On Wednesday, 7 March Microsoft is holding a virtual launch event for the newest version of Microsoft SQL Server to be released on 1 April. You want to be there. Yes, even you data architects, business analysts, project managers, enterprise architects and other IT professionals working in the upper rows of the Zachman Framework. Why? Because there are many new features in SQL Server 2012 made just for you:
- Master Data Services
- Data Quality Services
- BI Semantics
- Self Serve BI
- Hadoop integration
- New Data Tools
- New datatypes, database objects and other design features like ColumnStore Indexes.
You’ll have access to SQL Server MVPs who will be standing by to take your questions and chat about the new features we are most excited about. I’ll be working at these Topic Pods:
- Application Development, Beyond Relational, Connectivity at 6 PM ET / 3 PM PT
- Business Intelligence & Enterprise Information Management at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT
If you register for the event, you can stop by and chat with some awesome SQL Server MVPs and me about some of the newest features of SQL Server.
Unlike that other launch that is happening tomorrow, at the SQL Server Launch you can earn some really great prizes: cash gift cards, SQL Server Gear, and Xboxes. So the more you watch, the more you engage, the more you can win. Cash, Swag and Gaming. What more could you want?
Lovin’ Just for You
While I think non-DBA types can get a lot out of the overviews of all the new features, I think developer and data professionals will find these agenda items the most applicable:
Blazing-Fast Performance: A Technical Best Practices Tour with ColumnStore Index
Go behind the scenes with SQL Server engineers for a quick technical tour of the ColumnStore Index feature and an introduction to best practices for achieving astonishing performance with your ColumnStore Indexes.
Blazing-Fast Performance: Explore FileTables, Full-Text Search and Semantic Search for Faster, More Meaningful Results Across Unstructured Data
80% or more of the data produced and stored are so called unstructured documents and are often not stored in the database, but often need to be managed in conjunction with relational data. In order to facilitate the storage and management of unstructured data, SQL Server has evolved from storing blobs to providing a sophisticated integration with the Windows Filesystem and provides rich services over such data to provide an interesting and compelling application development experience. This presentation introduces the new unstructured data processing capabilities of SQL Server 2012 that provide full Windows application-compatible file management over files stored in SQL Server as well as the services to unlock the information in such data such as the extensions and improvements to Full-Text Search and the introduction of semantic similarity search.
Organizational Compliance: Using the New Security Features and Audit Enhancements to Increase Compliance Policies
Introduction to new security features in SQL Server 2012 such as User-Defined Server Roles and enhanced Auditing to increase organization compliance.
Peace of Mind: Quick Tour Through the New SQL Server Migration Assistant
In this session we will review SSMA modules that automate assessment, schema conversion, data migration and testing of Oracle and Sybase migrations to SQL Server 2012.
Unlocking the Value of Big Data with Microsoft Business Intelligence
Klout is a ground-breaking company that extracts signals from social networks to determine which people are most influential. Hadoop is a core part of how Klout captures and processes over 3 billion signals daily, however translating and analyzing these signals into meaningful information requires a scalable and cost effective business intelligence solution. That’s where Microsoft SQL Server 2012 comes in, delivering “speed of thought” ad hoc queries, with response times of under 10 seconds on 35 billion rows of data. Learn more about Big Data and BI best practices in this session.
Rapid Data Exploration: Empowering End User Insight Through Rapid Data Exploration and Visualization with Power View
Introduction to Power View, the new thin, self-service ad hoc reporting tool. In this session we will highlight its main features, scenarios, show a demo, and discuss its relationship to other products in the BI stack (SharePoint, Excel).
Rapid Data Exploration: Powerful Self-Service Analysis with PowerPivot
Get a taste of what’s new in PowerPivot, the self-service BI experience that enables information workers to build their personal and team BI applications within the familiar environment of Excel: This session will provide a quick introduction to PowerPivot, followed by demos highlighting the top 5 new modeling features delivered with the release of SQL Server 2012.
Managed Self-Service BI: End User Created, IT Managed
Introduction to the BI continuum – IWs using the familiar tools like Excel, IT retaining control and governance of the workbooks. We will show how IT can manage the system in SharePoint, and how self-service BI solutions transition to managed corporate BI solutions.
Credible, Consistent Data: Going Under the Hood with the New BI Semantic Model
Introduction to the BISM, position tabular and multidimensional types of models. We will show how easy it is to create a model in PowerPivot, show how Power View is leveraging it, and highlight how easy is it to go from an individual workbook to the enterprise IT governed BI solution.
Credible, Consistent Data: Improving Data Quality with the New Data Quality Services
No matter how brilliant your BI tools are, it’s garbage-in-garbage-out. This session will give an overview on the new Data Quality Services product in SQL Server 2012. Come watch this important scenario to learn how to position, sell, and demo the new DQS product.
Credible, Consistent Data: Empowering IW / Data Experts to Efficiently Manage Important Data with the New Master Data Services Add-In for Excel
Introduction to the improvements and new functionality in the SQL Server 2012 release, empowering IW to curate the organization’s important data, maintaining it accurate and relevant through its lifecycle, via easy model creation and validation.
Credible, Consistent Data: Introducing New Team-based Data Integration with Integration Services
There are plenty of new features for SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) in SQL Server 2012 that make it a very compelling release for your customers. This session will cover some of the highlights of the release, including the new Change Data Capture functionality. We will demonstrate how to bring together key components needed to build an effective ETL framework using SSIS. This reusable framework will show off the new functionality and productivity enhancements for existing users, and present a compelling story for customers who have never seen or used SSIS before. We will cover the end-to-end lifecycle of an SSIS solution, including how to maintain and manage the framework once it has been deployed into production.
