Posts Tagged ‘PASS’

PASS Summit 2019 – The Best One Yet

November 21, 2019 Leave a comment

In 2019, I attended my 11th PASS Summit.  Every year I say it is better than the last.  Usually this comes down to the fact that I know more people each year.  That was the case again this year, but I cannot remember being as excited about the content I learned at the conference.

If you had told me going in that a tool was the thing I would be most excited about, I would have thought you were crazy.  But it’s true, and that tool is Azure Data Studio (ADS).  ADS is a fork off of the VSCode project and allows connections to databases on prem and in Azure.  It also provides a link to source control systems.  The thing that has me so excited about ADS is the ability to build notebooks.

Notebooks are files that allow code to be combined with text more robustly than a T-SQL or PowerShell script with comments.  The text is written using markdown, which is a simple markup language that allows formatting.  Code can be placed in line with markdown text and can be executed from within the notebook.  As of November 4, ADS supports both T-SQL and PowerShell.

The utility of notebooks was brought home when Bob Ward ran all of the demos for his SQL Server 2019 Summit precon using notebooks.  That was pretty cool, but what was amazing is that he made those notebooks publicly available via GitHub.  Once you have installed ADS, you can download that GitHub repo and run the demo code.  The markdown provides information about and instructions for executing the code.  An example of one of the notebooks is shown below:


In the example above, the markdown text is above the code cell.  The play button in the code cell allows execution of the query.  The query messages and results appear below the code cell.  When the notebook is saved, the query results are saved with it.  This makes them perfect for creating runbooks, wikis, and process documentation.

I’ve created demos for a presentation on two of the new features in SQL Server 2019, Accelerated Database Recovery and in-memory metadata for tempdb.  Because PowerShell is supported, I am able to run docker commands within the notebook to build out a demo instance in seconds.  You can find my demo notebooks here.

I hope you find this post useful.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Note: The code in my notebooks has been modified from the SQL Server 2019 notebooks from Bob Ward’s precon.  Many thanks to Bob and the SQL Tiger Team for making these available.  Also, thanks to Vicky Harp, Alan Yu, and the rest of the Azure Tools team for ADS. Keep your eye out for updates to ADS, because additional functionality is coming.

RIP @sqlsoldier

April 3, 2018 Leave a comment

Today I learned that Robert Davis, aka @sqlsoldier, passed away. Among other things, Robert literally wrote the book on SQL Server mirroring. I met him briefly at SQL Saturday Oregon, but interacted with him frequently via the #sqlhelp hashtag. He was often one of the first people to reply to my many questions about the transaction log. One of my proudest moments in IT came when I answered a question about reading the transaction log. Robert asked what I meant, and when I explained myself, he wrote, “In that case, I’d do it Frank’s way.” I don’t think my feet touched the ground for the rest of the day.

Robert was a prime example of the strength of the SQL Server community. That someone with his depth and breadth of knowledge would take time to help others leaves me awed and humbled. While his death leaves me shocked and saddened, I will try to keep his memory alive by learning and sharing knowledge with the community.

Categories: #sqlhelp, SQL Server Tags: ,

TSQL Tuesday #96: Folks Who Have Made a Difference

November 14, 2017 1 comment

T-SQL Tuesday
I started working as a SQL Server DBA in November of 2007. In November of 2010, I attended my second PASS Summit in Seattle. At the time I was working for a large insurance company, and our Microsoft sales rep had scheduled a dinner for my team at 6pm. The afternoon of the dinner, I went to see Paul Randal (b|t) do a 90-minute Spotlight Session called DBA Mythbusters scheduled until 6:15. About 15 minutes into Paul’s session, I texted my boss to let him know I would be late to dinner. The information Paul presented and the way in which he presented made me not want to miss a minute of the session. Walking out of the Convention Center that night, I remember thinking, “I want to do that! I want to teach people about SQL Server!”

The following March, I attended my first SQL Saturday in Chicago. For the session after lunch, I wanted to see Brent Ozar (b|t) present about SQL Server storage. By the time I got to the room for Brent’s presentation, it was SRO. Two doors down, Jes Borland (b|t) was giving a presentation called Make Your Voice Heard! In it, Jes provided advice on blogging, presenting, and leveraging social media to increase visibility within the community.

Attending Jes’s presentation introduced me to the force of nature known as Jes Borland. Her unbridled enthusiasm for the SQL community gave me the motivation to start teaching people about SQL Server. Within a year I started this blog and started presenting at PASS Local Chapters. I am blessed to have become friends with Jes. She continues to inspire me both professionally and personally.

In April of 2011, I attended SQL Skills Immersion Event on Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 1, taught by Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp. Since then I have been fortunate to become friends with the two of them. Their involvement in the community never ceases to amaze me. To close I will share my favorite story about the strength of the SQL community.

I attended PASS Summit 2015 with a co-worker who was a first timer. At the Tuesday Welcome Reception, I saw Paul and Kimberly across the room. My colleague and walked over, and as we were waiting to say hello, Paul turned, looked at my colleagues badge and said, “Michael, first timer, how are you! I’m Paul Randal!” Paul welcoming nature and openness to new members of the community is something that I try and emulate on a daily basis.

I volunteer with PASS because I will never be able to give back as much as I’ve gotten. Paul and Jes are two individuals that have given me an enormous amount through the years and I thank them for it.

Categories: PASS, SQL Server Tags: , ,