Project Barcelona, a new project in the works from Microsoft, will give enterprises Web crawler-like tools for searching and storing information. The crawlers will search Microsoft products such as SQL Server, Excel and SharePoint and extra metadata. Barcelona Index Server will then serve-up the metadata, making it easier to find and access business information across the enterprise. There will also be Barcelona tools designed specifically for database administrators.
According to the project's FAQ: "Project Barcelona however is not a centrally controlled metadata repository in the traditional sense in that the overall design embraces the decentralized and web-like nature of the modern enterprise."
Microsoft's Andrew Conrad, on the Project Barcelona Team Blog, points to the trend of non-developers building their own business intelligence and data gathering tools using Access, Excel and SharePoint - a situation he calls "Excel hell." Conrad writes.
"As the modern enterprise has trended towards becoming more web-like, the tools for understanding and leveraging the enterprise data topology have been almost nonexistent," Conrad writes. "The modern enterprise has become a data jungle."
But, he writes, this isn't a bad thing. It's just a challenge to be overcome with better tools.
Conrad told Network World that the team plans to "firm up" release plan by the end of summer, and will be seeking community input through a series of technology previews.