Wednesday, January 26, 2005

SQL Server BI day in Bangalore

Jan 22, Saturday:

Let me take this opportunity to say a couple of words about our UG and then talk about the event. SQLBang is a SQL Server SIG (Special Interest Group). We are recognized by the PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server) and INETA (International .NET Association). This is a unique and special opportunity for us in a way. This group primarily concentrates on SQL Server initiatives. With the start of the year our goal was to start with a Bang. And yes, we did it. We had our first big Event SQL Server BI Day.

The concept of SQL Server BI day was to get industry experts from the BI arena right to the UG stage. And this was quite tough to find. And to help us get the best to our Usergroup we asked INETA for help. This is where we met Dr. Nitin Paranjape (MD of Maestros (Mediline) and INETA Speaker). He is a prolific writer, trainer and orator. He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor. He has written over 750 articles in popular weekly column called ‘TechForum’ for “Express Computers” magazine. He has conducted more than 500 knowledge transfer sessions covering 6000+ professionals on various technical and medical topics. We had Dr. Nitin deliver a introduction session on OLAP and how it works in the present day ...

Our next focus was to get a speaker from the next generation technologies. This is where we had to ping Microsoft for help. And to our surprise we found Dr. Nat Natarajan (Technical Program Manager at Microsoft), he is responsible for driving Business Intelligence (BI) ISV ecosystem strategy and enabling Microsoft ISV partners in this space. Nat Natarajan has over 10 years experience in the IT industry with the last 6 years being at Microsoft. And this was a boon trip for us from an Usergroups perspective.

The session had a strength of around 120-140 people. The registrations started at around 1:30 at the Microsoft Center near Airport Road. And we had the speakers ready to start their sessions ... At sharp 2:00 we had Dr.Nitin start his talk. Nitin started the session with understanding the OLAP world, how it works, how we generate reports, analyzing reports, extensive use of how Excel can be used to generate amazing useful reports. During the presentation he mentions "Learn Excel and then learn OLAP :)" Nevertheless this introductory session on the basics of OLAP went for around 2 hours. It had to be restricted as Dr. Nitin had to fly back to Mumbai. Thanks INETA to facilitate the same.

We had a quick break and then we started the second session. This was from Dr. Nat Natrajan. Nat started his introduction to SQL Server 2005 BI features and how it can be mapped. He gave a feel of Reporting Services,Analytical services and performance management and how effectively this is being managed in the SQL Server 2005 world. He also took the opportunity to talk on the T-SQL Enhancements and the extensibility features of SQL Server 2005. DTS a.k.a SSIS was one of the hot topics and many questions did come up during the session. Even though 2 hours is too small of a window to talk even one feature completely, Nat did his best is making the audience realize to what is in store in the next upcoming version of SQL Server. To keep it short and sweet - "Yukon rocks!!!"

Dr. Nitin in Action:

Dr. Nat's Presentation:

And to add spice, excitement and more fun. I distributed some goodies at the event. We had short quizzes and lots of take-aways. Before I conclude I also wanted to add we are thrilled to conduct and see responses for such events. This has given me enough energy to have more sessions like this in the future too. Incidentally, Jan 22 also marks the second anniversary day for Bangalore .NET Usergroup (BDotNet). Hold on guys. We will celebrate it in a big way :) ...

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