Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Performance Point , ProClarity, KPI and the Microsoft BI story

I have been asked a few times about what the fate of BI in Microsoft. Well without giving away any details its rather simple to say clearly:

All BI tools beyond SQL Server, SharePoint and Excel are on the block.

Its that simple. Functionality in the PerformancePoint and ProClarity will move to SharePoint and Excel.

End transmission.

If you have any ongoing PerformancePoint of ProClarity projects I would end them. Though you should talk to you Microsoft reps about how they may help you. It makes no real sense to go forward with any PerformancePoint projects, really it makes no sense to go forward with any BI Microsoft projects outside of SharePoint, Excel and SQL Server. Excel and SQL are long established and clearly not going anywhere, SharePoint is hot and it would be a very bad sign if it went anywhere. GoldPartners with SharePoint and BI teams will need to merge them, if you GoldPartner sense one set of BI people and one set of SharePoint people ask why?

The only acceptable answer is that datawarehousing, data Cubes and data marts are complex SQL Server functions beyond the experience of most MOSS people.

Does this make sense? Well having tried to install PerformancePoint I won't cry over seeing it gone. Strategically it does make sense to have one platform to surface information from different sources. That was the entire idea behind portals and in the end SharePoint is a PORTAL remember.

I think for those not stuck with massive PerformancePoint of ProClarity installations the end result of this will make lots of sense.

So today's BI story from Microsoft is:

SharePoint is the surface Portal for KPI and reporting.

Excel 2007 with Excel Server allows you to start using Excel as a real BI tool on an Enterprise like level.

SQL Reporting remains, as all smart BI people have told me for years, the best BI bet until Microsoft offering settles down a bit.

Stay tuned for future updates.