Microsoft starts sharing details on SQL Server ‘Kilimanjaro’

Posted: October 29, 2008 in Forums, News, SQL

Not every team at Microsoft is insisting on secrecy about futures. In fact, the SQL Server database team is taking a much different course than its Windows brethren.

Just a couple of months after releasing to manufacturing SQL Server 2008, Microsoft is starting to offer details about its next release of its flagship database. That product, code-named “Killimanjaro,” will ship in the first half of 2010, according to Microsoft officials. The first tech preview test builds of Kilimanjaro are due in the first half of 2009, the Softies said.

Microsoft shared information about Kilimanjaro at the company’s second annual Business Intelligence Conference, which kicked off on October 6 in Seattle.

Kilimanjaro is set to include self-service analysis tools (codenamed “Gemini”) that Microsoft is saying will allow information workers to better “slice and dice data and create their own BI (business intelligence) applications and assets to share and collaborate on from within the familiar, everyday Microsoft Office productivity tools they already use.” Gemini will incorporate an update to SQL Server Analysis Services, plus some new in-memory components, some “splicers” and add-in exerpiences based on Excel, and deeper SharePoint integration, enbling users to share analyses they’ve created, Microsoft officials said.

Update: It seems Microsoft also is planning to fold the master-data-management technology it acquired a while back when it bought Stratature into the Kilimanjaro SQL Server release.  Originally, Microsoft was talking about making MDM part of Office 14; perhaps it will simply be the BI-component complements to O14.

Update No. 2: Microsoft is not making master data management part of Kilimanjaro after all.  From a spokeswoman: “Kilimanjaro will work with MDM solutions but will not include MDM functionality of its own.” So it looks like MDM still, potentially, couldbe part of O14.

At the BI conference, the SQL team announced one more new codename to add to its repertoire: Project Madison. Microsoft is describing Madison as a “solution”; from its description, it seems that means data-warehouse appliance. Madison is based on technology Microsoft recently bought when it acquired DATAllegro, a data-warehouse-appliance vendor. Microsoft is promising that, via Madison, it will be able to help users with data-warehousing workloads spanning hundreds of terabyes of data and thousands of concurrent users.

Microsoft is planning to release a Madison Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build in the next 12 months. No word from Microsoft on when — or in what form — Microsoft plans to ship Madison.

Microsoft’s BI platform includes Excel and other Office applications, SharePoint Server for “team BI,” PerformancePoint (scorecarding) Server for organization-wide BI and SQL Server for data-platform needs.

When I asked the SQL Server team why they already were starting to talk publicly about Kilimanjaro,  Microsoft BI general manager Bob Lokkentold me that his team was committed to providing customers with insight into their future roadmap. He noted that Microsoft has said publicly that it plans to deliver a new SQL Server release every 24 to 36 months and wanted to make sure its partners and customers know where it’s going.

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