PASS SQL Saturday April 8, 2017

Author by Nick Adams

SQL Saturday was a great success!  As a participant, it was the best knowledge launching pad I have ever been to.  The subject matter was insightful and applicable.  You get to choose one session per timeslot and there are several different session types available.  Choosing which session to go to was pleasantly difficult as there was so much insightful content to choose from.  My five sessions throughout the day were as follows:

Big Data in Azure
This session focused on the HDInsight Azure suite of applications and an introduction to Hadoop storage.  We took a look at what Azure is and how it allows you to spin up different applications without the hardware overhead and to immediately start using your applications.  After we had an understanding of Azure, our presenter showed us the structure of a Hadoop cluster, Spark code, and the path where data flows into and out of HDInsight.
Index 360 – Looking at Indexes from Multiple Perspectives
This session took a deep dive into the anatomy of indexes in SQL Server 2016: Clustered and nonclustered row indexes and clustered and nonclustered columnstore indexes.  A lot of changes happened with columnstore indexes in SQL Server 2016 and a great overview and functional explanation was given on how to properly use them.
R For the SQL Server Developer
Here, we took an introduction into R and SQL Server 2016 integration.  We were also introduced to what versions of R are available for what cost and how they are packaged.  Then we look at look at what the R console looks like and how to use R and write R language.
Cortana Intelligence Suite: Getting Started with Data Lake Analytics and Polybase
The Cortana Intelligence Suite sessions introduced the entire Cortana Analytics structure and how Data Lake fit into the picture of gathering data and running analytics against that data store.  We started with how data is captured (such as using a Raspberry Pi device) and ingested into Data Lake and then consumed by Data Factory to create an analytical data set which can be used by reporting methods or PowerBI.
Inside the SQLPS PowerShell Module
Personally I am a Powershell idiot.  This was a great session for me to go to as there was a small but applicable introduction to Powershell as Powershell then dove into how you can manipulate SQL Server’s objects directly in Powershell.

As you can see, there are a wide range of topics to be explored and this is just a small fraction of what was being presented at this event.  While I don’t really want to get into a lot of detail on this blog about the individual topics, I want to really encourage anyone who is involved with SQL Server to attend a SQL Saturday event if possible.  It truly can be career changing.