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Business Intelligence Prototyping Tool Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:08 AM
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Hi All

I'm developing a utility for rapidly prototyping full BI systems based on specification files. The idea is that an architect can design the system using Excel, run my utility and instantly have a full system (Staging, Warehouse, Cube, ETL procedures & Agent Job).

The utility is ready for beta testing and I'm looking for guinea pigs to put it through its paces.

Let me know if you're interested.

Cheers
Dan
Post #1554487
Posted Friday, March 28, 2014 8:47 AM
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I am interested in it for spin and let you know my thoughts.

Cheers
Lars
Post #1555964
Posted Friday, March 28, 2014 8:52 AM
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Hi Lars

I've sent you a PM with details.

Many thanks
Dan
Post #1555970
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014 8:54 AM
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It's been pointed out that I probably need to give a better explanation of what my tool does and why I think you guys will like it so..

As a freelance BI consultant. I constantly find myself repeating the same tasks over and over; creating staging / warehouse tables, building update procedures, adding measure groups and dimensions to cubes. Its normally the same thing just different data and naming conventions.

My tool, which for now is called RaBIT (Rapid Business Intelligence Tool), aims to alleviate that grunt work by building the whole lot for you. The tool uses a specification file as its input which is not a great deal different than what you would expect from a decent technical spec document so the initial overheads are low. The tool reads the spec file in, determines what objects need to be built, confirms what the solution will look like, then goes away and builds it. You can effectively go from a specification to a full BI solution in seconds.

The resulting solution includes; staging tables, warehouse tables, dimensions, measure groups, a cube and the ETL procedures needed to populate the lot. It supports degenerate and SCD type 1 & 2 dimensions. It can build you basic date and time dimensions. It creates all the appropriate primary keys, surrogate keys and foreign keys. It can even be used to extend existing solutions, tacking on measure groups and dimensions to existing cubes or making use of existing dimensions in new measure groups and cubes. There are comprehensive settings that can be adjusted so the resulting solution fits with whatever whimsical naming conventions are needed.

The bottom line is that it can save you days of that tedious development work we all do on a regular basis.

The tool currently only works with versions of SQL Server 2008 R2 or later but I hope to add support back to 2005 at some point.

Volunteers for the beta test will receive free lifetime licenses to the application and all future updates. All I ask ask in return is feedback.

There is a free trial of the tool available to download from my website www.barakudabi.com/rapid-business-intelligence/

I'm still waiting for my software publisher certificate so you will probably get an install warning, if you aren't comfortable installing without this you could always spin up a VM and try it out on there.
Edit: Certificate is now added so we're official :)

If anyone is interested in a beta license please send me a PM and I'll arrange an activation code.

Many thanks
Dan
Post #1557045
Posted Friday, April 4, 2014 9:23 AM
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Possibly some people will have a problem with the suggestion of prototyping a BI solution. Agile methods are increasingly what's expected of BI projects. Agile emphasises iterative delivery rather than RAD and "prototype" is an offensive word to many agile practitioners Just a thought, although I haven't tried your tool.

You may be aware that there are other metadata driven BI in-a-box type solutions. Examples:

BIML
Wherescape RED
Kalido

RED and BIML are developer tools whereas Kalido is also a production data integration engine. Personally I prefer the development tool approach.





David
Post #1558570
Posted Friday, April 4, 2014 3:18 PM
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Hi David

I appreciate your point about agile development but there are often cases when you need/want to knock something up quickly.

I'm familiar with the tools you mentioned but I think our tool provides something different. It's definitely a developer tool and requires a good grasp of dimensional modelling.

Why don't you give it a try and feedback your thoughts here. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised ;)

You can download a free trial from our website.

Many thanks
Dan
Post #1558664
Posted Friday, April 4, 2014 5:31 PM
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Thanks to everyone who volunteered for the beta program, the response has been fantastic.

We now have enough people and will not be issuing any more beta licenses.

The application is still available as a 10 day trial from our website if anyone fancies giving it a go.

Many thanks
Dan
Post #1558683
Posted Friday, April 4, 2014 8:42 PM
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Aww man, I missed the beta. I would have loved to have tried it. Please let me know if there is more. I'm designing a pretty large BI solution and would love to test new and upcoming tools.
Post #1558691
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 9:03 AM
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Thanks Barkuda and Mr. Dan,

I had the opportunity to test out this tool and it is an amazing tool to say the least.

You define all the definitions of the dimension model in a Excel spreadsheet and the application creates a staging database, relational data warehouse and all the stored procedures to extract the data and it also creates the Analysis Services Database, SSAS cube and a SQL Agent job to populate the staging db, relational data warehouse and to process the cube.

The tool definitely helps to get an initial prototype of a BI solution in place in minutes which can be refined further by any experienced BI professional.

Thank you.

Naveen






Naveen Abraham
Post #1559132
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