Simplest Example

Simplest Example

the essence of the thing

Growing and Retaining User Group Membership

The North Central Region of PASS had a community meeting on March 26th to discuss the topic of growing and retaining user group members.  We discussed these as separate topics, but found that many items were equally appropriate to efforts in growing or retaining members.  Here’s the items that we came up with in the… (read more)

How Do I Get Sponsors For My User Group?

The North Central Region of PASS had a community meeting on January 21st to discuss the topic of sponsors from a couple different angles. Here’s the notes from the meeting. Some other PASS groups have put together official sponsorship plans that you might be able to use to develop your own.  A Word doc with… (read more)

Coordinating Calendars

Coordinating calendars with people to find a time to meet can be difficult when they’re outside your company’s calendaring system. Or maybe you don’t have a corporate calendaring solution? There are two tools I frequently use when I’m arranging meetings with people. agreeAdate is a web service that allows a user to pick several possible… (read more)

How Do I Find Speakers For My User Group?

I’m a Regional Mentor for PASS. At PASS Summit 2014, many of the chapter leaders in my region stated that they would get some value from having regular meetings with other chapter leaders in the area. We decided to kick things off with a meeting on the topic of speakers. I broke down this topic… (read more)

We Should Meet, But When?

I’m a member of a lot of groups that meet periodically and it can be a difficult challenge to determine what time is a good time for people to meet.  I looked around at options that were available to solve this and found a free service that met all my needs. agreeAdate allows a person to setup a… (read more)

SQL Saturday Madison 2014, Technology Recap

SQL Saturday Madison

For the last three years, I have been one of the organizers of the SQL Saturday Madison event.  My niche for volunteer tasks is around the use of technology at the event to help with registration check-in and help increase audience participation in the event.  We did a few things different this year, some by choice… (read more)

Putting Clustered Indexes On Huge Heap Tables


I’ve recently been working with a company that has some relatively large tables stored as heaps.  Adding clustered indexes to a few of these tables has been relatively difficult, as they’re very active and, for reasons that I don’t need to get into here, we have very limited drive space. They have SQL Server Enterprise Edition, which allows us to add… (read more)

I Have No Way To Learn About SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups

Virtual Lab SQL 2012

People often try to explain to me that they don’t have the ability to learn about something because they don’t have the proper hardware.  I felt so strongly that this was a lame excuse that I used to use a sub-$500 plastic HP laptop that I walked into Best Buy and bought as my work laptop… (read more)

Large Sample Databases for SQL Server

A large sample dataset is helpful when demonstrating the benefits of SQL Server features such as compression or columnstore indexes. Here’s a list of sources of large sets of data that can act as this sample set of data with little additional preparation. Microsoft Contoso BI Demo Dataset for Retail Industry – download the ContosoBIdemoBAK.exe… (read more)