DBTA – 6 Reasons to Think About Upgrading to SQL Server 2014

  If you’re an IT manager, the first thing I’d like to tell you is how invested Microsoft is in SQL Server. While earlier incarnations of executive leadership focused in other areas (anyone remember “Developers! Developers! Developers!”?), Microsoft’s new leadership is very bullish on SQL Server. And, why not? After Microsoft Office and Windows Server, SQL Server is Microsoft’s third biggest money-making product line. Check out the recording of the “Accelerate your insights” webcast, about SQL Server 2014, featuring appearances by CEO Satya Nadella, COO Kevin Turner and CVP Quentin … [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...]

Listen to Lead

I've got a question for you. Where did you learn how to listen? Of all the coaching and consulting clients I have asked that question to, not one has had formal training to become a better listener. Some have pointed to the works of Stephen Covey and others like him who advocate, “seek first to understand and then to be understood.” But even those who know that often find it difficult to put the concept into practice. It seems that many people have the same view of listening that they were given in kindergarten: “sit still and be quiet." Read the rest of this article at … [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...]

Preventing tl;dr Emails

  A new abbreviation is beginning to take hold. I first heard of it on Seth Godin’s blog. The abbreviation? tl; dr. Too long; didn't read. I like the new abbreviation. It gives voice to something that has been going on for many years. The elephant in the room now has a name. For years, writers of emails have tried to use the medium to provide a comprehensive thesis on a subject. They have drafted elaborate prose in an effort to sway or convince the recipient of their position. All the while, the recipients have, at best, simply skimmed over the email and set it aside. It was … [Read more...]

IT Pro Events & Free Stuff for the Central USA – Jan 2015

Central USA IT Pro Community News – Jan 2015 There are lots of free, in-person and virtual events happening in the central USA over the next few weeks. Don't miss out on training, ebooks, and other goodies! Upcoming Events Jan 10th – Kansas City – SharePoint Saturday Jan 14th – Online – A lap around Azure Websites Jan 15th – Detroit – BDPA Tech Meetup Jan 17th - Nashville - SQLSaturday #363 I'll be presenting two sessions at this event, along with many of the industry's leading experts. Come join us! Jan 19 – Detroit – Microsoft Web Camp Jan 19 – Chicago – Microsoft … [Read more...]

Three Wishes from SQLPASS.org in 2015

When I walked into the welcome reception at the 2014 PASS Summit in Seattle last year, I have to tell you that I was a little verklempt. I had a moment of "My baby has all grown up!" The event was so packed with people, so well executed, and so flashy. Thomas LaRock (b | t), the current president, and the rest of the board of directors have simply done a fantastic job growing and leading the organization. Comparing the 2014 Summit to the original 1999 Summit in the conference space of the Chicago Sheraton that cold September was quite a bit like seeing your little daughter coming down the … [Read more...]

DBTA – Tools to Evaluate Viability of Database Platforms

As the manager for enterprise architecture in a very large IT organization, the C-suite executives frequently posed the question, "What database platform is best for this application today and for the future?" Implicit in that question was the idea that some platforms, for the application and for the database, might be more than adequate today but be trending in a direction that didn't match with our executive's goals. So what's a person supposed to recommend under those dynamics? Read the rest of the article … [Read more...]

Feedback is a Gift

  I'm reminded of a demonstration I saw as a kid. San Diego Chargers quarterback, Dan Fouts, had earned a reputation as a prolific passer, breaking record after record. Once during a practice, Fouts donned a blindfold, took the snap from center, dropped back, and fired a perfect strike into the hands of a receiver running down the field. Blindfolded, he was still able to complete the pass. He was able to do that because he had practiced that pass many thousands of times. His muscle memory was such that he knew exactly where to throw the the ball. Read the rest of the article … [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...]