I’ve been at Microsoft for over seven years working on various iterations of a common idea. Over the years, our product direction has been tweaked and adjusted quite a few times in big and small ways. I don’t think anybody could have seen this result back then. But that’s part of what makes this milestone so great!
So what did we end up shipping? It’s officially called Microsoft Power Query for Excel and we’re part of the Power BI for Office 365 package. You can find our team blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dataexplorer/. There’s plenty of news coverage too.
This product is an add in for Excel, and in a nutshell we make it super easy to connect to data whether it’s data you already know about or data that you need to search for. You can pull data from SQL, Azure, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Terradata, Oracle, Sharepoint, Hadoop, Active Directory, websites, Facebook and many more. Don’t know where to find your data? Open up the search pane and find it! Once you’ve identified your data source, you can easily transform it, clean it up, and/or merge it with other data even if the data sources are huge. You’re working with a preview of the data and building up a script in the background as you make changes. Once you’re done, you can hit Refresh and we go back out to each of those sources, run the transformations again, and give you the final result with fresh data!
There’s no rest for our team though. Stay tuned for more exciting things! (Assuming you find data exciting… and who doesn’t?!)