I attended the Microsoft technology roadshow today. After being paged out at 4:30 due to some I/O nonsense related to statistics updates which I stayed up until 6:30 for trying to prevent happening again, I made my way to downtown Phoenix.
Arrived just in time to see the new nastyness that is windows 7/server 2008 R2 licensing.
Looks nice. Ajaxified. Working in Firefox with a silverlight plugin installed I would assume. Although they do also claim it works in smartphones so maybe it is just ajax. Sharepoint = pricey.
This is the real magic. Excel is nothing to laugh at. Excel 2007 has some nice features when it comes to connecting to alternate data sources such as analysis services. I have some plans to work with this tech in the future. 2010 takes it further and adds a dash of manageability which actually making things look good. When I say good, I mean Apple good…almost. They even have little carousels for browsing reports.
They have improved manageability of user created content by leaps and bounds. Users can publish Excel docs. Other users can create reports based on those docs. If usage of the base Excel doc starts to accelerate, you will know it and can act accordingly by taking over the management of the ‘application’. That’s what I’m talking about Napoleon.
A hotshot consultant showed us how he did a break out/data driven report in reporting services. I was hoping for something a little more impressive from this ‘prodigy’, as his boss referred to him.
I see ‘self-service’ BI as a bit of a pipe dream. MSFT is putting the framework in place so that if you users manage to figure out this mess of tech, you’ll at least know what is bombing on your servers.
Also, Gemini has been officially dubbed PowerPivot. Reminds me a bit of Cognos Power Play.