"REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today
announced that 47 applications and tools from 39 top vendors throughout the
industry have qualified for Microsoft Data Warehousing Alliance 2000. Alliance
members and partners are committed to delivering tools and applications based
on the Microsoft Data Warehousing Framework 2000, an open architecture for building
business intelligence and analytical applications based on the open standards
and services built into the Windows 2000 operating system, Microsoft SQL Server
7.0 and Office 2000. Application vendor membership for the Data Warehousing
Alliance has more than doubled since it was originally announced in October
to the release "organizations leveraging the framework and using alliance member
products are better able to align local decision-making around key business
drivers and harness the full potential of the web to win new customers, retain
and extend customer relationships, and work more effectively with partners."
architecture is based on OLE DB and the Open Information Model (OIM), in "recognition
of the value and competitive advantage provided by the data warehousing services
built into Microsoft products."
to Microsoft, this technology is based on the Microsoft Data Warehousing Framework,
which "is based on open, published protocols for interoperability and integrated
end-to-end data warehousing services. It utilizes technologies provided in Microsoft
Office 2000 and Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 products, and a partnership with Data
Warehousing Alliance members for complementary tools and applications. The DWF
enables data warehousing solutions where the data comes from virtually any source
and where any type of information can be delivered to any compliant client interface
again, Microsoft is using proprietary standards (OLE DB and OIM) to achieve
its data warehousing goals. The more widely accepted standards are under the
stewardship of the Object Management Group (OMG), which has over 800 members.
OIM is a standard developed by Microsoft and turned over to the MetaData Council
(MDC) which has "close to 50" members. For more information on the dueling standards
bodies see "Is There Finally A Metadata Exchange Standard on the Horizon?",
28, 1999). The alliance criteria require compliance with OLE DB for data access
and the Open Information Model for sharing metadata. According to Colin White,
president of DataBase Associates International Inc., "The Microsoft Data Warehousing
Framework 2000 makes it easy to build Digital Dashboard applications integrating
business intelligence, collaboration, and Web content right into the environment
many knowledge workers live in: Outlook 2000."
effort should make it easier for customers to integrate and use tools from multiple
vendors, as long as their database is Microsoft's, and the other vendors are
members of this alliance. The web component is to be provided by Microsoft's
SQL Server 7.0, a component of the Windows DNA platform (Distributed interNet
Architecture, introduced in 1997, Microsoft's umbrella term for its enterprise
network architecture based on COM and Windows 2000 (NT 5.0)). The Windows DNA
platform is advertised as "Microsoft's comprehensive platform for building Web
believe this will only serve to further fragment the data warehousing market.
Obviously, Oracle is not a member of this alliance, and other applications show
spotty representation. For example, in the enterprise resource planning space,
Baan NV is represented, but SAP AG and PeopleSoft are not. In the area of supply
chain analytics, the only vendor represented is Manuguistics Inc.
We recommend that customers evaluate this solution cautiously, and only after
the solution has been implemented numerous times and after interviews with reference
accounts. Microsoft is notorious for the problems encountered in early releases
of their software. This solution would possibly be appropriate for a highly
Microsoft-centric company, but the alliance membership may not include the vendor
a customer wishes to use for business intelligence, decision support, or executive
information systems. Customers with non-SQL Server operational data will have
to depend on SQL 7.0's Data Transformation Services (DTS) to move the data into
SQL Server, and that particular technology is brand new and largely untested.