#sqlpass notes from the Wednesday Keynotes

At the Wednesday keynotes we started with Rushabh talking about the PASS financials.  Some numbers include:

2010 revenue projection of $3.2M which is a 15% reduction from the 2009 numbers.  But even with this reduction PASS is planning on spending 40% more on the SQL Server community.  They were able to increase the community spending, by ratically reducing the IT expenses by 67%.

Wayne then named some outstanding volunteers that work with PASS.  This includes Tim Ford for his work on 24 hours of PASS, Grant Fritschey for his work on the new SQL Server Standard, Amy Lewis who is the leader of the BI virtual chapter, Jacob Sebastian who is heading up the PASS Member Outreach program in India.

This year there are two passion awards being given out.  The first was presented to Charley Hanania for his work with the European PASS Committee, his work with the Swiss PASS Chapter.  He has be working with PASS for 4 years so far.  The second was presented to Allen Kinsel (Twitter) for his work in preparing the PASS conference.

Tom Casey (Twitter) who is a General Manager of the SQL Server Product Team at Microsoft then took the stage.  He has reminded us that only 20% of the people have the information that they need to do their job.  Specifically they need more information from there data, and how SQL Servers BI product suite can help the other 80% of the people out there get the infomation that they need.

Tom brought Ron VanZanten from First Premier Bankcard to talk about how SQL Server BI is used by them to drive their business and why they picked SQL Server over Oracle and Teradata.  First Premier Bankcard selected SQL Server because of the Office integration, as well as the pricepoint that SQL Server comes in at.  First Premier Bankcard has gone from a new customer to an early adopter running SQL Server Madison for their data warehouse which has reduced some queries run time from hours to minutes.

Tom then talked about how the new Power Pivot platform is going to make it easier to the Information Worker to get the information they need, while IT will still control the data and the application.  This is expected to make the Information Worker more efficient without having to requesting that the IT department put together the new application.

Tom brought Amir Netz (Twitter) of Microsoft to the stage to show a demostration of Power Pivot.  The demo included bringing 100 million rows into Excel from the data warehouse then filtering that data against values which were simply entered by hand into another sheet in the workbook.  As for sharing these huge documents we have Power Pivot for Sharepoint which allows you to upload the Excel workbook to the Sharepoint portal. The application can then automatically refresh the data and allow anyone who needs to view, and then slice and dice the data via the sharepoint portal without having to download the application.  The work is all done on the sharepoint server, by using your SSAS serer to do the needed processing.

When you configure Power Pivot for sharepoint you get a very interactive set of managemet screens in the sharepoint configuration.  It will show you who’s using the files, how often they are being used, and trends which show the usage of the documents over time.

The downside to putting all this new Power Pivot functionality in your org is that Office 2010, Sharepoint 2010 Enterprise Edition, and SQL Server 2008 R2 are all required to make this all work.  This ends up being a pretty pricy solution if you don’t have Sharepoint and SQL already.



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