Track 1 & Track 4: BI

Data Modelling for Analysis Services by Alex Whittles
Introduction to Power BI for Office 365 by Dandy Weyn
Create ETL solutions faster with metadata driven development by Koen Verbeeck
Time Intelligence with DAX by Marco Russo
Power BI by Stacia Misner
Reporting Services using DAX by Marco Russo
XLCubed 7.5 – the most powerful front-end solution for your MSAS and xVelocity Cubes by Francis Incourt
Cleaning up the mess with SSIS and DQS by Valentino Vranken
What if I could use my Microsoft BI tools on my wife …. by David Smeets
Lightning talks

Track 2: Dev

10 Things Every Developer Should Know by Kevin Kline
Odata for the Enterprise by Johan Van Hoye
SQL Injection: From website to SQL Server by Mladen Prajdic
Size DOES matter by Thomas Larock
What every developer should know about In-Memory OLTP by Nico Jacobs

Track 3: Cloud/Big Data

Designing and Building for Scal in Windows Azure SQL Database by Scott Klein
Windows Azure SQL Database for the DBA by Thomas Larock
HDInsight Introduction to Hadoop on Windows by Scott Klein
Windows Azure SQL Database Design: Silver Lining and Dark Side by Karen Lopez
Big Data Primer by Stacia Misner

Track 5: DBA

Sharepoint from denial to Acceptance by Thomas Vochten
Storming Fort SQL: how to optimal implement security on SQL 2012 by Karel Coenye
Harder Better (100 times) Faster Stronger by Pieter Vanhove & Wesley Backelant
SQL Server Internals and Architecture by Kevin Kline
SQL Server Happy Hour… by Dandy Weyn

Data Modelling for Analysis Services by Alex Whittles

Analysis Services OLAP cubes and tabular models provide an incredibly powerful platform for the analysis and reporting of complex data. Unfortunately we often find that our source data is not in the right structure to make the best use of the cube’s power. This limits the functionality, compromises performance and complicates the reports.

In this session we’ll look at a number of different data scenarios that we encounter and explore ways of remodelling the data to optimise it for cubes and MDX. We’ll see how adding functionality into the ETL layer can have a dramatic effect on the functionality and simplicity of the cube and reports.

Introduction to Power BI for Office 365 by Dandy Weyn

Power BI for Office 365 is a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) solution that enables customers to easily gain insights from their data, working within Excel to analyze and visualize the data in a self-service way. It works with Office 365 to help customers share insights, find answers and stay connected to their data from their favorite mobile devices.
Join us in this session to find out the great details on Power Query (formerly known as Data Explorer), Power Map (formerly known as Geoflow), Power Pivot and Power View

Create ETL solutions faster with metadata driven development by Koen Verbeeck

Working on your 20th staging package? Do you need to import 30 different flat files? Don’t have the time to create all those packages?

By using Biml – Business Intelligence Markup Language – you can describe your BI solution in a declarative fashion. You can turn tedious, repetitive work into reusable scripts which generate SSIS packages for you, cutting back drastically on development time.

This session will introduce you to Biml and get you started on building reusable patterns for common BI tasks.

Time Intelligence with DAX by Marco Russo

Time Intelligence is probably the most used feature of any analytical solution. Computing Year To Date, Month To Date, Same Period Previous Year is quite easy in DAX. However, the DAX formulas start to be harder to write as soon as the requests for time intelligence involve working days evaluation, complex and custom calendar shapes, seasonal pattern recognition, ISO-based weeks handling, 4-4-5 fiscal calendar.

In this session, we start showing how to compute the classical time intelligence by using the built-in DAX functions. Then, we will see some more complex time-intelligence formulas that require thinking out of the box, using advanced data modeling and querying techniques to produce interesting and useful formulas.

Power BI by Stacia Misner

Microsoft has brought business intelligence to the cloud. What does this mean and how does this work? In this session, we’ll review the BI components available in the cloud BI stack. We’ll also compare and contrast functionality of the cloud BI tools with on-premises tools. After attending this session, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s possible and whether it’s time to launch your BI-in-the-cloud solution.

