SQL Rally Dallas: My Experience

SQL Rally 2012 in Dallas officially started yesterday (May 10th, 2012). The old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is so true! I made new friends, met old friends and learnt a lot more than I thought my “sleep deprived and jetlagged mind/body” could.


Being a somewhat  generalist within the SQL Server space, I am interested in DBA, DEV and BI sessions equally. So, I decided to attend the following sessions:


Craig Purnell on “Upgrade Roadmap: Let’s Delve into SQL Server 2012” 

     A superb session on what’s in store when upgrading SQL Server, the techniques and what to watch out for.

William E Pearson III on “Overcoming Barriers and Avoiding Mistakes with BI” 

     Bill delivered this session with lots of audience interaction with the aim of group experience/knowledge sharing.

Patrick LeBlanc on “Developing and Managing a BI Semantic Tabular Model in SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services” 

     A fundamental session for building Tabular Model solutions in SQL Server 2012.

Bob Ward on “What’s New for SQL Server 2012 Supportability” 

     Another fantastic session for full-on DBAs!

Greg Galloway on “Making Heads or Tails of Analysis Services Storage” 

     Greg shared his wisdom and knowledge of how MOLAP and ROLAP differ from the new Tabular Model in SQL Server 2012. A must session for those who are deciding whether to implement using Multidimensional or Tabular Model.

John Welch on “SSIS Performance Tuning” 

     SSIS could sometimes be a real beast, and John showed us how to tame slow performing SSIS solutions and what to watch out for.

Robert Davis on “TempDB: Performance and Manageability” 

     This session answered most of those myths (or statements) of TempDB and Robert discussed important factors to consider for better performing TempDB.


They were all superb and I wish I could attend the other sessions as well. I asked prior to the conference if the sessions will be recorded and I haven’t received a confirmed answer yet. However, the slide decks will be up on SQL Rally website in due time.

So, all the way from Australia, I’d like to thank the sponsors, PASS, speakers and the volunteers for making SQL Rally possible and such a great event. PASS is about sharing and networking. Safe trip home for interstate and overseas attendees. Hope to see everyone again in PASS Summit 2012 and other SQL events!

One last thing: I love Dallas! You are all lovely and friendly people!!!!

[Edit – 20 May 2012]

SQLRally PPTs and demos are now available to all attendees for download – simply log in and click on a session title to access the materials. http://www.sqlpass.org/sqlrally/2012/dallas/