Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Revisiting: Microsoft Dynamics GP's PerformancePoint Server Connector

I realize this one is a really obscure topic, but I thought it was important to bring it to light. Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server was an actual thing, it existed, and to the surprise of everyone reading this and not in the channel long enough to remember, Dynamics GP had a connector to it.


Summary

Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server was a business intelligence software product released in 2007 by Microsoft. It was discontinued in 2009, then resurfaced with its dashboard, scorecard, and analytics capabilities incorporated into SharePoint Server 2010 - the feature was known as PerformancePoint Services in SharePoint Server 2013. PerformancePoint Server also provided a planning and budgeting component directly integrated with Excel. However, by 2009, the actual Microsoft Dynamics GP connector for PerformancePoint was also discontinued.

Back in 2008, I wrote a stub article about it for an article published by Alan Whitehouse. You can read more about it here:

A First Look at GP's PerformancePoint Connector by Alan Whitehouse

Dynamics GP took full advantage of SharePoint, to address deficiencies in the document management and workflow areas. PerformancePoint provided the Business Intelligence capabilities lacking at the time. With the introduction of GP 2015, Workflow went the way of Dexterity and Windows Workflow Foundation, a lot of the document storage capabilities went the way of Document Attach, which brings me to the BI portion that PerformacePoint addressed at the time.

Business Intelligence with Power BI

The BI track has taken multiple twists and turns - and will probably continue to as new(er) tools come to market. First it was PerformancePoint, then it was Corporate Performance Management, then it was KPIs in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) - those are still around by the way, then came Excel Dashboards, but with the introduction of Dynamics GP 2016 came the integration of Microsoft Power BI. You can read more about it here:

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 - Power BI Feature

Power BI allows users to create powerful visualizations without ever drawing a single line of code: point to your data source, setup the type of visualization you want, and off you go.


There are some pre-requisites to configure Power BI. The first and foremost is to register to use Power BI. You can do this by going to https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/. This is actually pretty straight forward if you are already registered for any of the Microsoft online services like Office 365, Dynamics 365, or Windows Azure.

Once you've done this, you can then register an application by going to https://dev.powerbi.com/apps.


The documentation on the Microsoft Dynamics GP Support and Services blog provides additional information on how to fill in this page, so no need to rehash here. Finally, you will setup visualizations to show up on Microsoft Dynamics GP's home page by going to the Reporting Tools Setup window.

In a next article, I will upload a video to my YouTube channel showing how to get started.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

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