3 days to SQL Nexus

It is amazing to think that SQL Nexus is just days around the corner after all these months of discussion and preparation by the excellent SQL Nexus team. This year is looking like it will be even better than ever and we are really excited by our pre-conference and main conference speakers and sessions, and if you are coming we hope you enjoy them.

Since today is realistically your last day to book if you are coming via your company purse, I thought it might be helpful to discuss some of my favorite pre-con picks -if you are still struggling to make up your mind.

Microsoft Western Europe Blackbelt (Technical Solution Processional) – Anders Lybecker
This pre-con session title is perhaps a little misleading, and you really have to read through the abstract to see what is being delivered, but when you do, you will see that this is a really interesting IoT session. Most IoT sessions are a bit like a doughnut – a little sickly sweet and with a big hole in the middle, but this session really is “Jam filled!” and with lots of hands-on-labs, streaming analytics and cross platform focus, could well be one of those sessions you look back on and be grateful you attended.

The Complete Primer to SQL Server Virtualization by David Klee
I first met David early last year in Chicago and after a discussion with him about SQL Server virtualization it was clear he was the go to man on this subject (especially in VMware environments). I have heard lots of great feedback about this session from many attendees so it could be one not to miss!

Design & Implement SQL Server HA/DR Hybrid Solutions with Microsoft Azure – Edwin Sarmiento
Edwin’s enthusiasm is infectious and he is perhaps one of the most fastidious and hard working people I know. If you are looking to learn more about HADR in both on-premises and in the Cloud, then you cannot go wrong by attending this session!

Enterprise Data Integration with Biml by Reeves Smith
While every single one of the pre-cons look awesome, I am currently doing a lot of work with SSIS, and therefore Biml is very much on my list of things I need to get good at. I have known Reeves for many years and he is perhaps one of the funniest people I know (as well as being a subject matter expert in Biml), so this is probably my favorite of the bunch for those reasons.

If none of these appeal, you should check out the others, and don’t forget to check out the main agenda which is also super awesome.

Hope to see you there!

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Bitesize SSIS: Deploying the SSIS Catalog

I hate SSIS. It seems to me that it is full of certain nuances and unless you are regularly developing SSIS packages, they are easy to forget or it is easy to miss specific important steps. I first started using SSIS back in 2005 when it was directly introduced to replace DTS, but even today I am constantly going around in circles whenever I have to return to write certain functionality.Therefore I have decided to put together a “Bitesize” series of posts that encapsulate simple operations in order to help not just you, but more importantly, remind me! Hopefully, this will save me time in the long run…

The SSIS Catalog (SSISDB) was first introduced in SQL Server 2012 and enabled faster and easier SSIS package deployment (particularly in SQL Server failover clusters) since (by its use) all packages and metadata would now live inside its database, and any other remaining metadata within the instance. This is, of course, a huge improvement over traditional SSIS Package store deployment (and covered in future posts), but for now, we will focus solely on simple standalone deployment.

Create the SSIS Catalog on your SQL Instance
Creating the SSIS Catalog for your instance is fairly straightforward, simply navigate to (and right-click) the Integration Services Catalog node in your instance via SSMS and select Create Catalog…

The Create Catalog wizard is a single page and all you really need to provide is a password which will be used to protect the encryption key which secures your SSIS Catalog secrets.

Note also in the wizard above, the panel message stating “You can manage the encryption key by creating a backup. If you migrate or move the Integration Services catalog to another SQL Server instance, you can restore the key to regain access to encrypted content“. The relevance of this operation will become obvious in later posts when we discuss deployment of the SSIS Catalog to an Availability Group.

You might also notice the option Enable automatic execution of Integration Services stored procedure at SQL Server startup. All this does is to automatically execute (or not) the SSIS cleanup job whenever the instance is started. You can view the automatic startup state of stored procedures by running the following code segment:

SELECT name,is_auto_executed 
FROM sys.procedures

If you want to change the automatic startup state of stored procedures then you can use the sp_procoption stored procedure.

Once your SSIS Catalog is created you should see the Catalog within the Integration Services Catalog node, a database called SSISDB under the Databases node, and a job called SSIS Server Maintenance Job under the SQL Server Agent Jobs node.


As you have seen, configuring your SQL Server for the SSIS Catalog is incredibly easy and regardless of your current SSIS package deployment strategy is something that you should use going forward (and also consider migrating your existing packages). In future posts, we will also cover SSIS Catalog deployment in a highly available configuration via an Availability Group (I will add the links here once they are published).


Want more Bitesize SSIS tips? Then keep an eye open for the other posts in the series!

Posted in SQLServerPedia Syndication, SSIS | Tagged | Leave a comment

Back in the Big Apple!

I am delighted to announce that I’ll once again be speaking at SQLSaturday New York on the 20th May and this is my Third time speaking at this event and my FOURTH time speaking at the Microsoft offices in New York, after last year speaking at SharePoint Saturday New York (since the SQLSaturday didn’t run that year).

I’m a huge fan of the event and obviously, it is a mammoth task for the organizers to put on given the location and size of the audience, but I have always had great fun and (unexpectedly) refreshingly good feedback speaking there.

Last year I took the Wife to New York, which was a really strange change, being my first time traveling with her (without kids) for over 12 years! And the year before was pure insanity (but great fun) spent in the company of the Hornernator, SQLWareWolf, my long time pal David Dye and a few other crazies! What happens in New York…. stays in New York!

This year I will be talking about In-Memory OLTP, and judging by the agenda, you will be spoilt for choice on this subject matter, but I hope to provide you with some useful materials (for attendees only!) and offer something different, so I hope you can join me there.

I will, of course, be soaking in the sights of the Big Apple once more, and hopefully visiting the Amazin’ Mets like I did last year! So if you are around New York City on the 20th of May, make sure you register for this brilliant event and come and say hello.

Posted in Public Speaking, SQLSaturday, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Leave a comment