Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

North Central District Microsoft BI User Group Q1 2010 Follow-up

Posted by denglishbi on March 6, 2010

This past week was the first Microsoft BI User Group meeting in Minneapolis for the 2010 year, North Central District Microsoft BI User Group 2010 Q1 Meeting – imageMarch 3.  It is going to be a really exciting year with all of the products that Microsoft will be releasing in the next few months.  The Microsoft 2010 products are going RTM next month, going worldwide in May, and then open to the public in June – Get Office for Today or Tomorrow.  Then you have SQL Server 2008 R2 which is being launched in May (but in April over in Europe – SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch at European PASS 2010 Conference in April), so this is going to be a very exciting year.  I feel like a kid in a candy store…

At the user group this month we had a great turnout with around 80 to 100 people in attendance.  It was exciting to see so many people and familiar faces.  And of course the one and only Rob Collie was in attendance.  I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t recognized for being a finalist in the Alpha Geek Challenge, but I guess it just wasn’t marketed well enough internally at Microsoft or externally.  Granted I didn’t win the Grand Prize, but I did win one of the three challenges.  It was fun and unfortunately you can’t view any of the entries anymore because they have been removed and they are not displaying the winning entries either.  You can check out my entry here if you are interested – PowerPivot Beta Alpha Geek Challenge 2 Entry (and I actually was part of Challenge 3 since my entry didn’t make it into Challenge 2).

I did want to follow-up with some additional information and links in regards to PowerPivot.  Most people might not have the time to download and install Office 2010 and PowerPivot beta releases, so I wanted to let you know that on the PowerPivot website you can get some free online training with videos, demos, and there is a free virtual lab that you can do.

Microsoft Virtual Labs are a great way to test drive the new technologies without having to configure your own environment and also a great free online training option that include lab manuals.  For more virtual labs take a look at the main site here – Microsoft Virtual Labs.  In looking at the site it appears that they have been doing some house cleaning and have removed quite a few of the labs related to Business Intelligences, SQL Server 2008, and PerformancePoint.  If you are interested in these then check out my post here for the links – TechNet BI Virtual Labs.

Additional sites to checkout for more information on PowerPivot:

The next user group meeting will be June 2 and the Microsoft BI Conference is the following week.  Still not sure if I will be in attendance or not for the conference.  The materials from the meeting have not been made available yet on the site, but they should be at some point – North Central Microsoft BI User Group.  This user group has been officially rebranded to be strictly Microsoft now tooHot


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