Today at the PASS 2009 Summit the spotlight was on business intelligence (BI) with a keynote from Tom Casey, general manager, SQL Server BI at Microsoft. Tom noted during his keynote that more than 30 percent of PASS attendees this year noted BI as a priority track. To respond to the increasing interest in BI, Tom conducted a Twitterview after his keynote, answering questions from attendees. If you didn’t have a chance to follow the Twitterview live, below is a transcript. (Follow Microsoft SQL Server on Twitter @MS_SQL_Server)

Q) What was that word for Amir's new feature? (as shown in the keynote demo)

A) The underlying technology is called VertiPaq

Q) 100m rows running in Excel 2010 with PowerPivot is remarkably fast, but I want to know how much memory his laptop has?

A) 8GB but we had SharePoint, SQL Server running as well. Client side had 100m rows, runs well on 2GB netbook too.

Q) There is a tight integration of PowerPivot w/ Excel, but also Sharepoint. What if you don't want SharePoint?

A) SharePoint required for server side features. Can use Excel alone for client.

Q) Nobody said BizTalk at PASS is it dead?

A) If you are asking about BI, BI and BizTalk still go well together in process automation.

Q) How much of this can be done with just the Standard Edition SKU of R2?

A) Excel add-in required for Excel 2010. SharePoint add-in comes with Enterprise Edition.

Q) What were the data extensions on Reporting Services in R2 that you showed?

A) Reports, SQL Azure, SharePoint lists can be data feeds. Plus any traditional data sources in your environment - use what you choose.

Q) Should I wait until next week to release, or do it today?

A) Get started now, others have

Q) What is the purpose of the SQL Server utility control point (UCP)?

A) UCP is central repository for config and perf data collected for all the instances enrolled in App & Multi-Server Mgmt group.

Q) In PowerPivot, what two Excel features do you use to visualize the results?

A) You can use PivotChart and PivotTable

Q) Is there a feature in PowerPivot enables you to associate data in one table with data in another table?

A) Automatic and manual relationship creation are options