Category Archives: Azure

When Your Azure Data Catalog App Won’t Connect

This year I created a new presentation for introducing Azure Data Catalog.  I love this product and think it has so much potential and everyone should be using it!  But I digress, so on to the matter at hand.

Recently I was going through my demos prior to a presentation and discovered that some of my demos weren’t working, specifically the Azure Data Catalog app and the console app I wrote to demo the REST API.  Thankfully I had the foresight to create pre-recorded videos of my demos a few weeks earlier, so my panic level was quickly downgraded from Henny Penny to Eeyore.

The thing that was throwing me for a loop was the error that I was getting,

“We are unable to confirm that ‘myaddress@mymaildomain.com’ is enabled for the Azure Data Catalog.

If you believe you have received this message in error, please contact your catalog administrator with this code: 9fadc895-5ebf-4760-905c-88d4f707e708”.

I could connect to the Azure Data Catalog portal with the same credentials I had been using for the ADC app and my console app, so I wasn’t quite sure what was going on.  A semi-quick internet search revealed the answer, The OS updates that had been applied to my laptop a few days prior were the culprit as you can see in this forum question.

I applied the accepted answer steps, rebooted and now my Azure Data Catalog app and console app using the REST API work once again.  Just in time for my next session this Saturday, 3-May-2020 for SQL Saturday Brisbane.  There are still registrations slots available, so go register now and hopefully I’ll “see” you Saturday.

I’m Speaking at #SQLSatBrisbane

I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, in fact we have a trip planned for Martin’s 60th birthday in a couple of years.  But with all that’s happened in this social distancing world, we’re not sure if it will even be possible by then.  So, when SQL Saturday Brisbane (986) decided to go virtual, I jumped at the opportunity to attend and possibly even present.  I submitted my sessions and crossed all my fingers and toes.  I am excited and honored to announce that I’ve been selected to speak at this event on May 30, 2020!

I will be delivering my Intro to Azure Data Catalog session.  I really like this session, so many people have no idea that it exists, let alone what it can do for you.  To be able to see the light go on in their eyes during this session is the absolute best.  Even though I won’t be able to see their faces, because it’s a virtual event, I am still super excited.

Join me “down under” for what will be a fantastic event with 28 different sessions being offered by some really great presenters.  There’s still time to register.

I’m Speaking at #SQLSatRVA

I am super excited, and humbled, to have been selected to speak at the very first PASS virtual SQL Saturday, SQL Saturday Richmond, on Saturday, April 25, 2020.

I find it very fitting that my first virtual SQL Saturday will be for Richmond.  As some of you know from previous posts, Richmond holds a special place in my technical heart.  It is the first SQL Saturday I was ever accepted to speak at three years ago.  It was the first SQL Saturday to allow me to do a pre-con.  But most importantly, Richmond is where I got to drive a go kart for the very first time in my life.  All these firsts are thanks to Wayne Sheffield (B | T).  He’s the lead organizer for SQL Saturday Richmond.

I will be presenting my Intro to Azure Data Catalog session.  It was a huge hit with our local user group when I presented it back in January this year.  If you’re “jones-ing” for a SQL Saturday fix, then get registered and stop on by.  There are some great sessions being offered and I’d love to “see” you.

New Session, Intro to Azure Data Catalog

I am excited to announce that I have created a new session, Intro to Azure Data Catalog.  This has been a long time in the planning and it’s about to be executed for the first time on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.  I will be presenting it for our local user group, Triad Microsoft Data Platform User Group (f.k.a. TriadSQL).  If you’re in the area, please stop by, I’d love to see you, get your feedback and chat for a bit.

My Very First Azure SQL Database

I recently delivered my very first SQL Saturday pre-con for SQL Saturday Richmond on Friday, March 29, 2019.  You can read about that adventure here.

As part of the content for my pre-con, I wanted the attendees to be able to pull data from a database.  But how in the world was I going to make that happen?  I needed a database that would be accessible from the internet, but I didn’t have access to a server with this kind of access.

