Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007
Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 was finally released
September 20 2007.
This tool is the first of its kind to offer three integrated areas
- Monitoring - scorecarding, dashboarding and
- Analysis - delivers Web-based analytic functionality
on top of the same models. Includes a lot of ProClarity technology.
- Planning - includes planning, budgeting, forecasting
and consolidation as well as management reporting including statutory-
and GAAP-type reporting.
The tool is equally functional as a production planning tool as
it is a financial analysis and performance reporting tool.
Key features include:
Built-in business rules - support common transactional
functions such as currency conversions. Financial consolidation
rules included how you consolidate multiple general ledger types
and partial ownerships. All the standard business rules for approvals,
workflow cycles and escalations make these applications more functional
for end users.
Modeling tools - are integrated into the application
- no third party modules required.
SQL Server Analysis Services - 64-bit, industry-leading
OLAP multidimensional engine provides functionality such as drilling
across hierarchies, name sets and rich analytic functionality.
Processing Speed - No in-memory technology, similar
to Applix or QlikTech but Microsoft are unconvinced it's needed.
You can still do rapid, what-if analyses in PerformancePoint; it's
just not done in memory. Processing speed needs are met with Analysis
Services with proactive caching and real-time OLAP.
Office Integration - PeformancePoint does not
require Office 2007. From the planning perspective, there's no functional
difference between planning in Excel 2003 and Excel 2007. Doesn't
have some of the net-new BI features in Office 2007 such as "
richer visualizations, some of the native connections to back-end
sources and the ribbon interface.
Data And Device Integration - Support for heterogeneous
environments with multiple data sources and non-Microsoft user interfaces
such as RIM Blackberries is taken care of. PerformancePoint supports
all data sources - Oracle, Web Services, DB2. It uses the SQL Server
platform for extracting the data, using SQL Server Integration Services.
On different delivery mechanisms, it relies on Web-based delivery
of functionality right inside the Office user interface. This covers
the majority of where people work and collaborate on a day-to-day
Futureproofing - PerformancePoint is built for
and requires SQL Server 2005. In SQL Server 2008, there will be
new BI and data warehousing functionality — a lot of functionality
in the core engine itself and inside Analysis Services and Reporting
Services. Service packs will allow existing PerformancePoint implementations
to take advantage of the new functionality.
Pricing - PerformancePoint is priced for broad
deployment at $20,000 per server and $195 per client access license.
Key Business Benefits
Having a fully integrated system to support monitoring, analysis
and planning means:
- Planning cubes are better
- Scorecards are better - built on top of planning cubes
- Analysis is better - the rich data model that comes from the
Models are essentially rendered as underlying Analysis Services
When you do analysis, either in Excel or in the browser, you're
slicing, dicing and cross-drilling against those same cubes
Overall, PeformancePoint provides tremendous value as an extension
of existing investments in Microsoft BI technology and other Microsoft
products. Businesses only need to pay ONE user license to do access
all capabilities. With that one license, you can do planning, scorecarding,
analysis, reporting — everything in PerformancePoint.
The biggest functionality gains in the 2008 release will be pure
data warehousing, with features such as:
- intra-partition parallelism
- higher data scales
- indexing around partitions
- Improvements for scalability, performance and data warehousing
PerformancePoint 2008 is aiming to support 40- and 50-terabyte
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