2009 Meetings

Dec 10/2009 – Louis Davidson – Database Design

Data should be easy to work with in SQL Server if the database has been organized as close as possible to the standards of normalization that have proven for many years. Many common T-SQL programming “difficulties” are the result of struggling against the way data should be structured and can be avoided by applying the basic normalization techniques and are obvious things that you find yourself struggling with time and again (i.e. using the SUBSTRING function in a WHERE clause meaning you can’t use an index efficiently). Properly structured data structures make it easier to work with data in simple SQL statements rather than having to resort to functional programming and cursors. In this session I will give an overview of the common normal forms and show why they should matter to you if you are creating or modifying SQL Server databases.

Who is Louis Davidson? Just an ordinary person like you who puts his pants on two legs at a time (try it sometimes, it is 50% faster.) Louis has been in the IT industry for more than 15 years as a corporate database developer, architect, as well as serving on the permanent unofficial committee to make sure the Internet still works. The majority of his experience has been with Microsoft SQL Server, in every version that has been released since 4.21a. Currently he is a senior data architect for Compass Technology, supporting the Christian Broadcasting Network and NorthStar Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. If you want a gander at the resume, you can get it here.

Louis has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with a minor in mathematics. He has been volunteering with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) for more than 5 years. He has spoken at several of the PASS conferences, though it can be said that as a speaker, he is a good writer.

In October 2004, he was awarded the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for SQL Server by Microsoft, an honor he is very proud to have been given. In his “free” time, he writes articles for his blog http://drsql.spaces.live.com, and answer questions on the Microsoft SQL Server newsgroups and forums.

Louis has written two books on database design (well, really three but the second one is really a retouching of a book he did for a company that no longer technically exists.)

Nov 12/2009 – Dan Evans – PASS Summit 2009 Review

Join us to hear about the exciting things presented at PASS Summit 2009. We will go through the main themes and announcements of the conference along with some feedback from those who attended. We will also take a look at the list of events and give members and opportunity to see the types of topics/speakers that help support this program. Details around new product releases like SQL Server 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010 and PowerPivot coming out this month will be available.

Oct 15/2009 – Dan Evans – SQL 2008 Analysis Services

Dan will go over the new features of SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services and walk through a demonstration on the tools and techniques to build cubes. We’ll also go over some of the options you have to help secure and tune Analysis Services cubes and some best practices regarding design, development and deployment.

Sept 10/2009 – Alvin Ramard – Getting Started with SSIS

For his first presentation to the Memphis PASS Chapter, our own Alvin Ramard will show everyone how to create basic SSIS packages in order to introduce the basic tasks and components that you will normally use in your own packages. In each package that we create we will introduce new instructions and new concepts to give everyone a good starting point for creating their own package. If time permits, we’ll look at how you could use SSIS to solve some of your problems.

August 13/2009 – Ron Cundiff – MS SQL Server 2008 as a productive data platform

Join us for this session as Ron Cundiff leads us through a look at Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as a productive data platform. We’ll dive into the FILESTREAM attribute and Remote BLOB Store API features in SQL Server 2008 as potential solutions to managing unstructured data with SQL Server. We’ll cover the differences from large unstructured data storage in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and then explore the new SQL Server 2008 features in detail, while explaining how to implement them.

Ron Cundiff has over 15 years of experience in the software development industry, and is the founder of Sheer Velocity Corporation, a company specializing in custom software development, technical training, and technical content creation for software developers. He can be reached at ron@sheervelocity.com.

July 16/2009 – Mike Davis – DTS to SSIS Conversion: What Are Your Options?

Since SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) was introduced with SQL 2005, PragmaticWorks has been helping SQL professionals develop and execute migration strategies for their DTS packages.

At the July 16 Memphis SQL PASS Chapter meeting Mike Davis, SQL BI Expert, will share the expertise that PragmaticWorks has developed in this domain over the past four years. During the presentation he will present SSIS, explain how to scope out and plan a DTS conversion project, as well as demonstrate how to automate DTS package conversion while applying SSIS Best Practices such an Auditing/Monitoring framework to the converted packages. See the outline below for more information about the presentation….

Presentation Outline:

DTS to SSIS Conversion: What Are Your Options?

The Microsoft “End of Life” policy for SQL 2000 has encouraged many organizations to seriously look at migrating their SQL2000 servers to SQL2005 or 2008. One of the biggest obstacles to a rapid migration is the DTS package issue. To gain the performance benefits and a supported path forward for the functionality in DTS, these packages should be converted into native SSIS. As we all know, the conversion is NOT straightforward. SSIS is more powerful and significantly different from DTS.

