SQL 2012 Always On Deep Dive and Windows Azure for SQL Folk in Belfast

Our very own SQL Server MVP ( as well as MCA, MCM & now Analysis Services “Maestro” certified) , Bob Duffy is heading North to present at the 3rd Belfast SQL Server User Group on April 11th at the LIT offices.

Bob currently is the lead database architect at the Prodata SQL Centre of Excellence in Dublin, Ireland where he helps enterprise customers with design, performance tuning, benchmarking and pretty much anything to do with SQL Server or Business Intelligence.

SQL 2012 Always On Deep Dive (Beginner/Intermediate)

Always On Availability Groups offers a huge leap forward in terms of high availability. This sessions is a demo based introduction to the high availability changes in Denali emphasising key features and benefits.

During the demonstration we will show how to seamlessly upgrade a database from SQL 2005+ to Denali with ZERO down time and then use the Always on features to simplify reporting, availability and disaster recovery.

This session will be useful for anyone who is working in a high availability environment or currently using replication to provide reporting and looking for a neater solution.

Windows Azure for SQL Folk (Beginner)

So what is this cloud stuff and how does it affect database professionals?

In this session we aim to cover the fundamental concepts that you should know on the Cloud and Windows Azure. In this demo based hour we will step through building Azure applications, deploying and managing them and what storage choices you have when developing applications in the cloud.

This sessions is Ideally suited to anyone who wants to understand more behind how Azure works, what it offers and what is probably just hype.

Date: Thursday 11th April 2013
Time: 5:45pm-8:45pm
Venue: Liberty IT, Adelaide Exchange, 24-26 Adelaide St, Belfast.

Registration is at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5705276636#


Core Features and Benefits of Self Service Business Intelligence (Belfast)

This two hour presentation by Spanish Point CTO John Corley on November 15th, 2012 at the SQL Server Belfast User Group will demonstrate the core features and benefits of Self Service Business Intelligence using the Microsoft platform including:

•The ability to access and integrate data from virtually any source.
•Create compelling reports and analytical applications.
•Visualize and interact with data in bold new ways.
•Easily collaborate and share insights using familiar tools in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft SharePoint.

The presentation will cover the latest features of SQL Server 2012 including PowerView and the BI Sematic Model.
•5:45 -6:15: Registration & Intro
•6:15 – 7:15: Talk Part 1
•7:15 – 7:30: Break and Refreshments
•7:30 – 8:30: Talk Part 2
•8:30 – 8:45: Q&A and Summary

To book your place, please click on the register at

For more information about Self Service Business Intelligence, please contact Spanish Point Technologies at info@spanishpoint.ie or +353 16522000.

Speaker Bio

John Corley is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Spanish Point Technologies. Spanish Point Technologies is an Irish based innovative software company working with Microsoft technologies to provide business systems which remove complexity, increase productivity and connect users to critical business information. Employing technologies such as SharePoint, Microsoft Office, BizTalk, SQL Server  and to build compelling solutions.

Spanish Point Technologies is a Microsoft Partner with four Gold competencies and two silver competencies. Spanish Point also was awarded a Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year award in 2007 and this year Spanish Point won Irish Information Worker Solutions Partner of the Year.

At Spanish Point John designed LookupPoint, a productivity tool enabling users to access line-of-business data from within their familiar Microsoft Office environment.

At Spanish Point John has led many significant ICT projects including the OSi eBusiness Suite Project, the Irish Music Rights Organisation Distribution System for which Spanish Point was awarded Microsoft World Wide Partner of Year Award in 2007 and the Royalty Distribution System for The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency.

Previously head of software development for Mentec International Ltd, he headed a team of over 20 software developers and delivered numerous multi-million Euro software development ICT projects.

John is a member of the Microsoft Software Architects council and is frequently invited to speak at various Microsoft events both in Ireland and abroad. John has worked with the core Microsoft Office and SharePoint product team in Microsoft Corporation headquarters in Seattle for the past two years, appeared on Microsoft TV (Channel 9) and been interviewed for Microsoft Visual Studio Magazine in June 2010.

Inaugural meeting of the Belfast SQL Users Group on August 9th, 2012

A new SQL User Group has been set up in Northern Ireland and they will hold their inaugural meeting in Belfast on August 9th, 2012.

Network, learn, ask a question, meet other folk, get fed – these are all things that happen at user group events. These events are a really great opportunity to socialise in an informal learning experience – if you want your own exposure then come and do a 1 – 5 minute nugget in front of your peers.

Remember to tell your friends and the people you work with; make sure you register as soon as you can.

5.45 – 6:15pm Registration and networking
Meet and greet.

6:15 – 7:30pm Neil Hambly “SQL Server 2012 Memory Management”

SQL Server 2012 brings a wide range of changes from its previous versions – one key change is the way SQL Server memory is managed. With releases prior to SQL Server 2012, there were 2 memory managers, these have been merged into 1 with the latest version, and that’s just the start of the changes for SQL Server memory.

This session will dive into questions related to memory in SQL Server 2012

Session Takeaways:
• Explore SQL Server 2012’s new memory architecture and learn how to diagnose memory performance issues
• Gain insight on memory pressure issues
• Discover settings to adjust the memory configuration levels and their impact

Neil Hambly is a SQL veteran with over 13 years’ expertise in SQL Server from Version 6.5 right through to the very latest 2012 edition. Neil has held numerous DB roles at major organizations such as BBC, ABN AMRO, ACCENTURE, alongside a number of smaller companies, with prior roles as both a DBA and Developer, and currently is a Database Architect at MDSL.

