2016-03-16

SQL Server 2016: Data Driven Event Reaction

Did you see the Data Driven Event for SQL Server 2016 last week? I did, but I'm not sure what to think of it all. It didn't speak to me. It didn't resonate. It left me wondering: Who was the target audience? What message was Microsoft trying to convey?

I was multi-tasking at the time of the event, so I wasn't completely locked in and focused. Satya Nadella started things off. He's always seemed very professional when I've seen him speak. Today was no exception. I'm glad he doesn't take the same approach as Steve Jobs or Steve Ballmer. As a technical person, though, I didn't feel like he was talking to me. It felt like he was addressing the media and the IT world in vague, general terms. But I suppose that's what a CEO does.

Next was Scott Guthrie. He told us SQL Server is the most secure RDBMS. There was a presentation about DocuSign and how they use SQL Server and push its limits for their business needs. There was a slide showing a big list of SQL Server customers including Renault Sport Formula One and Johnson Controls. The DocuSign story was interesting and I could envision how they might use SQL. The rest was empty calories.

Joseph Sirosh was next. The SkyServer astronomy facility was cool. They use SQL...Ok. Later Joseph discusses the merging of OLTP and OLAP. I can relate to that discussion. But again, no details. No examples. No demos. Sigh.

Shawn Bice did a demo next. About this time I tweeted this:

It started to feel like there was something I could sink my teeth into. But Shawn's demo didn't last long. And what was the point? There was a nice GUI, some buttons got clicked, things happened on the back end in a SQL database. Hurray! What new feature of SQL 2016 was being used? What problem was being solved? I dunno. Do you?

Back to Joseph, who discussed price and performance. About this time I started losing interest. But looking at Twitter, everyone else seemed to be genuinely excited. People were posting screen shots and lots of speaker quotes ("Data is the new electricity!", "Data Literacy will be key for the jobs of the future.", "Technology acts as an enabler.", "If we have data to help us make this decision let's use that; but if all we have are opinions, let's use mine.", etc.)

SQL 2016 is shaping up to be a really good product. I've learned a lot about it from reading your technical blog posts, your Tweets, and your LinkedIn posts. The Data Driven Event, on the other hand, told me little. Was I the only one?


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