(C) 2009 - 2014 by Mourad Louha · All rights reserved

The „Project Gemini“ is the code name for an Excel 2010 Add-In, which allows the user to use real „Self Service Business Intelligence“. Gemini consists of the three following components:

An Excel Add-In with own interface and own ribbon. If you use the Add-In, you’ll be able to imports millions of rows, create relationships between them, calculate values in new columns using formulas and create attractive Pivot Charts. You don’t need to learn database query languagues like T-SQL or MDX. And, in additionl, you can publish your solutions on a sharepoint server.
There is also an Add-In availaible for Sharepoint 2010. This Add-In allows you, for example, to manage the workbooks published with Gemini, assign some rights or create more reports. Please note that the Excel Services should be installed and activated.
The last component is the new memory engine, using a column-based compression. Exactly this engine allows you quickly and easily manage and include the millions of rows.

Microsoft let me also participate to the Gemini preview; thanks for that! The Gemini Team provided to the participants some samples and tutorials for the first steps in Gemini. In these samples are included data files for use with the Microsoft SQL Server and also an Access Database for the people who have not access to a SQL Server. Throughout this article, I lean to some steps of the tutorial. For simplicity, I used the Access Database for my first steps with Gemini. Another reason is that on one hand I’m not an expert for SQL Server and an another hand, I should have to install it, which is not possible at this time.

Gemini Add-In in Excel

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While I was writing my part (PowerPivot) of an article about Microsoft Office 2010 for the German computer magazine “c’t” (issue 16/2010), I noticed that the DAX function “Search” apparently supports wildcards. However I did not find any explanations for the use of wildcards in this function on the online help website for PowerPivot.

The PowerPivot specialist Kaspar de Jonge not only writes very interesting articles about PowerPivot in his blog, but also provides an online form, where anyone who wants can ask questions about PowerPivot. So, I asked him, if he could help and if he can confirm that wildcards are allowed in the DAX function. Kaspar put me on the right track: most PowerPivot functions are not only similar to the Excel functions but in many cases the code from these functions has been copied and pasted from Excel to PowerPivot. So, as the Excel “Search” function allows the use of wildcards, the corresponding PowerPivot function will also allow wildcards. At this point, thanks again to Kaspar.

The online help for the Excel “Search” functions states that characters “?” and “*” can be used as wildcards in the “find_text” argument of the function.

Excel 2007

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