SQL Saturday #682

Full Session Schedule


Session #1: Reading Execution Plans Successfully

By: Arthur Daniels

Twitter: https://twitter.com/arthurdanSQL?lang=en


If you’ve seen an execution plan but didn’t know how to read it, this session is for you.

The goal of this session to learn how SQL Server is interpreting your query into an execution plan. We’ll discuss execution plan internals, how SQL Server estimates the cost of your query, and what a graphical execution plan is displaying through its operators.

Learning to read an execution plan is a great way to begin troubleshooting performance. At the end, we will take a look at how SQL Server 2016 provides more tools for exploring execution plans.


Session #2: Getting Started with Extended Events 

By: Andy Galbraith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DBA_ANDY?lang=en


Few subjects in Microsoft SQL Server inspire the same amount of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) as Extended Events. Many DBA’s continue to use Profiler and SQL Trace even though they have been deprecated for years. Why is this?

Extended Events started out in SQL Server 2008 with no user interface and only a few voices in the community documenting the features as they found them. Since then it has blossomed into a full feature of SQL Server and an amazingly low-impact replacement for Profiler and Trace.

Come learn how to get started – the basics of sessions, events, actions, targets, packages, and more. We will look at some base scenarios where Extended Events can be very useful as well as considering a few gotchas along the way. You may never go back to Profiler again!


Session #2: Query Optimization Statistics : Driving Force Behind Performance

By: Vern Rabe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VernRabe?lang=en


When the SQL Server optimizer evaluates a query to determine how best to execute it, the statistics are quite possibly the most important tool at its disposal. But SQL Server statistics objects aren’t perfect because they only contain estimated summary information. In this session, we’ll start with an overview of what the statistics objects are, how the optimizer uses them, and some general guidelines for their maintenance. Then we’ll look at some of the issues, how to find them, and how to solve them, that can arise due to their imperfection: ascending keys (the most prevalent statistics based performance killer?), correlated predicates, skewed distribution, or downright bad summary information. There’ll be many examples, and even a stored procedure to help you find ascending keys. By applying the techniques we’ll discuss, you WILL see improved query performance.



Session #2: Getting the most out of SQL Server Data Tools 

By: Eric Strom


SSDT has been around for a while, but a lot of people don’t use the tool to its full capabilities.  In this session, we will cover writing unit tests, good deployment script writing practices, T4 and command variables.  This session requires a good understanding of T-SQL and Visual Studios.

Session #3: Lightning Talks (Round 1)

Vagrant Auto Build System

By: Mitchell Hamann

This session talked about the Vagrant Software that can be used to build SQL development VMs and deploy to developers machines.

The bonus to doing something  like this is that the SQL tools may not need to be installed on each developers machine.

SQL Server Monitoring on No Budget

By: Daniel Crowson

A review of different free software that can be used to monitor your SQL server including sp_whoisactive, DMVs, Perfmon Counters.

In the Q&A session the following list of lower budget options were also listed:

  • SQL Monitor
  • FogLight
  • Brent Ozar (Highly recommended)
  • Solar Winds
  • Sentry One (Highly recommended)
  • SP Blitz
  • Stack Overflow Observor

Testing Backups in One step

By: Constantine (CK) Kokkinos

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mobileck


Session about using the https://dbatools.io/ software to test the current state of databases quickly and cleanly.

Session #3:  Index 360 – Looking at Indexes from Multiple Perspectives

By: John Eisbrener

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnedba?lang=en


If you have used a database, chances are almost certain you’ve utilized indexes as well.  In this presentation I will discuss both Rowstore and Columnstore Indexes and why they are important to anyone that interacts with a database.  This session will cover what they are, how they are utilized, how best to take advantage of them, and even when they can be problematic. It is my intention to help anyone become more comfortable with indexes and understand what they can do for you and your role, be it a DBA, Developer, or BI Professional.

Session #4: Difficult Queries

By: Rick Bielawski



  • Cross Joins, Cursors
  • Snooze

Session #5: Intro to Machine Learning

By: Jared Zagelbaum



  • Flew wayyyyy over my head.

Session #5: Free SQL Server Tools

By: Cecil Spivey

Everybody loves a free lunch. Come to this session to learn about all the SQL Server freebees.

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