Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server is a software product from Microsoft for the business intelligence sector. Version 1.0 was released in November 2007. Like most Microsoft products, PerformancePoint Server 2007 is fully integrated with other Microsoft Office products including Excel, Visio, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server. It is also the successor to the scorecard capabilities of Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager and the monitoring and analytic capabilities of recently acquired ProClarity. Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server also provides a planning and budgeting component which is directly integrated with Microsoft Excel and SQL Server Analysis Services.
As of 2007, Business intelligence (BI), also known as Business performance management (BPM) or Corporate performance management (CPM) is a rapidly growing market owing to the ever-increasing amount of data collected by businesses about their customers. WalMart, for example, has collected over 460 Terabytes of data about its customers buying habits, according to a New York Times article in 2004. Enabling companies to make sense of that level of data collection is the province of BI software vendors including MicroStrategy, Oracle, Business Objects, Hyperion, Cognos, Microsoft, SAS, Informatica and Pentaho.
Although this version 1.0 product was not officially released until November 2007, Microsoft has been offering Community Technology Preview releases since mid-2006. A recent analysis by Gartner, Inc. predicts that interest will be strongest among companies that are looking to move up from Microsoft's earlier BI offerings including Excel and SQL Server, which were not quite feature-rich enough to allow Microsoft to compete with the other enterprise-level vendors in this market segment. The acquisition of ProClarity Corporation in 2006 has enabled Microsoft to add deep analytics for reports created by its PerformancePoint Monitoring Server.
The Monitoring and Analytics features are delivered via a Monitoring Server, which includes two client user interfaces: Dashboard Designer and SharePoint Web Parts. Dashboard Designer is downloaded from Monitoring Server, and enables business analysts or IT Administrators to:
Dashboard Designer saves content and security information to a SQL Server 2005 database that is managed through Monitoring Server. Data source connections, such as OLAP cubes or relational tables, are also made through Monitoring Server. Reports based on these data source connections are run and updated through Monitoring Server, however some reports, such as PivotTables and PivotCharts, have independent connections to their source data. Queries for these reports are not processed by Monitoring Server. After a dashboard has been published to the Monitoring System Database, it can be deployed to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services. HTML pages that represents the dashboard content are stored in a document library and can be opened in a browser. When dashboards are opened in a browser, Monitoring Server updates the data in the views by connecting back to the original data source and retrieving the most current data. PerformancePoint Monitoring Server comes with an API that allows developers to add extensions to the Dashboard Designer, such as custom reports, custom data source providers, custom wizards, and user interface extensions.
Additionally, through its support of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) , Planning Server enables business users to publish live reports from Excel to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and SharePoint Services.
Planning Server is built on a SQL Server stack, with extensive use of Excel for line-of-business reporting and analysis.