The official PASS blog provides all the latest announcements, developments, and informative updates from the PASS Community and PASS Board of Directors. The blog is updated regularly, so please check back often or subscribe to be advised when new posts are published.

PASS Board Candidates Finalized, Voting Opens Dec. 6

The PASS Board of Directors has approved the Nomination Committee’s slate of candidates for the 2011 Board elections. Congratulations and good luck to the candidates:

  • Adam Jorgensen
  • Rob Farley
  • Denise McInerney
  • Geoff Hiten
  • Kendal Van Dyke
  • Sri Sridharan

Three Board seats are up for election for the 2012-2013 term. Voting and candidate campaigning will kick off Dec. 6. The Candidate Campaign space will go live the same day, letting you compare the candidates' qualifications, application answers, and campaign platforms. All members in good standing as of June 1 will receive an email containing their secure voting link, and ballots must be submitted by Dec. 20.

In the meantime:

  • Learn more about the responsibilities of the PASS Board and what makes an ideal Director at the Elections website.
  • Think about what you want to see in PASS’s future and begin the conversation with the candidates and fellow PASS members in the Elections forums.
  • Watch the Discussion page for new election blogs.
  • Follow and join the discussion on Twitter (#passvotes).

PASS is your organization – don’t miss this opportunity to help shape its future through the elections process. Your vote is your voice. Let your future leaders know what’s important to you – vote!


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Summit Survey Results: 99% Recommend It

Thanks to all PASS Summit 2011 attendees who filled out their post-event survey, and congratulations to Linda Zhang, who won the drawing for a free registration to PASS Summit 2012!

The survey results are out, and for the second year in a row, 99% of respondents said they would recommend PASS Summit to other SQL Server professionals. Ninety-six percent said the conference met or exceeded their expectations. Survey results showed that the most important aspects of Summit were the session topics, access to SQL Server experts, and quality Community speakers.

Attendees rated the following aspects of Summit as good or excellent:

  • Quality of Community and Microsoft speakers
  • Mobile Guide App and Session Scheduler
  •  Microsoft Product Demonstration Kiosk in the Exhibit Hall
  • Women in Technology and Birds of a Feather luncheons
  •  Exhibit Hall

And those who participated in the First-timers program gave high marks to the:

  • Welcome Reception entrance
  • First Timer Orientation with Rick Heiges
  • Speed Networking session with Don Gabor
  •  Pre-Summit Communication with their Big Brother/ Sister

Summit’s networking events, including the Welcome and Exhibitor Receptions and Community Appreciation Party, were well attended and successful in connecting the SQL Server Community, with 82% of survey takers saying they met people to connect with after the event.

Common feedback on ways to improve Summit included:

  • Better Wi-Fi
  • Access to power strips, especially on pre-con days
  • Snacks during breaks
  • Improved room planning and scheduling for less crowded sessions
  • Having presentation decks available for download before sessions

Overall, the survey results placed PASS Summit 2011 as one of the most successful Summits ever. As one survey respondent noted, “I was feeling burned out on my career, and this trip to the Summit completely rejuvenated me and reminded me why I got into this field in the first place. The speakers were top notch, and the event was very well planned, organized, and executed. I'll be there next year regardless if the company pays or I pay from my own pocket. Great job!”


Community Update

With 250 chapters and counting, PASS is serious about its commitment to global growth. We are excited that members of the SQL Server community from far and wide can connect, share and learn in their own region! In November alone, 8 new chapters were created:

•    Himalayan SQL Server User Group, Nepal (Leader: Shree Khanal)
•    SQLPASS Egypt (Leader: Wagdy Ishac)
•    Cambridgeshire SQL Server User Group, UK (Leader: Mark Broadbent)
•    Montreal BI User Group, Canada (Leader: Dwayne Pindling)
•    St. Louis BI Users Group, US (Leader: Phil Milner)
•    Chicago BI User Group, US (Leader: Emre Motan)
•    Quad Cities PASS, Iowa, US (Leader: Sheila Acker)
•    New London SQL Server User Group, US (Leader: Victor Pavlovit)

November also saw the addition of 3 Regional Mentors recently appointed, for the US Northeast (Steve Hughes), US Southwest (Phil Robinson) and Western Canada (Colin Stasiuk). Find out more about Steve, Phil, and Colin from PASS Director Mark Ginnebaugh’s recent blog post.

To facilitate chapter development, educational webcasts geared towards chapter leaders are available for streaming from the Chapter Resources page (PASS login required to access).  Recent webcasts include:
•    Using Dot Net Nuke Websites with Mike Lawell
•    Making Your Chapter Legal While Removing Stress with Arnie Rowland

Lastly, SQLSaturday keeps on growing with new events popping up all over the world. New SQLSaturdays are added all the time so be sure to keep tabs on the SQLSaturday event calendar for one near you!

Recently added:
•    SQLSaturday#113, Indonesia, Dec 10, 2011
•    SQLSaturday#108, Redmond, Feb 25, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#109, Silicon Valley, Mar 3, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#110, Tampa, Mar 10, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#114, Vancouver, Mar 17, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#115, Portugal, Mar 17, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#107, Houston, Apr 12, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#111, Atlanta, Apr 14, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#112, Birmingham, May 12, 2012
•    SQLSaturday#106, Puerto Rico, May 26, 2012

If you have any questions or comments about chapters, regional mentors, or SQLSaturday events, please contact PASS Community Evangelist Karla Landrum.

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Welcome Three New Regional Mentors - US NE, US SW, and Canada!

