Next version of SQL Server creates business intel solutions from transactional data

David Worthington
October 6, 2008 —  The next version of Microsoft SQL Server, code-named Kilimanjaro, will let end users build managed business intelligence solutions from transactional and stored data.

At the Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference in Seattle today, the company is announcing Gemini, an effort to integrate self-service analytics into its data platform. While the Gemini component in the next SQL Server release will let users tailor business analytics to suit their needs, IT will retain control over data access and sharing, said Fausto Ibarra, director of product management for SQL Server.

Gemini will include master data management (MDM) technology through which “IT can make certain authoritative data sources available,” Ibarra said. Data sources could include any JDBC- or ODBC-accessible database, as well as SAP line-of-business applications.

Microsoft acquired the MDM technology via its June 2007 purchase of Stratature.

Gemini will also access transactional data from Web services and correlate it in real time. According to Ibarra, data will be processed in memory, with capability for processing up to 10 million rows per second.

Microsoft Excel will be the rich client for Gemini; SharePoint and Excel Services will provide for remote access and peer ratings of reports. Reports will likewise be configurable as data services, Ibarra said.

Traditionally, “[business intelligence] has served only about 20% of an organization,” said Kristina Kerr, senior product manager for Business Intelligence at Microsoft. “There are still gut-feeling decisions being made.”

She added that “elitist” tools have prevented the “democratization”’ of business intelligence and that Microsoft would make it more accessible.

Customers will be given access to a preliminary version of Gemini via a community technology preview (CTP) within a year, Ibarra noted.

In that same time frame, the company will release CTPs of business intelligence appliances that Ibarra said would be scalable for data volumes in “the tens of hundreds” of terabytes.

The appliances are the fruit of Microsoft’s acquisition of DATAllegro, a maker of data warehouse appliances, in July.

Related Search Term(s): business intelligence, SQL, Microsoft

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