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MS PowerPivot - A view point

Aug 5 2010 9:46AM by Nitesh Rai   

I gave a presentation on power pivot  and its new features today. I discussed about various capabilities of power pivot including DAX and Slicers. I showed demo on "creating a power pivot model" and "enabling data refresh inside Share Point". It all went well, people were asking questions about these new features, about some recommendations and limitations of Power Pivot. So, presentation went well but somehow while doing the presentation I was not convinced (though tentatively), that people are going to embrace power of power pivot. It is a contest between Power Pivot's Speed and Power Pivot's cost. Remember you need to have 3 licenses for using fully fledged power pivot capabilities:  

  • Excel 2010 with office shared features
  • Share Point 2010                                                                                                                                
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 (installed in Share Point integrated mode)

After all the prerequisites are installed on the machine(s), there is something else that you need to be aware of.

  •  If you want to use the same SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services instance (which has been installed in Share Point integrated mode) to develop normal OLAP cubes then cannot do that because the SSAS 2008 R2 instance has been configured for power pivot and its storage mode is 'IMBI' (Data Source='Embedded') and normal OLAP cube does not support IMBI storage mode.
  • Since power pivot pulls in all the data in memory, one should be having enough RAM to support its capabilities which in turn will force the use of 64 bit machine for efficient usage of RAM

Looking at the cost aspect associated with Power Pivot, I can see many business users using Power Pivot for excel 2010 to do some data analysis and reporting .They will least care about publishing it on Share Point which needs SP 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2. It's really good that power pivot add in for excel is free downloadable (at least!!). Hope it attracts many people and gains a good market in coming years and proves me wrong. I would love to know other's feelings for Power Pivot.


Tags: MSBI, Self_Service_BI, PowerPivot, #BI, #POWERPIVOT, #SSAS, BRH,

Nitesh Rai
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