SQLAuthority News – Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) Lunch – SQL PASS Summit, Seattle, 2009

I received few emails regarding where can people meet me at SQL PASS event in Seattle. I am currently in Bellevue attending Itzik Ben-Gan’s class. I am immensely enjoying the class, and I shall post details about the class once it is over.

If you are attending SQL PASS and interested to meet me, I will be present at Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) Lunch. I will be talking on the subject Change Data Capture (CDC). Please note that this lunch is for all of us; moreover, it is not necessary that I will be talking on only subject of Change Data Capture. In fact, I will talk about this subject for few minutes, and then we can discuss on any topic you want to know about. The table will have total of 10 seats (which includes my seating).

We can all have an effective small group conversation on SQL, SQL PASS, and the entire community. You are welcome to join me at lunch. Please read the complete details about the same here.

Thanks a lot Mike Walsh for organizing this event!

Please do join us for lunch!

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Community TechDays in Ahmedabad – A Successful Event – Oct 3, 2009

Community TechDays at Ahmedabad was a great successful event. In fact, this can be considered the biggest event held in Ahmedabad thus far along with community. This event was held by Microsoft and PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server). The goal of this event was to dive deep into the world of Microsoft technologies and get trained on the latest from Microsoft. Well, we could successfully achieve the same and build real connections with Microsoft experts and community members. I suggest you all to register at http://ahmedabad.sqlpass.org or http://gandhinagar.sqlpass.org for future notification of similar events.

This event was attended by more than 250+ attendees at any moment, and a total of 300+ attendees for the entire day. We were very fortunate to have such a large technical attendance during the long weekend. Another reason for the success of this event was the impressive line-up of prominent speakers. Ahmedabad, a “small” city in terms of technology, has proved two times in a row that we have much larger technology community than many other prominent cities in India, or in fact the world.

CTD Attendees

During the session, the hall was jam-packed and with no vacant seats. We are thankful to all those volunteers who offered their seats to the attendees. I am also proud of my UG members who have worked day and night to ensure that this event is a successful one. If you want to be part of UG, please leave a comment here or mail me.

The major attraction of this event was the sessions from Vinod Kumar – Microsoft Evangelist, who is known for his famous SQL site http://extremeexperts.com. UG members of Ahmedabad were looking forward for this session from a long time. The entire SQL Community knows Vinod for his top-notch SQL Sessions. However, while we were deciding the agenda, he suggested that as Jacob Sebastian and myself are local SQL Experts, we should conduct the SQL Session in Ahmedabad. Instead of conducting an SQL Session, he decided to conduct a session on Windows 7 and Office 2010.

Well, I must say that it was a great session! Vinod’s session, which was initially planned for 2 hours, had to be continued after the stipulated time because the attendees would not let him go. This excellent session, which went on for 3 hours, was very well received and none of the attendees moved from their seats. In fact, to end the session, Vinod had to promise everyone that he will be visiting Ahmedabad again.

Vinod Kumar
Vinod Kumar
Vinod Kumar

The excellent morning session by Vinod was followed up by two back-to-back SQL sessions. The first Session was conducted by Pinal Dave (myself), and the subject was very well received. I had presented on the subject – ‘SQL Server – The Other Side of Index’; it was really interesting to explain this subject. Professionally, I have been working for SQL Server optimization and query tuning for a long time, and I have created this session from my real world experience. Quite often, I have seen developers with a wrong understanding of an Index and its utilization. I explained four major concepts of the Index in my session.

Pinal Dave
Pinal Dave at Community Tech Days

My session was followed by another most awaited session of the day, which was conducted by Jacob Sebastian, who is an SQL Server MVP and also my friend. He presented the session on a very unique subject. Jacob talked about ‘The Best Practices for Exception Handling and Defensive Programming in Microsoft SQL Server’. This session was the most interactive session of the day. If you have missed this session, then you have surely missed the most interesting session. Jacob talked about so many different myths of proper coding and transaction error handling. He also talked about different techniques that can defend the developer for future errors or improper coding.

