TSQL Tuesday #80 – AKA Chris Yates’s Birthday

Its the 80th T-SQL Tuesday and for some reason I decided to write a blog post.  This month’s host is a good friend, Chris Yates and since its his birthday he decided to give us a gift by opening the topic to “anything”

My topic of choice is simple and relates to Chris’s Present. SQL Server’s Birthday.  

I’ve worked with SQL Server in some form for longer than I care to admit so I thought it would be interesting to write down my memories of each release.  Why? I dont know, I guess because I can and perhaps just perhaps to compare notes with a few other “old-timers”


SQL Releases over the years  

SQL 6.5

  • a GUI on a DB? This was sheer madness
  • SQL Enterprise manager was revolutionary & light years ahead of the competition
  • Corruption, Corruption Corruption
  • I still miss ISQL_w sometimes (not really)
  • Shipped with actual printed books

SQL 7.0

  • Side by side unusable installs of SQL 6.5 and 7.0 during upgrades
  • I do miss the standalone Query Analyzer tool
  • DTS… oh the nightmares of DTS, they all start here

SQL 2000

  • Someone put XML in a database… AKA: Patient zero
  • You get a bigint and you get a bigint and you, bigints for everyone!
  • There was a disturbance in the force and SSRS appeared (Someone say it was SSAS that caused the disturbance but I disagree)
  • Put multiple instances of SQL on a server they said, it’ll be fun they said…… NOT

SQL 2005

  • SSIS appears, the lights suddenly dim and a clown jumps out of a box and says “Surprise”
  • Upgrade pain like no other “80” compatibility still haunts many-a-DBA
  • CLR is banished by DBA’s everywhere for being the devils magic and clearly evil
  • DTA appears and is quickly crowned with a dunce cap
  • SSNS came and went so quickly no one ever saw it
  • TSQL Window functions appear and developers rejoice!
  • BIDS shows up and BI developers lives are never the same

SQL 2008

  • PBM appears and quickly goes stale
  • Compression of all the things arrives but only if you spend mega bucks
  • DMV’s finally became useful
  • intellisense? what is this dark art that saves me from typing SLECT 1 more time
  • AlwaysOn, Alwayson, Always on, Who knows what it will be called today but the moniker appeared and Allan Hirt suddenly had more grey hair

SQL 2008R2

  • The SQL team joined the “R2” Parade and quickly got lost
  • The what edition of SQL do I need to do X game gets into high gear
  • PowerName All the things starts with PowerPivot
  • MasterDataServices appears and quickly goes stale

SQL 2012

  • Core licensing appears and the value proposition gets instantly more complicated
  • SSIS was disemboweled (Thankfully)
  • Column Store indexes were created to give Niko something to write about
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups make DBA’s look like superheros
  • Extended event shaming becomes a thing
  • BIDS? SSDT? SSDT-BI? Data tools? The confusion is maddening

SQL 2014

  • The what edition do I need game takes another twist
  • SSMS is still treated like a stepchild
  • Hekaton changes the game (If you meet this teeny tiny list of caveats)
  • Azure is melted into the box product

SQL 2016

  • Someone put JSON in a database… AKA: Patient zero
  • Dynamic data masking and Row level security brings all the auditors to the yard
  • AlwaysEncrypted continues the pattern of “Always or Power” all the names!
  • QueryStore appears and DBA’s the world over are immediately confused by this black magic
  • Temporal tables appear and SQL Server catches up with postgres circa 2012
  • SSMS starts getting major love, everyone wonders if its a trick
  • SSDT is… wait…for…it… a SINGLE tool finally!

Future SQL Server

  • Can we get indexes on functions expressions *pretty please* If a mainframe can do it surely SQL can too
  • Banish the message “string or binary data may be truncated” to the history books
  • How about a tiny touch of love for Powershell (those guys yell loud enough that powershell can cure all my ills, how about giving them a proper hammer)
  • An edition based on size of server, pay for the T-SQL features you use based on server/database size *things like hekaton on small db’s* in a new “AlwaysPower” edition
  • *basic* Scalar UDF optimization to cache deterministic values

What did I miss?  Wait, I know I missed a lot so dont answer that.

T-SQL Tuesday – Giving back to the SQL Community in 2015

This months TSQL Tuesday #61 is hosted by Wayne Sheffield on Giving Back to the SQL Server Community.  An interesting topic given the season and something that is near and dear.  Here’s his original post http://blog.waynesheffield.com/wayne/archive/2014/12/t-sql-tuesday-61-giving-back/


It seems like I have a knack for doing things backwards differently and my time giving to the SQL Community has largely followed that path!  In 2015 Ill be continuing my “different” trend of community impact through PASS from international/national to local!

As some of you might know, I’ve spent a good portion of the last nine (or is it ten?) years involved with PASS in a number of different roles.  From working on the precursor to our current Virtual Chapters to volunteering with the Program Committee for many years to serving on the nomcom multiple times, running a SQL Saturday and even being a Board Member. I have experience in almost every area of PASS.  I have grown both personally and professionally during the time that I’ve spent in those roles.  The overall communities growth in all these years always inspires me to do more and I don’t see this year being any different.


