Kilimanjaro is no longer just an inactive volcano in Tanzania, as Microsoft has borrowed the name to designate the next iteration of its data platform. SQL Server code-named Kilimanjaro was showcased at the second annual Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) Conference 2008, courtesy of Ted Kummert, corporate
vice president of Microsoft’s Data and Platform Storage Division. Set for general availability in under two years from the release of the current version of SQL Server, Kilimanjaro's unveiling at a Microsoft BI event is by no means a coincidence. Microsoft in fact plans the successor of SQL Server 2008
to be a Business Intelligence-focused release.
“To capitalize on the real value and potential of BI, organizations are turning more traditional approaches upside down - providing BI and performance management capabilities to a broader set of knowledge workers and managers,” revealed Bill Hostmann, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Users want to analyze data and use that information to derive new insights that improve their business processes.”
With full product availability planned sometime in the first half of 2010, Microsoft is readying the first Community Technology Preview of Kilimanjaro in the next year. “Kilimanjaro is focused on 'People Ready BI'. A key component of Kilimanjaro is 'Project Gemini', this is all about self-service BI using Excel. The vision behind Gemini is to free IT resources by giving business intelligence analysis and reporting capabilities to the end-users without IT losing control,” revealed
a "Technology Solution Professional" for the Data Platform.
Kummert emphasized that SQL Server code-named Kilimanjaro would be tailored to deliver support for the largest Business Intelligence deployments. This will be possible by ensuring the evolution of SQL Server's BI capabilities, and taking scalability to the next level. In this regard, project-code-named “Gemini”, described as a collection of analysis tools designed for managed self-service, will enable not only a deeper insight on data, but also sharing and collaborating functionality in the context of Office solutions.