Jacob Sebastian
Jacob Sebastian and Vinod Kumar

This session was followed by very active Prabhjot Singh Bakshi, an MCT. Prabhjot’s session was about .NET Framework 4.0. The .NET Framework 4.0 works side by side with the .NET Framework version 3.5 SP1. Applications that are based on the earlier versions of the .NET Framework will continue to run on that version. Only a subset of functionality is shared by all versions of the .NET Framework.

Prabhjot Singh Bakshi

Usually, for such events, the post-lunch sessions will have fewer crowds than those in morning sessions. Surprisingly, here we had a large number of SQL enthusiasts attending this event throughout the day. At the end of the session, we had more than 300+ attendees. There were many attendees who waited outside the hall in order to converse with the speakers. I am very much thankful to all the attendees who made this event a great success.

Pinal and Vinod Kumar
CTD Attendees

I also would like to thank two more people who were not present at the session, but without their continuous support and help, this event would not have materialized: Pradipta Sharma of Microsoft, who was in charge of this event, and Ashwin Kini, who coordinated this event with utmost dedication. Ashwin and Pradipta, thanks a lot for your support!

Overall, this was the biggest and brightest community event in the history of Ahmedabad.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – SQL Server 2008 – The Other Side of Index – Live Presentation in Ahmedabad

Community Tech Days are here Tomorrow in Ahmedabad on Oct 3, 2009. I will be presenting the session ‘SQL Server 2008 – The Other Side of Index’. I will be available there whole day if you want to meet and discuss SQL. I will be starting my session with following cartoon. You will have to attend the session in person to see what I am going to cover in the session.

I suggest you do not miss session of Vinod Kumar and Jacob Sebastian. They are technology rock stars. You can read about them in following posts.

SQLAuthority News – Community Tech Days – Oct 3, 2009 – SQL Server 2008 – The Other Side of Index

SQLAuthority News – Community Tech Days Oct 3, 2009 – Ahmedabad

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Community Tech Days – Oct 3, 2009 – SQL Server 2008 – The Other Side of Index

Microsoft Community Tech Days are here! Dive deep into the world of Microsoft technologies at the Community TechDays and get trained on the latest from Microsoft.

Community Tech Days are coming to Ahmedabad on Oct 3, 2009. I will be presenting the session ‘SQL Server 2008 – The Other Side of Index’. I will be talking about the other side of Index where we will be thinking out of the typical way of creating Indexes. Take a look at the following common conversation.

Person 1: My Query is running slow.
Person 2: How about create an index on it?
Person 1: Good point!

Every time I listen to such conversations, I sense a lack of complete understanding on how the Index affects performance. I will be starting the session with the above mentioned conversation and will continue to explain how index and performance are related. We will not talk about the regular creation of index but will explore the different sides of Index. We will also discuss about common concepts that are related to index, such as deadlock, execution plan, indexed view, and few other issues. I assure you that this whole session will be a two-way interaction between the attendees and me.

Again, we will have a lot of interesting demos, examples and conversations. If you have not registered for this event, I suggest that you do the same right away.

Please note that there is no video recording of this event or live telecast. This event should be attended in person.

I am not only attending this event to deliver my tech session, but also to listen to two of my colleagues.

I am an avid listener of Vinod Kumar’s sessions and I make sure that I do not miss any of them. I always feel that he is capable of instilling his passion in all who listen. He is well known for his community site ExtremeExperts.com and also is the top evangelist from Microsoft. He will be presenting two excellent sessions. I am looking forward to listen both the sessions – Tips and Tricks with Office 2010 and Windows 7 – A Dream Operating System for IT Professionals.

