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Database Reporting Services To Launch Next Month

Reporting Services for SQL Server 2000 will make its official debut on a January 27 Webcast, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman.

The company had been trying to get the database add on out by year's end. Last June, Microsoft changed course on reporting services, which were to be an integral part of the Yukon release of SQL Server. At TechEd, Microsoft shifted gears to say the services would be accelerated for use with the current SQL Server 2000 release. Part of the reason was likely that Yukon itself was delayed.

Reporting services would let users of the database, theoretically even non-techie users, build reports that slice and dice data into useable, visually understandable form. The whole area of business intelligence/analytics has been a hotbed of activity in the past year, with smaller companies getting gobbled up as larger concerns seek to fill in their BI portfolios. The general idea is that businesses already sit on a treasure trove of data, but much of it is unusable unless it can be parsed and presented in meaningful ways.

Microsoft's move into this area sparked concern among some business intelligence players,Cognos, Crystal Reports and others,that it was taking on the sweet spot of their market. Concern was so great that shares of Cognos, Business Objects, and MicroStrategy were hammered when news Microsoft's plans was reported.

Microsoft officials were careful to position the services as complimentary, not competitive with those offerings.

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