Reporting Services using DAX by Marco Russo

When you design report in Reporting Services accessing a Multidimensional cube in Analysis Services, you have to write MDX queries in order to retrieve data and you receive a result that is not always “friendly” with Reporting Services. Now you can use DAXMD, which has been released with Cumulative Update 4 of Service Pack 1, and you can write queries in DAX instead of MDX, getting a result that is natively a table and better fits with Reporting Services dataset needs.

In this session, you will see how to use DAX in Reporting Services, you will learn the basic notions required for writing a query in DAX and you will see how to map Multidimensional entities to the DAX language. Finally, you will see also some consideration about the performance difference between MDX and DAX in this context. At the end of the session, you will be able to choose the more productive language for querying Analysis Services from Reporting Services, depending on your requirements.

XLCubed 7.5 – the most powerful front-end solution for your MSAS and xVelocity Cubes by Francis Incourt

Today, clients want both productivity AND functionality, a minimal learning curve, and ideally within the comfort of a tool everyone knows: Excel. This is the value proposition behind XLCubed. Everything you ever wanted (and more) from a front-end tool, right from within Excel. XLCubed meets all of your front-end needs, and allows you to publish easily to your Intranet, to SharePoint and to mobiles devices, with the same level of functionality for your end users.


  • Connecting to your Cubes and navigating dimensions and measures
  • Creating Powerful interactive reports in a few clicks
  • Creating asymmetric reports using the powerful XLCubed functions
  • Converting from Excel formulas to MDX
  • Publishing to the web and to mobile devices
  • Writing back to cubes
  • Creating innovative and interactive visualizations, using spark lines, heat maps, small multiple charts, directly from cube data
  • And many others

Come see for yourself why people like Marco Russo and Chris Webb have been talking about XLCubed.

Cleaning up the mess with SSIS and DQS by Valentino Vranken

Are you loading data from exotic sources such as Excel and flat file?  Or are you dealing with manually-entered data through an application that allows, well, practically anything?  And do you sometimes run into trouble because the incoming data is not as expected?
Then you should really join us in this session in which I’ll demonstrate (yes, demos!) several different techniques that can be used to cleanse your dirty data!

What if I could use my Microsoft BI tools on my wife …. by David Smeets

Inspired by the Business Intelligence power hour sessions at Teched conference, I started brainstorming on a less technical approach to BI. My future wife gave me the inspiration to create this session, and when seeing the Dutch sketch program called ‘what if’, I saw a match made in heaven.

In this entertaining session you will see all parts of BI and I will dazzle you with some demonstrations that expose the lighter side of BI and my life. In the meantime, I will highlight the flexibility and power of the Microsoft BI Platform.
My main goal is to get a smile on everybody’s face, both the technical as the non-technical part of the audience. Don’t be afraid, you can just enter the room without any knowledge of BI!

Lightning talks

There will be a lightning talk session with speakers and members of the audience.
Feel free to join!

10 Things Every Developer Should Know by Kevin Kline

Stereotypes abound for different types of people in the IT world. Developers think DBAs are control freaks.  DBAs think developers are unruly cowboys. How do we overcome these differences?  If you’re a developer, your best strategy is to manage your DBAs’ anxieties and demonstrate your competence and credibility.  Attend this session to learn about 10 techniques that developers can apply to their code which will calm your DBAs’ fears and earn their admiration.

This session will answer questions like:

  • What’s the most common Transact-SQL programming mistake and how do I fix it?
  • How do database designers cause problems for future generations of application developers and database administrators?
  • Why do inexperienced database administrators make their own job more difficult and less efficient?

There are a short list of mistakes that, if you know of them in advance, will make your life much easier.  These mistakes are the “low hanging fruit” of application design, development, and administration.  Once you apply the lessons learned from this session, you’ll find yourself performing at a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness than before.

