Archive for category Databases / SQL Server

SQL PASS Summit 2017: Data Quality and Data Security

The Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) is hosting a free online summit on May 3rd – 4th, 2017.  The focus is on two very important topics: Data Security and Data Quality.  I had the pleasure of moderating two of the sessions, and learned a lot!  You can find more information about PASS at http://www.pass.org/ and about the event at the event web site:

24 Hours of PASS: Data Security and Data Quality

HackMISA Hackathon at UT Austin: April 2nd, 2017

I’ll be presenting topics that are focused on creating a SQL Azure database, and writing a simple web application to enter, update, and display data – all from using cloud resources.  Here’s an overview of the event:

HackMISA is a 12 hour hackathon hosted by the Management Information Systems Asscioation as a new initiative to provide more opportunities for students to learn how to code. This is where you can turn your ideas into a reality. You’ll make new friends and learn cool skills w the help of industry professionals!

Come down for a day of free food, workshops, mentorships, & prizes. Whether you have no coding knoledge or are a seasoned hacker, we would love to see you there!

For more information about the event or to sign up, please visit the HackMISA Spring 2017 web page!

Update (04/03/2017): It was a great pleasure to meet so many excited, committed, and technically-capable people at the event.  All of the entries were excellent, and I was glad to stay for most of the 12-hour session as a sepaker, mentor and judge.  Attached to this post is a copy of the Slides from my Auzre Cloud presentation.  Please feel free to download it for your own use: UT HackMISA – Azure Cloud – Anil Desai

Attend the Microsoft BUILD Austin Event on May 29th, 2015

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There’s a lot of change that’s coming out for developers and IT pros that work on Microsoft technologies.  You can find more information about the available sessions at the Microsoft BUILD 2015 site, including the recordings of the keynote addresses from the live national presentation.  Just a sampler would include Windows 10 with huge consumer and Enterprise changes, UI design and development improvements, Azure, Visual Studio 2015, and a lot of other related topics.  Here’s an overview of what will be covered in Austin:

Friday, May 29, 2015 – 9:00AM

Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
310 Willie Nelson Blvd
Austin, TX USA 78701

This event series brings the Build experience to cities around the globe.

As a developer, you can expect:

  • Best of Build announcements and insights
  • Deep dive in the Windows 10 developer platform for app and web developers
  • Coding sessions and exciting demos across devices
  • Partner showcases
  • Open Q&A and face-to-face time with Microsoft engineers
  • Each Event is Free

Build Tour Event Agenda

8:00 – close Registration
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 Keynote
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:45 Session #1 Universal Windows Platform
11:45 – 12:45 Lunch
12:45 – 13:00 Challenge
13:00 – 14:00 Session #2 Microsoft Edge & Web Apps
14:00 – 15:00 Session #3 Lightning Talks
15:00 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 16:45 Panel Q/A
16:45 – 17:00 Closing remarks

Best of all, there’s a good chance that the all-day event is coming free to a place near you.  While I won’t be presenting any specific sessions in the Austin BUILD Event.  I will be available on-site all day to answer questions during breaks.

Be sure to register, if you plan to attend this free event (it’s at the amazing ACL at the Moody Theater downtown).  If you’re unable to attend, you can still find the sessions you’re interested online at the Channel 9 BUILD 2015 site.

Attend the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference: May 14-15, 2015

MVP15_MicrosoftMVP_VC_EmailBannerMicrosoft is soon hosting a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th.  Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference.  As a member of the IT Pro selection committee, I can definitely vouch for the many interesting session topics (I’m planning to attend as many as I can on both says).

The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of content for IT Pros, Developers and Consumer experts designed to help you navigate life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform, Steve Guggenheimer, will be on hand to deliver the opening Key Note Address.

Why attend MVP V-Conf? The conference will have 5 tracks, IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Portuguese mixed sessions & Spanish mixed sessions, there is something for everyone!

Come learn from the best and brightest in the tech world today. All of the sessions will all be delivered by the Americas’ Region Microsoft MVPs. These MVPs are experts who present at premiere conferences, independent community events and local user groups all over the globe.

This is a technical conference focused on helping attendees to learn and develop skills for everything from everyday technical work to wackier weekend projects. Whether it is on the IT Pro, Dev or Consumer side of things, you can bet that the content of MVP V-Conf will be cutting edge, exciting and relevant.

Be sure to register quickly to hold your spot and tell your friends & colleagues.

The conference will be widely covered on social media, you can join the conversation by following @MVPAward and using the hashtag #MVPvConf.   We hope to see you there!

