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Database & Application Development

The following sessions were chosen by community vote to be presented at PASS SQLRally Orlando. Click on the links to view specific abstracts or scroll down to see them all:

Selected Sessions

Title: A data-logic approach to EF4
Speaker: Mattias Lind
Category: .NET
Level: 300
Abstract: This session will discuss the benefits of a data-logic approach to EF4, database modelling, tables, procedures, views and functions and how to integrate this with EF4.
Session Goals
  • Efficient database models to support EF4
  • Learn how to implement EF4
  • Get better performance
Speaker Bio: Mattias Lind is a self-employed database specialist and SQL Server Trainer, as well as the User-Group Liaison and Co-founder of MCT Europe. He has been working with MS SQL Server since mid 90's and been focusing on performance and database modelling. With customers all over the world he travells alot and is a frequent speaker at events as techdays, teched and mct summit.

Title: Deploying Data Tier Applications to the Cloud
Speaker: Joseph Dantoni
Category: Azure\Cloud
Level: 200
Abstract: Interested in quickly rolling out new applications to your local environment or to SQL Azure? This session will cover the Data Tier Application functionality that is built into SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010. The session will start out with an overview of the technology, how it works and how it functions in a typical development organization. We will then go under the hood in SQL Server and take a brief look at the internals that drive both the deployment and upgrade process. Lastly, we will walk through a demonstation of building a new application in Visual Studio and deploying it to SQL Server Azure, extracting a Data Tier application from SQL, and lastly the process of an application upgrade using the technology.
Session Goals
  • Understand the purpose and limitations of data tier applications in SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010.
  • Understand the internals of DACPACs and how they are processed by SQL Server.
  • Understand how to deploy a data tier application package from Visual Studio to SQL Server.
Speaker Bio: Joe D'Antoni is a DBA with over a decade of experience working in both Fortune 500 and smaller firms. He is currently working at Synthes, a medical device firm in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Louisiana Tech University, and a MBA from North Carolina State University. He is the Vice President of the Philadelphia SQL Server Users Group, and a member of the board of the SQL/Oracle and Health Care PASS VCs. Joe is a frequent speaker a local user groups, Code Camps, and SQL Saturdays.

Title: SQL Azure 201 - Cloud Database Deep-Dive
Speaker: Scott Klein
Category: Azure\Cloud
Level: 200
Abstract: Going beyond a SQL Azure introduction, this session will show how SQL Azure can be used in real-world situations, providing real solutions for today's cloud initiatives. This session will discuss sharding and caching to enhance the cloud experience and performance. We will also look at the OData protocol as a way to consume SQL Azure data in your applications including Windows Phone 7. If time permits we will also look at the new SQL Azure reporting capabilities.
Session Goals
  • Attendees should come away from this session with the knowledge that SQL Azure is a viable solution today.
  • Attendees will know how sharding and caching can drastically improve performance.
  • How OData is quickly gaining ground and how the protocol can be easily used to gain access to their cloud database data via the many different applications.
Speaker Bio: Scott Klein, a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, is co-founder of Blue Syntax Consulting, an Azure training and consulting company. Scott has been working with SQL Server for nearly 20 years, working with companies large and small all over the United States, working in a wide scope of fields such as medical, finance, and retail. Scott is also a veteran author, having written a number of books including Professional SQL Server XML, Professional LINQ, Pro ADO.NET Entity Framework 4.0, and the recently released Pro SQL Azure. Scott is President of the South Florida SQL Server Users Group and the newly formed SQL Azure PASS Virtual Chapter. He speaks frequently as SQL Saturday events and user groups, and was lucky enough to speak at the 2008 European PASS conference.

