Mixing BI and OLTP at the Summit

PASS is deep in the planning cycle for our SQL Server Conference. One of the key decisions we have to make is how much content to allocate to business intelligence and how much to OLTP. In order to make that decision we look at a number of data points. Among these are a survey we recently completed, registration details from previous years, registration details so far this year and actual session attendance information from prior years. Adding to the challenge is Microsoft's decision not to have a business intelligence conference this year and their desire to use PASS as one of their conferences to reach business intelligence professionals.

This year we split the Business Intelligence track in two. This will in some ways mirror the split on the OLTP side between the Application Development track and the DBA track. We think it will help us better target sessions to business intelligence professionals. We also increased the total number of sessions at the conference to 168. Making the whole pie bigger is an easy way to make sure all our attendees are happy with the type of sessions we have available.

Where does that leave the DBA? What are we doing for the person that writes complex T-SQL stored procedures to process business transactions? Or spends their days managing instances? I want you to take away two key points here. First, we're going to have more OLTP sessions than we've ever had before. Second, the combination of the Application Development track and DBA track is now larger than the entire conference was in 2006. I think that's a pretty amazing accomplishment!

Even doing that for the OLTP community we aren't short changing business intelligence. We've increased the BI sessions nearly 60% over last year. If you're a business intelligence professional you'll have your choice of multiple sessions at every slot during the conference.

Allocating sessions is a difficult task. Lynda and the rest of the program committee have done a great job supporting our growing BI community and our established OLTP community. We think our overall mix of roughly two-thirds OLTP and one-third BI will meet the needs of our conference attendees.