Reflections on PASS Summit 2019 from the SQL Tools Team

Last September at Microsoft Ignite 2018, Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President of Azure Data, announced the general availability of Azure Data Studio. This month, a little over a year later, Azure Data Studio took PASS Summit 2019 by storm, from keynote demos to community sessions to customer conversations at the Microsoft booth, we experienced overwhelming support for the immense growth of Azure Data Studio since its general availability announcement.

The conference kicked off with an exciting keynote by Rohan, who announced several general availability and preview milestones for Azure Data Studio and SQL Server, including the general availability of SQL Server 2019, the preview of Azure SQL Database Edge, and the preview of Azure Arc. Rohan’s keynote was enriched by demos from team members, with several using Azure Data Studio to demonstrate the power of the newly announced capabilities of SQL Server. My favorite example is Asad Khan’s, Partner Director of Program Management for SQL Server and Azure SQL, demo of a connected factory powered by SQL. In his demo, he highlighted Notebooks in Azure Data Studio while showing how devices collecting data at the edge can stream data into a SQL Server 2019 Big Data Cluster. Then, he visualized the data using the SandDance extension that received a huge spike in applause from the audience.

PASS Summit 2019.

In addition to the day one keynote, Azure Data Studio was demoed in 16 total sessions including four sessions hosted by community members centered entirely around Azure Data Studio. Notebooks in particular made a huge splash at PASS Summit. By 4:00 PM on the first day of the conference, Steve Clement, an attendee tweeted, “Five sessions so far this week and all 5 have used ADS Notebooks. I’m noticing a theme here. #PASSSummit.

For those looking forward to the future of SQL Server Tooling, Vicky Harp, Principal Program Manager Lead, SQL Server Tools and Udeesha Gautam, Senior Software Engineering Manager, SQL Server Tools, gave a first look at upcoming features in a highly attended session of over 350 attendees titled What’s new in SQL Server Tools. Highlights from their session include:

  • Vicky’s internally-renowned Corgi demo, where she employs Notebooks in Azure Data Studio to name a Corgi using a SQL Server 2019 Big Data Cluster
  • Udeesha’s demo of Azure SQL Database Edge testing and development in Azure Data Studio following its preview announcement in Rohan’s keynote
  • PostgreSQL support in Azure Data Studio in preview
  • MariaDB and MySQL support in Azure Data Studio in preview (not yet publicly available)
  • UX mockups of database project support for Azure Data Studio
  • And more

Finally, we received a tremendous amount of support and feedback from the community at the Microsoft clinic and in our three focus groups. In many cases, we had users approach us just to rave about Azure Data Studio, and others tell us that they had not heard of Azure Data Studio until this conference, but they were excited to start using it. Both the clinic and our focus groups were important opportunities for our program managers and engineers to speak directly to customers, learn about their unique use cases for our tools, gather feedback, and answer questions.

As a new member of the SQL Tools team, this was my first time attending PASS Summit —and regardless of my sleep deprivation and jam-packed schedule, I found myself constantly energized by the encouragement of the PASS community for our team’s hard work. We truly take all of your comments seriously as guidance for our prioritization, and we strive day in and day out to delight our users through our work.

On a closing note, I will share one of my favorite tweets about Azure Data Studio this conference season, written by attendee Richard Munn: “If it was possible to marry and spend the rest of your life with software, my choice would be @AzureDataStudio!”