As a project management organization grows, it becomes increasingly important to be able to extract actionable information (or Business Intelligence-BI) from the significant amount of inherent data contained within the Project Server cloud. Over the last several years, the Microsoft SQL Server has greatly expanded its information processing, analysis, and reporting capabilities. Even Gartner has taken notice of this, and now ranks Microsoft as one of the top leaders in the BI magic quadrant. Key SQL Server tools such as Reporting Services (SSRS) and Analysis Services (SSAS or OLAP) unite with key SharePoint tools such as Dashboard Designer and SharePoint-based PowerPivot to provide an extremely powerful BI platform. None of the tools mentioned above are available in Standard PPM Public Cloud solutions, but they are all available options in Project Hosts’ Custom Private Cloud for Project Server 2013.
Microsoft’s Project Online Cloud supports Excel Services for reporting (including Excel-based PowerPivot running on a user’s PC), but only when the data is accessed using the OData protocol. OData is a new protocol that has been designed in order to allow users to access parts of a database via https. One disadvantage of OData is that it is significantly slower than accessing databases directly via SQL calls (as can be done in Private Clouds). A second disadvantage is that OData reports on static data. A solution that overcomes this disadvantage is Project Hosts’ SSRS Report Enabler. Project Hosts’ SSRS Report Enabler is a Hybrid Cloud solution that works with Project Online. It’s an online service that allows customers to create Business Intelligence reports using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Analysis Services (SSAS) from their Project Online solution. Microsoft demoed our SSRS Report Enabler solution at this year’s Project 2013 Conference, you can watch from this page.
The User experience is completely seamless- users view reports by simply clicking on a link in Project Online and then view SSRS and/ or SSAS- powered reports of their Project Online data, without any additional logins. This gives customers the ability to create and use powerful SSRS and SSAS database reports to gain better program visibility, reduce risk and improve ROI. For enterprises with a medium to large amount of project and resource data, the Public Cloud restriction to only access databases via OData will still mean that users will have to face very long wait times for reports to populate with new data. Enterprises that would like to use the full power of the leading BI tools on the market today can achieve this requirement by choosing a Private Cloud or a Hybrid Cloud configuration through Project Hosts and our partners. Click here to see our Business Intelligence Packages.