I attended the first ever SQL Rally in Orlando last week. It was my first non-chapter SQL PASS function. That seemed to be a common characteristic of the attendees. I would estimate only about 15% to possibly 20% of the attendees have been out to Seattle for the SQL Summit. This lower cost alternative to SQL Summit seemed to be more accessible to more people. Having said that, I met a couple of attendees from overseas. I think the Orlando location provided a nice opportunity to do a little vacation before or after the conference.
- There was a great deal if interest in the BI stack with most presentations on SSRS, SSAS and SSIS filled to capacity.
- There was Interest in SQL Azure but none of the attendees in the presentation had a production database in the cloud…yet. I wonder how this will change next year.
- There was also interest in SQL Parallel Data Warehouse though everyone I spoke to admitted they just didn’t need that kind of performance given today’s hardware.
One disappointment was the lack of 300+ level content. That is one improvement I would like to see at future regional conferences.