Corporate Analytics and Outside Accessibility
When helping a customer determine the best business intelligence solution to fit their needs, a recent (almost consistent) trending question asked is “How can our personnel perform ad-hoc data warehouse analytics outside the office?” Years ago, our low-cost suggestions included terms like “VPN” and “ISA server.” Today, Microsoft has helped us out a little with their increasing enhancements to not only SharePoint’s capabilities, but also its licensing model.
With the new licensing scheme for SharePoint 2013, you need an enterprise license CAL to use SharePoint for Internet-facing sites – making the deployment many times cheaper than one would have paid for the same functionality in SharePoint 2010. This has made the available SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise features for Business Intelligence almost a one-stop-shop for the presentation layer of a SQL Server Business Intelligence deployment.
With the enhanced features now available in both Excel Services and PerformancePoint Services, end user BAs and executives can still access cubes from within Microsoft Excel on his or her workstation, but can also experience the same ad-hoc analytic features from a corporate SharePoint portal. Further, this increasingly improved SharePoint and Data Warehouse integration makes it much easier for end users to construct personalized dashboards – accessible from wherever the corporate user can browse and authenticate into the company’s Internet-facing SharePoint portal, even using an iPad.
Microsoft has a nice presentation demonstrating SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise’s enhanced (and powerful) BI integration features that should certainly be checked out: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/SharePoint-2013-BI