Browsing articles tagged with " Database Design"

Speaking: DAMA IA (Des Moines) Oct 18 – 10 Database Design Blunders

Oct 4, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Database, Speaking  //  No Comments

My next stop on the DAMA chapter speaking tour is Des Moines DAMA Chapter, where I’ll be presenting on 18 October.


10 Database Design Blunders

What’s going on in your physical data model? How many people can or will update it to match the reality of what’s going on in your databases? Who decides what goes into the physical model?

In this presentation we discuss 10 physical data modeling mistakes that cost you dearly. Will your physical design lead to performance snags, development delays, bugs and weakening of professional respect?
Data Architects are often tasked to prepare first cut physical data models, yet these skills usually overlap those of DBAs and Developers and this overlap can lead to contention, confusion, and complacency. With this presentation, you’ll learn about the 10 blunders, how to find them, plus 10 tips on how to avoid them.

More information should be available on their website soon about the location and timing.

I’m Being Replaced by a Normalization Nut …Okay, a Crazy Talking @TheSmilingDBA

Aug 31, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Data, Data Modeling, Database, Speaking  //  No Comments

Due to some last minute travel plans, I have to fly during one of the days of 24 Hours of PASS (24HOP), so I won’t be able to do my teaser presentation scheduled for the PASS Summit.  I really hate when I have to step back from doing a presentation I’ve committed to doing, but it turns out that I couldn’t get to where I needed to be.  Time, location and distance worked against me.  The good news is that 24HOP has found a perfect replacement with Thomas LeBlanc,  MCDBA & MCITP (@TheSmilingDBA | blog ).  I know Smiling DBA from Twitter and I’m looking forward to seeing this excellent presentation at some point:

Standard Operating Procedure for Normalized Database Design

Join Database Normalization nut Thomas LeBlanc for a review of a Standard Operating Procedure used among DBAs as a template for database normalization. This session will touch on conceptual design, naming conventions, check list for creating a table and lookup table structure. These points are a preview of the PASS Summit 2011 talk 3rd Normal Form: That’s Crazy Talk! This discussion is based on 21+ years of developing databases for application developers. This session will include identity columns for primary keys and the need for a unique constraint on transaction and lookup tables. The creation of a SOP for DBAs can help developers follow a standard and DBAs code review the database design.

See, he even has a bit o’ the snark that I do in my abstracts.  A perfect session to fill in for my lapse in flight scheduling.  There should be a law that says that any Normalization presentation must be done with snark, humour, and a bit of craziness, don’t you think?  You should run right over and register for his session, plus all the others.  There’s lots to offer in these free, online presentations: ETL, BI, Data, DW, PowerShell, SANs…all things data for 24 hours over two days.

Look at all this goodness:

September 7, 2011

Session 01 – Start time 12:00 GMT on Sept 7
Introduction to Data Mining in SQL Server Analysis Services
Presenter: Brian Knight

Session 02 – Start time 13:00 GMT on Sept 7
SAN Basics for DBAs
Presenter: Brent Ozar

Session 03 – Start time 14:00 GMT on Sept 7
Diving Into Extended Events
Presenter: Jonathan Kehayias

Session 04 – Start time 15:00 GMT on Sept 7
Exploring PowerPivot for Excel in SQL Server Project "Denali"
Presenter: Peter Myers

Session 05 – Start time 16:00 GMT on Sept 7
Why PowerShell?
Presenter: Aaron Nelson

Session 06 – Start time 17:00 GMT on Sept 7
SSIS in the Enterprise
Presenter: Andy Leonard

Session 07 – Start time 18:00 GMT on Sept 7
Extracting Execution Plans
Presenter: Gail Shaw

Session 08 – Start time 19:00 GMT on Sept 7
Multi-Site Failover Clustering with SQL Server 2008, 2008 R2, and Denali
Presenter: Allan Hirt

