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SQL Server 2014 CTP 1 download now available!

I’m out here at TechEd Eurpe and I’m pleased to report they were showing the SQL Server folks some love during the opening keynote!

Microsoft’s Eron Kelly ( blog | twitter ) took the stage and quickly got to the point, announcing that CTP 1 of SQL Server 2014 is now available for download! If you haven’t been keeping up with the SQL Server 2014 you should probably catch up. SQL ’14 brings an in-memory story for both the OLAP folks *AND* the OLTP folks. For the OLAP folks, you’ll be getting Clusterable, Updateable, In-Memory Columnstore!! For the OLTP folks, you’re getting Hekaton. I won’t bother to explain it here, but it’s awesome as well J

If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend you download the SQL Server 2014 product guide. It has a LOT of info inside of there about how you can leverage SQL ’14 to make your organization more capable than ever before. Trust me, it’s in there, I read nearly the whole dang thing while I was working the SQL Server booth at TechEd North America a few weeks ago.

After the announcement about the download was over, Eron brought out Dandy Weyn ( blog | twitter ) to give the crowd a demo of Data Explorer and GeoFlow. This demo was pretty similar to the kenote demos already shown at the Business Analytics Summit and TechEd North America but was customized for the soccer (football) loving fans of Europe.

Dadny did a great job with the demo but I will admit, seeing the 30-foot tall version of him on the screen was a bit odd.

Again, I highly encourage you to download the SQL ’14 product guide and see what appeals to you. So far, AAD offload is my favorite feature. I’ll blog about why that is soon.

I have to run to my booth duties right now so I’ll close with some more pictures. Hopefully I’ll find some more time later to tell you more about the event.


Mike Robbins Presenting for the PowerShell VC of PASS today at noon

Mike Robbins will be presenting PowerShell Fundamentals for Beginners today at noon EDT (GMT -4) for the PowerShell Virtual Chapter of PASS. You can sign up for it here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8626194637601358080

PowerShell Fundamentals for Beginners

PowerShell IS where Microsoft is going for the administration of its products. If you’re not actively trying to learn PowerShell today, you’re soon going to be well behind the learning curve of the average IT pro. This session will start from zero and cover the basic fundamentals of PowerShell that will get you started on the right track to becoming a PowerShell Hero. During this session we’ll cover the three basic cmdlets; Get-Help, Get-Command, and Get-Member which are the building blocks to learning what PowerShell commands exist, how to use those commands, and what properties and methods are available | foreach command. We’ll also cover some of the common beginner related issues such as why you need to run PowerShell as an administrator and script execution policy.

Mike F Robbins

Mike F Robbins is a Senior Systems Engineer with almost 20 years of experience as an IT Pro. He’s a PowerShell Enthusiast who uses PowerShell on a daily basis to administer Windows Server, Hyper-V, SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint, Active Directory, EqualLogic SANs, and AppAssure. Mike has written PowerShell guest blog articles for the Hey, Scripting Guy Blog!, PowerShell.org, PowerShell Magazine, and a chapter in the PowerShell Deep Dives book. Mike blogs at http://mikefrobbins.com and can be found on twitter @mikefrobbins. Mike is also a co-founder of the Mississippi PowerShell User Group.


SQL Saturday Atlanta Schedule Announced–May 18th, 2013

image This year I somehow forgot to say “No!” when I was asked to head up the selection process for SQL Saturday Atlanta.  Call me slow but I will not make that mistake ever again!  However, we did manage to accomplish several things this year. If memory serves (and don’t count on that), we hadn’t surveyed the user group for which sessions they wanted to see since SQL Saturday #41 back in 2010.  This year we were able to survey both the Atlanta MDF user group and the Atlanta B/I user group before making our final selections. We received 133 abstracts submissions this year but we didn’t want to make the people taking the survey to have to sift through all of those.  There were a good number of sessions that the team felt were no-brainers to be picked so we went ahead and removed most of those from the population before we sent out on the survey. I trust the content team (Kristy, Mike, Michael, the other Michael, & Stuart) who voted to select the initial list of speakers and trust them to have picked the entire schedule if we had gone down that route.  Surveying the user group however gave us the chance to calibrate our own judgment.  It also gave us someone not on the [all-volunteer] team to blame if attendees are unhappy with the sessions that were picked :-p (not that we’d do that). There were very few surprises in which sessions the community voted for.  The only thing that stood out was a few topics that just weren’t very highly ranked at all.

