SQL Saturday – Salt Lake and Portland

I will be speaking at two SQL Saturday events on the topics of visual report design with SQL Server Reporting Services and BI Semantic data options for analysis with the Microsoft BI platform.  In these presentations, I will demonstrate advanced report design techniques with the current version of Reporting Services and new features coming in SQL Server “Denali”, namely the new BI Tabular Model & the Project “Crescent” reporting experience.  Watch for a streaming video copy of this presentation in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned.

If you will be in the Salt Lake City area on Saturday, September 10th, please plan to attend SQL Saturday 94, Tweet: #sqlsat94.

The Oregon SQL user group is sponsoring SQL Saturday 92 in Portland on Saturday, October 8th.  This is sure to be well-attended with several excellent industry professionals presenting.  Tweet: #sqlsat92.

Please register as soon as possible.

SQL Saturday #68, Olympia, WA

I just returned from the SQL Saturday #68 in Olympia.  It was a great event, well organized, well attended and there were several excellent presentations, learining and networking opportunities.  More than anything else, I’m continually impressed by the caliber of people in the SQL Server community.  It’s not just their technical expertise.  The personal commitment and loyalty of the user group leaders and other volunteers, speakers and SQL Server MVPs is beyond description.  Without regard for direct personal gain or compensation, many of the usual suspects just show up to teach others and support the products and platform they love and are so passionate about.

Greg Larsen is the Olympia Area SQL Server User Group Chapter Leader.  He and his group put together a great event.  Scott Stauffer drove all the way down from Vancouver, BC.  Scott gave an excellent presentation about Integration Services and ETL.  I always enjoy Scott’s friendly, laid-back presentation style.  Robert Davis (SQLSoldier),  spoke about managing very large databases.  Robert is one of very few certified SQL Server Masters.  I’ve heard Robert speak at PASS and he and speaks with a great deal of expertise.  Buck Woody spoke about the Microsoft Azure and cloud services.  He’s one of my favorite presenters.

The topic of my session was “Visual Report Design: Bringing Sexy Back”.  I’ve posted a copy of the presentation: Visual Report Design – Paul Turley 4-9-11.

SQL Saturday in Olympia – April 9, ‘11

If you’re in the greater Seattle or Olympia area, mark your calendar and don’t miss SQL Saturday on April 9th.  Greg Larsen and his user group have put together a great line-up of FREE, high value presentations from an army of industry experts.

SQLSaturday#68 is at South Puget Sound Community College, Building 35 – Natural Sciences, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia, WA 98512.

Here’s a quick look at the schedule:
 

Track

Starts

Session Title

Speaker

151

09:00 AM

Managing Sparse Resources with Resource Governor

Arie Jones

151

10:30 AM

Row Level Security and SQL-CLR integration

Toshi Watanabe

151

12:30 PM

Self Service BI in SQL Server 2008 R2 (PowerPivot)

Hope Foley

151

02:00 PM

Sharing Report Expressions

William Vaughn

151

03:30 PM

Visual Report Design: Bringing Sexy Back

Paul Turley

252

09:00 AM

Through the Looking-Glass

Greg Larsen

252

10:30 AM

Load-balancing architectures for Online Reporting

John + Crystal Halunen, Manson

252

11:45 AM

provide a free lunch

We will

252

12:30 PM

Monitoring Data Changes with Change Data Capture

Arie Jones

252

02:00 PM

Cloud computing for the Data Professional

Buck Woody

252

03:30 PM

Inside and out of Transactional Replication

Chuck Lathrope

351

09:00 AM

Solving Real Life Production Issues

Dale Cunningham

351

10:30 AM

Powershell: Are you checking out my profile?

Nicholas Cain

351

12:30 PM

Making sense of SQL Server availability options

David Bermingham

351

02:00 PM

Women in Technology

Sopheap Suy

351

03:30 PM

Get the most out of SQL Server Standard Edition

Diane Robey

352

09:00 AM

What is this cache and why is it so big?