Session 09 – Start time 20:00 GMT on Sept 7
So How Does the BI Workload Impact the DB Engine?
Presenter: Denny Cherry, Stacia Misner

Session 10 – Start time 21:00 GMT on Sept 7
Hardware 301: Diving Deeper into Database Hardware
Presenter: Glenn Berry

Session 11 – Start time 22:00 GMT on Sept 7
Secrets of the SQLOS – Leveraging Microsoft SQL Server Internal Operating System for Improved Scalability and Performance
Presenter: Maciej Pilecki

Session 12 – Start time 23:00 GMT on Sept 7
All About Execution Plans: Reading Execution Plans
Presenters: Grant Fritchey

September 8, 2011

Session 13 – Start time 12:00 GMT on Sept 8
Zero to Cube – Fast Track to SSAS Development
Presenter: Adam Jorgensen

Session 14 – Start time 13:00 GMT on Sept 8
Fixing Queries with Uniqueness
Presenter: Rob Farley

Session 15 – Start time 14:00 GMT on Sept 8
Disaster Recovery Is Not Just About Technology
Presenter: Edwin Sarmiento

Session 16 – Start time 15:00 GMT on Sept 8
Reporting Services 201: From Basic to WOW!
Presenter: Jes Schultz Borland

Session 17 – Start time 16:00 GMT on Sept 8
Standard Operating Procedure for Normalized Database Design
Presenter: Thomas LeBlanc

Session 18 – Start time 17:00 GMT on Sept 8
Baseline Basics or: Who Broke the Database
Presenter: Adam Machanic

Session 19 – Start time 18:00 GMT on Sept 8
T-SQL Awesomeness – 3 Ways to Write Cool SQL
Presenter: Audrey Hammonds

Session 20 – Start time 19:00 GMT on Sept 8
Code-First Development with the Entity Framework
Presenter: Don Kiely

Session 21 – Start time 20:00 GMT on Sept 8
Advanced Reporting Services
Presenter: Simon Sabin

Session 22 – Start time 21:00 GMT on Sept 8
Important Trace Flags That Every DBA Should Know
Presenter: Victor Isakov

Session 23 – Start time 22:00 GMT on Sept 8
Policy-Based Management in a Nutshell
Presenter: Jorge Segarra

Session 24 – Start time 23:00 GMT on Sept 8
Visual Report Design: Bringing Sexy Back
Presenter: Paul Turley

My presentation was supposed to be 5 (NEW) Database Design Blunders.  I’ll be giving a more extended and even snarkier spotlight version of that at the PASS Summit in October, so I hope to see you there.  And if you have already registered for my session at 24HOP, go ahead and be part of the new one.  You won’t regret it.

Normalization Myths: 2 New Blog Posts

Aug 9, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database  //  No Comments

imageI have a series of blog posts going up on  The introduction went up a few weeks ago and now 2 new rants have been added. Head over there to check them out and leave comments. I love when people leave comments — even if the comments disagree.   One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that performance tuning is something we learn by sharing experiences with others.  It’s not something that one can apply a bunch of formulas and rules to.  So post away.

Normalization Myths that Really Make Me Crazy – Introduction to a Rant

Myth 1 – Normalization: Friend, Foe, or Frenemy The Survey 

Myth 1 – Normalization: Friend or Foe The Slogan




Perhaps what the data profession needs is a series of top-up courses, to be reviewed every couple of years.  Maybe what we need is an intervention to help people understand the why normalization is even a topic in design.  I think this would make for a wonderful lunchtime presentation.  Perhaps your boss could even buy lunch.  This presentation wouldn’t be the how of normalization, but the whys and why nots.  Mastering the normal forms is fairly easy.  Understanding which one to use for a specific solution is the hard part.  The more your teammates understand the whys, the more likely they are to going to support your efforts.

