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Interact with the PASS Board at the Summit

This blog post comes from an email I sent to the Board about this.  I left in some of the thoughts around it in addition to just what we’re doing.  Plus we’re still working out some details.  But here's what we know...

This year at the Summit we want to give the community a chance to ask questions of the Board and provide feedback.  We also want to capture any suggestions people have.

First, The PASS Board of Directors will hold an open Q&A session Wednesday from 4:30PM until 6:15PM.  It will be in room 6E.  This overlaps with the last session but also runs 15 minutes past the end of the last spotlight.  This means that everyone should be able to attend for at least 15 minutes if they’d like.  There just aren’t any other scheduling options except before the keynotes.  Hopefully not too many of you will be double-booked.

We’ll try to record it.  Depends on what A/V is already in the room and what costs are.  I’m leaning toward spending the cash but we’ll see.  Cameras are welcome.  Everyone in the community is welcome to record it, stream it, whatever.  We’ll definitely take good notes.  We expect people to come and go during this.  If we get the same question three times that’s fine.

The session will probably be moderated.  All the Board members will be answering questions.  In cases where there are a variety of Board opinions on issues we’ll make sure everyone gets a chance to answer or ruminate.  I think we’ll get very few questions in areas where PASS has an official policy so it will mostly be Board member’s opinions.  We expect the community to drive the topics and we just make sure everyone gets heard.

Second, we’ve asked each Board member to spend one (or maybe even two hours) in the PASS Booth.  We’re hoping to list all the Board members and their schedule during Wayne’s keynote.  If not, they will be posted in the PASS Booth. This will give people a chance to speak with the Board in a relaxed setting and answer questions about PASS. 

Finally, we’re going to have a suggestion box at the booth.  Yes, pen and paper.  Old school I know.  We looked into an email alias.  The only downside right now is that we don’t have a good process on the other end of that to deal with the feedback we get.  HQ is completely swamped getting ready for Summit and doesn’t have any extra time at Summit.  I don’t want us in a position of accepting suggestions we can’t process or even respond to.

Whatever we have in the box by Wednesday we’ll go through at the Q&A -- time permitting.  We can probably find a volunteer to sort them for us.  Any received after Wednesday will be processed by HQ when they get back up to speed following Summit.  I expect we’ll get quite a few about Summit logistics.  We’ll just have to see if we have time to address those.  Otherwise the HQ logistics group can look through them as they have time.  This is a stop gap measure for this Summit only.  The post-Summit survey that goes out will also be a way to capture Summit specific feedback.

Going forward we’ll either setup an email alias or forums.  I’m leaning toward forums but we’ll have to see what works logistically.  Brent Ozar made some good comments about that the other day.  That gives people a way to give feedback on ideas and add more information.  And a way for the community to give feedback on the fly on various ideas.  We’ll see if we can keep up with them :)  It also gives us a way to ask them questions.  That’s an area we’ve been sorely lacking (or at least I have). 

See you all soon!


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Please welcome the new PASS Executive Committee

The PASS Board of Directors today approved its new Executive Committee for the 2010-2011 term. The new ExeCo is:

President -- Rushabh Mehta
Executive Vice President (Finance) -- Bill Graziano
Vice President (Marketing) -- Rick Heiges

Due to widespread interest in greater transparency and communications between PASS leadership and the community, 2009 featured a departure from previous appointment processes.  Unlike years past, candidates -- all current elected members of the Board -- nominated themselves for the open position of Vice President (Marketing), traditionally the most junior role on the Executive Committee.  There were three candidates for the position of Vice President (Marketing).  The candidacy for the other two positions, President and Executive Vice President (Finance), followed the Board's established precedent of ascension, with Rushabh Mehta moving from Executive VP to President, and Bill Graziano moving from VP-Marketing to Executive VP.

In keeping with the Bylaws, the Officer Appointment Committee (OffCom) was formed to guide the process.  This "OffCom", chaired by IPP Kevin Kline and consisting of Rushabh Mehta (EVP), Bill Graziano (VP-Marketing), and Judy Christianson (Executive Director at PASS Headquarters), interviewed each candidate at length.  Following these interviews, the entire Board of Directors met with the individual candidates for a Q&A.  Based on these interviews and discussions, the OffCom then recommended an Executive slate to the Board and put it to an official vote.  The Board approved this slate.

Congratulations to the new ExeCo, and good luck!

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As Chair of the Nominations Committee, I would like to congratulate our new board members for the 2010/2011 term. Brian Moran, Managing Partner for Solid Quality Mentors, and Jeremiah Peschka, PASS Group and Chapter Leader, will be joining the PASS Board of Directors, while Thomas LaRock continues his board service for a new term.

