Thursday, November 22, 2007

SQL Saturday is coming to Tampa

Data professionals - this is the event you have been awaiting. SQL Saturday is being put on by Durable Impact Consulting on January 12, 2008. Our location is at the DoubleTree Hotel Tampa Airport (4500 West Cypress Blvd, Tampa, FL). We have a lot of great sponsors for this event, including Microsoft, KForce, Visual Gov, End2End Training, and others that will be listed later.

I'm the director of this event and there is a talented Board of Directors who are helping to put this event together. It's certainly not a one man show, and thanks to the sponsors, the event is free for attendees.

I'm really excited about this event - keep watching this blog, and each week, I plan to post a new surprise for the event.

Check out for further information.

Happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Purpose of Parameters in ETL

For those of you who don't know, I am now doing software consulting full time. I'll write another post about that, but today I experienced something I wanted to share.

One of my clients has ETL jobs created to populate a data warehouse. Well, for all intents and purposes it's technically a data store, but I digress. I was asked to take a look at some Data Stage ETL jobs that needed to be modified because the database user id had changed. WHAT? You mean people are actually hard coding critical values and passwords in ETL jobs? Why yes they are. I spoke with the ETL architect about the practice and friendly advised him that is a data warehouse worst practice. He was aware of the issue and but a decision was made back in the past to 'get it done now', but thankfully it was an easy sell to put all the user information in variables, but they still wanted variables hardcoded in the jobs, so the battle is only half-way won. I did get a committment to move to a dynamic configuration and I am putting finishing touches on my prototype, but the moral of the story is to not save your user id's and passwords hard coded in ETL jobs. It simply exponentially increases the maintenance costs at a later time.

SQL Saturday - This Weekend

Howdy folks. It's been a couple weeks since we've last talked but I wanted to remind you that SQL Saturday - Orlando is coming up this Saturday. This is going to be a SQL data-lovin' fest featuring the best and brightest minds in the area presenting talks on data. Yip, you got that right I'll be speaking, but I don't claim to be the best or brightest, I am a sucker for speaking engagements.

I will be giving two sessions - the first, at 9 AM, is "Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services", the new session that I presented in Jacksonville and Tallahassee code camps this year. This session is going to be my staple session for the 2008 code camp season, which officially kicks off in February with South Florida Code Camp IV.

The second, monster session is a full 80 minutes of data warehouse loving discussion. This session is basically the same as I presented at the past two South Florida Code Camps - "It's all about the Data: Building a Data Warehouse using SQL Server 2005". (see my archives for a detailed overview of this session). As much as I think I have saturated the state with my data warehouse talks, I continue to draw a huge crowd each time I present this session, so you will see it in all it's glory finally presented in enough time to really be able to slow down and deep dive into the material. As a note, I hoped to run some SSRS reports off my data, but grad school and Durable Impact have keep me busy enough where I did not have time to complete that portion, so boo hoo.

I'll be at the pre-party on Friday night, but I probably won't stay for Saturday night's party. I'm dying to get some camping in during the cool weather so I'll be heading out immediately after my sessions.

Sneak peak - final disucssions are underway to hold a SQL Saturday - Tampa during the winter months. Hopefully there will be something to announce this week.

Take care and happy data-ing.