Saturday, February 26, 2011
SQL-RD is a dynamic, flexible, function-rich and intuitive automation tool for scheduling, exporting, distributing and delivering your Microsoft® SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Reports.
SQL-RD contains powerful system, event and business process automation functions which will make an instant impact on the efficiency of your business.
A couple of the cool features I saw were bulk printing to multiple printers, SMS text messaging, Zipped/PGP'd reports, deferred delivery, even an export to DBase option...
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Microsoft lost a bunch of sentiment points by discontinuing BI tools like Proclarity and PerformancePoint planning. Proclarity as a desktop and dashboard tool met quite a few needs for my clients that aren't filled anywhere else without jumping up price point notches and complexity. I'm still supporting PerformancePoint, the discontinued flavour.
Now it appears that SAP has taken a similar approach, dropping their desktop client DESKI in favour of their web client WEBI. Which, of course, has less functionality. Web apps just don't feel as concrete, physical, or hardened as desktop apps. Although the technologies are coming together more and more, desktop apps still have points over ease of use and functionality.
How come the BI vendors don't ask their clients how they can serve them better rather than analyzing the P and L for quick-hit cost savings?
IBM (Cognos (formerly SAP (formerly BusinessObjects (formerly Crystal))) developers are an angry bunch!
Am I missing a bracket or two there?
Friday, February 18, 2011
- Keys are no longer supposed to be small, integer, incrementing for performance.
- Keys are long strings, sometimes with pipe delimiters.
- There is no concept of ATOMIC transactions - the app does the work.
- A table can hold two different types of object information (invoice/invoice details) with the key differentiating. Duplicate data is replicated everywhere.
- Message Queues have a chance of dropping data which the app needs to handle.
- There are limits to the scalability of requests and storage size that the app needs to be aware of and design around.
- There's only 1 key on a table, so searching against a non-partition-key field causes table scans.
- It's better to update / merge data than to append to the end.
Many of the stable, reliable, tried-and-true server and developer tools available outside the "cloud" provide a huge step up in terms of ease of development effort and data quality. Why are we taking steps backwards in development to accommodate buzzwords and marketing stories? Is there really a great benefit to moving your enterprise into the cloud?
Cloud in simple words is 'Pay as you use'. Cloud computing is analogous to the way we pay for our utilities like electricity or water based on the consumption. The underlying Infrastructure is owned and managed by some third party and cost is billed to us in form of units consumed - BI In the Cloud
Driving around eastern Ontario a couple weekends ago, I was amazed by all the farms and houses having solar panels that weren't there last year. I told my wife some salesperson was doing a good job. This type of micropower distribution structure seems like the way of the future; not a huge smoke-belching power plant. Why isn't it the same for the cloud?
The thing that bothered me the most though? MS has Azure Cloud Data Centers around the world. But no Azure Cloud Data Centres, eh? I guess Canada is considered Northern US to the Redmond folks... :)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
One of my clients I worked with in the past had 2 different versions of their BusinessObjects Universes, with 2 different versions of client and server toolsets running. This was due to the poor migration story BO had, with reports and client tools losing functionality and formatting, a parallel-server migration, and an angry user base (and double the administration) as a result. Hopefully this doesn't happen with the new SAP 4.0 BI tools and there is a clear upgrade path and roadmap.
SAP purchased Sybase last year. Sybase created the original Microsoft SQL product, and MS branched off with their own codebase in SQL 7, further in SQL 2000. Interesting how many of the BI vendors with a long history (Cognos, Sybase) are being consolidated into the mega software conglomerates.
There may be more than five computers in the world, however it's slowly looking like there's only going to be 5 enterprise BI companies soon..
- The little guys
Monday, February 07, 2011
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Enables OpenXML documents to be viewed on any client system in any browser as HTML, and includes an add-ins for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera (Windows/Linux)
Enables bi-directional interoperability between Microsoft Office (Open XML) and Open Office (ODF) file formats