Saturday, May 28, 2011

More #SqlRally pictures and observations

Wow, it is a picture of me taken by Tim Mitchell, a very cool dude from Dallas and SSIS MVP.

image  image

This was at the raffle outside and my friend from Wheeling, WV John Sterrett.

Geaux Tigers!!!

image   SQLLunch and ex-MVP Patrick Leblanc image

Picture taker Tim imageimage

Kevin Kline in the Pre-con for Personal Development I attended working on leadership and manager skills

Me at a distance, at least 30-40 people in the picture, so there was probably close to 100. That is crazy, but really cool.


Up next #SqlSat77 in Pensacola.

God Bless,


Friday, May 13, 2011

SQLRally, what a Ride

The week was a wonderful learning, networking and speaking experience.

It all started with Kevin Kline { Blog | Twitter } giving a Personal Development session on Leadership and Management. Got some great statistics and experience from the 30+ attendees at this Pre-Con.

Bill Graziano and Kevin Kline at SQLRally  Jack Corbett, Mike Walsh and Kendal Van Dyke  After hours at SQLRally Orlando - Johnnie's Hideaway

Wednesday and  Tuesday evenings were spent visiting with SQL Peeps at various places. I meet lots of new SQL People that are joining our community. 2 from Ohio – Tim and Dustin – were great to hang around and share about  what we do sharing SQL information and tools. Both were amazed by the end of Friday of everything that is available to them from SQLRally, SQLPass and SQLSaturdays plus blogs and webcasts. I am sure they were just like me when I first experienced all the sharing.

Thursday, I spent the day in sessions and visiting vendors. Brian Mitchell from MS showed Parallel Data Warehouse with the single SKU for everything to some internals and client tools. A no show from a speaker (black list) cleared some time to go by Confio, Idera and Melissa Data booths.  During the week , I spent sometime with Heather from Idera about their new ACE program. Vicki and another developer from Idera chatted about the SQLdm product. I was also able to demo Ignite for David at the Confio booth. Brian McDonald did an awesome job with SSRS Boot camp, good presentation and flow even though he was late.

Kendal Van Dyke (center) and friends  Confio and Idera at SQLRally  Aaron Nelson-The Dirty Dozen, PowerShell Scripts for the Busy DBA

Lunch each day was a great box lunch with a big cookie which over road the apple for me each day. I made sure to sit with different people each day to chat about real world stuff. The last day I sat with SQL People from Utah, California, Indiana, Florida, North Carolina and of course me from Louisiana. That was great. SQLRally hit it good with this one.

Thursday afternoon I saw Scott Shaw talk about The Enterprise SQL DBA, Stacia Misner demo SSRS visualizations and Jen Underwood explain the workings of PerformancePoint in SharePoint. All in one afternoon!!! I went back to my room for room service and a review of my presentation on 3rd Normal Form: That’s Crazy Talk!!! One last review and some practice on the Visio diagrams to demo and then off to bed.

Friday at 8:30 I presented to a 2/3s full room (probably 60-70) people about database normalization. Louis Davidson (DrSQL) { Blog | Twitter } was the ‘moderator’ for my presentation. What a blessing to have a guru in the industry watching me, I hope he has some constructive criticism for me!  Lots of conversation after the session and plenty of comments the rest of the day from others. It was the first time I felt I did not leave anything out or felt I tried to explain too much. I believe it helped to run through the session with developers at work before the Rally, and take some things out to reduce the session to under an hour. I noticed a lot of sessions either did not have enough time (60 minutes) or the presenters needed to reduce the content to finish on time and not leave the attendees missing something.

The rest of the day was spent in Eric’s SSIS Data Flow Logging, Devin Knight performance tuning SSAS, Julie Smith’s Cool Tricks for SSIS, Adam Jorgenson guiding Julie in a cube creation and Excel reporting and finally watching Jeremiah flying through SQL Server internals. Man, that is a lot. But, I have learned from past SQLPass Summits that I should just try to bring 2-3 new ideas back to the office. The first week back, implement one to show the value to the bosses. Play with the second one for a month and then implement. And summarize the last to the some group or department.

God Bless,


Thursday, May 5, 2011

My PASS Summit 2011 Submissions

Before I list what presentations I have submitted this year to PASS, I want to briefly talk about SQLRally.

SQLRally gives me a wonderful opportunity to present on Database Normalization. This passion of mine is expressed with others in the SQL Server community and I see a really need for others to teach the basics of normalization. It is not an academic knowledge of 1, 2, 3… but more importantly to help performance, reporting and now business intelligence. Another session I have started working on is Database Standard Operating Procedure which came from questions I have received from attendees at SQLSaturday and in-house at Amedisys.

The next opportunity is SQLSaturday #77 in Pensacola. Karla and gang looks like the have many sponsors and the schedule is set. I am going to attend 4 others sessions while presenting at 2.

So here are my PASS Summit submissions:

3rd Normal Form: That's crazy talk!!!

How did the development world conclude that an integer is the best primary key? What has been added to SQL Server in 2005 and 2008 to help change the way database design has evolved over the years? Can we still use a VarChar(xx) for a primary key? What is the difference between a lookup and Parent/Child relationship? What is an example of a Many-to-Many relationship? What is 4th and 5th normal form? This session will go through the history of 22 years of experience with various database designs – normalized and denormalized. The discussion will include the benefits and forward looking that should be required for using various design techniques. The flow will be a discussion with attendee participation to share success and pains in database development, leading to standards for all of us to take advantage of while designing databases.

Execution Plan Basics

This will be a Beginners session highlighting the starting point for using the execution plans from SQL Server to assist in query tuning. Briefly, we will look at the history to get an idea of how Microsoft has improved the display through Graphical Plans and Missing Index suggestion. Examples from the AdventureWorks database will be shown so anyone can take the queries after the session to try on the own, which will be encouraged. Questions will be answered like: What is the difference between a Table and Clustered Index Scan? What is a Lookup? How do you improve performance of Lookups? What are the different types of Loops? How to get more information from the Plan with the properties window? What other options are available in Management Studio to assist with query tuning?

Transition from DBA to BI Architect

Database Normalization and Dimension Modeling are the same but different. Development in today ‘s larger industries require the design and analysis of Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) to take into account Data Warehousing/OLAP (Online Analytical Processing). My transition from Senior DBA to BI Architect at Amedisys has been a process of sanding the rough edges of my passion from fully normalized databases. The Dimensional Modeling started a re-tooling of my mind to look at end result analytics and statistics from smaller and smaller transactions. From previous experience, I know I am not going to get it right the first time. Lessons learned will mold me into a great BI Guy.

RML Utilities\SQL Nexus

Microsoft Support (CSS, formerly PSS) has made available a utility to do an analysis of a trace file. This session will go through an explanation of how to use this utility and interpret the results. RML Utilities can answer questions about where the most resources are being consumed, queries that are responsible for heavy usage, changes in plans during trace and if queries are running slow in comparison to other traces

Good to all submitters and look forward to seeing y’all all in Orlando and Seattle.

God Bless