Summing up the PASS Summit 2016

20161031_131132.jpgThis year I didn’t write my usual daily blog posts during the PASS Summit 2016 as I felt it to be bit too much work with the long days and bit of a jet lag with the 10 hour time difference. Instead I decided to write a post summarizing my experience of the event. Every year, when deciding on what pre-con sessions to take and what regular sessions to attend to I try to think of a theme. This year I decided to go with Big Data and Analytics, as that’s an area of Microsoft Data Platform I’m not terribly familiar with. It was also a good choice because with SQL Server 2016 we’re seeing a huge number of improvements on technologies involved with these topics and there were quite a few sessions regarding these.

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Time travelling with SQL Server

Time machineOne of the new interesting features in SQL Server 2016 is the system-versioning with a catchy name, Temporal Tables. The name of the feature offers a hint to its purpose, to collect and to keep historical information about the data changes inside the database over a period of time. Instead of having just the latest data, we now have a way to know what it has been in any previous point in time. The most obvious use case for Temporal Tables is auditing, or at least it is to me, but they can be used for other purposes as well. Some examples are going back in time in case you need to perform a data recovery from an error or a data change operation gone bad, or you might want to use it for reporting purposes.

There are few things about the Temporal Tables that are good to know. First of all the work needed to keep track of the changes is done by the database engine when the system-versioning feature is enabled. Another thing some of you might appreciate is that the feature is available also in Standard Edition. And finally my favorite, it’s actually rather easy to start using the system-versioning as we will discover shortly.

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SQL Server tool improvements

While there’s plenty of new and exciting features coming with SQL Server 2016, Microsoft has also worked hard on improving the delivery of their SQL Server tools. Previously figuring out the correct tools or what version to install could be more than little confusing, but no more!

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Few thoughts from the Data Driven SQL event

Just finished watching the Data Driven event that was broadcasted live from New York earlier today. As expected there was a lot of information about SQL Server 2016 and quite a few visitors telling how their companies used Microsoft SQL Server in their daily business. And these were some big businesses, having impressive amounts of data and transactions to handle. With SQL Server 2016 Microsoft is giving us a feature packed and complete data platform to work with.

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PASS Summit 2015: Conference Day 3

This post comes a bit late as our last day in Seattle went on bit longer than expected, but for very positive reasons. We had an ad hoc gathering of Finnish PASS Summit attendees and despite the fact that it was very last minute setup, we got pretty much everyone there. The evening itself was hosted by Marko Hotti, one of the Senior Product Managers at Microsoft who moved to Seattle a while back and is now working on the SQL Server 2016 release. And while there was some (or a lot) talk about SQL Server and the PASS community, we did also get to relax bit after a long week.

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PASS Summit 2015: Conference day 1

The first day of the actual conference was exciting. The Day 1 Keynote by Joseph Siroshi (Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Data Group) was something that I found especially interesting as the examples of data strategy were derived from the healthcare industry, which happens to be the same industry I’m involved with. The funny thing was that we were discussing how technology will shape the future of healthcare industry during the breakfast. And then, less than hour later we’re shown how analytics provided by the Microsoft Data Platform can analyze decoded human genome to provide list of possible health problems. How crazy is that?

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SQL Server 2016 and Ignite On Demand

ignite_bannerMicrosoft Ignite is currently happening in Chicago, IL and there’s already been a some rather interesting news coming in. For us who work with the SQL Server the datasheet for SQL Server 2016 release is now available online. I spotted some rather delicious improvements listed there, especially when it comes to high availability and security (multiple synchronous replicas, round robin load-balancing, always encrypted data and tables “stretched” to cloud!). It was also announced that the public preview for SQL Server 2016 will be coming available this summer.

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