posts - 230, comments - 423, trackbacks - 27

My Links



Follow billgraziano on Twitter

Article Categories


Post Categories


SQL Server


SQL Saturday 300 BBQ Crawl

SQL Saturday #300 is coming up right here in Kansas City on September 13th, 2014.  This is our fifth SQL Saturday which means it's the fifth anniversary of our now infamous BBQ Crawl.  We get together on Friday afternoon before the event and visit a few local joints.  We've done nice places and we've done dives.  We haven’t picked the venues yet but I promise you’ll be well fed! And if you’re thinking about the BBQ crawl you should think about submitting a session.  Our call for speakers closes Tuesday, July 15th so you just have time!  ...

posted @ Monday, July 14, 2014 6:52 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Events PASS ]

PASS: Bylaw Change 2013

PASS launched a Global Growth Initiative in the Summer of 2011 with the appointment of three international Board advisors.  Since then we’ve thought and talked extensively about how we make PASS more relevant to our members outside the US and Canada.  We’ve collected much of that discussion in our Global Growth site.  You can find vision documents, plans, governance proposals, feedback sites, and transcripts of Twitter chats and town hall meetings.  We also address these plans at the Board Q&A during the 2012 Summit. One of the biggest changes coming out of this process is around how we elect...

posted @ Thursday, January 10, 2013 1:20 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: International Travels

Nihao!  One of the largest changes PASS is going through is the the expansion outside the US and Canada.  We’ve had international chapters and events in Europe since the early 2000’s.  But nothing on the scale we’re seeing now.  Since January 1st there have been 18 SQL Saturday events outside North America and 19 events in North America.  We hope to have three international SQLRally events outside the US in FY13 (budget willing).  I don’t know the exact percentage of chapters outside the US but it’s got be 50% or higher. We recently started an effort to remake the...

posted @ Thursday, June 21, 2012 3:16 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: SQLRally Thoughts

The PASS Board recently decided that we wouldn’t put another US-based SQLRally on the calendar until we had a chance to review the program. I wanted to provide some of my thinking around this. Keep in mind that this is the opinion of one Board member. The Board committed to complete two SQLRally events to determine if an event modeled between SQL Saturday and the Summit was viable. We’ve completed the two events and now it’s time to step back and review the program. This is my seventh year on the PASS Board. Over that time people have...

posted @ Friday, June 01, 2012 5:22 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: Total Registrations

At the Summit you’ll see PASS announce the total attendance and the “total registrations”.  The total registrations is the sum of the conference attendees and the pre-conference registrations.  A single person can be counted three times (conference plus two pre-cons) in the total registration count. When I was doing marketing for the Summit this drove me nuts.  I couldn’t figure out why anyone would use total registrations.  However, when I tried to stop reporting this number I got lots of pushback.  Apparently this is how conferences compare themselves to each other.  Vendors, sponsors and Microsoft all wanted to know...

posted @ Saturday, October 08, 2011 2:23 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: Board Q&A at the Summit

The last two years we’ve put the Board in front of the members and taken questions.  We’re going to do that again this year.  It will be in Room 307/308 from 12:15 to 1:30 on Friday. Yes, this time overlaps with the Birds of a Feather Lunch and the start of afternoon sessions – but only partially.  You can attend the Q&A and still get to parts of both of those.  There just isn’t a great time to do this.  Every time overlaps with something. We can’t do it after the last session on Friday.  We can’t fit it...

posted @ Tuesday, October 04, 2011 9:47 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: Budget Status

Our budget situation is a little different this year than in years past.  We were late getting an initial budget approved.  There are a number of different reasons this occurred.  We had different competing priorities and the budget got pushed down the list.  And that’s completely my fault for not making the budget a higher priority and getting it completed on time. That left us with initial budget approval in early August rather than prior to June 30th.  Even after that there were a number of small adjustments that needed to be made.  And one large glaring mistake that...

posted @ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:43 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: Election Changes for 2011

