PerformancePoint Services, SharePoint Lists and Business Connectivity Services
Posted by Alan on May 24, 2011
A little bit ago I responded to a help request over in one of the SharePoint 2010 Forums in regards to using a SharePoint list as a data source for PerformancePoint Services. While I was playing around on my mock-up system and confirming how SharePoint lists worked as a data source I got to wondering if any list could be used as a data source for PPS — including lists generated using the Business Connectivity Services function of SharePoint. Right away, my gut reaction was that it wasn’t going to work and that when I tried to create my data source within Dashboard Designer I was going to get some sort of error message. Well I was wrong. It worked exactly how any other SharePoint list works in regards to being a data source for PPS.
Now I haven’t fully tested this yet, but if it works as it appears to work at first blush it opens up some opportunities in regards to data sources. For those of you who have not worked with the BCS function of SharePoint, it allows you to connect to a data source that is SQL Server based or a .NET assembly or to a WCF web service. Now, using a SharePoint list is not the perfect solution for a PPS data source and having to do a “double hop” of connecting the underlying data to the SharePoint list and then the SharePoint list to PPS, but it does give us more options and more options are always better.
My big test is to see if I can find some publicly available web services and try to connect to those via BCS and then pull that in to a PerformancePoint KPI or chart/graph. It would be very cool if you could compare actuals from your line of business system with some sort of industry or demographic data that is floating out in the cloud.
If anyone has some cool web services I might try, let me know.