Jacob Sebastian is an SQL Server MVP and also my friend. We work together on all the community-related aspects. We are leaders of Ahmedabad SQL Server User Group and Gandhinagar SQL Server User Group. Jacob is going to speak at PASS Global Summit in November 2009. He will be presenting an excellent session on the Best Practices for Exception Handling and Defensive Programming in Microsoft SQL Server.

I insist all of you to register for this event to make the maximum use of it. We can meet after the session and talk about some good SQL.

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Business Intelligence Training Roadshow August September 2009

UPDATE : This is FREE training.

I quite often receive request from readers and expert from all over the world if I do any training for SQL Server. Currently I am on Tour of 8 different stats of India and will be training on Business Intelligence Boot Camp.

Here is quick image of the topics, which I am going to cover this boot camp.

Currently, I am schedule to deliver the same course in many of the cities as described below.

Let me know if you are interested in doing similar session at your city or organization and we can arrange one based on my upcoming schedule.

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Two Virtual Tech Days Sessions – Watch it Online

Indias premier online technical event is back again with the 6th Edition of Microsoft Virtual TechDays, scheduled to be held between August 19 -21, 2009. During these three days, you will have an opportunity to deep-dive into latest Microsoft Technologies and get a resolution to your most puzzling technical problems directly from the Technology Experts.

I will be presenting two of the SQL Server Sessions on second day of the event on August 20th, 2009.

SQL Server 2008: High Availability with SQL Server 2008 – “When, what where and how?
Timing: 10:30am-11:45am
Often in implementing High-Availability (HA) options with SQL Server we have seen people confuse it with DR options. This sessions brings out the practical things to consider using HA options and some of the core features introduced with SQL Server 2008 which makes some of the HA options so compelling for Enterprises to use. HA options can be used in various mix-and-match flavors and this session shows how a combination can get compelling architectures one can implement.

SQL Server 2008 – Performance tuning – Learn the techniques of the master for server tuning
Timing: 2:15pm-3:30pm
If your system has a performance problem, how do you know whether the problem lies in the application or the database? You need a tool that will let you view interactions between the application and the database, and that’s where Microsoft SQL Server Profiler and a number of other tools comes in. In this webcast, we’ll take a look at some common problems (with CPU, Memory, Network, Storage etc) and teach you how to analyze those tricky performance problems that lie somewhere between the application and the database but the components that surround them.

Do not wait and register today!

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Authors Visit – K-MUG TechEd Trivandrum on June 27, 2009

K-MUG organized TechEd Trivandrum on 27th June, 2009. They even launched an official PASS Chapter in Trivandrum. The complete report of this event is here. This event like TechEd in Ahmedabad,  was a huge success and saw a huge number of attendees from all over India. Jacob Sebastian and Pinal Dave had presented two solid SQL Sessions and created lots of buzz about Microsoft. The event saw many wonderful speakers.I really appreciate the state-of-the-art facility at K-Mug and the amazing crowd brimming with enthusiasm. You can check out K-MUG event page for further information.

I really want to thank two people in particular for making the very first TechEd Trivandrum a grand success – 1) Sreejumon – the Founder and the President of Kerala Microsoft User group and 2) Binoy K – the Vice President of K-MUG.

Let us go over few interesting details about the event.

  • Pinal Dave explained about PASS Chapters and its benefits. He gave a memorable welcome note to New PASS chapter leaders and the attendees.
  • Jacob Sebastian inaugurated K-Mug PASS chapter.
  • Pinal Dave commenced the event with the very first SQL Session of ‘SQL Server Best Practices’.
  • Jacob Sebastian gave a brilliant session on ‘SQL Logical Query Execution and Optimization Tips’
  • Pinal Dave was called again to give a Demo on ‘Windows 7′ – which came as a surprise to everyone including Pinal. But Pinal made it a real fun by making people laugh while he smoothly and quickly covered all the features of Windows 7 unbelievably in 10 mins!
  • Jacob Sebastian gave away his book “The art of XSD” to the best participant of the event.
  • Some of the renowned speakers from all around India were present at the event.

