SQLAuthority News – Statistics and Best Practices – Virtual Tech Days – Nov 22, 2010

I am honored that I have been invited to speak at Virtual TechDays on Nov 22, 2010 by Microsoft. I will be speaking on my favorite subject of Statistics and Best Practices.

This exclusive online event will have 80 deep technical sessions across 3 days – and, attendance is completely FREE. There are dedicated tracks for Architects, Software Developers/Project Managers, Infrastructure Managers/Professionals and Enterprise Developers. So, REGISTER for this exclusive online event TODAY.

Statistics and Best Practices
Timing: 11:45am-12:45pm
Statistics are a key part of getting solid performance. In this session we will go over the basics of the statistics and various best practices related to Statistics. We will go over various frequently asked questions like a) when to update statistics, b) different between sync and async update of statistics c) best method to update statistics d) optimal interval of updating statistics. We will also discuss the pros and cons of the statistics update. This session is for all of you – whether you’re a DBA or developer!

You can register for this event over here.

If you have never attended my session on this subject I strongly suggest that you attend the event as this is going to be very interesting conversation between us. If you have attended this session earlier, this will contain few new information which will for sure interesting to share with all.

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

SQLAuthority News – SQL Server Performance Optimizations Seminar – Grand Success – Colombo, Sri Lanka – Oct 4 – 5, 2010

I have been on world tour on SQL Server Performance Optimizations Seminar. The latest seminar was conducted in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Oct 4 – Oct 5. I had previously written about this event over SQLAuthority News – SQL Server Seminar at Colombo Full. This event was oversubscribed and we could not accommodate the last few nominations due to the restrictions of the place. We had total of 35 attendees and the event offered lots of fun. The attendees were a perfect combination – all had few years of experience and many of them were responsible for performance for their server. There were few attendees who were just there to know if SQL Server can deliver performance and what are its tricks.

Colombo Beach

Colombo Beach

Warm Welcome

The event was very much welcomed and I received a lot of good feedback. In this event, only few slides were presented – the rule of thumb I had was that I will show only one slide per hour and remaining time I will spend with attendees with real world scenarios and examples. During the two day sessions, we went through many examples, nearly 30 different performance tuning tricks, and tools and understood how performance is often misunderstood with scalability.

SQL Server Seminar Group Photo

SQL Server Seminar Group Photo

What really caught my attention is that many of the attendees thought creating Indexes is the way to improve performance. I had fun time to bust the myth of indexes, and later on, we learned the real trick of how we can improve the performance using indexes.

SQL Horoscope

As attendees were really interested in their current scenario, we did something very interesting during the training. I provided them a couple of queries on the very first day. On the second day, they brought the query results back to me. Based on these query results, we tried to play game where I told them what their server’s bottleneck is and what is it used as. The game went for nearly 10 minutes and we had fun time talking to attendees regarding their server.

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Real World Scenario

The real world is often quite different from the theoretical world. The issues which we learn in classroom are not the same when we deal with the live production server. I focused on real world scenario and asked attendees to bring their valuable queries and configurations. Together, we discussed about their server and tried to help them out with the next logical steps to improve their server. This was a learning experience for me as well. Every server is new and every server has its own tale to share.

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Excellent Participants

No matter how good sessions are, without proper interactive conversations and questions, any session can become boring. As I said earlier, the attendees were very much interested in the subject itself and they really wanted to learn the tricks. Well, I wanted to share my tricks too. It was perfect match – which lead to overall great feedback of the event. I received many emails after the session, I would like to share one here.

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Feedback

Here are some of the feedbacks received on my training in Sri Lanka.

“Many thanks for the email – your seminar was one of the best sessions I attended in my life. You made it so attractive and kept us at the edge of the seat every minute.”

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

“A BIG THANKS to your training, we all are at office and just experienced the first great benefit of your training right now. There was a major issue for almost a month which we discussed with you yesterday where the Java program and the SP tried to access the same table and Java program get stuck. Based on your training we have done some changes to Index & where clause and the problem is sorted out now. Juts now, we have completed. No more table lock and the Java program works fine. Once again thank you very much.”

