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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.

Summit 2013 Review!!! plus SQLSaturday #237 Charlotte BI Edition

The week is over and I waiting for my flight home. I did not to get to as many sessions as past summits, but that was replaced with speaking opportunities consisting of 1 half-day session, a 75 minute regular session and speaking at the Charlotte BI SQLSaturday.

Tuesday was a busy day with the Volunteers meeting at 8AM followed by the Virtual Chapter meeting at 9AM. Good discussions were had at both, especially in the second meeting when I transitioned out as Data Architecture VC chair (to my friend Robert) and enter as a Virtual Chapter mentor. I was able to meet the leaders of the Azure(Nigel), Russian(Andrey), App Dev(Gabriel) and Fundamentals(Mark) VCs. It was good to put a face with a name. The Virtual Chapters are growing fast and have a lot to offer.

I spent the late morning and afternoon in a BIML workshop presented by Varigence and Linchpin People. Scott from Varigence did a great job showing the Mist interface with biml/biml script. This tool seems to be a great choice for people with large SSIS implementations. You do need some object oriented knowledge to work with the script, but it is worth it. I hope to just implement the BIML to create a template for connections and variables we use at work for most SSIS packages.

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The evening was hanging out with Robert from Baton Rouge for the Welcome Reception and Quiz Bowl. That is always entertaining and we talked to some First Timers at Summit and were able to help with explaining the next three days to them. Part of the evening was of course spent rehearsing the session demos. I even bumped into John Sterret during lunch.

Wednesday morning I arrived at 6:30AM to help start the day at the Community Zone which was a hug, huge hit for the whole conference. Thanks Karla!!! I spent the morning in the Speaker Ready Room cleaning up the Slicing and Dicing presentations and talking with speakers I have not seen in awhile. I meet Paul Turley and watch a cool demo he had for dashboards through his Windows Surface. Lunch was sitting at the Baton Rouge and North Arkansas chapter table and chatting with some new friends. Talk turned to not normalizing data and I had to leave Smile I did see Carlos Bossy talking about Predictive Analytics and the always great presenter Peter Meyers for Data Mining. Peter added some interface programming in .Net which was pretty cool along with 4 other demos.

Thursday was all about the 1/2 day session I was presenting on Attributes and Hierarchies in Analysis Services Multi-Dimensional edition. The presentation was being filmed and I forgot about that, so I am sure there are some comments I am going to regret if I watch it. The session went well, but the room was not half-full. One a good note, most people came back after the break and stayed to the end. I received many complements and look forward to the comments from the evaluations. Thursday evening was the Community Appreciation party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and was packed. The facilities were great and probably heaven for some NASCAR fans.

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Friday morning I presented at 8AM on Transition from T-SQL to MDX and the room was packed. I received more compliments for this session than the previous. Afterwards, I bumped into Patrick LeBlanc who has moved from Baton Rouge to Atlanta. I spent time in the community zone and attended the ETL table for Birds of a Feather lunch. Todd McDermid (SSIS MVP for about 5+ years) stopped by and shared his experience which was appreciated. The afternoon was sessions from Brian Mitchell – Clustered-Column Stored Indexes for 2014, MS Program managers showing PowerView integration with Multidimensional Analysis Services and Paul White talking about Parallel Execution Plans.

One interesting point about the talks on Friday is 2014 clustered column indexes restricts the tables to not allow constraints, including a primary key.  Brian’s explanation was good and I understand why (because of the structure of a column store index), but it does not sound like a good idea to me. The PowerView on Multidimensional was good, but it only works with SharePoint integration.

Friday night for the Speaker’s dinner for SQLSaturday BI Edition in Charlotte, NC. I did the 60 minute presentation for Attributes and Hierarchies on Saturday. This event was well run (thanks to a large good of MSBI professionals in the CBIG group) and some speakers that were also speaking at the Summit. Here are some links to photos - http://slavasql.blogspot.com/2013/10/sql-saturday-237-charlotte-nc.html and http://www.flickr.com/photos/purnellphotography/sets/72157636740830425/

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