Feasel’s Grand Analysis of the PASS 600 mile radius rule

UPDATE: Last week, PASS announced an update to the 600 mile radius announcement: “…we will be piloting the 600-mile driving radius distance for events in North America beginning January 1, 2017. We will not include the back-to-back weekend restriction during this pilot…”

Last month, PASS – the professional SQL organization that many of us are a member of – announced a new rule: that the free one-day “SQL Saturday” conferences cannot run on concurrent or adjacent weekends. There was a good deal of talk on Twitter, some response blogs, and comments on the announcement itself.

For the record: I think this rule is meant to benefit sponsors and PASS itself, not the local event organizers and attendees. More: I think it may be a benefit to sponsors, and will be a detriment to organizers and attendees. So I’m not a fan.

Kevin Feasel has written a written an extensive blog post detailing the problem, data, analysis, and conclusions about the new rule. You see, PASS made a big set of related data available, and Kevin happens to have done some work in the data analysis sphere. (What a wild coincidence!) So he cleaned up the data, loaded it in, and did some fairly extensive analysis.

It is a long post, so feel free to read the intro and then jump to “Conclusions”* if you’re short on time. But I do encourage you to read “Airing of Grievances” and “Limitations of Analysis”, too. It’s good stuff.

Not-really-a-spoiler: his conclusions support a couple of the unproven theories of mine, specifically about attendee travel distances.

Happy days,

*Hardy har-har…get it? Get it? Jump…to Conclusions?


MinionWare gives YOU presents for our birthday

Update: Our birthday is past and the giveaway is over, but you can still get a 90 day trial over on MinionWare.net. And if you like, check out the recording of the Welcome to Minion Enterprise webinar that we held right after!

It’s been a year since we officially launched MinionWare and launched our flagship product, Minion Enterprise.  Since then we’ve hit many SQL Saturdays, and a few other events, to spread the word.  And things are looking bright!  We’ve been received openly by the community we’ve given so much time to, and we’re finding our foothold as a vendor.

You guys know our business model: Give away as much as you can.  We started by giving away our world-class maintenance tools (Minion Backup and Minion Reindex), and we’ve committed ourselves and our company to only making them better.  With the excitement we feel about the upcoming release of Minion CheckDB and the fact that we just passed our 1 year anniversary, we’ve decided to do something bigger…give away Minion Enterprise.

From now until 5:00pm (Central Time), on July 15, 2016, anyone who emails us a request will get 3 free Minion Enterprise licenses. 

We really want to say thanks to the SQL community worldwide and we couldn’t think of a better way.  Somehow merely saying thanks just didn’t seem big enough. So, thanks…and have some free enterprise management software for life.

How about some free licenses?
How about some free licenses?

Of course there are just a couple caveats so see the restrictions below:

  1. Email us before 5:00pm Central Time on July 15.  If you’re even 1 minute late, that’s too bad, because the offer is over.
  2. This is available for the current version only.  Free licenses are eligible for patches and service releases of the current version, but not upgrades.
  3. Support will be offered for 3 months.  Afterwards a support contract will need to be purchased.
  4. Any additional licenses will need to be purchased.
  5. Licenses are not transferable to any other companies.

Share custom solutions in the MinionWare Community Zone

Since we released Minion Reindex over a year and a half ago, we’ve had a ton of wonderful feedback, praise, questions, and best of all, custom made solutions to custom in-house problems.


You see, Minion Reindex and Minion Backup are both free, and completely open. Nothing’s encrypted, and all data and configuration options are in tables. Minion Enterprise also stores configurations and collected data in tables (and, provides views and functions for easy access). So it’s really easy for our target audience – that is, database administrators – to write their own queries, alerts, reports, and whatever else they could possibly need.

And now, they can share those solutions online at the MinionWare Community Zone.

This is a brand new feature, so it’ll take a little while to really ramp up the submissions. And we’re moderating submissions, just to be sure there’s not a bunch of TRUNCATE TABLE or CREATE LOGIN statements, or the like.  That’ll add just a little time to growing the library of scripts. But we’ve already seen some really innovative solutions from users. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Check out the MinionWare Community Zone.

Real news, real tech.