Well, what else I can say, I am overwhelmed with this interest.

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Pinal presenting SQL Server Seminar

Next Seminar

My next seminar will be conducted in Hyderabad on Nov 27 to Nov 28 (Saturday, Sunday). The location of the seminar is at Best Western Amrutha Castle, 5-9-16, Opp. Secretriat, Saifabad, Khairatabad, Hyderabad. The fee for attending the seminar is Rs. 5,000. If you specify the code ‘SQLAuthority.com,‘ you will quality for 20% discount. Send email to indiainfo@solidq.com and pinal ‘at’ sqlauthority.com to register for the seminar.

You can click here to read more details about seminar.

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

SQLAuthority News – What is an MVP? – How to become an MVP?

There are a lot of basic questions I get that inquires about being an MVP. Some of them include:

  • What is an MVP?
  • How can I become an MVP?
  • Are there any exams needed before becoming an MVP?
  • Does an MVP get paid?
  • Is it compulsory for MVPs to promote Microsoft Technology?

and many more…

To anyone who wants to know more about the above questions I suggest you read the official Frequently Asked Questions.

Today, I want to address the same issue in a different manner. I want to leave the official definition aside, and try to answer the crucial question: “What is really an MVP?”

For me, an MVP is a passionate guy who loves the Microsoft technology and understands it well enough. Well enough is a very broad phrase, but it is the reality for virtually all MVPs. Many MVPs have a great understanding of the technology so they help the Microsoft Product team with feedbacks of a certain product and help that product to be enhanced. Many MVPs are extremely good at the technology and work as individual contributors to help develop products. Many MVPs are heavily involved in the Community through helping spread the word. Many MVPs are book authors and blog owners as well, aiming to spread the technology. Lastly, there are a lot of MVPs who are pretty much aware of the technology’s pros and cons. As they understand the limitations of it, they help others to come up with solutions to compensate the boundaries of the technology.

There are many things I can write about, but if you notice there is one common word in all of the above statements. The common word is “Help“. Every MVP is helping someone else to learn, to grow and to create a better ecosystem for technology. The obvious question is that “What is in it for them?” The answer is also very simple:  they get what we call time satisfaction. But once in a while, people think that becoming an MVP is also a matter of ego. In the programming world, however, there should be no ego involved. You are here today but you may not be here tomorrow anymore. An MVP has a right to be proud of their knowledge and passion centered on technology, but arrogance is a different thing and must not be a trait of an MVP.

Reading this may make you think that you can be an MVP too, having the burning passion about technology and helping others in your organization at the same time. Great point! Honestly, being an MVP does not stop at only helping others or being passionate with technology. Being an MVP is a commitment to one’s self, promising to keep the standard up and continue the passion onwards. I can keep on writing about what makes a person an MVP, but I do not want to be redundant with what my MVP fellows has already said in their own blogs.

Here is an excellent post by Joanthan Kehayias (SQL Server MVP and Book Author). I suggest that you read his blog post entitled: “What is an MVP Anyway?” He has busted common myths about this program and explained well what I wish to write here in details. Our thoughts are very similar. I would like to point out one sentence in that post which appeals to me the most: “I was recognized as an MVP because I do these things; I don’t do these things because I am an MVP.

Another great in-depth article is written by Vijay Raj (Application Setup/Deployment MVP and Great Human Being). He shares his idea on this blog post he called: “How to become an MVP?“, writing in his unique humorous style. I really like how he started the post: “First of all, Most Valuable Professional (MVP) is not a certification; it’s an AWARD! It’s a mode of recognition which Microsoft gives to individuals who are technology experts and most importantly, who play a role and are keen in sharing their expertise with the Community. So if your question is, “I have completed my MCTS or MCAD. What are the next steps towards being a MVP?” You must re-think on your question!”

