PASS Summit, Denali & SQL Saturday Tampa

Were you one of the lucky ones to get to the PASS Summit this past week in Seattle?  Unfortunately, I was not.  However, I did watch the live stream of the keynotes each day.  Of course, the big announcement was ‘Denali’ otherwise known as SQL Server 2011.  There are many interesting new features, but also a few deletions.  It would appear that the promised end to DTS has finally arrived.  If you still have not converted your DTS jobs over to SSIS, you need to start now. 

Not only are the keynotes available through the PASS web site ( for free, but you can also purchase the conference DVDs for only $395.  For those of you who did not get to go, that is a bargain. 

For those adventurous souls out there, you can download the CTP 1 of ‘Denali’ from Microsoft’s web site:   The published System requirements are Windows 7; Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Server 2008 SP2; and Windows Vista SP2.  A friend of mine tried to load it on Windows Server 2003 and was unsuccessful.  For those of you who do not have a 64-bit system, Microsoft is still supporting 32-bit versions of ‘Denali’.  But it will also run on a 64-bit OS as I installed it on a 64-bit virtual machine with Windows Server 2008 R2.  You should also have an Intel or compatible system running at 1GHz although Microsoft recommends 2 GHz.  If you don’t like waiting around for your system to respond, go with a 2 GHz or better.  You will need a minimum of 1 GB of RAM but probably should have at least double and the install (without your data) will use a bit over 2 GB of hard disk space.

Later tonight I plan to download a copy of the AdventureWorks databases to install with my ‘Denali’ system and begin taking a deeper look into the new features.

Why should I be interested in SQL Server?  After all, I’m basically a SharePoint guy right now.  I could say that SharePoint runs on SQL Server, but that is hardly the reason.  Rather I’ve been a fan of databases since dBase II, dBase III, and the the entire FoxBase/FoxPro line of database environments.  A little over ten years ago I moved from Visual FoxPro to SQL Server development and have been riding the wave ever since.  As some of you may know, I attended and have spoken at several SQL Saturday events over the last three years and look forward to many more.  In fact, I hope to speak at the Tampa SQL Saturday event on January 15th, 2011.  Hope to see you there.