SQL Europe conferences

The SQLSaturday events are free, one-day mini-conferences hosted by the various SQL Server usergroups across the world. So far there have been 400 SQL Saturday events across six continents.

On the 28 February, the Austrian SQL Server usergroups hosted SQL Saturday in Vienna. There were more than 300 attendees from all across Austria and beyond. My presentation on database corruption had a large and enthusiastic audience.

The database corruption session is mostly about things that DBAs can do so that if their database ever does become corrupt, they can recover easily. The focus of the presentation is around backups, recovery plan, monitoring and alerts. The second part is on what to do if corruption is detected, and the focus there is on understanding the errors and ensuring that actions taken don’t make the problem worse.

The keynote was given by Mark Souza of Microsoft’s Customer Advisory Team, who discussed a number of features that may or may not be coming in future versions of SQL Server.

After SQL Saturday, it was time to make the trip across Europe to London for the SQL Bits conference. I had two accepted sessions for the conference: a regular session on transactions and a double-length session on indexes.

The session on transactions had a small but attentive audience. In it, I covered the concept of atomicity and how transactions guarantee atomicity. I also looked at how locks locks interact with transactions and ended with an examination of error handling and the necessarily of catching errors that can occur within transactions.

The indexing session was full, standing-room only! The session covered index architecture in brief, touching on how index trees work. A good understanding of index architecture often makes figuring out how and why SQL uses particular indexes easy. Despite some minor AV problems, the session went spectacularly: attentive audience, good questions, great feedback, even if I did find a mistake on one of the slides. With index architecture out of the way, I spent the rest of the session looking at design considerations for the clustered index and then looking at how the queries that run against a table will affect the nonclustered indexes chosen for it. The video recording of the session is available on the SQLBits site.

All in all, it was another very successful SQLBits conference and I’m looking forward to the next one.

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