The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) announced the keynote speakers and educational curriculum for its first conference, which focuses exclusively on Microsoft SQL Server-COMPASS '99, to be held September 29 - October 2 in Chicago. PASS is an independent, not-for-profit association that provides SQL Server technology users worldwide with resources and knowledge necessary to achieve business results through educational opportunities, professional networks, and direct advocacy to Microsoft. The COMPASS `99 keynote speakers are: Paul Flessner, general manager for Microsoft SQL Server; Jim Gray, senior researcher at Microsoft and winner of the 1998 Association of Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award; and Russell M. Artzt, executive vice president of research and development at Computer Associates, Inc. The conference is also featuring presentations by industry experts Don Awalt, Kalen Delaney, Jim Dugan, Trevor Dwyer, Bob Pfeiff, Neil Pike, Wayne Snyder, and Ron Talmage. The educational curriculum consists of more than 75 sessions in five tracks and SQL Server users will lead more than half of the sessions. The Data Warehousing in a SQL Server Environment track will focus on how to build, manage, and use Microsoft's product suite to deploy a successful data warehouse and supply valuable business intelligence. A Web-based Solutions track will explain how to leverage SQL Server 7.0 and support technologies from Microsoft to successfully build and deploy a data warehouse. The Microsoft SQL Server for Managers track will teach managers how to better understand and evaluate SQL Server 7.0 capabilities, and identify the technology's future. The Distributed Application Development track will help developers and customers create a computer infrastructure to provide ideal information flow to empower corporations to react faster to changing business needs, make better informed decisions, and become closer to customers and business partners. The final track, Managing the SQL Server Infrastructure, is designed for IT professionals who are responsible for providing overall support for SQL Server implementations, and the track will cover how to administer a system, manage data, implement a design, and upgrade to SQL Server 7.0. COMPASS `99 attendees will have an opportunity to talk to Microsoft's SQL Server development team members. And the conference will offer a variety of networking events, discussion forums, an Internet Caf,, and an expo, where more than 40 leading companies will offer products and SQL Server-related services. All attendees at the event receive a one-year charter membership in PASS with their registration fee. For additional information on the COMPASS '99 conference and expo, or to register online, go to the PASS Web site at