Optimize SQL Server with Flash Storage: Webinar

On March 12th, I’ll be presenting a free online webinar titled, “Optimize SQL Server Performance with Flash-Based Storage – On a Budget“.  Here’s an overview of what the session will cover:

Are you tired of database latency? Low transaction throughput? Have you created a complicated storage design just to eek out a few more IOPS? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should consider investigating flash-based storage. A flash-based storage array provides consistent performance, simple storage design, and low latency for SQL Server workloads such as OLTP, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing.

Register for the webinar to learn more about how moving to flash-based storage addresses many of the pain points that application owners and DBAs face in the spindle world.

SQL Server and storage-related issues are among the most common issues I run into with my clients.  This presentation, sponsored by PureStorage, will try to dispel many of the myths and not-so-best practices, and will include some real-world input from Rob “barkz” Barker, Solutions Architect at Pure Storage.  Be sure to register if you’re planning to attend!

Austin Code Camp 2014

The eight annual edition of Austin Code Camp is almost here, and I’ll again be presenting two SQL Server topics.  The event takes place at the New Horizons Learning Center (near Highland Mall).  This is a full-day event filled with presentations from expert developer and IT experts from Austin and beyond. 

Registration via EventBrite is required, as space is limited.  It looks like the tickets are selling out quickly, so be sure to get yours soon if you’re in the Austin area and want to attend! 

Here are the details on my updated presentations:

SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers often overlook the art and science of query optimization, despite the importance of storing and accessing data in all types of applications. Developers can dramatically improve their users’ experience by monitoring and optimizing how they leverage their database. This session will cover practical ways in which attendees can monitor performance at various levels, and how they can use this information to optimize queries. We’ll start with an overview of the many different SQL Server tools that can be used for finding and troubleshooting performance issues. Then, we’ll walk through the process of using SQL Profiler to collect data for supporting real-world questions and goals, including: Generating a "hit list" of worst-performing queries based on execution times and frequency, and finding sources of bottlenecks.

Next, we’ll go through the process of using the Database Tuning Advisor to use captured workloads to optimize physical database structures such as indexes and partitions. Also included will be ways in which developers can use built-in reports and dynamic management views to gain further insight into their production systems. Finally, the presentation will include an overview of analyzing query plans. The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

SQL Server Reporting Services: Developing and Managing Reports

SQL Server Reporting Services allows developers to author and distribute complex reports that come from a variety of data sources. This session will begin with an architectural overview of Reporting Services and demos of how developers can install and configure the required services. Then, we will walk through the process of creating new reports using Report Builder and Visual Studio. Reporting features including dynamic drill-downs, tablix reports, charts, and sorting will be demonstrated. Also included will be methods by which multiple levels of report parameters can be used to efficiently filter data.

A key goal for reports is to get data to the users who required them, and to manage performance, permissions, and report contents over time. This presentation will cover deployment details, including scheduling report execution, report subscriptions, data caching, creating snapshots, and managing security. Attendees are welcome to bring their reporting-related questions and issues for discussion.

SQL Server Optimization for Developers Presentation in Austin, TX

imageOn April 14th, 2014, I’ll be presenting a session titled, “SQL Server Optimization for Developers” to the Austin .NET User Group.  The free event will opportunities for networking, food and drinks, and (of course) a presentation.

Here’s a brief overview of the topic and the presentation:

Database optimization is a critical component of overall application performance, and sub-optimal configurations can limit reliability, scalability, and the user experience. Unfortunately, many developers see database monitoring and optimization as a black art – something that’s better left to production and operations specialists. This presentation will focus on practical, real-world methods for monitoring and optimizing performance for SQL Server-based applications. Demonstrations will include understanding index types, capturing query data with SQL Profiler, analyzing indexes and using the Database Engine Tuning Advisor. In addition to live demos the content will focus on managing locking, managing schema changes, and application design best practices for developers.

If you’re in the Austin area, I hope to see you there!

Update: You can download the slides from the presentation from my SQL Server Presentations page.  And, coming soon: A full recording of the session, courtesy of UserGroup.tv (thanks, Shawn!).  Thanks to everyone for attending!

Update 2: The entire recorded presentation has been posted on UserGroup.tv: SQL Server Optimization for Developers, along with my previous videos.  Thanks, as always, to Shawn for recording the session.

Central Texas GiveCamp: Oct. 18–20

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Does your idea of a perfect weekend involve writing code, eating pizza, and working with other local-area IT professionals?  Well, if you’re a developer, designer, DBA, etc. and you enjoy at least one of the three, this event might be for you. 

