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SQL South West User Group

SQL South West is a chapter of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS)

PASS Chapter

If you are using SQL Server in any way and are interested in meeting other SQL professionals in the South West then please contact us.

We are a group of DBAs and developers from Cornwall, Devon and Somerset who get together in Exeter once a month to talk about anything related to SQL. If you live or work in the South West of the UK or are in the area on business or holiday then we’d be happy to see you; scroll down or contact us for details of upcoming meetings.

The group is for anyone working with SQL Server or anyone interested in starting to work with it. You may be a full time DBA or developer or someone looking to understand SQL Server things more clearly or maybe you are the guy that didn’t run fast enough when the last DBA left.

SQL Saturday Exeter 2017

As organisers of the SQL Saturday Exeter conference we are highly conscious of the resources needed to make these events happen, not least the good will and free time from all the dozens of volunteers but also the effort and finance that comes from the sponsors too.

We say it every time because it is true – we can’t run without them. We are however sensitive to the fact that there are lots of events running in the UK and that there seems to be ever more events that want to run. We risk reaching a point where we are spreading the sponsor funds so thin that event quality will suffer. We have seen this year that a couple of other events run in a loss-making circumstance and don’t want to see any event fail in this way. Budgets are not small for these events and it is a personal risk that the organisers take – if there is a short-fall in funds then we/they are individually liable to make up the difference.

There is also a pretty cramped calendar to contend with, once you remove public holidays, quiet summer months when people are on holiday, other events, personal calendar events then there are often not many options to run an event. Interaction between events cant be underestimated – attendees are generally having to negotiate their time at a conference with some other party, be it a family/home that needs their time or an employer that has a limited budget and a workload to get completed. Having every weekend full of conferences is going to mean that many conferences get poor attendance or that a few conferences get very low attendance. This makes them less attractive to sponsors and makes other attendees wonder if they made the right choice.

With all of this in mind for some time we have recently done some planning with our fellow South Coast user group in Southampton and have decided to become a bi-annual event. SQL Saturday Exeter  and SQL Saturday Southampton will run on alternate years so that we can keep up the numbers of attendees, make better use of sponsor funding and ensure an absolute top quality experience at both events.

At least that’s the hope.

This isn’t a strategy without risk itself, will people adopt a 2-year cycle or will we lose attendees during our year off? I guess its going to take until at least 2018 to find out.

[Edit: Just to be clear, SQL Saturday Southampton is running in 2017 (date to be confirmed at this moment) and SQL Saturday Exeter will be back in 2018.



August meeting content

This month we have Data warehousing with SQL Server Analysis Services from Terry McCann.

In this 2 hour session (with a pizza break in the middle – [Jonathan]) we will look at a primer to data warehouses and then follow this up a look at the 2 flavours of SSAS. Firstly we will tackle SSAS multidimensional looking at what it is and how it works, then we will look at SSAS tabular and talk about how tabular works.

You might be thinking why on earth is there 2 versions of SSAS!?! We will talk about that too and briefly touch on the languages that each model uses. At the end of this session, you might not be an SSAS maestro, but you will know the details of each product and I will demo building an SSAS cube in each product. This session is not just for you BI guys, this session is for DBAs too – You need to know what these developers are building in your estate.