Last week I’ve been at Microsoft BI Conference and I presented an interactive session about PowerPivot DAX Patterns. Unfortunately only the breakout session were recorded and available on TechEd Online. The room was full and there were probably many other people in an overflow room.  I would like to thanks all the attendees of my session and you can write me (marco dot russo [at] sqlbi dot com) if you have other questions and/or feedback about the session.

The interest about PowerPivot (especially after keynote presentation) was very high and many interactive sessions were in room too small for the interested audience. I already read a lot of negative comments about that and I know that the message has been already received loud and clear by Microsoft.

That said, the material I used in the presentation is fundamentally extracted by some chapter of the book “Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel 2010: Give Your Data Meaning” we’re writing in these days. The book will be available in September and you can already order it (self advertising, I know, and is not the only one in this post…).

I spent several hours discussing about the future of PowerPivot and Analysis Services. Amir Netz made some anticipation about the use of PowerPivot for Corporate BI scenarios, but it is too early to discuss it in detail, just because we don’t have too much information to discuss about. By the end of the year we should have more information, as soon as a beta of SQL11 will appear. But one thing is clear at this point: we don’t need to update the “Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services” very soon, because Analysis Services is here to stay and there should be no major changes in the following releases. Thus, if you still don’t have it, there are no excuses now. Its content will be valid for many years and now you can also use the special 20% discount code if you order it directly on by using the discount code TechEd905 (which should be valid at least within the end of June, but maybe also later).

Well, now a technical insight to avoid a commercial-only post. DAX is here to stay and will become much more relevant in the future. It will be expanded, probably. It will be used in enterprise environment for Corporate BI. Thus, it’s time to start learning DAX. If you are a SSAS developer, DAX is your next challenge. And, believe me, it’s not so simple as it appears at first sight. It is much more powerful, but it also hides new complexities, especially if you are used to MDX. Take your time and start using PowerPivot to learn DAX today. You will have some homework already done when the new wave of technologies for Corporate BI will be available.

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