The Central Texas GiveCamp event allows area developers to volunteer their time to help local non-profit and charity organizations.  I participated a couple of years ago (unfortunately, not for the whole weekend code-a-thon), and had a great time.  I think it was a great opportunity to meet other developers and to help design and implement solid technical solutions on a tight timeframe (and who isn’t used to doing that?). 

For more information, visit the Central Texas GiveCamp site.

SQL Server Presentation Recordings by UserGroup.tv

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UserGroup.tv is providing free recordings of my recent SQL Server presentations at the Austin Code Camp 2013 event.  While the attendance was excellent, I’m sure some people were unable to attend in-person.  Here are the links to the presentation recordings:

Thanks to Shawn Weisfeld and UserGroup.tv for their hard work!

Austin Code Camp 2013 SQL Server Presentations

If you’re in the Austin area and are interested in a free all-day conference on .NET development-focused topics, be sure to check out the Austin .NET User Group’s annual Austin Code Camp.  It takes place on Saturday, August 17th at the St. Edward’s Professional Education Center in Austin.  See the site for details on the speakers, sessions, and location. 

This year, I’ll be presenting on a couple of topics that were well-receiving in past years.  The sessions will be demo-focused, though you can also find the slides from my past presentations on this site.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or comments!

SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers can dramatically improve performance by understanding how their queries are executing in the "real world". This session will cover ways in which attendees can monitor performance at various levels, and how they can use this information to optimize queries and improve overall application performance. We’ll start with a discussion of developing a performance optimization strategy and how various tools can help. Then, we’ll walk through the process of using SQL Profiler to collect data in a real-world case: Generating a "hit list" of worst-performing queries based on execution times and frequency.

Next we’ll look at using the Database Tuning Advisor to make suggestions related to physical database structures such as indexes and partitions. Also included will be ways in which built-in reports and dynamic management views can be used to monitor performance of production systems. Time permitting, the presentation will include methods for reducing deadlocks and managing long-running transactions. Finally, the presentation will include an overview of analyzing query plans. The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

SQL Server Reporting Services: Creating and Managing Reports

Using SQL Server Reporting Services, developers can author and distribute complex reports that come from a variety of data sources. The session will begin with an architectural overview of Reporting Services and how developers can install and configure the required services. Then, we will walk through the process of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder 3.0 and Visual Studio 2012. Reporting design features including dynamic drill-downs, tablix reports, charts, and sorting will be demonstrated. Also included will be methods by which multiple levels of report parameters can be used to filter data and increase performance.

Next, we’ll look at deployment details, including scheduling report execution, report subscriptions, configuring caching, creating snapshots, and managing security. Time permitting, the presentation will include a demonstration of using Report Viewer controls within ASP.NET and Windows Forms applications.

Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate Now Available

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Today’s release of the Windows 8 / Server 2012 downloads isn’t the only news for techie-types that want to live on the bleeding edge.  Microsoft has also released the Release Candidate versions of Visual Studio 2012.  You can find the downloads on MSDN (of course) and from the Visual Studio 2012 (formerly Visual Studio 11) product page.  Related products, like the Express Editions and Team Foundation Server are also available.

Here’s a little bit of news quoted from Microsoft’s Corporate VP, Developer Division, S. Somasegar:

These releases ship with “Go Live” licenses, so you can get started today building and deploying production applications using Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5.

For this release candidate milestone, you’ll find substantial improvements since the Developer Preview and Beta releases.  We’ve added features, improved performance, revamped the UI, streamlined setup, made it easy for you to move from Beta to RC, and more. 

Personally, I’ve been happy with the Visual Studio 11 Beta.  In fact, I am primarily using it for all of my development work, and haven’t even installed Visual Studio 2010 on my primary development machine.  I’m not sure that I’m complete sold on the monochromatic UI, but I rarely think about it when I’m actually working with the product.  If I find any useful tips or tricks, I’ll plan to post them on this blog.

SQL Server Presentations on UserGroup.tv

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It’s no secret that attending local or regional user group meetings and events is a great way to keep up-to-date with technology and to network with peers and experts in the field.  The major problem is that it can be difficult to find the time to fit some meetings into a busy work/life schedule.  I try to make it a point to attend at least a few local events each year, and one of those is Austin Code Camp.  I’m planning to present again this year (see my post about Austin CodeCamp 2012) with updated versions of my previous topics. 

If you weren’t able to make it to last year’s event, the UserGroup.tv Team has you covered!  They recorded several of the sessions and have posted the video presentations online.  Specifically, two of my topics are online and available to view now:

I think the recordings turned out really well, though I’ll admit that you might miss some of the audience interaction by viewing them online.  You can also find more recordings of other presentations from Austin CodeCamp 2011 (which took place on Sept. 10, 2011).  A very special thanks to the crew at UserGroup.tv for taking the time and effort to record and publish this content!

