SharePoint Server 2010 Business Intelligence Platform (part 5) - PowerPivot

- Free product key for windows 10
- Free Product Key for Microsoft office 365
- Malwarebytes Premium 3.7.1 Serial Keys (LifeTime) 2019
7/10/2013 4:43:17 AM

4. PowerPivot

We’ve looked at PerformancePoint and how it can be used to build powerful business process management solutions using the SharePoint platform. Such solutions are excellent for providing day-to-day management information or other business information, for which the requirements can be easily defined and implemented. However, one of the common stumbling blocks in large-scale BI projects is that too often the project becomes a victim of its own success. A project may start off with a range of commonly used line-of-business reports, but over time, more and more requests for additional reports or changes to existing reports can overwhelm available development resources. When this happens, users who are unable or unwilling to wait until a suitable resource is available often resort to cobbling together their own solutions using Excel, Access, or some other tool. Each homegrown solution is a step farther away from the BI mantra of one version of the truth, and over time, a lot of the good work done on the project is lost.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. The solution to this problem is to empower users to create their own ad hoc reports using a series of common data sources. Historically, solutions to this problem have focused on the front end, presentation layer of report generation. Tools such as Reporting Services include a report builder with which users can create reports from published data sources. Although this approach does go a long way toward reducing the burden on development resources, the presentation layer is probably the least time-consuming aspect of report generation. Where the hard work comes in is at the data warehousing and OLAP layers, and tools such as Report Builder don’t provide any assistance here.

With SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft includes a new product known as PowerPivot. PivotTables are a well-known and widely used feature of Excel, especially when it comes to analyzing business data. However, PivotTables have their limitations, and one of the most significant with respect to this discussion is in the selection of data sources. PivotTables can either make use of data within a workbook or they can be connected to a predefined data source. You’ve seen that a fair bit of work is involved in predefining data sources, especially when attempting to meet specific reporting requirements. PowerPivot addresses these issues by allowing users to create their own data sources from a mash-up of existing sources. Additionally, PowerPivot lets users work with much larger datasets that would normally be possible using PivotTables.

In effect, PowerPivot is a user-driven OLAP tool. It allows users to create in-memory OLAP cubes and uses those cubes within Excel in the same way as external data sources. Now, the implications of that are pretty significant, but when coupled with the fact that the resulting Excel workbooks can then be hosted using Excel services and accessed as OLAP data sources in their own right, you can see that PowerPivot truly opens the door to collaborative BI solutions.

PowerPivot Excel Add-In

Users can create PowerPivot data sources using an add-in for Excel 2010 that can be downloaded from Let’s work through an example to see how the add-in works. As earlier, we’ll make use of the AdventureWorks sample databases.

  1. PowerPivot data is created using Excel 2010, as mentioned. Open the Excel application and then, from the PowerPivot tab, select PowerPivot Window from the ribbon, as shown here:

    PowerPivot can import data from a variety of sources, including traditional sources such as SQL Server and other database systems, as well as other sources such as Reporting Services reports, ATOM feeds, and other PowerPivot workbooks. For the purposes of this demonstration, we’ll use the AdventureWorks database running on SQL Server.

  2. From the Home tab, select From Database in the Get External Data section of the ribbon, and then select From SQL Server.

  3. Configure the connection to connect to the AdventureWorks sample database, and then select the Product and ProductInventory tables, as shown:

  4. Data from the selected tables will be imported into PowerPivot and will be displayed as data grids within individual tabs. As part of the import process, PowerPivot automatically creates relationships between the two tables. We can check that these relationships are correct by clicking the Table tab and then clicking the Manage Relationships button from the ribbon.


    Creating relationships within PowerPivot is an important feature. You can import data from a variety of sources and create relationships between tables from different sources.

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX)

In the Manage Relationships dialog, you can see that the ProductInventory table is related to the Product table using ProductId. This relationship was picked up from the underlying database. We’ll make use of this relationship to illustrate the use of the new DAX language. DAX uses a syntax that’s similar to Excel formulae. The main difference is that DAX functions generally operate on multiple rows of data. In our example, our function summarizes quantity values from a related table.

  1. In the Product table, select the Column tab, and then click the Add Column button.

  2. In the formula bar, enter the following DAX expression:

  3. Right-click the CalculatedColumn1 header, and then select Rename Column. Change the column name to InventoryCost.

  4. To make use of this data in Excel, switch back to the Home tab and then select PivotTable | Single PivotTable from the ribbon.