Even though I don’t hold an official role (at this moment in time) with PASS.  I will still be giving back to the SQL Server community in 2015.  I plan on starting a local user group in South Houston.  I admit that I should have started this at least 6 months ago but I’ve put it off.  2015 will be the year the Houston area gets a second user group and if you want to attend or help, let me know!  In addition, I will be helping to host a SQL Saturday in Houston early next summer.  I will also commit now to making actual use of this SQL blog in 2015 instead of it being a landing page for what has to be the worlds largest amount of SPAM (thanks askimet!).  Whenever there is a discussion on PASS and its future, you can be sure that I will be involved in it on some level.  I hope to encourage others to volunteer as I have and foster a new group of leaders in the SQL Server community.


Thanks again to everyone who participates  in the SQL Community, you all are really what its all about!

I want to be on the PASS NomCom this year

I’m running for another PASS elected position


This is a simple post to say that yes, you read the NomCom ballot correctly and YES, I’ve decided to run for the NomCom this year instead of the PASS Board of Directors.  After last year and only having 3 candidates for the NomCom it was quite refreshing to see 11 for this years NomCom!  I dont intend to spill much digital Ink about why you should vote for me since I spilled so much last year over the Board of Directors election.


None of this is to say that I’m uninterested or don’t want to get elected but, I don’t agree with the concept of an extremely active campaign to win a seat on the NomCom.


So, feel free to read more about me on the campaign site here or download my application here and most of all get out and vote!

The Community Has Spoken

This years election results are officially in the books.  Unfortunately I’ve come up four votes short in my effort to be elected.

I’d like to congratulate the winners, I’m sure y’all will do great things.  Dont worry, we’ll all be watching to see you make good on those campaign promises!

I’d also like to thank all of my supporters, public and private.  Your words helped me more than you’ll likely ever know.

Andy Warren in particular was abolutely critical in helping me strategize through this years campaign.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without his support and encouragement over the years.





Why am I running for election again?


I have decided to apply for the SQLPASS Board of Directors this year.  Before I get to some of the specifics on why I’m running for election again, I’d like to tell you a bit about my journey with PASS


In 2004 when I attended my first PASS Summit, I still remember being convinced by two of my new friends, Tom LaRock (B|T) and Pat Wright (B|T) to get up at 7AM and learn about helping PASS.  Prior to walking into that room, I had no idea what PASS was beyond the summit or why I’d ever want to volunteer for PASS.  It only took Wayne Snyder (B|T) 5 minutes to convince me that PASS needed my help.  Wayne, if you’ve not had the benefit of meeting him or seeing him speak, is a very charismatic leader and he could convince most anyone to volunteer with PASS from his sheer passion.  It would not be exaggerating to say this was a life changing experience.  Following that first interaction, I have volunteered prolifically:

  • SIG’s (precursor to Virtual chapters) 2005-2009
  • Summit Program Committee Member 2007-2011
  • Summit Program Committee Leader 2009-2011
  • Nominations committee 2009
  • Board of Directors  2010-2011
  • Chapter tools project 2012

As a volunteer I have had the opportunity to work with many teams to help implement my visions for PASS. For example the program committee brought in such current Summit favorites as half day sessions and lightning talks.  More recently, I realized we were underserving our chapters and their members and created a strategy for enhancing the chapter leader portal that correlates the data used on all members’ MyPASS page as well as the events page.  I like to think my volunteer time has been good for the organization but, I know my volunteerism has been good for me professionally.  The time I have spent on the board helped me grow my career into a new leadership role recently and I hope that growth will in turn allow me to support doing more on the board.



I want to reinvest in the community that has helped me succeed professionally by further enabling our next generation of leaders to grow and succeed.  I want PASS to have grander goals than just having a Summit, BA conference & SQL Rallys or being the SQL Saturday/Chapter steward.  Sure, PASS is and should be all of those things but I see PASS in a larger context, PASS should be an enabler.  PASS can and should provide vision and solutions to our community on a larger scale than it has attempted to in the past.
To sum all that up in a word: “Passion”.  I am passionate about PASS and its ability to help the sqlfamily achieve their professional goals.
I have the community perspective, experience, vision and PASSion that PASS leadership needs.

Future Goals

In the year since I left the Board, I’ve had the opportunity to clearly see how far PASS has come as an organization, as well as how far we still have to go!  Having previous PASS Board experience will allow me to hit the ground running on day 1 to carry out my vision for PASS’s future.  The combined experience and vision I have for PASS allows me to prioritize my goals as director where I think they will impact PASS’s membership the most.  My key goals while serving on the Board will be:

  • Prioritizing  and investing more dollars in PASS IT to bring our member used systems current.

An example of this is expanding the functionality of MyPASS to include enhanced sections for Chapter leaders, Speakers, volunteers & members.

  • An additional IT investment will need to be made to bring PASS’s membership roster current.

Bringing the roster current will allow PASS to have better knowledge of our worldwide membership and provide them better benefits.

  • It’s time to transition from the current board structure of portfolios to a committee based approach.

This will allow the board to maintain a more strategic role and grow more leaders as well as help keep projects moving better during election transitions.

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