Last year after the election, the PASS Board created an Election Review Committee.  This group was charged with reviewing our election procedures and making suggestions to improve the process.  You can read about the formation of the group and review some of the intermediate work on the site – especially in the forums. I was one of the members of the group along with Joe Webb (Chair), Lori Edwards, Brian Kelley, Wendy Pastrick, Andy Warren and Allen White.  This group worked from October to April on our election process.  Along the way we: Interviewed interested...

posted @ Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:51 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: FY10 Actuals Posted

Earlier this year we published preliminary fiscal year 2010 financials to the Governance page on the PASS web site.  Please remember that FY10 runs from July 1st, 2009 through June 30th, 2010 and includes the November 2009 Summit.  We do our fiscal year this way so that the Summit falls earlier in the fiscal year.  The financials we had posted were P&L numbers at the portfolio level.  Prior to this we had posted our detailed budget but only posted the auditors report at the end of each year.  Today we updated our published financials to include: ...

posted @ Friday, June 03, 2011 8:18 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS Summit 2011: Save Money Now

Register by March 31st and save $200.  On April 1st we increase the price.  On July 1st we increase it again.  We have regular price bumps all the way through to the Summit.  You can save yourself $200 if you register by Thursday. In two years of marketing for PASS and a year of finance I’ve learned a fair bit about our pricing, why we do this and how you react to it.  Let me help you save some money! Price bumps drive registrations.  We see big spikes in the two weeks prior to a price increase.  Having...

posted @ Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:22 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: The Legal Stuff

I wanted to give a little background on the legal status of PASS.  The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) is an American corporation chartered in the state of Illinois.  In America a corporation has to be chartered in a particular state.  It has to abide by the laws of that state and potentially pay taxes to that state.  Our bylaws and actions have to comply with Illinois state law and United States law.  We maintain a mailing address in Chicago, Illinois but our headquarters is currently in Vancouver, Canada. We have roughly a dozen people that work in...

posted @ Monday, March 07, 2011 9:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: Bylaw Changes

While you’re reading this, a post should be going up on the PASS blog on the plans to change our bylaws.  You should be able to find our old bylaws, our proposed bylaws and a red-lined version of the changes.  We plan to listen to feedback until March 31st.  At that point we’ll decide whether to vote on these changes or take other action. The executive summary is that we’re adding a restriction to prevent more than two people from the same company on the Board and eliminating the Board’s Officer Appointment Committee to have Officers directly elected by...

posted @ Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:59 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: NomCom selection process draft

The ERC has released a draft (or strawman as I like to say) of how we might select the Nominating Committee for the PASS elections.  If you’d like to comment on this, now is the time.

posted @ Thursday, February 17, 2011 6:57 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

The Changing Face of PASS

I’m starting my sixth year on the PASS Board.  I served two years as the Program Director, two years as the Vice-President of Marketing and I’m starting my second year as the Executive Vice-President of Finance.  There’s a pretty good chance that if PASS has done something you don’t like or is doing something you don’t like, that I’m involved in one way or another. Andy Leonard asked in a comment on his blog if the Board had ever reversed itself based on community input.  He asserted that it hadn’t.  I disagree.  I’m not going to try and list...

posted @ Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:02 PM | Feedback (8) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: 2013 Summit Location

HQ recently posted a brief update on our search for a location for 2013.  It includes links to posts by four Board members and two community members. I’d like to add my thoughts to the mix and ask you a question.  But I can’t give you a real understanding without telling you some history first. So far we’ve had the Summit in Chicago, San Francisco, Orlando, Dallas, Denver and Seattle.  Each has a little different feel and distinct memories.  I enjoyed getting drinks by the pool in Orlando after the sessions ended.  I didn’t like that our location in...

posted @ Tuesday, February 08, 2011 8:21 AM | Feedback (9) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: The Budget Process

