Summer is here and there is so much happening in my area of technical speciality.
Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server 2012 was recently released. This is a significant release for SQL Server in many respects. In the BI front out ETL tool finally had Undo. I know… crazy that this is something that one gets excited about, and only after 7 years. In the space of Reporting we have improved spatial capabilities and improved rendering with SharePoint Integrated Mode. Additionally, there is Power View which is and highly interactive visual exploration tool, which when release only supported when hosted in a SharePoint Environment with the Enterprise Licensing price tag. Analysis Services Supports a database engine and storage type referred to as a Analysis Services Tabular (tradition OLAP engine was rebranded as Analysis Services Multidimensional). Tabular uses the underlying technology introduced as an Add in to Excel called PowerPivot, introduced with SQL Server 2008 R2. This technology was called the VertiPaq Engine, but with the launch of SQL Server 2012 it too was re-branded as xVelocity. I could go on and delve into gruesome detail of the new features, but suffice to say, there are an inordinate number or new and enhanced features in the product for everyone.
Microsoft Office 2013 Pre Release – In particular Excel
Excel for me is the product that provides the most alluring capabilities as a database professional. More and more Business Intelligence features are being injected into the product. Features that allow the business user to explore data in much more engaging ways than ever before. The ability to create Power View visualizations (see above; this feature was only ever offered with SharePoint – No longer it seems) and additionally, add mapping integration with Bing Maps. Other interesting additions are the new data import methods offered such as XML.
I really don’t know all of the features, but really haven’t had time to delve in… dare I opt to distort the space time continuum? Perhaps, not…
Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012
There is a plethora of feature in the new OS to be delivered in the Fall. Touch is of personal interest – play with an iPad for any length of time and you will find yourself touching your laptop screen expecting it to respond to your gestures. The new user interface referred to as the Metro UI encompasses design principle that make the user experience much more intuitive to touch, or so the design folks at Microsoft hope.
From a database professional who likes to isolate pre-release products in there own little virtual world, HyperV integration into the desktop version of the product (Windows 8) was a very welcomed addition. No longer will I install a server operating system on my laptop to host a virtual environment – thanks for listening Microsoft!
With all these new product features and enhancements, when do I have time to cover it all? Well maybe I should chill and enjoy some of the Summer and attend the PASS Summit in November and be chaperoned through minutia of product capabilities.
Where are you going to be November 6-9th? Why not join me for the largest gathering of the SQL Server Community? The PASS Summit 2012 (http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2012/) – Ah, yet another topic for a blog entry, and alas, So much to do, so little time.