Douglas Brendle

352

10:30 AM

Strategies for Working with VLDBs

Robert Davis

352

12:30 PM

Basic Performance Tips and Gotchas

Rick Morelan

352

02:00 PM

Query Plans

John Huang

352

03:30 PM

A DBA Looks at Relational Data Warehouses

Ron Talmage

Portland SQL Saturday / Code Camp 2010

Today was the Portland SQL Saturday and Code Camp at the University of Portland and it was a great experience.  I didn’t hear what the final attendee count was but many of the session rooms were full… 700-800 maybe?  The caliber of the sessions and learning opportunities were top-notch.  Logistics (Signs, schedules, session rooms, directions, entertainment) – all good.  Food was great.  Networking opportunities up the yin yang.

I presented two sessions; in the morning: “Cooking with Reporting Services”, based on material from our report recipe book.  The room was full and I think it went quite well.  I had a lot of interest, questions and interaction with attendees.  I felt pretty good about this session.  In the afternoon, I presented “Reporting on MDX and SSAS”.  My cadence was off a little and didn’t have quite the same energy as the morning.  Although things worked and I presented the material I intended, some of my demos were a little bumpy.  In all, not a bad session, I think.  Thanks to Gang Fong and Steve Reynolds from the Portland Hitachi Consulting office for helping during my sessions.  We gave away several books – mine and others – and a bunch of the coveted Hitachi Sumo Wrestler squishy dolls.  Compared to last year, there seems to be significantly more traction for businesses using SQL Server BI – especially Reporting Services.

Buck Woody’s session on new features in SQL Server 2008 R2 was very good.  Buck’s a riot.  He’s a Technology Specialist with Microsoft and a frequent presenter.  Don’t ever walk walk into his session room late unless you’re ready for a boat load lot of grief.  Much of the new R2 feature set included BI enhancements for Reporting Services, SharePoint and Office integration.  Overall, he demonstrated that SQL Server has become a very solid platform with excellent tools for enterprise and large-scale solution administration.

I enjoyed Greg Larsen’s session on T-SQL best practices.  He put a lot of effort into preparing demos comparing the resource usage of various query techniques and alternatives.  All really good stuff.  

Kudos to Arnie Rowland of Westwood Consulting and the Oregon SQL Developers Assn. for connecting all the dots (many many dots) to make this come together.  There were a lot of well-organized and dedicated volunteers.  I was absolutely impressed with how smooth the logistics for this event were managed.  The only real (and kinda funny) glitch I knew about (this is for levity and not at all critical) was that the 1,000-some preprinted color name badges were not in any particular order.  As the volunteers rifled through every name card to find the one for each database or programming expert attendee, they were gracious to tolerate the repeated comments about using a sorting, indexing or grouping routine to fix the problem.

Portland Mayor, Sam Adams, spoke in the auditorium during lunchtime to a packed house, along with other Portland technology leaders.  He talked about the economy and the local technology industry.  Although IT is seeing some gradual rebound from the economic recession, the general city and state economy is still suffering.  The city recently had more layoffs and budget cuts as they channelled money into business development investments, rather than staff & maintenance.  He talked about how the city has worked hard to offer tax incentives to small businesses and startups despite their budget challenges.  He predicted that Oregon will continue to attract smaller, innovative businesses and they expect significant growth in the small-to-mid-sized business sector over the next two years as the economy rebounds.  The Portland Development Commission is focused on supporting small business and they don’t expect to attract larger companies relocating or expanding to Oregon any time soon.

Several of the vendors were recruiting staff – including Smarsh, Idera and SetFocus Training.  There were also staffing companies exhibiting who had positions to fill.  Some of the attendees I knew from SAIF Insurance were holding up a hand-written sign that read “BI Architect / Developer Needed”.  This was encouraging.

My last impression was the most significant.  This was a free conference held in the little town of Portland but great speakers came from all over.  They weren’t paid and they travelled on their own dime at the simple request of an associate or fellow MVP.  Buck Woody, Greg Larsen, Bill Vaughn and several others came from Seattle.  Denny Cherry flew up from L.A.  As I was getting ready to leave, Tiberiu Covaci, one of the Code Camp speakers, asked if he could catch a ride to his hotel near the airport on my way home.  Sure, I said… no problem.  I got to know Tibi, who is a delightful young man with a Romanian accent.  I asked where he was flying to.  “Home”, he said.  “Where’s that?” …”Stockholm,” he said.  “Arnie asked if I’d come speak and so I did.”  It took me 20 minutes to get home to Vancouver in congested freeway traffic.  I’m not complaining.