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Plan business data Web Parts

SharePoint 2007

Updated: February 26, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-02-26

In this article:

In Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, business data Web Parts are used in reports, reports-enabled pages such as the Report Center site, and other SharePoint sites including personalization sites to display a Web-based view of business data that promotes analyzing, reporting, and acting on that data in a way that builds knowledge within your organization.

As part of planning for your initial deployment of Office SharePoint Server 2007, you should understand the different varieties of business data Web Parts, understand how they are used to display business data and promote business intelligence, and plan the specific Web Parts to deploy for each site.

About business data Web Parts

Business data can be displayed in SharePoint lists and Web Parts for the pages and sites in each site collection used by your organization. The sources of this data include Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and its related applications, such as SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, and line-of-business applications registered in the Business Data Catalog.

Business data can be exposed directly in lists by using the Business Data List Web Part. It also can be exposed through Web Parts designed specifically for personalization features. Depending on where the Web Parts are used, the experience is completely different. If it is just a simple list, the experience is much like using any SharePoint list, except that the data is connected to the data source and updates automatically. If it is a single Web Part within a report, the owner of the page controls the interactivity and it might simply be a display of that data. If it is on a multi-report summary page, it can be filtered along with other business data Web Parts on the page. If it is on a personalization site or personal site, the information in the Web Part is targeted by audience, and only information relevant to the viewer is presented. There are also specific Web Parts for common line-of-business applications, such as SAP.

Types of Web Parts that are used to display business data on SharePoint sites include:

  • Core business data Web Parts

  • Specialized business data Web Parts

  • Key performance indicator (KPI) Web Parts

  • Excel Web Access Web Parts

  • SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Web Parts

  • Filter Web Parts that are connected to business data Web Parts (for example, the Current User Filter Web Part and the Property Profile Filter Web Part used on personalization sites, and the Business Data Catalog Filter Web Part)

These Web Parts are used to create pieces of business intelligence that can be displayed in reports linked from the Report Center site, other SharePoint sites that have reports or business data, in multi-report summary pages also known as dashboards, and on personalization sites.

Data connection libraries expose Office data connection (.odc) files and universal data connection (.udcx) files.

Plan core business data Web Parts

The core business data Web Parts include:

  • Business Data List Web Parts

  • Business Data Details Web Parts

  • Business Data Association Web Parts

  • Business Data Actions Web Parts

  • Business Data Catalog Filter Web Parts

The first four business data Web Parts are used to display information based on the data stored by SQL Server and reported by SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, and the properties of line-of-business applications registered in the Business Data Catalog. The first three of these Web Parts then can be added to reports in the Report Center site or other pages that display reports or business data.

The Business Data List Web Part presents business data in a simple list form, including several items from one type of business data in the Business Data Catalog. An example is a list of customers from a customer service database. That list can be connected to a filter Web Part to show information that is based only on the current user or a specific value for a property of the relevant business application. You also can edit the view properties of a Business Data List Web Part, just as you can edit the view of any list, to filter by property or limit the number of items shown in the Web Part. The Web Part also can be targeted to audiences so that only some users see the Web Part.

The Business Data Details Web Part displays the details of a single item, such as a single customer in a customer database.

The Business Data Association Web Part presents a related list that shows a list of items related to an item of another business data type. An example is a list of customers who work in a particular sales region. Related lists can be associated with more than one source business data type to narrow the focus of the list. An example is a list of sales orders by a customer in a particular sales division. The source business data types are the customer and the sales division, and the items in the list are sales orders. As with the view for the Business Data List Web Part, the view for the Business Data Association Web Part can be filtered or limited to a specified number of list items, and can be connected to filter Web Parts or targeted to audiences.

The Business Data Actions Web Part adds a simple URL to a page associated with the action named in the link. It is used to enable users to perform common actions from business applications directly from the Web browser. Often, a Business Data Actions Web Part is found on the same page with a related business data Web Part, so users can see information and act on it immediately. For example, a Business Data Actions Web Part for the "View Customer Profile" action could be found on a dashboard that has an Excel Web Access Web Part that displays sales for a customer and a KPI Web Part that shows customer satisfaction. An analyst seeing a low customer satisfaction KPI could correlate that information with recent sales reports and then click the business data action link to find out more about the customer and contact them to improve customer service.

The Business Data Catalog Filter Web Part filters other Web Parts on a page based on values found in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services or the Business Data Catalog. It is often used in combination with business data Web Parts to filter the view, and any recognized property can be used by this filter. For more information about filtering data, see Plan dashboards and filters.

Plan specialized business data Web Parts

Specialized business data Web Parts include:

  • IView Web Part (SAP)

  • WSRP (Web Services for Remote Portlets) Consumer Web Part

The IView and WSRP Consumer Web Parts support the presentation of data from SAP and WSRP portlets, respectively. If your organization uses SAP or remote portlets, these Web Parts enable you to integrate these Web Parts into your Web Part pages so that you can have a single view of all business data instead of different sites for different Web-based views of business data.

To use the IView Web Part, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Configure SAP for the site.

  2. Select an SAP server and IView for the Web Part.

  3. Ensure that both the SAP server and IView are trusted on the site.

To use the WSRP Consumer Web Part, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Configure WSRP producers for the site.

