Get fresh updates from Hortonworks by email

Once a month, receive latest insights, trends, analytics information and knowledge of Big Data.


Sign up for the Developers Newsletter

Once a month, receive latest insights, trends, analytics information and knowledge of Big Data.


Get Started


Ready to Get Started?

Download sandbox

How can we help you?

* I understand I can unsubscribe at any time. I also acknowledge the additional information found in Hortonworks Privacy Policy.
closeClose button
October 25, 2012
prev slideNext slide

DINOSAURS ARE REAL: Microsoft WOWs audience with HDInsight at Strata NYC (Hortonworks Inside)

You don’t see many demos like the one given by Shawn Bice (Microsoft) today in the Regent Parlor of the New York Hilton, at Strata NYC. “Drive Smarter Decisions with Microsoft Big Data,” was different.

For starters – everything worked like clockwork. Live demos of new products are notorious for failing on-stage, even if they work in production. And although Microsoft was presenting about a Java-based platform at a largely open-source event… it was standing room only, with the crowd overflowing out the doors.

Shawn demonstrated working with Apache Hadoop from Excel, through Power Pivot, to Hive (with sampling-driven early results!?) and out to import third party data-sets. To get the full effect of what he did, you’re going to have to view a screencast or try it out but to give you the idea of what the first proper interface on Hadoop feels like…

There was a comedian who had a bit about… remember when you first saw Jurassic Park for the first time? No matter how old you were, your child-like response was, “DINOSAURS ARE REAL!!!!!!$!!$##!” Our reaction to Jurassic Park was CGI technology disrupting cinema, provoking the same kind of reaction early cinema had on viewers who felt real concern that the horse or train approaching would run them over. At least thats what I learned wasting a lottery-funded academic scholarship on film classes at a state university before having the good sense to fail out and use my time productively.

That feeling you got when you saw your first CGI raptor is what Microsoft’s demo was like, except it went… “HADOOP IS IN EXCEL!!$%!%!%!$????!!!”

This is a serious thing for me, because I hooked up Pig and Excel years ago:

Which is a crappy demo of Hadoop connecting to Excel, but which gives me mucho moral authority to state that Microsoft’s demo was the right way to hook data to Excel. Take it from someone that spent half of his twenties trying to build web applications that could compete against Excel: until data is in Excel… it ain’t real. With Microsoft’s new offering… big data just got real.

To put this into perspective:

And just so you know I’m not bullshitting you about Hadoop and Big Data and Raptors and next thing you know you’re checking for your wallet and nodding awkwardly and trying to find a pause in this lunatic rant to get the hell out of here, I’ll just come out and tell you:

I have a raptor named lame-o-saurus in a Cowboy Curtis hat permanently tattood on my body. Again, we resort to visualization (mind the hair):

To summarize:

  1. I am the world’s primary authority on the wrong way to hook Hadoop to Excel.
  2. I have strange tattoos which affirm the validity of my metaphors.
  3. Microsoft has fundamentally altered Big Data with their HDInsights offering.
  4. Yesterday, a breakthrough happened in the Regent Parlor of the Hilton, NYC.

Visicalc… we’ve come such a long way.



AP says:

Wait, isn’t this Datameer? Oh no, now I see that this is a unique and compelling offering from Microsoft. Wow!

Chris says:

I read the piece twice and I’m still not sure if the whole entry was ironic or serious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *