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Allen White

PASS Summit 2011 Day 1 - At the Blogger's Table

PASS selected me this year for a seat at the blogger's table for the keynote address each day. This is a singular honor, to be able to share with you my thoughts almost in real time.  (How close to real remains to be seen - I'm having a bit of trouble with the overloaded network.)  The level of excitement in the room is amazing. Dr. DeWitt came over to our table with Mark Souza to greet us all.  (I really can't wait for his keynote on Friday.) The event starts with videos of people as they came and registered, and their thoughts on PASS, including PASS regulars and first timers as well. Nice start of the event.

Rushabh Mehta starts the event with a thank you to the entire community, including everyone watching from around the world via live feed. He reminds us of the various programs PASS offers, including SQL Saturdays, SQL Rally, 24 Hours of PASS and other events, and the PASS board members responsible for them. PASS goals are lofty, but the organization is making significant headway towards them.

Over the next three days, live streaming keynotes are available on, and they'll stream the Women in Technology luncheon as well.  On Twitter, follow the #sqlpass hashtag, and people will be sharing their pictures on Flickr using the sqlpass tag.

In 2003 I attended my first PASS Summit.  I have one particular friend, Johan Bijnens (@alzdba on Twitter) whom I met at the conference in 2003 and we've been close friends ever since.  Rushabh mentioned that this is a place to meet new people and make new friends, and I've had that experience myself.  I'll also share that because of PASS and specifically the Summit, my life has changed dramatically for the better in the last eight years.  I hope you have the opportunity to have as much success as I have because of this organization.

Ted Kummert, Senior Vice President from Microsoft is the senior exec over SQL Server.  He comes on stage to talk about 'The New World of Data', and points out that Microsoft has been promoting the Cloud via Azure for eighteen months now, not just since last week.  400K Technical Hours, 79000+ Members, 300 Microsoft MVPs, 233 Chapters - Microsoft thanks us all for the support.

"We believe the cloud world is a hybrid world." You'll have data in your data center and in the cloud, not just one place or the other. Reporting will be added next year, as will Analysis Services. The data sync service will facilitate this.  Servicing is the first priority with SQL Server.  Looking forward they believe it will the most significant release in history.  With Always On SQL Server will provide the highest uptime and best recovery story of any platform.  "We're thinking about the cloud in everything we do."

Denali is now officially titled SQL Server 2012, and will be released in the first half of next year.  (No surprise, but it's nice to have an official word.)

They have a three part vision. 1) Any data, any size, anywhere. They've decided they're going to support Hadoop as a platform. Coming will be Hadoop-based distribution for Windows Server and Windows Azure, an ODBC driver and add-in for Excel and for Apache Hive and a JavaScript framework for Hadoop.  Right now there are SQL Server and Parallel Data Warehouse connectors for Apache Hadoop.  Microsoft is partnering with hortonworks to facilitate this integration.  Eric Baldeschwieler, CEO of hortonworks joined Ted on stage to discuss their history with Hadoop and the plans to integrate the product with Microsoft tools. 

Next, Denny Lee, Principal Program Manager for Microsoft came on stage to demo working with big data.  Using the new Hive ODBC driver, Denny connected directly to a multi-node Hadoop cluster via PowerPivot and presented a quick analysis of language use by country against Amazon profile data.

2) Connecting to the world's data.  They want to enrich your data with the world's data, allowing you to build new services and applications and create a vibrant marketplace for the world's data.  Tim Mallalieu, Principal Group Manager, and Nino Bice, Senior Program Manager Lead with Microsoft came on stage to show us how to "Empower Your Data".  By adding databases (including publicly available data sources) and Excel spreadsheets, their new tool will match up the data within each source to allow business users to maximize disparate data into reports that are useful to decision-makers.  (I hope this isn't another case of Microsoft making easy things easy.) Its code name is "Data Explorer".

3) Immersive experiences, wherever you are. Get business insight from any data, empower users from the tools you use every data, from on premises to cloud, on any device. Handheld and other devices provide business users a variety of ways to access their data. Amir Netz, Technical Fellow for Microsoft joined Ted on stage. Amir is bringing in data from Box Office Mojo, a subsidiary of IMDB, so he's demonstrating against real data.  Using a new tool called PowerView, he looked at movie genre evolution over time. This demo blew me away, with how easy it was to find significance of segmented data. The analytical capabilities of this tool are pretty amazing and I look forward to seeing how I can make use of it with client data. The last thing he showed was to export the results to a handheld device, allowing drill-through on units like Windows Phone or iPad.

The ability to present data analysis across multiple source platforms and multiple destination platforms is the focus of the future from Microsoft's perspective, and it'll be interesting to see how this strategy plays out.


Published Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:23 PM by AllenMWhite
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About AllenMWhite

Allen White is a consultant and mentor for Upsearch Technology Services in Northeast Ohio. He has worked as a Database Administrator, Architect and Developer for over 30 years, supporting both the Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server platforms over that period.

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