2011 End-of-year Microsoft BI Wrap-up

Welcome to the final week of 2011 everyone!

I have a couple of really quick loose ends to tie up here in the blogosphere for Microsoft Business Intelligence. Ever since Microsoft acquired Proclarity in 2006, they have shown a real commitment throughout the organization to business intelligence. Microsoft’s investments and focus on democratization of BI and BI for the masses has been a huge success, particularly with self-service for business decision makers and the decision to make BI accessible to Excel and business users.

So, that being said, there are just 3 topics that I want to close up on in my MSSQLDUDE blog this year:

  1. A few friends of mine here in the Microsoft SQL Server & BI field on the east coast here in the U.S. have started a YouTube channel where we are recording our monthly lunch ‘n learn sessions, with a focus on BI & DW: http://www.youtube.com/user/MSFTSQLBIEASTEPG
  2. I have written about the new Enterprise Information Management (EIM) capabilities that SQL Server 2012 is exposing and expanding at blogs such as SearchSQLServer, MSSQLDUDE and SQL Pro BI Blog. I can remember pushing hard for data quality, MDM and expanding those capabilities into ETL through SSIS back in a series of meetings in Redmond in 2007. That is all coming into place now in the SQL Server product and coming to market finally. I wanted to point you all to a nice series of videos to explain how to get started with the DQS product coming in SQL Server 2012 to provide data quality services to your BI solutions here.
  3. Lastly, I wrote a quick blog with an intro to the new Silverlight Power View BI reporting and data exploration tool in SQL Server 2012 here. Unfortunately, the image links do not seem to be working, so I’ve included the thumbnails to th screenshots of Power View and the SharePoint BISM data connection page below. Notice the awesome Silverlight-based data visualizations that you can now generate out-of-the-box with Power View, which is part of SQL Server Reporting Service in SQL Server 2012. You can try this now, today, with the SQL Server 2012 RC0 download.

Happy New Year!!


Mid-July Updates

I just completed 2 weeks of prep and delivery of my new SQL Server 2008 R2 Security Audit workshop, so I’m catching up on the blogs and other publishing matters this week and next week. In the meantime, I’ve posted a new blog on SQL Server Magazine’s BI blog on using Change Tracking and CDC to reduce ETL load times here and a few updates on Twitter around announcements including a free Philly SQL Server User Group evening session on SQL Server PDW in our Malvern office on August 10: http://twitter.com/mssqldude.

I am going to start a SQL Server security auditing series, probably split across 3 parts, starting this week that includes most of the material from my workshop, so look for that and enjoy!

All the best, Mark

Philly Code Camp 2011.1: BI Visualizations

Many thanks to all who came out on a beautiful spring Saturday here in Philly for the 1st of 2 Code Camps in 2011!

First – many special thanks to Bill Wolff and the gang @ the Philly.NET user group. What a tremendous job these guys do and the work that they put into the UG and Code Camp is amazing.

Second – Here is the link to my presentation on Microsoft BI data visualizations. There are links embedded in the slides that also point you to some of the demos that I showed around the Data Connector for GIS visualizations, PivotViewer for sorting through large data sets and Silverlight binding.

Here are a few more links to help with the demos and code that we reviewed yesterday:

  1. Using ADOMD to connect to MDX data sources like SSAS
  2. Here is the Silverlight 1.0 pie control that I demo’d which you will want to upgrade for Silverlight 4.0 and modify for your own needs in Expression Blend
  3. The 3rd party vendors to look @ for the Silverlight controls to include in your solution that I mentioned are Telerik, Infragistics, ComponentOne, Neudesic and Visifire
  4. My blog for using cloud and mobile BI is part of a series that I am running in SQL Magazine’s BI Blog

You can use the comments section if you have further questions or would like more material. Thanks! Mark

Never a Fan of End-of-Year Top N Lists …

End-of-the-year top N lists are silly. The entire concept of a 365 calendar year creates a false sense of tidying-up anyhow and now provides us all with a time to be inundated with top-N lists for the past year.

My friends @ TechTarget’s SearchDataManagement.com sent me 3 lists! A top 5, a top 7 and a top 10, making top N truly a variable number.

Well, I read through them and I found them interesting, but as I often do with these lists, unsatisfying. For instance:

Top BI stories of 2010: No Pentaho or open-source BI in general? And the SearchDM continues to emphasize a lack of user demand of mobile BI. I think this (again) misses the point of overall IT dissatisfaction with mobile device enterprise security. I’ll put my money on Cloud BI & OpenSource BI being BIG stories in 2011.

Top Data Management Stories: Right on with the cloud story, again, but that’s an easy one. Somehow they missed Microsoft’s Parallel Data Warehouse release in 2010 as part of their #1 data management story: the emergence of data warehouse appliances – oops! That being said, I think this is 1-year anomoly. Cloud & virtualization will be more of an IT focus for data management in 2011 while DW appliance are here to stay, just not front-of-mind for CIOs.

Top 5 information management goof-ups: No comment on these, but you may find it entertaining to read!

What 2011 Will Bring in Microsoft SQL Server Land

I am going to continue in this blog, on SearchSQLServer, SQL Magazine BI Blog and Twitter (@MSSQLDUDE) to focus on these core areas that you should watch for in 2011 for those of you that follow Microsoft SQL Server: Oracle integration, best practices, BI visualizations and SQL 11 (Denali).

But what are the new investment areas @ Microsoft and new & exciting outside of the classic SQL Server 2005/2008/2011 topics? Let’s focus on these for 2011 because it is clear this is the direction that Microsoft will take us:

1. Cloud Computing (SQL Azure & Windows Azure)

2. Database scale-out and load balancing with virtualization, SQL Azure and Parallel Data Warehouse

3. Silverlight BI hyper-cool visualizations on PCs, Slate and Windows Phone 7

4. How to take things to the next level with SQL 11

5. Cloud BI

What else interests you for SQL world in 2011?