With the SQL PASS conference beginning tomorrow and in the spirit of Jen & Sean of the MidnightDBA fame I thought I would give you a run down of what I’ll be up to and things you might consider attending – just because.

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Monday

SQL PASS Welcome Reception 6-8pm

This event is taking place at Washington State Convention Center in 6ABC. It’s a great chance to meet and greet old and new friends. Don’t forget the Quiz bowl. Team 2 with Buck Woody and Jen McCown should be a hoot.

SQL PASS Speakers and Volunteers Party 8-10pm

It turns out that none of the Microsoft speakers got the official invite, but we are able to attend. If you are a Microsoft speaker reading this, please email me for the details. I hear that bowling is involved.

Tuesday

Ted Kummert’s Keynote 8:45 to 10am

This is a keynote that you don’t want to miss. Tons of announcements and demos in 6ABC

Pickup Kilt for SQL Kilt Wednesday 10am

I’ll be picking up my kilt for my Tuesday 4:30 session on SCOM and BPA for the DBA where I will be modeling for UtiliKilt!

Utilikilt in Seattle opens its doors weekdays from 10am to 6pm. If you buy a kilt from them, be sure to mention my name. I! happen to be a official Utilikilt evangelist. did you know that they are the largest kilt manufacture in the United States? You can find their store at:

Utilikilts Flagship Retail Store
Authorized Dealer
620 1st Ave
Seattle WA 98104 – Map
(206) 282-4226

storefrontforweb

Be sure to learn how to best wear your kilt at http://blog.albanach.org/2006/07/how-to-wear-kilt-literally.html. Check out the link “Sit like a lady” as well. 

Dev Pod Duty on 6th Floor – 11am 1:30pm

Learn what we are doing in the new release of SQL Server to making developers more productive. You can also learn more about that we did in SQL Server 2008 with Data-Tier Applications.

DBA448M - Si Se Puede! Achieving Separation of Duties with SQL Server Room 608 with @SQLGal from 3-4:15pm

Speaker - DBA268M - What’s new with SQL Management Pack and SQL Best Practices Analyzer? 4:30 to 5:45pm in Room 613-614

Can someone please bring a camera to my session? I’d like to prove that I was the first of the Ramos Clan to wear a kilt. I’m giving away System Center related books. I’ll also have Hershey chocolate bars, peanut butter, and Reese’s peanut butter cups – you’ll have to attend this session to understand the meaning. Smile

Inappropriate PASS Sessions Party 2010 6:30pm

This party filled up fast, but I was one of the lucky ones.

SQL Sentry VIP Party  8:30

I’ve been invited to a private party hosted by the folks from SQL Sentry. I’m looking forward to seeing @AaronBertrand in his new role at SQL Sentry. If you haven’t checked out their free Query Execution Plan viewer, please do so. I showed it off to our SQL Performance Lab folks and they love it.

Wednesday

Keynote Speaker Day 2 - Tom Casey 9-10am 6ABC

This is another keynote that you don’t want to miss.

Microsoft® SQL Server® Mission Critical Booth Duty 10:45 to 1pm

I’d like to tell you want I’m going to be talking about at the booth, but I have to wait until after Tom Casey’s keynote and announcements. Smile

DBA239 - Inside the SQL Server 2008 Data Collector, Ben Nevarez, 3-4:15pm, Room 4C4

Learn the basics of the Data Collector and Management Data Warehouse. My session on writing reports against the MDW follows.

Speaker - DBA450M - Managing system performance with the Data Collector and Management Data Warehouse with Reporting Services, 4:30-5:45pm, Room 4C4

I will unlock the mysteries around the Management Data Warehouse and how how you can build your own reports using SQL Server 2008 R2 Report Builder 3.0. I’ll also release a zip file that includes the key MDW reports as RDL files that you can customize for your own shop. Right after the session, Ben and I will head down to Room 305 to do an extended Q&A session.

Be sure to check out Bart Duncan’s Query Hash Statistics codeplex project that extends the DC and MDW to give better results with less storage that the existing Query Statistics collection set and reports. He’s been trying to ship this code since early 2007 and it’s finally out. It is so cool, I had to work it into my demos.

 SQL Karaoke, Bush Garden from 7pm

Kilt’s and karaoke – can it get any better?

Thursday

AD475S - Query Tuning Tips, 10:15 to 11:45, Room 2AB, Itzik Ben-Gan

This is the first chance that I’ll get to hear Ben talk. I’ve always been scheduled opposite of his sessions.

DBA449M - Expert Query Performance Troubleshooting, 1 to 2:15pm, Room 3AB, Boris Baryshnikov, Conor Cunningham

You can never learn too much when it comes to tuning queries.

SQL PASS Focus Group - SQL Server and System Center Better Together, 3-4:30pm, Room 305

This is a by invitation only session that’s now full. It’s an extension of my Tuesday afternoon session help understand why DBAs don’t use SCOM as much as they could.

Plug for Focus Groups

Don’t miss this great opportunity to participate in one of the many focus groups that Microsoft will be conducting at PASS Summit 2010. It’s easy to sign-up! Just choose the focus group you want to participate in from the listing below and email the person who is assigned to that topic area. Your contact will be able to answer any further questions you might have about the focus group as well as schedule your participation.