Every fiscal year PASS creates a detailed budget.  This helps us set priorities and communicate to our members what we’re going to do in the upcoming year.  You can review the current budget on the PASS Governance page.  That page currently requires you to login but I’m talking with HQ to see if there are any legal issues with opening that up. The Accounting Team The PASS accounting team is two people.  The Executive Vice-President of Finance (“EVP”) and the PASS Accounting Manager.  Sandy Cherry is the accounting manager and works at PASS HQ.  Sandy has been with...

posted @ Tuesday, January 25, 2011 7:30 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Help make the next Summit even better

After the Summit we send out a survey to capture feedback.  We ask a consistent set of questions so we get good year over year results.  I’ve watched blog posts and email threads with ideas for a better Summit.  I got to sit with Denny and crew again on Saturday night and talk about what worked and what didn’t.  We’d like to capture those ideas in a way that you can vote on what’s important to you.  Please take a second and visit  You can make suggestions, vote on the ideas already posted and add your own...

posted @ Thursday, November 18, 2010 8:26 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Join me to register for the Summit

This year the Summit registration opens at 6PM on Sunday at the Seattle convention center.  Last year we had a dozen people hanging out, watching the twitter feed on the big monitor and catching up.  All we really needed was a bar and we’d have our own little party going. So this year I’m adding a bar.  I’ve arranged for a cash bar and some stand up tables.  I’m buying the first round for the first 40 or so people that come by.  Come by, register and say Hi.  I’d especially like to encourage first-time attendees to stop by. ...

posted @ Tuesday, November 02, 2010 2:59 PM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS Budget Posted

If you’re a member of PASS you can view our FY2011 budget at  Our detailed budget is 29 pages long and provides an incredibly detailed snapshot of where our money comes from and how we spend it.  I’ve also written a summary highlighting some of the changes from last year.  If you have any questions about the budget you can ask them here or on the PASS site.

posted @ Friday, October 22, 2010 9:38 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS: Seattle vs. the East Coast

At the Summit this year we announced that the 2010 Summit would be in Seattle again.  This will mark the third year in a row in Seattle.  We’ve been in Seattle twice in a row before but never three times.  After we complete the 2010 Summit in Seattle, half of our Summit’s will have been held in Seattle. 2010 is a launch year for SQL Server so I think it’s good we’re there. We don’t have a contract in place year for 2011 yet but we need to finalize one soon.  A number of people have asked why we’ve...

posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 1:51 PM | Feedback (26) | Filed Under [ PASS ]


Each year at the PASS Summit I carry around a little black notebook that easily fits in my pocket.  Any time I come across something I need to fix I write it down.  Any time someone makes a good suggestion I write it down.  Any ideas or thoughts on future conferences get written down. Some ideas get implemented and some don’t but I try to get everything written down.  I even manage to mix in some technical things I learn in the few sessions I get to attend. This year I didn’t find much that was truly broken.  There...

posted @ Friday, November 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Sessions for new DBAs at PASS

I was recently asked if I thought the PASS Summit was appropriate for new database administrators.  My answer was a resounding YES!  But I wanted to add some specific reasons.  If I was a new DBA here are the 12 sessions I’d try to attend at PASS: Proactive DBA: Manage SQL Server Better Ross LoForte (Microsoft Corp.) The Ultimate Free SQL Server Toolkit Kevin Kline (Quest Software) DRP101: Learn The Difference Between Your Log And Your Cluster ...

posted @ Wednesday, September 30, 2009 6:36 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Great Q&A with PASS presenters

At PASS we’ve been interviewing our pre-conference and post-conference speakers and publishing the interviews.  The topics revolve around the speaker’s session and what they’re going to cover.  For example, Brian Knight discussed about a common problem he sees in data warehouse implementations and how to overcome it.  We’ve also done sessions with Kalen Delaney on the transaction log and Itzik Ben-Gan on query and index tuning. We just published the interview with Paul Nielsen and Louis Davidson about their session on database design.  I’m a firm believer that passion about a subject makes for a good presentation and these...

posted @ Wednesday, July 15, 2009 8:10 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

What did you learn at PASS?

