So it was, in 1979, when Dan Bricklin introduced Visicalc – a new concept, to a waiting planet, that the world of personal computing finally took flight. Twenty-five years ago, personal computers got serious. The occasion: The introduction of VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet and the original “killer app.” The Spreadsheet, to give Visicalc its generic title, was the first real Killer App. What Dan Bricklin had done was to put a software tool, which did whatever the user wanted it to do, into the hands of an eager, waiting, public.
Well since then we’ve had countless ‘killer apps’ and, with the arrival of smart phones and the latest tablets or pads, the title Killer App has been reduced to mere App. You can be sure that no matter how mundane the requirement might be – ‘we got an App for that’ will be the response! So what’s all this to do with today’s business environment or, for that matter, Business Intelligence?
Well, I was reading a number of blogs on a Dynamics user group forum and I noticed a particular contribution from Chris Ayres of the Jeyes Group a UK customer of BI4Dynamics. Chris is clear as to his reasons for deploying Bi4Dynamics “Jeyes Group selected Bi4Dynamics as the core of our corporate data warehouse solution recently following an exhaustive (and exhausting!) trawl through the market.” Chris argues: “Bi4Dynamics, for us, is not a suite of reports or a warehouse solution ‘Out of the Box’ – it is a set of SQL dictionaries and routines that are tightly matched to Dynamics providing a framework for SSRS to provide the warehouse solution we need.” He goes on to conclude “We are using the product to replace a vast number of bespoke SQL extracts and reports that have been built up over many years, and have become increasingly difficult to maintain and validate against each other. Once the Invoice warehouse is complete, we intend to move on to Production, Inventory and HR.
I’m pretty sure when Bi4Dynamics set out developing a Business Intelligence solution; they had in mind an orderly and contained product, very much the complete solution ‘out of the box’. It just goes to show; if you do the job thoroughly enough, you can create the sort of pervasive monster of a product that Chris describes. However, like the spreadsheet, users are free to use as much or as little of what’s in the box – that was the real beauty of Visicalc and is also strength of Bi4Dynamics. Truly a Killer Environment for Dynamics and one that continues to grow from strength to strength.