I hope this blog post gives you a clear idea about what is an MVP.

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

SQLAuthority News – SQL Server Performance Optimization – Seminar Series

I am very glad that I will be presenting my very first seminar training series worldwide. This event is called the Solid Quality DIRECTIONS Seminar Series. I am very fortunate that I am given this opportunity to work under prestigious organizations. I have been with Solid Quality Mentors for more than a year now. I have learned a lot and I have grown a lot through this group. While working for Solid Quality, I have conducted many training events and various consultations projects. I can say that I have collected and kept with me all the wisdom and knowledge related to my passion, SQL. In one of my recent conversations with Rushabh Mehta (Solid Quality India CEO), I realized that I have a chance to share with everybody this wisdom I have learned. For the very same reason, I will present all the things I learned throughout these many years and  compress them into this one major seminar.

The quick schedule for registering here is listed below:

The very first seminar will occur in Chennai. The detailed agenda of this event you can find over here.

The venue for the first training is as follows:

SAVERA HOTEL
146, Dr. Radhakrishnan Road,
Chennai – 600004, India
Phone: +91-44-2811-4700

Agenda of the event

This 2-day seminar will cover the best of the best concepts and practices from popular courses offered by Solid Quality Mentors. Instead of learning theory only, the seminar focuses on providing real world experience by using demos and scenarios derived from customer engagements. The seminar is uniquely structured and well-thought-out. Sessions are discussion- based and are designed to be an interactive gateway between the instructor and the participants for an optimal learning experience. The seminar is intended to be immersion-based where participants will have plenty of opportunities to get deeply involved in the concepts presented by the instructor. The best participants will receive special educational materials from the instructor, as well as further follow ups.

3 Free Registrations

Solid Quality India has announced three free give-away registrations for the first event. To win the free registrations, you have to write a blog post or comment on social media (facebook, twitter etc) as to why you should win the free registrations. If your entry is chosen to be the best one, you will win the free registrations. Once you write your blog post or spread the word in social networking, please leave a comment with the name of the city where you want to win free registrations.

To join the seminars, please drop me an email. My email address is pinal “at” SQLAuthority.com and IndiaInfo “at” SolidQ.com. If you specify SQLAuthority.com in the Title of your email, you will avail a special discount in overall rates on specified price. Yes, a more than 20%, I promise.

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

SQLAuthority News – Why SQL Server is better than any other RDBMS Applications?

Earlier I had announced contest on blog where I gave away two MSDN Subscriptions to person who has provided best comment on the subject of “Why SQL Server is better than any other RDBMS Applications?” I have received tremendous response to the contest. I got many responses, it was extremely difficult to announce the winner and I requested help of two SQL Server MVPs to help me out with the results. Here is the winner of the contest. They really spend good time and wrote about their feeling for SQL Server product. Here is their answers.

I strongly suggest that you bookmark this post as this post can be used in future when you might want to write why SQL Server is better than any other RDBMS application.

Winner #1 HARSHU

SQL Server is like most RDMS systems, a database engine but what make it better than other RDMS systems (especially SQL 2008 onwards) are new features and other bells and whistles it comes with.
Here are the few:

1. Easy integration with Microsoft Operating systems.

2. East integration with world’s most common database: Spreadsheet, Microsoft excel in particular and power pivot has significantly enhanced its value.

3. User friendly interface

4. Easy to create maintenance plans.

5. Integrated Security (windows authentication): This definitely help streamline server access based on Active directory policies and groups.

6. Mixed Authentication: Not only it gives the option to use windows authentication, it allows other applications to authenticate based on username and password

7. Disaster recovery: SQL Server is very easy to restore after a disaster (proper backup and recovery strategy needs to be implemented) as compared to other RDMS. All you need is File system restore followed by system state and then restore databases from backup. I have been involved in DR for a lot systems and doing DR on a SQL Server is much easier than any other RDMS system. Other benefits include Failover Clustering and Transaction Replication

8. Licensing: The licensing structure of SQL Server is much better as compared to other RDMS systems. Other RDMS systems have a very complex licensing structure which comes out to be much costly than SQL Server.

9. SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS): As compare to other RDMS systems tools, SSMS is the best tool for a developer or a DBA.

10. SQL Server Business Intelligence: Business Intelligence in SQL Server has come a long way and has evolved so much. It is one of the best if not the best in the market at the moment.

Since SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Reporting Services comes with the SQL Server license, customer doesn’t need to spend extra money on these additional tools, instead that money can be spend on something else e.g. upgrade SAN, user training.

11. Visualization

12. Administering and Monitoring: SQL Server 2008 R2 has really scored high in its new administration and monitoring tools. It has made the life of a DBA (even accidental DBA) a lot easier.

13. Backup Compression: Even though it is a new feature in SQL Server 2008, it has really helped companies to upgrade to the new version and speeding a lot (if not all) of the backup operations.

14. Data Encryption: SQL Server 2008 provides a lot of encryption options to encrypt data and code. Transparent Data Encryption has really safe guarded some of the crucial data movement operations our company.

Winner #2 SAJID

First upon, thanks for bringing this questions. I had heard lots of arguments comparing one RDBMS with another and believe me the debate never ends.

What we can think is how one RDBMS better than other – one thing must be remember; what you think is good, could be bad per other opinion.

I like SQL Server because of its SIMPLICITY. I learned SQL commands over Oracle (ah! it was too long that I used oracle and never touched it again after being FRIENDLY with SQL :) ).

I like following attributes of SQL Server hence I loved this one… and as I am trying to deep dive into technology I am being passionate lover… :)

1. First thing I liked is as said its SIMPLICITY.

2. Easy Availability– one don’t have to pay huge bucks to make SQL Available.. he can use Express edition available free.

3. Uncomplicated installation process – follows the same standard as of other MS Product like MS-Office etc… that no one need special knowledge of installation process to get ready to use SQL.

4. Can be install on Average system – like few other RDMS, SQL do not have special hardware requirement. so one can be benefited without having his/her system upgraded.

5. User friendly UI. again abide to MS standard for all other application so anyone feel friendly on first visit.

6. Easy navigation through common shortcuts and tool box. I don’t have to remember multiple keys to navigate.. what works in MS-Office / VS etc.. almost works in SQL as well.

7. BOL – help documentation is easily available and more friendly to browse to get the correct help.

8. Perfect match for all level of organizations… small firms to big enterprise to data store.

9. Perfect suite of application – good clubbing and packaging of Database engine, Agent Service, Notification Service, Reporting Service, Analysis Service, Integration Service.

10. Support for Multi- Instance and side by side installation of multiple versions.

11. Enhanced Security

12. Enhanced Optimizer

13. availability for various technologies to support high availability like Log Shipping, Replication, Clustering, Mirroring etc..

14. Easy to tune up, one can easily tune up the performance with help of wizards and additional tool like Profiler etc litle knowledge.

15. Advancement in the technology.. like SQL Azure, CLR integration, DAC, Intellisense (though I didnt like current intellisense but it helps often).

16. Broader community – I like the SQL community, in Fact I have sharpened my skill through this community.. where you can easily catch up with SQL MVP or MS SQL Team. I love dedication you guys shown up in communities. I believe that if someone is in crisis, this community will never let him get down with SQL.

17. non ANSI functions in SQL are similar to other programming languages hence feels comfortable and don’t have to dig more to find the right function that is equivalent in something like in .net.

ah… I never thought I can praise SQL Server in these many ways, still there are lots of things that are poping up in my mind.. like Query Plan and its help and documentation to understand one… like files and file groups are utilized. I remember having problem when one dont know where does the RDBMS technology keeps the data file, but that never happen with SQL… how friendly are the extended procedures and DMO’s…Centralized Server management, Data collection, Resource Governor.. Oh No!!again I found myself in a state of praising each feature delivered by SQL.

Wrapping up as time to be with someone special – SQL Server.

