I am currently making my way through the series of articles that have been produced as part of Project REAL, and wanted to give it some deserved blogtime so those of you who are thinking about deploying/upgrading to SQL Server 2005 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence platform can get an insight into a real-life implementation.

The first article in the project documentation is "Project REAL Technical Overview" which gives a high level perspective of the different project phases:

  • Relational & Cube Schema design
  • ETL Design
  • Front-end BI tools for reporting and analytics
  • Sizing of the production system
  • Management & Monitoring systems

There are lots of ways the success of the project was measured including comparing distributed server configurations to consolidated approaches in terms of system performance, ease of management and price/performance trade-offs.  Also of worthy note was the comparison between 32bit and 64bit in a consolidated server environment.

To help complete the project, Microsoft got together a team of strong partners:

  • Unisys - Hardware
  • Apollo Data Technologies - Data Mining
  • Intellinet - ETL
  • Panorama - Front-end BI tools
  • Proclarity - Front-end BI tools

I look forward to reading about inputs from all the partners, in particular given the recent announcement regarding their acquisition, I am interested what Proclarity brought to the table in terms of innovative BI tools for the front end.

I'll keep posting about what I read as I go, in the meantime feel free to check out the Project Real website.