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SharePoint 2010 : PerformancePoint Services (part 2) - Using PerformancePoint

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3. Using PerformancePoint

PerformancePoint server 2007 used a separate database to store all of its necessary information. That has changed, because all the necessary information is now stored inside of lists and document libraries; lists that contain dashboards definitions, reports, scorecards, filters, KPIs, and indicators as well as document libraries that contain exported dashboards and datasources.

Now that you have properly configured PerformancePoint both in central administration and in the site collection you now have available all the list definitions and the necessary content types to get started.

  1. Create a new list based on the "PerformancePoint Content List" list definition and call it "PerformancePoint Content".

  2. Create a new document library called "Dashboards " based on "Dashboards Library" list definition.

  3. Create another document library called "Data Connections " based on the "Data Connections for PerformancePoint" list definition.

In the PerformancePoint content list, you would see all the necessary content types as shown in Figure 4.

One thing is clear, the driving force behind PerformancePoint services are nothing but content types. Therefore, anything that applies to content types, reusability, queryability, structure, information management policies, all of that can be used with PerformancePoint content.

Click on any one of them and that should launch a click once application which is your dashboard designer. Once the dashboard designer is launched, you can then work entirely in the dashboard designer to create various artifacts. Start by saving your dashboard as MyDashBoard.ddwx on your local disk before you add any new items in the workspace. At this point, your workspace in the dashboard designer should look Figure 5.

Figure 4. The various choices available within the PerformancePoint content list

Figure 5. Your Dashboard designer

Before you can start creating any artifacts in PerformancePoint, let's first set up the database that you will use. PerformancePoint services is very versatile and can work with various backend sources such as Excel services, analysis services, a regular SQL table, or even reporting services.

To begin, set up the adventure works sample databases downloaded from http://msftdbprodsamples.codeplex.com/releases/view/24854.

  1. Once you have downloaded and installed the adventure works sample databases, open the C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Samples\AdventureWorks 2008R2 Analysis Services Project\enterprise\Adventure Works.sln project in the BI Studio of SQL Server 2008.

  2. After opening the solution, in the Solution Explorer double-click the "Adventure Works.ds" data source. Click the Edit...button just below the Connection String box. Supply your SQL Server (database engine) server and instance name (if it's a named instance). Click the Test Connection Button. If the test succeeds, click OK to save the changes.

  3. Right click the solution in Solution Explorer, choose Properties. On the Adventure Works DW 2008 SE Property Pages dialogue, choose the tree item for Deployment. Change the Target ~TRA Server property to your Analysis Services server name and instance name (if it is not a default instance).

  4. In the solution explorer, right-click the solution (Solution 'Adventure Works') and click Deploy.

Once the project is deployed, right-click the data connections document library in your dashboard designer and choose to create a new data source. Create a new Analysis services based project, using the "Adventure Works DW 2008R2" database and use the "Adventure Works" cube. This can be seen in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Defining a new datasource

Choose to save this data connection as "AdventureWorks".

Next, right-click the PerformancePoint content list and choose to add a new report. When prompted, choose to add a new analytic chart. Choose the new AdventureWorks Data connection you have just created as the data source for this analytic chart. In the new report, drag and drop product categories in the Series and in the bottom axes drag drop geography. This can be seen in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Your configured report

Save this report as "AdventureWorks Products". Once this report is saved in your list, note that it is saved as a certain content type. I'd like to point out here that if you were to add that content type in any other list, you would be able to save your reports in any list in SharePoint you wished. This really gives you the maximum flexibility you need.

Back on your SharePoint site on the default page, put the page in edit mode and drop the PerformancePoint report WebPart. Then, point this WebPart to this newly created report that you'vejust uploaded in your SharePoint site. You would note that the report is running in full interactivity on the SharePoint site. You should see a big blue bar called all geographies. Go ahead and click on the big blue bar, and the report should update giving you the various products available. This can be seen in Figure 8.

Figure 8. The report running in SharePoint

So far, so good. Why is it that my bike sales are so high? I'm not asking this, but I know my business users will. When you see the bright red bar, right-click it and choose decomposition. This would bring up a decomposition tree for the underlying data source, and it would immediately tell you that you are selling a lot of road bikes (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. The decomposition tree

Why are you selling so many Road bikes? As an analyst now, you can click on it and easily choose the dimension you wish to expand upon (see Figure 10).

Figure 10. Picking a dimension to decompose upon

Let's expand on Geography, which reveals that you are selling a lot of bikes in California. Expanding further by city reveals that you are selling a lot of bikes in Carson City, and especially in the months of May, November, August, and February. This is a pattern that repeats every year! This can be seen in Figure 11.

Figure 11. The full decomposition tree giving you valuable information

This clearly tells you that the Carson City market is pivotal to your company's success! And, you were able to know this without bothering a developer. How nice!

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