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

SQLAuthority News – MSDN Subscription Giveaway Announced

Last Month received following “NOT FOR SALE” subscription of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN. As a MVP, MCT I already have free subscription to MSDN and TechNet. I plan to give away this free subscription to someone who is need of the same or can use it the best. I have already given away two of the subscription to someone who can really use them. In fact, they have reported me where and how they are using the subscription. This gives me great satisfaction. I have announced one subscription for all of you my reader to win. Top SQL Server Expert and SQL Server MVP Madhivanan also announced to give away one of his subscription to this blog readers looking at the overwhelming response of the contest. The cost of this subscription is around USD 11,899 and I want to specially express my thanks to Madhivanan for his kind gesture.

I have received more than 150 comments on this blog. This was great response. There are some genius replies and it was not possible for me to pick two of the winners from 150 total comments. I ran to my friends and they offered me their help. Before I announce the winner, I would like to announce the judges of this contest. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Jacob Sebastian – SQL Server MVP

Jacob Sebastian a Microsoft MVP (SQL Server) and works with Excellence Infonet as CTO. Excellence Infonet is the Indian unit of a NY based Software Company and builds mission critical applications in sectors such as Health Care, Warehouse Management, Business Intelligence etc. Jacob started his database career in the early nineties with Dbase and then moved to Clipper, Foxpro and finally to SQL Server. He has been working with SQL Server for over 11 years starting with SQL Server 6.5. Jacob is an Internationally acclaimed SQL Server Speaker, Author and Trainier. He maintains the site: http://beyondrelational.com/

Madhivanan – SQL Server MVP

Madhivanan is an MSc computer Science graduate from Chennai, India and working as a Lead Analyst-Project at Ellaar Infotek Solutions Private Limited. He is basically a developer started with Visual Basic 6.0, SQL Server 2000 and Crystal Report 8. As years go on he started working more on writing queries in SQL Server in most of the projects developed in his company. He has some good level of knowledge in ORACLE, MySQL and PostgreSQL as well. He is recently promoted to Assistant Manager in his organization. He maintains the site: http://beyondrelational.com/blogs/madhivanan/

Pinal Dave – SQL Server MVP and Solid Quality Mentors

Pinalkumar Dave is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, Mentor for Solid Quality India and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). He has written over 1400 articles on the subject on his blog at http://blog.sqlauthority.com. He is a dynamic and proficient Principal Database Architect, Corporate Trainer and Project Manager, who specializes in SQL Server Programming and has 7 years of hands-on experience. He holds a Masters of Science degree and a number of certifications, including MCTS, MCDBA and MCAD (.NET). He is also Regional Mentor for PASS Asia. He maintains the site: http://blog.sqlauthority.com

Without further ado here are the wining comments.

Winner #1 HARSHU

Winner #2 SAJID

Winners are requested to contact me by email for their winning MSDN subscription code.

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

SQLAuthority News – Community Tech Days, Ahmedabad – July 24, 2010

Community Tech Days is a series of events in my city. Ahmedabad Community is one of the best communities I have ever come across in this world. People are genius, very kind and very patient. They are not shy to ask any questions and I could see their keen desire to learn and absorb new technology. My special thanks to the Community because without them, this event series would not be possible.

Community Tech Days
Community Tech Days

It rained hard the day before and even on the very day of the event, which led me to think that there would not be much crowd.  But to everybody’s surprise, the strong Community of Ahmedabad showed up with around 300 people at the event. They all lined up in front of the registration and the room was already full. I saw nearly 100 people at the end of the room, standing without chair. I could not go on seeing my fellows standing because this is absolutely unfair. We started 30 minutes later than the planned start time. However, we managed to get extra chairs from the organizations. In the end, everybody was accommodated in the room.

