dataMinds Connect 2017 News


SQL Server running on Windows Server, Linux and Docker? Oh yes!!!

At Ignite 2017 Scott Guthrie and Rohan Kumar both announced that SQL Server 2017 will be generally available October 2nd!

October 2nd??? That date sounds familiar... Oh yes! It is also the start of dataMinds Connect in Ghent.

So what are you waiting for? Join us in celebrating our tenth edition as well as the GA of SQL Server 2017!

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Alain Lissoir is Keynote Speaker

We are please and proud to announce that Alain Lissoir - Principal Program Manager at Microsoft in Redmond – Will be providing our opening Keynote.

He will be talking about “Microsoft SQL Server 2017: Built-in Intelligence, SQL Everywhere, and Cloud First strategy for a better SQL!“

If you want to know what the future looks like for your favourite Data Tool(s), be sure to attend this Opening Keynote!


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All aboard the last train to SQL Heaven!

Our five star event for those with a passion for SQL, is coming up soon: 2nd and 3rd of October.

Our ticket sale is going as fast as a Japanese bullet train, diminishing your chances of joining us every minute.

Don’t wait any longer to get on the SQL train and join us at the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent for two days of guaranteed SQL fun. Getting a ticket is easy: just click here.

Whether you call them superheroes, Kardashians or something else, we’ve invited only the best SQL experts to speak at dataMinds--Connect. Every day is jam packed with interesting sessions. Follow Nico Jacobs’ ‘When SQL Server makes mistakes’ or ‘SQL Server <3 Linux’ by Frederik Bogaerts. Combine your sessions at will to give your SQL knowledge a boost. Don’t believe us? Just check our conference schedule. After all, seeing is believing.


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Bart Deweer's Favourite Session

As part of a team which is responsible for data, applications and innovations, I see more than before that IT services are moving to the Cloud.

If companies will not follow this way of information technology and block the possibilities which are possible in the cloud, they will behind on their competitors.

We, as the IT employees and consultants have the obligation to inform our employers and customers about this danger.

Our job is changing more and more in acting as a manager of services instead of being the hardcore technician, DBA,BI developer,...

During the dataminds days we have the opportunity to inform us about the Cloud services and to meet our colleagues.

That's why I'm choosing today for the sessions about the Azure services and also try to meet new people who have the same interest as me.

Bart Deweer

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Frederik Aerts' SQL Superheroes

Picking a favourite among so many appealing sessions is though. Of course, it goes without saying that my favourite sessions are those given by my Kohera colleagues: Frederik, Ken and Sammy. But hey, I was asked to pick one and only one. I hope my two other co-workers will forgive me, but I would really like to see the session of Sammy Deprez. He’ll focus on Azure Data Lake Analytics. Did he just say you can use SQL to query your files? Interesting! He’ll show us how we can predict data before it has even reached our database. Alright, Sammy! You’ve got my attention. Even though I had to pick one session, luckily, there’s enough time to attend several other sessions during the day. Expect a visit Frederik and Ken! Let the SQL-games begin!

Frederik Aerts

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Thomas D'Hauwe's SQL superheroes

The days leading up to dataMinds–Connect are always a struggle. There’s five different timeslots and for each slot I have to choose between four equally interesting sessions. What path will I take? An almost impossible task!

For now, the only session I have marked as definite is ‘ETL in the cloud’ by Alexander Klein. Why? If they ask me what tool I need for SSIS, I know ETL is a no-brainer. But when I’m asked to only use cloud components, without a VM, I don’t have an immediate answer. As ETL is not my strong suit, I’m sure Alexander can give me a good overview and a push in the right direction

I will probably attend the Power BI Deep Dive during the pre-cons. I work as a BI consultant, the Microsoft stack is my daily toolset and I use Power BI for those fancy reports, so there’s no way I’m passing on the opportunity to sharpen my skills and learn what others do with Power BI.

