SQLBits 2023 Recap – Part 1

After several months of planning and preparation (…just on my part – organizers spent much longer), SQLBits 2023 came and went this past week at the ICC Wales, near the beautiful community of Newport. This was my first trip to SQLBits, and I didn’t know what to expect. It was a really great conference, from the speakers and topics to the organization and logistics of running such a large event. It was also a time to meet new people and connect with others in the SQL Server community.

What did I learn this week did you ask?

#1Rob Sewell and Ben Weissman have amazing suits! Not many could pull it off, but they…well, it’s not that bad!

#2Erin Stellato reminded me about Extended Events in SQL Server

Admittedly, I either try to brute force my way through issues, and/or, “try it again,” hoping it was an intermittent issue. When I do look for more help, I tend to go to the Query Store, and then on to Profiler to get more detail about what’s going on. What I didn’t know, is there are 180 events in Profiler to track. I mean, there are only 180 events. According to Erin, in SQL Server 2022, there are closer to 2,000 events to track!! Also, different extended events can be tracked with different filters, to get what need more quickly. Next time my developers say the SQL instance is slow, Extended Events will be fired up.

#3Microsoft Purview and Azure Synapse Analytics

I need to learn a lot more about these 2 products. My manager keeps telling me Purview can do this, and it can do that. Can it really?? After this week at SQLBits, I believe it can do those things, and a lot more. My company has grown quickly over the years, and a lot of key data is in Excel spreadsheets, CSV files, etc. Knowing who owns those files and that they understand the information the files provide is a really important thing to us. Purview gives us that ability…I think. I need to read more…

Azure Synapse Analytics will also play a large role, maybe with DataVerse, maybe not. By providing Azure Synapse Analytics the data to store in a data lake, Spark and DataBricks can be added on top to query the data. PowerBI then sits on top of all of that, providing visualizations of the data our users really need.

So much more there to discover…

#4 – A new type of Database Project is coming

For the past 6 – 10 years, Microsoft has had a project type in Visual Studio to store state-based SQL Server database schemas. Ideally, when a new project is started, the new database will be started in the project and saved under source control. What’s more realistic is when the database gets to UAT or production, then a schema comparison is used to load the full database schema into the project.

With Azure Data Studio and Visual Studio Code, there are extensions to manage schema changes for SQL Server/Azure SQL DB/Azure SQL Managed Instance. Both of these extensions will “compile” into a DACPAC, which is deployed to the database with sqlpackage.exe.

As I continue to refine my workshop to deploy database changes with Azure DevOps (and GitHub), I’ll be moving over to these 2 new tools.

There’s more to share, certainly, from SQLBits. Keep an eye out for the next post…


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