Microsoft Reporting Services
Microsoft has been slowly moving into Business Intelligence. SQLServer 2000 adds Reporting Services, originally to be part of SQLServer 2005 (Yukon). This is worth mentioning for two reasons. It's more BI from Microsoft, and it's addressing something that almost all other BI products can't / don't want to address, which is the changing nature of BI itself.
One problem with OLTP software, packaged or not, and BI software is the total lack of integration. OLTP applications are designed mostly for automation of work. The problem is that they don't address the need for information by the application's users. On top of that, many jobs require sifting through and understanding information about a process, then executing a transaction.
Think of retail buyers who have to look at demand curves, promotional calendars, inventories, product seasons or expirations, and then must decide what to buy and how much to buy. Their process is rarely handled well in any of the ERP packages. Instead, there is a data warehouse with OLAP and standard reports to support them in their work. They move between the OLTP and BI environments to get their job done.
I doubt Microsoft recognizes this. I think they are working bottom up, addressing developer's desires. But the outcome is the same: an environment where you can seemlessly develop an application that merges BI and OLTP into a single application and process. I don't see this working very well in other environments. Over time it will provide an advantage to Microsoft's OLTP and BI offerings, assuming their technology matures and there aren't any serious flaws in the architecture.
Two articles at O'Reilly showing a little about Reporting Services:
Introducing Reporting Services
Using Reporting Services.
Posted by Mark Wednesday, January 05, 2005 1:58:00 PM |