Thursday, April 25, 2013

Installing MicroStrategy on Windows 8 (9.3.0 Boo - 9.3.1 Yeah)

As a follow-up to my earlier post on installing MicroStrategy 9.3.0 on Windows 8 - the workaround that was discovered to run the I-Server as an application as opposed to a service seemed to work except for one major part - without the service running, MSTR web was non-functional, so unless you had a connection from the Desktop client, the install was fairly worthless. Chalk this one up to an abysmal failure.

Putting that project on indefinite hold, we re-visit this three months later with a new release of MicroStrategy - 9.3.1. I got a chance to watch a webinar this week on some of the new features that were released with this version and let me say - this should have been a major release - not a minor release. There are some hefty advancements in several areas, most notably the entire web UI has had a facelift for a more modern look and feel. I haven't noticed a web UI overhaul like this since I began using the product back in version 7.5. A lot of the new features and improvements seem to also be focused around their Visual Insights product that provided Agile data discovery and competes with Qlikview and Tableau. I am anxiously waiting to try out the new product but this seems to inch the bar closer to it's rivals as far as elegance and feature rich UI.

Back to installing on Windows 8 - I kicked off the upgrade and flawlessly installed MSTR 9.3.1 on Windows 8 in about two hours, including zip unpacking and install/reboots. I did read in the release notes that Windows 8 is supported as a platform for evaluations and demos, it is not supported in a production environment - having said that, the install had no problems, the upgrade had no problems, and the only hiccup was on a tertiary install on a VMware instance, and an install-repair corrected the incorrectly installed software and seemed to install and convert the metadata seamlessly. I have always seen weirdness in installs on VMware so I would not check this in the column of MSTR's fault. MSTR did drop their licenses on the free version from 25 down to 10, but I don't see that as a problem at this time.

One thing to note - for those of you out there that have upgraded and the MD upgrade was simply a prompt when Desktop was fired up - you do now have to go into Configuration Manager to upgrade the MD as well has any history and stats databases, but seemed to be "almost as easy" as I remember from earlier versions. My new platform is up and running and now I just need to load in some data and fire up some Visual Insights cubes and try out the new mapping features. Now how do I sneak some new memory upgrades for my server past the wife?

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