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Business intelligence roadmap

SharePoint 2007

Updated: October 4, 2007

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

 

Topic Last Modified: 2008-08-08

In this article:

Business data and business intelligence features in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 enable you to connect to business data in databases and line-of-business applications, display data as information in Web Parts and SharePoint lists, find and share that information with other users, and perform business analytics and measure progress against key performance indicators. Successfully integrated business data enables business managers to increase their knowledge about business processes and improve those processes over time. This roadmap provides links to Web articles, white papers, training, blog entries, and tools to guide you in implementing the business data and business intelligence features of your site based on Office SharePoint Server 2007.

The resources presented on this page are organized in the sequence in which you should implement the business data and business intelligence features of your site:

  1. Connect to business data.

  2. Display business data in lists and Web Parts.

  3. Create business data sites.

  4. Find and share business data.

Before you implement business data and business intelligence features in your SharePoint site, review the following overview topics, which describe Office SharePoint Server 2007 business data and business intelligence capabilities and customization options that are available to site architects, designers, creators, and developers:

You connect to business data in two ways. First, you connect to a database by using a data connection library. Next, you can analyze data in a data connection library by using Excel Calculation Services and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services by using Web Parts that are displayed in a business data dashboard.

To configure an Excel Services connection to a data library, you perform the following steps:

  1. Add a trusted file location.

  2. Configure the Single Sign-On service.

  3. Add a trusted data provider.

  4. Add a trusted data connection library.

For information about techniques for configuring Excel Services connections to data connection libraries, see the following resources:

A trusted file location is a document library, network path, or Web site configured as a trusted repository for workbooks that are accessible by using Excel Services. For information about adding a trusted file location, see the following resource:

Single sign-on authentication enables users to access multiple system resources without having to be authenticated more than once. To access workbooks using Excel Services, the Single Sign-On service must be enabled and configured with the correct Excel Services credentials. For information about techniques for configuring the Single Sign-On service for Excel Services, see the following resources:

Trusted data providers are external databases that Excel Services is explicitly configured to trust when processing data connections in workbooks. For information about techniques for adding a trusted data provider for Excel Services, see the following resource:

A trusted data connection library is a data connection library that the Excel Services administrator has determined is safe to access Office data connection (.odc) files. The .odc files are used to centrally manage connections to external data sources that have already been configured as trusted data providers. For information about techniques for adding a trusted data provider for Excel Services, see the following resource:

You can also connect to data in line-of-business applications and then display that content in lists and Web Parts. Line-of-business applications are registered in the Business Data Catalog by importing application definitions in the form of authored XML files that contain authentication, authorization, and metadata information about each application and some of its selected business data types (or entities). For information about techniques for connecting to data in line-of-business applications by using the Business Data Catalog, see the following resource:

Before you can connect to applications and entities by using the Business Data Catalog, you must configure authentication and authorization for the Business Data Catalog. For information about techniques for configuring security for the Business Data Catalog, see the following resources:

For each line-of-business application with data that you want to use in your deployment, you must author an XML file that contains metadata about the application and the entities of that application that you are about to import. For information about techniques for authoring metadata, see the following resources:

After you author an XML file with the metadata for a business application, the Business Data Catalog administrator must import the application definition. This enables the imported data to be used in SharePoint lists, Web Parts, and sites. For information about techniques for importing application definitions, see the following resources:

Each imported entity for a line-of-business application in the Business Data Catalog has a default action associated with the entity called View Profile. Whenever an instance of the entity appears, a View Profile link appears. The target URL of the View Profile link includes a list of properties or data fields for the entity. The list uses a template that can be configured by the Business Data Catalog administrator. The View Profile action can also be modified by changing the target URL completely.

Other business data actions can be configured by associating a label for the action with a target URL. The target URL can be a simple page or a highly complex site customized with rich business data.

For information about techniques for configuring business data profiles and designing business data actions, see the following resources:

After you have made connections to business data by using data connection libraries and the Business Data Catalog, information workers with the correct permissions to Business Data Catalog services can use that business data in lists and Web Parts.

The Web Parts used to display business data include:

  • Business Data Item Web Part

  • Business Data List Web Part

  • Business Data Related List Web Part

  • Business Data Actions Web Part

  • Business Data Item Builder Web Part

The Web Parts used to analyze business intelligence include:

  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Web Part

  • Excel Web Access Web Part

  • WSRP Web Part

  • IView Web Part (for SAP)

  • Report Viewer Web Part (for SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services)

Additional Web Parts are used to connect Web Parts or to filter the data displayed in Web Parts.

For information about techniques for displaying business data in lists and Web Parts, see the following resources:

Business data in lists and Web Parts is gathered together into sites that use a mix of different lists and Web Parts that often interact and share data. Some Web Parts display data in list form, whereas other Web Parts enable analysis of business intelligence or key performance indicators.

Types of sites that commonly use business data include:

  • Profiles   Each entity has a default View Profile action, with the target URL being a business data profile page. The profile page can be anything from a simple list of properties using the standard business data profile template, to a highly customized business data application.

  • Dashboards   The dashboard site template includes Excel Web Access Web Parts, and can be customized with additional Web Parts.

  • Personalization sites   These sites use a specialized filter Web Part that displays information based upon the identity of the current user. Personalization sites often include detailed business data that display information using this filter. Personalization sites are often linked from the My Site navigation bar.

  • Other site templates, including the main portal site template, can be customized by adding one or more business data or business intelligence Web Parts.

For information about techniques for creating business data sites, see the following resources:

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

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

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