SQL Saturday NYC

Yesterday was the first time I attended a SQL Saturday event. The event kicked off with a keynote about SQL Server 2008 R2 by Roger Doherty showing some of the things that are in this new release.

SQL Saturday Keynote Roger Doherty

The sessions were held in five difference rooms and sometimes it was a tough decision deciding what to attend because there were five concurrent sessions. I attended five sessions, some sessions were slides only, some were code only but the majority of the sessions were slides and code.
Below are these five sessions and my short review of each

Andy Leonard
Applied SSIS Design Patterns

This session talked about design patterns in SSIS. It was mostly focused on passing variables between parent and child packages and also how events bubble up. It was a very interesting session and Andy showed me some things that I will implement in my packages.
Andy Leonard

Adam Jorgensen
Performance Tuning Analysis Services

I was very interested in this session, Adam showed some of the things you need to be careful about when building cubes, he also showed what you need to capture with profiler and perfmon.
Adam Jorgensen

Performance Tuning Analysis Services

Adam Jorgensen Performance Tuning Analysis Services

Kevin Goff
Building OLAP Cubes with SSAS 2008

This was a beginner level session explaining what OLAP is, how data is modeled, he mentioned star and snowflake schemas, differences between fact and dimension tables, role playing dimensions and slowly changing dimensions.

Derek Comingore
Delivering Rapid Business Value with Microsoft BI

This was a high level session giving examples about how you can deliver business value, usually there were pros and cons in the slides to every approach. The Fast Track Data Warehouse might be something interesting for companies, it is basically a preconfigured server (or rack of servers). All you have to do is plug it in and you are ready to go, more info about that here: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/fasttrack.aspx

Charles Hyman
A Complete BI Solution in 90 minutes

This was my favorite session of the event; it was all code, no slides and lots of fun. Charles basically created a cube from scratch within an hour or so.

The raffle
As usually it ended with the raffle, during the day there was a Kindle giveaway and at the end of the event there were interesting things too. There were PASS 2009 DVDs, a GPS unit, iPod touch, books, software, gift cards etc etc. What was interesting is that a lot of people left by the time the raffle began. In some cases they had to call 8 names before they had someone who was present.

Raffle2

Raffle1

I had a good time at the event, I learned a couple of things and I will play around with some of those things to see how I can incorporate them into my code. Seeing something developed in front of you also makes you grok it faster compared to a book. You can ask the person delivering the session a question and he/she will explain it to you right there and then, you can’t get something like that out of a book.

I will finish with a big thanks to Melissa Demsak and all the other people involved in making this an awesome event.