So, here we are again in Seattle. I’ve been here for a couple of days already and only just over my jetlag – spending all day inside in the convention centre and meeting rooms is not the best way to adjust to a new time zone. Anyway, there are a lot of cool BI-related announcements coming over the next few days so I thought I’d live blog the keynotes over the next few days; today it’s the turn of Ted Kummert, so let’s see what he’s got to say…
- The official name of Project Crescent is going to be called “Power View”. I like this name – it has echoes of PowerPivot and (ahem) QlikView.
- Denali will be known as SQL Server 2012 and will release in the first half of next year
- Microsoft will be offering its own Hadoop distribution on Windows; MS have forged a partnership with HortonWorks to do this. I guess this means the end for Dryad/LINQ to HPC as a product, but it’s a good decision – the market doesn’t want another MS me-too product, it wants Hadoop. There will also be an ODBC driver and addin for Excel for Apache Hive, so you will be able to get data from Hadoop directly into PowerPivot and SSAS Tabular without having to stage it in a relational database. It’ll be available as an on-premises solution and also there’ll be a CTP of an Azure-based solution by the end of the year. This is today’s first big announcement, clearly. I have a few customers with the kind of data volumes that mean they’ll be interested in this, especially now it’s coming in a friendly, MS-packaged format. Denny Lee has more details on all this here.
- There’s a new thing coming from SQL Azure Labs called Data Explorer that will be available at the end of this year. This is a web-based data integration tool for working with data from a number of sources: I can see SQL Azure, Excel, Access and the usual sources are supported, and it also generates recommendations of data from the Azure Datamarket that you might be interested in. It allows you to mash up data from various different sources then publish the result as an OData feed – very similar to Yahoo Pipes, as far as I can see, but the cool thing is that there’s only one type of (very PowerPivot friendly) end point. Can’t wait to play with this but, however cool it looks, you have to remember that this is coming from SQL Azure Labs so it’s not going to be a real product any time soon.
- Amir Netz (just promoted to be a Technical Fellow at MS – a very prestigious role, and great for the profile of BI inside the company I think) is now on stage for a Crescent demo. He confirmed that export to PowerPoint will make it into RTM.
- …and now Amir moves onto mobile BI. He shows Power View on Windows Mobile and… an IPad and an Android phone! Hurray! It seems like, at last, we might have a credible mobile BI strategy from Microsoft. He spends a lot of time demoing on a Windows tablet as well – I wonder why? The audience wants to see the iPad again; maybe the iPad stuff isn’t quite ready yet, but if you remember that Power View is a Silverlight app then you can imagine that this must have involved quite a lot of hard work to do.
Overall, some very exciting news. The Hadoop and mobile BI announcements fill some glaring gaps in the MS BI story, and I’m certainly a lot happier than I was this time last year..! The DBA crowd here, though, are a bit grumpy because all the announcements have been BI related – my heart bleeds for them, truly.
One last thing: I’ve finally started using Twitter, and if you want more up-to-date news of what’s happening at PASS then I’ll be tweeting throughout the conference. I’m @Technitrain
UPDATE: all references to PowerView changed to “Power View” with a space. That’s the official name.