After years of development and months of speculation Microsoft has finally released SQL Server 2005.
In San Francisco today, MIcrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer formally launched SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0. Also covered in the event was BizTalk Server 2006, which is currently in beta testing.
To quote from the press release (my comments on the product follow each quote):
"Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 enable developers and development teams to build high-performance, security-enhanced and reliable solutions using an enterprise-ready development platform. Visual Studio 2005 features an expanded set of tools including Visual Studio Team System, an extensible life-cycle tools platform that enables collaboration among software development teams to deliver modern service-oriented solutions."
One of the biggest advances for BI developers is the BI Development Studio, which offers a single Visual Studio 2005 platform for doing BI and data warehousing development.
"Microsoft SQL Server 2005 provides an integrated data management and analysis platform that helps organizations reliably manage mission-critical information and confidently run complex business applications. With embedded reporting and data analysis tools included with SQL Server 2005, companies can gain greater insight from their business information."
From the BI viewpoint SQL Server 2005 is a huge release. Analysis Services has major extensions, Integration Services is a complete rewrite of the earlier DTS ETL tool, and Report Services now includes an end-user friendly ad hoc reporting tool.
"BizTalk Server 2006 delivers new features that enable enterprises to better monitor, manage and deploy their mission-critical business processes."
One of the more interesting features of BizTalk Server 2006 is the improved support for business activity monitoring (BAM) and the new BAM portal.
One announcement that got lost in the SQL Server 2005 hoopla is the release of Business Scorecard Manager (BSM) 2005. This BI dashboard and scorecard product was announced on October 23 as a part of the "Microsoft Builds Business Intelligence info Office Software" launch. This announcement included Microsoft Office 12 and Microsoft SharePoint capabilities. The BSM launch included a presentation from Dr. David P. Norton, the co-creator of the Balanced Score framework. This product is very well integrated into other Microsoft Office tools and is a very impressive first release. It is priced at $5,000 per server and $175 per user, which is a fraction of the cost of competing products from other BI vendors.
In summary, SQL Server 2005 and BSM 2005 are important releases for Microsoft. After many years of development they contain some significant BI and data warehousing capabilities. Although these products they still have some deficiencies, from a TCO perspective alone they going to have a major impact on the BI marketplace.
Posted November 7, 2005 10:05 AM
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