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The Voice of the DBA

Influence the Program

When I first started going to the PASS Summit, I was enthralled with the speakers, no matter what the topic. Meeting Kalen Delaney at the first Summit was a milestone in my career. In those early years, there weren't many speakers, and they submitted the talks they were interested in giving. The program committee made their decisions, and many of us went to watch whatever was available. The surface area of SQL Server was much smaller, so we could probably guess many of the topics, and that worked out well.

As SQL Server has grown, some of us have questioned the makeup of the sessions over time. At one point it seemed we were very light on BI, almost as if the conference hadn't kept pace with the changes in the platform. It seemed that the next conference was based on ratings and attendance from the previous Summit, but that's a slowly changing way to pick talks.

Things changed, and for a number of years PASS has been trying to understand what content you'd like to see. There have been surveys and polls to understand not only what worked last year, but what changes should happen this year. Last year's tracks were set not by technology, but by the Analyze/Build/Design/etc. monikers. I'm not sure I loved that, but it was a worthy experiment.

There's a survey open from PASS from now until Feb 14, trying to understand what you'd like to see. Once again, they are asking what you'd like to see. I'd encourage all of you to fill it out, as you can truly influence the balance of sessions that will be presented. Do you want more ML/AI/bots, and other advanced topics? Do you need more beginning content for your junior DBAs? Is the core engine still important for you, or are you looking for SSIS, SSRS, or other content. Power BI on your radar?

Speakers often have preferences, and I see no shortage of conferences that just pick talks from what they get. This can make a disjointed event at times. I like the idea of having submissions in areas that I might not consider as an organizer, but I also think that inviting speakers to talk on specific topics is good. I'm glad PASS does a mix of these things, inviting some speakers, asking for topics, and also taking community submissions. Many of us that present are happy to slightly tailor our talks if we know that's what the audience wants.

So take the survey, with a chance to win a Summit admission. Tell the committee if DevOps and testing are important (they are), or if you want to see more SSAS content (are there that many of you using this?). Even if you aren't going, it's useful for us as a community to learn what's of interest to everyone. I'd also request that you ask PASS to release the data, which will help SQL Saturdays and other events better plan their schedules.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 5.1MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and Libsyn. feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music.

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Featured Contents


SSIS Package with a Derived Column

Thomas Stricker from SQLServerCentral.com

I created this article to demonstrate the use of derived columns inside a ForEachLoop Container for a client requirement for some auxiliary marketing reports. I found the Data Conversion tool useful to escape the problem of mismatched data types, which is an issue with versions of Microsoft SSIS. More »


SQL Server Replication for Temporal Tables

In this tip, Ameena Lalani looks at how you can setup replication to include temporal history data. More »


Building a Custom Blocked Process Report

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

Blocking in SQL Server is normal behavior, but excessive blocking can lead to many complaints and is a symptom of poor performance. SQL Server contains a vast amount of information that can help when troubleshooting performance issues like blocking, but understanding and gathering that information when you need it is a lot of work. Darko Martinovic explains his solution for a custom blocking report. More »


Realistic, simulated data for testing, development and prototypes

This article proposes a scheme for using Redgate SQL Data Generator (SDG) as a ‘data generation and translation’ tool. We generate the data using a free copy of SQL Server Express, and then use standard bulk copy mechanisms to translate it to various formats, then distribute it out to the different data technologies and platforms that require a copy of the data. The tool becomes a mechanism to support ‘polyglot persistence’. More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Information Measurement with SQL Server, Part 2.5: Mutual, Lautum and Shared Information

SQLServerSteve from SQLServerCentral Blogs

By Steve Bolton …………The sample T-SQL I posted in the last article wasn’t as difficult as it looked, considering that it... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Power BI Data Security – Sharing

DataOnWheels from SQLServerCentral Blogs

Microsoft recently added more sharing capabilities that may change my view on sharing within the enterprise. As with all things... More »

Question of the Day

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When an index is rebuilt, does the fill factor apply permanently to the index until the next index rebuild?

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Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Evgeny Garaev):

Which options are available for the FOR JSON clause in SQL Server 2016?


  • AUTO
  • PATH


Only two options are available AUTO and PATH. FOR XML clause supports all the 4 clauses.

Ref: Format Query Results as JSON - click here

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