Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
I’m pleased to announce a new addition to the Technitrain course catalogue: along with Bob Phillips (a UK-based Excel MVP) I’ll be teaching a PowerPivot course in London this October. Full details and registration can be found here:
The course is the one written by Marco and Alberto to tie in with their excellent book “PowerPivot for Excel 2010: Give Your Data Meaning”, and is suitable for BI professionals and Excel professionals. It costs £499 + VAT if you book before August 31st, and £549 + VAT after that.
Other courses coming up this autumn include:
- Andy Leonard’s SSIS 2012 course in September
- Me on SSAS 2012 Tabular in Dublin in September
- Jen Stirrup on Power View and Data Visualisation in Dublin, immediately after the SSAS Tabular course
- Christian Bolton on SQL Server engine performance tuning and troubleshooting, in London in October
- Me on MDX in London in December
For those of you who haven’t seen Marco’s post from a few days ago, registration is now open for the SSAS Maestros course that he and I will be teaching this July in Milan. A few things to point out:
- We’ve listened to feedback, trimmed some of the costs and content, and reduced the price to €4500 (€3500 for attendees of previous Maestros courses).
- We’re going to be joined by Thomas Kejser for some of the course, who’ll be sharing his experience of working on some of the largest cubes in the world.
So, to sum up, this is the ultimate in SSAS training and if you want to take your SSAS knowledge to the next level you should come along.
For more details on what the SSAS Maestros program is, see:
To find out more about this course and to register, go to:
I’m pleased to announce that a whole bunch of new dates for SSAS and MDX training courses in London, Manchester and Dublin are now up on the Technitrain site, along with several other SQL Server BI and engine courses from the likes of Jen Stirrup, Andy Leonard and Christian Bolton.
Here are the details:
Server Analysis Services 2012 Tabular Workshop with Marco Russo and Chris Webb 28 – 29 May, London
In association with SQL BI (http://www.ssasworkshop.com/)
If you want to learn about creating Tabular models with Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2012, then this is the course for you. It covers all the content in the new Tabular book that Marco, Alberto and I have been working on and it goes into a lot more detail than the standard tutorials. I’m co-promoting this course in London with Marco and Alberto, and as detailed below I’ll be teaching it solo in Dublin in the autumn; it’s going to be run in several other European cities so take a look here for more details.
Cost – £850 (exc VAT)
Data Visualisation with SQL Server 2012 Tabular Models, Excel and Power View with Jen Stirrup 30 May 2012, London
A one day course aimed at BI professionals who use Excel and Power View and want to learn how to create effective data visualisations. Jen is the acknowledged expert in the field of data visualisation for Microsoft BI, and this course is immediately after the SSAS 2012 Tabular course – so why not attend both?
Cost: – £299 (exc VAT)
Real World Cube Design and Performance Tuning with Analysis Services Multidimensional with Chris Webb 3-5 July 2012, Manchester
A three day course aimed at intermediate-to-experienced Analysis Services Multidimensional developers, looking at more advanced cube design topics and query performance tuning. I’ll be speaking at the Manchester and Leeds SQL Server user groups in the evenings while I’m up in there too.
Cost: – £749 (exc VAT)
Upgrade your SQL Server Integration Services skills to 2012 with Andy Leonard 12-14 September 2012, London
An introduction to the new features in SSIS 2012 for SQL Server Integration Services professionals. Andy’s last course for us went down very well indeed – take a look at this review of it!
Cost – £749 (exc VAT)
Server Analysis Services 2012 Tabular Workshop with Chris Webb 19 -20 September 2012, Dublin
This is the same course as the one listed above in London in May.
Cost – €950
Data Visualisation with SQL Server 2012 Tabular Models, Excel and Power View with Jen Stirrup 21 September 2012, Dublin
Once again, this is the same course as the one listed above in London in May.
Cost – €335
Advanced Internals and Troubleshooting Workshop for SQL Server with Christian Bolton 9 – 10 October 2012, London
The Advanced Troubleshooting Workshop for SQL Server 2005, 2008, R2 and 2012 provides attendees with SQL Server relational engine internals knowledge, practical troubleshooting skills and a proven methodical approach to problem solving. The workshop will enable attendees to tackle complex SQL Server problems with confidence.
Cost – £990 (exc VAT)
Introduction To MDX, with Chris Webb – 5-7 December 2012, London
A three day course designed for those with little or no experience of MDX, by the end of this course, you will be able to write MDX queries and calculations for Analysis Services with confidence.
Cost:- £749 (exc VAT)
SQLBits X finished over a week ago and so it seems a bit late to be blogging about it. To be honest, though, I needed that week to recover from the conference, a cold I picked up the day before it started, and all of the other work-related stress that’s been building up over the last few months.
