Plan reporting and business intelligence (Project Server 2010)
Published: May 12, 2010
In Microsoft Project Server 2010, Project Server has been integrated with Excel Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 to make it easier to create custom reports. As part of this integration, blank data-connected spreadsheets and sample reports are provided. The data available for reporting includes timesheet custom fields, project properties, and portfolio planner and optimizer data. The default online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes can now be customized to only include data for a given department.
Reports using Office Excel 2007 or Excel 2010
Excel Reports are data-connected spreadsheets that you use to visualize the data retrieved from the Reporting Database or the OLAP databases. In Microsoft Excel 2010, you can present data in Tables, Pivot Tables, or Pivot Charts, and have access to additional visualization features. In Microsoft Office Excel 2007, you can only use Pivot Tables or Pivot Charts. Excel Reports use Office Data Connections to access and retrieve data from the Reporting database and OLAP databases.
Dashboards are enabled by using the SharePoint Server 2010 infrastructure and Excel Services integration.
Business Intelligence Center Dashboard pages are pages that can host Web Parts. Together with Web Parts, you can present Project Server data by using several different options:
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2005 or 2008
PerformancePoint Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
SharePoint Server 2010 Business Connectivity Services functionality
Microsoft Search Server 2010
Each of the six methods listed can be added to a dashboard page by using the relevant Web Part for the reporting function. For example, in order to put an Excel Report on a dashboard page, you would add an Excel Web Access Web Part to the dashboard page and link the Web Part to the specific Excel .xlsx file to show in the Web Part.
Dashboard pages have built in page filters which can be linked to Report Web Parts to filter the contents by user other information. Reporting Web Parts can also be linked to one another so that when you select a value in one report, the other connected reports are filtered by the current selection.
Security and access
The only user that has access to the Business Intelligence Center after you install Project Server is the account that was used for installation. You must grant access to other users before they can use reporting content.
Business Intelligence Center does not use Project Server 2010 security mechanisms. It uses SharePoint Server 2010 security for site access and the Secure Store Service for data access. This enables you to delegate Business Intelligence Center administrative duties to a non-Project Server user.
The Business Intelligence Center is a subsite of the Microsoft Project Web App (PWA) site. Although a subsite usually inherits its security permissions from the parent site, security inheritance can be disconnected to enable separate site security management. This allows the Business Intelligence Center to include Project Server 2010 users and other information users in the enterprise who need Project Server 2010 data but do not need access to the Project Server transaction system.
Three SharePoint Server 2010 site permission levels are required for enabling basic usage of the site:
Web Administrators Group — for Business Intelligence Center site administrators
Team members — for report viewers
Project managers — for report authors
These roles give the user access permissions to a set of items within the site. These items can be Reports, Report Templates, and Office Data Connections. For items that are Office Data Connections, the Secure Store credentials that are used for a given ODC provide access to data within the Reporting and OLAP databases.
If you must secure access to specific items within the site, such as restricting access to report folders, specific reports or Office Data Connections, you can customize security permissions on an exception basis by either creating a specific security group that helps secure these items or by editing the security permissions for each item. All of this is accomplished by using SharePoint Server 2010 security.
If you have implemented the Business Intelligence Center, we recommend that you do not rename or delete the default content or its containing folders. When patches and service packs are released in the future, the default content may be recreated.
Office Data Connections
Office Data Connections are external files that can be used by multiple Excel Reports. These files contain:
The connection information that is needed to connect and access the correct target database.
The security credentials needed to read data from the target database.
The specific description of what data will be retrieved from the target database. This can include a Structured Query Language (SQL) select query.
Access to these files can be secured by using SharePoint Server 2010 security. You can also secure access to reporting data by creating separate Secure Store application definitions for each account.
Data Analysis with Microsoft SQL Server
Data Analysis requires Analysis Services, which is part of SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008.
Data Analysis users
Users can use PWA to create and work with Data Analysis views and can use Microsoft Project Professional 2010 to work with Data Analysis views. In order for users to create and work with Data Analysis views, the following must be true:
Users must be assigned permission to access the Data Analysis pages in PWA that allow for interaction with Data Analysis, and they must have permissions to access the data that will be part of the Data Analysis view.
Users must be assigned permission to view Data Analysis from the Business Intelligence site in PWA or from Project Professional 2010.
In order to use the Data Analysis feature, users must be assigned the following permissions:
View Data Analysis This is a global permission that allows a user to view the Data Analysis by using PWA or Project Professional 2010.
Manage Project Web App Views This is a global permission that allows a user to create new views in PWA.
Settings in the Project Server 2010 Enterprise Global Template and Enterprise Resource Pool can have a significant effect on the way that data is handled when users are using Data Analysis. Before you use Data Analysis, consider the following questions:
Has your organization defined Enterprise Project custom fields and Enterprise Resource custom fields?
Have you added all required resources to the Enterprise Resource Pool?
Have values been assigned to any of the Enterprise custom fields?
Have you assigned resources in the Enterprise Resource Pool to the correct Project Server security categories to allow for access to Data Analysis views? (If you import resources or synchronize the Enterprise Resource Pool with the Active Directory directory service, all resources are added to the Team Members security category.)