The upside

Not so much that we have a better idea what the community wants to see, we were actually pretty on-target, but now we have more confidence in our already well-formed opinions of what they community wants to see.

The downside

It took *a lot* of work to get the internal voting and then the survey pulled together.  This unfortunately led to a much longer than anticipated amount of time to get the full schedule selected and the speakers notified.  Absolutely no one on the team wanted it to take as long as it did.  In retrospect, it would have faster to immediately take the 133 sessions submitted and send all of them out on the survey; that would have reduced some but not all of the delay.   Unfortunately, we just had no way of knowing that at the time and I take full responsibility for not knowing what we didn’t know!  Thankfully, the team was able to overcome the challenges and pull everything together.  The silver lining is that we now have experience in surveying our groups and can do it much more quickly in the future.

Drumroll please…

Alright, enough about surveys and what-not.  Here is what YOU picked:

Start Time Advanced – Room: Advanced B/I 1 – Room: B/I 1 B/I 2 – Room: B/I 2 B/I 3 – Room: B/I 3 DBA 1 – Room: DBA 1 DBA 2 – Room: DBA 2 DBA 3 – Room: DBA 3 DBA 4 – Room: DBA 4 DBA 5 – Room: DBA 5 PowerShell – Room: PowerShell Zero Level – Room: Zero Level
09:00 AM Dan Holmes The Last Mile: Dynamically Created ObjectsLevel: Advanced Andy Leonard Using BIML as an SSIS Design Patterns EngineLevel: Advanced Melissa Coates So You Want To Be A Rockstar Report Developer?Level: Intermediate Yelena Pavlyuk Report Builder: Reports made Easy.Level: Beginner Aaron Nelson SQL Server Database Development with SSDTLevel: Intermediate David Klee Squeezing the Most Performance from your VMware-Based SQL ServerLevel: Advanced Jon Boulineau T-SQL: Beyond the BasicsLevel: Beginner Stuart Ainsworth Working with “Biggish Data”Level: Beginner Timothy McAliley A Walk Around the SQL Server 2012 Audit FeatureLevel: Intermediate Mike Robbins PowerShell Fundamentals for BeginnersLevel: Beginner Mike Walsh What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a DBALevel: Beginner
10:15 AM Chris Skorlinski Enhanced Phone InterrogationLevel: Intermediate Carlos Rodrigues Data Warehouse physical design – better practicesLevel: Intermediate Paul Waters Automating SSIS Development with BimlLevel: Beginner Teo Lachev Building Dashboards with the MS BI StackLevel: Intermediate Adam Machanic 5 Query Plan Culprits That Cause 95% of HeadachesLevel: Advanced Eddie Wuerch Page Latches for Mere MortalsLevel: Advanced Joseph D’Antoni Using Compression to Improve Database PerformanceLevel: Intermediate Tim Radney Know Backups and Know RecoveryLevel: Intermediate Ben Miller SQL Server TDELevel: Intermediate Thomas Stringer Managing Enterprise Environments with PowerShellLevel: Intermediate Geoff Hiten Smart Rats Leave FirstLevel: Beginner
01:00 PM Jeremy Carroll Software-Defined Storage: The Future of Storage?Level: Advanced Jason Thomas GeoSpatial Analytics Using Microsoft BILevel: Beginner Pam Shaw Tips & Tricks for dynamic SSRS ReportsLevel: Beginner Thomas LeBlanc Attributes & Hierarchies in Analysis Services 2012Level: Intermediate Adam Machanic 5 Query Plan Culprits That Cause 95% of HeadachesLevel: Advanced Denny Cherry Storage for the DBALevel: Advanced Eric Peterson High Availability with SQL Server 2012Level: Intermediate Steve Busby SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse 2012 Deep DiveLevel: Intermediate   Jim Christopher Taming Complex Tasks with the Psake ModuleLevel: Beginner Kevin Kline Team Leadership FundamentalsLevel: Beginner
02:30 PM Javier Guillen DAX Formulas: Evaluation ContextLevel: Advanced Justin Stephens BI – Practical Date CalculationsLevel: Advanced Leo Furlong Expanding Self-Service BI with Excel 2013Level: Beginner William E Pearson III Bridging the Chasm: BI Theory vs. PracticeLevel: Beginner Kevin Boles TSQL Road Less Traveled: APPLYLevel: Advanced Janis Griffin Looney Tuner? No, there IS a method to my madnessLevel: Intermediate Kat Meadows SQL Server Maintenance PlansLevel: Beginner Richie Rump New T-SQL features in SQL Server 2012Level: Intermediate   Ben Miller SMO Internals for High Performance PowerShellLevel: Advanced Audrey Hammonds Database Design for BeginnersLevel: Beginner
03:45 PM Wes Brown Storage Tuning Deep DiveLevel: Advanced Julie Smith Matching with Data Quality ServicesLevel: Beginner Mark Tabladillo Applied Enterprise Semantic MiningLevel: Intermediate Stacia Misner Troubleshooting MDX Query PerformanceLevel: Advanced Benjamin Nevarez Dive into the Query Optimizer-Undocumented InsightLevel: Advanced Kevin Boles TSQL Road Less Traveled: MERGELevel: Intermediate Louis Davidson Database Design FundamentalsLevel: Intermediate Denny Cherry Using SQL Server 2012s Always OnLevel: Intermediate   Jonathan Walz PowerScripting Live! (PowerShell podcast / BoF)Level: Beginner Robert Cain The Decoder Ring for Data Warehousing / BILevel: Beginner

