Revisiting PASS Summit 2015

PASS SUMMIT 2015: THE AGE OF THE DATA PROFESSIONAL IS NOW The PASS Summit 2015, the largest conference in the Microsoft SQL Server world, was held in October in Seattle, WA. The event provided a look at key initiatives that Microsoft's SQL Server group has been working on and a glimpse of what's ahead for the future. READ MORE... Originally Posted November 09, 2015 … [Read more...]

Introducing the SQL Server Database Experimentation Assistant

INTRODUCING THE SQL SERVER DATABASE EXPERIMENTATION ASSISTANT There's a very handy new tool from Microsoft called the Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA). The DEA makes it very easy to conduct A/B testing for SQL Server upgrades, providing quantitative insight into the performance differences across two versions of a database workload on SQL Server. Learn more! READ MORE... Posted February 08, 2017 … [Read more...]

New Releases for the Microsoft Data Platform

NEW RELEASES FOR THE MICROSOFT DATA PLATFORM The Microsoft data platform team is on fire! It is delivering more updates and features faster and more thoroughly than ever before. If you're a data professional and you're using the Microsoft stack, this is a really exciting time to be involved. Here's a look at the top new capabilities in SQL Server 2016 Public Preview, SSIS Feature Packs For Azure, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. READ MORE... Originally Posted July 08, 2015 … [Read more...]

SQL Injection – Why the Heck Does this Keep Happening?!

  I'm decidedly old-school in a few of my habits. My morning routine, barring anything out of the ordinary, is one such example. Typically, I'll get up between 6:30 to 7:00 am, grab my first cup of coffee, and then chat with my daughters for a few minutes before seeing them off to school. Next, I make a bowl of oatmeal (a great choice for diabetics like me), pour a second cup of coffee, and browse the local paper, The Tennessean, while I have breakfast. On the morning of August 5, I had the added pleasure of spewing said coffee and oatmeal all over my morning paper when I read the … [Read more...]

DBTA – PowerBI: The Self-Service BI App That Can Change Your Life

Here’s a real-world story: Data collection and analysis is, ironically, for a data management profession, one of the toughest parts of my job. I regularly pull data from our various databases and packaged application reporting systems for CRM, licensing, and user information. If you’ve ever worked with a packaged product, such as a CRM system, that includes reporting and querying features, then you know how inflexible they are. It can be infuriatingly difficult to get data out of these systems, systems for which you paid big money, without losing sleep, hair, and peace of mind. Working with … [Read more...]

DBTA – Other News in SQL Server 2014 RTM

  A while back, I told you about some of the coolest new features in the recent RTM for SQL Server. The RTM was announced during the “Accelerate your insights” webcast by a boatload of Microsoft’s top executives, including CEO Satya Nadella, COO Kevin Turner, and CVP Quentin Clark. They had lots of useful information to share and demos to show, but a few other items of note about Azure SQL Databases may have dropped under your radar because they came to light a few days after the big dog-and-pony show/webcast. Read the rest of the article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Microsoft SQL Server and the Big Data Play

  When it comes to implementing a big data strategy in a Microsoft SQL Server shop, you’re generally going to consider one of three strategies. In the first strategy, which I won’t be addressing today, you might choose to tackle your big data architecture by pushing your relational database to its scalability limits, perhaps by making greater use of special features such as SQL Server’s columnstore indexes and special optimizations for BI applications. Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Cloud Computing Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

  There’s no doubt that cloud computing is growing due to the strong cost benefits, simplified management, and reduced hosting complexities.  So it’s only fitting that we cap this series on the new features of Microsoft’s upcoming SQL Server 2014 (SQL2014) release of their flagship database by going over the highlights for SQL2014’s new cloud computing features. Here’s what SQL2014 will do for you with regards to business cloud computing: Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

Interested in Self-Service Analytics at the PASS Business Analytics Conference?

I don’t know if you’re planning to attend the PASS Business Analytics Conference. But you'll be missing a ton of great content especially for data, analytics, and business intelligence professionals. There's still plenty of time to register and, if you use my discount code – BABS2B – you'll get $150 off the conference registration fee.  There will be more than 60 sessions at the event by BA/BI experts from Intuit, Microsoft, SurveyMonkey, Wells Fargo, and more. Last year’s inaugural event was quite the shindig, bringing in around 900 business analysts, data scientists, architects, and BI and … [Read more...]

New Windows and SQL Azure Resources for the IT Pro

Thanks to Microsoft DPE for the Central Region, Keith Mayer (blog | twitter), for these great tips! Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM bits available on MSDN and TechNet subscription sites. This is the version I'm waiting for since it fully preserves the Start menu. Note that updates are expected between RTM, now, and GA, October 18th.  Be sure to check Windows Updates 2-to-3 times weekly if installing these bits.  I'm not saying they're unstable. But they are definitely changed frequently as the dev team makes final tuning and tweaking changes. New Virtual Labs on … [Read more...]