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 Election Results

PASS is pleased to announce three new board members for the 2012/2013 term in what was a record-setting elections season. Adam Jorgensen of Pragmatic Works Consulting, Denise McInerney of Intuit, and Rob Farley of LobsterPot Solutions and a current International Advisor to the board were the top vote-getters in a competitive race for three open seats on the PASS Board of Directors.
The election proved that every vote counts, with only 68 votes separating the top three candidates and just 177 votes between third and fourth places:
1. Adam Jorgensen – 1,026
2. Denise McInerney – 990
3. Rob Farley – 958
4. Sri Sridharan – 781
5. Kendal Van Dyke – 762
6. Geoff Hiten – 526

A record 1,951 community members across 66 countries voted in the 2-week election, casting a total of 5,043 votes. That’s 867 more voters and 2,247 more votes than in 2010, and more than three times the number of voters who participated in 2009 (576). And for those who may think the election is decided in the first 2 days, 904 votes were cast in the first 2 days of voting and 832 in the last 2 days, with the candidate standings actually changing from the midpoint of the election to the final results.

Newly elected board members will officially begin serving their term on January 1, 2012. For more information about the candidates and the elections process, see the 2011 PASS Elections site.

Congratulations and thanks to all the candidates for an energetic and tightly fought race. And thanks to everyone who asked a question in the candidate forums, blogged and tweeted about the elections, and helped shape the future of PASS by voting.

As PASS continues to grow, it will need more and more great individuals to step up and lead. If you are interested in starting your own leadership journey, contact your local PASS Chapter or PASS HQ for opportunities to volunteer. After all, the 2012 elections will be here before you know it!


SQL Server 2012: Get Production Quality Today!

Jennifer Moser, Microsoft SQL Server Senior Marketing Manager recently spoke with PASS Marketing Vice President Rick Heiges about the latest release of Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

Rick: I hear you just released SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate – what’s the scoop?

Jennifer: Building on our announcement at the PASS Summit 2011 in early October, we are excited to announce the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC). SQL Server 2012 RC is the first release which is feature complete and represents an exciting milestone for customers and partners looking to experience the full value of SQL Server 2012.
Rick: So, what’s in the Release Candidate? 

Jennifer: We’re happy to share that SQL Server 2012 RC is a production quality release providing:

  • Greater availability. Deliver the required 9s and data protection with AlwaysOn, with added functionality over CTP3 that allows customers to experience multiple, readable secondaries for distributed scale of reporting and backup workloads and support for FileTable and FILESTREAM which brings first-class HA to complex data types.
  •  Blazing-fast performance. More effectively govern performance in multi-tenancy environments like private cloud. Resource Governor enhancements include support for 64 resource pools, greater CPU usage control, and resource pool affinity for partitioning of physical resources and predictable resource allocation.
  • Rapid data exploration. Empower end users with new insights through rapid data exploration and visualization. Discover new insights at the speed of thought with more feature/functionality in Power View, the highly interactive, familiar browser-based data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience for end users. 
  • Credible, consistent data. In addition to CTP3 functionality delivered for Data Quality Services and Master Data Services, customers can better support heterogeneous data within Data Warehouses through new Change Data Capture (CDC) support for Oracle.
  • Optimized productivity. Optimize IT and developer productivity across server and cloud with the new SQL Server Data Tools, a unified development experience for database and business intelligence projects, and cloud-ready capabilities within SQL Server Management Studio for snapshot backups to the Windows Azure Platform. Additionally, SQL Server 2012 offers a new version of Express – LocalDB. SQL Express LocalDB is a lightweight version of Express with all its programmability features, yet runs in user mode with a fast, zero-configuration installation and short list of pre-requisites. 
Rick: That sounds good, but should I be testing with this release or actually using it?

Jennifer: Today, you can download, preview and deploy the full marquee capabilities being delivered in SQL Server 2012.RC is a production quality release that includes access to upgrade and migration tools like Upgrade Advisor, Distributed Replay and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA). Upgrade Advisor and Distributed Replay allow you to perform thorough analysis and testing of your current SQL Server applications before upgrading so you know what to expect. You can also use SSMA to automate migrate non-SQL Server databases to SQL Server 2012.

Download SQL Server 2012 RC today here:

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PASS Board Elections: 7 Days Left to Vote

A week into campaigning and voting for three open seats on the PASS Board of Directors and PASS members are rocking the vote. It’s been great to see all the “I voted” messages on Twitter and the Elections Forums discussions on communications and transparency, PASS Summit locations, directors and pre-cons, and more. Thanks for getting involved!