So, the obligatory bit of reportage. SQLBits X was indeed as big as we were hoping and behind the scenes everything went surprisingly smoothly; I guess after nine previous events we must have learned something about running a tech conference! I don’t know what the official numbers are but we packed 1400 swag bags on the Wednesday afternoon before it all started in a five-hour bag stuffing marathon, and on the Saturday evening we only had about 100 or so left, so that makes it easily 50% larger than any other SQLBits. We had a great line-up of speakers including a large number of international SQL celebrities, more than we’ve ever had before, and the parties on Thursday and Friday night were well-attended and more importantly good fun. I don’t know how SQLBits could get any better except by getting bigger and offering even more of the same, although if we did get bigger it would probably end up killing a lot of what makes SQLBits special and push us beyond the limits of what an amateur organisation can cope with. My thanks go out to my fellow committee members Simon Sabin, Allan Mitchell, Martin Bell, James Rowland-Jones, Darren Green, Chris Testa-O’Neill, Tim Kent and Christian Bolton, as well as all of the team of helpers who gave up their time free of charge including Annette Allan, Helen Lau, and many others.
The agenda for the Friday and Saturday of SQLBits X is now published, and you can see it here:
If you were wondering whether to come hopefully this will make up your mind – but given that almost 1000 SQL Server professionals from all round the world have already registered, so you’d better book fast if you want to be sure of a space. There are loads of SSAS-related sessions to choose from, including ones from Cathy Dumas, Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari, John Tunnicliffe, Erika Bakse, Akshai Mirchandani, Stephan Stolze, Bob Duffy and, errr, me. Trust me, it’s going to be great!
This is just a quick post to tell you that registration for the 10th SQLBits conference, SQLBits X, is now open. It’s going to be taking place in London, UK, on March 29th-31st 2012. It’s also going to be the official launch event for SQL Server 2012 and 50% bigger than any previous SQLBits! For more details see:
The agenda hasn’t been finalised (you’ll get to vote on the sessions you’d like to see first) but if you take a look at the sessions that have been submitted then you can see there’ll be a lot of famous SQL Server people presenting:
I can also reveal we’re working on having several prominent members of the SSAS dev team come over too…
We’ve already had 254 registrations from people all round the UK, Europe and indeed the world in the two days since registration opened, so don’t leave your registration too late!
It’s a bit short notice, but I thought I’d mention I’m doing an SSAS session at the Maidenhead SQL Server User Group (in the UK) tomorrow night, so if you’re in the area please come along! More details and registration here:
I’m also speaking at the Southampton SQL Server User Group on January 11th next year, although I don’t think registration is open for that yet, and hopefully I’ll get down to Exeter some time early next year too.
Also, if you’re looking for PowerPivot training then I can highly recommend my friends Marco and Alberto’s course which is going to be run online (at times convenient for those of you living in the Americas) on December 19th-20th. More details can be found on Marco’s blog, and on the PowerPivot Workshop site.
Over the last few years I’ve been doing more and more training – my MDX, SSAS cube design and performance tuning courses continue to be extremely popular – and I’ve also seen how successful preconference seminars at conferences like SQLBits have become. It’s my opinion that there’s significant demand for SQL Server training that is either at a more advanced level than the big training companies can offer, or that covers niche topics that the big training companies would never bother with such as MDX. Equally, I believe that more experienced developers would rather be taught by people like them, who have used a technology in the field, written books and blog posts, and have real-world knowledge, rather than professional trainers who (by definition) spend most of their time training.
That’s why I have decided to launch a new training company to offer expert-level SQL Server training in the UK: Technitrain. Not only will I be running all my public training courses through it, but I’ll also be offering training courses by other respected SQL Server MVPs, authors, bloggers and speakers. Here’s my initial course schedule:
I’m really excited to be working with the likes of Christian, Jeremy and Andy for this first group of courses – they really are the acknowledged experts in their particular areas. All the courses will be run in central London, so they will not only be convenient for anyone in the UK but also easily accessible for attendees from Europe or further away.
Finally, I’d like your help in making my new company a success. But don’t worry, I’m going to pay you for it! If you run a user group, a small consultancy, a training company or are a contractor or a blogger, you may be interested in my affiliate programme. You can find more details on the site, but basically I will pay 20% of the price of the course for each registration that an affiliate sends my way. For example, for Andy Leonard’s SSIS course that means I’ll pay £399 per registration in commission – which hopefully is enough motivation for you to mention these courses to your friends, colleagues, customers, blog readers, Twitter followers and so on.
It’s only day 2 of the PASS Summit and I’m already feeling conferenced-out, although that might have something to do with my alcohol consumption over the last few days, the jetlag, and the early starts. I saw a few good sessions yesterday, although for some reason all the BI talks were allotted ridiculously small rooms so I had to stand or sit on the floor for them. Probably the most impressive from my point of view was a talk I saw yesterday afternoon about Power View (Crescent). Now, I’ve seen a lot of Power View demos over the last year or so but it seems to me that over the last few months since CTP3 the product has turned a corner and gone from being something that was kind-of-good-but-I’ll-wait-for-the-next-release to something that is genuinely worth getting excited about. I can’t really put my finger on what has happened – maybe it’s just reached a critical mass in terms of functionality and it doesn’t seem like a typical Microsoft Version 1.0 any more; certainly it was the first time that I’d seen it and thought that I’d be willing to take the pain of installing Sharepoint to use it.
