SQLBits 2017

SQLBits 2017

This year, the SQLBits conference is held in Telford, a small town near Birmingham and runs from the 5th through to the 8th of April.

SQLBits is an excellent conference, small enough to feel cosy, large enough that there are plenty of people to talk tech with. It’s not uncommon to see large groups sitting around discussing various aspects around data, data management or other aspects of the field, even during sessions.

The conference is a 4-day event, with full-day seminars running on the Wednesday and Thursday and regular sessions on the Friday and Saturday, with an expected 1500 people attending.

There are several must-see sessions this year. This year we have three sessions from Bob Ward, Principal Architect for the Microsoft Data Group, including a look at post-SP! Changes for SQL Server 2016, showing the ongoing work that is going into making SQL Server 2016 even faster and scalable than ever.

We also have Conor Cunningham, Principal Software Architect on the SQL Server Query Processor Team, showing off the adaptive query plan feature that’s planned for SQL Server vNext and Azure SQLDB. The adaptive query plan is a complete departure from the way the SQL Server Query Optimiser has worked for many versions, allowing for a single query’s plan to generated in parts as the query executes, and not upfront as is the current behaviour. Conor is also presenting a session on how the engineering team delivers monthly updates to Azure. This is more a practices and methodologies session than a purely technical session, and will be a fascinating look into how the Microsoft teams work.

I’m presenting one session this year, a 2-hour dive into indexes on the Friday.

In it I’ll be covering index architecture and then looking at how that architecture affects choices for the clustered index. Most of the sessions will be spent looking at how nonclustered indexes are used and how they should be selected to give the best possible improvement to the application performance. I’ll also mention the newer Columnstore, hash and range indexes in SQL Server.

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