Feeds

The four pillars of Katmai

Dispatches from the front

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft BI conference The keynote on the second day of Microsoft's BI conference was given by Ted Kummert – corporate vice president of the data storage and platform division at Microsoft.

As Jeff Raikes before him, he devoted considerable time to Katmai, the next version of SQL Server. He too stressed that the release date will be 2008 (so perhaps Microsoft is just a little sensitive about this after all). As Microsoft people are wont to do when discussing products, he talked a great deal about pillars. Not of society, but Katmai, which has four.

Enterprise Data Platform

Microsoft's belief is that any database engine that underpins a complete BI strategy must be capable of running at every level from the data warehouse, via the desktop, to the PDA in your hand. SQL Server can, of course.

Beyond Relational

The engine must be capable of storing and manipulating the wide variety of data types that businesses now collect. We have already seen XML capabilities in SQL Server and Katmai will introduce spatial. We saw a demo of storing location data of 12 million restaurants in the US and then displaying the data using Microsoft maps. Cool.

Dynamic development

Ted talked about a fascinating development in Katmai, the introduction of an ER modelling layer. This provides a logical layer which sits between application developers and the relational tables – allowing them to interact with the data more easily.

Fans of ER modelling will want to know that this is not (at least in Katmai) a design tool – you cannot develop an ER model and then generate the schema. However, Microsoft sees this as a first step and there is a strong possibility that design capabilities will appear in later versions. Database engines in general have been crying out for this kind of functionality for years so this first tentative step is very welcome.

Pervasive insight

Essentially, the adding of BI capabilities into Office. The audience was delighted when the amiable and hirsute Donald Farmer appeared on stage to demo this by using the data mining capabilities of Analysis Services from within Excel against data held in Excel. Delighted because Donald is an intelligent, articulate, and amusing techie whose presentations are guaranteed to leaven any keynote.

All in all, if you are a BI freak (and why attend the conference if you aren't?) the conference is excellent. Talking to the attendees suggests that by far the majority are very happy, the sessions are well presented and well attended. In our own sad way, we are all having fun (at least it keeps us all of the streets). ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?