We can now create a PivotTable in the usual manner by adding columns to the appropriate sections. Notice that our calculated InventoryCost column appears in the list and can be used in the same way as other columns. We can drag the InventoryCost column into the Values section of the Gemini Task Panel to create a new summary value named Sum of InventoryCost, as shown here:

PowerPivot for SharePoint

In addition to the Excel add-in that allows users to create and use PowerPivot enabled workbooks, another feature of SQL Server 2008 R2 provides SharePoint integration for PowerPivot. This allows PowerPivot-enabled workbooks to be hosted by Excel services in the same way as regular workbooks. Instead of the in-memory version of Analysis Services that’s used when accessing a PowerPivot-enabled workbook via the Excel client, when SharePoint integration is configured, PowerPivot cubes are hosted on-demand by Analysis Services.

Making use of the simple PowerPivot workbook that we created earlier, we can publish the workbook to SharePoint. Before we do this, we need to create a PowerPivot Gallery document library to contain our workbook.

  1. You publish PowerPivot workbooks in exactly the same way you publish other Excel content to Excel Services. Select the File tab to enter the backstage area, and then select Share.

  2. Click Publish To Excel Services, and then navigate to the PowerPivot gallery that we created earlier. If everything is set up properly, the workbook will be uploaded to the library. Navigating to the PowerPivot gallery will show details of the workbook together with previews of each page:

Now that we’ve published our PowerPivot data source, we can make use of it as a data source anywhere that can utilize Analysis Services data. Let’s see this in action by creating a PerformancePoint dashboard based on our PowerPivot workbook.

  1. In Dashboard Designer, create a new data source by selecting Data Source from the Create tab.

  2. In the Select a Data Source Template dialog, select Analysis Services.

  3. In the Connection Settings section, set the Server to the URL for our sample PowerPivot workbook, and then choose the default Database and Cube values from the respective drop-downs.


    I’ve used localhost as the server name for illustrative purposes. Enter the actual name of your server to prevent security errors.

  4. Using this new data connection, we can now create dashboards and reports in the same way we did earlier when addressing the AdventureWorksOLAP data source.

The real power of PowerPivot on SharePoint is that a workbook published to Excel Services can be treated in the same way as a regular OLAP cube. Instead of development resources being tied up designing and developing every cube using Business Intelligence Studio, you can now build simple cubes using Excel and PowerPivot. Since the data is easily accessible, it can be integrated into a wider BI solution with relatively little effort. As you’ve seen, for example, PowerPivot data can be used to generate the same dynamic PerformancePoint reports as OLAP data hosted using Analysis Services.

Other -----------------
- SharePoint 2010 : Writing Workflows with Visual Studio
- SharePoint 2010 : Writing Workflows with SharePoint Designer
- SharePoint 2010 : Customizing Out of the Box Workflows
- SharePoint 2010 : Out of the Box Workflows
- SharePoint 2010 : Office 2010 Client Applications (part 4)
- SharePoint 2010 : Office 2010 Client Applications (part 3) - Backstage
- SharePoint 2010 : Office 2010 Client Applications (part 2) - Documents and Data Caching
- SharePoint 2010 : Office 2010 Client Applications (part 1)
- Sharepoint 2010 : Content Management - In place Records Management
- Sharepoint 2010 : Content Management - Importing a Term Set
- Sharepoint 2010 : Content Management - Creating a Term Set
- Sharepoint 2010 : Content Management - Managing External Content Types
- Sharepoint 2010 : Content Management - Adding a Content Type hub
- SharePoint 2010 : Content Management - Configuring content deployment
- SharePoint 2010 : Content Management - Routing documents to another site
- SharePoint 2010 : Content Management - Configuring advanced routing
- Sharepoint 2010 : Backup and Restore (part 5) - Restoring from a backup in Central Administration
- Sharepoint 2010 : Backup and Restore (part 4) - Backing up a farm in Central Administration
- Sharepoint 2010 : Backup and Restore (part 3) - Importing sites, Recovering data from an unattached content database
- Sharepoint 2010 : Backup and Restore (part 2) - Performing a site collection backup, Exporting sites
Top 10
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 2) - Wireframes,Legends
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 1) - Swimlanes
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Formatting and sizing lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Adding shapes to lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Sizing containers
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 3) - The Other Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 2) - The Data Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 1) - The Format Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them - Working with the Properties Window
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Using the Organization Chart Wizard with new data
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
programming4us programming4us