Microsoft has announced details of the next release of SQL Server. Codenamed Kilimanjaro, the database server will not be available until 2010.
Ovum analyst Helena Schwenk said, "Kilimanjaro is an ambitious release for the company for two reasons. Firstly, it represents a more assertive move towards enterprise deployments, to put it on a more competitive footing with IBM, Oracle and SAP.
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"But secondly, and perhaps more interestingly, it signifies a greater emphasis towards supporting the needs of end users by leveraging the capabilities of SQL Server and the ubiquity of Excel."
She said these were "uncharted waters for Microsoft". Although Excel is a pervasive BI tool, it has certain technical limitations that prevent it from being used as a full-blown reporting and analysis tool, she said. "The next version of SQL Server addresses this," Schwenk added.
Kilimanjaro is in fact part of a three-pronged effort by Microsoft in the business intelligence market.
Firstly, the company has introduced self-service reporting capabilities within Kilimanjaro. Secondly, it has announced new managed self-service analysis capabilities, codenamed Project Gemini. And finally, the company aims to deliver advanced datawarehousing functionality within SQL Server under a project codenamed "Madison".
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