2 Days Left to Let #SQLPASS Know What Sessions You Want (And You Like Us, Right?)

May 18, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database, Professional Development, Speaking  //  No Comments

The organizers of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) have opened up abstract voting for the PASS Summit, being held in Seattle, 11-14 October.  There are a gazillion amazing sessions that were submitted, but you can help direct which ones get picked to be included in the Summit program by voting on the session proposals you prefer.  Voting closes on 20 May 2011. 

RobDrysdaleSQLSatRob and I have both submitted sessions.  Rob has submitted a Professional Development topic:

Getting What You Deserve: 7 Steps to Gain Respect in Your Organization [100]
Session Category: Regular Session (75 minutes)
Session Track: Professional Development
Speaker(s): Rob Drysdale

Too often we hear people complaining that they don’t get respect in their organizations or that they aren’t involved in projects when they should be. It seems like our organizations don’t understand what we do, why it’s necessary and the overall value that we can bring to the organization. On the flip side, they are ready to blame us for all the problems. This session will provide the audience with insight into why this lack of respect exists, how we got here and how we can change it.

I’m biased, but I really like this presentation because Rob is giving it from the point of view of a business user and an IT professional. He has stories about his experiences working on both sides of the table: as a subject matter expert (SME) and a project manager and business analyst. He knows what works in getting resources from the business budget, how to get quality time with a SME, and what DEFINITELY not to say if you need the business organization to do something to make your projects better.

You need to hear what he has to share. Go vote now.  I’ll wait until you come back…..


KarenBarbiesPresentingI was invited to submit spotlight sessions due to good feedback scores for both my 24 Hours of PASS and my session at last year’s Summit.  For the summit invite I could submit any session, so I submitted my favourite one, Database Design Contentious Issues.  I have been giving this presentation for almost 15 years and guess what? We are all still a contentious bunch of data professionals.

Database Design Contentious Issues – The Debate [200]
Session Category: Spotlight Session (90 minutes, Invitation only)
Session Track: Application and Database Development
Speaker(s): Karen Lopez

A highly interactive and popular session where attendees evaluate the options and best practices of common and advanced design issues, such as:

* Natural vs. Surrogate keys,

* Varchar(1) and other Varying datatypes,

* Identity Properties,

* Naming Standards: Useful or Crazy?,


…and others.

This is a physical interactive, irreverent and funny approach to topics we data professionals work with every day.

Bring your votes, your contentions, and your opinions. They will be rewarded.

(This is the fun  presentation with all the sticky notes and voting)

Five Physical Database Design Blunders and How to Avoid Them [200]

Session Category: Spotlight Session (90 minutes, Invitation only)
Session Track: Application and Database Development
Speaker(s): Karen Lopez
What’s going on in your physical data models and databases? Who actually decides what goes into the database design? How do you choose your primary keys? How do you implement them? Are GUIDs bad, good or "it depends"? Are your datatypes the right ones for the data? How can you measure the cost, benefits and risks of any design recommendation? Are there universally good design practices? Universally bad design practices?
In this presentation we discuss five physical database design mistakes that cost you dearly: performance snags, development delays, bugs, and professional respect. Data professionals are often tasked to prepare physical data models, yet these skills usually overlap those of other team members and this overlap can lead to contention, confusion, and complacency.
In this presentation, you’ll learn about the five blunders, how to find them as well as many tips on how to avoid them. You learn how to talk about and defend your design recommendations and how to ensure that you have the information to demonstrate they are the right designs for your project.
Bring your armor, snark and humor. Blunders can be fun no matter how bad they are.

Because that last session was invited as being one of the top presenters at the March 2011 24Hours of PASS, I have a guaranteed spot on the summit.  I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.  Of course, the Database Design Contentious Issues presentation is my absolute favourite presentation to give, I’d love to have it picked. It’s also the only presentation I have that MUST be given in person – not webinar friendly.  A tough but very happy spot to be in.


Subscribe via E-mail

Use the link below to receive posts via e-mail. Unsubscribe at any time. Subscribe to by Email