First of all a quick correction following my post on day one where I had a bit of code name confusion. Project "Madison" is the evolution of the DatAllegro acquisition, Project "Gemini" is the self service BI and "Kilimanjaro" is the code name for the (interim?) release in the first half of 2010 that will include "Madison" and "Gemini"
So what of day two? The Ben Stein keynote was interesting, though not a patch on the Michael Treacy's from last year. This was followed by an extremely cheesy and completely staged "Q&A" session with the platinum sponsors about where BI will be in 2020. I didn't stay to hear the answers! I know they have to keep these sponsors happy but do MS really think people take any notice of this stuff?
I went for the MDM session next which was very heavy going and disappointing in that we still didn't get to see the product - though we may see it at next year's BI conference (same time next year)!
Got to meet Patrick Husting and a number of other PPS experts over lunch, and in the afternoon we got a chance to quiz some of the Gemini team on a few of the points mentioned yesterday. I raised the topic of "AS hell" where users are creating random cubes all over the place and they had a good response: People are always going to do self service reporting in some way whether we like it or not, no matter how good the underlying data is, so why not do it in a controlled manner where everything is audited and logged and the IT team has full visibility of what is going. There was a "Gemini" breakout session which showed the operations dashboard behind the scenes - very cool. "Gemini" really looks impressive and has obviously already had a lot of effort put in, I have a feeling the usual version 1 worries may not be surfacing too much here - people are going to be desperate to get their hands on it!
Last session of the day for me was the BI power hour which was very entertaining. A working Monopoly game in PPS with full analytics and Profit and Loss for each player, a girlfriend management Planning model (looking at how the seriousness of your relationship affects your future cashflow - ha ha) and two player battleships in Reporting Services - I want these guy's jobs! Also a chance too briefly see MDM in action - it looks pretty good! Why they couldn't show it in the MDM session I don't understand...
Finally the conference party which was held at the the impressive QWest stadium, home of the Seattle Seahawks, with casino games, lots of x-box and Football and American Football out on the pitch.
Here's Jereminho scoring an absolute peach - back of the net!