Speaking at SharePoint Saturday London

evoconfI don’t think it is any great secret that I have had my eyes on the SharePoint Community for quite some time. With the introduction of a dedicated SharePoint track (and precon) in 2013 at SQLSaturday Cambridge (a World 1st, I believe) and most recently my attendance of the three day annual SharePoint Evolution Conference in London, it has been clear to me for years that the SQL and SharePoint Communities and technologies are more closely related and integrated than I think most professionals would realize. They are simply just different perspectives on what is essentially the end goal of presenting data to the end-user.

Ironically SharePoint is focused on the empowerment of the end-user providing them with rich document management and search capabilities (and therefore opening access to data), and SQL Server is more focused on securing, preserving and restricting access to the data; however SQL is a primary pre-requisite in order for SharePoint to perform its magic.

After recently attending many dedicated SharePoint sessions and SQL Server focused sessions for SharePoint professionals at the Evolution Conference, it was obvious that all of these Speakers were very highly skilled in their profession. There was however something that niggled me a little -they were first and foremost SharePoint professionals so discussing SQL Server to a SharePoint audience seemed like the wrong way around to me. So while every speaker was either a SharePoint MCSM/ MVP or had extensive experience working with SharePoint solutions, there was no getting away from the fact that something was missing in these SQL (or SQL HA) for SharePoint Professionals style sessions.

After a quick chat during the event with Peter Baddeley (blog|twitter) about my intentions to one day submit some sessions to a SharePoint event in the future, his encouragement was such that I decided to do this sooner rather than later and promptly submitted an abstract to SharePoint Saturday London.

The SQL Server pre-requisite is one of the biggest problems SharePoint deployments face since most SQL Server deployments come with a Database Administrator in tow. From my own personal experiences, DBAs skillsets can range anything from awful to excellent (usually favoring the former), and in any case they usually have zero understanding about SharePoint Configurations. SharePoint professionals are at the mercy of these (bad) DBAs and I want to provide them with an authoritative (of sorts) reference point from a SQL Server MCM so that they can understand how SQL Server *really* works, why it works this way, and how you should configure it with SharePoint deployments in mind. I aim to go slightly deeper than would normally be the case for this style of session because I firmly believe that having a comprehensive understanding of the core SQL subjects will arm SharePoint professionals with enough information to push through changes within their own company’s SQL Server environment.

My session SharePoint is from Mars, SQL Server is from Venus was born, and I am delighted that it has been selected. I cannot wait to be part of what I know will be a great event and look forward to seeing you there.

Posted in Events, SharePoint, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Want to choose your own agenda? From SQLSaturday to the PASS Summit!

Buck Needs You

OK so sadly Buck can’t be with us this year, but if he could, he would tell you to join our Programme Committee!

This year, SQLSaturday Cambridge is pioneering the first ever Global Programme Committee for a SQLSaturday and we want you to be part of it!

After being personally involved in the PASS Programme Committee for many many years and playing a small part in reviewing abstracts, speakers and anything else that needs an opinion, it might be natural that I would want to take my experiences of this process and attempt to improve things -or at very least try a different approach.

Session and speaker selection for the PASS Summit is annually subject to much criticism (some fair and some less so), and I have long been a defender of this process -quite simply because I understand how it works. It is a long way from being perfect, but the reality is that it is no better and no worse than other popular Technology Conferences at session selection. But the reason it is open to so much criticism is because PASS is continually attempting to provide transparency (in the interests of fairness) to a process that can only ever really be opaque. As all event leaders will know, agendas do not pick themselves and even when they do, sometimes sessions must be rejected for a variety of reasons which might not always be obvious to the casual observer but could relate to sponsorship concerns, speaker history or even event demographics. Simply put I believe that session selection should only have one thing in mind – provide the audience with the agenda they want.

This year, with an ever overwhelmingly burgeoning bundle of Summit abstracts, I believe it is time for event leaders to stand up and be counted and start thinking about different ways that sessions can be reviewed and feed these experiences back to PASS HQ. With this in mind (and in order to deal with our record 151 abstract submissions), we have decided to survey the World! At the click of a button you will be able to take part in the World’s first ever SQLSaturday Global Programme Committee and this process is open to ALL – speakers, attendees, non-attendees and even school children! Yes, never before has a voting system been so open.

Our aim is to:

  • Understand the technical and geographic demographics of the technical communities
  • Encourage participation from the potential and actual audience
  • Provide other events with technical insights (should we find any!)
  • Promote new ideas to the other events
  • Help PASS see how other session selection systems can work
  • Simplify the process
  • Select sessions based on actual demand not perceived demand
  • GIVE YOU A VOICE!

Our selection process will:

  • Complete the Global Programme Committee ratings
  • Aggregate results
  • Complete schedule by small internal team based upon these findings
  • Global Abstract ratings (by you guys!) will continue and be open up until the day of our event in order to alter our schedule as needed and collate the most useful demographics to share with other events

Please could you lend us your support for 10 minutes of your time and become part of the World’s first SQLSaturday Global Programme Committee and help also to promote it to your friends? This mightjust be the beginning of something big…..

To join our programme committee, click HERE!

Posted in Community, Events, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Tagged | 1 Comment

Delivering Precon at SQLSaturday #413 Denmark

I am pleased and proud to announce that on Thursday 17th September, I along with my good friend Régis Baccaro (web|twitter) will be delivering our full day pre-conference training day titled “Implementing Business Intelligence & SharePoint High Availability Solutions“.

Dilbert © Scott Adams

Dilbert © Scott Adams


For quite some time we have come to realize that most High Availability training sessions really fail to bridge that gap between foundational concepts and practical usage and that a large number of High Availability solutions are not just requirements for important Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) environments but also for an ever increasing number of Business Intelligence platforms (the changing dependency by your business on your Data Warehouse being a classic example of this situation).

But of course Business Intelligence solutions do not just begin and end with “the database” and with this in mind, we will be covering a broad range of topics which will cover end to end Highly Availability BI deployments looking in-depth at SharePoint, SSAS, SSIS and SSRS availability and scale. Of course a key component to every BI solution *is* the database layer, so we will not neglect this aspect either. Rest assured that we will provide comprehensive and in-depth instruction for database HA which of course will include Failover-Clustering and Always-On availability groups and also aim to look at how Virtualization and Cloud based solutions are changing the face of HADR.
This session will be ideal for Database Administrators, Windows and System Architects, and Business Intelligence/ SharePoint professionals who need to make qualified decisions about their Highly Available Analytic and Reporting platforms and we would love to see you there!

For more information and booking, please see the following links:
Implementing Business Intelligence & SharePoint High Availability Solutions pre-conference training day at SQLSaturday Denmark
Other pre-cons at SQLSaturday Denmark
SQLSaturday Denmark news and information
SQLSaturday Denmark Community day registration
SQLSaturday Denmark on Twitter

Posted in Community, Events, Personal Development, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Tagged | 1 Comment