GroupBy – Free SQL Server Training is free technical training by the community, for the community. Volunteer speakers submit abstracts at and you – the attendee – vote to pick the sessions. Want to present your own session or just vote on others? Join us at
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GroupBy – Free SQL Server Training


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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 24, 2017

By far the most important SQL Server release since the heady days of 2005, SQL Server 2016 represents a huge leap forward in a number of key areas. You've no doubt heard plenty about such features as Query Store, JSON support, Polybase, and the other big-ticket items. But there are also a number of very cool features that don't usually make the top 10 lists. In this talk, you'll learn about enhancements to indexing (including both Columnstore and traditional b-tree indexes), DMVs, compression, string handling, encryption, configuration, and even time zone support. These smaller features may not be highlighted in the latest glossy ads from Microsoft's marketing department, but they're the kinds of things that add up to make your life easier. Attend this session to learn all sorts of new and different reasons to upgrade as quickly as possible.

Jan 17, 2017

Stack Overflow is the largest online community of developers, and the performance and reliability of our SQL Server databases are crucial to serving over 1.3 Billion page views each month with each rendered in ~10-20 milliseconds. The Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) team is responsible for designing and maintaining our infrastructure (SQL Server, Redis, IIS, Haproxy, ElasticSearch, Fastly CDN) and finding ways of getting the most performance from a minimal amount of physical hardware. We try and design all of our solutions to be as simple as possible, and we believe that troubleshooting should be a first class feature of any critical system.

This high-level session will show how we use Availability Groups (AGs) to scale out the SQL workload and meet our current HA/DR needs, as well as future plans to use Distributed AGs to solve a pesky issue called “the speed of light”. It also will show the monitoring systems we use, namely OpServer and Bosun (both Open Source!), to quickly identify production SQL issues and ensure that performance is a top-priority feature.

I will also outline some of our key development principles, such as collecting exceptions in a central location, the benefits of using a Micro-ORM like Dapper, and the pros and cons of using the new JSON T-SQL functions. I will describe our experience finding the best tool for the job (like database migrations), where single purpose tools often beat all-encompassing frameworks. Keep in mind this information is heavily weighted toward the needs of a large .NET based web property, so YMMV. But my hope is you will leave with a few new tricks and a better understanding of how far you can go with a simple SQL Server architecture.

Jan 17, 2017

Whether you’ve dabbled in PowerShell or wondered what all the fuss is about, make no mistake: PowerShell isn’t going away and it is definitely something worth learning to make your life as a SQL Server professional easier.

In this session, you’ll see practical, real-world examples of how you can blend SQL Server and PowerShell together. You’ll also get a look at the SQL Server PowerShell provider and how you can incorporate it into your automation scripts. Instead of focusing on syntax, the session will plunge straight into examples and highlight various snippets of code and how they work. You can expect to see code examples on how PowerShell can do anything from comparing tables across servers, automating and centralizing your backups, and even doing in-depth security audits.

Jan 17, 2017

Based on the popular blog series, join me in taking a deep dive and a behind the scenes look at how SQL Server 2016 “It Just Runs Faster”, focused on scalability and performance enhancements. This talk will discuss the improvements, not only for awareness, but expose design and internal change details. The beauty behind ‘It Just Runs Faster’ is your ability to just upgrade, in place, and take advantage without lengthy and costly application or infrastructure changes. If you are looking at why SQL Server 2016 makes sense for your business you won’t want to miss this session.