Hello, I'm Buck Woody - Microsoft's "Real World DBA". I go by that title not because I'm a DBA here (we do have a lot of those, though) but because for over 25 years I've worked as a Data Professional. I've worked at organizations from NASA facilities to hospitals, and from legal offices to manufacturing firms and software development companies. I've been a DBA, a data developer, and a database consultant on everything from mainframes running COBOL flat-file databases to microcomputers running Oracle, DB/2, Sybase, SQL Server, Postgres and Ingres. I've written a few books on SQL Server, been a SQL Server Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and I've run several user groups over the years.
I joined Microsoft just a few years ago and since that time I've worked on the product team as a Program Manager working on the SQL Server 2008 product, and I now work as a Senior Technical Specialist on SQL Server, helping our clients figure out where the SQL Server product fits in their architecture. I also teach a database design course at the University of Washington, and I still volunteer as a DBA so that I keep my hands in the tools and the trade.
From time to time I'll post information here that is different from my daily blogs and weekly articles - but like those posts I'll always make sure that the information has "real world" value. Functions and features are great, but they have to *do something* meaningful before I get excited about them. When I do, you'll be the first to hear it!
I’ve always loved getting new things. And when it comes to software it’s no exception. I enjoy exploring a new release of my favorite app – see how things have changed and advanced and discovering new features. There are two new things that I want to call your attention to.
First, this week we released SQL Server 2008 R2 November CTP. This CTP is a huge milestone because it is our feature complete CTP. You’ll find some great stuff in there for the Control Point and the Data-tier Application.
You can download the SQL Server 2008 R2 English language versions using these links:
SQL Server 2008 R2 Eval (including Master Data Services and StreamInsight): http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=FE0C6A31-5AD6-4EEA-A865-73BBE2608BD1&displaylang=en
SQL Server 2008 R2 Express: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c772467d-e45b-43e1-9208-2c7b663d7ad1&displaylang=en
SQL Server 2008 R2 Feature Pack: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=020EE0D5-BCE4-4A45-9D64-B0C49C8831E5&displaylang=en
Don’t delay, pull these down, install them and put them through your own personal gauntlet. Send us your feedback using Microsoft Connect: http://connect.microsoft.com/sqlserver.
The second new thing is a new book: SQL Server MVP Deep Dives. There are two special things about this book: 1) it’s written by experts. The content is top notch and I think this is a must have book for every SQL Server DBA. Second, it was an all-volunteer book and all of the author proceeds are going to WarChild.org. You can find the book using the link above or also on Amazon. From the sidelines I watched the MVPs come together and get the book off the ground. It is a prime example of the strength and dedication of the SQL Server community.
Yesterday the was the final day of the SQLPASS Summit. Today we have our last Insiders’ Session. There are numerous conference statistics I could site but the one I think says it all is 2,200+. This is the number of attendees. That’s a lot of people gathered in a single place to talk about SQL Server. This number was down a little bit from last year but up from the year before. A real testament to the value of the summit.
As I walked around and talked with people I was amazed to see so many people so passionate about the product I work on. It’s a humbling experience. And this is only a fraction of the actual number of users world wide. I had a number of conversations and overheard others that were a mix between professional and personal. It was common to watch two people walk up to one another, shake hands, give a bro hug, and start talking about families and hobbies rather than technology. This was very cool as it demonstrates that SQL Server is a community not just a bunch of users. It was also cool to hear people debate best practices and tuning techniques.
Just about everyone I spoke with was upbeat on IT Spend. Either they’ve already seen budgets loosen a little or they believe it’s coming soon. Hence it was the perfect time for them to retool on the latest and greatest SQL Server has to offer.
We had a bunch of announcements during PASS: SQL Server 2008 R2 November CTP, new editions (Data Center and Parallel Data Warehouse), and a new partnership with IBM, to name a few.
The details for next year’s conference were announced. It’ll again be at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle WA from November 8 - 11, 2010. That will make three years in a row in Seattle. This obviously stirs a little discussion. Is it fair to folks on the East Coast or coming from international locations, for example. The benefit is clear, holding it close to Microsoft means there’s an extremely large presence of people from the SQL Server product team; I heard there were upwards of 300 SQL Server people @ the conference, though I couldn’t get that number confirmed. Second, the way they book it they get a very good deal on the facility and that savings is passed on to you. If you’ve never been to SQLPASS I encourage you to consider it.