

Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline is a well-known database expert and software industry veteran. A long-time Microsoft SQL Server MVP and noted leader in the IT industry, he is a founder and former president of PASS and the author of popular IT books such as SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin is a top-rated speaker at industry conferences worldwide.



Kendra Little
Kendra Little is all about data, communication, and creativity. Kendra nerds out on SQL Server full time as a founder of Brent Ozar PLF, LLC, a boutique consulting company. She is a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server 2008 and a Microsoft MVP.


Denise McInerney

Denise McInerney began her career as a SQL Server DBA in 1998 and currently works as a Staff Technical Data Analyst at Intuit in Mountain View, CA. Denise, who serves as a Director-at-Large on the PASS Board of Directors, started volunteering for PASS in 2003. She founded the PASS Women in Technology Virtual Chapter (VC) and served as VC chairperson or co-chair for 5 years. Denise received the PASSion Award in 2007.


Jen Stirrup

Jen Stirrup is a SQL Server MVP, with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and two Masters in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. Jen holds a Europe-wide volunteer role in helping to co-ordinate 'Women in Technology' events as a SQLPass volunteer, which covers WIT events in disparate countries from Sweden to Poland. Jen is a veteran SQL Server Developer with 15 years SQL experience in delivering end-to-end Business Intelligence solutions. Jen blogs for SQLServerPedia as well as her own blog. She has presented in many SQL Server User Groups in the UK.

PASS Summit 2012–Thursday morning

Using SSIS 2012 for ETL in a Data Warehouse

Well, I feel great relief that my session has been completed, and completed successfully. The room was full with people on the floor and along the walls. That was great considering Peter Meyers and Devin Knight had done similar sessions 2 different times before mine. Visual Studio blew up once (at the beginning) and I made a mistake with one OLEDB connection, but was able to recover both times. I had 2 attendees keep track of all the new features of 2012 I demonstrated, and one said 22 and the other had 26. Not bad for 75 minutes. Doing live demos of SSIS 2012 is not the easiest task, but I think attendees rather see demos than slides.

Tuesday – community involvement

Tuesday morning began with with PASS Virtual Chapter leaders, then SQLSaturday leaders and volunteers. The amount of people in these meetings were more than double the amount last year. Folks, there is a lot going on with the PASS SQL Server community. Please get involved. The afternoon was with House of Bricks talking about the methodology, best practice and monitoring of SQL Server on VMWare. I was expecting more technical demos, but it was still worth my time.

After some exercise, I helped man the Virtual Chapter area of the Welcome Reception and signed up 10 or so new members. The time was also spent talking to many attendees I knew or just meet. Hearing other SQL Server professionals talk about their work is indeed interesting and great for knowledge sharing. The room was overflowing and time went by quickly. The evening concluded with the annual SQLServerCentral.com Casino night. Of course, I lost all my play money chips, but the conversations with DBAs was worth it.


This morning started in the PASS Community center at 7AM. Right next to the dining area help with grabbing a quick bite. As I finished at my table, Buck Woody walked up to continue the conversation with the First Timers. I spent some in the speaker room rehearsing my demos for a 3PM session. Carlos Bossy came in as well as Matt Mason. We talked SSIS and Data Modeling which was great. I missed the Keynote, but here is a good link to a BI perspective view – Marco Russo.

The first session was Peter Meyers and Matthew Roche presenting on 10 Extraordinary Things to Achieve in SSIS. The duo was a great combination with a good talker and a demo guru. Lunch was at the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group table where I meet up with Patrick LeBlanc and Mark Verret. There was @SQLCajun and others from Mississippi at the table. Brian McDonald came by to talk with Patrick. Mark’s colleague was there from LSU and talked about us speaking about real world uses on Microsoft BI with their students.

The day concluded with SSAS Storage with Stacia Misner then my presentation at 3PM. The last session I attendee was SQL Server and SharePoint: Best Frienimies(sp?). A SQLCAT member did the presentation and she related it back to her DBA days. I am still not convinced about some of the Best Practices with maintenance but I understand more about why the want us to follow these suggestions 


I am starting the morning in the PASS community lounge at 7AM helping new people get involved. Next is the massage chair in the Seattle Convention center. I am hoping to spend an hour there.

The first session is with Carlos Bossy who I meet last year with Steve Jones and he even came to Baton Rouge for our 3rd SQLSaturday. He is going to talk about planning and designing the underlying data base model that is needed for an effect Semantic Model. Next, I am live blogging and tweeting during the WIT Luncheon sponsored by SQLSentry. I rest of the day is up in the air, but the evening concludes with a Microsoft Appreciation event at Seattle’s Music Experience museum.

Monday, November 5, 2012

PASS Summit 2012–Day 1


Could not sleep past 4:30AM this morning, daylight savings time and 2 time zone changes did not help. So, exercise now in the morning and off to Summit for 7:30AM.

Meet 2 new Summit attendees in the elevator from Los Angles working for Stamps.com. They were both developers of web services for the shipping industry. They were heading to Louis Davidson’s (@DrSQL) Relations Database pre-con. Encouraged them to network and get as much from after hours networking as the sessions.

