Microcharts

Data visualisation is definitely this year’s hot topic in BI: I’ve already blogged about how much I like Tableau (though they seem to be pretty much in bed with Hyperion now), and now here come Microcharts – another cool way of looking at your Analysis Services data:
Take a look at the online gallery:
To be honest I’d never heard of sparklines and so on before I saw an early beta of this stuff, but I’m definitely a convert now and with the focus on Microsoft BI now switching heavily to Excel with Office 2007 this is a timely release.  

Deployment Server Edition

One of the strange omissions in BOL, even in its new improved July update, is that there doesn’t seem to be a page showing which features of Analysis Services are available in which editions (if there is please send me the link!). For example, I recently found out the hard way that Perspectives and Translations are not allowed in Standard Edition but I couldn’t actually find that fact documented anywhere; so how do you know, when you’re developing a cube (especially if like me you use Developer Edition) what features you’re allowed to use?
 
What you need to do is set the Deployment Server Edition property on your project appropriately. You can find it by right clicking on your project in the Solution Explorer in Visual Studio – it’s on the Build page of the Configuration properties dialog. If you have a project which uses features that are only available in Enterprise Edition and you have set Deployment Server Edition to ‘Standard’ you will get a list of errors when you build your project telling you that these features are unavailable in Standard Edition.

Google Bigtable

A lot has been said about Google doing BI over the last few months, mostly fluff, but I just saw the following post on Cubegeek‘s blog and was intrigued:
I’d never heard of Bigtable – there’s not much information available about it, but this post from last year gives some details:
And it turns out that Google have just released a paper about it:
Hmm, now although there’s no suggestion anywhere that they are planning this, if this was exposed as a service (and if it ever got out of beta!) it would be interesting

Timeline sue Microsoft again

I see Timeline are suing Microsoft again about Microsoft’s BI tools (principally AS, I assume) infringing their patents…
hohum, this happened a few years ago… here’s an example of the kerfuffle that happened last time they sued:
Not the best advertisement for the concept of software patents in my opinion. There must be plenty of examples of prior art out there – see Nigel Pendse’s history of OLAP, for example: http://www.olapreport.com/origins.htm
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