In total, 578 community members cast votes for up to three board candidates. Brian and Thomas garnered 423 and 419 votes, respectively. Jeremiah received 313 votes, and Matt Morollo received 253 votes.

Newly elected board members will have an introductory meeting with the current Board of Directors at PASS Summit 2009. They will officially begin serving their term on January 1, 2010. For more information about the elections process, see the
Elections 2009 page.

Thanks to all the applicants and candidates in this year's elections, as well as the dedicated PASS community for being so invested in the process. Your involvement will ensure that PASS continues to go from strength to strength. Congratulations again to our new Directors-at-Large!

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PASS Connector Editorial for October 21- by Andy Warren

Hi All,

I’m starting to get ready for the Summit, making sure I can find my jacket (I don’t use it much in Florida!) and have plenty of business cards. And as much as I enjoy the technical stuff, it’s really the people part that makes it something to look forward to - literally hundreds of friends and acquaintances built over 10 years in the SQL business. Being a DBA often means working solo, so it’s nice to be among those that share the challenges and passions. Say hello if you see me!

On the topic of friends and networking, join me at our 2 hour networking seminar on Monday with author Don Gabor.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and you get an autographed book too.

We’ll be on break during the Summit, and return with the next issue of the Connector on Nov 16th. See you then!


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Sessions for New BI Pros at PASS Summit

By Rushabh Mehta

Last night, I got an IM from Bill Graziano asking me to come up with a good list of sessions at PASS Summit for the BI newbie, similar to the list he published in Sessions for New DBAs at PASS. So I looked through all the PASS Summit 2009 sessions for BI to see which ones would benefit someone who is new to BI and wants to get acquainted with a technology that they haven’t worked with before.

I found a number of great sessions from some outstanding speakers that would help the BI beginner and those who want to know what to expect with the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 next year (check out my article in TDAN for an overview of R2’s managed self-service BI features). Many of these sessions give you a deep understanding of BI tools and best practices while grounding you in the basics.

First, here’s a list of 12 sessions from the BI Platform Architecture, Development and Administration (BIA) track that I would strongly recommend for anyone new to BI who wants to learn about the Microsoft BI Platform.


Data Profiling and Cleansing with Integration Services 2008
Erik Veerman (Solid Quality Mentors)

Kimball Approach Dimensional Modeling Across SQL Server and SSAS
Warren Thornthwaite (Kimball Group)

Creating Data-Driven Subscriptions in SSRS
Joe Webb (WebbTech Solutions, LLC)

The DW/BI System Lifecycle Overview the Kimball Approach
Warren Thornthwaite (Kimball Group)

Understanding Master Data Management and the Benefits
William McKnight (McKnight Consulting Group)

What All Microsoft BI Developers Need to Know About MDX so that They Can Create Required Business Calculations
Tim Peterson (Solid Quality Mentors) & Nathan Peterson (SDG Computing, Inc.)

Introducing Master Data Services
John Mcallister (Microsoft Corp.)

Microsoft Business Intelligence in 2010
Michael Tejedor (Microsoft Corp.)

Overview of Business Intelligence Capabilities in SQL Server 2008 & R2
Herain Oberoi (Microsoft Corp.)

An End-to-End Introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services
Sabrena McBride (Microsoft Corp.)

BI Power Hour
Pej Javaheri (Microsoft Corp.)

If you are new to BI, I would also encourage you to attend the pre-conference seminar Building a Microsoft Data Warehousing Platform by SQL Server MVP and BI expert and author Brian Knight. (For a preview of what Brian is covering in his seminar, check out his PASS Summit Q&A “Delivering Value with Agile Data Warehouse Development” and his 24 Hours of PASS Session Recording.

In addition, don’t miss Erik Veerman’s Friday post-con seminar Jump-start to Data Warehouse Data Modeling and Architecture. You can get a preview of Erik’s seminar by watching his 24 Hours of PASS Session Recording.

And if you’re interested in learning about delivering BI to end users, make sure these 6 sessions are on your agenda:

Business Intelligence with Excel 2010 and Project Gemini
Albert Chew (Microsoft Corp.) & Julie Strauss (Microsoft Corp.)

Overview of BI Features in Microsoft Office SharePoint 2010
Pej Javaheri (Microsoft Corp.)

Introducing Project Gemini
T.K. Anand (Microsoft Corporation) & Julie Strauss (Microsoft Corp.)

Introducing Reporting Services 2008 R2: Report Builder 3.0 and the New Visualization Capabilities (Maps, Sparkline, Indicators)
Bob Meyers (Microsoft Corp.) & Sean Boon (Microsoft Corp.)

