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SQL PASS 2011 Keynote, Day 1

It’s that time of the year again – the SQL PASS summit 2011 is underway! Today I’m participating in the blogger table, so I’ll be live blogging the keynote and surrounding hoopla.  I’ll be updating this post periodically as the first official day gets kicked off, so check back periodically.


The summit opening kicks off with a 5 minute collage of video snippets of people talking about SQL community.  It’s great to see PASS embracing this concept, recognizing that it’s people – not events or processes – that fuel our success.  Further, we didn’t see any Tina Turner impressions to start the conference, though I was hoping to see a SQLChicken rendition of Lady Gaga.

Rushab Mehta, PASS president, reports a significant amount of progress toward the goal of 1 million hours of delivered technical content – at 430,000, the organization is almost halfway toward that lofty goal.  It’s also good that Twitter is getting a lot of coverage – this continues to be an effective vehicle for intraconference communication as well as proving a way for those unable to attend to virtually follow along.

The First Timers are also getting a lot of love.  They had a reception specifically for that group last night, after which they were paraded into the general reception with great fanfare.  Rushab gives another shout-out to those attending SQLPASS for the first time – a nice touch.

The MVP Deep Dives book gets a mention as well – don’t forget that most of us who contributed to this book will be participating in the book signing later today at 1pm, as well as an early morning session at 7:15 on Friday.


Ted Kummert now takes the stage.  Hopefully we’ll pick up the pace a bit – the opening remarks were painfully slow.

First mention of the cloud: 90 minutes into Kummert’s keynote.  He also reports that SQL Server is the most widely adopted database platform in the world – I’d love to get some hard data on that.

In discussing cloud and physical database installation, Kummert promises consistency on the database platform whether accessed locally or remotely.  “It’s all about choice”.


  • A better user experience in Data Quality Services.
  • A more pervasive BI experience (started in PowerPivot and Crescent)
  • Project Juneau will now be known as SQL Server Data Tools.

SQL Server Denali will be known as SQL Server 2012, and will be released in the first half of 2012.

“Think about devices: It’s no longer just a desktop/laptop world.”

Last year, Microsoft made it clear that they were going all in in the cloud.  They are furthering that vision with ubiquitous mentions of the cloud. Last year, the cloud was here.  This year, the cloud is being portrayed as an integral part of the future of data management.

Very interesting – Hadoop support coming soon.  Microsoft is working with Apache to make this happen.

Connectors are already available for SQL Server and PDW.  Coming soon, Apache Hadoop-based distribution for Win Server and Win Azure, ODBC driver and Excel add-in for Apache Hive, and a Javascript framework for Hadoop.

Ted Kummert announces Eric Baldeschwieler, CEO of Hortonworks, to announce a new ecosystem partnership.  Eric announces that Hadoop is “behind every click at Yahoo”.  He says “Hadoop is the solution we see for really big data problems”.  He describes a goal in which Hadoop will store half the world’s data!


Denny Lee now takes the stage to demonstrate some of the Hadoop capabilities.

Hive: a data framework put on top of Hadoop.  Lee describes the brand new HiveODBC driver to access this data.  A nice workflow addition: Lee describes a demo query that takes about an hour to run, but can be scheduled to run at a convenient time.


Interesting… Windows Azure marketplace was launched a year ago, now with over 40 data providers.  The vision includes, as one would expect, the ability for customers to host their own enterprise reference data sets.


Crescent is now PowerView


Codename “Data Explorer”: Demo shows creating data mashups using local Excel data + Azure data.  ** Note to self: Do more research on this.  Looks very interesting **  Interesting idea, but the demo went way too long and was much too theoretical.  Some sort of reference to selling yogurt to kids has spurred a lot of jokes here at the blogger table, as did the excessive use of Excel in a SQL Server keynote demonstration.


Amir Netz, Microsoft “technical fellow” and crowd favorite, takes the stage.  We’re seeing a really fast-paced PowerPivot demo on popular movies.  Amir finally figures out Zoom-It, and the audience is able to, for the first time this morning, read the words on the screen.

Amir is a great and entertaining presenter, but there’s really nothing new presented here.  I’m not here to be entertained, I’m here for real information about SQL Server.  Move on, please.

We now jump into brief and sadly ineffective demos for various devices, including the iPad2.

Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell is a business intelligence consultant, author, trainer, and Microsoft Data Platform MVP with over thirteen years of data management experience. He is the founder and principal of Tyleris Data Solutions.

Tim has spoken at international and local events including the SQL PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQL Connections, along with dozens of tech fests, code camps, and SQL Saturday events. He is coauthor of the book SSIS Design Patterns, and is a contributing author on MVP Deep Dives 2.

You can visit his website and blog at TimMitchell.net or follow him on Twitter at @Tim_Mitchell.


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