The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

February Board Meeting Recap

We hosted our first in-person PASS Board meeting of 2020 in Kirkland, Washington, from February 3-4. This was also our first in-person meeting with newly appointed Board members Mindy Curnutt, Melody Zacharias, and Hamish Watson. We look forward to their experience and insights as we continue to work together on the Board.

To kick off the meeting, we reiterated our commitment to our FY 2020 priorities and focusEducational Content, Accessibility, and Engagement. These pillars provide us with a strong foundation to grow our organization, and will allow us to pivot as needed in the future to support our membership.

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#SQLLove Story


While people attend PASS Summit for many different reasons, including the fantastic speakers or opportunities to network, most don’t come expecting to attend a wedding.

Tamera Clark and Kerry Tyler started dating after meeting at Purdue University in Indiana. Both working as data professionals, they both dreamed of the day where each of their respective companies would pay their registration fees to attend PASS Summit. They started an inside joke saying “it’s all fun and games until you go to PASS Summit,” and told one another that if they ever got the opportunity to attend the conference, they would get married there. It was October 2011, when they finally got their chance.

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How to Pass a List of Values Into a Stored Procedure

Say we have a stored procedure that queries the Stack Overflow Users table to find people in a given location. Here's what the table looks like:

And here's what my starting stored procedure looks like:

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Handling Flexible Search Needs Using Stored Procedures and Dapper


Data access from applications has traditionally followed one of two routes: either using stored procedures or using ORMs. Both have their advantages and drawbacks. In this article, we look at how to handle flexible searching needs using the stored procedure approach.


Traditionally, even systems that perform data access only through stored procedures face challenges when it comes to searching data. While simple CRUD is easy, searching on multiple fields can lead to one of several suboptimal solutions. Developers may introduce a stored procedure for each search combination – this often happens when a system evolves its search capabilities – or they may introduce branching logic to existing stored procedures, or they may decide to introduce an ORM just for searching, such as Entity Framework or LINQ-to-SQL.

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PASS Summit: A Big Part of My Life

I attended my first PASS Summit in Seattle in 2003 after about eighteen months in my job as a DBA. SQL Server Central had a post about a price increase coming up for Summit, and I showed the information to my manager not really thinking she would approve. Attending the conference meant a week away from the office as well as the expense of the conference and travel so I was thrilled when she said yes.

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What’s the Secret to Long-Term Career Success for Technologists?

The US Department of Defense spends massive amounts of money every year on research for ways to improve leadership, team cohesion, and goal achievement. That makes a lot of sense, of course, because there are few organizations where failure in these areas have a greater potential for loss of lives. One fascinating area of research set out to answer the question “Among cadets at the DoD’s flagship universities, what metric is the best indicator that they will go on to become generals/admirals?”

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Filling a Vacant Board Seat

I wanted to share a change to the composition of our current PASS Board. Jennifer Moser has resigned from her role as a community elected Director-at Large on the Board and this resignation has now taken effect.

When a Director-at Large seat becomes vacant outside of a standard election cycle, the PASS Bylaws indicate that the Board of Directors may appoint a candidate for up to one year, by a majority vote, to fill the remainder of the term until it can be added to a general election.

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Azure Cognitive Services

In the first article of this two-part series, we briefly introduce Azure cognitive services Text Analytics API. Using the example of a team health survey, we walked through the steps of:

  • Creating Azure Cognitive services resource,
  • Loading the raw data into Power BI,
  • Creating and Invoking Custom Functions in Power BI, to extract key phrases and generate sentiment scores from raw text,
  • Saving the Key phrases and sentiment scores as new columns to the data table loaded in Power BI.

At the end of the first article, your Power BI Desktop Data Pane should have a table with 6 fields. The fields “Period”,” Manager”,” Team” and “Response” are from the raw data file. The fields “KeyPhrases” and “SentimentScore” are added and populated by the steps in we took in the first article.

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A Game of Hierarchies: Graph DB with SQL Server 2019

Graph DB, a feature for the SQL Server relational database engine was introduced in version 2017. With this addition Microsoft made it very easy to maintain and query graphs via enhancements to T-SQL and to allow access to the graph in combination with “normal” tables.

Before we take a look at new features available with SQL Server 2019, let’s take a look at what a graph is and how you can create a graph in SQL Server 2017.

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How to Run a SQL Server Job Using Power Apps and Flow


The introduction of Power Platform tools addresses a common issue for BI developers: giving more interactivity to end-users. Now, using Power Apps it is possible to write-back values directly to a SQL Server table, simulate what-if scenarios, and so on. Your users can finally “press a button” and make something happen.

In this article I want to show you how to use Power Apps and Flow for running a SQL Server job, something that I always missed. In such a case, you can allow your users to update a small amount of data on-demand.

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