What's New in PerformancePoint Services 2010
Tim Kashani (IT Mentors) & Ola Ekdahl (IT Mentors)

Enabling Analysis with Excel Services
Stacia Misner (Data Inspirations)

As your pre-con seminar around BI delivery, don’t miss Peter Myers’ Delivering Business Intelligence to the Masses. For a sneak peek of Peter’s seminar, see his Speaker Q&A, “BI Within Reach,” and his 24 Hours of PASS Session Recording.

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PASS Connector Editorial for October 7- by Andy Warren

Meet the PASS Board Candidates

Just one topic this week – elections! If you haven’t seen the announcement already, we’ve posted the slate of candidates for the 2009 PASS Board of Directors election. Here are the four candidates running for the three available seats:

  • Brian Moran
  • Jeremiah Peschka
  • Matt Morollo
  • Thomas LaRock

You can read details about each candidate as well as how the elections process works. Our nomination committee was led by Immediate Past President Kevin Kline and consisted of Judy Christianson (Executive Director), Rushabh Mehta (VP Finance), Allen Kinsel, and Brian Knight. They reviewed 11 applications, interviewed seven nominees, and selected the final four candidates to compete for three vacant seats on the Board of Directors for the 2010-2011 term.
If you were a member of PASS before May 2009, you should have received an email from PASS asking you to complete a qualification survey as a pre-requisite to voting this year.You can also vote if you registered for PASS Summit 2009 by October 8. Voting will run October 14-20, with eligible voters receivinge a link to their 2009 ballot. 

Winners will be announced before PASS Summit this year, leveling the playing field for those unable to attend and campaign and giving the Board time to work with the new members to ensure a smooth transition in January.

Please take the time to research the candidates, read their blogs, and vote carefully for the three best candidates  to represent you on the Board.

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PASS Summit Sessions for New DBAs

I was recently asked if I thought the PASS Summit was appropriate for new database administrators.  My answer was a resounding YES!  But I wanted to add some specific reasons.  If I was a new DBA here are the 12 sessions I’d try to attend at PASS:

Proactive DBA: Manage SQL Server Better
Ross LoForte (Microsoft Corp.)

The Ultimate Free SQL Server Toolkit
Kevin Kline (Quest Software)

DRP101: Learn The Difference Between Your Log And Your Cluster
Brent Ozar (Quest Software)

Practical Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting for the graduated beginner but not yet expert.
Joe Yong (Scalability Experts)

Securing and Hardening a SQL Server Implementation - Notes from the Field
Ross Mistry (Convergent Computing)

Insight into Indexes
Gail Shaw (XpertEase)

SQL Server Execution Plans From Compilation To Caching To Reuse
Maciej Pilecki (Project Botticelli Ltd.)

DBAs Behaving Badly... Worst Practices for Database Administrators
Rod Colledge (Independant Consultant)

Storage for the DBA
Denny Cherry (Awareness Technologies)

Understanding Logging and Recovery in SQL Server
Paul Randal (

SQL Server 2008 Manageability Features
Peter Ward (WARDY IT Solutions)

Troubleshooting applications accessing SQL Server
Abirami Iyer (Microsoft CSS)
Lakshmi Jonnakuti (Microsoft CSS)

There’s a little bit of everything thrown in.  You’ll learn about backup, security, disaster recovery and performance.  I threw in Kevin Kline’s session on free tools which will help with all of those. 

There are also some pre-conference sessions that are appropriate for new DBAs.  Either one of the following sessions on Monday would be helpful:

Care and Feeding of the Transaction Log (DBA Track)
Kalen Delaney (SQLearning)
Speaker Q&A: The Biggest Transaction Log Myth

SQL Server 2005/2008: Indexing for Performance (DBA Track)
Kimberly Tripp (
Paul Randal (

Friday also brings two great choices:

Practical Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting (DBA Track)
Andrew Kelly (Solid Quality Mentors)
Speaker Q&A: Wait Stats Can't Wait

Disaster Recovery: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques (DBA Track)
Paul Randal (
Kimberly Tripp (

In addition I think one of the biggest benefits of PASS is the people you’ll meet.  You’ll find people like yourself in all these sessions.  Knowing other new DBAs that you can share problems and solutions with is very valuable.  Many of the people I ask for help with problems today are people I met through PASS.

I’d also encourage you to buy the Summit DVD.  The price is very reasonable and you’ll get access to the other 150+ sessions that you didn’t have time to attend.

Bill Graziano

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PASS Logreader Awards Announced!

There’s nothing like a good contest to make things interesting, so we’ve put together the first ever PASS Logreader Awards to recognize the best and most interesting bloggers in our community. Bloggers will have the opportunity to submit their best posts in up to two categories by Oct 15th, and then we’ll announce the winners at the PASS Summit. Here are three different views of the contest, each contains directions on how to participate:

Andy Warrren

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