Posted by: Charles Maitland | Tuesday 14 July, 2009

Excel 2010 and Gemini

Well I have found the bit in the Day 2 Key note where they get to the Excel and Gemini demo. For those who want to skip the Hi 5s and Azure piece it starts around02:07:35 (that’s a lot of Hi 5s!) I will be making notes as I watch with approx times. You can also skip to the end for my views.

02:08:57 It is stated that this has a close tie in with Analysis Services cubes. So there will still be the need to have a decent well structured cube built. Now my experience says that for most Line of Business applications that is WAY easier said than done.

02:09:20 Ok we are now in Gemini. Many comments I have seem think this was in Excel itself and in fact Bob Muglia states that this is what is coming in Excel but you can bet it will only be in the highest SKU. It is in fact the standard Gemini film store demo. (I wonder if they are using the dataset from the Netfilx prize?) .

02:11:20 This shows getting data from SSRS report into Excel. It seems there is an icon users click on and the report data is then available in Excel/Gemini. It is not at all clear what the multiple wizard steps he goes through to achieve this is doing that exporting the report to excel as we do now does. Maybe its a dynamic link??

02:12:01 “Its Excel, Its just Excel”. Oh Really

02:12:50 Nice example of building a multi linked chart. I do like the way that they have implemented the slicers but I do have considerable concerns as to how well this will work when faced with a real cube. My time at PrecisionPoint taught me that Excel 2007 (in it early days, I am out of touch now) had some very painful idiocracies!

It is also interesting that despite his initial intro that this was all linked into SSAS everything so far seems to be driven off Gemini workbooks. I am not sure how the Gemini and SSAS relationship is panning out at this stage?

Ok the video feed is totally borked now so I cant see what else was in the demo but what conclusion can I reach so far:

  • Gemini will be part of Excel but which version is unclear.
  • There is still no idea on the relationship between Gemini and SSAS, Data warehouses and Line OF Business Applications
  • There is still no indication on how this will work in the “real world”. If this has been developed using a single source of data then I fear that the dirty real world could be a rude awakening. AdventureWorks or its successor “The Film Company” is NOT reality.
  • I fear that the glossy demos are hiding the reality of building manageable and real models and expectations of being able to do instant pivot graphs of 100 million rows of data without data modelling. I am sorry but this is usually hard SH*T.

Don’t believe the hype people

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