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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

PASS Summit Wednesday Key Note 2


Tom Casey of Microsoft on BI.

20% of people that are decision makers within organizations have the tools and information they need. That means that 80% don’t have it. I believe those numbers. Microsoft is very focused on getting BI built into the information platform. You can tell from the stuff released in SQL Server 2008.

Part of the proof he’s putting out is the PASS Summit itself. There’s 2 dedicated BI trackes, 50+ sessions, and 30% of attendees said they were interested in that track.

For some information Ron Vanzanten. He’s sporting identical clothing to Tom Casey. 4 million card holders and 3200 employees. They’ll be working through 600,000 credit card applications in a month. Woof. 24tb of customer data in a SQL Server BI environment. Woof X2.

Unfortunately, while all this information is accurate, it’s still just marketing. It’s true that there are people in the organization that are building data access through Excel & Access, unsupported by IT. I’d love to find those people and support them within our company, but how do you find them? MS isn’t letting us know that.

Amir Netz comes out for the demo’s of the new Excel 2010 utility, PowerPivot. It’s basically the old pivot tables, but they’ve pumped it up… a lot. It’s not on steroids, it’s on pure rage. We’re seeing structured and unstructured data coming in. That’s great. The differences in Excel are pretty amazing. 100,000,000 rows. That’s going to be tough to manage desktops when they’re getting that much data. It’s all live, connected directly to the database, but it’s doing SQL queries in the background. I wonder what that TSQL looks like when it hits the server? But they can really go to town with the data, putting together pretty amazing  reports right out of box, easy & quick.

In the demo they showed the new Windows 7 Touch screen computer. Sweet! Very pretty! But best of all, there was some excellent stuff from Sharepoint using PowerPivot. He showed how you can gesture your way through sets of reports and data using the touch screen. It’s really slick. It’s almost like the computers in Minority Report. I’m digging this new technology.

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