Category Archives: #Summit12

PASS Summit 2012 Recap & the Milestones of SQL Server 2012

Microsoft_VP_Ted_KummertLast week marked the completion of a great week at PASS Summit 2012, the world’s largest technical training conference for SQL Server professionals and BI experts alike. During this year’s 3-day conference, nearly 4,000 attendees heard firsthand about the great advances being made toward managing big data. Over the course of two keynote speeches by Microsoft Corporate Vice Presidents Ted Kummert (Data Platform Group) and Quentin Clark (SQL Program Management), Microsoft announced the following:

  • Project codename “Hekaton,” a new in-memory technology that will be built directly into the data platform, will ship in the next major version of SQL Server.  Currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers, Hekaton completes the company’s portfolio of in-memory technologies across analytics, transactions, streaming and caching workloads, enabling business acceleration by shrinking the time from raw data to insights.
  • SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), the next version of Microsoft’s enterprise-class appliance, will be available during the first half of 2013.  SQL Server 2012 PDW includes PolyBase, a fundamental breakthrough in data processing that will enable queries across relational data and non-relational Hadoop data.
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1, which supports Office 2013 by offering business users enhanced, new capabilities for self-service business intelligence using familiar tools such as Excel and Sharepoint, is now available for download here

What’s more, on the final day of PASS Summit 2012, attendees were treated to the presentation, “Big Data Meets SQL Server 2012” by Microsoft Technical Fellow David DeWitt. 

PASS_Summit_2012All the while, conference participants attended a wide variety of technical sessions presented by industry experts in addition to a host of other programs. From on-site certification testing, to hands-on-labs, attendees were able to boost their technical skills using these resources, as well as work through technical issues with top Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) engineers and get architectural guidance from the SQL Server, Business Intelligence and Azure Customer Advisory Teams (CAT). Of course, the learning didn’t stop there; attendees were invited to new, “I Made That!” Developer Chalk Talks, which featured 30 minute casual talks with the Microsoft developers who worked on specific features and functionalities of SQL Server 2012. The topics appealed to many, ranging from AlwaysOn to Hekaton. You can see more great photos from PASS Summit 2012 on the SQL Server Facebook page or access the video interviews with Dave Campbell, Quentin Clark, and David DeWitt available at the SQL Server virtual press room.

And so, as we close on another year of PASS Summit, it’s the perfect time to look back and see how far we’ve come since the launch of SQL Server 2012.  Join us below, as we take a celebratory look at the milestones we’ve hit along the way, and let’s look together toward the bright future ahead!


PASS Summit 2012: Accelerating Business through Data Insights

Hot on the heels of our big data announcements at the O’Reilly Strata + Hadoop World conference last month, my colleague, Ted Kummert, will take the stage at the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) Summit 2012 today in Seattle and make a number of announcements that further Microsoft’s vision for the modern data platform. These announcements will expand on Microsoft’s commitment to help customers gain insights from any data, any size, anywhere to accelerate their business.

As part of this commitment, we will introduce Project codenamed “Hekaton,” a new in-memory technology for transaction processing that will be built directly into the data platform and ship in the next major version of SQL Server.

  • Currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers, “Hekaton” will complete Microsoft’s portfolio of in-memory capabilities across analytics, transactions, streaming and caching workloads.
  • Based on customer testing to date, “Hekaton” will offer performance gains of up to 10 times for existing apps and up to 50 times for new applications optimized for in-memory performance.
  • We will also announce the next version of our enterprise-class appliance, SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), available in the first half of 2013.
  • SQL Server 2012 PDW includes PolyBase, a breakthrough in data processing that will enable unified queries across relational data and non-relational Hadoop data.
  • Built to tackle customers’ big data challenges, SQL Server 2012 PDW will offer next-generation performance at scale and a redesigned architecture to reduce hardware footprint, all at the lowest total cost in the industry.

We’ll have more details about our in-memory strategy and SQL Server 2012 PDW in upcoming blog posts here on Thursday and Friday. In the meantime, you can visit the SQL Server website for more detail.

Today also marks the availability of SQL Server 2012 SP1, now available for download here.

  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 provides rich integration and support for the new business intelligence capabilities in Office 2013. Powered by our in-memory analytics engine, it enables business users to interact directly with raw data in Excel 2013 with tools such as PowerPivot for data modeling and Power View for stunning interactive data visualization.
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 also delivers a number of non-BI enhancements listed here.

For more information about today’s announcements, please watch Ted Kummert’s keynote live on the SQL Server website, starting at 8:45 a.m. PT today, and Quentin Clark’s keynote tomorrow, starting at 8:45 a.m. PT. You can also visit the Servers and Infrastructure Virtual Pressroom for additional details.