Pragmatic Works has been deeply involved in helping enterprises move to SQL 2005/8 and convert DTS to SSIS for several years. The presentation will cover the follow key points:

  • Introduction to SSIS and its differences vs. DTS
  • Options for running existing DTS packages in SSIS
  • 32 bit compatibility mode
  • ActiveX scripting tasks
  • SQLOLEDB to SQL Native Client
  • VB or C#
  • Advantages of SSIS over DTS
  • Performance
  • Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS)
  • Options for converting DTS packages to native SSIS
  • Manual Rewrite
  • Automated Conversion Tools
  • Microsoft Wizard
  • DTS xChange
  • Adding value to packages during the conversion process
  • Auditing frameworks
  • Monitoring
  • Notification
  • Consolidated Connections
  • Null Handling
  • Standard Naming Convention for Connections
  • Warning and Error Validation
  • Checkpoints
  • Transactions
  • Using Configuration Files to centralize references
  • Assessing the scope of a DTS conversion project
  • How many packages do I have?
  • How complex are they?
  • Which packages are no longer used?
  • How much time and money will this take?
  • Tools for Assessing project scope and cost
  • Demonstration of Microsoft Wizard
  • Demonstration of DTS Profiler
  • Demonstration of DTS xChange
  • Pragmatic Work’s DTS xChange tool will be used to convert DTS packages
  • Applying Best Practices Auditing/Monitoring Framework
  • Q & A

Subsequent to the User Group Meeting all attendees will have access to the DTS Profiler tool to analyze the scope of any DTS conversion projects they may be faced with in their organizations.

Mike Davis, Lead Support Engineer and Trainer, is a developer, consultant, trainer, and mentor who is enthusiastic about developing robust application for SQL server. He has expertise in many areas of Business Intelligence including Integration Services, Reporting Services, Database Administration, and .Net Software Development. Mike has created BI and software solutions for financial institutions and PragmaticWorks. He has developed .Net applications for SQL add-ons as well as standalone applications. Mike also participates as a speaker at events like SQL Server 2008 launch and SQL server user group meetings.

May 21/2009 – Dan Evans – Reporting Services and Report Builder 2.0

See what’s new with SQL Server 2008 SP1 with Reporting Services and Report Builder.

  • connecting to Reporting Services
  • creating reports
  • adding charts, graphs
  • using Tablix report type
  • publish and distribute reports

April 9/2009 – Doug Lanman – SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse

Microsoft recently announced SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse, a new set of reference architectures for data warehousing that will help eliminate many of the barriers companies traditionally face while creating data warehouses. SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse gives customers immediate access to pretested, preconfigured industry-standard hardware and helps reduce the time and effort necessary to deploy mission-critical projects.

Microsoft Data Warehousing Solution Sales Professional

Some of Doug most recent achievements:

  • Microsoft DW SSP assigned to 14 states in the Midwest supporting SQL Server 2008 both Fast Track (SMP) and Project Madison (MPP).
  • Chicago based Account Executive DATAllegro Inc. Largest installed customer was 480TB.
  • Chicago based Account Executive with Sybase in. Sold Sybase IQ DW platform.
  • Central Regional Sales Manager Brio Technology Inc.
  • Managing Director KnowledgeWare UK. London (CASE Tools).

March 19/2009 – First Meeting of the Memphis PASS Chapter

It’s official. Memphis now has a SQL Server User’s Group.


SQL 2008 T-SQL Enhancements

SQL Server 2008 offers a host of new and enhanced features, many of which are targeted towards developers. This makes SQL Server development more interesting than ever before. New capabilities include support for Spatial Data, Sparse Data, and Filtered Indexes. Enhancements include new T-SQL items such as new DATE/TIME data types and the long-awaited MERGE statement. In addition, many existing subsystems, such as Service Broker and the SQL CLR, have been improved as well. (Wait until you see what has been done to SQL Reporting Services!) Come see Jerry give an overview of a handful of these new features, as well as a deep-dive into the T-SQL enhancements.

Speaker: Jerry Dixon

Jerry Dixon is an Application Development Consultant with Microsoft. He works as part of their Premier Support organization in Memphis, Tennessee, helping clients get the most out of the Microsoft development platform. Over the past 20 years he has led development projects for a number of enterprise, mid-level, and small business organizations. While he has fulfilled multiple roles as an infrastructure designer, database administrator, and software developer, he specializes in XML, SQL and ASP.NET. He is a past President of the Memphis .NET User Group, and is a frequent presenter at developer events around the region. Jerry holds the following Microsoft certifications: MCSD (VB 6.0 and .NET), MCDBA (SQL 2000), MCSA (Windows 2000 and 2003), MCSE (Windows 2000), MCAD (.NET), and MCT.

In his spare time, Jerry works with stained glass and takes Martial Arts classes. (He has a Blue Sash in Kung Fu, and a Brown/White Belt in Karate.) He also enjoys wood-working and computer gaming.

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