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.

Pop Quiz: What’s PASS’s 20th Virtual Chapter?

School will soon be in session with the debut of PASS’s 20th Virtual Chapter, dedicated to free training and support of SQL Server and Business Intelligence professionals in the education sector.

“Our mission is to provide SQL Server training that uses educational data and that shows how to take advantage of SQL Server tools for education-related tasks,” says VC leader David MacLean. “We want to start monthly online sessions in December, depending on how quickly we can get speakers lined up.”

David got interested in launching the VC when he registered for PASS Summit 2012 as a first-time attendee and asked if there was anything special for the education sector happening at the event. “Lana Montgomery and Karla Landrum said. ‘There is now,’” he notes with a laugh. “Karla and others at PASS really moved on this, and I am very excited and pleased that we are the 20th PASS Virtual Chapter.”

David will be meeting at Summit with other database pros working in education to recruit VC volunteers, speakers, and members and gather suggestions for meeting topics and web resources. You can find him at the VC tables during the Welcome Reception or leave him a message at the Community Zone.

Some session topics might include:

  • How to import SAT/ACT scores from the College Board using SSIS
  • How to import the Common application or other vendor application data using SSIS
  • Designing SSRS reports tracking candidate stages across multiple years or reports that combine candidate/student data with financial aid data
  • Using SSAS to predict the factors that get candidates to enroll

“Speakers don’t have to have a background in education because we all use the same tools,” David notes. “And if need be, I can assist with how they might make some changes to their presentation that would relate it specifically to those working in education. For consultants, this is a great opportunity to develop contacts in the education sector.

If you are interested in speaking, volunteering, or suggesting meeting topics, you can contact David at with “Education VC” in the Subject line or on Twitter at @DavidAMacLean1. To join the chapter, just go to the PASS Home page and click the “Join a Virtual Chapter” button.

“I will note that Scotland had an Education Act in 1496, so I think it is appropriate that a MacLean start the Education Virtual Chapter for all the fine laddies and lassies of PASS.” He adds. “If someone buys me a glass of Glenfiddich Special Reserve at one of the Summit After Hours events, I might just sing an old Scottish tune for all fellow Scots.”


PASS TV at PASS Summit 2012

PASS TV will make its debut on November 7 at PASS Summit 2012. Over the course of the conference, PASS will live stream three 12-hour days of technical sessions with overnight replay. Camera and crew will be at the ready to stream these sessions as well as candid interviews to the global SQL Server community. If you can’t make it to PASS Summit 2012 then we’ll  bring a piece of the conference to you! You’ll be right in the heart of things as our roving camera captures conversations with attendees, speakers and industry influencers. In addition to broadcasting many of the top-notch technical sessions being delivered at Summit, we’ll also give you a close look at the SQL Server Clinic, Hands-On Labs , networking activities and other professional development content.

How Can I Tune In?

PASS TV will be broadcast from the Live Summit website beginning at 15:45 GMT/UTC on November 7 and ending November 10 at 15:45 GMT/UTC. No username or password is required so spread the word with colleagues and friends and invite them to tune in for the high quality programming that PASS has to offer.

Which Sessions Will Be Featured?

Catch the keynote sessions with Microsoft’s Ted Kummert and Quentin Clark, Women in Technology panel discussion, featured spotlight sessions including the always-popular Dr. David Dewitt among others. For full programming information, please visit the PASS Summit website.


Anti-Harassment Policy Guidelines and Process

In August the PASS Board of Directors approved an Anti-Harassment Policy (AHP)  for PASS Summit. After the policy was established a subcommittee continued work on guidelines for addressing alleged violations of the policy. The final version of the process was discussed at the September Board meeting and is now available here.
Any alleged violations to the AHP can be reported to a member of the conference staff. Staff receiving such a report will contact the Duty Officer. The Duty Officer is a designated member of the staff who is reponsible for taking a full report. The Duty Officer will also notify the Anit-Harassment Review Committee (AHRC) that a complaint has been made.
The AHRC is the body authorized by the PASS Board of Directors to take action in response to a violation of the AHP. The process document provides guidelines for how the AHRC will conduct its inquiries. 
Publication of the AHP and an accompanying blog post  elicited some feedback from the community. Some expressed concerns about how the policy would be implemented and wondered if behaviors such as swearing could cause someone to be removed from the Summit.
We could never come up with an exhaustive list of everything that might result in someone being removed from the Summit. Both the behavior and the context in which it occurs would be important in making such a decision. But the AHP Process document provides some general examples of reasons why someone could be expelled from the conference. The emphasis is on the seriousness of the incident. Repeated harassing behavior could also result in expulsion.
The purpose of the Anti-Harassment Policy is to ensure the PASS Summit is safe and welcoming for all attendees. The AHP process guidelines support that goal.




