Wilfred Mutua Mworia's (Old) Blog (Now at Afrinnovator.com)

Icon

Information for tech enthusiasts, hobbyists, devs, tech startup founders and tech entrepreneurs

Yukon to Katmai

The Windows Observer -Volume 4, Number 19 — May 16, 2007

Microsoft Talks Up SQL Server ‘Katmai’

Published: May 17, 2007

by Alex Woodie

Microsoft started beating the drum for the version of SQL Server, codenamed “Katmai,” last week at its business intelligence conference. In addition to new business intelligence capabilities, Katmai, which is scheduled to ship in 2008, will feature better security, more extensibility, new high availability features, a rule-based management framework, and an array of new tricks for .NET developers.

The new rule-based management framework Microsoft is developing for Katmai is expected to reduce the dependency on scripts for daily maintenance activities, such as query optimizations, naming conventions, backup and restore operations, and index management. By automatically monitoring and enforcing policies in Katmai, Microsoft says users will be able to push policies out to thousands of servers, providing a more heterogeneous SQL Server environment.

Better security will be a focal point for Katmai. With this release, Microsoft intends to make it easier for users to encrypt entire databases, or just specific data or log files, without making changes to the underlying applications. Better auditing will also allow administrators to more easily enforce compliance.

Microsoft is also talking about a feature called “database mirroring” in Katmai. With database mirroring, users will be given another option, on top of application server clustering, for boosting the availability of their critical business applications. Microsoft says it is also improving the recoverability of applications from storage failures by making it easy to move processor and memory resources without affecting applications.

It will also be easier to tune SQL Server for the best performance as a result of new performance data collection features in Katmai, Microsoft says. This will be made possible through a new centralized repository for performance data where administrators can view performance figures and compare them to past reports.

Similarly, Katmai will also sport a “resource governor” that, according to Microsoft, will help administrators provide a “consistent and predictable response” to users. The resource governor will achieve this by defining resource limits and priorities for different workloads.

Katmai will also feature new tricks for developers, including the new Entity Data Model, which is part of the ADO.NET framework, and support for the previously announced Language Integrated Query (LINQ) technology.

With the new Entity Data Model, developers will be able to access data by defining business entities like customers, orders, and products, as opposed to using the table and column format that is standard with relational databases. Developers can then query and retrieve these entities natively within any .NET language using LINQ, which is a set of language extensions that Microsoft announced in September 2005 as a way to simplify the development process and prevent programmers from having to know and use SQL and XQuery by allowing them to query data in C# and Visual Basic. Meanwhile, as developers work with a logical view of objects in the database, administrators will still be able to manage the database using the physical table and column view.

Microsoft also plans to improve support for non relational data–such as XML, a hierarchical format that Microsoft first supported in its database with SQL Server 2005. With Katmai, Microsoft intends to enable SQL Server to store and consume any type of unstructured content, which would suggest support for XML documents, PDF files, or JPG images, as well as new “spatial” data-types for building geographic and “location aware” systems.

This widening of file-type support sounds a lot like the type of capability that Microsoft was touting with Windows File System (WinFS), the revolutionary file system that was to debut with Windows “Longhorn.” WinFS, of course, was removed from Longhorn after running into development problems. After surviving for a time as a separate development effort, it has entirely disappeared from view.

Katmai will also bring new features designed to help users build new business intelligence applications. On the plumbing side, Microsoft says it is boosting SQL Server’s capacity to manage large numbers of users and large amounts of data, and will improve the database’s query performance on large tables, optimize queries for data warehousing scenarios, and increase I/O performance. New changed data capture (CDC) functionality will assist businesses with the real-time loading of data warehouses, while more scalable volume management and integration services will help administrators keep it all properly sorted.

Katmai will also shine when it comes to building and running today’s cutting-edge business applications, according to Microsoft. Better hooks into Microsoft Office will continue to push Microsoft’s desktop suite as a key way to consume business intelligence, while an array of more advanced capabilities, such as SQL Server Reporting Services for building reports, and SQL Server Analysis Services for building dashboard applications with key performance indicators (KPIs) and the like.