In many of the PASS Conferences I’ve attended I can usually point to one thing I learned that was the most valuable.  Usually this was enough to justify the cost of the entire conference.  I learned something that would save me so much time or money it would “pay” for the conference.  This made it pretty easy for me to justify to myself (or my boss) that it was money well spent. Quite a few years back I was sitting in a session on performance tuning.  The speaker demonstrated a little utility named Read80Trace that I’d...

posted @ Thursday, June 04, 2009 10:51 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Tips for Writing PASS Abstracts

I’ve really enjoyed reading the blog posts and tweets from people that are reviewing the PASS abstracts for the Summit this fall.  I was involved in that process for four years and still have fond memories of it.  It’s a tremendous amount of work to review each abstract and give it the attention it deserves.  And the process of actually selecting sessions was very painful.  There are always deserving abstracts that don’t get selected.  I commend the program committee volunteers for the time they take to read through the hundreds of abstracts and make the tough choices they do. ...

posted @ Wednesday, May 20, 2009 9:49 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Update from PASS Germany

I posted a quick update from the PASS European Conference on the PASS Blog.  And it include a picture of our Executive Vice-President Rushabh Mehta.  With Hair.  I’m so jealous!

posted @ Thursday, April 23, 2009 11:24 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS Summit Unite 2009 web site launched

PASS launched the web site for the PASS Summit Unite 2009 today.  Lots of fantastic information about the conference.  A couple of key points: The conference is expanding from 144 to 168 technical sessions. The call for speakers is open until April 10th.  Help us fill all these sessions!  This year we did more in-depth survey and we’re going to use that to help select topics. We’re also expanding our business intelligence and data warehouse focus.  These areas touch on so many other products so...

posted @ Tuesday, March 24, 2009 12:10 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS Board of Directors Election coming up

The annual elections for the Board of Directors is coming up.  The nomination process is open right now. Serving on the Board is a very rewarding experience.  I've had the chance to meet a number of great people and be part of a fantastic event.  There's more information on the web page I liked to.

posted @ Friday, October 17, 2008 11:55 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

SQL Server 2008 Launch Event

I attended the SQL Server 2008 launch in Los Angeles for PASS.  It was VERY nice to leave sub-freezing Kansas and arrive in warm, sunny Los Angeles.  My pictures of the keynote didn't turn out all that well unfortunately.  The ones I took before it started turned out the best.  I also ran into Janette from Idera.  Idera and Quest were the only two SQL Server tools vendors that I saw there.  The keynote presentation was projected onto some type of clear screen.  You could see the presentation and see through it. It gave it...

posted @ Friday, February 29, 2008 7:32 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Events PASS ]

Are you attending the SQL Server 2008 Launch in LA?

I'll be in Los Angeles for the launch this week.  I'll be the PASS representative at the Heroes Community Booth in the Microsoft Pavilion.  When you enter the Microsoft Pavilion we'll be all the way back in the left corner.  Come by and say Hi if you get a chance.  I arrive Tuesday night and leave Thursday morning.  Is anyone else reading going to be there?

posted @ Monday, February 25, 2008 7:27 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Events SQL Server Stuff PASS ]

Speaking in St. Louis on June 12th

I'll be speaking to the St. Louis SQL Server Users Group on the afternoon of June 12th at the Microsoft offices from 1PM until 4PM.  I'll be doing two presentations back to back.  The first is What I Wish Developers Knew about SQL Server.  The second is Understanding the Procedure Cache: Writing Efficient Reusable Queries.  The two presentations flow very well together.  The second really builds on the concepts introduced in the first.  The event was organized by Kathi Kellenberger through the PASS Star Program.  Thanks Kathi!

posted @ Wednesday, June 06, 2007 10:00 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Events PASS ]


