It is refreshing to see Microsoft finally acknowledging the business as well as technical framework under which Business Intelligence projects are typically run. By taking this approach, Microsoft is definitely building upon the core competence it has gained over the last decade and building on strengths of analysis services
At the core of any business intelligence project implementation is the fact that there are different consumers for information with a variety of perspectives. These perspectives give rise to different styles of consuming information.
The BI technology has to provide flexibility to end users to analyze information and more importantly, allow users to self-serve. With the new semantic model in SQL Serve 2012, Microsoft has attempted to create a single (and hence simpler) model that serves all of the end-user experiences. These include traditional and non-traditional data sources as well as the way users consume information aka dashboards, reports, analysis and so on.
The three major components of the model are:
- Data models (the modeler as well as the consumers perspective of the data within the models)
- Business logic and query (gaining required and desired separation, MDX and DAX)
- Data access (Can I access data only through reports and dashboards? why?)
All things considered, this is not a new approach. As a practitioner, I always tend to think in these terms but with the these advances in SQL Server technologies, it will become easier to use SQL Server as the base technology that satisfies most of the needs of a medium sized business.