Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Microsoft BI Demo, VPC 7.1 - Expiry

A couple years ago, Microsoft made available a pre-built, virtual demo environment (BI VPC 7.1) that included demo scenarios for fictitious businesses called 'Contoso' and 'AdventureWorks'.  This demo environment consisted of Excel 2007, SharePoint 2007, SQL Server 2005, PerformancePoint Server and ProClarity.

Several BI consultants (and internal MS field teams) have used this virtual image over the years.  Many folks have further customized this environment to showcase sample data sets and scenarios, and to build Proof of Concepts.

This week I heard from one such consultant whom I have been in touch with for several years, Eliot MacDonald (Director of Consulting Services, Market Forte).  Eliot works with SSAS and ProClarity quite a bit, and he has used the BI VPC 7.1 extensively. 

Eliot emailed me yesterday to mention the Expiration Date of the environment... 

the latest “BI-VPC” has a deadline of 2 days from now. For me, that’s a big deal since I’ve used it for development purposes and have a ton of stuff contained within that virtual hard drive that may well have been lost had I not marked a warning on my calendar.

Since it had a 2-year-plus time frame on it (the 7.1 version), there may be others out there who have just been happily using it daily and will suddenly be unable to access it in a couple of days. So thought it might be worth sending such a warning to others.

He was smart, he set a calendar reminder in Outlook to assure he didn't miss the deadline.  If he hadn't paid attention to expiry, he would have lost the work he'd done and would have to rebuild the demo environment and reconfigure all of his customizations.
Thought I'd post a mention of this for everyone out there who are using BI VPC 7.1
Thank you Eliot, for the insight!

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