Microsoft has historically trailed the business intelligence technology leaders, including Business Objects, Cognos, Oracle (which recently bought Hyperion), MicroStrategy, and others. But SQL Server Katmai may have the potential to turn Microsoft’s business intelligence fortunes around.

“Microsoft is charting a course to transform the BI marketplace as we know it,” said Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft’s Business Division, said during the Microsoft BI Conference held in Redmond, Washington, last week. “By fundamentally changing the economic model for BI and delivering unprecedented ease of use, we’re enabling the broadest deployment of BI possible so employees can better contribute to a company’s overall business performance.”

Microsoft further boosted its business intelligence strategy last week with the acquisition of OfficeWriter, an application that enables users to access Excel spreadsheets and Word documents through a Web browser. OfficeWriter was developed by a company called SoftArtisans, out of Watertown, Massachusetts, but Microsoft only obtained the product, not the company. Microsoft plans to offer OfficeWriter alongside SQL Server Reporting Services.

The first community technology preview (CTP) for Katmai is reportedly due out in the next month or so. For more information, see www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/futureversion/default.mspx.

Filed under: information retrieval, microsoft, research, technology, tool

A Special Night

The last couple of dys have been a bit busy. Following up on my previous post, i did some more reporting with SSRS(That tutorial is still in the pipeline) and I also got a taste of some new things here and there as well as experiencially learning the DOs and DONTs of SSRS. SSRS is a great tool, the only thing i do not quite fancy is the way you have to tweek the report a lot just to get the right print out (and big-up to all those nice folks at MS who worked on it!). For example, there is this interesting thing that started happening with the report i built; on the client machine they would navigate to a page say 221 but oddly when they preview the print-out it would show a page or two ahead (like 222). I have not managed to track whats up with that but i gave the users a simple work-around that suffices.

Other than that I have as usual been doing a lot of work on data and some interesting reports, i did one this afternoon that almost had me jumping up and down in blissful glee.

Other than that, I have been watching all these videos about interesting stuff at microsoft research, stuff to fo with CLR research, an interesting item called DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime) that they are doing with Ruby (I really ought to learn Ruby!), F# and Functional Programming, LINQ (very interesting, Anders is pretty good), Silverlight, Programming Language development  and some more stuff, but mostly CLR.

Frankly, a lot has been said about Microsoft, but I think they have some great work going on there and they work on pretty interesting stuff (but i still think Google totally rocks).

I am sure the title of this post has some eye-lids up in curiosity… so I will just leave it like that… for now!!!

Filed under: cool, fun, google, googler, interview, microsoft, research, software, technology, work

Microsoft



First of all isn’t it funny how you end up ‘googling for yahoo, or googling for microsoft’. Ok, maybe it’s a lame joke but I found myself doing exactly that many many times. Does that say something about Google, yahoo and MS???

Well, so I was looking for some info on what it’s like to work at Microsoft. Here are some interesting results:

MS jobsblog, interesting stories.

Someone’s experiences at Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!

The ups and downs of working at MS

Tim Sneath on getting a job at MS

Jeremy on getting a job at MS

Lovely stories from guys who interviewed at MS

Interesting article!

There is also a three-series video on Channel 9 on interviewing at MS. Can’t quite remember the URL but as soon as I get it I will give you the URL.

Filed under: google, interview, job, microsoft, work, working, yahoo

Google’s Acquisition Appetite

I got curious recently about google in regards to acquisitions and so i did the most logical thing, yep, I googled it! And the results were pretty interesting might I add.

I got this wikipedia entry; a list of google’s acquisitions since 2001 to date.

According to the wikipedia entry:

Most companies acquired by Google feature:

  • A small but very talented development team
  • Interesting and innovative products, technology, or intellectual property
  • A private start-up with a relatively cheap price tag.

