SQL Saturday Johannesburg 2018

There’s been a noticeable uptick in my social calendar lately, and I got sunburned playing cricket this weekend. Now that may be a limited sample size, but I’m going extrapolate the data, and conclude that winter is starting to fade.

I’m very much a summer person, so this has really improved my mood. So much to look forward to in the next few months; not having to wear 5 layers at night cricket, an increased frequency of braais, wearing shorts, and most excitingly, (well, for this blog post) SQL Saturday Johannesburg!

Free Learning

What is SQL Saturday?

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.

When, and where?

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.

The event will take place at Microsoft Head Office, 3012 William Nicol Drive, Bryanston.

If you work with, or are interested in, the Microsoft Data Platform, I recommend that you sign up. There are going to be some fantastic speakers at the event, and topics will be on various topics, and at various levels.

But wait, there’s more

The main event is structured as a number of 1-hour sessions, across a wide variety of topics. If you’d prefer a more in-depth look at a specific subject, there are 4 fantastic pre-conference talks available on Friday 31 August. All 4 of the sessions are delivered by international speakers, and are available at a special price of R1,500 until tomorrow. If you’ve ever seen the prices of training, you’ll know that this is fantastic value for such a great quality of speaker!


Alex Yates will be skipping out on a British autumn to deliver his “Database DevOps – a crash course!” session.

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.

If you are working with any CI or CD process, this session is a must for understanding the tools and processes for DevOps with databases.


Uwe Ricken is German. Germans are known for their accuracy, efficiency and quality. Who could possibly be more suited to delivering “Protect your data – Security in 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.

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
·         EXECUTE AS

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.

Database security is a complicated, and often confusing subject. Spending a full day dealing with hands on examples is a great way to ensure that you really do understand the intricacies and subtleties of SQL Security.


More and more people are under the impression that the traditional data warehouse is slowly going to fade for prominence and become an obsolete technology. Yet more and more companies are embarking on traditional data warehouse projects.

My feeling is that data warehouses are changing, but the ability to provide the business users with a unified, structured and quality view of their data is not a requirement that will end any time soon. Steve Simon seems to agree, which is why he’s coming back to South Africa again, presenting “An Introduction to data warehousing“.

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.

If you want an introduction into dimensional modelling, OLAP vs OLTP, or other Data Warehouse concepts, this session is for you.


AI, Bots, Cognitive Recognition. The future is now!

David Peter Hansen is a premier field engineer at Microsoft, and he’s coming back to South Africa to talk about some of the AI-oriented services available in Azure. His talk “Emerging AI Developer – Hands-on labs with Azure Search, Bot Service and Cognitive Services” is aimed at developers who have dabbled in Artificial Intelligence but need some hands-on training.

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.


If you work with data platform technologies, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and join the #sqlcommunity. Give me a shout if you’d like some more details.

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