January S3OLV 2013

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Published on: January 9, 2013

I hope you are ready for some free SQL learning.  Coming up on Thursday January 10th at 6:30 PM Pacific (GMT – 8 ) we will have a stellar opportunity to do just that – Learn!

Edwin Sarmiento will be presenting for us this at the upcoming monthly Las Vegas User Group meeting.  Edwin has chosen (well he left it up to me to decide) to present on Powershell.

Title: Windows PowerShell for the SQL Server DBA


Windows PowerShell is becoming the scripting language of choice for managing Microsoft servers and workstations. And while T-SQL is still the scripting language for DBAs to administer and manage SQL Server, there are tons of stuff that can be easily done with Windows PowerShell. In this session, learn Windows PowerShell from the ground up and how you can use it with SQL Server Management Objects (SMO) to administer and manage a SQL Server instance.

Here is the bonus behind all of this – we will be broadcasting the presentation to the virtual sphere.Here are the details for joining the meeting via livemeeting.

Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:

  • https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/join

Copy and paste the required information:

  • Meeting ID: JRW8JQ
  • Location: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups


September Events

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Published on: September 4, 2012

Wow, I can’t believe it is already September of 2012.  Labor day has come and gone, school is in session and the SQL Community is still busy.  With that, I am trying to be a bit busier within the community.

September is already bringing us some good things.  Just this morning I read some excellent news from the people at SQLSkills.  They have teamed with Pluralsight to bring even more SQL Server goodness to the community.  Paul, Kimberly and crew are providing tons of video training materials through Pluralsight.  You can get all the skinny from their announcement on the matter.  This is an opportunity you probably should not pass on.

Next up is a little thing called SQL Saturday.  The one in particular that I am talking about is happening in Rhode Island.  September 15 is the date and all day is the time.  This is the 156th installment of this free training event.  I have two sessions that I will be presenting.  One is on Table Compression and the other is on SSRS for us mere mortal DBAs.  You can discover a bit more information about that from the SQL Saturday site, here.

As a part of that SQL Saturday there are a bunch of presentations that I hope to get to.  Unfortunately, many are at the same time so seeing them all will be a bit of a problem.  I am looking forward to at least chatting with a few other presenters (like Jeff Moden, Grant Fritchey (Twitter), Wayne Sheffield (Twitter), Jack Corbett (Twitter), Mike Walsh (Twitter), Aaron Bertrand (Twitter), Andy Roberts and Mike Corey (Twitter)) while there.  Yes, it looks to be a very good cast coming up on September 15th.  With such high class presenters as Grant, Aaron and Wayne presenting at the same time as me in the afternoon though, I will probably have an opportunity to catch a session then though 😉 .

Also coming up this month is a special SSIS workshop in Las Vegas by Brian Knight and company.  While he is in town, he will be presenting to the Las Vegas User Group called “SQL Server Society of Las Vegas.”  The date on that is September 18th.  Details can be found in meetup, http://www.meetup.com/SQL-Server-Society-of-Las-Vegas/events/77204822/.

Those events pretty much cover the month of September from coast to coast and practically worldwide (at least virtually).  Check them out.  I hope to see you at the minimum at one of these events.

August 2012 S3OLV Meeting

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Published on: July 30, 2012

Well well well.  It has certainly been a long time between announcements on the blog about meetings for the Las Vegas SQL Server Users Group.

We have had to cancel a couple of times in the past few months – but the meetings have been happening with or without the blog post about it.  I have been a little more occupied with a few other things (like the book).  But we are back (at least for a little bit) in the saddle!

Here are the meeting details in case you are not on the mailing list.

Next Meeting
August 09, 2012 6:00-8:00pm PDT

Jason Brimhall
Jason Brimhall has 10+ yrs experience and has worked with SQL Server from 6.5 through SQL 2012. He has experience in performance tuning, high transaction environments, as well as large environments. He is currently a DB Architect and an MCDBA. He is he VP of the Las Vegas User Group (SSSOLV). Jason is also the co-author of the book “SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes”
You can read more about the book here: SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes 

SQL 2012 Table Compression
SQL Server 2008 has introduced Table compression to the DBA toolkit. We all know there are different kinds of compression available in SQL Server. What some may not know is the subtleties of compression. Such subtleties include that not all Page Compressed tables are entirely page compressed. This session will show you how to reach into the database and discover compression states at the page level. At the lower level, this session will also show how to determine compression settings of objects in the database. Participants will be able to use undocumented commands as well as commands such as PIVOT to derive some interesting information from the database engine.

