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The Smiling DBA

Thomas LeBlanc ( MCITP 2005/2008 & MCDBA 2000) is a Senior SQL Server DBA at Turner Industries, LLC in Baton Rouge, LA. He has been in the IT field for 21 years starting as a COBOL programmer, graduating to dBase, FoxPro, Visual FoxPro, upgrading to Visual Basic versions 3-6 and even some .Net(C#). Designing and developing normalized database has become his passion. Full-time DBA work started about 9 years ago for Thomas while working at a Paper Mill in St. Francisville, LA continuing with IEM, then Amedisys. Performance tuning and reviewing database design and code was an everyday occurrence for DBAs at Amedisys. Thomas’ free time is spent helping those less fortunate and improving his relationship with his family and God.

PASS Summit 2012 - Done!!!

Thursday afternoon

Thursday afternoon concluded with How to run SSRS in Sharepoint integration mode, Enriching Tabular with DAX and Monitoring SSAS. The best was the last.  Tim Peterson (SolidQ) shared his 12+ years working with SSAS to give us 3 ways to monitor SSAS – SQL Profiler, PerfMon and a CodePlex module call ResMon. Most of the time was spent showing Profiler while running MDX after clearing the Cache, File Cache and Script Cache. These three demos paid for the whole conference. I love watching presentations from seasoned experts.

Below are pictures from Day One pre-conference session on the left – Rob Colledge, Day Two meeting with PASS Virtual Chapters leaders – Denise McInerney and Ryan Adams talking about promoting Virtual Chapters.

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The DAX sessions was demoed in Excel 2013 and PowerPivot (which I am not using), so it was kind of disappointing and the SSRS integration was mostly in 2008 R2 (he did show 2012 at the end) and all on one machine. It would have been nice to show deployment on multi-server SharePoint farms because that is what most enterprises use. Even though I did not get what I wanted (gotta stop the selfishness), both were great sessions with experience presenters and 2-3 bits of information I had not known before.

One the left is Chuck Heinzelman and the right is Tim Mitchell preparing for his SSIS session.

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Friday morning

The last morning started with conversations at breakfast with some Germany user group leaders where we talked a lot about last year’s summit and SQLSaturday. They are hosting I believe #170. The first session was Mike Davis(a consultant from the north) showing demos of starting and improving a SSAS Tabular Modular cube. Do you call it a cube or semantic model? His examples where great and very simple to understand. Maybe that has more to do with tabular than his demos.

The second part of the morning was Tim Mitchell showing SSIS and some patterns to use for handling errors and validation of data. I really like Tim’s presentation skills. You can tell he has been doing this for some time. I probably took 2 pages of notes to use back at work. He showed event handling and properties like propagate that I had never seen or use before.

Lunch was at the Birds of a Feather table on Database Development. The attendees were from South Africa, San Diego, Louisiana and others. We talked mostly about our backgrounds and some of the more comical situations at work where we learned some lessons. There was more laughter than seriousness, which helped with digesting the food (not that it was bad, the food is top notch). This is were I try to practice some listening and slow down on the talking. While most tables started to empty out, we were still going at it. That was a nice way to end the day.

Below is Peter Meyers and Matthew Roche, the middle is Carlos Bossy and the right is a view from the bloggers table during the WIT luncheon.

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I am typing this at the airport with the sun in my eyes, but it does not bother me because of the great time I just had. You know, I never got out in the city at all and spent most of the time with SQL Server professionals. I do not even want to use the terms geeks or tweeps or SQLFamily, we are definitely a group of IT professionals that are employed to do a serious job of protecting, mining, speeding and handling data the runs business profitably and governments effectively yesterday, today and tomorrow. I love my job!!!

Mount Rainer from the plane.

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It was also nice to have attendees come up to me later and say how much they enjoyed my session. I always reminded them to fill out the evaluations to help me(us) with future sessions.

God Bless!!!

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