First of all, I have to thank the awesome speakers who presented at our user group meeting on Tuesday night, April 17. Mark Souza ( T | B ) for a great question and answer session. He was open about SQL Server and where it is heading. Some items that interested me is that SQL Azure was running the SQL Server 2012 platform in production by December 2011. Microsoft is committed to releasing more changed through the SQL Azure platform at a faster clip. This will allow them to continually improve the quality of releases for the boxed version as well. (Speaking of which, the boxed version is not going away any time soon.)
Mark also spoke about leaving data at its source and using tools to bring the data together for reporting and analysis. He touted the Hadoop integration efforts as key part of this strategy. If you have followed my blog for a bit, you know that I do a lot of work with Oracle and MSBI. As a result, I had to ask when a good version of Oracle drivers would be available. While he did not have a good answer on this at the time, he did mention that OData is a data access solution for me to look at. Look for a future blog post as I explore this protocol to ease some of my Oracle.
After Mark finished answering the variety of questions asked by the crowd we handed the microphone to Itzik Ben-Gan ( T | B ). As usual, he took an entire hour to help us understand that we did not know all of the possible ways to use the APPLY operator. However, I also learned about the DBCC OPTIMIZER_WHATIF function which allows you to change the system settings the Optimizer uses to create a plan. For instance, DBCC OPTIMIZER_WHATIF(1,16) will tell the optimizer to use 16 processors in its plan.
Finally, I will be out at SQL Saturday #118 in Madison this weekend. I have two presentations there – A Window Into Your Data: Using SQL Window Functions and Performance Monitoring and Tuning in SSAS. Maybe I will see you there.