Microsoft BI Conference – Day 2 – 7th October 2008

Day 2 kicked off with some good key notes and still full of steak from day 1 Microsoft BI Conference I hauled myself to TK Anand and Akshai Mirchandani’s session on Optimising Query Performance in AS 2008.  For me this was one of the best sessions of the conference as I do spend a fair bit of trying to tune and optimise MDX queries.  They gave a really good explanation of the difference between cell-by-cell calculation and the subspace calculation (or block computation) methods – the latter relies on a sparse cube – the most important aspect of speeding up queries using subspace calculations.

Another point they raised, particularly from an AS2008 perspective is that “Non Empty Behaviour is Evil!” – their words!

There was a good set of tips and tricks, some of which can also be applied and adopted to AS2005.

The afternoon started with what I thought would be the busiest session of the conference – New Horizons for BI with Self Service Analysis technologies.  Effectively the deep dive presentation on Project ‘Gemini’.  It really is impressive, not only the tool and the capability of the tool, but the supporting framework.  They have implemented an extremely rich administration console that keeps track of user created models on the server and a history of it’s usage, query time etc etc.  It allows IT to see who is using what, by how much and what impact it is having on servers, other models etc and allows them to take appropriate action by, for example, bringing it in house into IT by upgrading to PerformancePoint.  We’ve got a few clients that would just go nuts for this stuff !

That evening, the Attendee Appreciation Party was held at Qwest Field stadium where I have to say, they put on a great party.  I’ve never been on the field of a huge stadium like that, most impressive, and I’ve never eaten so many chocolate covered marshmallows, cookies or brownies in my life!


Da Boyz !  Jeremy and Tim