Neil is an active speaker at conferences and user groups. He is SQL London PASS Chapter leader , he can often be seen presenting @ UK & International events.Database Architect, MDSL

7:30 – 7:50pm Break: Light refreshments
More time to network, ask questions and eat pizza…

7:50– 8:50pm Alex Whittles Mergetastic!

The more I use T-SQL’s Merge statement the more I love it. It’s fast, powerful, flexible and above all, it provides a world of opportunities to save a lot of time.

In this session we’ll look at how merge can be used to perform complex multi-stage tasks such as loading data into data warehouse dimensions, including the handling of type 0, 1 & 2 slowly changing dimensions.

I’ll present a summary of my MSc dissertation findings, comparing the performance of using T-SQL Merge against other more traditional methods of loading data warehouse dimensions in SSIS.

We’ll also look at how we can use simple metadata configuration and dynamic SQL to completely automate the generation of the merge statement, resulting in an incredibly simple meta-data configurable data warehouse platform.

Alex is the owner and lead consultant at Purple Frog, a SQL Server Business Intelligence consultancy in the UK. He specialises in dimensional data modelling, data warehouse design, ETL systems, OLAP cubes, MDX, PowerPivot and DAX. Alex is leader of the Birmingham PASS chapter and runs the Midlands SQL Relay events. He has just completed an MSc in Business Intelligence, writing a thesis on the performance characteristics of loading type 2 SCDs into a data warehouse. He’s also a regular speaker at SQLBits and at various SQL Server user groups and PASS chapters around the UK.8:50pm Wrap-up & Prize Giving

Time Starts (UK time) at 17:00 , Finishes 21:00
Cost Free
Organiser UK SQL Server User Group
Address Liberty Information Technology, Adelaide Exchange, 24- 26 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8GD
Registration http://sqlserverfaq.com/default.aspx?item=event&itemid=423

SQL Server “Denali” Roadshow with Bob Duffy

Mission Critical Confidence, Breakthrough Business Insight

SQL Server “Denali” will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization as well quickly build solutions and extend data across on-premises and public cloud backed by mission critical confidence.

Come to this free, half day seminar, to learn how, with SQL Server “Denali”, you can get you the nines and performance you need, especially for mission critical workloads. See how “Denali” will help unlock exciting new insights with self-service pervasive data discovery across structured, unstructured and cloud data sources backed by IT management and insight, credible consistent data and large-scale data warehousing and analytics solutions.

Dublin, Monday 7th November 2011. Learn more and register here.

Belfast, Tuesday 8th November 2011. Learn more and register here.

Cork, Wednesday 9th November 2011. Learn more and register here.

Galway, Thursday 10th November 2011. Learn more and register here.



1.00 – 1:30pm Registration / SQL Denali Overview

1:30 – 3:00pm Denali Always On Deep Dive (Level 300)

SQL Server Denali offers a huge leap forward in terms of high availability. This session is an introduction to the high availability changes in Denali and a demonstration of the key features and benefits.

This session will be useful for anyone who is working in a high availability environment or currently using replication to provide reporting and looking for a neater solution.

During the demonstration we will show how to seamlessly upgrade a database from SQL 2005+ to Denali with ZERO down time and then use the Always on features to simplify reporting, availability and disaster recovery.

Target Audience: SQL DBA and IT Pro working with high availability, reporting, disaster recovery, replication or within a data centre.

If you are working with clustering, log shipping, replication, mirroring or reporting then this is an important session for you.

3:30 – 3:30pm Coffee Break

3:30 – 5:00pm Introduction to the BI Semantec Model (Level 200)

SQL Server Denali Introduces the BI Semantic Model which bridges the gap between Self Service Business Intelligence and Corporate Business Intelligence.

In this session we will introduce the new Tabular Model and improvements in tools like PowerPivot and Reporting Services to dynamically and rapidly develop and deploy BI solutions

Target Audience: DBA and Business Intelligence Professionals.

If you are currently working with Analysis Services, PowerPivot, Reporting Services or any other BI product then this is an important session for you.



Bob Duffy has been designing database solutions for 18 years. He is both a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server and also one of a select few Microsoft Certified Architects for SQL 2005/8 (aka SQL Ranger).

Currently Bob is heading up SQL/BI consultancy and the SQL Centre of Excellence at Prodata. His main role is helping customers in Ireland with enterprise SQL Design, Performance Tuning, Business Intelligence, consolidation and upgrade planning. Including lots of experience on multi-terabyte databases.

Bob worked with Microsoft as a Senior Consultant and was the Western European Community Lead for SQL Server. While there, he also won Customer CPE Champion Award in 2007 and the Great People Great Performer Award in 2008.

Bob has spoken at many events including SqlBits, TechNet and MSDN, The Irish Java Technology Conference, The SQL 2008 Technical Launch (Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway), the SQL Ireland Users Group, MTUG (Microsoft Technology Users Group) and the Irish SQL Academy Programme. Bob was also on the working group for the new SQL 2008 Master syllabus, helping set and grade exam questions.

Bob has designed more than 250 database solutions during his career, and worked on some of the largest database systems in Europe

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