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Business Intelligence Tools Available for SQL Customers

Microsoft this week posted two free tools to its Web site to help financial services customers and manufacturing customers build business intelligence solutions on SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition.

The tools come in the form of templates for the SQL Server Accelerator for Business Intelligence. The financial services template and the manufacturing template follow two templates introduced in May -- one for retail and another for sales and marketing.

The Accelerator for BI is based on SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, which is the business intelligence component that is bundled with SQL Server 2000 and that includes an Online Analytic Processing (OLAP) engine and data mining capabilities.

The financial services template consists of a predefined schema, key performance indicators and a model for gathering requirements to build analytical applications for the banking industry. The manufacturing template models shop floor operational analysis for evaluating sources of high labor costs, finding opportunities to reduce production costs and identifying when equipment servicing is necessary.

While the tools are free, the key requirement is that customers have the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2000. The enterprise edition lists for $20,000 per processor, compared with the standard edition's list price of $5,000 per processor. Both templates can be downloaded at www.microsoft.com/solutions/bi/.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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