I wasn’t able to go to the MS BI Conference/TechEd in New Orleans this year, unfortunately, but I’ve just watched Ted Kummert’s keynote from today and it’s got lots of interesting new BI-related stuff in it. You can view it here:
If you don’t have any patience with the normal keynote backslapping, I suggest you forward to around 01:20:00 when Amir Netz comes on stage to do some demos. Here’s what he shows:
- 01:25:20 Pivotviewer Extensions for Reporting Services. As far as I can see, this is a new bit of SSRS functionality that does something like the following: execute a data-driven subscription to generate multiple SSRS reports, then load them into the new Silverlight control-based version of Live Labs Pivot, so the output of these reports can be analysed. This will be available in the next thirty days, so I guess early July. It makes for a very visually appealing demo but if I’m right about what’s happening here then it seems a bit of a hack. Live Labs Pivot needs to be properly integrated into the BI stack!
- 01:32:30 the ability to define KPIs in PowerPivot. The funny thing is, ever since KPIs were introduced in SSAS 2005 I have worked with hundreds of companies using SSAS and I have never, ever seen anyone using KPIs in production! But this is slightly different and it’s got a nice visual designer, so I can see how KPIs in PowerPivot would be very useful.
- 01:34:45 new record view for viewing data in the PowerPivot designer, a better way of working with wide tables and editing the calculations on them. Handy.
- 01:36:30 importing a PowerPivot solution, from Excel, into BI Development Studio. You get the same PowerPivot designer UI in BIDS as you get in Excel, but now you are able to use source control, develop offline and so on.
- 01:37:55 lineage and impact analysis for DAX calculations – a diagram showing the dependencies between DAX calculations. Good, but lineage and impact analysis is needed for much more than just DAX calculations – it needs to cover everything from the structure of the relational data warehouse to SSIS, SSAS and SSRS reports.
- 01:39:30 2 billion rows of data loaded into a server-based instance of SSAS running in in-memory mode, from a project developed in BIDS. And of course, it’s fast!
So only a few hints at how Vertipaq will be used in corporate BI scenarios, but what’s here is encouraging…