Definitions

PerformancePoint Server

Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server

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.

History

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 Server Operation

As an enterprise server application, PerformancePoint Server 2007 focuses on delivering three primary missions: Planning, Monitoring, and Analytics. This triad can be further explored through who may be using the associated features of each mission. Simply put, there are Consumers and Authors, and the Consumer uses what the Author creates, which may include Dashboards, Scorecards, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), Reports, Filters, and Strategy Maps.

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:

  • create data source connections
  • create views that use those data connections
  • assemble the views in a dashboard
  • deploy the dashboard to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services.

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.

The Planning Server Operation

The PerformancePoint Planning Server supports a variety of management processes, which include the ability to define, modify, and maintain logical business models integrated with business rules, workflows, and enterprise data.

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.

References

External links

  • The official Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Web site
  • Help for PerformancePoint Server 2007
  • PerformancePoint Server 2007 Developer Portal
  • Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 and Integrated Business Planning

Blogs about PerformancePoint Server 2007

  • Data Puzzle
  • Intelligent Insight on PerformancePoint
  • PerformancePoint Insider
  • The Microsoft PerformancePoint Team Blog
  • The Adatis PerformancePoint Team Blog
  • PerformancePointing

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