Chris position on Data
Chris started off by stating his position on data, it can be saved in many forms; graphs, trees or tables, but as it seems we as an industry more often then not revert back to tables. Since it brings the most utility of the three for multi purposes. Later in the talk he spoke about NoSQL and how a lot of these technologies solve interesting problems, often with scale, but warned the audience (as the engineers they are) to think that the new shiny toy comes without flaws or drawbacks. Every tool has his/her place in the eco-system.
Data for everyone, really everyone
An interesting point he made though, that runs chills down my spine, is that availability and access of data changes. It’s not that it changes that gives me the creeps, it’s how he and the team he works for envisions the change. Chris made a parallel with Excel and how good it was, how it allowed everyone to be a “programmer”, his vision was that with Microsofts OData and things like Excel Power Pivot, everyone will be able to query data and put in their program. As there isn’t enough Excel mess to clean up in the world?! But hey, at least it’s consultant friendly.
Chris concluded in his talk that how we think about data changes, how we expose/get exposed to data changes and that no matter what we do, data will be what’s important (he also said that behavior was “the 90’s”, meh?). I’d agree that data is important, how we store data is important and how we access data is important. But data isn’t just there to be entered, read or draw diagram off. There is a huge portion of data that’s used to support and make business processes easier. Excel doesn’t help with that, neither do OData (and certainly not M). So even with all these new shiny toys Microsoft will be putting out, we’ll still build our software as we used to. Just with more options.