Microsoft has said the next version of its SQL Server database software will include self-service analysis and reporting capabilities.
Currently code-named 'Kilimanjaro', the version will have a greater focus on business intelligence (BI), Microsoft announced at its Business Intelligence conference on Monday. The firm also said it was working on "advanced data-warehousing functionality", currently under the code-name 'Madison'.
Another code-name, 'Project Gemini', has been assigned to a set of analysis tools that will be included in Kilimanjaro.
"Microsoft's goal is to transform the way companies think of BI through familiar and intuitive business-friendly tools that help them unlock the power of BI across their organisations," said the president of Microsoft's business division, Stephen Elop. "If you know how to use Word and Excel, then you'll be able to use our BI — that's our commitment to customers."
According to a Monday statement, the Gemini analysis tools will "enable information workers to slice and dice data and create their own BI applications and assets to share and collaborate on from within the familiar, everyday Microsoft Office productivity tools they already use".
Microsoft also highlighted how two of its acquisitions would feed into the Madison data-warehousing package. One of these is Datallegro, a data-warehouse appliance vendor, whose technology would help Madison "be able to handle the most demanding data-warehousing workloads spanning hundreds of terabytes of data and thousands of concurrent users".
The acquisition of the data-quality company Zoomix would "help provide richer data-quality capabilities in future," Microsoft added.
The new version of SQL Server is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2010, with the most recent version — SQL Server 2008 — having itself only just become available. A customer and partner preview of Kilimanjaro will become available within the next year.