PASS Summit: Get in the Community Zone

There is no doubt that PASS Summit is all about SQL Server and the SQL Server community. While you might know the conference as the best place to learn anything SQL Server-related, it’s also the best possible place to get connected with SQL Server professionals all across the globe.

PASS community volunteers from around the world work hard every year to deliver the best technical training and information to meet the needs of all attendees, no matter what their skill level or technology interest. And this year, we’re extending that mission to provide more knowledge about and connections with the SQL Server community by creating a special Community Zone.

What is a Community Zone? It’s both a location for community sharing at Summit and a state of mind that encourages more community involvement through a variety of organizations and events. You’ll find the PASS Summit Community Zone between the Lunch Hall and the Exhibit Hall. And we are looking forward to showcasing both PASS-related and non-PASS-affiliated community groups and events.

If you represent a not-for-profit SQL Server organization, please join us in the Community Zone. And even if you aren’t able to attend Summit, if you send us information about your group or event, we’ll help spread the word. How much more community can you get?! :)

Talking about community means reaching out to more than just English-speaking attendees, and we have invited volunteers who speak other languages so we can welcome everyone and try to help all members reach their respective community goals. We’re also interested in hearing your suggestions – if you have a great idea for a user group or a not-for-profit event, drop us an email at

The Community Zone will be open Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Friday, Nov. 9, with your faithful PASS Community Evangelists – Karla Landrum and me – and many generous volunteers looking to make your visit as fun and valuable as possible. (Hint: We’ll have some great networking games and other activities to help attendees learn about different communities all around the world and connect with each other.)

I am so excited about the new Community Zone and helping PASS members get more involved in and improve their local communities and the SQL Server community at large. So if you’re attending PASS Summit, please drop by the Community Zone to say “Hello,” ask questions, discuss exciting plans for the SQL Server community, or just hang out – who knows, you could also win some amazing prizes! 
– Niko Neugebauer



PASS Board Elections: The Results Are In!

After a record-setting elections season, PASS is pleased to announce the three candidates elected to serve on the PASS Board of Directors for the 2013/2014 term. Wendy Pastrick of Calamos Investments, James Rowland-Jones of the Big Bang Data Company, and Sri Sridharan of GNET Corp were the top vote-getters in a competitive race for the director-at-large seats.

Continuing the trend of increased voter participation, a record 1,957 voters participated in an active 2012 campaign season of great community forums questions, blogs, open-mic activities, and tweets. A tight race, the difference between second and fifth place was less than 200 votes:

  1. Wendy Pastrick – 1127 votes
  2. James Rowland-Jones – 996 votes
  3. Sri Sridharan – 966 votes
  4. Kendal Van Dyke – 818 votes
  5. Allen Kinsel – 798

Community members across 64 countries voted in the 2-week election, casting a total of 4,705 votes. Although six more voters participated in 2012 compared to 2011, 338 fewer votes were cast, with 2012 seeing an increase in single-vote ballots. In such a close race, every vote makes a difference. And for those who may think the election is decided in the first 2 days, the 2012 candidate standings actually changed from the midpoint of the elections to the final results. It’s never too late to have a say and impact the elections.

Newly elected board members will officially begin serving their term on January 1, 2013. For more information about the candidates and the elections process, see the 2012 PASS Elections site.

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. And PASS still needs your ideas and involvement.

As PASS continues to grow, it will also need more dedicated individuals to step up and lead. If you are interested in moving into a leadership role within the PASS community, please check out your local PASS Chapter or a Virtual Chapter. Chapters require a strong team of volunteers to help forge the way and are a great first step to one day serving on the PASS Board yourself.

Congratulations to the newly elected directors, and thanks to all the candidates for a passionate and tightly fought race and enhancing the dialog about what PASS means to all of us.

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