— Doug Leland, General Manager, Business Platform Group

Countdown to PASS Summit Series: Meet the Superheroes of SQL Server at the ‘I Made That’ Chalk Talks

PASS Summit 2012 has arrived in Seattle and our #SQLFamily reunion is under way! In this final post of our Countdown to PASS Summit Series, we invite you to meet and greet the developers who worked on SQL Server 2012, for a personal, behind-the-scenes look at SQL Server 2012 in the making!


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Yesterday, we introduced you to the Arkitektor, the newest superhero on the scene from the Data Barrier Agency (DBA), who you can see up-close on the walls of the Microsoft booth at PASS Summit this week. However, we also have a few more SQL Server Superheroes that you can meet in person this week during our “I Made That!” Developer Chalk Talks.

This week, at PASS Summit, join some of the top Microsoft developers who worked on SQL Server 2012 for some informal and unscripted talks about the functionalities and features they wrote. Relax and unwind with these SQL Server superheroes on comfy couches with snacks to share, and get the inside track on the development of SQL Server 2012. You can find the full schedule of Chalk Talks and SQL Server Superheroes here, but in the meantime, you can preview a few of the SQL Server all-star team members that you can mix and mingle with during the "I Made That!” Developer Chalk Talks:

Eric Hanson, Chalk Talk Host on Columnstore:  12:30 pm, Thursday, November 8th

Eric_HansonDr. Eric Hanson is a Program Manager Architect on the Big Data team in Microsoft SQL Server, where he focuses on data warehousing and the integration of data warehousing with Hadoop. He was instrumental in initiating the work that lead to the new columnstore index feature that shipped in SQL Server 2012.

SQL Server Superpower:     Columnstore performance tuning

SQL Server Supergadget:    Trace flag 2312

 SQL Server Supermotto:  If the heavy lifting is done in batch mode, you’re golden!


Sunil Agarwal, Chalk Talk Host on Hekaton:  1:30 pm, Thursday, November 8th

Sunil_AgarwalSunil Agarwal is a Principal Program Manager in the SQL Server Storage Engine Group at Microsoft. Sunil has co-authored two books on SQL Server and owns/participates in the popular SQL Server Storage Engine Blog. Prior to joining Microsoft, Sunil worked at DEC, Sybase, BMC Software, Asera and DigitalThink, focusing primarily on core database engine technologies and related applications.

SQL Server Superpower:     Storage engine

SQL Server Supergadget:    Hekaton

SQL Server Supermotto:  In-memory data is king!

Countdown to PASS Summit Series: The ’Don’t Miss This’ Guide to Summit 2012


With just a few days until the official start of PASS Summit 2012 in Seattle from November 6-9, 2012, the SQL Server team is hustling and bustling to put the finishing touches on the many activities that we are offering at the world’s largest and most intensive technical training conference for Microsoft SQL Server and BI professionals. Senior executives are getting ready to present the latest developments, trends and strategic vision for SQL Server, the cloud-ready information platform. SQL Server Engineers are challenging each other to prepare the best technical sessions and educational content for our strong and demanding Global Community.

Here is a brief overview of the “DO NOT MISS” activities at PASS Summit this year:

  • Get up early to secure a front row seat as top SQL Server Executives Ted Kummert and Quentin Clark take center stage with keynote addresses on Wednesday and Thursday from 8:15am to 10:00am. For the first time, we will also stream both keynotes on our SQL Server website during PASS Summit.
  • Just added! Listen to the legendary Dr. David DeWitt, Technical Fellow at Microsoft, as he presents a Spotlight Session on “Big Data Meets SQL Server” [DBA-410-S]
  • Visit the Microsoft Booth in the PASS Summit Exhibition Hall to discuss questions with Microsoft SQL Server Engineering team members, browse through a wealth of demos at our technology kiosks and listen to one of the short, but deep, technical sessions in the showcase theater.
  • Choose from of over 190 technical sessions that are offered by SQL Server Experts. You can get a head start by building your personalized schedule with the PASS Summit 2012 mobile guide or the Schedule Builder.
  • Get certified onsite! Microsoft Learning is onsite to provide easy access to Microsoft Certification exams at discounted rates.
  • Work through your technical issues with top Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) engineers and get architectural guidance from the SQL Server Customer Advisory Team (SQLCAT) at the SQL Server Clinic. Walk-ins welcome!
  • Try out the latest Microsoft technologies through self-paced and instructor-led Hands-On Labs.
  • Visit the new “I Made That!” Developer Chalk Talks for 30-minute unscripted conversations with Microsoft developers on functionalities and features they actually wrote.
  • Have your say and share your feedback on SQL Server technologies in one of the Focus Groups.

Finally, we want to remind you that one of the most valuable aspects of PASS Summit is the opportunity to connect with experts and peers alike, network, share issues and exchange solutions. As always, the SQL Server Social Media team will be sharing the latest news, activities, contests live from PASS Summit. Chime in and connect online with us and the SQL Server community (hashtags: #sqlpass #summit12 #sqlserver #sql2012).

We look forward to seeing you at PASS Summit 2012!