PASS Summit 2012


So another PASS summit has come and gone. I had a great time and not only was it technically informative I also got to meet some great people. My company had a great presence as well with 7 attendees this year and a speaker for two sessions, so a congratulations goes out to Steve Hughes, , for his efforts. For those of you who could not attend I challenge you to do all you can to attend next year in Charlotte, NC and I am going to try and point out some of the highlights of this year’s conference.


Wednesday morning started off with the first Keynote speech by Ted Kummert where several important announcements were made.

  1. Project “Hekaton” was announced, more to follow below about this. Oracle has already made some responses Oracle Response
  2. SQL 2012 SP1 was launched
  3. PASS Business Analytics conference in Chicago April 10 – 13 in Chicago.
  4. Columnstore Indexes to be updatable and clustered
  5. Next version of SQL PDW will be available in 1st quarter of 2013
  6. PolyBase, a new tool for allowing traditional T-SQL statements to be executed against Hadoop, will be released by June 2013
  7. Powerview is native to Excel 2013 and includes the ability to execute DAX queries against traditional MOLAP cubes.


While all these updates are all individually important the most important ones to me are project “Hekaton” and Powerview native to Excel 2013. Hekaton is the next major enhancement to in memory technology on the SQL stack and bringing OLTP into the in memory space. During the demo of Hekaton several different examples where shown. The first was showing the performance increase by just putting the table into memory and a performance increase of about 13x was achieved. They followed that up by putting both the table and the stored procedure in memory and a performance increase of around 60x was achieved. Now while this was a demo and real world scenarios are always more of a true test it was still rather impressive to see this advancement and what it shows for the future of SQL Server and competing with other database platforms.

Not as for Powerview not being native to Excel 2013. This is one that really changes how business can bring analytical reporting to their end users. The requirement for SharePoint in order to use Powerview is no longer there, and in my opinion was a big road block to the adaption of Powerview. However, with it now being native to Excel you can have a robust reporting engine from within a tool that the users are already familiar to using and combine that with the support for traditional Multidimensional cubes and you now have a true reporting tool that I think will be adopted by business very quickly.

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