Odata for the Enterprise by  Johan Van Hoye

In this session, we’d like to show how Wolters Kluwer expanded its BI capability set to include real-world Self-Service BI through secured, auditable, and fully configurable OData feeds on top of its extensive data warehouse for the Finance industry.

This session addresses non-functional concerns around authentication, data level security, auditability and configurability of the data sets exposed to end users which must be addressed when trying to expose data over the OData protocol in large organizations.

SQL Injection: From website to SQL Server by Mladen Prajdic

SQL Injection is still one of the biggest reasons various websites and applications get hacked. The solution, as everyone tells us, is simple: Use SQL parameters. But is that enough?

In this session, we’ll look at how an attacker would go about using SQL Injection to gain access to your database, see its schema and data, and do nasty stuff to both. Then we’ll see how to battle such attacks at the UI front, the middle tier, and the SQL Server back end.

Size DOES matter by Thomas Larock

Great database performance starts with great database design. During the database design process it is important to select your datatypes wisely. The wrong choices will often lead to wasted space, increased response times, and less stability. Additionally you run the risk of having your design not scale as well as it should. Leave this session armed with the knowledge you need to help your databases perform at their peak efficiency.

What every developer should know about In-Memory OLTP by Nico Jacobs

SQL Server 2014 contains a fantastic feature: in-memory OLTP (previously called Hekaton). This feature can speed up your database applications, not just with a few percent, but with a factor 10 or more! But hey: no pain, no gain. In this session we first start with the good-news show about what in-memory OLTP can offer, but then we switch over to the bad news show: The things developers need to change in their current way of working, the new kind of indexes we have on in-memory OLTP, how pages and extends no longer exist, T-SQL constructions that are not (yet) supported on in-memory, stored procedures that need to be redesigned, …
So if you are interested in in-memory OLTP and you want to know how it will influence your SQL Server development work, come and watch this demo-driven session.

Designing and Building for Scal. in Windows Azure SQL Database by Scott Klein

Cloud computing is distributed computing which requires thoughtful planning and delivery – regardless of the platform choice. Because of the inherent complexity of running services at scale, it is important to understand the behavior and performance of the cloud platform in which a database is hosted to match business performance and scale expectations and requirements. The keyword is Elasticity: gaining access to capacity faster. This session will look at the best practices and patterns for building scalable database tiers in the cloud by discussing scale-up vs. scale-out models and how greater scalability and performance can be achieved through horizontal partitioning. This session will cover topics such as scale-first design principles, dealing with identity generation, and distributed/fan-out queries across partitions.

Windows Azure SQL Database for the DBA by Thomas Larock

Windows Azure SQL Database is a fully-managed, scalable service based on SQL Server technology. Yet “fully-managed” does not necessarily mean that many or all of the tasks and responsibilities of the DBA are managed and executed by Microsoft or the service itself. The DBA is very crucial in Windows Azure SQL Database, and this session takes a look at the all-important role of the DBA when working with Windows Azure SQL Database. This session looks at how many of the on-premises functions, tasks, and responsibilities of the DBA are accomplished in a cloud environment, specifically Windows Azure SQL Database. This session also looks at the tips, tricks, and best practices a DBA should know for accomplishing similar on-premises tasks in the cloud.

HDInsight Introduction to Hadoop on Windows by Scott Klein

Apache Hadoop is open source software that was born out of the large web properties need to process massive amounts of data. Now Hadoop is becoming the de facto platform for big data storage and processing in the enterprise. A modern Hadoop-based data platform is a combination of multiple open source projects brought together tested and integrated to create an enterprise-grade platform. In this session we review the Hadoop projects required in a Windows Hadoop platform and how it integrates with Microsoft SQL Server Database Platform analysis tools. We drill down into Hadoop integration and implementation Windows, Windows Azure and integration with the SQL Server Data Platform.