Swami Vivekanand has always been my inspiration and I have always wanted to go to that place where he practiced meditation. I was lucky enough to visit Vivekanand Rock at Kanya Kumari during this trip to Kerala. One more interesting thing which I managed to do in this trip was reading a very useful book The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities (Rational Guides) (Paperback) by Greg Low..

Here are few more photos of the same event.

Pinal Dave at TechED on Road Trivendrum
Pinal Dave Presenting SQL Server Best Practices
Pinal Dave Presenting
Jacob Sebastian
Pinal Dave
Pinal and Jacob
Pinal, Binoy and Jacob
K-Mug Speakers and Leaders
Vivekanand Rock at Kanya Kumari

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Authors Visit – DotNet Buzz Delhi TechEd Delhi on July 11, 2009

DotNet Buzz Delhi is organizing TechEd Delhi on July 11, 2009. Not just this, they are launching an official PASS Chapter in Delhi. The Agenda of the event is here and if you are around Delhi do not miss the opportunity to be a part of this upcoming great event. If you are keen to know what this event holds in store for you then read about TechEd in Ahmedabad, which saw a huge number of attendees and was a grand success.  Jacob Sebastian and Pinal Dave had presented two solid SQL Sessions and created lots of buzz about Microsoft.

I will be at TechEd and will present a session on ‘SQL Server Best Practices’. This session will mainly focus on SQL Server best practices that are not commonly known. There is a huge gamut of information which can drastically enhance the performance of a system, but these are not widely known to users. I will share with you all those brilliant tips through demo to help to develop clear idea.

Jacob Sebastian, my friend and a SQL Server MVP, will also be there to support this event. He will present a session on ‘Logical Query Execution Flow’ where he will discuss how a given T-SQL Query is processed and executed. A comprehensive understanding of the query execution flow will help you solve several common problems and will help you answer a number of baffling questions that you often come across.

Again, those of you who have requested for SQL Server Cheat Sheet, I will have one copy for all of you who will attend this event.

Register for this grand event by clicking here.

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Book Review – The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities (Rational Guides)

The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities (Rational Guides) (Paperback)
by Greg Low

Short Review : A Great, one-of-its-kind book for everybody who is interested in building technical user community. There is no other book written on this subject but after this comprehensive book no further reading will be required.

Link to Amazon

Detailed Review :

This is for the first time in my book review, instead of talking about the book or author, I will introduce myself in a couple of lines to explain why and how this book is helpful to those interested in building community. I am a Microsoft MVP and the founder of SQLAuthority.com. I am actively involved with Technical User Group Community  all over the world and have been helping many user groups to start, grow and continuously expand successfully. I am helping user groups in capacity of their mentor to overcome any obstacles they face while running the user group.

Author Greg Low is the most experienced person when it comes to community and people. He is a Microsoft Regional Director as well as mentor for Solid Quality Australia. For over a decade, he organized several Queensland User Groups. Greg is looked upon for guidance when User Groups are in need of the most appropriate advice. He is a very renowned person in technical community and does not need any further introduction.

This book focuses on the most important lessons learned by Greg over decades of involvement in technical communities. It provides practical advice on establishing, sustaining and growing these communities. This books is focused on helping user group leaders to deal with any potential pitfalls and contains workaround as well. The book is not limited to only user group leaders. In fact, this book is for everybody who is interested in community. If you are already a member of a community, this book is a perfect guide to help you get the most out of your membership.

The first chapter, which is appropriately named as – “People, Not Technology,” sets the pace and keeps up the concept live till the end of the book. In community, staying in focus is very important for people as everything revolves around it. No matter how knowledgeable  or renowned a person is in the domain of technology, if he is not a people’s person, he cannot become an integral part of community and can never grow. For any technology to survive, support from people is required. Community provides combined power of people to lend strong support to community.Throughout the book, this key concept is cherished and explored.