Thomas D'Hauwe

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Tom Carpentier's SQL Superheroes

dataMinds–Connect holds true to its age-old tradition of having too many interesting sessions and too little hours in a day. The session I’m most looking forward to is the precon by Adam Saxton: ‘The Power BI Deep Dive’. I’ve been dabbling in Power BI for a couple of years now, regularly checking out what’s new, using it to help several customers… I’m eager to expand my knowledge about the software.

The subjects listed for Adam’s session have grabbed my attention and there’s quite a few I want to know more about. It’s great to finally see a level 400 session on Power BI. Moreover, I’ve seen Adam present before and I know what a great speaker he is. His session is guaranteed fun and interesting!

Tom Carpentier

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The Kardashians according to Egon Vandenrijdt

My favourite DataMinds–Connect sessions this year? That’s a hard one. As a DBA, I’m highly interested in more in-depth sessions on a couple of very specific topics. To start with, I’m really looking forward to ‘SQL Server <3 Linux’ by Frederik Bogaerts, just like Pieter. Not only because of the topic, but I am also a big fan of Frederik’s enthusiasm about SQL Server.

The second session on my must-see list, is ‘Transform your database into Azure SQL’ that Pieter Vanhove will give. He’s a great speaker and I’ve never went to a session by him that’s disappointing or dull. What I’m also interested in is the session by Nico Jacobs ‘When SQL Server makes mistakes’, which will handle execution plans and Adaptive Query Processing in SQL Server 2017.

As a Database Architect however, my heart goes out to the data world. Therefore, the sessions by Sammy Deprez and Enrico van de Laar are at the top of my list. Respectively called ‘Data Lake Analytics’ and ‘Advanced Analytics in the cloud’.

Egon Vandenrijdt

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The Kardashians according to Jasper Taminau

Power BI has come a long way. These days, there are great map visuals available in the software like the new ARCGis map. But there’s always room for improvement. Sometimes source data doesn’t contain any coordinates and without them it’s obviously hard for the programme to know where to look. Which is why data isn’t always plotting correctly.

So, my favourite session would be ‘Geocoding with SQL Server, Google Maps and Power BI’ by Andrea Martorana Tusa. Based on the description of the session, I think I’ll learn a trick or two to enrich my source data with the proper coordinates. I’m really looking forward to that!

Jasper Taminau

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The Kardashians according to Pieter Vanhove

It wasn’t easy for me to decide whose session at DataMinds–Connect would be my favourite. But I looked at them all and my first ‘Kardashian’ is Frederik Bogaert’s ‘SQL Server <3 Linux’. Even though I’m a Microsoft guy at heart, I can’t wait to see SQL run on Linux. SQL Server 2017 is coming and I’m excited for it! I really want to see how easy SQL can be installed on Linus and how it works. Hopefully, I’ll learn more about Linux too.

Allan Hirt’s session had to be among my favourites with this banger of a title: ‘Top Troubleshooting Tips for Clustered Implementations of SQL Server’. He knows all there is to know about high availability and disaster recovery, I kid you not! Moreover, Allan is great speaker, so his session will not only be interesting but easy on the ears as well.

When I first read the title of Nico Jacobs’ session – ‘When SQL Server makes mistakes’ – I stopped and thought ‘Wait… What? SQL Server makes mistakes?’. But sure enough, even SQL Servers aren’t save from them. During his session, Nico will show you a cool new feature in SQL Server 2017 called ‘Adaptive Query Processing’. It’s a mouthful, but basically this allows your SQL Server to adjust a faulty plan while that same plan is being executed. Gone are the days of mistakes, so make sure you don’t miss his talk!

Pieter Vanhove

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A Chatbot? we got one too!

Thanks to the experts at Arinti, we have a Skype Chatbot that helps you find information about the sessions, speakers and the venue!

Just start by typing "hello"!

Have fun!










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DataCore joins us as a platinum partner

DataCore Software is a leader in software-defined storage. The company’s storage virtualization software empowers organizations to seamlessly manage and scale their data storage architectures, delivering massive performance gains at a fraction of the cost of solutions offered by legacy storage hardware vendors.


