Sunday, September 13, 2015

Reporting Services 2016

After a couple years hiatus, the SSRS Team (via Riccardo Muti) has published some highlights of SQL Server Reporting Services 2016 CTP 2.3

Most of the highlights are for usability and appearance. No Metro tiles?

Rather than SSRS features, my bigger interests within SQL 2016 Enterprise are Polybase and the SQL-R functionality.  Polybase will allow you to join your Data Lake with the Data Ocean that is your Enterprise Data Warehouse, and all things in between.

"PolyBase only works within PDW for now, but later it might be added to SQL Server (but there are no plans for that).  PolyBase relies on the Data Movement Service (DMS) in PDW, and DMS does not exist in SQL Server"

Apparently things change.  For those companies having file shares filled with structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data, replicating that data to a Hadoop HDFS cluster can allow you to immediately join it to SQL Server without ETL.

Or so I hear... :)

This might be a game-changer for some organizations.

Andrew Peterson spent some time with Polybase on his blog.

A few years ago I built a solution that utilized nothing but Analysis Services views to access data inside an Analysis Services multidimensional cube solution.  Some of those views actually queried Excel spreadsheets, Access Databases and CSV files instead of SQL Server.  At the time I thought it was kind of a mashup hack, though cool nonetheless due to lack of ETL effort and instant data availability.

Glad to see MS is catching up with this idea of schema-on-read, query-anywhere, anything.  You're still going to need to create external, structured views on each file format to a specific Hadoop cluster, which seems rather linked-server'y.  There are some other limitations to be aware of.  You'll also need access to a Hadoop cluster of course.  You do have one of those, right?

The Hybrid BI story is just beginning...

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