I look forward to see you at SQL Saturday #220 in Atlanta and can’t wait to hear your feedback on the sessions you attend! 

SQL Saturday Atlanta Call for Speakers re-opened for Advanced Sessions Only



Today we have sent out a survey to the folks who have registered for SQL Saturday Atlanta to get their help with selecting a few of the sessions for the event.  Some of the sessions are from speakers whom the team knows we want to speak and we just need help selecting which session of theirs to pick.  We know which session we want to see, but we’re not the only ones who will be there   Because of the strong demand to speak at SQL Saturday Atlanta it is unlikely that any speakers will get two sessions so please make your voice heard!

The other sessions are ones where the team couldn’t come to a consensus on who to select.  We’ve decided to seek your input here as well.

Advanced Sessions

Beyond the survey, I wanted to let folks know that in looking over the abstracts submitted, the team has determined (and voted) that there were not enough Advanced sessions to include on the schedule.  Because of this, we have decided to open the call for speakers again but this time we will only but for “Advanced” sessions only.  Any newly submitted Intermediate or Beginner sessions will not be considered because we’re going to use the feedback from the above mentioned survey to help us finish picking from what has been submitted already.

We’re only holding back 5 session slots for this attempt, a mere 10% of our schedule, so please act quickly.

We value everyone’s time!

Again, we value everyone’s time! Obviously we will give preference to any speakers who already submitted and wants to submit an “Advanced” session for us to consider.  However, if you did not submit already and have an Advanced session you would like to submit, please do!  We will close the call for speakers again as soon as we think we have enough Advanced sessions we can move forward with.  We’re not going to keep it open any longer than we need to.

We’re also not going to hold up notifying the first 45 speakers because of the extended Advanced sessions call, the hold up there has been getting a survey together and out.  Serious lessons learned there!  (but that’s a completely different blog post.)

At the end of the day, we’re just trying to come up with the best content for the people who are missing out on their Saturday to learn more.  I hope this helps explain things and gets people excited about the next SQL Saturday Atlanta!

[Already] Submitted Speakers

You may have received an email today from the SQLSaturday website announcing an extended call for speakers; our goal was to stress the limitations of this call (Advanced topics only), but the system-generated email went out without our intended edits.  We’re VERY sorry for the confusion.

Did I mention that we value everyone’s time?

Atlanta MDF Presents Five Pre-Cons to choose from in Atlanta Friday, May 17


SQL Saturday is returning to Atlanta on May 18th at Georgia State University – Alpharetta, 3775 Brookside Pkwy, Alpharetta, GA 30022

The day before the event Atlanta MDF is presenting 5 Pre-Cons to choose from. Last year all three Pre-Cons sold out well before the event so get your tickets while you still can!




Surfing the Multicore Wave: http://surfmulticore.eventbrite.com

Processors, Parallelism, and Performance Today’s server hardware ships with a truly massive amount of CPU power. And while SQL Server is designed to automatically and seamlessly take advantage of available processing resources, there are a number of options, settings, and patterns that can be exploited to optimize parallel processing of your data. This full-day seminar starts with an overview of CPU scheduler internals from the perspective of both Windows and the SQL Server Operating System (SQLOS). Next, you will learn about intra-query parallelism, the method that SQL Server uses to break up large tasks into many smaller pieces, so that each piece can be processed simultaneously. You will come to understand how to read parallel query plans and how to interpret parallel wait statistics, as well as best practices for the various parallelism settings within SQL Server. Finally, you will be introduced to techniques for exploiting parallelism at the query level: patterns that can help the optimizer do a better job of parallelizing your query. After attending this seminar, you will be in full control of your CPUs, able to compel your server to use every clock tick to your end users’ advantage. This session is intended for mid-level to advanced DBAs and DB developers.



