Microsoft Releases Beta Spec of XML for Analysis
- By Scott Bekker
another step today to further extend its .NET strategy, today Microsoft Corp.
release the beta
specification for XML for Analysis.
The new protocol
will enable developers to create analytic applications on any platform using
any programming language. “It uses XML, SOAP, and HTTP and is an extension to
OLE DB for OLAP and OLE DB for data mining,” says John Eng, lead product
manager for SQL Server.
expects the new specification will make business intelligence (BI) more readily
available to users in remote locations. “It broadens out the number of people
that can access it. We call it ‘BI for the masses,’” Eng says. “The data source
is in the enterprise but now you open it up to all the different users, and
that makes BI accessible for everyone.”
.NET is all about using the Internet as a platform, this latest XML
specification further extends Microsoft’s .NET strategy. “The specification
itself allows users to write applications that leverage the Internet,” Eng
important element in the .NET strategy is a heavy focus on XML. “A key part of the .NET strategy is enabling
applications, and a key part of that is XML,” says Steve Murchie, group product
manager of SQL Server. “The XML for Analysis protocol is built upon the same
is important for Microsoft and its .NET strategy, the significance of XML spans
well beyond that -- which is why Microsoft felt it was so vital to get other
vendors involved in the review of the new specification.
designing a prebeta draft of the spec, Microsoft passed the draft around to its
partners -- and other vendors who were highly involved with the specification
-- for input. After the initial review, Microsoft took the input, cleaned up
the spec, and presented the protocol along with sample applications to over 100
users at the design review. Those users then took the specification back to
their respective organizations for feedback. The result of this process is the
beta specification for XML for Analysis.
goes through this whole process so it can offer customers more variety when
choosing a business intelligence (BI) vendor. “Only with agreement between
vendors can we achieve any kind of goal, so we work with key vendors,
application vendors, and customers -- so that we know the ease of building
applications is there,” Murchie says. “Ultimately it makes the cost lower and
availability ubiquitous -- the benefit to customers is more choice, lower cost,
and more features.”
expects to have the beta software available during the first quarter, and to
have the final specification complete in the first half of 2001. Currently, the beta specification is
available for download at: http://www.microsoft.com/data.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.