Individual voting links have been emailed to all PASS members in good standing as of June 1, 2011. If you are eligible but did not receive a ballot, please contact PASS HQ.

Voting ends Dec. 20, so if you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time to learn more about the candidates and submit your choices. Visit the Candidate Campaign Space to learn more about the six candidates running for the 2-year Board terms:

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

Even if you’re a more recent member of PASS, you too can have your say in this year’s elections. Go to the Candidate Forums to ask the candidates questions or simply have your say. Elections season is a great time for healthy debate on the future of PASS.

For more information about the elections, see the 2011 PASS Elections site. And watch the Dec. 28 Connector for elections results. Good luck to all the candidates, and happy voting!

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Best Presentations from PASS Summit 2011

By Allen Kinsel
(Reposted from Allen's blog)

Every year after the Summit the results of the thousands of evaluations are tabulated.  It seems every year the only question I hear after the summit is “when are the evaluations coming out?”  Well dear reader I’m happy to say, that day is today.  First id like to point out that this year we had well over 13000 unique session evaluations which is an increase of about 30% over 2010.

Online Evaluations produce unexpected results
One interesting thing I noticed in this years online evals was that we received evals for all sorts of “events” that happened at the Summit.  Normally, we only get them for sessions but because of the way the session scheduler was automated and integrated into the session eval forms, we actually received evals on many other events that took place at the summit other than regular sessions.  Receiving candid feedback on these events was quite refreshing and will be worked back into next years similar events.

Moving into the 21st century
This year since we offered online evaluations as well as paper evaluations I was interested to see what the turnout would be and while the amount of paper vs online evaluations entered was more lopsided towards paper than I’d have liked.  I believe that overall they were well used and next year we plan on only having online session evals.  I expect that if the room monitors push the online evals in the same manner they pushed the paper this year that we’ll get enough evals next year for this to be an effective option.  The real benefit other than costs of entering paper evals and killing trees is that if all of the evals come in a digital form I would see no reason that they shouldn’t be ready either real time or within a week or 2 from the end of the event but, Ill leave those details to next years Board member who's in charge of the Summit.  

Without Further ado, Here’s the link to the 2011 Summit top overall sessions.

The top sessions were calculated by averaging all of the evaluation answers then we excluded results if there were less than 20 evaluations or 20 attendees.

Also, if you were a speaker, You can log into the PASS Speaker portal site and get your full evaluation results (and the overall event scores) from the following link

Please join me again in congratulating all of the speakers from this years Summit, without them and their excellent contributions our community wouldnt be the same.

Edited-> I had the wrong filter criteria on our exclusion of sessions from the top list specification.  I stated we excluded if there were less than 10 evals and 10 attendees when the number was 15 each, I apologize for my fading memory.

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Call for Speakers – SQLRally 2012 Is Open

By Sri Sridharan
(Reposted from Sri's SQL Rocks blog)

On behalf the NTSSUG Board and PASS, Erin Welker (Blog|Twitter) and I  are super excited to announce that the Call for Speakers for PASS SQLRally 2012 is now open.
As part of the Program Committee for SQLRally 2012, Erin and I have been working hard along with the PASS HQ team (Marcella, Anika, and Alison) for the last 8 weeks. We have made some minor tweaks from what happened in Orlando and hope this is received well by the community.

Key changes:
1. We will have sessions between 60-75min. How many of 60 and 75 min sessions is something that is still in the works. This was a big ask by many speakers in their feedback, and we are glad to do something about it.

2. Approximately 75% of the sessions will be selected by the Program Committee, and only 25% will be out for voting. We mainly did this is to make it simpler and easier from a process standpoint.
3. Finally, I know many of you personally asked me to allow 2011 Summit pre-con speakers to be allowed to speak at SQLRally 2012 – Dallas, and I was really hoping to be able to do something about it. As I came to understand during this process, one of the goals for SQLRally is to develop new speakers and specifically the pre-con speaker pool. I am not 100% sold with this approach since I could see myself go either way. At this point, this is a non-negotiable item to the host city. So, the rule to not allow a prior year Summit pre-con speaker to deliver a pre-con at SQLRally remains. We still encourage all Summit pre-con speakers to submit for regular sessions.

Hopefully the community likes the tweaks we have made in SQLRally Dallas 2012.

