The O’Reilly Strata Conference is the place to be to find out how to make data work for you. It’s starts tomorrow Tuesday February 28th and goes through Thursday March 1st. We’re excited to be participating in this great event. We’ll be covering a wide range of hot topics including Big Data, unlocking insights from your data, and self-service BI.

If you’re attending the event, you’ll want to check out our 800 sq. ft. booth. We’ll be at #301, and will have 3 demo pods featuring our products and technologies including what’s new with Microsoft SQL Server 2012, including Power View, as well as Windows Azure marketplace demos. We have a run-down of the sessions we’ll be speaking at, but first, a special note about February 29. From 1:30-2:10 PM. Microsoft Technical Fellow Dave Campbell will be hosting Office Hours. This is your chance to meet with the Strata presenters in-person. Dave Campbell is a Technical Fellow working on Microsoft’s Server and Tools business. His current product development interests include cloud-scale computing, realizing value from ambient data, and multidimensional, context-rich computing experiences. For those attending the conference, there is no need to sign up for this session. Just stop by the Exhibit Hall with your questions and feedback.

For those who aren’t able to attend in person, we’ll have representatives from the Microsoft BI team tweeting from the event. Be sure you are following @MicrosoftBI on Twitter so you can participate. Start submitting your questions today to @MicrosoftBI and we will incorporate questions into the Office Hours for Dave to answer.

Be sure to also catch Dave Campbell’s Strata Keynote streaming live via http://strataconf.com/live at 9:00am PST Wednesday February 29th, 2012. Mac Slocum  will also be interviewing Dave at 10:15 A.M. PST on February 29th. You can watch this interview at the link above as well.

Now, a summary of what we’ll be presenting on!

SQL and NoSQL Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Erik Meijer (Microsoft)

9:00amTuesday, 02/28/2012

The nascent NoSQL market is extremely fragmented, with many competing vendors and technologies. Programming, deploying, and managing noSQL solutions requires specialized and low-level knowledge that does not easily carry over from one vendor’s product to another.

A necessary condition for the network effect to take off in the NoSQL database market is the availability of a common abstract mathematical data model and an associated query language for NoSQL that removes product differentiation at the logical level and instead shifts competition to the physical and operational level. The availability of such a common mathematical underpinning of all major NoSQL databases can provide enough critical mass to convince businesses, developers, educational institutions, etc. to invest in NoSQL.

In this article we developed a mathematical data model for the most common form of NoSQL—namely, key-value stores as the mathematical dual of SQL’s foreign-/primary-key stores. Because of this deep and beautiful connection, we propose changing the name of NoSQL to coSQL. Moreover, we show that monads and monad comprehensions (i.e., LINQ) provide a common query mechanism for both SQL and coSQL and that many of the strengths and weaknesses of SQL and coSQL naturally follow from the mathematics.

In contrast to common belief, the question of big versus small data is orthogonal to the question of SQL versus coSQL. While the coSQL model naturally supports extreme sharding, the fact that it does not require strong typing and normalization makes it attractive for “small” data as well. On the other hand, it is possible to scale SQL databases by careful partitioning.

What this all means is that coSQL and SQL are not in conflict, like good and evil. Instead they are two opposites that coexist in harmony and can transmute into each other like yin and yang. Because of the common query language based on monads, both can be implemented using the same principles.

Do We Have The Tools We Need To Navigate The New World Of Data?

Dave Campbell (Microsoft)

9:00amWednesday, 02/29/2012

In a world where data increasing 10x every 5 years and 85% of that information is coming from new data sources, how do our existing technologies to manage and analyze data stack up? This talk discusses some of the key implications that Big Data will have on our existing technology infrastructure and where do we need to go as a community and ecosystem to make the most of the opportunity that lies ahead.

Unleash Insights On All Data With Microsoft Big Data

Alexander Stojanovic (Microsoft)

11:30amWednesday, 02/29/2012

Do you plan to extract insights from mountains of data, including unstructured data that is growing faster than ever? Attend this session to learn about Microsoft’s Big Data solution that unlocks insights on all your data, including structured and unstructured data of any size. Accelerate your analytics with a Hadoop service that offers deep integration with Microsoft BI and the ability to enrich your models with publicly available data from outside your firewall. Come and see how Microsoft is broadening access to Hadoop through dramatically simplified deployment, management and programming, including full support for JavaScript.

Hadoop + JavaScript: what we learned

Asad Khan (Microsoft)

2:20pmWednesday, 02/29/2012

In this session we will discuss two key aspects of using JavaScript in the Hadoop environment. The first one is how we can reach to a much broader set of developers by enabling JavaScript support on Hadoop. The JavaScript fluent API that works on top of other languages like PigLatin let developers define MapReduce jobs in a style that is much more natural; even to those who are unfamiliar to the Hadoop environment.

The second one is how to enable simple experiences directly through an HTML5-based interface. The lightweight Web interface gives developer the same experience as they would get on the Server. The web interface provides a zero installation experience to the developer across all client platforms. This also allowed us to use HTML5 support in the browsers to give some basic data visualization support for quick data analysis and charting.

During the session we will also share how we used other open source projects like Rhino to enable JavaScript on top of Hadoop.

Democratizing BI at Microsoft: 40,000 Users and Counting

Kirkland Barrett (Microsoft)

10:40amThursday, 03/01/2012

Learn how Microsoft manages a 10,000 person IT Organization utilizing Business Intelligence capabilities to drive communication of strategy, performance monitoring of key analytics, employee self-service BI, and leadership decision-making throughout the global Microsot IT organization. The session will focus on high-level BI challenges and needs of IT executives, Microsoft IT’s BI strategy, and the capabilities that helped to drive BI internal use from 300 users to over 40,000 users (and growing) through self-service BI methodologies.

Data Marketplaces for your extended enterprise: Why Corporations Need These to Gain Value from Their Data

Piyush Lumba (Microsoft), Francis Irving (ScraperWiki Ltd.)

2:20pmThursday, 03/01/2012

One of the most significant challenges faced by individuals and organizations is how to discover and collaborate with data within and across their organizations, which often stays trapped in application and organizational silos. We believe that internal data marketplaces or data hubs will emerge as a solution to this problem of how data scientists and other professionals can work together to in a friction-free manner on data inside corporations and between corporations and unleash significant value for all.

This session will cover this concept in two dimensions.

Piyush from Microsoft will walk through the concept of internal data markets – an IT managed solution that allows organizations to efficiently and securely discover, publish and collaborate on data from various sub-groups within an organization, and from partners and vendors across the extended organization

Francis, from ScraperWiki, will talk through stories of both how people have already used data hubs, and stories which give signs of what is to come. For example – how Australian activists use collaborative web scraping to gather a national picture of planning applications, and how Nike are releasing open corporate data to create disruptive innovation. There’ll be a section where the audience can briefly tell how they use the Internet to collaborate on working with data, and ends with a challenge to use open data as a weapon.


Additional Information

For additional details on Microsoft’s presence at Strata and Big Data resources visit this link.

Finally, if you’re not able to attend Strata and want a fun way to interact with our technologies, be sure to participate in our #MSBI Power View Contest happening Tuesdays and Thursdays through March 6th 2012.