Backed by 10,000 customer sites around the world, DataCore’s adaptive and self-learning and healing technology takes the pain out of manual processes and helps deliver on the promise of the new software defined data center through its hardware agnostic architecture. 


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Too much SQL won't kill you

Is there such a thing as too much SQL?

We are passionate about Microsoft technologies like SQL Server, Power BI and Azure and, really everything that is related to data, so we don't think so!

What about you?

Daily dosis of SQL

Even if you are already working with SQL and data on a daily basis, don't be afraid to immerse yourself even further at dataMinds Connect.

Too much SQL won't kill you! Why? Well, we could list a number of reasons why you should join us next October 2nd and 3rd. Today, we'll give you the best eight!

  1. is the new and improved version of the previous SQL Server Days
  2. takes place at a brand new location: the Ghelmaco Arena
  3. provides you with the latest news, updates and insights about the Microsoft Data Platform
  4. creates a pleasant environment with drinks, good food, free goodies and,... a raffle!
  5. is where you meet (and greet!) world famous SQL experts
  6. offers you (and your boss) numerous persuading arguments to budget SQL Server 2017
  7. is where you can be your nerdy self and exchange ideas with other SQL Server enthusiasts
  8. is the largest SQL Server Conference in the Benelux!

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Karim Ourtani's Favourite Session

Decisions, decisions, decisions. It is so hard to pick out a favourite session, but if I had to make a choice I'm most definitely looking forward to Aaron Bertrand's precon on how to become a Better SQL Server Developer.

As for day two, I'm curious to hear what to my dear friend Lenni Lobel's session on Azure Cosmos DB will be about. I have to admit that the whole NOSQL world has got me intrigued. If I only got to attend one session, I believe it would be this one! See you in Ghent!

Karim Ourtani

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Steve Verschaeve's Favourite Session

What are my two favourite sessions? Oh boy, I don't know where to start. Since I'm dealing with SQL Server fulltime within most, if not all domains, I have a big interest in all topics discussed by this year’s dataMinds speakers. However, based on my personal interest and topics I daily deal with, I’m looking forward to the Graph database session by David Postlethwaite.

Why? It's interesting to see how this technology can analyse relationships and interconnected data. Along with R Services, Polybase and Python, Graph database offers new opportunities for SQL Server experts to explore. Fun times ahead, a must to every data professional. Looking forward to the Kevin Bacon problem!

My second choice: AlwaysOn Multi-Site Patters by John Martin, because AlwaysOn is big and hot. I usually start with the question: what is your RPO/RTO and you’re off for days discussing architectures. Designing HADR solutions spanning multiple locations can be complex and challenging. Looking forward seeing John sharing his experience and best practices from the field. Bring your note pads and 3D glasses. I will take care of the popcorn...

Steve Verschaeve

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Frederik Bogaerts' Favourite Session

While I was enjoying my coffee, I browsed through this year’s sessions and I must admit that selecting a favourite was not the easiest thing to do.

I'm a huge fan of all HA/DR related matters. So, on day one, you'll find me listening to Allan Hirt. On day two I will go and check out the session of Ásgeir Gunnarsson. He will be talking about the Analysis Services DNA. I'm a rock solid DBA, but this particular BI session really got my attention!

I will also be watching the DevOps in Advanced Analytics session. Pretty curious about that one as well. See you at dataMinds Connect!

Frederik Bogaerts

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Frederik Vandeputte's Favourite Session

Choosing my favourite session was harder than ever before. We received 112 session proposals by 45 unique speakers this year and unfortunately there was only room for 25 on our final schedule. It goes without saying that we have an amazing speakers line-up ready for you, so, allow me to choose two favourites.

First of all, I am looking forward to Buck Woody's opening keynote. Buck is a very gifted speaker with loads of experience, so I'm sure he will kick off day two with an inspiring keynote.