Title: 3rd Normal Form: That's crazy talk!!!
Speaker: Thomas LeBlanc
Category: Design
Level: 200
Abstract: How did the development world conclude that an integer is the best primary key? What is 4th and 5th normal form? What has been added to SQL Server in 2005 and 2008 to help change the way database design has evolved over the years? Can we still use a VarChar(xx) for a primary key? What is the difference between a lookup and Parent/Child relationship? What is an example of a Many-to-Many relationship? This session will go through the history of 21 years of experience with various database designs – normalized and denormalized. The discussion will include the benefits and forward looking that should be required for using various design techniques. The flow will be a discussion with much attendee participation to share sucess and pains in database development, leading to standards for all of us to take advantage of while designing databases.
Session Goals
  • Visually design database before physically structuring the tables that helps create a discipline to follow standards
  • Using primary key to satisfy 1st normal form and using foreign keys to describe Lookup tables and Parent-Child(ren) relationships for 2nd and 3rd normal forms
  • See where 4th and 5th Normal Forms can help further separate repeating values and less programming for these changing values
Speaker Bio: Thomas LeBlanc is a semi-retired Senior DBA turned ETL Lead Architect for Amedisys, Inc in Baton Rouge, LA. He has been in the IT field for 20 years starting as a COBOL programmer, graduating to dBase, FoxPro, Visual FoxPro, VB 3 thru 6 and even some .Net(C#). Designing and developing normalized database has become his passion. Full-time DBA work started about 6 years ago for Thomas while working at a Paper Mill in St. Francisville, LA continuing with IEM, then Amedisys. Current activity at Amedisys involves 2 other DBAs and a manager supporting 300+ GB databases with replication to a Data Warehouse and DB Mirroring to a disaster recovery site. Performance tuning and reviewing database design and code are an everyday occurrence for DBAs at Amedisys. Thomas’ free time is spent helping those less fortunate and bettering the relationship with his family and God.

Title: Creating a Metadata Mart with SSIS - Data Governance , Data Profiling & Code Generation
Speaker: Ira Warren
Category: ETL\BI
Level: 300
Abstract: Recently I have had a client that required migrating and re hosting a data warehouse from the Oracle environment to the Netezza Appliance. The application had hundreds of tables and almost 2900 Source to Target Mappings. This would have taken 1000s of hours of manual coding. For this client we implemented a reusable data driven architecture, via SSIS, that rely on a metadata mart. The end result a greatly reduced TCO(development effort) for generating the code required v.s manual coding. In addition the process leaves behind a metadata mart to report on for auditing and other Data Governance efforts. We generated over 100,000 lines of code and over 3000 load scripts. After implementation the application can be maintained via the tables and automatically regenerated, providing a pro-active or self-healing application architecture to respond to changes in incoming source files or target changes.
Session Goals
  • Teach advanced use of Metadata Techniques.
  • Use SSIS for creating data driven Code Generation
  • Advanced SSIS Skills for using Variables, Dynamic File Connections and Derived columns
Speaker Bio:  Over 35 years experiences in Software Developemt, IT Management and BI Architecture.

Title: What's new in SQL Server 2011 (Denali)?
Speaker: Aaron Bertrand
Category: Misc
Level: 100
Abstract: This presentation will cover many of the new features coming our way in the next major version of SQL Server. From contained databases to high availability to T-SQL enhancements, we will cover the good, the bad, the missing and the ugly. Several demos and no marketing.
Session Goals
  • Show people some of the new features they will be getting in Denali.
  • Prepare people for some negative changes (e.g. mirroring now becomes most useful in Windows Enterprise Edition only).
  • Discuss issues of migrating / upgrading from current editions.
Speaker Bio: Aaron is a senior consultant for SQL Sentry, Inc, makers of performance monitoring and event management software for SQL Server, Analysis Services, and Windows. He has been blogging at sqlblog.com since 2006, focusing on manageability, performance, and new features; tweets as @AaronBertrand; and speaks frequently at user group meetings and SQL Saturday events.

Title: AppFabric Cache and SQL Server 2008
Speaker: Todd Robinson
Category: Performance
Level: 200
Abstract: With all the hype about NoSQL going around in the SQL community its about time we looked at a Microsoft's distributed cache-aside solution, AppFabric Cache. In this session we will briefly go over what AppFabric Cache is, what it can and cannot do, as well as some of the compelling features that make it a complimentary product to SQL Server. We will go over some real-world examples on how AppFabric Cache can co-exist with SQL Server and increase performance. In addition, we will compare the speed of the AppFabric Cache in comparison to SQL Server 2008 in both queries and inserts/updates. This chalk-talk will go more in-depth into some of the information presented in the SQLCAT Optimizing application workload & performance by leveraging AppFabric Cache along with SQL Server session.
Session Goals
  • Educate users on what NoSQL is and what it is primarily used for.
  • Show users AppFabric Cache, Microsoft's distributed caching platform which competes with other NoSQL solutions.
  • Show users that AppFabric Cache is not a replacement for SQL Server, rather a supplemental upgrade to increase performance and scalability.
Speaker Bio: Todd Robinson has been working with SQL Server since the 6.0 release. He currently works for Travelport as a Sr. SQL Server Database Developer focusing on high transaction volume systems in the travel industry. Prior to his role at Travelport, he was an independent consultant for DevSQL, which focused on development and consulting of highly available and scalable systems in the financial, government and telecommunications industries. Todd has been involved as a volunteer with PASS since 2005.

