Microsoft BI Conference – Day 1 Review

I’m just back at the hotel here in Seattle, so just some time for a quick post about day 1 of the 2nd Annual Microsoft BI Conference.

The big news of the day was undoubtedly the sneak peak of “Project Gemini” – the code name for the core of a BI focused SQL Server release that will happen in the first half of 2010. The impressive part of the presentation for me was seeing an early version of a new Excel add-in to work with Gemini. We witnessed Donald Farmer manipulate 20 million (yes million!) rows of data within Excel, before creating a very slick report via a new version of Excel pivot tables, which he then published to SharePoint at the click of a button. Mosha Pasumansky explains a more about Gemini here.

Once the introductory events were over, it was a chance to attend the more focused sessions, which explained particular tracks in more detail. Although there was a huge amount of choice, I naturally went for the PerformancePoint sessions:

Michael Bower and Scott Sebelsky from Microsoft presented an introduction to Financial Consolidation with PerformancePoint Server 2007. This session gave an insight into what’s involved in carrying out financial consolidation with PerformancePoint, providing some useful tips and tricks. There’s more to come, as Michael will be releasing a white paper on financial consolidation with PerformancePoint Server at some point in the near future. Watch this space….

Finally, Srini Nallapareddy and Steve Hoberecht presented a detailed presentation on the various different types of business rules that you can use in PPS Planning. Srini explained the pros and cons of using different rule types, as well as providing some useful tips on how to optimise rules for better performance. You can download the presentation here.