Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
Yesterday, the SQLBits Committee (which I’m a member of) announced the dates for SQLBits XI: it will be taking place on May 2nd-4th 2013 at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, UK. SQLBits is, of course, Europe’s biggest SQL Server conference and the second-biggest dedicated SQL Server conference in the world, and we attract attendees from all over the world. Apart from top-notch sessions from the world’s leading SQL Server experts you can also expect to have a lot of fun: at previous events attendees have had the chance to groove with the Beatles (well, ok, maybe they were just pretending to be the Beatles), play darts with professionals and hang out with Steve Wozniak (the real one). You should come! To find out more, keep an eye on http://sqlbits.com/
Normally I’d rush to blog about the announcements made in the keynotes each day at the PASS Summit, but this year I had a session to deliver immediately afterwards and once I’d done that I saw Marco had beaten me to it! So, if you want the details on what was announced in today’s keynote I’d advise you to read his post here:
I can’t not comment on some of these announcements though, so here (in no particular order) are some things that occurred to me:
- The first public sighting of Power View on Multidimensional raised the biggest cheer of the morning, which surprised even me – I didn’t realise there were so many SSAS fans in the audience. I’m certainly very pleased to see it, even if it isn’t shipping right now (it’s not in SP1 either). Part of why I’m pleased is that all too often Microsoft BI has been good at building amazing new products but then forgetting about the migration path for its existing customers: think of the Proclarity debacle, and more recently I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the abandonment of Report Models. I suspect this is because Microsoft is not like most other software companies in that it doesn’t do much direct selling itself, but lets partners do the selling for it, and when partners get stick from customers over issues like Proclarity migration then the partners have no leverage over Microsoft to make it deal with the problem. Power View on Multidimensional is a welcome exception to this pattern, and I’d like to see more consideration given to this issue in the future even if it comes at the expense of developing cool new features.
- The PDW V2 news is interesting too. It was clearly stated that Polybase will, initially allow TSQL to query data in Hadoop but that other data sources might be supported in the future. I wonder what they will be? DAX/Tabular perhaps? Or something more exotic – wouldn’t it be cool if you could query the Facebook graph or Twitter or even Bing directly from TSQL? I’m probably letting my imagination run away with me now…
- The other thing that popped into my mind when hearing about Polybase was that it might be possible, one day, to use SSAS Tabular in DirectQuery mode on top of PDW/Polybase to query data in Hadoop interactively. I know Hadoop isn’t really designed for the kind of response times that SSAS users expect but I’d still like to try it.
- It hardly seems worth repeating the fact that Mobile BI is very, very late but again it was good to get some details on what is coming. As partners we can deal with the criticism we get from customers and plan better if we have some idea of what will be delivered and the timescales involved, something that has been conspicuously lacking with Mobile BI up to today. To use a current phrase, Microsoft and its partners are “all in this together”, so please, Microsoft, let us help you!
I’ve now arrived in Seattle for the PASS Summit 2012, and as always I’m looking forward to a busy week. There are a few things I wanted to highlight:
- There are always a few big announcements at PASS, and while I’ll be blogging every day you’ll hear the news first if you follow me on Twitter – I’m @Technitrain. For example I’ve just noticed a session on “Using Power View with Multidimensional Models” on the schedule which means, I suspect, that the long-promised support for Power View over SSAS Multidimensional, via DAX queries, will be announced this week!
- I’m doing a session on “What’s New in SSAS 2012?” (BIA-303) on Wednesday morning at 10:15am. Unfortunately, the printed schedule and summit guide booklet have the wrong session title and/or abstract at the moment; the session details online are correct. This means that contrary to what you might see in some places I will not be doing a pure SSAS Multidimensional session; there will be about 15-20 minutes of 2012 Multidimensional content (I’d struggle to fill more than that) and the rest will cover terminology, Tabular, and choosing between Tabular and Multidimensional.
- I’m doing a book signing with Marco and Alberto for our new book “SQL Server Analysis Services 2012: The BISM Tabular Model” on Thursday lunchtime from 12:00pm to 12:30pm at the Summit bookstore.
- I’m doing a second session on “The Best Microsoft BI Tools You’ve Never Heard Of!” (BI-202) on Thursday at 1:30pm. This will be a fun session showing how you can use tools like NodeXL and Layerscape alongside PowerPivot for BI purposes; and yes, I know, if you’re a regular reader of my blog you will have heard of these tools… but hopefully you’ll find it enjoyable nonetheless.
If you see me wandering around at any point, feel free to say hello! I’m quite friendly and I won’t bite. I might be a bit jet-lagged though – I’m wide awake at 4:45am right now…
I’ve got a busy speaking and teaching schedule this autumn, and in time-honoured fashion here’s a list of where and when each of my sessions will be:
- This Saturday, September 8th, I’ll be at SQL Saturday 162 in Cambridge. This is the first SQL Saturday in the UK and I’m really looking forward to it!
- Next Tuesday, September 11th, I’ll be speaking at the London SQL Server User Group along with Andy Leonard…
- …and teaming up with Andy again in Birmingham the SQLMidlands group on Thursday September 13th
- On September 19th-20th I’ll be teaching an SSAS 2012 Tabular course in Dublin (Jen Stirrup will be teaching a Power View/Excel data visualisation course in Dublin on the 21st)
- On September 26th I’ll be speaking at SQL Server in the Evening at TVP near Reading.
- October 1st-3rd I’ll be at SQLRally Nordic in Copenhagen
- I’ll be back in Dublin on October 5th for a half-day seminar on Excel 2013 BI which is part of the SQL Masterclass series at Microsoft’s offices, run in association with my friends at Prodata
- I’ll be teaching a PowerPivot course with Bob Phillips in London on October 18th-19th
- On November 6th-9th I’ll be speaking at the PASS Summit in Seattle
- I’m going back to Belgium for the SQL Server Days conference on November 19th-20th
- On Saturday November 24th I’ll be doing a session for the Himalayan SQL Server User Group in Nepal. Sadly it’s a remote session – I’d love the chance to go to Nepal…
- On December 5th-7th I’m teaching a public MDX course in London
- And finally, I’ll be speaking at the Maidenhead User Group on Tuesday, December 11th
If you’re going to be at one of these events, come and say hello! Next year we’ll hopefully have another SQLBits, although we don’t have a date fixed yet, and hopefully I’ll be speaking at Database Days in Switzerland too.
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!