This is the 14th PASS Summit, and there are nearly 4000 attendees from 57 countries. There are 127K members in PASS now. Those figures are really pretty amazing, showing very good growth over the past several years.
SQL PASS President, Bill Graziano started out the keynote, running through what PASS has been up to and recognizing volunteers, organizers, and speakers. He also announced the new PASS Business Analytics Conference in Chicago on April 10-12, 2013.
Ted Kummert announced that Microsoft has released SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1. He also announced “Hekaton” which will ship in the next major version of SQL Server.
Microsoft’s Shawn Bice actually did a demonstration of Hekaton on stage during the keynote. He showed an OLTP application with lots of latch waits, then he showed a tool in SSMS that recommends which tables to “memory optimize” into Hekaton. Doing this would end up eliminating the latch waits, with a 10X performance increase. The SSMS wizard will also recommend which stored procedures to convert to be native, compiled code. In the demo, that gave a 30X performance increase (cumulative with the previous increase from the table).
They also did a demo of Columnstore indexes, and announced that they will be updateable in the next major version of SQL Server. You will also be able to create a columnstore clustered index. They showed a nice video of BWIN talking about how fast Hekaton is in their testing.
Microsoft also announced and demonstrated SQL Server 2012 PDW and then announced and demonstrated PolyBase. Amir Netz did a very long demo of the new self-serve BI capabilities built into Excel 2013. All in all, it was a pretty good keynote.