Sky Blue Sky (MS BI Conference Notes)

Wow, what a show! I spent this week recovering from the first ever Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference. Conferences in downtown Seattle are always fun because I live in Seattle and don't have to cross the bridge to get to the Microsoft campus. I'd like to thank all of the folks that came up and told me how they were using SSRS and how useful the blog was to them. Here's a quick rundown of the show highlights for me.


  • The opening reception has really nice food (big prawns) and lots of people that I haven't seen in years.


  • During the first keynote, Jeff Raikes announces our acquisition of OfficeWriter from SoftArtisans. Well, technically, he announced that we acquired the company, which is not the case. We acquired the technology for a future version of SSRS and they will continue to sell the existing product. The details are correct in the press release.
  • Jeff also announces that the next version of SQL Server, code-named "Katmai", will ship next year. Yes, that is 2008, not 2010 or 2011.
  • I do a podcast where I talk a little about the conference and Katmai and the upcoming Seahawks season. The rest of the NFC west has improved but so have we. Should be a good season.
  • My session on Integration of Office SharePoint Server and Reporting Services (white paper here) went well except for the beginning of the demo. I was trying to show how you can configure an instance of SSRS to be in SharePoint Integrated mode. Unfortunately, I have multiple instances of SSRS on the demo machine and I was configuring the wrong one. I finally figured it out but it was a little scary for a few minutes.
  • Lots and lots of questions about RS Katmai at the exhibit hall reception. I know people are excited to get their hands on it and you will be able to in a couple of months.
  • The Panorama party at the Space Needle was a blast. From the observation deck, you can just barely make out my house (actually, the cell phone tower beside my house).


  • Ted Kummert, my VP, talks in depth about Katmai in his keynote. Our product manager Francois does a demo of OfficeWriter.
  • I reprise my "executive dashboard" demo at the BI Power Hour. In my demo, I show a CustomReportItem that I built that allows for interactive KPIs within a grid. By clicking on a cell, you can mark it as good (O) or bad (X). By the end of the demo, the crowd realizes that it is actually a tic tac toe game. I'll post the code over the next couple of weeks.
  • The PerformancePoint team does a very nice "Deal or No Deal" game show and manage to get Bill Baker to put on a blonde wig. Patrick Husting posted some nice pictures from the session.
  • Cool attendee party at the Experience Music Project (aka the Jimi Hendrix museum).


  • Steve Ballmer does a nice job (as usual) on his keynote by articulating the importance of BI and how Microsoft's commitment to this space.