/ Analysis

My PerformancePoint experiences

Finally I made some time to write about my experiences with PerformancePoint 2010 and then focused on my dashboard specially for the iPad and the new SP1 features.

Last April the was a business request to enable the existing PerformancePoint dashboard for viewing on a iPad. The first step was, besides getting an iPad with the correct WiFi, 3G and VPN connections, trying the existing dashboard opening in the iPad Safari browser.

This gave already the first challenge: with iOS4.3 update the JavaScript engine has significant changed. This resulted in either loading or not loading the dashboard. With an then not updated iPad running iOS4.2 the dashboard showed, and an iPad with iOS4.3 not!

Next challenge was that the original dashboard used a filter showed as treeview. This is a rich HTML/JavaScript object and failed to behave correctly on the iPad. When a filter used a normal dropdown box, a core feature of any web browser, Safari shows that a finger touch friendly control. So the first choose was to abandon the multiselect and use a dropdown as the filter. This should work fine, but with a content of more that 300 options the user-friendliness isn’t optimal.

As at that moment we were running a RTM version of SharePoint, so the only dynamic option for filters was the visibility, not the initial content. And there were two filters based on the same dimension which controlled the content of the scorecards and reports. So how to make the dropdownbox as small as possible, say one region and respect the original behavior. Luckily I could use a extra filter to ‘pre-filter’ the main filter. But that filter could only set the visibility of the main filter. In the end I could solve it the following way:

First I added an extra dimension, which was just an extra copy of the original dimension used in the main filter. After that I based the second filter on a SharePoint list mainly with members of that extra dimension. Only the All level of that filter was from the other original dimension hence the reason for the SharePoint list. After that I created for every child level a corresponding filter with the visibility linked. The last part was to attach all filters, in my case +/- 30, to all parts of the dashboard.

Now with the new functionality of dynamic filters in SP1 for PerformancePoint, the content of a filter can be based on another filter. In my case I can redesign my dashboard by using just two filters for the situation above. Just link the filters together and let PerformancePoint filter the content for you. How easy can it be. One important thing for everyone who is upgrading from RTM to SP1: redefine your filter be simply step thru the wizard or else you cannot link the filters. Looks like the PerformancePoint items are notupdated automatically.

BTW. I haven’t tested iOS4.3 with PerformancePoint 2010 SP1, so I don’t know if the dashboards are showing at an iPad at this moment. Although PerformancePoint works with the Safari browser (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/dashboard-designer-help/using-performancepoint-services-with-multiple-web-browsers-HA102237261.aspx), the iOS Safari browser is a different browser that the desktop version and works, of course, different. So it is a good choice of Microsoft to use the same browser engine for their phone devices as for the desktop: no worries that some JavaScript would not work on different devices.

-JP

Jan Pieter Posthuma

Jan Pieter Posthuma

I am Jan Pieter Posthuma and I am a Microsoft Data Consultant working for DataScenarios. With the current changes I found it time to share my thoughts and ideas with the community.

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