I have highlighted Bart Czernicki’s book on using Silverlight for Microsoft BI in a few of my blogs and presentations in the past. He is out with a Silverlight 4.0 version for Microsoft Business Intelligence. You can go to his site here. It is an excellent book that I used recently in building out some next-gen dashboard prototypes for customers. I used some of the techniques in a presentation that I did for the NYC SQL Saturday in November.
Those that follow my blogging here and at the SQL Magazine BI blog will know that I lead a solution product at Microsoft a few years ago called Microsoft Enterprise Cube (MEC) where we highlighted RIA UIs, Silverlight, pre-built analytics and ETL and other areas necessary to have a “packaged BI” offering. When I left for Oracle after that project dried up, many of those same concepts were put into Oracle’s “BI Applications” like Project Analytics and P6 Analytics.
But it is heartening to see some of the assets and concepts still interest people and still exist today. I previously posted some of the original Silverlight 1.0 XAML from MEC concept screens and other concepts like the ETL Toolkit expanded over the years. Bart’s book had this to say about those efforts:
Microsoft Enterprise Cube (MEC), which is the epitome of BI 2.0
I think that’s true, although I think that generic Microsoft SharePoint 2010 with SQL Server utilize Fast Search and SharePoint’s messaging capabilities with PerformancePoint Services 2010 probably gets you close to that same point now today. There are Microsoft partners that can do a lot of the same things that MEC was intended to do. Having a pre-built set of ETL, analytics, data models, dashboards and cool RIA UIs can help accelerate time to market and quicken ROI, but it is not necessary, which is probably one of the reasons that products like MEC did not survive as a Microsoft SKU.