Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Azure Data Tech Groups: Community owned, Microsoft empowered

By now you might have seen the video released Feb 17th where Buck Woody (t) explains everything that the Microsoft Data Platform is doing to empower the community.  If not, you can catch that here

When PASS announced that it would cease operations on January 15, 2021, I think we all wondered "What now?"  Microsoft recognizes that local user groups are the life blood of the Data Community. User groups are vital to networking, people's careers and the overall community. Our philosophy is that these groups should be Community-owned, and Microsoft-empowered. To that end, we've created a series of assets, resources, and benefits for your local Community Group Leader to run your group. 

Interested group leaders can find out more about what Microsoft is offering fill out the form linked here.  

What is Microsoft offering to qualified groups? 

  • A Community Landing Page to find a user group, upcoming events, community blogs, etc.  
  • Meetup fees, fully paid for by Microsoft, with a centralized way to find groups in the Data Community that are part of the Azure Data Tech Groups network. 
  • Full Microsoft Teams subscriptions with all the bells & whistles for qualified Community Groups
  • Community Leader Collaboration (via Teams & Meetup)  
You can find a list of FAQs on the Azure SQL blog.

What is a qualified group?

1.     Have a group leader and a designated co-leader who have each accepted these T&Cs.

2.     Not charge other members a fee to attend Group meetings, except in cases in which the venue and/or hosting costs (e.g., food and beverages) are passed through to members.

3.     Maintain a published code of conduct that is easily accessible from the Group’s home page. See guidance

4.     Maintain a regular meeting cadence including having meetings at least six times per year that relate to or cover Azure Data products & services or relate to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) or Professional Development targeted to data professionals. 

5.     Comply with Program’s Code of Conduct located at

6.     Adhere to Microsoft’s Trademark and Brand guidelines, when using any Microsoft trademarks or referring to Microsoft’s software, products or services (see

What technologies does my local group need to focus on for my group leader to qualify for benefits?

SQL Server (on Windows, Linux, and in Containers, on-premises and in Microsoft Azure)

Azure Data Lake   

Azure Cosmos DB

Azure HDInsight, Hadoop and Spark on Azure

Azure Search

Data Warehousing (Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Fast Track and APS)

Azure Stream Analytics

Cortana Intelligence Suite

Information Management (ADF, SSIS, and Data Sync)

SQL Server Reporting Services and Analysis Services

SQL Server Machine Learning Services

Azure Database for MySQL

Azure Database for PostgreSQL

Azure SQL (Database, Pools, Serverless, Hyperscale, Managed Instance, Virtual Machines)

Azure SQL Edge

Big Data Clusters

Azure Databricks

Azure Arc Enabled Data Services

Azure Synapse Analytics

Azure Data Catalog