Monday, 1 February 2010


Microsoft promised BI for the masses and PowerPivot is the first real taste of this promise. Originally code named Gemini this Excel Add-in was developed by the SQL Server Team. In a nutshell it is SQL Server Analysis Services on your PC. In order to get it up and running you have to have Office 2010 (Beta) installed and XP should be on SP3. Here is a full list of requirements.

I am not going into the full technical bits of the product as this has been done many times before and here is a full list of links to get you up to speed:

Take a look at the demo videos as they are quite quick and really show the power of the product. To illustrate I took a normalised data source and imported 3.5 million rows into PowerPivot in under 2 minutes. I then created a Pivot Table from the data with the new look and feel of having slicers across the top and down the left hand side. The results were blistering fast.

This is a first release and the product is full of bugs. As with most Microsoft products wait for V2 before releasing into your production environment. More to come later.

- Paul Steynberg

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