SQL Server, SQL Server Sri Lanka User Group, SS SLUG

SS SLUG Kaleidoscope – February 2012 Action

Very Interesting Twist this time! Follow the trail to see how their plan to climb high on the Action Meter worked well.

The evening kicked off with Gogula Aryalingam’s (MVP) session on Why OLAP? How OLAP. Lucky that I’ve read a bit or two about it prior to the session, else I would’ve ended up counting the number of chairs in the room. Before jumping into OLAP (OnLine Analytical Processing), Gogula explained about OLTP. He explained the limitations of it and how they can be overcome with OLAP. He went on to explain the basic differences between OLTP and OLAP, for instances OLAP uses the concept of Cubes over two dimensional tables. In cubes users can define multiple dimensions of data and map them accordingly. This would help in querying out results quicker, compared to OLTP. OLAP comes with a bigger advantage where one doesn’t have to break their heads over writing queries. Instead it’s a simple 2 step procedure, Drag n Drop! But if someone insists on the hard way out, they still have the option of writing queries for OLAP using MDX. He also explained that at present Data Marts are gradually replacing Data Warehouses. (Please refer Gogula’s comment on the post) The session wrapped up with a demo on how to use OLAP and proving a point that it is one of the best solutions for hard core reporting and analysis for both tech savyy and non tech savyy.

The much awaited event of the evening, Whirlwind DBA Demos by the Pearson Lanka DBA Team was up next. This was the first time they’ve incorporated something like this in the meet up I believe and it was indeed a good idea. It kind of elevated the interest of the meet up unlike the monotonous predictable routine of having 2 main sessions limited to heavy technical topics. And honestly, it was the first time I found the meet up to be very exciting 🙂

So the demos focused on the main day to day activities and issues faced. 6 presenters from the field, did mini presentations, 10 minutes each, on the following:

  1. Logical Partitioning for Better Performance by Dinesh Karunarathne
  2. Why Filtered Indexes? by Jude Pieries 

  3. Profiler as a QA Tool by Sanjeewa Jayawickrama
  4. Log Tail Backup to Recover Data by Dinesh Asanka (MVP)
  5. SQL Gimmicks by Prithiviraj Kulasingham (MVP)
  6. Reading Deadlocks by Susantha Bathige

Jude kept on emphasizing that “You should know your data” in order to get the ultimate use of Filtered Indexes. Sanjeewa spoke of the importance of Profiler for QA by providing a practical example, where there was a failure in Production because of not conducting a thorough test and how it could’ve been eliminated if they had used Profiler. Though Dinesh A.‘s topic was not a scenario faced on a daily basis, but he showed how prevention is better than cure by providing a demo. Preethi mentioned that, demos similar to the ones he showed can be found at sqlworkshops.com.

Overall the evening went well and the Demos were indeed a good add on to the meet up because they were light weighted plus very useful tips. Looking forward to another exciting event, the lightening talks planned for the next meet up.