What we're about

The Rhode Island Data Platform Users Group (RIDPUG) formerly Rhode Island SQL Server User Group is a local chapter that works with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), an independent, not-for-profit association committed to providing data professionals around the world with the resources and knowledge necessary to achieve unparalleled business results. The purpose of the RIDPUG is to provide an independent local forum for database administrators, developers and general users of the Microsoft Data Platform as well as users and vendors of products and services related to the Microsoft Data Stack to exchange knowledge and build professional relationships.

Upcoming events (2)

SQL for the Power BI Developer w/ Chris Wagner

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SQL for the Power BI Developer

You got your PowerBI in my SQL!

You got your SQL in my Power BI!

Combine the two and make something MAGICAL.
Learn how to use TSQL to enhance your Power BI reports.

Chris has been working in the Data and Analytics space for nearly 20 years. Chris has dedicated his professional career to making data and information accessible to the masses. A significant component in making data available is continually learning new things and teaching others from these experiences. To help people keep up with this ever-changing landscape, Chris frequently posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and to this blog.

Explore your data lake with Synapse Serverless Pools w/ John Miner

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Explore your data lake with Synapse Serverless Pools


Many organizations are consolidating all their informational assets into data lake. This is a great idea since all the data is located in one place, both structured and unstructured data can be stored, and many different types of users can access the data.

Traditionally, a SPARK cluster is used to manipulate the data stored in the lake via quality zones. This data engineering batch process can be scheduled at night. The more powerful the SPARK cluster is, the more costly is the AZURE bill. Since most data is written once and read many times, how can we reduce the cost of our companies read activities?

Azure Synapse Serverless SQL pools allows the architect to replace the interactive SPARK cluster with a lower cost service. The OPENROWSET and EXTERNAL TABLE commands have been the traditional way to use POLYBASE to read schema on demand. However, this syntax can be time consuming to setup. Recently, Microsoft has released the LAKE DATABASE that abstracts this underlying mechanism via the Azure Portal and/or SPARK engine.

To recap, having high powered SPARK clusters waiting to satisfy read operations against the data lake can be costly. A better alternative is to use Azure Synapse Serverless SQL pools that only charge you when you run queries. Today we will explore the different ways to setup a Serverless SQL pool.


John Miner is a Senior Data Architect at Insight Digital Innovation helping corporations solve their business needs with various data platform solutions.

He has over thirty years of data processing experience, and his architecture expertise encompasses all phases of the software project life cycle, including design, development, implementation, and maintenance of systems.

His credentials include undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island. Also, he has earned certificates from Microsoft for Database Administration (MCDBA), System Administration (MCSA), Data Management & Analytics (MCSE) and Data Science (MPP).

John has been recognized with the Microsoft MVP award seven times for his outstanding contributions to the Data Platform community.

When he is not busy talking to local user groups or writing blog entries on new technology, he spends time with his wife and daughter enjoying outdoor activities. Some of John’s hobbies include wood working projects, crafting a good beer, and playing a game of chess.

Past events (117)

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