June 9, 2011 News Thursday: New Windows Azure Service Management API Features, Stock Exchange uses Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and other Server and Tools News

New Windows Azure Service Management API Features Ease Management of Storage Services

On Monday, Microsoft announced the release of new Windows Azure Service Management API features. The Windows Azure Service Management API enables Windows Azure customers to programmatically manage their deployments, hosted services and storage accounts. These new features allow customers to manage the lifecycle of storage services – specifically to programmatically create, update, or delete storage services using new methods, including: Create Storage Account, Update Storage Account and Delete Storage Account. In addition, customers can use the new version of two existing Windows Azure Service Management API methods to obtain additional information about their deployments and subscriptions.


For more information, please visit the Windows Azure blog.

Stock Exchange Uses Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW

Direct Edge, a New Jersey-based stock exchange, has announced this week that it has chosen Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) as its platform for reporting and analytics. Thus far, Direct Edge has been very impressed with the performance and scalability of Parallel Data Warehouse. Recent tests on their data showed dramatic gain in performance, with up to 163 times improvement in query performance and data loading speeds of up to 1 TB per hour. In addition, their testing data shows the solution generates reports in under 15 minutes, for what used to take over four hours.  


Check out InformationWeek’s article about the company’s move to PDW!


Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Azure, Curtin University Builds a New Online Business Community

Curtin University educates the region’s next generation of professionals, with campuses in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. The school wanted to build a new community of business students, alumni and industry partners to take advantage of this international network, and help students who are part of the Curtin Business School (CBS) to advance their career. Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as a member database, and Windows Azure as the platform for a web portal, CBS developed the Curtin Business Club – an international business network that helps students to advance their careers. The club uses a career performance index (CPI) to capture each student’s achievements, training, work experience and extracurricular activities, in addition to grades. This CPI is used by the university to measure each student’s progress and readiness for the workplace, resulting in a richer on and off-campus experience for students, university staff and alumni, as well as closer relationships with vital industry partners.


For more information see Curtin University’s case study.



News Releases from Business Intelligence (BI) TV:

·        Why Collaboration Is Essential To Business Intelligence

In this video, Keith Waterman, Worldwide Commercial Director at Temenos, discusses Business Intelligence in the Banking Industry. Temenos is the leading provider of core banking solutions, servicing over 1000 clients worldwide, and can attain quick wins for banking institutions with pre-packaged intelligence solutions, delivering value within 90 days. Learn more about the recipe of success in the BI sector, and why collaboration is an essential part of the business intelligence equation by checking out the video.


·        How Northwestern Mutual Uses Data To Make Smart Investments

Today, Bruno Aziza sits down with Bethany Rodenhuis, VP of Corporate Planning at Northwestern Mutual. With $167 billion dollars in assets and 21 billion in revenues, Northwestern Mutual is the top individual life insurer in the United States. Bethany shares her experience decomposing metrics, learning what drives them, and how sensitive they are to change.  Watch the episode to see how this large organization not only implements business analytics, but how it tests these metrics to better understand them.


·        Strategic Business Intelligence Insight From A Top Information Manager

        In this latest episode of BI-TV, Jeff Huckaby, a recent recipient of the Information Management top 25 Information Managers award, shares success stories as a BI Supervisor at Pilot Travel Centers, one of the largest privately-held companies in the US with revenues of over $18 billion.  Watch the video to learn how this multi-billion dollar company with a complex business model was able to not only successfully merge with another large firm, but also absorb 190 million rows of their product data in a matter of hours!