SQLSaturday 785

Johannesburg, South Africa

PASS SQLSaturday is a free training event for professionals who use the Microsoft data platform. These community events offer content across data management, cloud and hybrid architecture, analytics, business intelligence, AI, and more. This event will be held on Sep 01 2018 at Microsoft head office, 3012 William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, Gauteng, 2031, South Africa

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Welcome to SQLSaturday Johannesburg

SQLSaturday is a training event for SQL Server professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server. Admittance to this event is free, all costs are covered by donations and sponsorships. Please register soon as seating is limited, and let friends and colleagues know about the event.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

On Saturday, 1 September, we will host the main event. This free day of training will consist of 30 talks across a good mix of Topics presented at levels ranging from beginner to expert. The day will end off with a prize giving and if the budget allows, drinks and snacks after the event for attendees to socialise after a long day of learning.

Friday 31 August 2018  

We will be hosting 3 Pre-cons this year (More if demand allows). Pre-con sessions are full-day training workshops hosted by some of our expert speakers. Precon session will be announced shortly.

Pre cons

This year we have 3 exciting precons covering a good variety of topics to ensure that there is something for everyone.    

Database DevOps – a crash course! with Alex Yates


Alex Yates has been helping organisations to apply DevOps principles to relational database development and deployment since 2010. He’s most proud of helping Skyscanner develop the ability to deploy 95 times a day. Originally for Redgate, later for DLM Consultants, Alex has worked with clients on every continent except Antarctica – so he’s keen to meet anyone who researches penguins. 

A keen community member, he co-organises SQL Relay, is the founder of www.SpeakingMentors.com and has been recognised as a Microsoft Data Platform MVP since 2017.

Course details:

Deploying database changes, for many of us, is horrible. It’s often a manual, time-consuming and error-prone process. When it goes wrong, and it often does, the consequences can be serious. The DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) movements have revolutionised our ability to deliver software regularly and reliably. Unfortunately, many of us have not adopted the associated practices for our databases. There are, however, tools and techniques (technical and cultural) to implement Database DevOps/Database Lifecycle Management (DLM), allowing us to manage SQL changes efficiently and safely.

Course content
Introduction to Database DevOps/DLM and an overview of the different tools that are available
Discussion about the different approaches: model vs migration / shared dev DB vs dedicated dev DBs

  • HANDS-ON LAB: Source control a database using Git, VSTS/TFS and ReadyRoll
  • HANDS-ON LAB: Working with static data
  • Introduction to continuous integration
  • HANDS-ON LAB: Automating builds with VSTS/TFS and ReadyRoll
  • Introduction to continuous delivery
  • HANDS-ON LAB: Continuous delivery to an integration database
  • HANDS-ON LAB: Production-ready automated releases (automation while keeping DBAs happy)  

Protect your data – Security in SQL Server with Uwe Ricken


Uwe Ricken is working with IT-systems since early 1990's. He started with development of database applications in 1998 with a professional CRM-System based on Microsoft products (Microsoft Office and SQL Server). In May 2013 he achieved the "Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008. Since 2013 he has been awarded continuously with the MVP Award for his activities and engagement for the SQL community and was the first MCM + MVP for SQL Server in Germany.

Course details:

"In which newspaper can you read that a woman throws her husband out of the apartment? In "Better Homes and Gardens". What this sentence certainly must do in Microsoft SQL Server can be found in this one-day workshop on the individual security components of Microsoft SQL Server.
Starting with the correct security settings for the service account of Microsoft SQL Server, the same goes on in the staircase of the databases. What rights should you give to a login without endangering the security of the system or securing the data.
Once arrived in the "honourable tenement", one would of course like the nice rented apartment. But stop! - What am I allowed to do in my apartment? A lawyer is no longer required after attending the workshop. In this workshop, the following topics will be taught with examples and exercises:

  • Proper configuration of the service account of Microsoft SQL Server and SQL Server Agent
  • TDE and encrypted backup
  • The special features of sysadmin
  • Danger and Beauty from "xp_cmdshell"
  • Minimal Rights principal when creating logins
  • Database permissions and their consequences
  • Use of certificates for the execution of stored procedures
  • Schemes and objects
  • Owners of objects and access via stored procedures / views / functions

All security aspects of Microsoft SQL Server are covered in detail in this workshop and will be tested on your own laptops with extensive demos and exercises themselves.

