This month, March 2012, Microsoft will announce a new version of SQL Server: SQL Server 2012. This version has a lot of new features compared to the SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 releases. The most compelling new feature for BI purposes is the so called ‘BI Semantic Model’ (BISM), also called ‘Tabular’. This is an alternative for the existing ‘Multidimensional Semantic Model’, better known as OLAP cubes.
Currently, iqbs BI is using OLAP cubes to power the datasets. In SQL Server 2012 this still remains possible. Currently we are propotyping Tabular based datasets and comparing the pros and cons with OLAP based datasets.
Tabular and BISM come with additional powerfull reporting capabilities: PowerPivot and Power View. However, these new tools require extra licensing. See the Microsoft site for an overview: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/future-editions/sql2012-licensing.aspx.
For a comparison between the new SQL Server 2012 editions, see http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/future-editions/sql2012-editions.aspx.
We will keep you posted in this blog about iqbs BI development on the new 2012 platform.
Update 2012-03-06: Microsoft announced today that SQL Server 2012 has released to manufacturing. Customers and partners can download an evaluation of the product today and can expect general availability to begin on April 1.
Update 2012-03-20: A detailed licensing datasheet and FAQ can be downloaded here.