One cannot ignore the focus Microsoft puts on the Sharepoint platform as of the past couple of years. The Sharepoint product is, in fact, the best server-side product seller for Microsoft ever. I did not fully realize the importance of this platform until recently, when I was attending the “Data Platform” conference several months ago and went to hear Mr. Donald Farmer. Mr. Farmer said that the new workforce, used to network and collaborate using Facebook and Twitter is expecting to find the same networks available at the workplace. Using email as the means for communication seems awkward and inefficient to them. The Sharepoint platform is the new workplace “Facebook”, where these new-age employees could post ideas, comment on ideas by others (when will Microsoft add the “Like” feature in Sharepoint?) and brainstorm on new initiatives.
With the advent of PowerPivot, which has gained massive popularity since its launch and its tight integration with Sharpeoint, I believe that every BI professional who is specializing in the Microsoft product stack should spend some time to get to learn Sharepoint as well. Analysis Services, in the R2 release is also getting closer and closer to this platform, and according to Amir Netz from Microsoft, the next release of SSAS is going to be tied even more with Sharepoint than it is now.
The traditional lack of direction by Microsoft, when it comes to OLAP viewers and reporting tools is probably over. PowerPivot, Sharepoint and Reporting Services 2008 R2 comprise an impressive set of tools to deliver BI in the organization. While there is still room for third-party tools to be integrated with the Microsoft products. organizations that do not wish to invest in these can probably manage without.
Happy Sharpeoint learning!
(This is post number 22 for week number 44 of my SQL blog challenge)