Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July OPASS Meeting Recap

Last night I attended, along with about 20 others, the latest and greatest OPASS meeting.  I got there early to help setup and great people as they came in.   I may not be the most enthusiastic greeter, but I’m willing and working on doing better.  Greeting also gives me the opportunity to “meet” everyone and try to remember names and find out where people work and how they use SQL Server.  Of course Andy Warren had to give me a hard time about how I was doing the job.  It wouldn’t be an OPASS meeting without taking some grief from Andy.

The meeting started with some updates from Andy on SQLSaturday – Orlando planning, other upcoming events, and some discussion about PASS and what technologies other than SQL Server that PASS could/should cover (Sharepoint, Excel, etc…).  My personal opinion is that PASS should stick with SQL Server, especially since there is so much that is part of SQL Server (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS, DB Engine), why does PASS need to expand?

We then had about 15-20 minutes of networking (group hug) and I spent the time talking with Nick who works in BI for Hilton and would like to transition to DBA.  We had a good discussion about how to transition and what resources are out there to learn how to be a SQL Server DBA.  I guess my biggest failing was not getting his last name and I probably should have given him a business card.  Hopefully I’ll see him again at the next meeting and rectify the situation.

The feature presentation was Powershell vs T-SQL by Chad Miller.  Chad is very passionate about the power of Powershell and knowledgeable and it definitely came across in his presentation.  I have to admit that I was looking for things to pick at Powershell, but really couldn’t come up with much.  I happen to be a “Jack of all trades” so I do some .NET development and would probably do a lot of what Chad did in Powershell in .NET because I already know .NET, but if I were not familiar with .NET I could definitely see learning and using Powershell.  Chad also did a good job of giving specific instances where Powershell is better/simpler to use than T-SQL and when T-SQL Is the better choice, so he did not have an “all Powershell all the time” stance which I appreciated.  I can definitely see where Powershell can make auditing easier and how it can make managing a multi-server environment easier to automate.  Since I am in a one SQL Server shop right now, I don’t see me using it a lot, but I will try to find a project to test it out and learn it.  Chad’s slide deck and demos can be found on his blog.

After the presentation we hung around and talked for about an hour or so.  I spent some time talking with Chad and Kendal Van Dyke about Powershell and other SQL Server tools like SSIS, etc…  Then Andy, Kendal, and Kendal’s co-worker, Todd, and I had some discussions about the PASS Summit, SQLSaturday’s, and growing speakers.  It’s always interesting getting together with these guys and finding out what they think and why.  I never leave without some interesting things to think about.

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