Title: Data Dude for Devs and DBAs - Making Database Development Painless and Productive
Speaker: Robert Cain
Category: Source\Version Control
Level: 200
Abstract: Whether you are a dedicated database developer, or a DBA/.Net Developer for whom database development is a secondary job, Visual Studio Database Developer edition, aka "Data Dude" can be a boon to you. In this session we'll start by reverse engineering an existing database into complete scripts to create the tables, indexes, stored procedures, and more. Deployment strategies will be covered, as well as refactoring and unit testing. Finally we'll look at the powerful data generation capabilities built into "Data Dude".
Session Goals
  • Show attendees how to use "Data Dude" to reverse engineer an existing database, then make changes to that database. Finally demonstrate deployment techniques for updating the target database.
  • Demonstrate the powerful data generation capabilities of Data Dude
  • Show attendees the power of unit testing their databases.
Speaker Bio:  Robert C. Cain is a Microsoft MVP in SQL Development, MCTS certified in BI, and works as a Senior Business Intelligence Architect for ComFrame. He is also a technical contributor to Plurasight Training, and co-author of the book "SQL Server MVP Deep Dives". Robert has over 20 years experience in the IT field, working in a variety of fields ranging from manufacturing to telecommunications to nuclear power. He maintains the popular blog http://arcanecode.com.  

Title: Visual Studio 2010 Database Projects
Speaker: Randy Knight
Category: Source\Version Control
Level: 200
Abstract: Managing DDL scripts has always been one of the biggest challenges facing Database Developers. How do you keep your Development, Test, Stage, and Production Environments in sync? Why aren't databases tightly integrated into source control systems like application code is? Visual Studio 2010 Database projects solve all these problems and more. In this session, we will learn how to use Visual Studio to treat database objects as the first-class citizens they have always been.
Session Goals
  • Define project types, and how to create database projects. Cover SQL Server 2005 & 2008.
  • Define the real power of projects. Demonstrate schema comparisons.
  • Define data generation plans. Review foreign key relationships, and how to use RegEx to create strings that make sense.
Speaker Bio: Randy Knight (MCITP) is an IT Professional who has been working with Microsoft technology for over 20 years, focusing on SQL Server for the last 14. He has worked in a variety of settings, including six years as a Database Architect for Match.com, one of the largest and most successful dot coms.  Randy made a name for himself as a full time SQL/Microsoft Trainer in the 1990's.  He traveled extensively around the country, helping employees of both small and large companies obtain Microsoft and Novell certifications.

Title: SQL Server Storage Engine under the hood: How SQL Server performs I/O
Speaker: Thomas Grohser
Category: Summit Spotlight
Level: 400
Abstract: How is SQL Server really accessing the data and log files on the disk? What's done asynchronous and what's synchronous and what impact does that have on our queries and DML statements. Which impact have features like database mirroring and replication, what's different when SQL Server is starting up.   Which I/O Subsystems (including SSD) are best for which type of data and what's the impact if you choose a different one. Which files can be placed on the same volume and which should not.
Session Goals
  • Understand the different types of IO that are performed and which operations cause them
  • Learn how to select and size a storage Subsystem
  • Understand IO bottlenecks and how to fix them
Speaker Bio: In the last 17 of my more than 23 years as an IT Professional I spent the majority of the time exploring the deeper inner workings of SQL Server and his features while working for entertainment , pharmaceutical and other industry leading companies. The main focus of my work is to architect, plan and provide a reliable, highly available, secure and scalable infrastructure for and with the features of SQL Server. This covers all angles from hardware, network, storage systems, Operating systems, SQL Server configuration and the Data Access Layer of applications; Currently I work at one of the largest SQL Server installations in the world processing hundreds of millions of transactions daily while moving peta bytes of data in a 24x7 environment ; Now its time to share all the findings and the gathered know how with the SQL Server community therefore I started speaking regularly at international conferences in North America and Europe and at local events and work closely with SQLCAT to make sure everyone interested can access the information. Recently I was awarded SQL Server MVP for these activities

