Category Archives: VTdotNetFeed

March 24 VTSQL Meeting: BI with SQL Server guru Rushabh Mehta

When: March 24th, 6PM

Where: Competitive Computing, Colchester Vermont (

From Zero to BI in 10 Minutes or less

By Rushabh Mehta

Finally a technology that the Information Worker can use to take raw data and turn it into valuable information in a matter of minutes from the comfort of their own desktop! In this very exciting and interactive session full of exciting demos, we will walk you through taking raw information from a variety of sources and building a powerful analytical model that can then be used for deep analysis and reporting. We will further see how this set of technologies revolving around the Office 2010 platform and SQL Server 2008 R2 will transform the way information workers will become self-sufficient with their ad-hoc BI and reporting needs.

If you are an information worker, a data junkie, a BI wannabie, want to see some amazing advancements in the Microsoft SQL Server technology stack or just spend an evening and have dinner with us then plan to attend this incredible session.

rushabh_mehta_04  Rushabh Mehta is the President of PASS (The Professional Association for SQL Server), a leading BI expert working with Solid Quality Mentors and also the Managing Director for Solid Quality India P.L. Rushabh has been architecting and implementing large and complex Business Intelligence solutions for organization like Raymond James, Microsoft, US Department of Defense, Jackson Hewitt and many more for over 10 years. He has also developed a number of industry best practices in Business Intelligence arena. Rushabh has also written multiple advanced training courses in Business Intelligence and to date has delivered over 4000 hours of advanced classroom training to over 250 organizations around the world. Rushabh has also mentored a large number of BI professionals around the world, providing them the know-how to successfully build BI solutions for their organizations. Rushabh speaks regularly at large conferences such as PASS, Tech Ed and many others around the world and can frequently be found speaking at some local user group during his travels. Rushabh is also a recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the SQL Server competency consecutively for the past 4 years and was recently a contributing author for a book on SQL Server Integration Services 2008 (Problem-Design-Solution) where he wrote a chapter outlining a solution for building a scale-out ETL process with SSIS based on work he did at Microsoft for building the analytical platform for Windows Azure.

About Solid Quality Mentors

Founded in 2002, Solid Quality Mentors is comprised of over 100 of the leading experts in over 10 active subsidiaries around the world, specializing on Microsoft Data Platform and providing advanced and custom training, mentoring and expert consulting services. Our customers include Microsoft, AT&T, Associated Press, Alcoa Howmet, BBC, Capital One, Career Builder, Concord Group Insurance, Conoco Phillips, Georgia Pacific, Harris Interactive, Jackson Hewitt, Lockheed Martin, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Premier Bankcard, Progressive Insurance, Raymond James, USDA, US Veterans Health Administration, US Department of Defense, and many more. You can find more information at or contact us at [email protected].

Tips, Tricks, SerialPorts and Cupcakes at VTdotNET last night

Last night was one of the smallest meetings that we have had for VTdotNET in a long time – could it have been the 90 degree temps? The fact that schools out around the area and folks are on vacation? Well, they missed out because we had a blast.

Carl Lorentson from Renaissance Info Systems, shared a bunch of .NET Tips & Tricks. One of them solves a problem that I have had for a long time using WIndows Forms which is a very specific scenario (his matches mine) when the designer won’t open up. I have to write another blog post about that, stay tuned! He also showed some great ways he has used reflection to solve problems and gotten over the fear of extending controls. A very cool custom control he showed was a combobox that knows how to display data that is no longer part of the drop down list. In other words, if Vermont ceded from the U.S., you would still be able to see "VT" in an address display, even though Vermont was no longer in the drop down list as a selectable option.

After Carl, we got super geeky as Nick Fessel, from Cooper Controls, showed us not only how the System.IO.SerialPort class works, not only how to program an app that talks to a controller, but how to program a controller! In 20+ years of programming, I have never seen anything like this before We even got the old red & Green lights and numeric displays on teh controller. We talked a bit about Robotics Studio (something else I need to blog about because a few recent events has this high in my mind). What was funny was that Nick told us that he had actually programmed the lighting in the room where we were having our meeting. The old "clap on clap off" joke was repeated throughout the rest of the meeting.

During the day, since I have been in a bit of a funk and am having a hard time focusing on my work, I baked cupcakes. But those are a dangerous thing to have laying around the house. Therefore, I brought half of them to the meeting and everyone got a cupcake. There were some new folks at the meeting, and I assured them that this does not happen at every meeting!

So it was really fun to have a small VERY geeky meeting and also to see VTdotNET members be willing to share what they are doing at work or some of the challenges they have overcome. I really hope we can have more meetings like this in the future (including cupcakes, of course!)

Thanks again to Champlain College’s Department of Software Engineering for covering our room fees for the summer, to Infragistics for a NETAdvantage raffle, to JetBrains for a ReSharper Raffle and to APress for a bunch of books we raffled off as well.

VB.NET Day in Waltham, MA: May 27th

Michale de la Maza follows up his popular C# day events with a VB.NET day at the Microsoft office on Tuesday May 27th.