Windows Azure SQL Database Design: Silver Lining and Dark Side by Karen Lopez

Model-Driven Database Design: Myths, Magic and Methods.  In this presentation, Karen discusses data model-driven database development from the point of view of the Data Architect, the DBA, and the Developer. She will cover topics such as “Who does what?”, “Why are we doing this?”, “Do I have to Use a GUI?”  and “Just who do you think you are?”. Demos, too.  Finally, 10 tips for making Model-Driven Database Design successful in your organization’s culture and environment.

Big Data Primer by Stacia Misner

The term “big data” dominates the headlines in technology news these days, but what is the fuss really all about? What are the implications for traditional data warehousing and reporting? What kind of technology and skill sets do you need to successfully implement to a big data strategy? Come to this session for a gentle, business-focused introduction to big data and leave with some inspiration and practical steps for tackling your first big data project.

Sharepoint from denial to Acceptance by Thomas Vochten

Remember the day your boss pulled you aside for what seemed a friendly chat? “Oh, there’s one more thing… We’re getting SharePoint.” You probably had to run to the shower to wash off the dirty feeling – but hey, it isn’t so bad you know. In this session we’ll explore the ins and outs of SharePoint for DBA’s. Why does SharePoint likes to do things its own way? What can and can’t you do to SharePoint databases? What SharePoint specific settings do you have to know about? How to maintain SharePoint databases without ruining it with Microsoft support?

Storming Fort SQL: how to optimal implement security on SQL 2012 by Karel Coenye

Building a secure sql server installation is something we all want don’t we? SQL Server is using a  layered approach to security where we have to implement security as a series of steps each chosen to fulfill a specific protection goal. We all have data that we wouldn’t like to see for grabs on the internet  but are we taking the right actions to prevent this. This session will show you some easy to implement steps to secure your data(bases) and to prevent you precious data from becoming low-hanging fruit.

Harder Better (100 times) Faster Stronger by Pieter Vanhove & Wesley Backelant

Are you tired of discussing IO issues with your storage team?  Is your application suffering from Locking, Blocking and Latches? And how about your HA/DR solution? Did your management decide the DR site is still too expensive?

SQL Server was designed assuming that main memory is expensive and data resides on disk. This assumption is no longer valid. Join Pieter & Wesley in this session to see how SQL Server becomes a 100 times faster and more secure. Learn all about the several new Mission Critical capabilities of SQL Server 2014. The focus of this session will be the new in-memory OLTP solution codenamed Hekaton and new HA/DR options with AlwaysOn.

Please note we will not focus on the basic AlwaysOn capabilities but on the investments in SQL Server 2014 in the hybrid cloud area.

SQL Server Internals and Architecture by Kevin Kline

Let’s face it.  You can effectively do many IT jobs related to SQL Server without knowing the internals of how SQL Server works.  Many great developers, DBAs, and designers get their day-to-day work completed on time and with reasonable quality while never really knowing what’s happening behind the scenes.  But if you want to take your skills to the next level, it’s critical to know SQL Server’s internal processes and architecture.  This session will answer questions like:

  • What’s different about 32- and 64-bit systems?
  • What are the various areas of memory inside of SQL Server?
  • How are queries handled behind the scenes?
  • What does SQL Server do with procedural code, like functions, procedures, and triggers?
  • What happens during checkpoints?  Lazywrites?
  • How are IOs handled with regards to transaction logs and database?
  • What happens when transaction logs and databases grow or shrinks?

This fast paced session will take you through many aspects of the internal operations of SQL Server and, for those topics we don’t cover, will point you to resources where you can get more information.  So strap on your silly, as we cover all these topics and more at speed with tongue planted firmly in cheek!

SQL Server Happy Hour…. by Dandy Weyn

It’s Friday – last session of the event — and time for Happy Hour.

In this Happy Hour, it’s all about SQL Server, we’ll serve snacks and bites on Indexing, Data Types, Power BI, High Availability, T-SQL, Upgrade and much more served in small portions.

Bring your appetite!


Confio Software

SQL Server Days 2013 is brought to you by the Belgian SQL Server User Group ( VZW) in collaboration with Microsoft Belux.

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