The light bulb went on and I thought, “What about an Azure SQL Database?”  Could I really do that?  I’ve been stuck in the on-premises world with no experience in Azure.  Would I even be able to get it stood up in time?  I mean really, I had less than a week to make it happen.  Surely that wouldn’t be enough time.

That’s the beauty of Azure SQL Database, it’s take almost no time to spin up a database and make it accessible via the internet.  In fact, it took me less than 5 minutes.

Once I had the database created in Azure I piped the data in via SSMS using the import data task, just like it was an on-premises server, whoa, how cool is that?!

So next time you need to stand up a database super quick, give Azure SQL Database a try.  It’s secure by default and you can control who has access to it very easily via the Azure Resource Manager.  Go ahead, give it a try.

Delivering My First Pre-Con

I didn’t announce this before it happened because I didn’t want to “jinx” myself, but I am happy to say that it’s finally happened.  I have delivered my very first SQL Saturday pre-con.  WooHoo!

It’s a session that I’ve been working on for a few months now.  The title is, From Zero to Dashboard Hero, and it’s aim is to get folks started with Power BI.  One of the great things about Power BI is that it’s so easy to use.  However, it also has a downside, it’s so easy to use.  The proverbial double edge sword.  This is the same thing that I saw happening with SQL Server back in the nineties.  It was so easy to use out of the box that businesses were standing up all kinds of instances and shoving data in as fast as they could, without regard for underlying architecture/hardware or good database design.  Those folks got themselves into some very deep holes that some very expensive consultants eventually had to get them out of.  I’m seeing the same trend with Power BI and I wanted to educate users before they found themselves at the bottom of a very big hole.

I started doing research on what training was available.  I found Microsoft’s Dashboard in a Day course that is offered for free and decided I needed to attend to see how Microsoft was “educating” people.  What I found was, disappointing.  It was mostly marketing material and the “lab” was basically turning attendees loose with an eighty plus page manual with little to no background in design.  Don’t get me wrong, it you know nothing about Power BI and want a free class, this is a viable option.  I just think users should have more.  What’s the saying, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he eats for a life time.”

I had a basic idea of what I wanted to teach and how I wanted to teach it, but I had never put an ALL DAY session together before.  I’d created content for several 45-75 minute sessions, but never a session for 300+ minutes – EEK!  As it turns out, it wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be thanks to some very good friends.

One of those friends is Michael Johnson (Blog | Twitter).  He was kind enough to let me “steal” ideas from his very similar session that he delivered at SQLBits this year.  He had some things in his session that I never would have thought about including in my content.  He also approached some topics very differently than I was thinking about.  Another friend that helped spur some ideas is Ginger Grant (Blog | Twitter).  Only a couple of weeks before I delivered my pre-con I was chatting with her about my content and she was asking all kinds of questions about my content that really got me thinking.  Thanks to her questions, I reworked some of my content to what I think made it more understandable.

The last friend that helped me out with this was Wayne Sheffield (Blog | Twitter).  Now, I first met Wayne in 2013 at SQL Saturday DC.  I was late arriving at the volunteer/speaker dinner (I was volunteering, NOT speaking!).  I was drenched from head to toe (I had taken the Metro from my hotel and had to walk the last few blocks in the rain), freezing and very hungry.  Most of the speakers had already finished their dinner, but Wayne was kind enough to alert the wait staff to my dilemma.  They brought towels out for me to dry myself, a fresh salad and a warm dinner.  Then I had a great conversation with Wayne.  I can’t remember exactly what we talked about, but I do remember his kindness.

Because of his kindness, when I first considered speaking at a SQL Saturday, I knew it had to be SQL Saturday Richmond.  I submitted my very first session there and was accepted back in 2017.  I think it only fitting that since he was the one who gave me my first break as a speaker for SQL Saturday three years ago, that he be the one to give me my first break with a pre-con.  I submitted my pre-con details and a few weeks later I found out my session had been selected.  I nearly fell out of my chair when I found out.  I then proceeded to panic, but I digress.

It’s been an amazing journey to get to this point in my career and I certainly couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my #SQLFamily.

My pre-con went off without a hitch, other than losing my voice towards the end of the day (thanks to allergy season being in full swing), I got great feedback from the attendees and I can’t wait to do it again!