Monday, February 27, 2012

Another 24 Hours of PASS

Nothing like a 24 hour barrage of SQL Server training for FREE!!! Did I mention it was free?

The PASS Data Architecture Virtual Chapter will be hosting Ami Levin for his presentation Where Are My (Primary) Keys. It will be 5AM Central for me, but I am excited to be hosting Ami.

Ami did an excellent job on explaining Physical Join Operators at last year’s PASS Summit. I was very impressed with the presentation skills, visual props (he used a large deck of cards to show Nested/Merge/Hash joins) and his sense of humor. Ami uploaded a script from his presentation that allowed me to follow up on the presentation while viewing the recording as well as additional examples with comments above each script. He session alone for enough for one day, so I am really excited to see him present again.

The PASS board has decided the let the Virtual Chapters help moderate and select sessions this year for #24HOP. What most of the attendees of 24 Hours of PASS, the Summit and SQLRally do not know is that the Virtual Chapters host these same speakers all during the year with the same level of presentations. Did I mention it was free? This years #24HOP (Twitter has tag) will give the Virtual Chapters an opportunity to advertise sessions, recruit speakers and get volunteers to help with the VC. 

The Data Architecture VC could really use some help!!! E-mail us at if you want to help. The following are opportunities to help this chapter:

  1. LiveMeeting Host: These people contact the speaker to practice and make sure the LiveMeeting works. He or she will come online 30 minutes before the meeting to get it started, then a 5 minute intro of the VC and the speaker. During the session, he/she will help moderate questions and close the session for the speaker at the end. There is also a recording to be started and stopped.
  2. Marketing: This job helps get word out on Twitter/Megaphone/UGS, get some Bloggers to talk about the upcoming session and get some SQL Server websites to help broadcast the meeting announcement to others. The marketing job can include using DotNetNuke to manage the website.
  3. Speaker Coordinator: Speakers are need to keep the VC going each month. This is really cool job because you get to meet some of the great SQL Server community servants that share of their time and talents. Other duties include getting the abstract and bio from the speaker a month ahead to get on the website

Any of these positions can be shared with one another and is highly suggested. There are SQL PASS employees and board members dedicated to helping us be successful. Of course, the best lessons are learned through experience.

Of course, none of this happens without Sponsors. That is why, did I mention it is FREE!!! Thank you Microsoft and SQLSentry. SQLSentry is now famous for its free version of Plan Explorer. If you tune queries and look at Execution Plans, your SQL Tool Belt needs this free tool. They also have a cool scheduler to compliment the Analysis tools.




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PASS Data Arch VC presents Steve Simon - On Beyond Zebra AdventureWorks OR Where Did I Go Wrong?

I meet Steve when  he came down from New England area for SQL Saturday #28 IN Baton Rouge, LA. He is a great SQL and IT community person who has many years experience with database systems. Please join us Thursday at noon for some free training!!!

Next Meeting -

On Beyond Zebra AdventureWorks OR Where Did I Go Wrong?

Start Time:
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 12:00 PM US Central Time (February 16th, 2012 6:00 PM GMT)

End Time:
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 1:00 PM US Central Time (February 16th, 2012 7:00 PM GMT)

Steve Simon (LinkedIn)

Live Meeting Link:

On beyond Zebra AdventureWorks OR where did I go wrong?
No matter how well planned and executed, the data structures of any data warehouse oft times eventually land up resembling something out of a Dr. Seuss book. In this presentation we shall be looking at and discussing a few of the “perfect” data structures (that I have inherited) and discussing the flaws that have only recently surfaced. We shall be looking at the ‘before’, discussing a few alternatives to make these structure more efficient and effective, then we shall then look at final “production structure” and the resulting improvement metrics; all of which help us to help our clients’ make better decisions in a timely manner..

Steve Simon
Steve Simon is a Senior Business Intelligence Engineer with MyWebGrocer in Burlington Vermont. He has been involved with database design and analysis for over 26 years. Steve has presented papers at eight North American PASS Summits (in Orlando, Seattle WA (4), Denver CO (2) and San Francisco CA), two at PASS Europe 2009 and one at PASS Europe 2010. He has just recently presented at the Johannesburg and Cape Town SQL Server Saturdays. Steve is actively involved with the SQL Server community within the Boston area and is a regular presenter at the New England Code Camps and SQL Saturday events and participates actively on many of the Microsoft User Forums. He is also the Virtual Chapter leader of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Oracle – SQL Server Virtual Chapter and is a PASS regional mentor.Steve has also presented papers at the Information Builders’ International Technology Summits ( in New Orleans (1998), in Orlando (1999), Las Vegas (2007), two in Nashville (2008), one in Nashville (2009), one in Orlando 2010 and will be presenting a paper at the 2011 Summit in Dallas TX).

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group

I will be speaking at the February Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group meeting on Wednesday the 8th. The session will be an continuation of Execution Plan Basics that I shared last year and at 2 SQL Saturday events plus Houston Tech Fest in 2010. This one is called Execution Plan: Beyond The Basics. The topics include Digging deeper into Loops, Missing Indexes in Query Plans, WHERE clause and LEFT JOIN, TempDB usage, SQL Server 2012 improvements to Query Plan and Tools like SQLSentry’s Plan Explorer, Database Tuning Advisor and SP_WhoIsActive from Adam Mahanic.

I am hoping this session gets pick by some SQL Saturday events in the future, first at Houston with Nancy Hide Wilson and Jonathon Gardner. Still looking at Pensacola and waiting for John Sterret and gang in West Virginia to add one to the schedule. Really would like to do a half day execution plan session, that would be nice.

More Info:

February '12 Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group Meeting

Topic: Execution Plans: Beyond the Basics

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Location: LSU Campus, Turead Hall Room 103 -

5:45 - 6:15 pm: Networking and Refreshments
6:15 - 6:55 pm: Lightning Round Topics
6:55 - 8:00 pm: Main Topic
8:00 - until: Open Forum for questions and Raffle
Afterwards: An open invitation to join us at Walk-Ons
Lightning Round Speaker: Patrick LeBlanc, Microsoft

Topic: New Features of SQL 2012

Lightning Round Speaker: Matt Maddox, Lamar Advertising

Main Topic:Execution Plans: Beyond the Basics
Main Topic Speaker: Thomas Leblanc, Turner Industries
Summary: This will session will be a deeper look into execution plans for query tuning. The Nested, Merge and Hash Join loops will be discussed. A look at TempDB usage when memory grants are not enough for the plan. How do you use MAXDOP and Cost Threshold to understand parallel plans? We will examine Sort, Compute scalar and more iterators for performance tuning. Missing indexes in query plans will be used to help performance.