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SQLBI - Marco Russo

SQLBI is a blog dedicated to building Business Intelligence solutions with SQL Server.
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Gemini, metadata and the analogy game

Still some consideration about Gemini. In the last few days, I've seen some interesting posts and comments.

Chris is still worried about the lose of control, and I agree with him that metadata are a key part of a complete BI solution, and today we are missing it - this is one of the reason that inspired many choices of the SQLBI Methodology.

Chris still doesn't agree with Amir Netz, who commented on my and his blog with another analogy ("analogy game" in the title explained) that is so interesting (you might agree or disagree - but it's a funny game) that I hope it deserves more visibility than in a blog comment.

In many ways, today's BI world behaves very much like a 1920's centralized communist regime. The central BI government owns all of the legal supply side. It believes it knows better than anyone what the citizens needs and wants and set up to provide everyone’s needs. While it does not have the capacity to handle anything close to the full needs of the population, it prefers that some will go hungry and barefoot rather than let them supply their own needs. In fact, it will prosecute anyone who shows any enterprise spirit offering an alternative supply route. It will demonize the free enterprises, call them “capitalist pigs”, “traitors of the cause”. The central goverment believes its suppression of the free enterprises is for the “common good of the motherland”, even at the cost of the suffering of the citizens, without realizing that the motherland is supposed to serve the citizens first and foremost.

The central regime will find itself with an endless attrition war against the population. The black market will thrive unless ruthless measures are taken. Back to our BI world – these iron fist measures are mostly unacceptable in today’s enterprises. Therefore the central IT government often finds itself without much teeth. It can wage a propaganda war but the citizens will mostly ignore it and will continue with their black market activities.

Gemini is the “glasnosts”. It is the relaxation of the central monopolization of the supply taps. It is about allowing free enterprises to operate, as long as they are not overstepping reasonable bounds. It is about oversight rather than suppression. Gemini is about trusting the citizens to do the right things once given a chance (presumed innocent unless proven guilty). In such a market the citizens and the government work together for the benefit of the population. This new marketplace is about creating efficiencies and encouraging creativity. It is about letting new ideas float and let the market pick the winners. The government will still hold firm control over the most essential services: military, judicial, education and healthcare. But at the same time, it will allow almost everything else to be generated by the free population. It will hold a regulatory and police force to verify that the bounds are not stepped over but at the same time, will be non-intrusive until violations occur.

So, which regime do you endorse?

Amir.

As I said, I share the fears of Chris, but I'm still convinced that this is not important. Gemini is inevitably. The question is how to manage it and its possible misuse. If we will be unable to do it, we will not have time to build "trusted" solutions because all of our time will be lost trying to fix problematic Gemini-Excel reports. A strong metadata initiative from Microsoft would be a relief for many of us in this direction.

Published Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:42 AM by Marco Russo (SQLBI)

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Dm Unseen AKA M. Evers said:

I'm Putin(pun intended) it like this, I'm no fan of the end result of what once started as glasnost and I'll probably think the same about gemini.(that does not mean I'm a old fashioned commie that discards glasnost as foolishness, or that geminie does not hold some intersting results)

I'm more for the democratic/regulated approach where users work with all the data in a structured way, and IT facilitating proper regulation/goverance on security,usablility,accountability and accesability of the data. This does not mean users should not be able to mash, transform and analyze all kinds of data freely, just that some of that data is strictly regulated (using IT, not by IT!) and other data is free to (ab)use. This sounds more like a democratic apporach than a commie state to me.

BTW, I think Amir is going a little over the top. His vison is more of a free capitalist state with (too) little oversight. I would say: turn on the TV to see where that can lead you:(

All this implies metatdata management in a big way, and MS is not there yet (same for others, but that is out of scope of this discussion).

I think MS is typically doing thinks upside down again. First the nice looks, and some time after that the structure to make it actually work for people <sigh>.

October 17, 2008 7:48 AM
 

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

I think metadata is not completely out of scope.

I'd like to know MS plans for metadata management, in terms of both features and timeline. I assume they are already working on something... and I hope I'm not wrong, otherwise we will have big issues with growing BI system, even without using Gemini.

October 17, 2008 7:42 PM
 

Dm Unseen AKA M. Evers said:

The problems with MS and metadata is that MS has never had a good track on integration beyond the MS "sphere". IMO this is a capital sin in metadata management, where there is a lot of disparate technical and organisational metadata to be captured and integrated. OTOH MS is good at creating technical solutions, so they might stick to a generic metdadata implementation framework that needs to be used by VAR's to create actual solutions.

Time will Tell.

October 20, 2008 4:48 AM

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About Marco Russo (SQLBI)

Marco Russo is a consultant, writer and trainer specialized in Business Intelligence with Microsoft technologies. He runs the SQLBI.COM website, which is dedicated to distribute resources useful for BI developers, like Integration Services components, Analysis Services models, tools, technical information and so on. Marco is certified as MCT, MCDBA, MCSD.NET, MCSA, MCSE+I.

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