For a new DW/BI project, or a substantial makeover of an existing system, the Microsoft business intelligence toolset provides a compelling single-vendor platform. Each of the components of the SQL Server BI product set is sufficiently high performance, scalable, easy to use and maintain, and functional enough to meet the majority of business intelligence scenarios.
Microsofts BI technologies also play well with others, and can be integrated into an existing data warehouse system. There are a relatively small number of features that require you to commit fully to the Microsoft platform. As we described in this chapter, its easy to combine non-Microsoft data warehousing technologies with SQL Server components. There is no reason to avoid using Microsoft products in a heterogeneous system, if for technical, economic, or political reasons you prefer BI products from a mix of companies.
A heterogeneous DW/BI architecture is particularly compelling in the short to medium term , especially for existing data warehouses that are in less than perfect health. Some of Microsofts technologies, especially the ability to build OLAP databases from non-dimensional relational sources, can greatly improve the immediate usability and business user acceptance of an existing system.