Pinal Dave at Community TechDays
Pinal Dave at Community TechDays

I was the first speaker to give a keynote. After my keynote, I presented my session on Spatial Database. Before I continued discussing my session, I want to introduce one of my MVP friends and .NET genius Dhananjay Kumar. He traveled all the way from Trivendrum (Kerala) to Ahmedabad to present an excellent session on WCF and oData. We were fortunate to have a world class speaker travelling all way here.  I must express my gratitude to Jacob Sebastian as well, since he is my key support in every event that I go to. We always work together.

Dhananjay Kumar and Pinal Dave
Dhananjay Kumar and Pinal Dave

The following note is taken from the blog post of Dhananjay Kumar.

Key Note: 10.15 am to 10.30 am by Pinal Dave

“Welcome Remarks and Key Note by Pinal Dave.”

“’He is a great speaker and people want to listen to him.’  I have been hearing this for so long but for the first time, I got a chance to listen to him. He really gave a perfect opening to the perfect crowd. With his very unique style of speaking, he ignited the audience with excitement ahead in the day. The crowd was almost twice than the seating chairs in the room. But he easily managed everything with the event organizers to put more chairs so that everyone got a seat. He spoke about how Microsoft technology has been changing the day-to-day life of developers and the user as well. He spoke about how the Ahmedabad user group (SQL Server and .Net) is working to help the Community. Then, he introduced the agenda of the day and talked about the speakers. By his unique way of explaining things, the audience got very excited and the stage was set for the day.”

Spatial Database by Pinal Dave
Spatial Database by Pinal Dave

Session #1 Spatial Data Base-The Indexing Story, 10.30 to 11.30 by Pinal Dave

In this session, Pinal Dave talked about Spatial Data Base. If I say that he is a great speaker, then that would not be something new to be spoken about. He was the first speaker of the day and as expected, he gave a great opening. The way he explained the pronunciation of SPATIAL to drawing Monalisa with spatial type was more than awesome. His way of connecting technology to real-time examples was very impressive and very effective, too. His humor between the sessions was really nice. He is a true speaker who can keep the audience awake for the rest of the session.

He explained about

  • Spatial database
  • Why do we need it?
  • Polygons in Spatial type
  • How to find the distance between two cities and many more

Community in Ahmedabad
Community in Ahmedabad

Thanks Dhananjay for the kind words. Right after my session, there came the session of Dhanajay Kumar. He jazzed up the Community with his unique affirmative style. He started very slowly on the subject, making sure that everybody understood this extremely advanced topic, but soon enough he picked up speed. One by one, he started to present very interesting demos. The people loved the session and would not let him go after the session was over.

Dhananjay Kumar Presenting

Dhananjay Kumar Presenting

There were plenty of questions and this young man answered them all. The knowledge and maturity shown by Dhananjay were incomparable. He looks very young because he is indeed still young, but people could not believe that after his session. He got nearly 15 people asking his real age. This was very funny.

Jacob Sebastian presenting
Jacob Sebastian presenting

After Dhanajay’s session, Jacob Sebastian presented a very interesting session. Jacob is an international speaker and has presented in different countries and conferences. His session was on the subject FileStream. I have never seen any speaker talking about this subject in the Indian Subcontinent. He picked this new subject and I must say it was perfectly delivered. He even showed demos that only top experts could deliver. The demos were flawless and really appealing. Jacob is truly a master story teller. His session was remarkable; we did not realize that the time passed so fast.

Jacob, Mahesh, Pinal, Dhananjay
Jacob, Mahesh, Pinal, Dhananjay

There was a power-packed session on Silverlight by Prabhjot Singh Bakshi, wherein he clearly explained how Silverlight is different from Flash, and how one can code quickly using it. It was cheered by the crowd so much. This session was followed up by Mahesh Dola’s demo-oriented Azure presentation with MS Office. Mahesh also gave a Thank You note in the end.

All in all, this event was a major success. I hope we organize this kind of event more often. The Community participation was marvelous. With the support of Microsoft, we were able to celebrate this event. We gave away many T-Shirts, books and other merchandise. I want to express my special thanks to all the speakers, Microsoft and the community for their support.

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