Monday, October 03, 2011

Powerpivot and BISM in SQL Server Denali

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Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) is the new philosophy in MS BI analytics parlance, that is taking shape in SQL Server Denali. Tabular projects and MOLAP with choice of MDX or DAX can be termed as a brief definition of BISM, in tangible terms. SQL Server Denali CTP3 ships with all the new features supporting and reflecting BISM in SSAS. But that is just one part of the world.

Powerpivot is the flagship product of microsoft for self-service business intelligence. And surprisingly, microsoft is aggressively inducing the flavor of BISM here also. Three major additions to powerpivot are:

1) Diagram View: To me this looks more like a DSV equivalent of SSAS. Though I have not tried hands on, but from what it sounds, this is a very valued addition to the tool. End users would enjoy modeling using a designer, compared to an excel kind of UI for developing models.

2) Hierarchies: The ability to create user-defined hierarchies would mean that user can logically arrange and relate entities, which can translate the user can easily envision and model drill-down and rollups on their data. Hierarchies are so essential part of any data model, and this capability would enable users to logically analyze their data.

3) Perspectives: This is not a new feature, and those who have used SSAS would definitely understand what this means. If powerpivot data models are shared on a collaboration platform like Sharepoint, this feature can be a real value addition and abstract relevant part of the models to relevant users.

There is much more than just the above listed features, that is being offered in Powerpivot for Excel with SQL Server Denali. To learn about the same, check out this link.

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