Like many companies the company I work for has concerns about the cloud, like most we’re certain that if any of our data ever touches the cloud then childen will be sacrificed and hostile states will take ownership of all our secrets. Maybe there’s some truth in that or maybe they’ve been watching too much “Mr Robot” wait does that mean I work for Evil Corp?

I’m sure the truth is somewhere between the two extremes no matter. The argument is a common one and it is one that really Microsoft entered the market place I believe unprepared to really deal with – sure the late data aquesition of DataZen kind of went some way to showing there was an intent at on-premise and of course Piramid (still never actually seen this up and running or working, could it be a myth (am I talking to you? Do you understand me or is this just a lame attempt at 4th wall interaction). Mind you Microsoft’s own book kind of spells things out the best I’ve seen so far. My personal version is that SSRS was losing ground to other ERP solutions SAP and Oracle really pushing thier own solutions, SQL based Data Warehouses were starting to really suffer, they’re cumbersome and the cost of ownership has increased as SQL licence requiremenrs have increased,  six figure sums just for SQL licences for solutions make them costly and the benefits are hard to realise. Then everything changed… my guess is around 2010 challengers started to come up. Suddenly it was possible to do things without the established vendors I remember in 2007 writing an Access Database that services circa 10’000 users. I’m not going to claim it was particularly good or that it was massively transactional, but when compared to the traditional view at the time of “buy a SQL licence” was just wrong. Some work and some thought and it was invalidated. That was just my personal experience. Looking at the market out there, solutions becan to use SQLite or MySQL or whatever the customer was running, mean while the ERP giants of Oracle and SAP continued to expand the application usage within their customers again as people consolidated their applications and looked to maximmise their investment.

2012 (or there about) cloud began to pick up, yes it still took another couple of years but the cloud solutions started to come up in 2012, Enterprise level organisations started to discuss private cloud and what that would mean for them. Into this environment and at this time Microsoft decides to reinvent it’s BI strategy, but quietly (SQL Enterprise licences are still a great seller, why risk that too soon and of course risk your business until you’re sure). So quietly Microsoft launched what I always think of as the “Power Suite” for Excel, PowerPivot and PowerMap initially, then PowerQuery and Power View were added. The purpose of this was as will tell you, a new way of dealing with data was needed.

Wowsers Ross stop prattling on …is that another 4th wall interaction?

Ok so where are we? Yes the paranoia of a business these days is around putting data in the cloud so PLAN A: is to not use the cloud storage – “Eat my shorts Dark Army” – our data will remain in our data centres BUT all queries will have to travel across the WAN. PLAN B is to use Microsoft Cloud Storage, but having the end customers demand the cloud storage is better than me suggesting it.

The first draft of my 3rd Data Model is already in play and goinART3.0g through testing, so far it’s not too bad. Direct Query to SQL seems to be ok with Power BI Desktop – just awaiting our clearence for Power BI Pro to do true gateway testing via the cloud. So far our Incident Managment, Request Fulfilment and Satisfaction Surveys are able to be reported against. Make no mistake using Direct Query requires much more planning, but the rewards are there. I’ll keep posting more as I get further into the whole Direct Query rabbit hole!

Keep on developing folks!