About the PASS Summit

The big conference in the SQL Server world is the PASS Summit. In previous years, the conference boasted more than 5,000 attendees. Back in its usual haunt of Seattle, this year’s PASS Summit promises three days of the best technical sessions available. With more than 200 technical sessions across three days, there is nothing else like it. As usual, there will be too much material packed into too little time, but all the sessions will be recorded and attendees can download them free of charge, so missing a session is not a major problem.

I’m presenting a 400-level session (classified ‘Expert’ level) on the Friday afternoon. The session is on the internals of one aspect of the Query Optimiser – the Cardinality Estimator. The presentation is an expanded version of the one I did for the 24 Hours of PASS Summit Preview and goes into detail on how SQL Server estimates the number of rows that will be affected by a query operator, how it uses statistics to get accurate row estimations and what happens when it can’t use the statistics. The idea of the presentation is that once people know how SQL Server generates the row estimations, they’re much better equipped to solve problems when they encounter queries with incorrect row estimations. The session will be shown on PASStv and so anyone, whether they’re attending or not, can watch it.

This year, PASS Summit is not the only conference in early November in Seattle. Microsoft has moved its MVP Summit from its usual February/March timeframe to the same week as PASS Summit. The MVP Summit is a private conference for the recipients of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional award.

The MVP Summit is an opportunity to sit with the SQL Server development team for presentations on future plans and upcoming features. Everything during the MVP summit is under NDA, including the agenda, so unfortunately, no details can be given on what will be shown and discussed there.

To make it a triple punch, Red Gate is holding the Seattle leg of its SQL in the City mini-conference during the same week. SQL in the City is a technical conference with a dash of marketing. It’s run by Red Gate and there are sessions that promote their tools but not all sessions are marketing related. That said, even the ones that aren’t, are usually completely marketing focused!

This year I’m co-presenting a (hopefully) half-humorous, half-serious, zero-marketing session on transaction log management entitled ‘You did WHAT to my transaction log?!?!?!?’ in which Tony Davis and I look at the various ways people mismanage their logs, the consequences of doing this and what the recommended practices are for log management.

It’s a long road to Seattle… but it’s well worth it for the wealth of knowledge available to everyone attending the three conferences.

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