Thursday, June 23, 2005

MIssing a Trick

In the world of OLAP tools Analysis Services pretty much sits on top the heap. No one really denies it except a small band of nomadic Oracle developers who cling to the hope that Express will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes. I’m not one of those people who draws a huge line between the Oracle and Microsoft camps denying to the one that the other doesn’t exist and it’s probably something that MS should think about when they are bidding in the area of Business Intelligence.

I know of at least two cases where Microsoft were in a good position to implement a BI solution in companies that were effectively wall to wall Oracle and failed due to their insistence on predominately pushing the database server and not the other tools in the SQL Server suite. Think about it, I have no centralised reporting, no in house ability to perform slice and dice analysis but what I do have is a shed load of Oracle Systems and the DBA’s and administrators that go with it. Even if the data warehouse is a new build you’re not going to ignore the skills you have in house but I think in these cases Microsoft has.

An enterprise Analysis Services license is going to cost the same as the SQL Server database engine so push the market leading OLAP product and get the money that way. Maybe try pushing a great reporting tool like Reporting Services in addition to Analysis Services, an even more attractive proposition. If the organisation is open to bringing in Microsoft server tools but Oracle is the database of choice, market yourselves in that company by first showing what that product can do. This is probably going to be more the case when 2005 is releases and SSIS comes into the fold.

In the meantime, where the situation arises that Oracle / Microsoft mixed implementations are the best for an organisations particular situation I will carry on recommending it until something changes my mind.

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