SQL Saturday #296, Melbourne 2014

You may have probably heard that SQL Saturday is more than spending a whole day at a university, a Microsoft campus or class rooms learning SQL Server. Yes, you have heard it right. It is a community celebration – celebrating about how much we care for our learning and career path with a group of like minded people – at least on the fact that we want to learn more, outside business hours. It is also a reunion with friends or present/former colleagues and a way for you to meet a potential employer, employee or colleagues.

Luckily, the next and closest SQL Saturday in Asia Pacific area is in Melbourne. It’s just less than one week from now.

When? Where?

Visit SQL Saturday #296, Melbourne Australia official website.

When: 5 April 2014

Where: Monash University, Caulfield

Schedule: 5 Tracks, 20 sessions all in one day. http://sqlsaturday.com/296/schedule.aspx

Special Features:

  • Keynote session by Microsoft on SQL Server 2014, Power BI and Azure!
  • MVP Round Table Discussion at lunch time – bringing you 9 Australian SQL Server MVPs all in one location to answer questions you’ve been pondering about and to network with you.



Register here (please pay $15 for your lunch – I promise it won’t be pizza! And $15 for quality sessions for a whole day is really good value!)

Once you have registered, you can use the Schedule Builder feature to choose the sessions that you are planning to attend.

I’ve Registered, Now What?

You can follow on progress of the event by checking the website or following / tweeting with hashtag #SQLSatMelbourne on Twitter.

Please feel free to spread the words to your colleagues via social media or your blog. Below are some handy examples:

LinkedIn – I am looking forward to SQL Saturday #296 in Melbourne, Australia …

Why attend?  20 sessions on SQL Server 2014, BI, Data Warehousing, DBA, Database/Application Development and Database Administration.  International, regional, and local speakers to learn from.  Exhibitors with useful products, information to share, and job opportunities.  Interaction with other data professionals.  Free swag and lots of fun.

Twitter –  I am looking forward to #SQLSaturday 296 Melbourne, AU … 

Please take the opportunity to say “Thank You” for SQL Saturday #296 Melbourne Sponsors. They are the reasons why this fantastic learning and networking event is offered for free (with low cost of Lunch). First and foremost, I would like to personally thank Microsoft for sponsoring us and opening the event with a Keynote session.  as well as Varigence Australia for sponsoring us and speaking during lunch time. Next I would also like to thank Wardy IT, LobsterPot Solutions, DWS, CGI, CU2 Global and Wrox.

See You Soon In Melbourne!

Hope to see you there and perhaps at my “Building Your Myth Busting Lab With Power BI” session on the day.



SQL Saturday 198 – Calling SQL, Data and Snow Enthusiasts

There are 42 amazing sessions lined up for SQL Saturday 198. There will be a lot of speakers and attendees from different continents, America, Europe as well Australia! So, if you are a SQL Server professional or Data is your bread and butter, this is the event you would not want to miss this month! Register and build your schedule now.

If that doesn’t entice you, SQL Saturday 198 organizers sure know how to throw a great event. They are also organizing a ski trip on Friday, Feb 15, 2013. Check it out at Scott Stauffer’s website.

Josh Fennessy and I are providing you tips and tricks in “The Essential 8: Narrative Reporting Techniques“. This will be a preview to our PASS Business Analytics Conference in April 2013.

I am also honored to showcase “Power View for Geographical Analysis” next week at SQL Saturday 198. A sneak-peek interview video podcast, titled “The Power of Power View in Excel 2013″, with Karen Foster (Director | Microsoft) and me is available from Microsoft Technet Radio site.



A Lightning Talk demonstrating an upcoming GeoFlow add-in for Excel 2013 is also in the schedule. Here’s a little teaser from me:



And last but not least,, SQL Saturday 198 is fantastic way of networking with other passionate SQL Server and Data Professionals at both local and international level.

Hope to see you in beautiful Vancouver next week!


Upcoming DirectQuery vs Vertipaq Presentation

How exciting is it for us SQL Professionals to have so many SQL Server events since the beginning of the year? We’ve had 12 Hours of SQL, 24 Hours of PASS, 24 Hours of PASS in Russian edition, SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch, SQL Saturday (ANZ tour is currently running) and plenty other PASS virtual chapter sessions.
I’m quite honoured that I’ve been selected to present at SQL Server User Group in Sydney, 24 Hours of PASS, and SQL Saturday #138 as well as being picked by the Community to present at SQL Rally Dallas this year.

