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So much going on

Cleary, I have slacked off on the ThinOLAP blog for the past half year. For two reasons 1) busy with client engagements and 2) not much new on the SQL front. Well I am less busy now (not so good) and SQL 2005 has been released (very good). So it is time for some new articles.

My work as a developer has several active threads at the moment, so I have a rich repertoire of cool stuff to mine for articles. To lay out a road map, I’ll describe some of the projects and the components which I plan to discuss in future articles.

AJAX-based XML/A Client

This is something which I did three years ago (gosh time flies). It was actually spawned off my AJAX-based web content management system (ThinCMS) of four years ago timeframe. That was of course back before Google gave us our current name for that approach. I called it “treat the browser like an x-windows server” but that name never caught on - can’t imagine why not.

Anyway, this project in now again under active development and there are lots of interesting components I want to share

  1. Web service proxy tier for XMLA
  2. Displaying XMLA data as trellaced charts using OWC ChartSpace
  3. Displaying XMLA data in a table with VML bars instead of text

Generic web form processor

While this is not strictly OLAP-oriented (ok, not in any way related to OLAP), it is still something to share. The problem is how to create a generic HTML form processor which will do things like

  • handle response
  • save post to a database
  • email summary to subscribers

Since I have lots of experience with SQLXML I am planning on using that. But I am also tempted to challenge myself by implemnting it with new SQL 2005 features.

Reporting Service PowerPoint rendering extension

This is in the category of “I wish I had this and I could probably write one in a couple of weeks”. Of course that may be very optimistic given that a) there are no code samples in the SDK and b) Microsoft folk themselves say this is not a task for mere mortals. So my optimism is based upon the assumptions that a) I will find some samples, and b) the “not for mere mortals” statement referred to the pre-release.

Long-time readers of ThinOLAP know that I have a special fondness for PowerPoint. Because it is very un-developer-friendly and I like solving puzzles? Yes, but more to the point it does make an excellent report writer. While I doubt that I will be able create PPT slides which closely mirror the RS natively rendered versions, this is not necessarily what you would want when sending reports to PowerPoint.