Today is the first full day of the PASS Summit 2013 conference. This year I’m again joining the blogger table and will be live blogging throughout the opening ceremonies and the keynote. This year I’m sitting between Colin Stasiuk and Andy Warren.
I’ll be updating this post periodically through the keynote.
7:59 am: Found my seat and got wired up. It appears that coffee will not be served until after the keynote. In related news, most of the room is already asleep. I’ve appealed to Twitter in hopes that someone might kindly bring me some Starbucks.
8:20 am: We’re underway. PASS president Bill Graziano kicks off the event and introduces the board members.
8:27 am: This year, 700,000 training hours have been delivered through 227 chapters and 22 virtual chapters.
8:28 am: Giving some love to SQL Saturday via a brief video presentation. Showing the locations of SQL Saturday events around the world using Power Map, which really drives home how much reach these events really have.
8:30 am: Bill announces that Amy Lewis has been selected as the PASSion Award winner this year. Big congrats to my friend Amy! Also, Ryan Adams gets props from Bill as an honorable mention.
8:38 am: Quentin Clark takes the stage, wearing his smart business casual attire.
8:42 am: Interesting analogy. Quentin asserts that the relationship between on-prem storage/processing and the cloud as being similar to the relationship between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. E-commerce did not end retail stores, and similarly, the cloud will not eliminate the need for on-prem data.
8:46 am: SQL Server 2014 CTP2 is now generally available for download.
8:51 am: Tracy Daugherty takes the stage to demonstrate in-memory capabilities of SQL Server 2014. He demonstrates an implementation of in-memory technology on a fictional online store, showing the before-and-after query times when adding memory optimization to a key table. Queries taking several seconds occur almost instantaneously.
9:02 am: On-prem database backup to Azure? I’m interested. Tracy shows the new UI feature where you can select URL as a destination for a backup. Also, new encryption options available in 2014. Also, automatic log backups on SQL Azure? Tracy also shows the new feature (available via free download) that allows you to backup databases in older versions of SQL Server to Azure.
9:09 am: Oops. Network failure during the demo is a perfect example of why you can’t wholly rely on the cloud for the success of your business.
9:28 am: After 20 minutes of mostly marketing hype, it looks like we’re going to see more demos. A little dose of Power BI – using Power Query to bring together disconnected sets of data into a unified view, a function that can be performed by non-technical business users. Brief glimpse of Power BI on mobile devices, even fruity ones.
9:40 am: Impressive… querying a database using plain English. “Show number of calls per capita by country” yields a valid set of data. Adding “as map” changes the output from bar chart to map. We’re breezing over the details of how this works, but if it really works as shown, this is going to be a game changer for self-service BI. Hopefully not just a rehash of English Query. Go to PowerBI.com to sign up and use this.
9:44 am: Power BI contest is announced. Facebook.com/microsoftbi to participate. Tell your Power BI story to win prizes including XBox One, Surface 2 Pro, trip to PASS Analytics conference.
9:48 am: That’s a wrap. Nothing earth-shattering here. Most interesting to the general populous is the release of SQL Server 2014 CTP2. A few cool things with Power BI as well, which I’ve still yet to explore.