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Archive for October 15th, 2008

BI Publisher for PerformancePoint Server (PPS) on CodePlex?

Posted by denglishbi on October 15, 2008

I was taking a look this morning at the forum postings in the PerformancePoint Monitoring & Analytics section and came across a previous forum posting link here.  I have had customers and colleagues inquiring about a process to help automate the deployment of PPS dashboard items between environments and it looks like there is already something in the works by Kevin Idzi and Deepak Mani of Microsoft called BI Report Automation Publisher.

So what can it currently do?  Well the current features include the following:

PerformancePoint (PPS) Publishing

Moves elements from one server to another, adjusting server specific settings for related elements automatically including:

  • PPS Data Connections
  • Proclarity Analytic Server Report Links
  • Excel Service SharePoint Links
  • Excel Service Parameters
  • Add/Remove Credentials
Proclarity Analytic Server (PAS)
  • Update report page connection properties to redirect to a different SSAS server.
Excel Services
  • Dynamically change link to Office Data Connection file.
  • Provide a seamless way to create a list of Links to Proclarity Analytic Server reports
  • Net configuration API is used, allowing flexible XML Configuration and validation.
  • Command Line tool execution, Output sent to tracelistener and is configurable.
  • Use MSBuild or WIX to inject properties into the Config file before execution, to truly integrate this in the build/deploy environment.

And they have plenty more features on the radar:

PerformancePoint Target Location Redirection

Currently, this tool moves PerformancePoint (PPS) Elements from the source to target retaining the same naming and structure as it came from. For some people, it might be useful to have the PPS elements moved with a suffix (or prefix) attached for side-by-side testing. And it might be helpful to have the linked reports be retargeted to point to different Libraries / folders within Sharepoint/PAS
This does not apply to Proclarity since the tool works directly on the reports. And it does not apply to the Excel Serivce direct updates since the target URL is included.

PPS Sql Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Report Support – Where is it??!

I have not worked with SSRS reports in my current work. If someone has and would like to work with me, we might be able to find a way to integrate support to allow redirecting the PPS Report’s target server.

PerformancePoint Input from BWSX Files

The tool currently reads from the source PPS Server. It may be helpful to specify a BWSX file in which the elements are read, and serialized into the needed objects to be used for updating and publishing.

Deploying PAS Reports

It might be helpful to have the tool actually take PAS reports from a source and deploy them on a target. In looking at this briefly, I have no idea how the Books are generated when sent to the server for an update.

Deploying PPS Dashboard

Currently, all of the elements are update, but if the dashboard itself is modified or components added/removed, it will need to be manually deployed. There are a string of Sharepoint Webservice calls when this happens to put the files at the target location and make it available. If those were deconstructed, it could be done.

Updating Post-Deployed PPS Webparts

Ever want to remove chrome on a webpart, or adjust the template externally (sharepoint site is secured from template modifications)? Then being able to adjust the webpart that PPS generates would be very helpful. Currently we are actually doing this as manual steps after we deploy (when we need to).

So this tool looks really promising and looks like a really nice way to move items between environments.  There is always the migration path that is listed in the documentation too that you can take a look at here.  How is everyone else promoting PPS dashboards between environments?  I would definitely like to hear what other people are doing.

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