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I am attending Rod Colledge pre-con on BI Dashboards. Rod did a session during 24-Hours of PASS that I was able to host and I am excited to learn for a pro. The room is starting to fill up at 7:25AM and an attendee from SQL Saturday in Baton Rouge and Houston is sitting next to me. He has some interesting things to say about SAP and Data Warehousing

Thursday, November 1, 2012

PASS Summit 2012–My Schedule

Using SSIS 2012 for Data Warehouse ETL

I have been fortunate to be selected this year to speak at the PASS Summit 2012 in Seattle. This presentation will go mainly over 3 new features: The Change Data Capture and DQS controls as well as deploying SSIS projects/packages to the SSISDB catalog. Throughout the presentation, there will be usage of 10-20 more new features all depending on the demo and questions. 75% of this presentation is demos, so come along for the ride. I love presentations that show how to use SQL Server.

Pre-conference Session – Monday

After arriving on Sunday afternoon, I will go to Rod Colledge’s session on BI Dashboards with Dashboard Designer and PerformancePoint. This will satisfy the first goal of the conference; to take back what I learn and create 2 sets of dashboards for a project at work.

Monday night, I am going to the networking dinner Steve Jones and Andy Warren are hosting. I did this last year and it was a great way to sit with 4-6 SQL Server geeks and enjoy a dinner and conversation.


Community Involvement – Tuesday

Tuesday morning, I will be attending 2 round table discussions with Virtual Chapter leaders and SQLSaturday leaders/volunteers. I am the chair of the Data Architecture VC and have helped with the past 3 SQLSaturday’s in Baton Rouge and spoke at the first 3.

House of Bricks is hosting a SQL Server on VMware boot camp which I have decided to attend to help understand the configurations for the VMs we run at Turner Industries in Baton Rouge.

Tuesday night I am going to float between the Welcome Reception, SQLServerCentral.com/Redgate casino night and a speaker reception.


Main Conference – Wednesday

I am going to start out the morning at the Community Area booth which has been expanded this year in size. It will be great to say hi to Karla and other PASS workers and sign people up for Virtual Chapters and PASS.

The first session I am attending is Sean Boon’s Building Compelling Power View reports Lunch will be sitting at the Virtual Chapter tables talking Data Architecture.  The afternoon starts with Stacia Misner’s SSAS Storage followed by my SSIS 2012 presentation and ends with SQL Server and SharePoint: best Frienenies which should be a fun session.

Wednesday evening will be talking with vendors at their reception for attendees which was a hit last year.

Thursday Sessions

The morning starts again at the Community area early in the morning. The first session (10:15) is Carlos Bossy talking Data Modeling Best Practices for Enterprise Tabular Models which should help me with Data Mart designs for PowerView reports which is another goal for work. During Lunch, I will be Live Blogging and Tweeting from the Woman In Technology Luncheon which should be fun.

The afternoon starts with Running Reporting Services in SharePoint Integration Mode which Turner just had a consultant (SparkHound) install with SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint 2010. I really wanted to see Deeper Tabular Models with Wayne Snyder (who is a cool dude), but I think the SSRS is more valuable for work. I can always watch the recorded session when I get the DVDs.

The afternoon ends with Dive into the Query Optimizer and Monitoring Analysis Services which are both part of my daily checklist at work. Thursday evening, Microsoft is sponsoring a trip to Seattle’s Music Experience museum for 2-3 hours. The last couple of years it was at a GameWorks, which was pretty cool. I am expecting a good networking evening this night.

Friday Sessions and Homebound

I am leaving around 3:30PM Friday to spending time with family and friends on Saturday, so I will only be at 2 sessions plus lunch. I am getting married in January, so I need to get back to Baton Rouge, plus we (LSU) plays Miss St. at home that Saturday.

The first session (8AM) will be Power(view)ful Tabular semantic Model Development with Mark Davis, then Tim Mitchell learning me on ETL Gone Bad: Handling Errors and Data Anomalies in SSIS. These are 2 great speakers and consultants.

Lunch will have me sitting at a Birds of a Feather table on Data Warehouse Modeling and SSIS ETL.

WOW!!! That is a lot

That seems like a big schedule, but I am not evening doing everything that is available. The first year I attend PASS (07 in Denver), we spent time at the Microsoft First-Aid room working with replication developers on a problem in SQL Server 2005. The following year, I spent time in the Virtual Lab learning SQL Server 2008 new features. There is also visiting with vendors and collecting swag. The exhibition hall is sold out. Then, there are lightening talks which help speakers get a start with presenting as well as Microsoft Chalk Talks. There are pre-conference sessions on Monday and Tuesday.

The PASS Summit is full of stuff to do during the day and at night. I know a lot of people like #SQLKaraoke and Photo walks plus a #SQLRun on Tuesday morning. It is fun watching the SQL Kilt day and Thursday is wear your SQLSaturday shirt day.

Lastly, meeting and saying hi to friends like John Sterret (That is the back of his head above), Scott Shaw, Carlos Bossy, Patrick LeBlanc, Devin Knight, Erin Welker, Grant Fritchey, Thomas LaRock, Louis Davidson, Sean and Jen McCown, Wesley Brown, Kevin Boles and the list goes on and on. The SQL Community is the best group of technology geeks that love to share the #SQLLove.

Hope to see you there, and please come say hi and introduce yourself to me.

God Bless

Below is a picture from the first SQLSaturday in New York, and little did I know I was with Thoams LaRock, Adam Jorgenson, Grant Fritchey, Andy Leonard and Robert ?