LiveMeeting Information:
Attendee URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/join?id=FQS7BW&role=attend
Meeting ID: FQS7BW

Still meeting at M Staff Solutions & Training / 2620 Regatta Drive Suite 102 Las Vegas, NV 89128

S3OLV – Get your Merge On

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Published on: February 7, 2012

We are rapidly closing in on the February meeting for S3OLV.  You might remember reading about the upcoming meeting here.

We are looking to have an excellent meeting this month.  We have had a good run on superb presentations, and Troy aims to keep us going in the right direction.

Troy will be teaching us how to use the Merge statement.  He will help us to learn how this statement can help improve our queries.

We will also continue our ugly code segment.  Bring your ugly code.  Send your ugly code to admin at s3olv dot com.  We are doing this segment in an effort to have the group help each other and learn from each other.  Honestly, it is also an effort to help drive up group interaction.

Here is the information for the meeting.

Date: February 9, 2012

Time: 6:30 PM Pacific

Virtual Meeting Info

Attendee URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/join?id=H3ZGRQ&role=attend

Meeting ID:  H3ZGRQ

Physical Meeting Info

M Staff Solutions & Training / 2620 Regatta Drive Suite 102 Las Vegas, NV 89128

S3OLV February 2012

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Published on: January 23, 2012

Do you recognize this person?


If you are from the Colorado Springs area, you probably do.  This is:




Troy Ketsdever (twitter)

Troy will be presenting to the Las Vegas SQL User Group on February 9, 2012 @ 6:30 Pacific.  Here is his bio:

Troy Ketsdever is a data architect with over 15 years of commercial software development experience, and has maintained a love/hate relationship with SQL Server since version 4.2. In addition to his “day job”, Troy enjoys writing articles and presenting at user groups on a variety of database design and implementation topics.

His main objective and vision is “making the right information available to the right people at the right time”.

The topic that Troy has chosen for this meeting is titled: Zero to “MERGE” in 60 minutes.  And here is the abstract for that presentation.

Description: SQL Server 2008 saw the introduction of the new MERGE DML statement. In this session, we’ll take a look at the basic syntax and capabilities of the command. Once we have reviewed some simple examples, we’ll dive into some of the more advanced uses (abuses?) of the command, reinforcing our understanding by looking at more complex examples.

Bring your questions.  Bring your ugly code.  If you are remote, bring your own PIZZA.  Yes, this meeting will be both virtual and in person.

Virtual Meeting Info

Attendee URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/join?id=H3ZGRQ&role=attend

Meeting ID:  H3ZGRQ

Physical Meeting Info

M Staff Solutions & Training / 2620 Regatta Drive Suite 102 Las Vegas, NV 89128

S3OLV – Jan 2012 Meeting Recap

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Published on: January 20, 2012

Last week (Jan 12, 2012), we held the user group meeting for the SQL Server Society of Las Vegas (a.k.a S3OLV or SSSOLV).

Presenting at that meeting was Josh Lewis (Twitter).  Josh presented on a pretty tough topic in my opinion.  He chose to present to us the topic of XML for the DBA.  You can read his abstract here.

We got the meeting rolling a little bit late.  Traffic must have been a bear down in LV.  Nonetheless, it got rolling and was a good meeting.

During this meeting we had our second installment of “Crap Code.”  Unintentionally, the crap code was a perfect segue into the presentation.  The crap code demonstrated extracting elements from XML related to the blocked process report.

Josh did a great job on the topic.  We recorded the meeting and you can view that here 9https://www323.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/view?id=GW2GD2).  Check it out.  Get a little free learning on a difficult topic (for some us like myself).

Stay tuned, the February announcement is coming soon.


S3OLV update and Reminder

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Published on: January 9, 2012

We are now just a few days away from our first meeting of 2012.  We have some good content lined up.  Check it out here.

I am looking forward to the presentation on XML and would really love to be able to bring Josh back to finish out the series.  Let’s show him a lot of support as he has put a lot of effort into making this presentation series.  I know because I have been hounding him about it.

In other news, we have received the PASS 2011 Summit DVDs.  There is a lot of cool content.  We plan on making these DVDs available to the group shortly.  These DVDs contain all of the main conference sessions.  They will prove to be an invaluable resource (much like every other year).

We have also talked in the past of getting a newsletter together.  As an interim step, we created the S3OLV Journal paper.li newsletter.  We are getting closer to having a mechanism in place to send out newsletters to the group.  Stay tuned – this should be happening in the near future.

Thoughts on SSSOLV December Meeting

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Published on: December 30, 2011

This is very late – I know.  The meeting was held on December 8, 2011 and I haven’t yet shared my recap/thoughts about the meeting.

We hold the SQL Server Society of Las Vegas user group meeting on the second Thursday of every month.  We have decided to hold the meeting as both a physical and a virtual meeting.  This decision was made to try and encourage better attendance and to allow people like myself to attend and participate.  Since I moved back to Utah and am trying to continue to help the group thrive – it has been helpful to have the virtual meetings.