There is also this very interesting blog entry that intends to dissect google’s recent acquisitions.

Have you ever read this SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filing by google? Well, i breezed through it.

Googley-good history!

They say that curiosity killed the cat, but well, that didn stop me now did it? I went on to google yahoo’s acquisitions (or should I have yahood for it??? Naaah). The results are quite interesting as well:

(Typically) There is this entry at wikipedia of yahoo’s acquisitions

And this (nice) blog had an entry as well.

Ok, so you wanna stretch this little inquiry a little further? Let’s see what microsoft has been up to!

Here’s a blog entry!

And here’s something from microsoft itself.

Oh and here is the SEC’s repository in case anyone is research inclined when a juicy piece of interesting information is provided and they want to find out more.

Filed under: acquisitions, google, microsoft, yahoo

RSS Afrinnovator.com

  • The Wantrapreneur Chronicles #3: Angels
    Land, labor, capital. The 3 classical factors of production that an entrepreneur has to bring together to carry out some venture. When it comes to financing the dream, the options at the initial stages of a venture are limited. Furthermore seed/startup stage ventures carry a larger burden of risk. Sometimes the entrepreneur (or Wantrapreneur) has some saving […]
  • Why innovation in payment systems is important for entrepreneurship
    Look around you. Chances are that at least 90% of everything around you is there because of entrepreneurship.There's a Swahili saying that says, 'ukiona vya elea, jua vimeundwa', translated literally as 'if things exist, it is because they have been made'. The meaning is very simple: things don't just happen by themselves.In the […]
  • The best sales & marketing strategy is...
    Value creation.In a nutshell: Create value for your customers to the point that they want (and are even eager) to pay you. Create value for your customers to the point that they are willing to talk to other people about you and your product or service and recommend you.Why?The reason is simple: first of all people generally tend to do business with people th […]
  • The Wantrapreneur Chronicles #2: The Wantrapreneur
    This segment is dubbed the 'Wantrapreneur Chronicles' because I think that's how I got started. Who or what is a 'Wantrapreneur'? Sometimes the word is used in a derogatory manner to mean someone who is not a real entrepreneur but is more like a pretender - they love the idea of entrepreneurship but don't want actually do the […]
  • Using innovation and creativity to get out of a crisis
    Entrepreneurship, as with life in general, is a risky business. One of the hallmark characteristics of the quintessential entrepreneur is the boldness to take risks. However, with risk comes the potential for failure and the wrong decision can wind you up in a crisis situation. Entrepreneurs therefore have to develop the capacity to handle crisis with poise. […]
  • The Wantrapreneur Chronicles #1: Circumstance
    "Are entrepreneurs born or made?"Of course they're all born! One person remarked (get the joke?). Seriously though, this is one of those questions that you find being asked at entrepreneurship forums and the like. The real question is: is there something special about entrepreneurs, that sets them apart from the rest of us? Something that is n […]
  • To change the world start with your next customer
    The desire to 'change the world' has been attributed especially to the so-called 'millenial' generation as a form of 'entrepreneurial idealism'. However, millenials aside, entrepreneurs really do change the world!The name Percival Elliott Fansler might not ring a bell but you should remember it the next time you are taking a fli […]
  • Is innovation what you do when your back is against the wall?
    I remember watching the movie, 127 Hours. In a dire situation, facing almost certain death, his hand lodged by a rock against a crevice, the main character in the movie does the unthinkable to save himself – he chops off his own arm! Usually people will behave in the same manner when pushed against a wall, they will find some 'creative', if painful […]
  • Creating Sustainable SMEs
    An except from an article I recently wrote for The Broker.SMEs are the lifeblood of most economies. Thankfully, there is no limit to human capacity for innovation – the bedrock upon which entrepreneurship is built. Enabling entrepreneurship should be of foremost importance to governments and can be promoted by establishing three main pillars, which will lay […]
  • Go big or go home. Really?
