Microsoft BI Review

Microsoft BI on iPad

I know that Microsoft have promised that they will be playing catch up later this year in terms of Mobile BI, and for sure they need to. Offerings available right now from the likes of Cognos, QlikView, Business Objects and Microstrategy (current personal favourite) far outstrip what you can do with the current Microsoft stack. But what does work?

Well, from what I can see, anything Sliverlight based is out, so that rules out PowerView and Decomp Trees in PPS. It seems that most of the other things work though, so there’s much you can still do.

Having managed to blag a company iPad in my new role as Reporting & Analytics lead, I figured I’d hook it up to the MSFT 2008R2 demo server I built that currently hosts some of Logica’s Spark Centre demos. Having installed Junos Pulse, a VPN app that allows me to securely connect to my work network, I found that the Sharepoint “pretend Telco” site renders quite well on the iPad.

Firstly, I checked out SSRS… There’s no right click on iPad so you need to hit the screen over any drop downs and wait a moment for the selections to pop up.

Looks pretty good… Next was PPS – remember, no Silverlight and doesn’t look like drill downs are fully working, but still able to do things like selecting chart items, changing from chart to grid and most impressively, export to Excel and PowerPoint works just fine (providing you have an Office programme installed such as QuickOffice, Docs to Go etc). Click Export to Excel and you get a choice..

And here’s the report in QuickOffice

Last thing to try was Excel services. Here, the Open in Excel function does not work. Apparently, there is no fooling it in to accepting being opened in a cheap substitute ;) but the charts look OK…

So, not perfect, but not all despair, and I’m assured that there are lots of goodies to come later in the year once the SQL2012 launch is out of the way. Still, it will need to be good to match my current favourites… If you get the chance, have a look at the Microstrategy iPad app….

And the nice app from RoamBI

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Add a Comment

author avatarit_user1068 (Tech Support Staff at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

The world has gone mobile with most people and companies, if not all, opting for portable devices even if they are not on the go. In deed Microsoft is missing out on a great potential to do business, hence should avail a mobile version as soon as possible just as they promised. However, it better be good if not the best in order to edge out the likes of QlikView and Cognos that are already in the mobile market of Business Intelligence tools.

author avatarit_user4401 (Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

Some of the business inteligence vendors offer mobile solutions. Notable examples include QlikView and Cognos, as Tina said, but there is also MicroStrategy. Developers are still waiting for Microsoft to offer mobile solutions.

author avatarit_user1068 (Tech Support Staff at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

It is a shame (sorry to say) that the big giant has not yet gone mobile with their BI solutions in this modern age where technology has made mobile very handy!