I’d like to focus a bit more on my upcoming SQL Saturday #138 session and SQL Rally Dallas session. The title is “DirectQuery vs Vertipaq Mode in SSAS Tabular Model”. This session will take you to a second step to see what’s beyond the default option (In-Memory / Vertipaq). 

Since the time I wrote the abstract for SQL Rally, Microsoft has rebranded Vertipaq to “xVelocity in-memory analytics engine (VertiPaq)”. Some of the project settings / options have also been changed to refer to “In-Memory”, instead of Vertipaq; while some remain as Vertipaq such as in the Tabular Model Analysis Server Properties. Despite the name changes, they mean the same thing in SSAS. 

The DirectQuery vs Vertipaq Mode in SSAS Tabular Model session brings a tiny step beyond your first leap to deciding/considering In-Memory Tabular mode. It concentrates on introducing DirectQuery and how different it is to In-Memory. The demo will also show how the two modes differ in query execution, design and maintenance aspects; giving you enough information to make an informed decision on which mode to use based on your business case. 

If you are new to Tabular Model or PowerPivot and would like to know more about it, there are quite a number of great resources to get you up to speed with it, as listed at the end of this post. Hopefully by then, you’d be comfortable in learning more in my upcoming “DirectQuery vs Vertipaq Mode in SSAS Tabular Model ” session. Having said that, if you’re completely new to Tabular Model but want to know what’s the fuss is about, come to the session – and have your first leap to learning Tabular Model with me. 

I have been having a great joy using Tabular Model in my current work, and am continuously extending my knowledge by preparing for this presentation. So I do hope that you can attend SQL Saturday #138 in Sydney or SQL Rally in Dallas and join me at the session. 


Reading/Watching List

Welcome to Tabular Projects



Building your first Analysis Services Tabular BI Semantic model with SQL Server 2012

Speaker: Frederik Vandeputte



Building the Perfect BI Semantic Tabular Models for Power View

Speaker: Kasper De Jonge



Developing and Managing a Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) in SQL Server Code Name “Denali” Analysis Services [BIA-316-M]

Speaker: Cathy Dumas


Note: if you have the PASS Summit 2011 DVDs, pull this session out and start watching it. Cathy was superb in this presentation and I would consider this as an energetic presentation where I “ooo… aaaa…”-ed a few times!

SQLRally Dallas 2012 Website



SQL Saturday #138 in Sydney

Finally! SQL Saturday will be in Sydney for the first time on 21 April 2012 from 08:15 to 17:15 at

Epping Boys High School (EBHS), 213 Vimiera Road, Eastwood, NSW, 2122, Australia.


There will be 4 DBA/Development Stream as well as 5 BI Streams. Keynote and Locknote will be presented by Grant Paisley, the president of SQL Server Usergroup Sydney.


The DBA/Dev sessions are:

09:30 Database Development & Agile: Strange Bedfellows by Daniel Nolan

13:00 The Dark Art of Performance Tuning by Peter Ward

15:15 Better Together: Merge, Partitioning, ColumnStore by Greg Low

15:45 Keeping the light’s on with SQL 2012 Always On by Warwick Rudd


The BI sessions are:

09:30 BI Architecture with SQL 2012 & SharePoint 2010 by Rod Colledge

11:00 Killer Real-World PowerPivot Examples II  by Grant Paisley

13:00 Accelerated BI Growth with Power View & PowerPivot  by Bhavik Merchant

15:15 Analytic T-SQL Functions in 2012 by Rob Farley

15:45 DirectQuery vs Vertipaq mode in SSAS Tabular Model  by Julie Koesmarno


As you can see, six of the sessions are related to the new SQL Server 2012 to follow up the recent RTM announcement in March 2012.

After registering for SQL Saturday #138, you can then build your schedule for the day by going to Schedule > Schedule Builder from the menu.

I will be presenting on the last session of the BI Stream, “DirectQuery vs Vertipaq mode in SSAS Tabular Model“. This session will explain the different modes of Tabular Model and how they work. The aim of the session is so that you are equipped with enough information to decide which mode of Tabular Model is suitable for your requirements and to confidently explore these choices.

Well, what are you waiting for? Sign up for SQL Saturday now and join me for SQL learn-athon!

SQL Saturday #138 in Sydney