    When I started out I had this idea that I had to be big, well, not me (literally) but my startup. 'Go big or go home' as they say. Especially by virtue of being in tech, there's a tendency to think this way, that you have to scale to massive proportions, you have to be a 'growth startup'. Be the next Facebook or the next Google! You […]
  • Fallacies of entrepreneurship
    I've been involved in the so-called 'Silicon Savannah' to varying degrees since almost the beginning of this incarnation of the tech/software industry in Kenya.Recently, I had a conversation with someone who runs an entrepreneurship consultancy & capacity building firm. They've worked with entrepreneurs in several sectors including th […]
  • Venture Capital Lessons from the Shark Tank
    I was watching the Shark Tank episode where James Martin, founder of Copa di Vino turned down an offer from the sharks for a second time. The first time he came on the show he had an 'unproven' business model with a modest $500,000 in revenue seeking an investment of $600,000 in exchange for 30% of his business. Kevin O'Leary made him an offer […]
  • Why is it so hard to implement innovation?
    One word: 'Culture'.Culture is the single biggest hurdle any established organization has to go over to become truly innovative. Why? It's simple: innovation is not just about stuff you do, it's about who you are as a company; it is a culture.It is not just about thinking up new ideas, nor even about implementing those ideas. You can do t […]
  • Productivity Hacking: Enter the 'Productivity Hacker'
    Most, if not everyone, reading this article will be familiar with the term "Growth Hacker" and "Growth Hacking", a form of data-driven, aggressively growth-focused marketing. Originally coined by one Sean Ellis (according to Wikipedia), who defined the term 'Growth Hacker' as:A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growt […]
  • Productivity: What do you have and what are you getting out of it?
    My last entry continued the thought pattern regarding what I have concluded, from my own experience and from observation, are the two greatest challenges faced by startups and entrepreneurs: capacity and consistency. In the last post, I did some rough math to show the critical importance of building capacity, especially, human resource capacity (skills, know […]
  • Show me the money: of cash and capital in startup enterprises
    In the last article, I discussed what I think are the two greatest challenges that I have faced in the past, which I also think many entrepreneurs, particularly in the African (or developing world) setting, face: Capacity: Which I would simply summarize as: the ability to execute (effectively and efficiently) - specifically with regards to financial  and […]
  • The two great challenges that every startup faces
    This is my first article in more than 6 months, it also happens to be a unique one for two other reasons: firstly, I am writing from a personal perspective, unlike the ordinary subject-matter content I write, and  secondly,  the issues I raise here are the two key challenges I have identified in my experience of building up the vision that I have for Afrinno […]
  • Kenya: The Internet & Freedom of Information
    The name ‘Edward Snowden’ has become familiar with many people. His revelations about the lengths to which government intelligence agencies in the US and UK have gone to in order to gather information about people’s actions online came as a shock to many. Some have since come to regard him as a hero, whereas others consider him a traitor to his nation. Which […]
  • On Startups: What exactly is a startup? (or the Startup Duck Test)
    A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of co-moderating two panels at the iHub during the monthly Nairobi Research Buzz event hosted by iHub Research and Microsoft. The theme was 'Entrepreneurship 101' based on research the iHub Research team is conducting on tech entrepreneurship in Kenya. There were two separate panels, the first consisting of young […]
  • Exploring the idea of the Creative Class in an African city: A case study of ICT professionals in Nairobi
    Written by Lauren Rosenberg (see below for her bio)Securing urban economic growth in new economy is less dependent on access to physical resources and increasingly dependent on attracting talent who can create economically useful new ideas. Urban theorist Richard Florida calls this type of talent the ‘Creative Class’ - knowledge workers who derive a living f […]
Afrinnovator.com
Mobile Web East Africa
TEDxYouthInspire 2010

My Flickr Photostream

IMG_0789

IMG_0786

IMG_0784

IMG_0781

IMG_0795

More Photos
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.