In November, hundreds of DBAs, developers and other IT professionals will gather in Seattle, Wash. for the annual Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) summit. So what will be the hot topics at PASS this year?
Check out our PASS 2009 preview below for speaker interviews, product news and more, with details on the key topics that will take center stage at this year's conference.
Moving forward with SQL Server in the cloud
In this exclusive interview, Brent Ozar addresses the concerns most DBAs and developers have about cloud computing, and provides details on how the enhancements to Microsoft's SQL Azure Database could ease those worries.
Catch Brent's PASS 2009 presentation: Yes, I'm Actually Using the Cloud
Are data warehouses made for cloud computing?
Cost and scalability are just a couple of benefits associated with deploying cloud-based data warehouses. Still, issues with transferring data and Microsoft Azure's storage limitations could make some organizations think twice about "data warehousing-as-a-service."
Learn more at PASS 2009: SQL Server BI in the Cloud
Inside Projects Gemini and Madison for SQL Server 2008 R2
Formerly codenamed Gemini, Microsoft's PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint is designed to provide self-service busieness intelligence for organizations. PowerPivot is expected to be a hot topic around the release of SQL Server 2008 R2, along with Project Madison, Microsoft scale-out data warehousing solution.
Learn more at PASS 2009: SQLCAT: Best Practices for PowerPivot for Excel
What else is new with BI in R2? Microsoft's Herain Oberoi discusses some of SQL Server 2008 R2's key business intelligence improvements, including changes to SQL Server Reporting Services and the addition of a new tool -- Master Data Services.
Learn more at PASS 2009: Introducing Reporting Services 2008 R2: Report Builder 3.0 and the new visualization capabilities
More on the next version of SQL Server
SQL Server 28 R2 is set for general availability in early 2010. In this tip, Ross Mistry provides an early overview of some of the key new features and improvements.
Learn more at PASS 2009: Self-Service Analytics with SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008 plays nice with consolidation
We spoke with Rick Heiges from Scalability Experts to learn why SQL Server is traditionally more challenging to virtualize, and how features in SQL Server 2008 have put the DBMS on the path toward simpler consolidation.
Don't miss Rick's PASS 2009 presentation: Don't Wait! Consolidate on SQL Server 2008!
Career-minded DBAs look to the future
A good question for database administrators to ask themselves is "Where is my career going?" Business intelligence is one area with a lot of potential for growth, but it takes more than choosing a specialty to move up in the IT world.
Learn more at PASS 2009: Team Management Crash Course
BI Power Hour
An entertaining and educational BI crash course that will feature demos, various BI tips and techniques -- and (per the description) bad jokes.
T-SQL Tips & Tricks
Who couldn't use more T-SQL know-how? This session will cover advanced T-SQL techniques for SQL Server 2005 and 2008 -- like calculating non-deterministic row numbers and generating a large virtual auxiliary table of numbers -- as well as tips on solving other T-SQL problems.
Automating your Data Warehouse
A real time saver! Explores how automating all aspects of your back-end BI solution can simplify your day-to-day administrative tasks -- but still keep you informed on important statistics .
SSRS in the Enterprise - How to survive with a smile
Aims to answer basic Reporting Services questions and provide practical advice on how to deploy SSRS.
SQL Server Consolidation and Virtualization: Myths, Realities and Best Practices
Examines the various aspects of consolidation and virtualization projects, including which solutions to use, common oversights, and what really happens after you consolidate and virtualize.
What's new in PerformancePoint Services 2010
Provides a look into the latest version of PerformancePoint Services and shows you how to build KPIs, scorecards, reports and dashboards as well as information on migrating from the 2007 corporate management performance system.
Introducing PowerPivot for Excel
Gives a full business and technical background of PowerPivot, Microsoft's newest self services analysis product, formerly code-named 'Gemini'.
Manage Your DBA Career, Don't Let it Manage You
Being successful in your career boils down three things, according to Red Gate's Brad McGehee. See what they are and how you can use them to take control of your future.
SearchSQLServer.com Experts at PASS
Denny Cherry (Awareness Technologies)
Denny is currently one of our most prolific contributors. He's written numerous articles covering a wide variety of SQL Server topics, including performance tuning, high availability and database security. He also maintains a popular blog for DBAs -- SQL Server with Mr. Denny. Check out Denny's presentaion entitled Storage for the DBA at PASS 2009.
Ross Mistry (Convergent Computing)
Ross is a well-known author and speaker within the IT community. Recently he has written a short series on how Microsoft SharePoint and SQL Server work together. He will be hosting two "Notes from the Field" sessions at PASS this year, Securing and Hardening a SQL Server Implementation and Designing a Highly Available SQL Server Infrastructure. You can also follow him on Twitter @RossMistry.
Kevin Kline (Quest Software)
While Kevin no longer contributes regularly to the site, it's not hard to find the content he's left behind. For example, last year he hosted a popular four-part video series on using the Performance Monitor (PerfMon) utility with SQL Server. Kevin currently maintains his own blog, and will be hosting a session on The Ultimate Free SQL Server Toolkit at PASS.