My musings on the May SQL Server SIG in Melbourne, Australia (a few days late)...
I went to a Special Interest Group meeting at Microsoft in Melbourne a couple of weeks back. I had seen the presenter, Jason Buck, before and once again he demonstrated how well he knew the product (assisted by David from MS and Greg, a consultant tasked with "..extracting out of the community...expertise..."). There were lots of people there (more than I'd seen at an SQL Server SIG before), which is a good indicator of the poularity of this add-on to SQL Server 2000 - I know it's hard to tell a book by it's cover (or a man by his clothes), but looking at the range of people and judging by the suits, there were some BI-type people, some developers, some managers.
Jason focused on deployment and backup. He kind of powered his way through the slides, and part of the reason for that was the side discussions that kept coming up based on questions from the audience. I was hoping to see more "tips and tricks" relating to advanced report design as our deployment here was fairly painless - I guess I'll wait for the "Hitchhiker's Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services" book (see http://www.sqlreportingservices.net). One 'wow' factor was a command-line tool to build folders, set permissions and deploy reports called "rs.exe" which used special ".rss" batch files written in VB.NET. Very cool.
The other highlight was the amount of feedback the team running the night asked for, in terms of future topics with the SIG and the desire to build a community. I see this commonly online, but in person I find it's even more rewarding. Looking forward to the next SIG in June (see http://www.local.microsoft.com.au/australia/events/register/home.aspx?levent=268429 for details).