Join us for a relaxed, no cost introduction to VB.NET programming. By engaging in participatory activities, you will learn some of the most common and powerful features of the VB.NET language. This day is not lecture-based. There will be fewer than 60 minutes of lecture material — almost all of the time will be spent on participant-guided activities. Everyone who attends will learn what interests them at their own pace in a relaxed, tension-free environment with an experienced VB.NET developer and trainer available to answer questions.

RSVPs are required and details are here.

Registration problems for Thursday’s MSDN Roadshow in Williston, VT? Here’s the fix!

The online registration system for Microsoft events is currently broken (or just acting really flakey).

If you are trying to register for Thursday’s free, full-day, Bob & Chris & Jim Roadshow , try the online registration first here:

If that doesn’t work, you can register by phone

Call the event system directly (877.673.8368) and use the event ID 1032378634.

For more information and details about the event, see Chris’ blog post here:

If you are trying to register for a different one of these Roadshow events, just get the EVentID from Chris’ blog.

If you are trying to register for other Microsoft events the phone # should be the same, but you’ll need to know the EventID of the event you are trying to register for.

David Yack at Vermont.NET tonight

Colorado man, author and MS Regional Directory, David Yack, is in Vermont to present at the VTdotNET meeting tonight, thanks to INETA.

He’ll be speaking on a topic we have NEVER had in our 6 years at the user group: VSTO. THen off to NJ tomorrow to talk about Silverlight 2.0.

But if that’s not diverse enough, he’s locked in his hotel room wrapping up a book on CRM. Go David! I’ve conspired with his wife, Julie, to be sure that he does get downtown to go buy some Lake Champlain Chocolates for his wife. We Julie’s know how to stick together!

Special thanks to Infragistics and JetBrains for their monthly raffles and to Goodrich (yes, that Goodrich) Vergennes for sponsoring the cost of the meeting space.

The Bob & Chris (and now Jim, too) Roadshow returns to Burlington May 22

Don’t pencil it in; ink it in!

May 22nd at Vermont Technical College in Williston from 9am to 4pm.

You may notice that May 22nd is on a THursday. I will put money on the fact that Chris scheduled this so that he can go to Bove’s. THe last few times he hit town at the beginning of the week, but Bove’s is closed on Sundays and Mondays and I think I heard the sobs all the way down here in Huntington. Thankfully, he discovered The Skinny Pancake down by the water front and is now a fan of that resto, too!

Read more details about the roadshow on Chris’ blog!

Richard Stallman, founder of GNU, speaking in Burlington today and tomorrow

Richard Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and founder of the GNU Project (, will be speaking in the Burlington area on April 17 and 18.


  o  Thursday, April 17, 4:30 p.m., St. Michael’s College; “Copyright versus Community in the Age of Computer Networks”


  o  Friday, April 18, 9:30 a.m., Champlain College; “The Free Software Movement and the GNU/Linux Operating System”


GNU is “free software” and a different concept from open source software. Per the GNU Web site…



“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.


Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

    * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

    * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

    * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.



The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today.  Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer award, and the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several honorary doctorates.


Code Camp 9 Update

Code Camp 9 has a beautiful new logo created by Bryan Philips.

Chris Bowen reports that the session for the April 5-6 Code Camp are filling up and the registrations are as well. At last count there are 40 sessions submitted.

Deadline for abstract submission is March 24th.

There is an introductory track this year which is a great opportunity for people who are new to presenting to do a session. In addition, Chalk Talks are a fabulous way to lead a conversation about something that you are interested in wtihout having to do the work of preparing a session and demos or worry about standing in front of an audience giving  presentation.

Submit sessions and register at

ADO.NET 3.5 Data Access Guidance at Vermont.NET on Monday

Last fall, I presented a 3 hour workshop at DevConnections, comparing and contrasting ADO.NET, LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework’s LINQ to Entities, Object Services and EntityClient as well as comparing LINQ to Entities to Entity SQL, then providing recommendations for when one makes sense over the others in various scenarios. It was a really fun session to present.

It was a little daunting to pull together, though, because even Microsoft hadn’t provided this guidance at that point beyond “LINQ to SQL is for RAD and EF is for the Enterprise”. There were a few great forum comments by Mike Pizzo which were helpful.

Coincidentally, (definitely coincidence, I’m not trying to suggest otherwise) Diego Vega, a PM on the EF team, wrote a great post on the the API part of the topic three days after I did the session. And then followed it up in December with a post about LINQ to Entities vs Entity SQL. I laughed that it was in response to a question by John Papa and emailed John to say “geeze, man, you were at the conference, and you were a speaker. You could have come to my workshop for free!” John had presented two great intro sessions on Entity Framework as part of the Data Access track.

So, I am presenting this as a shorter talk at Vermont.NET tomorrow night. We’ll see how short. I may just have someone lock the doors when I get started. 🙂

I’ll be doing this session again in May at DevTeach and June at TEchEd. I expect it to evolve by June.