Chalk Talk at the BI Conference

I’ve managed to sneak onto the schedule of the BI Conference next week after all: I’ll be doing a chalk talk on "Writing MDX for KPIs" on Wednesday afternoon in the 4:00-5:15 slot. Of course this leaves me very little time to prepare so I guess I’ll be working on the plane; I need to make sure I don’t say anything controversial (or worse, wrong) because you never know who might be in the audience
This also means I’d better not overdo it on the Tuesday night meet-up I blogged about a while ago. We’ve got quite a few people coming now, and if you’d like to join us then just turn up at the registration desk in the conference centre at 6pm.

Resolving Common Connectivity Problems White Paper

Here’s a new, and extremely detailed, white paper on how to troubleshoot connectivity problems for AS2005:
I can’t imagine there’s a scenario this doesn’t miss, and it’s good to have the error messages generated from different clients too.

OLAP or Relational?

If there’s one big religious divide within the BI world, greater than the differences between vendors, then the question of whether to use an OLAP database or to query the relational database directly is it. Standing in the pro-OLAP camp as I do I probably have more in common with an Essbase guy than someone who wants to do BI with the SQL Server 2005 relational database exclusively. Anyway, here’s an article by Ralph Kimball in Intelligent Enterprise that sums up the arguments on both sides pretty well:
I’m pleased to see that he makes much of MDX as a plus-point on the side of OLAP; even Oracle’s supposedly all-SQL approach begins to look a bit MDXy when you see the details (see for example Mark Rittmann’s post, also from today: although from what I’ve seen MDX still has some important advantages. It’s just a pity that as a language it seems to be fragmenting into different vendor-specific implementations so quickly – for example, see this post from the Panorama blog on SAP BW MDX:
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