Atlanta BI SIG December Meeting

If you are use Microsoft BI, live in or within driving distance to Atlanta, and don’t know about the Atlanta BI SIG, you are missing a lot. At our last meeting we had some 50+ people and our attendance is growing! Due to the holidays, Atlanta BI SIG will not have a meeting at the end of November and December. Instead, our next meeting will be held on December 6th. I updated the Atlanta BI SIG home page to announce the December meeting.

End of the year is a good time for reflecting on the past and planning for the future. Bob Abernathy from Strategy Companion will present BI past, present, and future trends. He will also show us how Strategy Companion integrates with Analysis Services.

Topic:         BI: Then and Now?
  Level: Beginner
Date: Monday, December 6, 2010
Speaker:
 
Bob Abernethy, SVP & GM of Strategy Companion Corporation
Bob Abernethy is SVP & GM of Strategy Companion Corporation. A veteran of Oracle Corporation and Siebel Systems, Bob brings over twenty years of software industry experience to his discussion with customers about their Business Intelligence implementations. Bob received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in New York and his Masters of Management Information Systems from West Coast University in Southern California. the current president of the Kansas City SQL Server Users Group.
Overview:
 
We will begin by taking a look how the focus and characteristics of Business Intelligence have changed over the last 25 years. We will also discuss the recent history of Microsoft’s focus on BI, and will take an in-depth look at another approach to SQL Server-based BI provided by Strategy Companion Corporation. You will see why companies such as Citigroup, L’Oreal, Honeywell, DataQuick, and many others have embraced Analyzer, Strategy Companion’s award-winning front-end to Analysis Services, for their Business Intelligence applications. You’ll see why SQL Server magazine recently called Analyzer “the best solution to complete the Microsoft BI platform.” (Editor’s Best Award, December 2009.) And you’ll learn ways to quickly and add significant value to your SQL Server-based data – the kind of value business people will be able to see, understand, and appreciate.
  
Location: Matrix Resources Dunwoody Office
Sponsor: Strategy Companion Corporation
See the overview for the main presentation.

See you there!

More Dundas Components Move to Microsoft

Now, this is great news for Microsoft BI and .NET developers. As announced on the Dundas website, the agreement between Dundas and Microsoft, which allows Dundas to continue sell, enhance, update and support its components, will expire on October 31, 2010. Subsequently, all components change hands and become a Microsoft intellectual property. These components are:

  • Dundas Chart for ASP.NET (Professional and Enterprise), Dundas Chart for Window Forms (Professional and Enterprise), Dundas Chart for SharePoint, Dundas Chart for SQL Server Reporting Services, Dundas Chart for OLAP Services
  • Dundas Gauge for ASP.NET, Dundas Gauge for Windows Forms, Dundas Gauge for SharePoint, Dundas Gauge for SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Dundas Map for ASP.NET, Dundas Map for Windows Forms, Dundas Map for SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Dundas Calendar for SQL Server Reporting Services

For me, the most interesting of these is the Dundas Chart for OLAP Services. If you have followed my blog, you know that I’ve been complaining on a regular basis that after retiring OWC, Microsoft didn’t provide any suitable web-based OLAP browser. In fact, this ranked 3rd on my SSAS wish list last year. Although I won’t get a Silverlight-based control anytime soon, I’ve used the Dundas Chart for OLAP Services (AJAX-based) in my projects and I can say great things about it. It lets you add OLAP browsing features to ASP.NET applications very easily. The Dundas Calendar will be a good addition to SSRS and .NET as well.

At this point, it’s not clear how which Microsoft products will acquire which components. Most of them (excluding probably the SSRS counterparts) will get added to Visual Studio. I can’t wait this to happen…

So, what will Dundas do after the transition? The Dundas Dashboard – now in version 2.0, with 2.5 coming up soon. More about the Dundas Dashboard will be coming up …. stay tuned.

UPDATE 10/22/2010

To clarify, Microsoft acquired the intellectual property rights from Dundas back in 2007. At the end of October, Dundas will stop selling these components that they were reselling from Microsoft since the acquisition. Dundas will continue to support them through October 31, 2011 for existing customers with support agreements. Integrating the “orphaned” components into Microsoft offerings is on the Microsoft TODO list. 

Where is x64 Excel 2010 Data Mining Add-in?

Mark Tabladillo delivered a great presentation about using Excel for data mining at our last Atlanta BI SIG meeting. The lack of an Excel 2010 x64 DM add-in came up. There was a question from the audience whether Microsoft has abandoned DM technology since it stopped enhancing it. A concern was also raised that Microsoft might have also neglected the corporate BI vision in favor of self-service BI.

That’s definitely not the case. I managed to get a clarification from the Microsoft Analysis Services team that Corporate BI will be a major focus in “Denali”, which is the code name for the next version of SQL Server – version 11. As far as the long-overdue x64 DM add-in for Excel, Microsoft is working on it and it will be delivered eventually. Meanwhile, the 2007 add-in works with the x32 version of Excel 2010.

For those of you going to SQL PASS (unfortunately, I won’t be one of them), Microsoft will announce important news about Denali and hopefully give a sneak preview about the cool BI stuff that is coming up.

MVP For Another Year!

Just got the news that my MVP status got extended for another year! This will make it six consecutive years as MVP and as a member of an elite group of professionals that I am proud of belonging to.