Redgate commits to the future of PASS

When PASS announced in December last year that it was ceasing all operations from January 16, 2021, it came as a surprise to many people. For 21 years, it’s represented a global community of over 300,000 data professionals who use the Microsoft data platform. From the PASS Summit to online learning, SQLSaturdays to opportunities to network, its’s been a permanent fixture throughout the year.

Covid-19 caused the widespread end of in-person events, which was bad news for PASS along with all of its members who relied on the opportunities it offered for learning and networking with peers face to face. We recognize this has been a really tough time for PASS volunteers and we’d like to publicly thank them for all they’ve done over the years. We’d also like to recognize the efforts of PASS HQ and the Board of Directors.

We’ve been a major supporter of PASS for over a decade, we’ve sponsored PASS Summits, exhibited at many of them, and Redgate speakers have regularly featured at the Summits as well as SQLSaturdays. So Redgate has stepped in to continue to make those opportunities available, just as soon as possible.

It continues our long-standing commitment to providing valuable resources for database professionals. SQLServerCentral is the #1 education and community site for SQL Server, with over 800,000 members and 2.5 million page views per month, and Redgate’s technical journal, Simple Talk has over 150,000 subscribers.

That said, we know the community has a lot of questions, so here are some immediate answers.

How are you handling data privacy and the list of PASS members?

The list of PASS members hasn’t been transferred to us, nor have we seen it. We don’t have the details of any PASS members, unless they have opted in to receive communications from us. In this instance, we only have the details provided at the point of opt-in – we don’t have access to any information previously collected by PASS.

Where is the content that was hosted by PASS?

We’re going to make this available for free as soon as we can. It’s our first priority, apart from continuing to speak to the SQL Server community.

The content itself was transferred to us at the end of last week. At the moment, it’s a collection of several thousand files in Azure blob storage, which we need to catalog and host properly. It will take us a few weeks to do this for everything, but we’ll make content available to everyone for free as we work through it. We’d love suggestions about which content you’d like us to prioritize.

We’re still working out where to host it, but will probably be on YouTube, SQLServerCentral, or both, as well as other places.

What’s next for SQLSaturdays?

We’re still working on these plans, in parallel with what we’ve mentioned above. SQLSaturdays are hugely important to the community, so we’re going to think about this very carefully.

We’re keen to move forward and make some decisions, but first we want to listen to opinions, hear what people want from SQLSaturdays, and work out the next steps together. You can share your thoughts with us on SQLServerCentral, through this forum.

What’s next for the Summit?

We’re still working on these plans, too. We feel in-person events aren’t going to be an option for a while, so we’re thinking about planning the Summit as a virtual community conference again this year.

We’d love feedback and input, and we’ll be working with a range of people in the community to plan a virtual gathering for the global data community in 2021.

How will Redgate work with the community and share updates?

We really do want to hear from you about how we can support you. To make this as transparent as possible, we’ve created the SQLServerCentral forum mentioned above for questions and discussion. All PASS members have been given the opportunity to opt in to hear the latest news, including updates on resources and events. If you want to stay up-to-date, please opt in here.