Posted by Alan on October 26, 2011
One of the big struggles I have had over the past few years is the ability to do a comprehensive sales, proof of concept or training demo that covers the entire Microsoft BI Stack and always being able to present practically anything in any combination without the luxury of a huge lead time. Why has this been a problem? Well it is all due to the fact that the robustness of the Microsoft BI stack is really a double-edged sword. On the positive side, I have a ton of great functionality to choose from that can be molded to fit the unique needs of the client. On the downside side, staying on top of all the potential moving parts has become more and more difficult over time as the product line has grown.
So up to this point I have been pretty much been relying upon the virtual images that Microsoft creates, albeit it with tweaks and modifications of my own. Over the course of time I have worked with many versions of the Microsoft All-Up BI demo. The 7.1 version was a great start and the first one with which I ever worked. I am not sure if a 8.x image was ever produced, but if it was I don’t believe it was ever made available to the general public. The 9.2 image sucked big time and that is an understatement. And the latest image entitled “X” (for 10 I assume) is fantastic and really shows the potential of the products and has a great deal of “eye candy” as well. In fact, you can visit the Microsoft Online Demo Solutions site and check out 9.5 and X and judge for yourself.
Now I know Microsoft puts in a lot of effort into these and for the most part does a great job, but all these images share one fatal flaw. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Business Intelligence, Excel, Microsoft, Office, PerformancePoint, PowerPivot, SharePoint, SQL Server | Tagged: BI, Demo, Hyper-V, Image | 4 Comments »
Posted by Alan on April 1, 2011
So over at the Microsoft Online Demo Solutions site there is a new download available. It is entitled Microsoft All-Up BI Demo Image X. I am downloading it now and have been so for the past couple days. I am hoping that this new image will be a big step forward from the poorly done 9.2 image. Only time will tell. And it will take time because the site that hosts the download for the demo is unbelievably painfully slow. Not to mention the fact that it is a 40+ part download and the site does not use a download manager. That means clicking and downloading 40+ separate files, any one of which can die mid-stream. We gave Orbit Downloader a try to help out and it improved the process somewhat but it is still a pain. I hope to have it downloaded sometime this morning and then we will see how smoothly the unzipping process goes. With the 9.2 image I have to re-download multiple sections due to errors. As soon as I can get it running I will post my thoughts.
UPDATE 1: The image finally downloaded and we got it all unzipped. It is running on a Hyper-V server in my office and I finally tried to access it this morning via my hotel internet connection (I am on the road right now). Didn’t have time to play with it much as the hotel connection was running at about 14.4 baud modem speed but the opening landing page is total eye candy and will be great for first impressions. No idea how good the data is yet, hopefully will get some time tomorrow to really dive deep.
Posted in Microsoft | Tagged: Demo, Hyper-V, Image | 3 Comments »