Microsoft has announced its Roadmap for integrating the various DW acquisitions it has been doing recently, including Datallegro. Part of that roadmap includes their “Gemini Project”.
Gemini is the codename for the next major update to Analysis Services. It includes an in memory, column based storage mode which allows analysis to be performed predefined models, but without the requirement to pre-aggregate or build cubes prior to querying. Gemini is expected to support the XLMA and MDX query languages so applications that work with existing analysis services cubes could in theory be made to work with Gemini.
Microsoft is again pushing Excel as the query tool of choice for Analysis Services. This was the approach a few years back also, but the interface was far too limited and troublesome to be used for anything but the simplest requirement. The “grab and go” ad-hoc reporting ideal was nice in theory but wasn’t really been successful to date due to the complexity in business logic required to roll figures up into neat little KPIs.
More details on Gemini aren’t yet available but will begin to surface now the announcement has been made at their BI conference.