Greg talks about two very important challenges for any technical community. 1) Finding Speaker and 2) Finding Operational Funds. If these two things are done appropriately the heart of any community, which is “Finding People,” comes to shape on its own. I run few User Groups and they are growing tremendously. Recently, we have been discussing about lots of legal issues. That was the prime reason why I chose to read this book. After reading this book through and through, I presented the valuable ideas from this book to my fellow leaders , and we all agreed on them right away. The rich experience that Greg  shares with his readers can effectively  solve their problems. Because of this book, we were no longer required to spend money on lawyer and instead we will now divert that fund toward our scholarship program.

Each chapter of this book is build to stand alone and it covers the subject with sufficient breadth. I really liked the real-life examples from Greg, where he talks about his friends, fellow MVPs, SQL Server Groups Leaders and other important people of community. As each chapter is written to have independent read, same topics have been covered  twice. But what I liked about it is that same subject conveys different meaning when it is presented in a different consent. This particular aspect of the book, makes it a genuine must-read book.

One negative aspect of this book is that a very important checklist of the book is only given to those who will register online. If you have a friend who owns this book and has already  registered online, you can ask that friend to pass this important stuff to you. One more thing, I would like to request Greg to include his latest learning from  his experience as a Global Community Development of PASS, in the next version of his book. I am sure that more information about international technical user groups can be now included.

Rating : 5 Stars

Summary : A must-have book for everybody who is involved with technical community in any capacity. This is a unique book on this subject.

PS : I read this book while I was traveling from Kerala to Gujarat after attending a TechEd Event.

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – TechEd on Road Ahmedabad June 20, 2009 – An Astounding Success

TechEd on Road Ahmedabad

In India, TechEd was held in Hyderabad in the month of May. You can read myTechEd summary article here. A similar event will be organized in 10 major cities in India.

Ahmedabad saw its first TechEd on Road and it was wholeheartedly welcomed by technology enthusiasts. The event was held at Rock regency, in the heart of Ahmedabad on June 20, 2009. We had attendees traveling over 500 miles to attend the event. We had attendees from Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Kerala, Baroda, Himmatnagar, Rajkot, among other cities from India. It was a joyous and overwhelming experience for me to see them travel all the way from different parts of India to participate in TechEd event. Hats Off to you all!

TechEd event was attended by 200+ attendees. One of the reasons why this event had created lots of anticipation, which eventually lead to oversubscribed event, was two back to back SQL sessions by SQL Server MVPs. Pinal Dave and Jacob Sebastian; both are renowned for their technical sessions and their unique style of presentation.

Scroll down at the end of this article for photographs of the event.

Technical Sessions

The Official time to commence the event was at 1:45 PM but we had attendees pouring into the hall since 12:00 PM. We held a special session for attendees who came in early to keep them engaged. We provided them the opportunity to win loads of gifts while they waited for the official sessions to start. I must express special thanks to our event coordinator Dipen Shah, a bright young man who has just graduated as a Computer Engineering from a prestigious engineering collage for his excellent quiz master skills. It’s great to see that next generation has so much passion for technology.

The most awaited event started sharp at 1:45 PM with Keynote where in the beginning Dipen explained what is TechEd and why this event is held. Pinal Dave known for his distinctive humorous style, started the keynote from the history of Microsoft Windows and the history of SQL Server. It was a 15-mins session where everybody thoroughly enjoyed and learned the root of technology and how it evolved with changing times. All the attendees enthusiastically participated during the keynote by Pinal Dave, and lots of gifts were given away. Jacob Sebastian picked up the keynote by Pinal Dave and continued the session. Pinal explained the history while Jacob explained the future. He explained how Microsoft is doing in terms of beyond relations and on other technological fronts. The audience really enjoyed learning about how technology progressed and how is it going and growing.

Jacob’s remark “ SQL Server being now 21 years old and can get married” created a riot of laughter!

The first session was by Pinal Dave on SQL Server Best Practices.

