Now that I caught your attention with the title -- it's not what you think. It's not about freeing BI from the constraints and limitations of corporate politics, organizational silos, and lack of proper data governance -- although that's a very worthy topic to write about.
This morning, Google will unveil a beta version of its spreadsheet application with some new advanced features, such as Pivot Table. The Pivot Table is a product developed by Panorama, a small, but upcoming BI vendor (they are currently being evaluated in detail by Forrester BI Wave '08), who were, interestingly enough, the original inventors of Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP (Online Analytic Processing) engine. So now, part of Panorama code will be inside two of the biggest software companies in the world!
I spent some time out at MIX in early march getting up to speed with Microsoft's latest product releases for rich Internet application (RIA) development. I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on Ray Ozzie’s keynote.
Like last year, Ray kicked off the conference by sharing Microsoft's vision of SaaS - a slightly different version from the standard view. Given Microsoft’s investments in traditional platforms it makes sense that their vision of SaaS would be of "Software AND a service" as opposed to "software AS a service”. That said, Ray articulated three ideas that are driving Microsoft's vision for development forward. I'll recap as I interpreted them from my seat in the audience:
With apologies to Gerry Weinberg, author of The Psychology of Computer Programming, what is the psychology of non-programmers, folks who would never call themselves developers, but are using new-age tools like BPM or mashups to create business solutions? I'm not sure, because although I work for Forrester now, I used to be a programmer, years ago, so I am forever cut off from knowing what it's like not to be a programmer.