There used to be a product called Microsoft Office
business scorecard manager. It had some compelling monitoring and
analytic capabilities. As a successor to that product, Microsoft
released a product called Microsoft Office PerformancePoint server in
2007 included Monitoring and Analytics features, which include
Dashboards, Scorecards, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Reports,
Filters, and Strategy Maps are delivered via a Monitoring Server. They
were primarily two client user interfaces to the monitoring server,
namely the dashboard designer and various SharePoint webparts. The
dashboard designer was a thick client application downloaded from the
monitoring server, which allowed power users to do the following:
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
All of this information was
stored to a SQL server 2005 database that was managed directly through
the monitoring server. Note that I'm still talking about the
PerformancePoint server available with SharePoint 2007.
Once a dashboard had been
published to the monitoring system database, it could then be deployed
to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint
Services. Therefore, in that sense PerformancePoint server was a product
that worked in parallel with SharePoint. Yet another portion of the
PerformancePoint server was the planning center operation.
PerformancePoint planning server supported a variety of management
processes which included the ability to define, modify, and maintain
logical business models integrated with business rules workflows and
Finally, there was the management report which was a component designed for financial reporting.
That is all history!
The product Microsoft Office PerformancePoint server was discontinued in
April 2009. Before you feel sad or shed any tears for the loss, the
product was instead reincarnated as PerformancePoint Services for
SharePoint 2010. It is available as a part of non-free versions of
SharePoint 2010. Plus it is envisioned to be quite disruptive to the
marketplace that it is entering, because it is indeed a highly
reengineered and well thought out product.
What is PerformancePoint
Services for SharePoint 2010? PerformancePoint Services for SharePoint
2010 is that part of SharePoint that allows you to create rich
context-driven dashboards that aggregate data and content to provide a
complete view of how your business is performing at all levels. In other
words, it is the easiest way to create and publish business
intelligence dashboards in SharePoint 2010. At the heart of
PerformancePoint services is the dashboard designer. The dashboard
designer is a thick client that you can launch directly from the
browser, and it allows you to create KPIs, scorecards, analytic charts
and grids, reports, filters and dashboards.
PerformancePoint server 2007, they are many enhancements in
PerformancePoint services 2010. Some of these enhancements include the
Enterprise level scalability:
Built upon the new services infrastructure in SharePoint 2010,
PerformancePoint Services has the ability to scale a lot more than
PerformancePoint server 2007.
There is no longer a separate monitoring server database. All objects
created are now stored in the content database. This has numerous
advantages, centered around security, administration, backup and
restore, and even the end user experience.
All PerformancePoint features are now SharePoint features:
There is a business intelligence repository available as a site
definition or you have the ability to create new sites based upon other
site definitions and enable certain features to make use of
PerformancePoint features in any site collection.
filters can now be connected with standard SharePoint webparts, because
they build upon the standard WSS WebPart connection framework.
with SharePoint also makes it possible for PerformancePoint to work
with every other SharePoint feature such a search, indexing, workflows
Excel Services, Visio Services and so on so forth.
There are some significant improvements in the various SharePoint WebParts, chart types, and the dashboard designer.
With this theory, let's
start with the process of administrating configuring and using
PerformancePoint services in SharePoint 2010. Configuring
PerformancePoint services is split into two halves: one that you would
need to do in central administration and one that you would need to do
in the site collections you intend to use PerformancePoint services.
1. PerformancePoint Central Administration Settings
If you used the farm
wizard to configure your SharePoint installation, chances are
PerformancePoint services ready to go for you. Let's look at the
specific configuration necessary to use PerformancePoint services on any
particular farm. Visit central administration for your farm. Under
central administration click on manage service applications.
PerformancePoint services is yet another shared services application
within SharePoint. Look for PerformancePoint service application within
central administration, if one isn't here choose to create one in
central administration using the page at
/_admin/ServiceApplications.aspx. If you click on properties for
PerformancePoint service application, you should see a screen shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. PerformancePoint Service Application settings
The check box that you see
next to the name of the PerformancePoint service application is telling
SharePoint that all new web applications by default would use this
particular instance of PerformancePoint service application. Therefore,
for any web site to use a different instance you would have to
explicitly go into the web site settings and allow a certain web site to
use a different application instance. This is an important
consideration from a planning and scalability point of view.
There is yet another very
important service available on SharePoint called as the secure store
service. The secure store service is the evolution of what used to be
single sign-on in SharePoint 2007. Single sign on in SharePoint 2007,
and the secure store service, provide a secure mechanism to store
various credentials for various application IDs. Specifically, if the
PerformancePoint Services application was not associated with a secure
store service, you would not been be able to set an unattended service
account for PerformancePoint services to connect to datasources with. As
a result, the only mechanism you would be able to use to connect to
data sources would be where the identity of the logged in user is used
to connect to the backend data source. This means that Kerberos must be
running properly on your network. For practical reasons though, you need
to configure Kerberos on your network anyway, so this is not such a big
One other thing I should
mention here is that PerformancePoint services is claims aware.
However, in today's world, a lot of backend datasources are not claims
aware. As a result, even though the identity being passed within the
PerformancePoint infrastructure is a claims based identity, the identity
acquire to talk to backend datasources as of today usually is a
Next choose to manage the PerformancePoint Service application. You will then see a screen with four options as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Managing the PerformancePoint Service Application
Starting from the bottom,
the "Import PerformancePoint server 2007 content", as the name suggests
allows you to import content from previous versions of PerformancePoint
to PerformancePoint services for SharePoint 2010.
locations and trusted datasource locations work in a manner very similar
to Excel services. By default all SharePoint locations are trusted.
This is a setting similar to Excel Services.
The setting at the top
"PerformancePoint service applications settings " is where all of the
other settings go. At the very top of this page is a section for secure
store and the unattended service account. In Central Administration,
under Manage service applications, if you use the farm configuration
wizard to set up your farm, you should see an instance of the secure
store service already created for you. If it isn't created for you go
ahead and create one.
Back in the
PerformancePoint services application settings page, provide the name of
the secure store service application name and provide an unattended
service account. The unattended service account is what will be used to
authenticate with backend data sources. Thus, you want to ensure that
this account is not a highly privileged account and is different from
your farm account or any application pool accounts. Not doing so may
inadvertently give access to data sources that you didn't plan on giving
access to. Also, before you're able to specify the unattended service
account, you will first have to visit your secure store service
application settings page and ensure that you generate a new key first.
This generated key requires you to specify a password using which the
database will be encrypted. Try not to lose this password.
The one final setting that you
do not have to perform, but you should know about is that under manage
web applications, select your port 80 web application and choose
"Service Connections " from the ribbon. This should pop open a dialog
box that lets you associate various service application instances with
existing web applications. This can be seen in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Service application settings for a web application
2. PerformancePoint Site Collection Settings
Let me start with a bit of good
news first! If you have installed SharePoint enterprise, you do not need
to do anymore farm level or web application level configurations. The
various webparts, web services, and the dashboard designer are already
there for you. All you need to do now is to activate the appropriate
features on the sites and site collections to start making use of
Now I'm in the laziest guy
you'll ever meet. I like to take the simplest possible way to get my
work done. Right out of the box there is a site definition called the
business intelligence center provided for you, which makes use of all
the necessary features. All those features that
make up that site definition can also be individually activated in other
site collections so you can use PerformancePoint services anywhere you
wish. This truly gives you immense flexibility, and even though I'm the
laziest guy you'll ever meet, I will demonstrate the use and
configuration of PerformancePoint services in a blank site collection.
Start by creating a blank site collection at the root level in your port
80 web application.
Configuring your site collection
is a matter of activating a few features. You need to activate the
following site collection features in the following order:
SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection Features.
SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure.
PerformancePoint Services Site Collection Features.
Then, under the "Site Features" (not Site Collection), activate the "PerformancePoint Services Site Features" feature.
Note that SharePoint
server publishing infrastructure is a prerequisite for PerformancePoint
services site collection features. This is because the dashboard
publishing uses the SharePoint server publishing infrastructure.
Once the above features are activated, also activate the "PerformancePoint services site features" at the site level.