Project Crescent seems to fall into the “shiny tool” space that Crystal Xcelsius occupies. From a presentation standpoint, it pops. Will it be a daily reporting workhorse? Let’s see.
Click on the Crescent logo below to play the Project "Crescent" teaser video and experience Project “Crescent” from the Microsoft Company meeting where we originally showed over 70’000 people for the first time this unique ability to bring data to life:
See the complete keynote at PASS Summit 2010 here: http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/na2010/
Coming out of Microsoft there are a few tools that really made me turn my head a couple times and go “wow”. Data Analyzer, an OLAP tool from early 2000 was one of those.
It had the ability to save as PowerPoint, which Reporting Services and even Excel couldn’t do. It was discontinued after Office XP. It took PerformancePoint to bring that “export to PPT” feature back to life. And I didn’t know more than 2 people who actually knew what it was or used it more than twice.
Another tool I found innovative was Site Server 3.0’s Content Management link map. It was decision tree style 3D interface that let you browse through your site like a spider’s web, with the capability of zooming into the web.
Looked something like this but in 3-D!
The Wikipedia article on Site Server just about sums up many Microsoft “Product as a Solution” offerings targeted at the gray area between technical and business users.
On this front, Site Server's main advantage was its low cost. Another feature that might have been a source of confusion was the taxonomy management system. The tools used to maintain item metadata were very basic and required a degree of technical familiarity foreign to most business users.
Site Server was discontinued after it’s 3.0 release in 1998.
Sounds a lot like PerformancePoint Planning. Let’s rephrase that.
On this front, PerformancePoint Planning’s main advantage was its low cost. Another feature that might have been a source of confusion was the model management system. The tools used to integrate data were very complex and required a degree of technical familiarity foreign to most business users.
In the end, all things were absorbed by Sharepoint, except perhaps for that cool link visualization tool, and PerformancePoint Planning.
Perhaps, in the next version of Sharepoint, Microsoft will have another cube model builder with integrated dimension data management and a powerful set of financial reporting tools. Maybe even a cool 3D hyperlink visualizer too…