Austin Code Camp 2012

The Austin .NET User Group (ADNUG) is again holding it’s annual Austin Code Camp 2012 event.  The date is Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at the St. Edward’s Professional Education Center (PEC) (the same location as the last few years).  The event runs all day, and attendees can pick which sessions are most interesting to them.  Visit http://austincodecamp2012.com/ for more information about the event.

The event features speakers that focus on development-related topics with a focus on real demonstrations (rather than marketing information).  All sessions are free to attendees, and volunteers in the community are invited to speak.  Organizer John Teague states it a little better:

All of the content in community driven, presented by members of the community.   I would encourage you to come and talk about whatever is interesting in the world of software development.  While the event is organized by the Austin .Net Users group, it is not limited to discussions about .Net.   It is an excellent opportunity to gain public speaking experience.

If you’re planning to attend, please be sure to register on the Austin Code Camp 2012 Eventbrite page. That will help the planners determine how much space (and food!) they’ll need.

I have presented at the conference every year since 2008, and it has been a great experience!  The number of attendees is always impressive (I think 2011’s event included more than 250 IT pros and developers).  I’m planning to give two presentations this year:

Practical SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers can dramatically improve performance by monitoring and analyzing real world queries.  This session covers SQL Server monitoring at various levels to the most impactful performance improvements.  The presentation will start with an overview of different optimization tools and techniques and will be based on practical examples of real-world performance monitoring and troubleshooting.  Details include the use of server monitoring tools, SQL Profiler, the Database Tuning Advisor, and analyzing query plans, Dynamic Management Views, and related methods.  The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

SQL Server Reporting Services: Develop & Deploy Reports

This session will begin with a brief architectural overview of Reporting Services and details on getting up and running with Reporting Services.  Then, we will look at demonstrations of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder and Visual Studio.  Reporting design features including parameterization, dynamic drill-downs, matrix reports, charts, and sorting will be provided. 

Next, we’ll look at deployment details, including scheduling reports, configuring caching, creating snapshots, and managing security.  The presentation will also include details about new reporting and BI features in SQL Server 2012

Those topics are updated versions of presentations I’ve done in the past.  I’m still trying to decide whether they’d work best as one-hour or two-hour sessions.  Feel free to leave comments below if you have any opinion.

SQL Server Presentations on UserGroup.tv

imageA couple of months ago, I delivered a couple of SQL Server presentations at Austin Code Camp 2011.  I think the sessions went well and were well-attended.  I also got a lot of good questions and comments during and after the presentations.  If you missed the presentations (or couldn’t get enough the first time), UserGroup.tv has recorded them and has made them available for free online. 

Here are the links to the recorded presentations:

Thanks to Shawn Weisfeld for attending, producing, and posting the presentations.  I hope you find the content to be useful!

Austin Code Camp 2011

Lest you think that “Back to School” is only for those that are enrolled in school, the 2011 edition of the Austin Code Camp is here!  For those that aren’t familiar with it,  here are some details about the free event:

The Austin .Net User Group is proud to sponsor it’s fifth Annual Code Camp

This is one day FREE conference For The Community, By the community.

The Conference is on September 10, 2011 at St Edward’s Professional Education Center from 8 am to 5 pm. Click the link on the Location Tab for additional information about St Edward

I’ll again be presenting two topics that are focused on SQL Server (details below).  If you live in or near Austin, be sure to register and stop by for some great developer-focused sessions!

SQL Server Reporting Services: Develop & Deploy Reports

This session will begin with a brief architectural overview of Reporting Services and details on getting up and running with Reporting Services. Then, we will look at demonstrations of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder and Visual Studio. Reporting design features including parametrization, dynamic drill-downs, matrix reports, charts, and sorting will be provided.

Next, we’ll look at deployment details, including scheduling reports, configuring caching, creating snapshots, and managing security. Time permitting, the presentation will include a demonstration of using Report Viewer controls within ASP.NET and Windows Forms applications. The session is intended for developers that have basic familiarity with report development (in any technology) and a basic understanding of SQL.

Practical SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers can dramatically improve performance by monitoring and analyzing real world queries. This session covers SQL Server monitoring at various levels to the most impactful performance improvements. The presentation will start with an overview of different optimization tools and techniques and will be based on practical examples of real-world performance monitoring and troubleshooting. Details include the use of server monitoring tools, SQL Profiler, the Database Tuning Advisor, and analyzing query plans, Dynamic Management Views, and related methods. The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

This session assumes that attendees have basic familiarity with SQL Server and with writing database queries.