The second session was by Jacob Sebastian on Understanding Query Execution Flow and Optimization Tips.

If you want to know more about the technical details for these two sessions, then do not wait for my blog article. Attend our next user group meeting, which will be announced soon. The same session will be delivered by these two experts on request. Here, I can only say that these two sessions were very well appreciated by the attendees and everybody was extremely happy to be a part of this event.  The event lived up to everybody’s expectations!

Event Sponsors

I must thank all my sponsors for their support – Microsoft, PASS, Solid QualityMentors, Digicorp, Quest and Excellence Infonet. Ahmedabad is fast catching up as a technology hub and growing very fast. We got our registration full in less than 36 hours. We opened up stand by tickets and which were full by 100%.

When I expressed my situation to Rushabh Mehta of Solid Quality India and told him that the event is oversubscribed by 200% on the day prior to the event, he right away told me that he does not want anybody from the community to turn away from door disappointed and miss the wonderful opportunity to learn from this event. Rushabh promised to cover all additional costs to accommodate the additional attendees. Not only this, he sponsored SQL Server Cheat Sheets for all the attendees. Rushabh, special thanks to you! Because of your support we were able to accommodate everybody who wanted to attend this event.

Arya Events did a wonderful job of making this large scale event a very smooth flowing event. There were no queues and no claustrophobic feelings. We hope to have them for all of our future events. All the graphic designs and logistics were provided by Digicorp – a vibrant young company from Ahmedabad. USB drives were provided by Excellence Infonet.

Miscellaneous Details

  • Pinal Dave got awarded for being the winner of T-SQL Challenge by Jacob Sebastian.
  • New book of Jacob Sebastian – “The Art of XSD” was available in print.
  • SQL Server Cheat Sheets were very much in demand.
  • We ordered 50 more chairs while the event was going on, as we ran out of them again (this is third time in row – when we needed more chairs)
  • .NET MVP Kaushal Parik attended and encouraged every participant.
  • Four directors of Digicorp – Abhishek, Nachiket, Kuntal and Sanket were present at the event to give their support.
  • Ritesh Shah of SQLHub performed really well and answered almost all the questions and won the highest number of gifts.
  • Mahesh Dhola announced his next event.
  • Kaushal Bhavsar Microsoft Student Partner was present throughout the event.


This event had so many giveaways that almost all the attendees got something. One of the attendees told me that he received 7 goodies today. Well, undoubtedly it was fun to share some of the nice things with all attendees.

  • 18 T-shirts
  • 3 Solid Quality Learning Polo Premium Shirts
  • 9 USB drives
  • 10 stress balls
  • 3 technology books
  • 33 high quality pens
  • 300 SQL Server Cheat Sheets
  • 200 Query Execution Flow Chart
  • 200+ SQLAuthority.com and BeyondRelations.com Stickers


TechEd On Road Ahmedabad

TechEd On Road Ahmedabad

Pinal Dave at TechEd on Road Ahmedabad

Pinal and Jacob

Pinal Dave from SQLAuthority.com

Jacob Sebastian from BeyondRelational.com

Pinal Dave at TechEd on Road Ahmedabad

Jacob Sebastian at TechEd on Road hmedabad

Dipen Shah (Microsoft Student Partner)

Dipen Shah (Microsoft Student Partner)

Pinal and Kaushal (MVP)

Pinal and Kaushal (MVP)

Pinal and Ritesh (SQLHub)

Pinal (SQLAuthority.com), Aryaman (Arya Events), Jacob (BeyondRelational.com)

Pinal (SQLAuthority.com), Aryaman (Arya Events), Jacob (BeyondRelational.com)

Nupur and Pinal – SolidQ and SQLAuthority Crew

Please note: I have a few SQL Server stickers as well as SQL Server Cheat Sheets still left with me. If you want them then please send me email at pinal ‘at’ sqlauthority.com with your name, address and telephone number.

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)