Title: T-SQL Code Sins: The Worst Things We Do to Code, and Why
Speaker: Jennifer McCown
Category: Summit Spotlight
Level: 200
Abstract: It's impossible to follow every best practice all the time. "Code sins" are those things we do to our code that are either so horrendous that they can't be borne, or that have such tremendous consequences that your stored procedures wish they'd never been created. Attendees will hear about the most common code sins that make code difficult to read, support, run and extend, and practical strategies for reversing the trend.
Session Goals
  • Identify common bad practices in database development.
  • Identify common-sense solutions to database development bad practices.
Speaker Bio: I'm a SQL Server developer and DBA of over 10 years. I've worked for FedEx, Brinks, and Microsoft, and am currently working for a nonprofit financial institution. My hobbies include code and database optimization, fixing other people's scripts, and long walks with an ice cream cone. I'm the co-designer and administrator of ITBookworm.com and MidnightDBA.com. I write book and product reviews for Bookworm, and make training videos, articles, and blogs for MidnightDBA. My SQL blog is syndicated through SQLServerPedia.com, where I'm a contributor. I live in Dallas with the MVP with the pretty eyes (oh yeah, I said it) and our three so-cute-you-could-eat-em kids. Sean's right: they're growing up way smarter than us. I'm only a lowly orange belt in Kenpo Karate, but on the other hand,I hold a learner's permit to fly a single engine aircraft, so there's that. If they ever come on the intercom and say, "Is there anyone on the plane with flying experience?", then I get to go up to the cockpit.

Title: SQL Tricks
Speaker: A. P. Ward Pond
Category: Tips & Tricks
Level: 300
Abstract: A number of T-SQL coding tricks for improved performance are discussed, and demonstrations of each are provided.
Session Goals
  • Understand the programming tricks and techniques that are presented.
  • Gain comfort in deploying these techniques in business scenarios.
  • Gain further appreciation for the richness and flexibility of the T-SQL programming environment.
Speaker Bio: IT professional since 1978, SQL Server Developer/DBA since 1994. Eleven years' experience as a Senior Application Developer and Technology Architect at Microsoft (1999-2010). Helped design, administer, and present the first four rotations of the Microsoft "SQL Ranger" (now Certified Master) program. SQL Server blogger since 2005 (http://blogs.technet.com/wardpond; http://pondonsql.wordpress.com) Panelist, SQLPASS Summit 2006 Presenter/Instructor, TechEd EMEA 2007, TechEd EMEA 2008

Title: Writing faster queries
Speaker: Tim Chapman
Category: TSQL Advanced
Level: 300
Abstract: Poor database performance is Achilles' heel of any system. Better and faster hardware can improve systems to a certain point. However, for truly great performing systems, there is no substitute for properly written queries and designed indexes. In this all-demo session we'll take a look at some common query performance killers, along with some no so obvious things that we can do to our queries to make them as fast as possible.
Session Goals
  • Deliver a through understanding of common SQL Server query performance killers and the options we have for correcting them.
  • Understand how SQL Server uses the plan cache so that we can construct queries for maximum plan reuse. We'll also look at situations where plan reuse is not the best option for our queries.
  • Cover the importance of factors that are not often taken into account when writing SQL statements, such as statistics, parameters, local variables, table variables, predicate pushing, and windowing functions.
Speaker Bio: Tim Chapman is a SQL Server MVP and MCITP (Development and Administration) originally from Louisville but now resides in Chapel Hill, NC where he works as a database engineer and consultant. Tim has over 10 years of database architecture and administration experience.

Title: Avoid Common Mistakes in T-SQL Programming
Speaker: Alex Kuznetsov
Category: TSQL Fundamentals
Level: 100
Abstract: We shall consider several typical real life examples of poorly written T-SQL, see how and why it breaks, and fix them. We shall discuss some common misconceptions about SQL Server, see how our T-SQL can break because of them, and learn better alternatives.
Session Goals
  • Learn to avoid common mistakes in T-SQL programming.
  • Learn to identify the assumptions that we make when we develop code, and to either eliminate or enforce these assumptions.
  • See how testing and defensive programming help us develop robust high quality code.
Speaker Bio: Alex Kuznetsov is a database developer with more than a decade of experience. Alex has written a book entitled "Defensive Database Programming with Transact-SQL", and contributed to "MVP Deep Dives" and "The Red Gate Guide to SQL Server Team-based Development". He blogs on sqlblog.com and publishes articles on simple-talk.com and devx.com,.


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