Secondly, I would like to recommend our Power BI Happy Hour. We've been organizing a Power BI Happy Hour for the last couple of years now and it has always been a very entertaining session during which different speakers and attendees give a short Power BI demo. If you want to join us by giving a presentation as well, just drop us a line. Either way, I hope to welcome there.

Frederik Vandeputte

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U2U is a gold partner!

We are pleased to announce that U2U has decided to join us as a gold partner!

U2U organizes training for developers and IT professionals on Visual Studio, Office 365, SharePoint, SQL Server, Dynamics 365, Exchange Server, Windows Server, Business Intelligence, Cloud, Mobile and Web Technologies.

U2U courses are developed and authored by U2U instructors and are constantly being updated to reflect the latest changes.

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And another one bites the platinum - Arinti joined us too!

Yes, we are pleased but most definetly humbled that Arinti has decided to join us as a platinum partner.

Arinti, part of the Cronos Group, enables organizations to implement Artificial Intelligence.

With Machine Learning they allow you to move to predictive recommendations instead of descriptive analytics.

Cognitive tools are used to get more insight from what you see, hear, or write.

And chatbots are used to enhance your customer service. To make this possible they leverage the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence building blocks to tailor the solutions to their customers' needs.

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Tillit is also a platinum partner

It's not the first time Tillit has decided to join us for our yearly conference and we are so happy an proud to welcome them back!

tillit is an IT consultancy company, founded in 2011. We offer specialized consultants to larger businesses, industrial and financial companies. We carefully study the specifics of each project and profile the most qualified and suitable co-workers.

As we guarantee to tell things as they are: Together we will find a solution that allows your company to reach its goals, on time and within budget. ‘tillit’ being a Scandinavian word for trust, tillit stands for firm and clear interaction.

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Early Bird Tickets

Early bird tickets are available up until July 15, 2017. What are you waiting for?

Pre-conference & Conference   02 & 03 October :   325 EUR
Conference   03 October :   150 EUR



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Allan Hirt is doing a precon on Advanced SQL Server Storage and Availability Solutions

We are enthusiastic to announce that Boston based Allan Hirt will be performing a precon on Advanced SQL Server Storage and Availability Solutions. Founder and managing partner of SQL Server consulting and training firm SQLHA, Hirt has been passionate about Microsoft SQL Server since interning at Sybase in 1992. He is now dual Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, HA/DR expert and SQL Server mission critical expert.

Hirt is a published author who contributed to whitepapers, webcasts, training courses and publications about SQL Server for Microsoft and SQL Server Magazine. He is presently writing the highly anticipated book Mission Critical SQL Server.


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Ordina is a platinum partner

Ordina has been a partner of dataMinds Connect (formerly SQL Server Days) since day one (just like Kohera and element61), and we are happy to announce that VisionWorks (Ordina's BI division) has joined us as Platinum Partner for dataMinds Connect 2017!

Ordina is an all-round independent services provider in the field of consulting, solutions and IT for the Benelux.

For more information about Odrina and how their offering can help you, head on over to their site.

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Our call for speakers is still open!

Are you passionate about the Microsoft Data Platform? Are you the gifted speaker who can inspire your audience with your enthusiasm we are looking for? If so, go onto our call for speakers site, and submit your session proposals.

Session submission ends June 16th 2017!


--Click here to register your session(s)!

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Kohera and element61 are partnering with dataMinds Connect!

We are pleased and proud to announce that both Kohera and element61 have decided to partner with us again this year!

Kohera specializes in the design, implementation and support of information systems based on the Microsoft Business Intelligence portfolio, the SQL Server database system and Prophix CPM software. Being the largest Belgian company with 100% focus in these areas, we have built up the extensive expertise needed to help you find the best and most affordable solutions.

element61 is the thought-leading Business Analytics, Performance Management and Financial Reporting consulting company in the Belgian marketplace.
Today, element61 has brought together the most experienced team in Business Analytics, CPM & data warehousing in Belgium. The company has grown to 45 senior consultants with -on average- 13 years of experience in PM & BI, totaling over 550+ man years of experience.

Thanks for the support!

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