Denny Cherry SQL Server Security: http://sqlsecurity.eventbrite.com

During this full day precon we will review a variety of ways to secure your SQL Server databases and data from attack. In this session we will review proper network designs, recommended firewall configurations, and physical security options. We will also review our data encryption options, password protection options, using contained databases, and AlwaysOn Availability Groups security. There will also be discussions about additional measures which should be taken when working with Internet facing applications. From there we will move to the most dangerous attack vector: SQL Injection, including all the ways that attackers can use SQL Injection to get into your system and how to protect against it. The security options for database backups is the next topic on the list followed by proper SAN security designs. We will then finish up by reviewing the auditing options which are available and how they can be used to monitor everything else which we’ve just talked about during the course of the day.


Stacia Misner

Languages of BI: http://languagesofbi.eventbrite.com

To get the most of the presentation layer tools in the Microsoft BI stack when data sources include cubes, PowerPivot workbooks, and data mining models, you can’t rely solely on your T-SQL skills.To produce high-performing reports and analytical tools, you’ll need to use other query languages like MDX, DAX, or DMX.

In this workshop, you’ll learn which languages each presentation layer tool supports and the basic syntax used by each language. You’ll also learn how take advantage of query builder tools to help you produce queries until you’ve developed the proficiency to create more complex queries on your own.

You’ll also learn how to work with expressions to add calculations to cubes and PowerPivot workbook, and how to use expressions to customize the appearance of reports, scorecards, and dashboards.


Practical Self-Service BI with PowerPivot for Excel: http://selfservicebi.eventbrite.com

SQL Server MVP and Business Intelligence Architect Bill Pearson leads this full-day, hands-on introduction to using PowerPivot for Excel to deliver self-service business intelligence.  The focus of the course is to help those new to PowerPivot to become familiar with the assembly of data from diverse sources into models that deliver business intelligence upon demand.  Participants will gain exposure to accessing and relating data, and to employing the Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) language, to construct and share PowerPivot applications that support analysis and reporting throughout the enterprise.


Eddie Wuerch

The DBA Skills Upgrade Toolkit: http://dbatoolkit.eventbrite.com

This full-day seminar is for DBAs and developers with DBA responsibilities looking to beef up their skillsets and simplify their lives with additional insight into their SQL Servers.  Eddie Wuerch takes his extensive experience as a speaker, trainer, mentor, and DBA in one of the largest and busiest SQL Server environments in the world and distills it into a collection of topics for DBAs managing databases of all sizes.

2013 North American PowerShell Summit

Summit-2013-Logo[1]The date has been set for the next North American PowerShell Summit.  It will be held Monday April 22nd – Wednesday April 24th at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington.  I’m already secured my spot and if you want to be there you better act fast!  As of right now there’s less than 40 seats left.

The details for this event have come together quickly.  I know it’s hard to buy a ticket to an event when the speakers haven’t been chosen yet but I’m pretty sure this event will sell out before that happens.  I‘ve heard great things about the previous PowerShell Summits and I’m sure this one will be even better since it will be on the Microsoft campus.

Come help support the new PowerShell.org community as they put on their first community-driven conference!  Smile

TechEd Dirty Dozen Scripts – PowerShell for SQL Server 2012

For those of you attending my presentation at TechEd North America today, here’s the scripts that we’ll be going through: http://SQLvariant.com/BlogSupport/PoShDirtyDozen/TechEdDozen.zip

I’m speaking at TechEd!

imageI’ve been meaning to post this for months but I’ve been a bit busy.  Better the day before than never right?  I’m Speaking at TechEd!!!!  Smile

In addition to speaking Tuesday morning, I will be answering questions at the SQL Server booths (there’s 12 of them):

Monday from 12-2 and again from 5:30 – 7:30
Tuesday from 3 – 5
Wednesday 10:30 – 1
Thursday 10:30 – 1

If you’re at the conference and you have questions about SQL Server (especially if they involve PowerShell) I hope you’ll stop by!

P.S.  The easiest way to find where the SQL Server booths are is to head over to the Porsche the Visual Studio team is giving away.