As the great John Lennon once said, "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."  I had hoped to spend all of Thursday and most of Friday at the BI Conference, but some late-breaking issues at work pulled me away from the two Thursday afternoon sessions I was most interested in.  I'll have to tell you about those when I get the session DVD..

Thursday started much better than Wednesday ended (the Sound Transit 545 bus broke down on the way home Wednesday night!); after a smooth commute, I went to see keynotes by Ted Kummert and Robert Kaplan.  Ted Kummert did a wonderful job laying out our future database strategy, including laying the outline for the next SQL Server release, codenamed Katmai.  Robert Kaplan then took the stage to discuss Building a Strategy-Focused Organization via the Balanced Scorecard.  This was the second academic presentation at the Conference, and for someone like me who's been trying to find context in the field, this session and Michael Treacy's on Wednesday were vital.

I then attended a session on PerformancePoint Server, which was interesting but not what I was looking for, before I had lunch with Scott Jones of www.SQLServerCentral.com and my friend and former colleague, Lance Larsen.

After a bracing lunch conversation, it was off to half a presentation on Sharepoint Services (way over my head at this stage) before I headed back to Redmond for a pair of late-afternoon meetings (sans Wednesday's bus drama).  I missed the BI Power Hour with Bill Baker and team, as well as Real-World Microsoft BI Implementations: Lessons Learned the Hard Way.  These will be the first presentations I seek out when the DVD arrives.

Friday saw one more trip on the Sound Transit 545, and a keynote by the redoubtable Steve Ballmer, who emphasized the company's commitment to the continuing democratization of the BI space.  This was followed by presentations called Master Data Management: What's Microsoft Thinking? and How Microsoft Dynamics Leverages the Microsoft BI Platform to Deliver Customer Value.

Overall, this was an outstanding conference, very professionally run.  It had the most sedate exhibition hall of any tech conference I've ever been to, and that was a good thing.  Congratulations to all the folks who put on this event.  They're most likely very tired this weekend; they certainly have much of which to be proud.

     -wp