Anyway, back to the stuff I picked up from the keynote…
- Some nice demos of SSRS, DQS, column store indexes and other non-BI-related stuff, but nothing new and interesting (at least from my point of view)
- Appliances. There’s now a Dell version of PDW, but in general big boxes with flashing lights don’t get me all that excited.
- More on PDW and its roadmap. The next update (pre SQL2012) will get various enhancements including a distributed cost-based query optimiser and limited support for stored procedures. I suspect this time next year I’ll be watching a demo of Tabular in DirectQuery mode working on the next full version of PDW and we’ll have a great story for ad-hoc BI on truly large data volumes.
- Semantic search. Looks very cool; I wonder how this can be integrated into the wider BI stack beyond a few basic SSRS reports? I’ll have to take a closer look at this…
- An announcement !? It seems like BIDS, ie BI Development Studio, is no longer a separate thing but should be thought of as part of SQL Server Data Tools (aka Juneau). Wonder what this means for the BIDS Helper guys? Somehow “BI bits of SQL Server Data Tools Helper” isn’t such a catchy name.
- SQL Azure. The Azure Management Portal is getting a Metro UI; there’ll be a new max size for a SQL Azure DB of 150GB.
So nothing massively exciting here from a BI point of view – clearly all the good stuff was announced yesterday. I’ll be back tomorrow; in the meantime, if you’re at PASS make sure you come to my lightning talk this afternoon because I’m doing some MDX and it would be nice to have some people in the audience who have a clue what I’m talking about!
So, here we are again in Seattle. I’ve been here for a couple of days already and only just over my jetlag – spending all day inside in the convention centre and meeting rooms is not the best way to adjust to a new time zone. Anyway, there are a lot of cool BI-related announcements coming over the next few days so I thought I’d live blog the keynotes over the next few days; today it’s the turn of Ted Kummert, so let’s see what he’s got to say…
- The official name of Project Crescent is going to be called “Power View”. I like this name – it has echoes of PowerPivot and (ahem) QlikView.
- Denali will be known as SQL Server 2012 and will release in the first half of next year
- Microsoft will be offering its own Hadoop distribution on Windows; MS have forged a partnership with HortonWorks to do this. I guess this means the end for Dryad/LINQ to HPC as a product, but it’s a good decision – the market doesn’t want another MS me-too product, it wants Hadoop. There will also be an ODBC driver and addin for Excel for Apache Hive, so you will be able to get data from Hadoop directly into PowerPivot and SSAS Tabular without having to stage it in a relational database. It’ll be available as an on-premises solution and also there’ll be a CTP of an Azure-based solution by the end of the year. This is today’s first big announcement, clearly. I have a few customers with the kind of data volumes that mean they’ll be interested in this, especially now it’s coming in a friendly, MS-packaged format. Denny Lee has more details on all this here.
- There’s a new thing coming from SQL Azure Labs called Data Explorer that will be available at the end of this year. This is a web-based data integration tool for working with data from a number of sources: I can see SQL Azure, Excel, Access and the usual sources are supported, and it also generates recommendations of data from the Azure Datamarket that you might be interested in. It allows you to mash up data from various different sources then publish the result as an OData feed – very similar to Yahoo Pipes, as far as I can see, but the cool thing is that there’s only one type of (very PowerPivot friendly) end point. Can’t wait to play with this but, however cool it looks, you have to remember that this is coming from SQL Azure Labs so it’s not going to be a real product any time soon.
- Amir Netz (just promoted to be a Technical Fellow at MS – a very prestigious role, and great for the profile of BI inside the company I think) is now on stage for a Crescent demo. He confirmed that export to PowerPoint will make it into RTM.
- …and now Amir moves onto mobile BI. He shows Power View on Windows Mobile and… an IPad and an Android phone! Hurray! It seems like, at last, we might have a credible mobile BI strategy from Microsoft. He spends a lot of time demoing on a Windows tablet as well – I wonder why? The audience wants to see the iPad again; maybe the iPad stuff isn’t quite ready yet, but if you remember that Power View is a Silverlight app then you can imagine that this must have involved quite a lot of hard work to do.
Overall, some very exciting news. The Hadoop and mobile BI announcements fill some glaring gaps in the MS BI story, and I’m certainly a lot happier than I was this time last year..! The DBA crowd here, though, are a bit grumpy because all the announcements have been BI related – my heart bleeds for them, truly.
One last thing: I’ve finally started using Twitter, and if you want more up-to-date news of what’s happening at PASS then I’ll be tweeting throughout the conference. I’m @Technitrain
UPDATE: all references to PowerView changed to “Power View” with a space. That’s the official name.