Blogging from the PASS Summit Keynote : Day 1
October 12th, 2011
Blogging from the PASS Summit Keynote : Day 1
October 12th, 2011

Before the lights came down, I had already hit what will probably be the highlight of my morning: having a brief conversation with Dr. David DeWitt.

Rushabh Mehta, President, PASS

Rushabh Mehta comes on the stage and welcomes us to PASS Summit 2011. His message: "THIS is community." He invites us to come to the PASS Board of Directors Meet and Greet on Friday to help guide what PASS can do for us (I don't think he expects all of us to attend). He tells us that they've delivered over 430,000 hours of education this year and expanded their membership by over 20,000 members.

Some stats about this year's event: 189 sessions in 5 tracks, with 204 speakers – including 93 MVPs and 11 MCMs. Over 300 first-timers were introduced during the welcome reception last night.

He announces the release of SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Book signings by almost all of the authors are scheduled for today at 1:00 PM in the dining hall, and Friday morning at 7:15 AM in the south lobby. Remember that all of the author proceeds go to the charity Operation Smile.

Ted Kummert, Senior VP, Business Platform Division

The title of Ted's keynote speech: "The New World of Data." SQL Server is the most widely adopted database platform in the world. We also beat Google to the cloud by 18 months. He hints at ColumnStore being added to SSAS, and tells us that Crescent's official name is PowerView. The big announcement: the official name for Denali is SQL Server 2012, and will be released in the first half of next year. This is not the official logo, but it was what I could whip up quickly with limited resources on my laptop:


Repeating my guess from @BrentO's blog post challenge, where he asked us to guess the release date: June 15th. Let me state quite explicitly that that is not an official release date; that is just MY GUESS.

Among other things, this means there are some new hash tags for twitter: #SQL2012 and #PowerView. I'm not sure if I should go back and re-tag all of my blog posts currently tagged with the denali moniker…

Microsoft's overall vision is a consistent platform for managing mission-critical scale, regardless of where your data lives and what type of device you're using. He talks about Big Data, and announces upcoming releases: Apache Hadoop-based distribution for Windows Server and Windows Azure (by end of year), Apache Hive ODBC driver and add-in for Excel (November release), and a JavaScript framework for Hadoop. Boiled down this means you will be able to connect Hadoop to SQL Server and PDW. This may also help close the loop on why Microsoft changed their tune earlier this year with regards to ODBC vs. OLEDB. Eric Baldeschwieler talks about Hadoop, predicting that it will store half the world's data within 5 years. Denny Lee runs a demo of HQL (HiveQL) extracting data from a web log using a Hadoop console in Windows, then using the Hive ODBC driver to connect PowerPivot for Excel to the results.

Someone came on stage to demonstrate how they can connect Azure, Excel and the data marketplace for Contoso frozen yogurt. Little jokes about 5-way "vanilla" joins that just aren't hitting home. Noticeably missing from all of these demos: Management Studio; I, for one, do not plan on switching to Excel. Based on the reactions around me I am being relatively kind about this demo.

Thankfully, Ted comes back on stage and then introduces Amir Netz, Technical Fellow. What a cool title, congratulations Amir! He presents a similar demo of Crescent PowerView that we've largely seen before, with a little more digging and mining. The big news here: they've brought back Export to PowerPoint. He then shows the full PowerView experience on his Windows 7 phone and on an iPad. He tried on a Samsung Galaxy, but it didn't seem to do anything. The basics here are browser-based experiences so that we don't have to code apps for every single type of device.

This is the largest summit in history, and I'm looking forward to a great week!

By: Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a husband, a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him.