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Oracle Business Intelligence, OLAP and BI training and consulting tips . . .

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Oracle News Headlines

 


Microsoft Brings BI To The Masses
October
29, 2004
Mark Rittman

Microsoft Unleashes a Deluge of BI Goodies : "ORLANDO, Fla.—Microsoft Corp. is flooding the BI market yet again.

This time around, the company is announcing new SQL Server Report Packs for Exchange and Business Solutions CRM; Report Builder, a tool that opens up simple report creation to the masses; and a rechristened version of DTS (Data Transformation Services) that will reach into nonpersistent data stores such as those found in RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds or Web services.

Bill Baker, general manager for SQL Server Business Intelligence for the Redmond, Wash., company, is expected to announce the trio of business intelligence announcements during his opening keynote at the PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) Community Summit here on Wednesday.

The report packs, which are available for free download starting on Wednesday, provide users with modifiable templates of commonly used Reporting Services reports. According to Alex Payne, senior product manager for SQL Server, the report packs include templates for commonly run reports in the current version of Exchange and in Microsoft CRM 1.2. For example, common reports for Exchange include queries into which users send the largest e-mail files, whose in-box is of a certain size or who receives the most e-mail. Common reports in CRM include those concerning account details or a report on sales pipelines that shows customer details. The Exchange Report Pack includes 13 templates, and the CRM Report Pack contains six, Payne said.

Microsoft intends to make more Report Packs available based on customer requests, but Payne declined to say what applications they would pertain to.

Baker also is expected to confirm in his keynote that the company is putting the ActiveViews Inc. BI technology it acquired in April into SQL Server 2005 Beta 3. The technology, which has been dubbed Reporting Services Report Builder, is geared to enable end users to build reports in an ad hoc environment. End users will be able to build reports from scratch or to modify existing reports within a simple drag-and-drop environment, without having to understand the intricacies of database schema, database connection strings or the construction of SQL queries, Payne said, as is now the case with building reports in Reporting Services."

Note also that Data Transformation Services is now being renamed SQL Server Integration Services.

There's an interesting quote at the end of the article which is worth repeating:

"... After determining Microsoft BI tools could handle the 1.2-terabyte data warehouse, the next issue was price shopping. Barnes & Noble is an Oracle Corp. database shop and so, naturally, the company priced out a BI solution using Oracle technology. "We're an Oracle operations shop, and it would be a natural solution for us, but Microsoft was cheaper to do," Leary said. Microsoft's BI platform was 20 percent less costly, she said—the figure that clinched the deal.

That's not a surprising scenario, according to Rob Helms, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, in Kirkland, Wash. "My sense of the SQL Server group is that BI, broadly defined, is deeply important to them," he said. "They were crediting BI for 40 percent of SQL Server sales" recently, he said. "It was a way for SQL Server to sneak into shops that are traditionally Oracle shops."

See also this accompanying eWeek interview with Microsoft's Bill Baker, General Manager of SQL Server Business Intelligence.


 

   
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