An Introduction to data warehousing with Steve Simon


Steve Simon is a Data Platform MVP and a Database Solutions Architect with Preventure Inc. He has been involved with database design and analysis for over 32 years. Steve has presented papers at numerous PASS Summits and PASS SQL Rallies. He is also regular presenter on the SQL Saturday circuit and he is a regular contributor on SQLShack.com

Course content

We live in a complex world where we accumulate more and more data with each passing year. We tend to normalize our data within our OLTP relational databases and oft times this proves problematic with regards to extract times for reporting purposes. Properly defined and constructed data warehouses can level the playing field and enable us to provide the end user with more information within a timely manner. This “hands on” pre-conference session will be concentrating on how to construct efficient and effective data warehouses, with the emphasis being placed upon proper design and being able to produce the reports so necessary to the success of the corporate enterprise.

Topics will include

  • Why do we need a warehouse?
  • Points to consider before embarking on warehouse construction.
  • Case history from a recent practical implementation and the gotcha’s encountered.
  • Gathering requirements (business side, existing documentation).
  • Types of warehouse design (Star - Snowflake).
  • Legacy Data? Existing Data?
  • Creation of effective functional and technical specification.
  • Why are data relationships critical to the warehouse design and functionality?
  • Planning and modeling
  • Multidimensional vs. Tabular warehousing
  • Construction of relationship diagrams and usage of Entity/Relationship tools (e.g.Erwin)
  • Creating effective dimensions
  • Creating effective fact tables
  • The need to denormalize our data.
  • Measures / Dimensions (Keys, qualitative fields)
  • Fact tables (keys, quantitative fields)
  • Query / Stored procedure efficiencies against the warehouse, a barometer!
  • SSRS Report efficiencies.
  • Gotcha’s

All the techniques that we shall be working through have been utilized on a recent major North American project in 2017/2018. As always, rest assured that you will leave this session with more questions than answers!

Emerging AI Developer – Hands-on labs with Azure Search, Bot Service and Cognitive Services - With David Peter Hansen


David Peter Hansen is a Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) of SQL Server and works as a Senior Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft. He specialises in Advanced Analytics and Data Science in Azure, as well as SQL Server core engine.

Course content

In this workshop we will focus on hands-on activities that develop proficiency in AI-oriented services such as Azure Bot Services, Azure Search, and Cognitive Services. These labs assume an introductory to intermediate knowledge of these services, and if this is not the case, then you should spend the time working through the pre-requisites.


Most challenges observed by customers in these realms are in stitching multiple services together. As such, where possible, we have tried to place key concepts in the context of a broader example

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to

  • Understand how to configure your apps to call Cognitive Services
  • Build an application that calls various Cognitive Services APIs (specifically Computer Vision)
  • Understand how to implement Azure Search features to provide a positive search experience inside applications
  • Configure an Azure Search service to extend your data to enable full-text, language-aware search
  • Build, train, and publish a LUIS model to help your bot communicate effectively
  • Build an intelligent bot using Microsoft Bot Framework that leverages LUIS and Azure Search
  • Effectively log chat conversations in your bot
  • Perform rapid development/testing with Ngrok and test your bots with unit tests and direct bot communication
  • Effectively leverage the custom vision service to create image classification services that can then be leveraged by an application


This workshop is meant for an AI Developer on Azure. Since this is only a short workshop, there are certain things you need before you arrive.

Firstly, you should have some previous exposure to Visual Studio. We will be using it for everything we are building in the workshop, so you should be familiar with how to use it to create applications. Additionally, this is not a class where we teach you how to code or develop applications. We assume you have some familiarity with C# (intermediate level - you can learn at https://mva.microsoft.com/en-us/training-courses/c-fundamentals-for-absolute-beginners-16169?l=Lvld4EQIC_2706218949), but you do not know how to implement solutions with Cognitive Services.

Secondly, you should have some experience developing bots with Microsoft’s Bot Framework. We won’t spend a lot of time discussing how to design them or how dialogs work. If you are not familiar with the Bot Framework, you should take the Microsoft Virtual Academy course at https://mva.microsoft.com/en-us/training-courses/creating-bots-in-the-microsoft-bot-framework-using-c-17590#! prior to attending the workshop.

Thirdly, you should have experience with the portal and be able to create resources (and spend money) on Azure. We will not be providing Azure passes for this workshop.

Finally, before arriving at the workshop, we expect you to have completed a setup process. The setup process will be sent to you before the workshop. You also need to bring your own laptop to the workshop.


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What is a PASS SQLSaturday?

PASS SQLSaturdays are local events organized by PASS community members around the world. PASS is a not-for-profit association for data professionals who leverage the Microsoft Data Platform, offering interactive learning built by community and guided by trusted data experts.

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