Alan Whitehouse's Ramblings

Continuing to work until my heavy investment in lottery tickets finally pays off….

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    Historically speaking, all true change in the world has come thanks to leaders emerging, them taking charge and giving the masses someone to rally around. Can an intentionally "leaderless" movement survive or will it just slowly fade away?

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    The views expressed in this blog, while intelligent and always right, are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone else with which I am in any way affiliated. And don't forget, I own the rights to all information on this blog (except for the stuff I stole from other people).
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    You want change, then get involved. Vote, run for office, go to shareholder meetings and contact advertisers or investors. Sitting around banging drums, singing kumbaya, smoking weed and having a camp out under the stars is not going to get you the change you want.

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Office 365 and Business Intelligence

Posted by Alan on August 5, 2011

So yesterday I spent the afternoon at Microsoft learning more about the new Office 365 offering.  All in all, I am very impressed by what you get with Office 365 for the cost.  When you looking at the pricing the Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and Office Professional offerings the decision to go that route should be a no-brainer for most organizations — especially those who are running older software releases or have hardware refreshes in their near future.  So what is my problem with the Office 365?  It all comes down to the SharePoint component, or more specifically, what is missing from the SharePoint 365 offering.

As far as SharePoint is concerned, in the current Office 365 release there is no support for the following items — PerformancePoint Services, Business Connectivity Services, FAST search or fully-trusted code.  Without PerformancePoint Services and BCS the ability to provide BI in the Microsoft public cloud is extremely limited.  It all comes down to the fact that none of these components is designed to be multi-tenant and although Microsoft is working on solutions the word I keep hearing is that we won’t see any changes until the wave 15 release of Office or beyond.   It is the “or beyond” that scares me and makes me worry how much of a priority any of these items truly have, if at all.  And when Denali is release, I really doubt we will see any sort of support for SSRS or Project Crescent within SharePoint 365 for quite a while.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Excel, Microsoft, Office, PerformancePoint, PowerPivot, SharePoint | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

More on PerformancePoint Services, SharePoint Lists and Business Connectivity Services

Posted by Alan on June 10, 2011

So a few weeks back I blogged about using Business Connectivity Services to create a SharePoint List that can be a data source for PerformancePoint Services.  Richard Mintz has taken what I did to the next level by creating his own web service and using it to go afterr Netflix data.  Head on over to his blog and give his post a read if you want to learn more.  what he did a read.


Posted in PerformancePoint, SharePoint | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Microsoft, PerformancePoint, SharePoint | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Upcoming CFO Summit Events in Toronto and Ottawa

Posted by Alan on May 2, 2011

Just a quick reminder that TGO Consulting is hosting two events this week, one in Toronto and one in Ottawa.  The topic is “Driving Stronger Performance Starts with the Right Budgeting Solution”.  We have two guest speakers:

  • Leon Goren – President of Presidents of Enterprising Organizations and co-founder of
  • Joel Freedman — Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft Canada

I will be showing some pre-release code of the new TGO Budgeting Solution along with some integration to the Microsoft BI stack.  Showing beta code is always interesting so if you ever wanted to watch me crash and burn, now is the time.

For move information or to register please visit the Training & Events page on the TGO website.

Posted in Microsoft, True Sky Planning | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »