SPSNY: Peter Serzo’s ‘At the Movies with PerformancePoint Services’

Peter Serzo presents on PerformancePoint Services at SharePoint Saturday NYThe second session I attended at SharePoint Saturday New York was Peter Serzo's "At the Movies with PerformancePoint Services (PPS)."  Peter's stated goal for the session was to "demystify what PerformancePoint is" through providing an overview of its architectural components.  Speaking as someone who'd had very little exposure to PPS prior to attending Peter's SharePoint Saturday session, I'd have to say that, speaking for myself, he certainly succeeded in his goal.

Peter began the session proper by mentioning that PPS, a Business Intelligence (BI) tool, was "sort of" integrated into SharePoint with SP3, clarifying his qualifying "sort of" due to the fact that it was still a separate component.  With SharePoint 2010, however, PPS is not only "truly integrated," but is also free in the Enterprise edition.

Discussing what's new in PPS in SharePoint 2010, Peter listed four key additions:

  1. New import feature to upgrade to 2010 from the 2007 version.
  2. Since "monitoring and analytics is the key component of PPS," content has been moved into destination lists and document libraries in SharePoint, allowing for one central place for administration.
  3. There is now a single security model, and "SharePoint takes care of it all."
  4. With the introduction of the decomposition tree, described by Peter as "awesome," you're now able to "drill down and get that nice visual representation of your data." Peter noted that in order to use this new feature, "you have to use this against an Analysis Services Cube with Silverlight 3 installed."

Peter described PerformancePoint as being a component that's configured, with features activated at the site collection level (noting that publishing must be enabled), and provided several observations and comments on additional new features and enhancements in the 2010 version, such as:

  • The Dashboard Designer has been "streamlined … a lot" and now uses Shared Web Services rather than PPS Web Services.
  • "In PPS, KPIs are so much more powerful [than in SharePoint]."
  • The Unattended Service Account "should be the least privileged account."
  • New Content Types are available.
  • Peter offered as a best practices recommendation that you should "organize your Workspace Uniform set as indicators."

As for what's not in PPS any longer in 2010, Peter mentioned two items: the ASP.NET Dashboard Preview site, and ODBC Tabular Data Sources.

Peter described PerformancePoint dashboards as being a mash-up of data sources, KPI/Indicators, scorecards ("really a collection of KPIs"), charts/graphs, and reports, going on to define the process of generating a PPS dashboard as consisting of the following steps: 1) define data source, 2) create reports/KPIs, 3) create scorecards, 4) create dashboards.

For further reading, Peter offered the following recommended resources:

Additionally, within the Official Team Blog of PerformancePoint Services, I discovered an extensive post on Deploying PerformancePoint 2010 Soup to Nuts which I thought merited taking the liberty of calling particular attention to.

A closing note on the title of Peter's session:  Due to an unfortunate VMware issue, Peter was unable to show the demo he'd prepared, but the good news is that if you're going to be at SPTechCon next week, you'll have another chance to catch the "at the movies" portion of Peter's presentation.

Tune in tomorrow for my report on Michael Lotter's session on "SharePoint 2010 Workflow with Visio and SharePoint Designer"!

Read the entire SharePoint Saturday New York series:

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