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SQLSaturday History Is Made! #100 Brazil Recap

(Condensed from my Community Pollination blog – read the full version here.)

If you are part of the SQL Universe, you know that SQLSaturday #100 was held in São Paulo, Brazil, a week ago. I can hardly put into words just how epic this event was and how thrilled I am that I was able to be there to witness not just SQLSat 100, but the very first of these events to take place in Brazil.

Our journey began on Thanksgiving Day (Rodney luckily had enough SkyMiles to go with me and present), and we arrived in São Paulo Friday mid-morning. We were greeted at the airport by two of the main SQLSaturday event organizers, Felipe Ferreira [blog|twitter] and Laerte Junior Poltronieri [blog|twitter].

These two gentlemen have been putting up with my twitter “pushing and prodding” to host a SQLSaturday since February. When I saw their official event request come through in July, the very month I began working for PASS, it was like the icing on the cake for me! I don’t think they really believed at first that a SQLSaturday could happen in Brazil, but these guys and energetic volunteer Andressa Martins [blog|twitter] totally brought it! They had a lot of support from Microsoft Brasil’s João Nunes and Viviane Ribeiro [blog|twitter], as well as expert speakers from all over this large country, several of whom are PASS user group leaders. Right away you could sense that there is a strong SQL community across Brazil, and it was wonderful to see them all supporting each other at this event!

The event had a cap of 300 attendees, which it reached within the first month of being posted. The wait list was over 200 by the day of the event, and around 250 people attended. The event team released 40 from the wait list, but hadn’t forecasted what the drop-off rate would be. They plan to make sure to release more for their next event – a good lesson learned for all of us.

Bright and early Saturday, we headed to the event venue at Microsoft’s offices, which were donated as part of their sponsorship. The event was held on the 31st floor, making this not only the first SQLSaturday in Brazil, but at least for me, the highest one! The event came staffed with Microsoft employees handling the check-in process, while the volunteers filled nice backpacks donated by sponsor Ka Solution with swag. In addition to Ka Solution and PASS, SQLSaturday Brazil sponsors included SolidQ, Mainwork (a Confio partner), RedGate, and SQLSentry. It was nice to see the continued support of these companies for a SQLSaturday outside the US.

The line of registrants quickly grew very long, snaking from the bottom floor (where they were checked through security) up to the 31st floor, and all the way down the hallway, past the elevators. The SQLSaturday opened with a keynote from Microsoft and remarks from the organizers – all in Portuguese.  The event had three tracks totaling 18 sessions, with two coffee breaks/delicious snacks and sub combos for lunch. (Personal lesson learned: Do not try to drink Nespresso by the gallons, like you do coffee in the states!)

The day closed with sponsor raffles and end-of-day announcements. When it was my turn to talk about PASS, I started to ask the attendees if they wanted to see more of these events in Brazil – and before I could get the words out, they were all cheering and clapping. Needless to say, we have several conversations going on now with leaders and volunteers to host several more SQLSaturdays in Brazil. My guess is that a country its size could easily sustain 4 or 5 events a year.

The after-event get together featured some of the most amazing food ever and lots of cold beverages, supplied by João Nunes. Besides all the great conversation, we enjoyed entertainment by a Big Band – full on with saxophones, trombones, and drums! The room filled with cheers to the end of a very successful SQLSaturday and thanks for PASS’s support in helping to bring this event to Brazil.

Below are just a few links to the many blogs and photos from this event. You can find more by searching for the #sqlsat100 hashtag on Twitter (this event has more post-event tweets than I’ve seen for any other SQLSaturday – the buzz is still going strong).


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Polls and Campaigning Open for PASS Elections 2011

It's official – voting has started!

The future of PASS is in your hands. Voting and candidate campaigning for the 2011 PASS Board of Directors elections are now open and run through Dec. 20.

E-ballots have gone out this morning to all PASS members who joined on or before June 1, 2011. You can vote for up to three candidates for the 2012/2013 Board of Directors. Candidates for the open seats are:

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

Check out the Candidate Campaign Space for candidate bios and platforms, and make sure to visit the elections forums to see the candidates’ answers to community questions or to ask your own. We’ll also be updating the Discussion page with the latest elections blog posts, and you can follow and join in the discussion on Twitter using the #passvotes hashtag.

For more information about the elections, see the 2011 PASS Elections site. And watch the Dec. 28 PASS Connector newsletter for elections results.

Thanks for helping shape PASS’s future by participating in the elections process – and good luck to all the candidates!

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