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Louis Davidson

Going to Plamen Ratchev’s T-SQL 2008 Coding Skills Pre-con -- Join Me?

This week I signed up for Plamen Ratchev’s PASS SQLRally pre-con, “Maximize Your SQL Server 2008 Coding Skills,” and here’s why you ought to join me. This is a bit of an odd experience because, well, if you readers had voted a few more times for me, I would be writing examples for my pre-con instead of attending this one :)

Once I decided to attend SQLRally, May 11-13 in Orlando, I decided that I wanted to attend a pre-con for a couple of reasons. First off, I like to learn about how other people teach, and it is rare that you get a chance to attend a full day of learning for only $199. As a data architect, and an author, getting a feel for how other people design for and use language features is essential; otherwise you tend to miss some of the more interesting features that you don’t use frequently. As an example, I did a lot of research and even wrote a chapter in “Pro SQL Server 2005” on new T-SQL features in SQL Server 2005, and there was one interesting feature that I didn’t hear about for two years after the book came out…not until I attended a presentation where a presenter used the feature. (No one who reviewed the book, on the editorial staff or publicly, noticed either.)

For SQL Server 2008, I didn’t spend a lot of time with some of the language features unless they specifically went hand-in-hand with design, such as the new date and time data types and FILESTREAM. In addition, due to some legacy vendor systems that held us back to SQL Server 2005, the production systems I have worked on have not used many of the new 2008 features until the last three months or so. With Denali bearing down on me, I felt that attending Plamen’s pre-con would be valuable in quickly getting me up to speed. (I also considered Kevin Kline’s “Leadership and Team Management Skills for the Database Professional” pre-con, but I was afraid I might end up with more hair on the sides of my head, possibly forming a point.)

What I hope to get out of this pre-con is a pretty deep dive into the new 2008 features in T-SQL, particularly:

1. Some realistic usage of the MERGE statement, especially with an understanding of the caveats of using MERGE with triggers that I have heard about

2. A fairly complete working example of using the FILESTREAM data type

3. Some interesting uses for grouping sets

4. Complete coverage of table-valued parameters, including hopefully how to explain them to application programmers

5. Practical examples of how to use all of the new features, including ideas of how to design a database application to make use of them (again, ideas that can be incorporated into writing later)

All in all, since some of these features are not utilized in the typical mainstream application (FILESTREAM grouping sets, and to a lesser extent, MERGE), getting some practice using them will certainly not be a bad thing. So come on out and join me for a day of talking about T-SQL—you can find all the registration information here. What else could you be doing, working?

Published Monday, April 18, 2011 1:22 PM by drsql

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