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Welcome to the big show!  I’ll be liveblogging today’s keynote at the Professional Association for SQL Server Summit in Seattle.  If you’d like to check out some of the photos I’ve taken so far, check out my Facebook album for the Summit.

You can watch the keynote live, and refresh this page every couple of minutes to get the latest notes.

8:19AM – Packed room, very large.  I didn’t bring my wide-angle lens with me.

PASS Summit 2011 Keynote

8:22 – Showing a very professionally-produced video of attendees talking about what the PASS Summit community means to them.  Great sales pitch.  I hope we see this on YouTube.

8:24 – PASS President Rushabh Mehta taking the stage.  He’s reminding us that PASS’s mission is to help us connect, learn, and share, and that PASS is the community.  I’d agree – for SQL Server professionals, this event really does feel like coming home.  Great community vibe.

PASS President Rushabh Mehta

PASS President Rushabh Mehta

8:30 – PASS has provided over 430k technical hours of training, 20k new members (currently 80k).  Their goals are 1 million technical hours of training and 250k members.

PASS Goals

PASS Goals

8:33 – There’s 189 sessions on 5 tracks, 204 speakers, 93 MVPs, 11 MCMs.  Rushabh has heard attendees say, “There’s just too many simultaneous sessions – we can’t choose between ‘em.”  That’s where the DVDs and online streaming come in.

SQLPASS Community Connections

SQLPASS Community Connections

8:36 – Lots of community bloggers helping to promote #SQLPASS.  (Ooo, and I’m at the top left!  Flattery will get you everywhere.)  Lots of chances to make connections with your peers and Microsoft at the Summit.  Talking about all the different ways you can interact with your peers.  The Summit really does shine this way – you *always* have something to do here.

8:40 – Covering the new edition of SQL Server MVP Deep Dives 2, a monster book with a chapter from each of 55 different MVPs.

Rushabh Mehta

Rushabh Mehta

8:42 – Ted Kummert, Senior VP of Microsoft BPD taking the stage.  “We have the most amazing jobs in the industry.  We get to sit around every day and imagine what the future’s going to be for business processes and applications.”

Ted Kummert of Microsoft

Ted Kummert of Microsoft

8:44 – Ted says, “Some database vendors just decided to get into the cloud last week.  You know who I’m talking about, right?”  Zing, Oracle, zing!

8:48 – Ted’s looking back at all the things released or announced in the last year, and there is indeed a lot.  PDW, HP Enterprise Database Consolidation Database Appliance, SQL Server Denali CTP 3, Windows Azure Marketplace, etc.  He believes in a hybrid cloud world: on-premise and off-premise database capabilities.

Looking Back at 2011

Looking Back at 2011

8:51 – New product names:

  • Denali will be SQL Server 2012 and released in the first half of 2012
  • Juneau is going to be released as SQL Server Data Tools
  • Project Crescent is going to be released as Power View

8:55 – Love the metro-style slides.  Content, whatever – give me beautiful presentation, heh.

Metro Style Slides

Metro Style Slides

8:59 – SQL Server 2012 will support Hadoop.  This shouldn’t surprise anybody – if there’s a way to connect more stuff to SQL Server, it sells more SQL Server licensing.  Yay!

Apache Hadoop Announcements

Apache Hadoop Announcements

9:03 – Eric Baldeschwieler, CEO of HortonWorks, is onstage to discuss why Hadoop is the best way to solve big data problems.  He was one of the original team to implement it at Yahoo.  Ted adds that Microsoft is going to contribute code to make Hadoop run better on Windows Server and Windows Azure.

Hortonworks CEO Eric Baldeschwieler

Hortonworks CEO Eric Baldeschwieler

9:06 – CTP of Azure-based Hadoop coming by the end of the year.

9:07 – Microsoft’s Denny Lee gets by FAR the loudest applause.  Then leads off with, “Are you ready for some demos?” Big cheers. “Sorry, not yet.”  HA!  He can get away with that.

Denny Lee and Ted Kummert

Denny Lee and Ted Kummert

9:10 – Denny’s handling network demo issues with grace.  He starts with a Hadoop demo but glides into Excel.  All demo roads lead to Excel these days.  Denny’s excitement can’t cover that he’s demoing Hadoop and Excel to a room full of SQL Server people.  Tough crowd, not much applause after the content starts.  Denny can only carry things so far.

9:16 – Suggesting a private in-enterprise data marketplace so people can shop for internal data. Now that sounds kick ass.

9:17 – Tim Mallalieu and Nino Bice are demoing code name Data Explorer. And of course, they’re demoing…Excel.

