[EN] Reminiscence Boulevard: Belfast SQL User Group

Friday evening after one hour bus trip (with UlsterBus), fifty minutes flight (with EasyJet) and almost three hours train trip (with EastMidlandsTrains) I back to home. Twenty eight hours earlier I landed in Belfast, where I went for invitation by Ryan Dickson {LINKEDIN}. Ryan is a leader of Belfast SQL Server User Group {PASSsite|Eventbrite} I have never been there, the group looks interesting, so based on previous talks with Ryan I decided to go…

IMG_5821Being MVP, member of PASS and Community Leader  – I have not only privileges, but obligations too. One of it is kind of ‘evangelization’. With Ryan we decided to showing and explaining for their members how Windows Azure SQL Database works. About twenty five people registered for this meeting and probably all came. We spend two hours, magically extended to almost three (hope that Ryan’s wife forgive us) discussing and playing around Windows Azure SQL Database, SQL Server 2016, Windows Azure Blob Storage, coloured management studio tabs, security and more.

I’m very proud and happy to deliver this session. Trip was a little annoying and stressful from time to time (eg, with NationalExpress delay to Gatwick Airport), but finally I had fantastic time and got new experience. Especially with significantly different accent of my Northern Ireland’s audience.

IMG_5820 IMG_5822 IMG_5823

Slides from my session are available HERE and if you were there… you can rate my session HERE


[EN] SQL Relay Autumn Tour – Day Six

A series of short post about SQL Relay Autumn Tour in United Kingdom, where I speaking, networking, helping and doing more fun and business things. Sixth day in Leeds. I have been here on SQL Relay 2013, but in different place. We arrived on Monday evening and our good friend Martin Bell just ran on time to right place to help us unpacking our stuff. My great driver found strange place where I had accomodation – as always I sleps in different place that all other peoples. I had plan for work, but place was not very good, so I just went sleep – especially that I entered door not for my hostel but or private house – and a little drunk owner scream to me: “Get out. Next door, damned! Next door!” Morning, I woke up morning and went to Costa Caffee close to venue.


About eight I found Alex Whittles near wrong reception desk (on 2nd floor) and tried to help him with organizing room – especially with abnormal floating screen / really terrible effect for speaker and audience. Some help with organizing, unpacking and checking the rooms. I found amazing theatre-style grand room for DBA track and finally small room for Cloud track. Of course ss always I occupied table with working process. In Leeds we had only one keynote presented by Anthony Saxby but in really great treater room. leeds was biggesr event, another with three track (after Southampton and Cardiff). And here is the final agenda (after some unexpected changes):

Keynote | Microsoft
Sponsor Sessions by ProfiSee & Pure Storage

Dev/DBA Track
Dave’s Fun Time SQL Hour | David Morrison
SQL Server Unit Testing | John McLusky
Uncovering the hidden gems in execution plans | Kevan Riley
Business Insight: Structured data meets unstructured data | Stephan Lawson
Statistics, Estimation & Plan Caching – The Big Three | David Morrison

BI Track
Using PowerPivot and DAX to predict and win Fantasy F1 | Alex Whittles
A look at 3 Big Data Tools | Allan Mitchell
"But SSRS Can’t Do That" – How to make it do that! | Oz Locke
Intro to R | Stephanie Locke
MDS and DQS – Beyond the TLAs to Data Quality | Neil Hambly

Cloud Track
Building an automated database deployment pipeline | Alex Yates
Cloud Services for Microsoft Peoples | Chris Testa-O’Neill    
Using Windows Azure SQL Database with Windows Phone | Allan Mitchell
Windows Azure SQL Database – Tips and Tricks for beginners | Tobiasz K.
SQL Azure, from plan to backup to cloud | Tobiasz Koprowski

Leeds was a special day for me. Firstly – I presented two sessions about Azure SQL Database, one as introduction, second as backup deep looking. Secondly – now I owe a special coffee for Allan Mitchell. Thirdly – since this day I’m a owner of my own super special helicopter from Violin Memory. Cannot time for play it, yet… but cannot wait for that. After packaging process we stayed for two hours for dring and fantastic dinner at local indian restaurant. Amazing salad bar and grill table and kitchen readu for grilled stuff for vegetarian. I will back there!

[EN] Fridays with Azure Tools (01) – Azure Storage Explorer

One of my good colleagues – SQL Server MVP from Poland:  Damian Widera {TWITTER|LINKEDIN} asked me for sending few files, not very big, just about 20 GB. His request enforced me tow start writing a new series on my blog – series about Tools for Windows Azure Platform. I have a plan for writing about many different tools: for usung storage, database, programming, management, backup and other targets. I will try focusing on free tools, but if some tool will be not very expensive, I’ll write about it too. In this post I want to introduce You for Azure Storage Explorer.

First  phase –  download this app from CodePlex site {LINK}.

Second phase – install application:


Pict.1.1 | Welcome Setup Wizard.


Pict.1.2 | Choose installation folder.


Pict.1.3 | Confirm installation.


Pict.1.4 | Wait, sometimes pleeeease wait.


Pict.1.5 | Installation is complete.

Third phase – run application and play:


Pict.1.01 | Welcome screen


Pict.1.02 | Adding new starage account: we need name (from Azure Management Portal) and key (form Manage Access Key feature)


Pict.1.03 | Important information – be patient for first connection


Pict.1.04 | First fiew for my Blob Storage 


Pict.1.05 | First view for Container Folder


Pict.1.06 | We can download object from container


Pict.1.07 | We can get information: the format provided the path is not supported. And I don’t want downloading bacpac file via ASE now.


Pict.1.08 | We can look for details about this blob file


Pict.1.09 |And of course for metadata (with information about eg. database)


Pict.1.10 | Of course we can use ASE for managing vhd files – my plan is to delete old file.


Pict.1.11 | I’m asking my portal to delete this file…


Pict.1.12 | ..and I got an error with deleting process. In fact this file “is not free” so I moving for a moment to Windows Azure management Portal.


Pict.1.12.1 | As we see this machine (which is tored on blob which we want delete) is stopped. That means: she’s still alive a little.


Pict.1.12.2 | Execution ordered: Shut Down this machine


Pict.1.12.3 | Execution in progress


Pict.1.12.4 |Finally machine is stopped, but…

With this case it is not finish. Because one of vhd disks is still attached to this machine, we cannod delete it via ASE. Workarround for this problem is here: Error deleting VHD: There is currently a lease on the blob and no lease ID was specified in the request


Pict.1.13 | In the meantime we can delete something else – like bacpac file.


Pict.1.14 | next we can back for our blob, and delete file from menu: Blob/Delete


Pict.1.15 | Last step is deleting whole container