This is a cross post from the ErgoGroup Blog
Now that the dust has settled after the release of the new 2010 editions of SharePoint and Office and also the new release of SQL Server 2008 R2, we can take a look at the new Business Intelligence features that have been added to these products. Some of the features are brand new while others have been updated.
So lets first look at two of the new features for Business Intelligence that are in SharePoint 2010.
PowerPiviot or as its previous project codename “Gemini” is a new feature that allows you to move massive amounts of data around in seconds. Where before pivot tables could end up being very big and cumbersome, PowerPivot is the superhero edition, in that it can manage large volumes of data quickly and easily. In addition you can build new applications with Excel that can published to SharePoint, essentially allowing your Excel wizards to create data driven applications quickly.
You can take a look at some of the online demonstrations of PowerPivot here
Another new addition to SharePoint is Visio Services which allows you to share your Visio diagrams across the organization by publishing them to SharePoint. This helps to reduce licensing costs and also administrative overheads by removing the requirement for either Visio or Visio viewer to be installed on the client computer.
Additionally by using data enabled Visio diagrams you can make updatable documents with data coming from a number of data sources. In essence you will never need to manually update the document again before distribution. Multiple diagrams can be combined to give better information to your users.
SQL Server 2008 R2
Now we can take a look at the new Report Builder 3.0 that is included with SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services.
SQL Server Reporting Services has undergone an overhaul in the latest edition of SQL Server 2008 R2. The service front end has been updated with a better interface and now has AJAX support. One small thing that will make life a lot easier for the users is the addition of a cancel button if you run the wrong report by accident.
Report Builder 3.0
The new Report Builder 3.0 now has support for geo spatial data and maps which can improve the visualization of your data dramatically. Maps are a very strong visual tool and by having spatially aware data you can make your reports more interactive and give a sense of scale across distance.
Reports can also be made as ATOM feeds which means they can be consumed by standard RSS readers such as Outlook 2010 and also can be used by PowerPivot as a data source and thus making your data linking much easier and quicker.
This is only a sneak peak at some of the features that have been released as part of the toolset in Microsoft Business Intelligence stack and I will be giving a presentation on these tools and more at IT Galla 2010 in ErgoGroup Stavanger on June 3rd 2010. You can register for this event here