But let me share another reason that I like to do it virtually.  Having lived in Las Vegas, it seems that a lot of the membership end up working during the meeting.  I know there were several times that I had to work during the meeting.  I know several people have expressed that concern to me as well.  By having the virtual meeting, they can sometimes join the meeting while fulfilling work duties.

As the announcement for the December meeting showed, I had the opportunity to present a new topic that I have been working on a lot of late.  The topic was on getting better functionality out of SSRS reports for mere DBAs such as myself.  I talked on topics that I needed to figure out in order to meet business requirements.

Some of the items touched included dynamic sorting and dynamic grouping.  These dynamic abilities were setup in a fashion that multiple reports could use the same datasets and tables within a database.  Furthermore, changing the sort or group would be as simple as changing a value in a table rather than editing the rdl and uploading the changes into SSRS.  This was all included in the demos.

Unfortunately, I focused too much on getting demos done.  I still need to go back and flesh out the slide-deck.  Yeah, I did a no-no.  I gave the presentation without a slide-deck.  It is far better to have the deck available to help control the flow of the presentation.  I’ll get that fixed.  You can see the presentation (gaffs included) here (https://www323.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/view?id=FHKZS7) .

In addition to this presentation, I have been planning on writing up a few articles/blogs to also detail the various topics covered during the presentation.  Those should be out soon.

January 2012 Las Vegas SQL UG

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Published on: December 30, 2011

This month I am attempting to get a jump on things a bit.  I am hoping to get the info out in a more timely fashion throughout this new year for the User Group meetings for S3OLV.

Out with the old and in with the new.  Let’s ring in the New Year for the Las Vegas SQL User Group together and with a bang.

Helping us will be Joshua Lewis as he presents the first part in his three part series on XML.

XML for the DBA – A Series (part 1)

XML has been a feature available in SQL Server for a long time, but the capabilities were limited, and it was never very easy to use.  This was always a huge disappointment to me, because XML in itself should be any DBA’s best friend when it is used properly. What we typically see in applications is not the prettiest example of XML;  it is typically used by developers to accomplish things very quickly when it comes to data.

For the most part, XML is a heap of data that can get very large, doesn’t store well, and isn’t easily indexed.

But consider this:  What if a very data-centric person were the one dictating the XML (like a DBA)?  XML, when used properly, can be a very powerful tool in data storage and presentation.

About Josh

Joshua is a Database Professional, with over 10 years’ experience in Configuration / Administration of Data Infrastructures, Performance tuning, Development, and Business Intelligence Architecture, using Microsoft’s suite of SQL Server Products.

Over the years, and in varied industries, he has supported and optimized large DataCenters, developed multiple ETL platforms for handling client eligibility / enrollment / claims, and designed security policies and procedures to meet various industry security certifications (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and CISP).

Currently, Joshua is expanding his knowledge and skills to .NET, building Value-Add interfaces and integrations to SQL Server and Integration Services through the use of SQL-CLR and Custom SSIS Components.


LiveMeeting Information:

Attendee URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/join?id=GW2GD2&role=attend

Meeting ID:  GW2GD2

December Recap

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Published on: December 29, 2011

The past few months I have been pretty busy.  December is no exception to that.  Between normal work, moonlighting as a general contractor on my own basement, and trying to keep up with my family – it almost seems like the month has barely even been a blink.

Other than the highlights of the holidays and finishing a room in the basement, I did have some SQL related highlights.

The first highlight came with notice of having won a contest – yay.  I entered into the SafePeak performance story contest back in September.  The contest closed out in November and the winners announced the first part of December (maybe the end of November).

For that contest, I submitted this story.  In that story, I showed how duplicated business logic can prove detrimental to query performance.  By deduping the business logic, I was able to realize a significant performance gain.

As a reward for winning that contest, I received an IPAD2.  That prize came the week just before Christmas.  Now, we use the IPAD as an extra incentive with the children for improved behavior (they really like the IPAD).

The other highlight came at the beginning of the month when I presented a new topic for the S3OLV User Group.  That new topic was on SSRS and customizing Sorts, Groupings, Display Order of Columns, and a few other tricks.  The custom sorts, groupings etc can all be driven based on parameters and prompts.

It was a pretty decent presentation.  The demos worked relatively well.  There didn’t seem to be any hiccoughs with technology.  I do wish more people had attended – but we are working on that.  I plan on sharing a few articles about the very topics discussed during that presentation.

I like presenting and think I need to find more opportunities to do that during the upcoming year.  Let’s hope I actually publish my goals this upcoming year (unlike 2011 where I started writing out my goals and the post remains unpublished).

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