All focus groups will be held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center during the hours of the conference. Please choose from the topics below:

Focus Group Title and Contact
Focus Group Description

SQL Virtualization Experience, Present and Future
(Serdar Sutay)

Offering a highly available SQL Server environment depends on adherence to best practices and awareness of the latest patches and updates. More information on managing your SQL Server environment can help increase uptime by decreasing the time to resolve unplanned downtime. Join this focus group to help shape the next generation of Microsoft tools to help analyze the configurations of your SQL Server deployments.

DC and MDW
(Bill Ramos)

The DC & MDW focus group is to gather birds of a feather interested in learning more about the SQL Server 2008 Data Collector and Management Data Warehouse from Bill Ramos and Benjamin Nevarez. This focus group is open to anyone attending Bill’s and Benjamin’s sessions and will start at 5:50 pm.

Compliance in the Cloud
(Al Comeau)
Customers who have or are investigating deployment on SQL Azure, or are in general considering deploying in the cloud, to influence future planning in the areas of Security, Privacy, and Compliance.

SQL Server Configuration Analysis Futures
(Paul Mestemaker)

Offering a highly available SQL Server environment depends on adherence to best practices and awareness of the latest patches and updates. More information on managing your SQL Server environment can help increase uptime by decreasing the time to resolve unplanned downtime. Join this focus group to help shape the next generation of Microsoft tools to help analyze the configurations of your SQL Server deployments.

Technology Trends & the DBA
(Mark Stempski)

This moderated session will explore the current state of deploying and managing SQL Server within the Enterprise and discuss how trends like commodity hardware, virtualization, cloud computing (public & private), and compliance & auditing requirements are changing the way IT uses technology to bring business value and how these change the role of the DBA.

Upgrade and Patching
(Mark Stempski)

The purpose of this focus group is to understand upgrade and patching requirements and scenarios for both “public clouds” and “private clouds.”  We will lead the participants through a discussion and will ask then to fill out a small set of survey questions. We are looking for  a better understanding of customer’s expectations and requirements for high availability SLAs for upgrade and patching, understand pain points, etc.

Alerting in RS
(Mark Stempski)

Participants will see latest instantiation of Alerting for Reporting Services, participate in Q and A and help us identify and prioritize enhancements for further work.

Enhanced Contextual Help for Reporting Services/other MS BI Product Offerings
(Mark Stempski)

Participants will be shown concepts depicting expanding contextual help for Report Builder 3.0 and beyond and be asked to provide feedback to help us choose between competing designs. Previous customer comments and 2 benchmark tests of RB 3.0 have provided those areas that we think could benefit from this approach which we think might be an alternative to Office Ribbon contextual help. Participants will help us determine future of delivery of on-line and local help with inputs to MSDN and TECH Net for the Business Intelligence products.

Windows Azure Platform Development Experience (Mark Stempski)

Are you working on the Windows Azure Platform? If so, we’d like to talk with you. We want to learn about your experience, and the challenges you faced as you developed your application. We also like “get your reaction to some ideas about Windows Azure’s future. To thank you for your help, we’ll be providing you with a selection of Microsoft Hardware or Software as a gift.

SSIS/DTS Package, Database Table, View and Report Dependency and Impact Relationships
(Dawei Huang)

Join us to discuss your current practice about dealing with SSIS/DTS package, database table, view and report dependency and impact relationships. You will also be involved in a short design exercise for some of the scenarios we are thinking about. If you are a SSIS/DTS/ETL/DBA, you are welcome to join the discussion.

Survey Instrument (DATSTAT) for Classifying Users, Tasks and Environment that can be Administered in Several Venues at PASS Summit
(Mark Stempski)

PASS participants will also be encouraged to visit an on-line survey. The survey is designed  to allow us to easily gather user needs and requirements and contact information. It also affords another communication vehicle between the product groups and users as often users will be invited to opt into various research activities. These activities run the gamut from early conceptual pieces through product definition work (prototypes) to early actual bits such as the CTPs or other release vehicles. Early looks and an opportunity to influence what we build at the early stages product development stages in exchange for telling us about your needs, something about yourself and work environment. 

Focus on Design with the Microsoft Learning User Experience Team
(Barbara Birney)

Feel strongly about your experience finding classes to take in our Training Catalog and locating training centers you can use online? Our MSL User Experience Team would like to talk with non-certified IT Professionals and Developers about how effective our website experience meets your needs.

Influencing SQL Certification Exams - Be a Part of the Community of Item Contributors
(Don Tanedo)

This session will cover the role of subject matter experts in the development of certification exams, the methods of assessing skills in Microsoft certification exams, and the value of communities in the direction and focus of SQL Server certifications.

Present and Future of HP-Microsoft BI and DW Joint Technology
(Yaya Guo)

Join HP and Microsoft in this session, as we share joint development plans on the latest BI and DW technology, during which you will gain unparalleled insight into the direction on HP appliances and MS SQL solutions.

Hope to see you at SQL PASS!