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Configuring business intelligence content for viewing on mobile devices

SharePoint 2013

Published: December 18, 2012

Summary: Learn tips and tricks of configuring reports, scorecards, and dashboards to be displayed correctly on mobile devices.

Applies to:  SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise 

Office 2013, together with SQL Server applications, enables you to create lots of reports, scorecards, and dashboards. Whether your organization is using SharePoint Server 2013 (on premises) or Office 365 (which includes SharePoint Online) to share business intelligence content, you probably have people in your organization who want to view that content on mobile devices. This article contains recommendations on how to configure business intelligence content to display on devices such as Apple iPad or Windows 8 tablet devices.

Requirements

People must be able to connect to the sites where business intelligence content resides.

  • If your business intelligence content is published to SharePoint Server, then people must be able to connect to the corporate network to access the content.

    See Plan for mobile devices in SharePoint 2013 for important information.

  • If your business intelligence content is published to Office 365, then people must have a user name and password to log on to view the content online.

Configuring reports, scorecards, and dashboards to display on mobile devices

As you create and publish reports, scorecards, and dashboards in your organization, consider certain items or potential issues that can arise as people attempt to consume that content on mobile devices. The following table contains frequently asked questions that might arise, together with recommendations for best results.

Table: Potential Issues and Recommendations

Item or Potential Issue Recommendation

Display size

Depending on how much content is displayed in a dashboard page, reports, scorecards, and dashboards might look very small on mobile devices. This can make it difficult for people to view the content on a mobile device.

When you create reports, scorecards, and dashboards that will be displayed on mobile devices, such as Apple iPad and Windows 8 tablet devices, make sure that you do not display too many items on a single page. For example, consider creating views that do not contain lots of columns. In addition, reports that are viewed on tablet devices generally display much smaller than you would see on a computer. Consider creating pages that contain just a few (no more than four) reports on a single page.

Filters

Some kinds of slicers might not work as expected on Excel Services reports displayed on touch devices that do not use external keyboards. In particular, when people use touch devices, people can apply single-item slicers, but not slicers that include multiple selections.

Consider creating filters and slicers that will enable people to view the information that they need. Some applications, such as PerformancePoint Services or SQL Server Reporting Services, enable you to create filters that enable people to select multiple items in a list. Excel Services supports a timeline control that you can create by using Excel, which enables people to view information for a particular period of time.

Links and right-click menus

People might not know how to open some kinds of hyperlinks and context menus as they do when they view business intelligence content on a Windows-based computer.

Mobile devices do not typically support right-click functionality or the ability to double-click a SharePoint folder to open it. But, this does not mean that context menus or folders are unavailable.

To open a SharePoint folder or a shortcut menu or a hyperlink in a browser window on a mobile device, tap and hold a position for approximately 1-2 seconds. A shortcut menu opens from which you can select the option that you want.

note Note:

If your organization is running SharePoint Server 2013 in SharePoint Server 2010 mode, context menus might not be available for PerformancePoint content.

Exporting content

Certain kinds of Web Parts contain commands that enable people to export a view to another application. For example, some PerformancePoint Web Parts have Export to PowerPoint or Export to Excel commands. Other kinds of Web Parts might have different export commands. Depending on the kind of Web Part and how a device is configured, people might be unable to export content, even if a Web Part menu contains an export command that is displayed on a device.

Some kinds of reports and scorecards can be exported if the necessary software is installed on the mobile device.

  • To use an Export to PowerPoint command, verify that you have installed an application that is compatible with PowerPoint on the device.

  • To use an Export to Excel command, verify that you have installed an application that is compatible with Excel on the device.

Operating systems and compatibility issues

As updates to operating systems are released, browsing functionality can be affected. For example, people who were using one version of an operating system’s browser to view a dashboard might find that it no longer works using an updated version of that operating system’s browser.

In addition, views that require client-side applications, such as Silverlight, might not be displayed on mobile devices.

Consider testing your business intelligence content on various devices and operating systems to determine which features and functionality work in your environment. You won’t be able to control when updates are released and when people install those updates, but by periodically testing your business intelligence content on various devices, you can be aware of issues people might face.

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