We are happy to announce that three new Regional Mentors are joining the PASS team.
Steve Hughes will be filling the open slot for U.S. - Northeast, providing Melissa Demcsak some badly needed help. Steve is a Principal Consultant at Magenic, focused on Business Intelligence architecture.  He recently helped put on SQLSaturday #99 - Minnesota 2011 and convinced Magenic to send nine SQL Server professionals to this year's PASS Summit.
Phil Robinson is our new Regional Mentor for U.S. - Southwest, where he will be working with Tjay Belt. Phil is an independent database developer and BI consultant and is President of the San Diego SQL Server User Group. He has been an organizer of two SQLSaturdays (#55 and #95).

Phil is replacing Andrew Karcher, who is stepping down after a long tenure as a Regional Mentor. Thanks, Andrew for your service, and welcome Phil!
Things are changing in Canada, too! Another longtime Regional Mentor, Scott Stauffer, is ready to hand his responsibilities to an able replacement. We appreciate Scott's efforts and know he will enjoy his return to private life.
Colin Stasiuk is filling Scott's position as Regional Mentor for Western Canada. Colin has been working with SQL Server since version 6.5. He is co-author of SQL Server 2008 Policy Based Management, an active blogger, and founded the PASS Chapter in Edmonton.
Please join us in welcoming Steve, Phil, and Colin to the Regional Mentors team.
- Mark Ginnebaugh
Director, Global Chapters



Preparing for SQL Server 2012: What You Need to Know

Lara Rubbelke, Microsoft SQL Server Community Principal Program Manager, recently talked with PASS Marketing Vice President Rick Heiges about the changes in editions and licensing for SQL Server 2012.

Rick: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Lara. Let’s get right to it: What’s new in SQL Server 2012 as far as editions?
We’ve streamlined SQL Server 2012 editions to better align with how customers are deploying applications and solutions and are releasing SQL Server 2012 in three main editions:
•    Enterprise Edition – for mission-critical applications and large-scale data warehousing
•    Business Intelligence (BI) Edition  – a new edition that provides premium corporate and self-service BI
•    Standard Edition – for basic database, reporting, and analytics capabilities

Enterprise Edition will include all features available in SQL Server 2012, and the BI Edition will include premium BI features as well all of the Standard Edition features.

Rick: What about the other editions that currently available in SQL Server 2008 R2?
Good question Rick. With the release of SQL Server 2012, we will be retiring:
•    Datacenter – its features will now be available in Enterprise Edition
•    Workgroup – Standard will become our edition for basic database needs
•    Standard for Small Business – Standard becomes our sole edition for basic database needs

Your readers should also note that SQL Server 2012 will continue to be available in Developer, Express, and Compact editions without licensing or pricing changes. The Web edition will be offered only to hosters via a Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA).

Rick: What are the key licensing changes with SQL Server 2012?
SQL Server 2012 will continue to offer two licensing options: one based on computing power, and one based on users or devices. In the computing power-based license model, however, the way we measure power will shift from processors to cores. Core-based licensing provides a more precise measure of computing power given high core-density server hardware. It also provides a more consistent licensing metric regardless of where the solution is deployed across on-premises to cloud.
Rick: When will these changes go into effect, and how can our readers learn more?
Licensing changes will go into effect with the general availability of SQL Server 2012, which is expected to be released in the first half of 2012. For more information about editions, licensing, and planning for SQL Server 2012, you can check out the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 website.

For customers who would like to understand how to transition to the new license model, Microsoft has a great resource here.

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New PASS Healthcare SQL Virtual Chapter

By Damu Venkatesan

The PASS Healthcare SQL Virtual Chapter was recently formed to bring together SQL Server and healthcare IT professionals. Members of this virtual chapter share and learn from one another, as well as support and address the unique challenges faced in the healthcare / life sciences field.

How did this all come to be? I attended PASS Summit in 2010 and 2011 where I met so many SQL users from various healthcare organizations and gained so much from our conversations. I realized that if we came together as an online community, we could share SQL Server / healthcare IT knowledge and solve many common issues we face in this industry, all year round! I approached PASS HQ to start a Healthcare SQL Virtual Chapter and - with their encouragement support - a new virtual chapter was born. 

Our mission is to learn and share SQL Server knowledge to make healthcare IT more effective and productive. Throughout the year we will be hosting online presentations and meetings on a regular basis with presenters from around the globe. We will also have an online forum where members can share ideas, tips and techniques, as well as get answers to those burning SQL Server questions.

If you are interested in learning and sharing SQL Server/healthcare IT knowledge please join us at and become a member of the PASS Healthcare Virtual Chapter. If you would like to present at an upcoming session, please contact me, Damu Venkatesan, at

Find out more at and follow us on Twitter @HealthcareSQLVC


PASS Board Election Interviews Set to Begin

The PASS Board of Directors elections season is ramping up, with the following six applicants chosen to move on to the next stage of the process – interviews with the NomCom:

Rob Farley
Geoff Hiten
Adam Jorgensen
Denise McInerney
Sri Sridharan
Kendal Van Dyke

Over the next 2 weeks, the applicants will participate in interviews that dive deeper into the qualifications they listed on their application form and that will help the NomCom determine the slate of candidates to put forward for the upcoming election. Campaigning and voting will begin December 6 after the final slate of candidates is approved.

The PASS Board has three slots open for election for the 2012/2013 term and one mid-term appointment to be made by the Board President. For more information about the elections process, see the 2011 PASS Elections website. And if you have questions of your own for the applicants or the NomCom, head to the Election Forums and twitter (#passvotes).

Thank you and good luck to all the applicants, and get ready to rock the vote!

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