Notes from the June 2008 oPASS Meeting

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Our main presentation was on 'Unlocking the Power of SQL Compact' by Steve Lasker & Ginny Caughey. Went better than I expected (not that I doubted their presentation skills) because for most DBA's it's a little looked at/noticed area of the database world. They delivered a lot of detail and received quite a few questions, always a good sign. I was impressed that he took the time to show the various methods/speed of making data access calls, something we always want to show developers so they do it the "right" way. Presentation isn't posted yet but should be soon on Steve's blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/SteveLasker/.

We also borrowed an idea from Rodney Landrum and played the SQL Alphabet game, where you pick people randomly to come up with a SQL word that matches the next letter in the alphabet. Group had a lot of fun and got them relaxed and engaged prior to the main presentation. Worth trying at your next meeting! 

Also had a chance to talk more with Steve/Ginny and some of the others after the meeting about LINQ, stored procedures, and alternatives. One idea Steve proposed was giving developers the ability to restrict access to the SQLCompact db to a user defined API implemented via a trusted DLL (assembly). Interesting, because the problem we all suffer right now is there is no really good way to keep local admins out of a database installed on their machine. He also wondered if putting all the data access code (not LINQ) in a DLL would be roughly equivalent to the value of stored procedures (assuming calls were parameterized correctly) so that a DBA could easily see 'what has changed' and then deploy the DLL. Interesting - not sold yet, but interesting. Another sidebar was on SQL in the cloud (Data Services) and why/when we would use it. For me the biggest fear of cloud based storage is the service level agreement (does MS really care about me enough to get me up and running quickly if something goes wrong?) and more importantly, connectivity - I lose my internet connection and my business is down entirely, hugely different than we you host your data internally. No easy answers there, will be interesting to see who adopts it and why.

 Full minutes posted at http://opass.org/content/showcontent.aspx?contentid=480.

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