PASS is such an interesting event.  At the start of the Welcome Reception last night SQL Gal made an appearance.  She walked slowly down the hall with a group of people following her.  No one would pass her.

posted @ Wednesday, November 15, 2006 7:40 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS 2006: The Pre-Conference Seminars

One of my roles on the PASS Board of Directors is to develop the program for our annual Summit.  Our next PASS Summit is in Seattle November 14th - 17th, 2006.  The general sessions are broken into tracks for database administration, business intelligence, application development and professional development.  These sessions run Wednesday through Friday.  We run eight concurrent sessions on those days for a total of ninety-six educational sessions. PASS also offers eight Pre-Conference sessions that take place on Monday and Tuesday with four occurring on each day.  You can follow that link to read a detailed abstract on each session. ...

posted @ Monday, October 09, 2006 7:53 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

ClearTrace Video

I created a small video to demo ClearTrace. It's only about two minutes long. This is also the technology we're planning to use at the PASS Conference to capture presentations.

posted @ Friday, July 14, 2006 1:03 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Stuff PASS ClearTrace ]

Writing Great Abstracts

The next PASS Conference is in Seattle in November 2006. The Call for Speakers for this conference closes on April 28th, 2006. If you have any interest in speaking you'll need to submit an abstract. As the Program Director for the conference this year I'd like to pass on some of my thoughts on what makes a great abstract. Our Program Committee is going to review close to 300 abstracts this year. Take some time and make yours stand out. Pick a topic you're passionate about. It will show in your abstract and your presentation....

posted @ Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:23 PM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

PASS in Barcelona

Our European Conference kicked off this morning in Barcelona. Ken Henderson, Bob Ward and Bart Duncan are all part of the PSS team. They are doing a day long pre-conference session on SQL Server internals. I think after being in Europe for five days now I'm finally over my jet lag. The call for speakers for the Seattle Summit is up. You've got until April 28th to submit your abstracts.

posted @ Wednesday, February 22, 2006 3:51 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Events PASS ]

PASS Session: Future Directions in Data and Language Integration

Of all the presentations that MS submitted for the PASS Conference, this was the one that intrigued me the most. It's on Wednesday at 1:30PM and is being delivered by Alan Griver. The original abstract was fairly vague. Lots of references to data manipulation on the client side but no real hint as to what it would actually cover. After the PDC it became clear that this was a presentation on LINQ. Once the information was public Alan updated his abstract and the whole thing makes more sense. I'm really looking forward to this...

posted @ Tuesday, September 27, 2005 10:44 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Events SQL Server Stuff PASS ]

PASS Board of Directors Elections 2005

PASS sent out an email tonight with the slate of candidates for the Board of Directors so it's official.  I'm running for the Board of Directors for PASS.  There are six people running for three slots and it's a great group of candidates.  No matter what the results PASS will be in great shape.  I certainly would like to ask for your consideration when you cast your ballot.  I've been a PASS volunteer for a couple of years and think I'd do a great job.  (I've written a little longer bio that they'll hopefully get posted soon.)  They are using...

posted @ Wednesday, September 21, 2005 10:41 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Events PASS ]

PASS Call for Presentations closes this Friday

Just a reminder that the PASS Call for Presentations closes this Friday.  The conference is the last week in September.

posted @ Wednesday, March 02, 2005 11:19 AM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Events PASS ]

PASS Notes

My session yesterday was packed so I'm doing it again today.  Apparently quite a few people were turned away when they moved it to a smaller room.  It's in the last timeslot at 4:45PM today in the Tampa room.  This morning I added a couple of new slides and demos to the presentation.  At least the people that had to wait will get some additional information.  Fernando Guerrero is doing a presenetation on Profiler at 1:30 today and Gert Drapers is doing one on Trace at 9:45AM tomorrow.  Both a regreat speakers and they should be great presentations.  Fernando's is focused on...

posted @ Thursday, September 30, 2004 10:27 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Events PASS ]

Powered by:
Powered By Subtext Powered By ASP.NET