Tag Archives: TechEd

What I learned at TechEd

Last week I was at the Microsoft TechEd conference in North America, along with over 10,000 of my closest friends. I spent a lot of time in the Microsoft floor area talking to people, and came away with some interesting info about new technologies. As I’m sharing some of these at the Steel City SQL user group tonight, I thought I’d share here too.

First up is OData, the Open Data Protocol from Microsoft. It is an ATOM feed but for data. People can publish under the OData format and be able to consume the data from either a JSON or AtomPub. You can also add security, should you wish to have data available to many consumers but only on a permission basis. You can learn more at http://www.odata.org

Next up is Microsoft’s new “Dallas” project. Dallas is the code name for a data marketplace on it’s Azure platform. Through Dallas users and vendors will be able to consume / provide data feeds. Some will be free, others will be at some cost. There is a catalog through which consumers can look at the various feeds available. This is very much in it’s infancy but there are a few feeds which you can look at and preview.

Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse looked interesting, although it fits a very niche market. It’s an appliance you can purchase that is essentially a rack of SQL Servers. One is the master server, and coordinates all the child servers. As a DBA you manage what appears to be a “normal” instance of a SQL Server. Behind the scenes the controller will propagate changes to the other servers in it’s hub. Scaling can be achieved by simply adding more servers to the existing rack, or additional racks as needed. PDW becomes economical starting around 10 terabytes and scales to well over 100 terabytes of data.

The folks at Red Gate have a new tool called SQL Search that they have released for free to the community. SQL Search is an add-on for SQL Server Management Studio that does lightening fast searches of object names in your database. Just pick the database name and term to search for and SQL Search will populate a grid with all possible matches. If you double click on the row it will navigate SSMS’s Object Explorer pane to the correct spot in the navigation tree with your object. Further, if the object is a view, stored proc, etc it will even display the SQL of the object and highlight the searched item. And did I mention it’s free?

Speaking of cool, free tools the folks at Confio have created a free version of their popular Ignite tool called IgniteFree. It is a real time performance monitoring tool that will work with not just SQL Server but Oracle and DB2 as well. They have versions of the tool that run on both Windows and Unix/Linux.

PowerPivot continues to fascinate and excite me, while I was at TechEd I won a copy of “PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint”. I had this on my “to buy” list anyway so considered myself lucky. I’m about a sixth of the way through the book and it has been really good so far. It starts with a quick tour of the Excel piece, then walks you through the SharePoint install so you can quickly get up and running in a test environment. Later chapters delve much more deeply into PowerPivot. If you are looking for a good PowerPivot book I would recommend it.

Finally, even if you couldn’t be there you can watch the sessions from this and past Tech Ed’s. Microsoft has released them to the general public at http://www.msteched.com/


*FTC Discloser, I am in the “Friends of Red Gate” program where I get copies of their tools in order to test and provide feedback. In this case the disclaimer probably isn’t necessary since the SQL Search tool is freely available to all, but I’d prefer to keep things above board.


SQL Saturday 41 – Atlanta

Today is April 24, 2010 and I’m in Atlanta speaking at SQL Saturday number 41. I’m giving three sessions today. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment, LOL.

My first session is an Introduction to Business Intelligence / Data Warehousing. In it I am covering the basics, it’s a true introductory talk where we’ll demystify all the buzz words surrounding Business Intelligence. You can download the slides from here.

My next session is Off and Running with PowerPivot for Excel 2010. Learn the ins and outs of this exciting new tool from Microsoft, see how you can enable your users to do their own Business Intelligence. The slides are ready from this location.

OK, an update before this blog entry even posts, Vidas Matelis just published his step by step guide for getting SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, and PowerPivot all up and going on a single box. (And when I say just, I mean it went up just as I was typing up this post.) Vidas knows a lot about PowerPivot, it’s a great blog to add to your short list. I have a link to his blog in my slide deck, but wanted to pass along a specific link to his install guide, you can find it at http://powerpivot-info.com/post/66-step-by-step-guide-on-installing-powerpivot-for-sharepoint .

The final session I’ll be doing is on Full Text Searching. You can download the code samples and slides from my Code Gallery site, http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/SqlServerFTS.

Speaking of Full Text Search, I’ll be doing an Interactive Session at Tech-Ed in New Orleans on Full Text Searching. The session is now in the catalog: http://northamerica.msteched.com/topic/list?keyword=DAT07-INT If you are coming to New Orleans for Tech Ed I’d love to see you there. I’ll also be in the Microsoft Data booth during part of the event, so come on by and say Hi!

I hope to be able to sneak in a few sessions today as well, there will be 49 different sessions at SQL Saturday #41 to pick from (7 tracks, and 7 sessions per track) so it promises to have something for everyone. If you want to follow the fun on Twitter, our official hash tag is #sqlsat41 .