Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SQL Server 2012-BI

One of the areas that is evolving fast in the SQL Server Space is the BI piece. It started off in SQL Server 2000 with DTS and Microsoft Analysis Services, with the evolution of the BI industry it has transformed into something more powerful in SQL Server 2012. At one point it was all about doing OLAP, building KPI's and reporting from the SSAS cubes, with the introduction of PowerPivot, there are some strong offerings in SQL Server 2012. Currently in the SQL Server 2012 there is a seperate version for Business Intelligence this includes a technology called BISM Tabular. Basically Powerpivot uses a OLAP engine called Vertipaq which is an in-memory,columnar store engine. Here is a comparison between the OLAP/Multidimensional and the Tabular offerings.

MultiDimensional                                          Tabular
Requires Dimensional Model                             Does Not Require Multidimensional Model
MDX-More Advanced Calculations                 Uses DAX (PowerPivot uses DAX)
OLAP Engine                                                   Vertipaq (In-memory,Columnar Store)
MDX language enables                                     Great Performance for point-in-time snapshot analysis.
very advanced calculations

PowerPivot Web Site:

I once had the opportunity of seeing a demo of PowerPivot on a SSD Laptop at a SQL Saturday event. The performance was very impressive, i guess BI tabular option will compliment the OLAP piece very well and will be welcomed by Power users.

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