Tim Mallalieu and Nino Bice

Tim Mallalieu and Nino Bice

9:22 – Demoing joins between Excel and Azure.  Users are adding their own Excel data, joining it (doing lookups) to public data sources.  “With just 3-4 mouse clicks, we’ve joined between Excel, Azure, and marketplace data.”  Yes, you did a one-time one-way join between multiple sources.  It’s called a query.  It’s easier, but it’s not persisted and it’s not updating and it’s not centrally managed.  This is Access again.  Not that Access wasn’t successful – it was – but there’s a landmine of management perils here, and it just doesn’t play to SQL Server professionals.

9:27 – The demo suddenly went creepy – talking about how kids like free ice cream and candy.  The Twittersphere is going off the hook with racy jokes about free candy vans.  The whole back of the conference hall is giggling.  This demo is going down in the hall of fame with Tina Turner.

9:33 – Ted’s retaking the stage.  I’m almost sorry – that demo was one of the unintentionally-funniest ones I’ve ever seen, right down to tweets about Pedobear.

9:37 – Amir Netz, Microsoft Technical Fellow, taking the stage.  He was the one who introduced us to Project Crescent last year.

Amir Netz and Ted Kummert

Amir Netz and Ted Kummert

9:45 – Amir is demoing movie sales over time with Project Crescent Power View, but it’s just completely impossible to see.  These are the tiniest fonts I’ve ever seen in a demo.

How Not to Demo Software

How Not to Demo Software

9:49 – Lots of funny jokes about different actors making more money than others.  Only one actor has made more movies/money/gross than Samuel L. Jackson – John Wayne. Interesting storytelling about data exploration, but you just can’t demo this in front of thousands of people on a low-res screen a hundred feet away.

9:52 – Power View will export to PowerPivot, and will render on Windows Phone, iPad, and Android.  Unfortunately, only one of those three demos worked the first time – the iPad one.

iPad Demo of Power View

iPad Demo of Power View

9:59 – Windows tablet demo is a little less, uh, portable.  Couldn’t even pick it up off the desk, and the demos failed.

Windows "Tablet"

Windows "Tablet"

10:00 – Keynote wrapping up.  Off to the sessions!  This one was hilarious.  More thoughts shortly.

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  1. Thanks for doing that – the Twitter feed and this were really useful. Sooo many OHs.

  2. You don’t want to know what I misread “management perils” as… another word beginning P and ending in S. Never mind those demos I think I need to increase the font size in my browser!

    Thanks for the updates Brent, handy for us sad lonely non-attendees across the pond.

  3. Wow that was creapy. I’m both am glad I wasn’t, and wish I was, there.

    The basic jist i got from your summary was that this is access for the mentally ill.

  4. Loving the Live Blogging format Brent!

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  8. Hi Brent,

    Do you have tips for those of us considering Live Blogging and event?

    I would be interested to know what camera you used and how you synced/uploaded the content?

    Cheers,
    John

    • Howdy sir! I tried to model my content after Engadget’s liveblogs of events – you can see past ones in their event hub: http://www.engadget.com/hubs/event I picked those because I really like reading ‘em, and I wanted to write the kind of content that I’d wanna read if I wasn’t physically present at the keynote. Each time somebody said something, I thought about whether I’d want to read that quote at home, and that guided what I liveblogged.

      Liveblogging a keynote requires insane focus. You don’t really get to enjoy the event at all – you have to be focused on what the presenter’s doing, what the crowd’s doing, responding to questions over Twitter, taking pictures, and getting them uploaded.

      For keynotes, I’d recommend a camera with good low light sensitivity and a zoom lens with stabilization. For this keynote, I think I used a Panasonic Lumix GF1, a camera I absolutely loved but have since sold. (I’m a gadget chaser.) I uploaded photos the old-fashioned way in WordPress – I just haven’t seen a liveblog plugin that I liked. All of them felt out of place in the blog.

      Hope that helps, sir!

      • Thanks Brent!

        Having zero experience of liveblogging I fully expect it to be an intense experience, although hopefully fun too. I was thinking of maybe getting some practice in by liveblogging recorded TED talks or sports events etc.

        With so much going on I think this is a job for a laptop rather than my iPad. What do you use for liveblogging?

        I was considering using the tool CoverItLive but I’m wondering if that’s a bit too ambitious to start out with. The integration with Twitter and the use of interactive Polls look cool but it could prove too much to handle for a noob.

        Thanks once again for the advice, very much appreciated. Enjoy the rest of the weekend sir!

        • I’ve liveblogged with laptops and with iPads, and right now my favorite is the 13″ MacBook Air. It’s got great battery life even with WiFi, so if there’s no power strips available, I can still get the job done. It pairs easily over Bluetooth or WiFi with my iPhone, and it’s got an SD card slot for quick photo uploads from my camera. I’m going to try the iPad LTE for my next liveblog, though, just out of curiosity.

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