  2. Select a portlet server and portlet for the Web Part.

  3. Ensure that both the portlet server and portlet are trusted on the site.

Plan KPI Web Parts

KPI Web Parts present business data with graphical indicators of the current status of a key business process. For example, a KPI can use traffic light icons to indicate that customer satisfaction is exceeding, meeting, or failing to meet goals. If customer satisfaction exceeds a preset goal, calculated by counting the percentage of positive satisfaction ratings across your organization, the customer satisfaction KPI is displayed with a green traffic light icon. If customer satisfaction is failing to meet minimum goals, the customer satisfaction KPI is displayed with a red traffic light icon. Otherwise, it is displayed with a yellow traffic light icon.

Each KPI in a KPI List Web Part and the single KPI in each KPI Details Web Part is evaluated based on a single value from a data source, either from a single property or by calculating an average or total across the selected data. Because they are calculated across a range of data rather than displaying data in list form, they can be more useful when measuring performance across groups or projects. However, by calculating a range of data for a specific person, such as a list of sales for a single employee, a KPI can evaluate individual performance.

The two KPI Web Parts display a list of KPIs calculated independently, or details for a single KPI. You can connect KPI Web Parts to filter Web Parts to filter each KPI by specific properties or users. Data sources for KPI lists include:

  • SharePoint lists   The data comes from a SharePoint list that might include business data from the Business Data Catalog or SQL Server 2005.

  • Excel workbooks   The data comes from an Excel workbook.

  • SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services   The data comes from database stores known as cubes, for connections in a data connection library.

  • Manually entered information   The data comes from a static list, rather than based on underlying data sources. This is used less frequently, for test purposes prior to deployment or on occasions when regular data sources are unavailable but you still want to provide performance indicators.

If the KPI List Web Part is added to a page, you must provide a link to a KPI list that contains KPIs. KPI List Web Parts can include links to the details of each KPI. When you click the link for the KPI, a customizable details Web page appears that contains additional information. The view of KPI List Web Parts based on SharePoint lists can be limited or filtered just as the view of any list.

The KPI Details Web Part displays performance indicators for a single item in a KPI list.

For more information about planning KPI Web Parts, see Plan key performance indicators.

Plan Excel Web Access Web Parts

Excel Web Access Web Parts are available for personal sites and personalization sites. The Excel Web Access Web Part is used to provide information from a specific worksheet directly within the Web Part by using Excel Calculation Services. It also enables the ability to perform analytics in the Web browser without affecting the underlying worksheets or data sources. Users who have the appropriate permissions can start an Microsoft Office Excel 2007 window directly from this Web Part to edit the worksheet. The Excel Web Access Web Part also can be used to perform analytics on data from SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services.

Plan SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Web Parts

SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Web Parts are available for personal sites and personalization sites. The SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Web Part presents data directly from SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. This part can be used in reports or multi-report summary pages, or in other sites that use business data such as personalization sites.

Plan filter Web Parts connected to business data Web Parts

One feature of business data Web Parts is the ability to filter the data displayed on each Web Part by using one or more filter Web Parts. Filters can be connected to a single Web Part or to all the Web Parts on a page. When several business data Web Parts are connected to a single filter, the data in all of the business data Web Parts can be filtered by the same property and value. For example, a page can filter data from all of its business data Web Parts over the last month or for a certain user. Such multi-report summary pages, known as dashboards, can be very useful in presenting a uniform view of business data in your organization.

Plan deployment of Web Parts

Each of these Web Parts must be added to a site and then connected to the underlying data source. After that connection is made and the Web Part displays business data, it can be used to create a page around the Web Part called a report. It can also be used in a multi-report summary page that displays multiple business data Web Parts. Reports can appear in the Report Center site or any other reports site, and business data Web Parts can be used in other sites such as personalization sites.

Site planning enables you to identify the Web Parts you plan to create that use business data. Each Web Part requires certain properties. You will want to decide which properties are most relevant for the viewers of each Web Part on a site.

The sites and pages that commonly use business data Web Parts include:

  • The Report Center site

  • Other sites that use reports

  • The default dashboard for the site collection

  • Personalization sites

For an initial deployment, consider the Web Parts that you will use for each of these sites. Although you can use business data Web Parts on any site, it is not necessary to plan for the Web Parts of those sites, which are created during ongoing operations. For each Web Part:

  • List the applications and business data types you need to implement the Web Part.

  • List the properties you need to implement the Web Part, so that you can include those properties in the business data profile for the appropriate business applications and business data types.

  • Ensure that the information for each property and business data type of each application is complete enough to be useful when it is imported.

  • Plan to create lists that business data Web Parts are based on.

  • Consider the security implications of each list, and note the SharePoint groups that will have access to each list and corresponding Web Part.

  • Decide whether the Web Part's view should be limited or filtered. For more information, see Plan business data lists.

  • Decide whether the Web Part is connected to filter Web Parts. For more information, see Plan dashboards and filters.

  • Decide whether the Web Part should be targeted to specific audiences, for each site that uses the Web Part. For more information, see Plan for personalized Web Parts.

  • Consider whether the purpose of this Web Part is already fulfilled by another Web Part or site to minimize unnecessary duplication of functionality. For more information, see Determine sites and subsites.

Although planning Web Parts will take time, it allows you to understand the scope of your Web Part deployment before you begin, so that you can prioritize what is most important for initial deployment, and schedule lower priority sites and Web Parts for later deployment. It also reduces deployment time by identifying data sources and lists on which business data Web Parts are dependent.

Worksheet action

Use the Business data worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=73271&clcid=0x409) to record business data and business intelligence Web Parts. Record connected Web Parts, data sources, and SharePoint lists used by the Web Part in the same table.

Use the Site creation worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73138&clcid=0x409) to record Web Parts used by each site planned in your site collection hierarchy.

Worksheets

Use the following worksheets to plan business data Web Parts:

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

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