A SQL Saturday in Cambridge – Buck Woody’s Ragtime Database Workshop

The SQL Server community is really engaged. They are an active bunch on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, they help each other on forums, they attend conferences. But that isn’t enough interaction – the community started a grass-roots effort to hold local conferences on a Saturday. Free conferences. Odds are there’s one near you… http://www.sqlsaturday.com/default.aspx ……

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Preparation is key to a successful cloud deployment

If you want to be wise, watch the actions and outcomes of others. Emulate the successful actions, and avoid the actions that cause failure. That’s true in life in general – and in technology projects in specific.  I’ve worked with several clients who have created or migrated an application to “the cloud” – meaning using…

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How I Prepare For Presentations, And My Speaking Schedule For This Quarter

I do a little speaking here and there and I’ve been asked about the method I use to get ready for a talk. I thought I might share the method I use, although as you read through this remember that not everyone has the same style, processes and procedures they use. As long as you…

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The Conundrum of Cloud Computing Evidence

“Who is using Windows Azure? How are they doing it?” I get asked this all the time as I speak to our clients when we mention Windows or SQL Azure as a possible solutions to an architectural problem the company has. I completely understand the question. I’ve worked far longer outside of Microsoft than here,…

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How to get Microsoft to speak at your event

If you’re holding a special event, such as a SQL Saturday or a user group, one of the challenges is to get speakers for the event. Now, the best speakers come from the community – people who use the product day-in, day-out. They have a wealth of expertise, and many of them are really great…

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The SQL Server Health Check

My friend Brent Ozar, who is a top-notch SQL Server Professional, mentioned on his blog (http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2007/04/sql-server-health-check/comment-page-1/#comment-17520) that he brought in Microsoft Support to do a “Health Check”. There were some questions about what this actually entails – so I thought I would post that description here. A SQL Server Health Check from Microsoft is an…

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Who do I talk to in Microsoft about…

Have you ever seen one of us “Softies” (Microsoft Professionals) at a conference, briefing or on Mount Rainier on a motorcycle and said “You work for Microsoft? I need your help on fixing….”? Perhaps you heard back from that person, or perhaps you lost touch. Perhaps they knew who you should talk to about the…

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You have a Voice at Microsoft

When I was on the product team, I was asked by a few of you from time to time to make a change in SQL Server. Now that I’m in the field, I get asked to "chat with the development team" to make one change or another. But you actually have more say than I…

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Free User Group Support

As you know, I’m a big proponent of User Groups. I’ve been in charge of many, and I still present at them and attend my local PASS chapter. I just found a fantastic free resource for user groups – free content, advice, and even money!  Check it out here: http://www.ugss.codezone.com/MyUGSS.CodezoneCom?ActiveID=3831

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Knowing Your Data

Once of my favorite things about working here at Microsoft is that from time to time we get to hear a presentation from customers using our software and what they are doing with it. Yesterday we heard from a lead astronomer from Johns Hopkins University, Alexander Szalay, who talked about the various “Peta” projects they…

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