Scalable Analytics & Data Warehousing: Fast Track for SQL Server 2012
Fast Track for SQL Server 2012 has significant improvements, leveraging exciting new enhancements in SQL Server 2012 like the new ColumnStore Index feature. You will also see how Fast Track partners are working with the SQL Server team to transform the latest enhancements in server and storage technology into highly optimized data warehouse Reference Architectures.
Big Data Analytics with Apache Hadoop and SQL Server 2012
In this session we will explore Apache Hadoop on Windows Server and Azure and powerful insights we can generate integrating with SQL Server.
There are more sessions, so be sure to check them all out. I hope you register and learn how you can Love Your Data with SQL Server 2012. See you there.
Several weeks ago NASA announced a new Tweetup for the launch of NASA Juno, a mission to collect data about the origins of Jupiter. Rob and I were not selected in the first round, but waitlisted (lovingly referred to as being on the #WaitUp List). Just a couple of weeks ago we both got news that we were moved up to the invite list. That made me happy, as Rob has not yet had the opportunity to attend a NASATweetup before. This time we can share the experience…and I hope the blogging and picture taking duties.
This rocket launch is scheduled to take place Friday 5 August around 11:34 AM ET. Right now it’s looking like the weather is still at 70% go, even with Emily forming in the Atlantic.
Like the NASATweetup I attended in May, NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will be providing briefings and demonstrations the day before the launch. Notice that you can watch some of the NASATweetup activities on NASA TV starting at 10:30 AM ET on 4 August. Since NASA provides this stream for free to most TV providers, you may get this channel for free. If not, you can also live stream via the links provided.
The Juno spacecraft will take five years to reach Jupiter. In 2016 it will spend about a year orbiting the red-eyed planet then "deorbit" into Jupiter to end its mission. The spacecraft is solar powered. You might notice how large those panels are in the NASA artwork. That’s because Jupiter is 25 times further away from the sun as the Earth is, so it has less sunlight to power the craft.
Our agenda for the 2-day NASATweetup will be:
Thursday, Aug.4/L-1: Tweetup Day 1
(8:00 a.m. – Tower rollback)
11:00 a.m. – Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator
11:10 a.m. – Steve Levin, Juno project scientist
11:55 a.m. – Steve Matousek (@SteveMatousek), Juno proposal manager, and Jan Chodas, Juno project manager
12:15 p.m. – Chris Brosious, chief systems engineer for Juno, Lockheed Martin
2:00 p.m. – Tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including stops at Launch Complex 17 (GRAIL), the Atlas V Spaceflight Operations Center (Juno/Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity), Launch Complex 41 (Juno), and the Vehicle Assembly Building
Friday, Aug. 5/ Launch: Tweetup Day 2
8:30 a.m. – Group picture beside the countdown clock
8:35 a.m. – Mike Ravine, JunoCam instrument manager, and Mike Caplinger, JunoCam Systems Engineer, Malin Space Science Systems
9:00 a.m. – Group 1: "Eyes on the Solar System" demo with Doug Ellison, JPL Visualization Producer (@NASA_Eyes) in press briefing room
Group 2: Gravity table demo with Dan Goods, JPL Visual Strategist, and What’s Up? astronomy demo with Jane Houston Jones, JPL Outreach Specialist, Cassini mission (@CassiniSaturn) in the tent
9:30 a.m. – Group 1: Gravity table and What’s Up?
Group 2: Eyes on the Solar System
10:00 a.m. – Rex Engelhardt, (@NASA_LSP), mission manager, Launch Services Program
(window closes at 12:43 p.m.)
~1 p.m. – Post-launch news conference on NASA TV
What an agenda. Bill Nye the Science guy. Investigators, Scientists, Project managers, Mission managers. What I found so great about the previous Tweetup I attended was having the opportunity to chat with people who are making a difference in the lives of millions of people, even for generations to come.
The tour is one of the most amazing parts of being a NASATweetup attendee. Special access to launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, operations centers: these are really once in a lifetime experiences. We’ll be tweeting most of the event and posting pictures using the #NASATweetup and #NASAJuno hashtags, along with 150 other lucky space geeks.
The first is of the retraction of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) that surrounds the shuttle while it is being prepared for launch. This happened about noon on 15 May 2011, the day before the launch. We tweet up-ers were taken by buses courtesy of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Visitor Complex to just outside Pad 39A where Endeavour activities were finishing up prior the launch. I took a screen shot of Google Maps on my phone to show the location near where we viewed the retraction.
I was able to get a bazillion pictures, as the retraction takes about 30 minutes. We all stood there in the Florida sunshine, watching people do their work while the RSS slowly rotated away from the orbiter.
In addition to using real cameras, I also gave Video Girl Barbie a chance to do her own filming with her embedded video camera. Her camera produces low quality recordings, but I find what she does produce to be of decent quality. First up is the retraction video taken on 15 May just outside Pad 39A.
For some more context, this is my photo of Endeavour. That’s how close we where.
The next morning we arrived at KSC just after 3AM. It was especially nice to see the orbiter all lit up. We definitely weren’t as close this time, but being 3.1 miles away meant that we were the closest non-staff viewers of the launch.
Video Girl did a great job filming the launch. You may want to crank up your speakers to get the full effect of the rumbling launch sound.
I have a bunch of pictures to share, and a few draft blog posts hanging around that you’ll see over the next few weeks. I’ll try to spread them out a bit so that you aren’t inundated with all my #spacebrain content all at once.
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