[Note: This is repost from May 22, 2013, due to technical issues on this blog.]

Each year I participate in a variety of public events, including conferences, user groups, SQL Saturdays, and webinars of all kinds. (This year, indeed next week, I’m going to an event that is part of a cruise – SQLCruise!) Through these events, I am able to meet and interact with people from all over the world and I feel very privileged to have these opportunities. The one event that started it all for me was PASS Summit, an annual gathering of SQL Server professionals from all over the world. My first year of attendance was 2002, I believe, and I knew no one. Well, maybe one person…who heckled me at my one and only presentation there. Some friend… 🙂 Fast forward to the present, I can hardly walk 50 feet without running into someone I know. It’s gone from just another event to a family reunion…A SQLFamily reunion!

In fact, last year, I had a reunion with Scott Cameron, author of SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Step by Step. He and I built our first data warehouse together, back in 1999. We’ve come a long way since then, working together at two other companies meanwhile, before we eventually parting company when I started Data Inspirations back in 2006. But fortunately our paths cross from time to time.

Summit 2012

In most years, “Summit” (as my peers commonly refer to it) is held in Seattle to facilitate the inclusion of Microsoft personnel, but from time to time Summit strays from the homebase. This year, PASS Summit 2013 will be held in Charlotte, NC. I was delighted to receive an email last week that announced not only had I been selected to speak, but that I would presenting a preconference session, a spotlight session, and a regular session!

Two out of the three of these sessions focus on Reporting Services. In case, you missed it – I totally revamped my prior Reporting Services books with a new release available May 1, 2013, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services (catchy name, eh?) and have encapsulated key topics from that book into workshop and presentation formats.


My third session – the spotlight – focuses on some techniques I developed and applied during a recent client engagement. There are a few frameworks out there for developing packages and Analysis Services databases that we explored, and wound up adapting to better suit the needs of the project. Furthermore, the challenge of the project was to efficiently reproduce the results for a multi-tenant business intelligence solution. And thus began my journey into BIML. This session is about possibilities and lessons learned that I am so looking forward to sharing!

Something (or Two or Three Things…) to Talk About at PASS Summit 2013

For the curious, here’s an overview of my Summit 2013 sessions.

From Reporting Services Rookie to Rockstar – Full Day Preconference Session

Join this introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services, designed specifically for report developers who have no prior experience with the product, and learn how to use the development tools effectively, how to present and enhance data in a report, and how to create dynamic reports. Even if you have some experience with Reporting Services, this session will explore aspects that aren’t intuitive or well-documented, helping you expand your skills and make the most of this powerful reporting tool. In a jam-packed day of discussions and demonstrations focused on SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services and later, you’ll learn:

  • How to approach the report development process
  • How to manage key components of a report project: data sources, datasets, report items, and data regions
  • How to use a tablix effectively to design the layout of data with creative groupings
  • How to use expressions to display data or change the appearance and behavior of a report in practical ways
  • How to use report parameters with and without query parameters
  • How to use data visualization features to enhance the communication of information
  • How to add interactivity to reports
  • How to work with pagination and rendering features to manage page layout
  • And more!

Planning Your Report Design – Regular Session

SQL Server Reporting Services provides a lot of flexibility in report design, which can be overwhelming at first. You can spend a lot of time trying out different approaches to report design before you discover that a feature that users need most conflicts with the features you’ve been implementing. With some advance planning, you can decide which features are most important for your current project and be more productive throughout the report development process. In this session, you’ll learn how to approach the report design process, including assessing your audience, reviewing your layout options, and implementing standards.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Automating Your BI Framework – Spotlight Session

Quite frankly, some aspects of building out a business intelligence solution are tedious. As you cycle through iterations of your star schema, you’ll find that even a simple data type change in the data warehouse requires you to make corresponding changes to staging tables, SSIS packages, and SSAS multidimensional or tabular models that take a considerable amount of time to implement. But there’s a better, faster way! In this session, we’ll explore lessons from a project that required implementation of a framework to easily generate BI objects based on reusable patterns. We’ll walk through the decision points in the framework design, review the implementation steps, and see demonstrations of how easily you can make iterative changes to your BI solution’s design by using reusable design patterns. Whether you simply want to accelerate change management or reproduce objects in bulk on demand, this session will give you practical tips for automating these processes.

Come Join Me!

Summit is always an experience to remember, and it just keeps getting better! I hope you can make it, and if you do, I really hope you stop me in the hallway, in the lunch line, at an afterparty, anywhere – and say hi!