PerformancePoint Planning capabilities

Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 with Service Pack 3 (SP3) offers robust planning capabilities that enable organizations to do planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Planning capabilities are available through PerformancePoint Planning Server, and two applications: PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler and PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel. Updates to Planning Server are also included in SP2. For more information about Planning Server, see PPS 2007 PerformancePoint Server on TechNet.

Analysts use Planning Business Modeler to define, modify, and maintain logical business models that are integrated with business rules, workflows, and enterprise data. Business workers use PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel to interact with and continuously contribute to the business processes of planning, budgeting, and forecasting in the familiar Microsoft Office Excel environment. They can build, customize, and share production-quality reports from Excel while being connected to a secure and centrally managed server.

Planning Server stores all business models, process definitions, data and metadata for the organization. This guarantees that consistent data and processes are available for a variety of users.

What's New in SP3?

Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 with Service Pack 3(SP3) includes the following changes and additions to PerformancePoint Planning components:

Addition/Change Description
Support for Line item details

Using PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel, you can now add line item details to a cell in an assignment matrix. This enables you to specify more detailed information for a single cell.

For example, “Salaried employee training” and “Hourly employee training” might be line item details for a single “Training” line item. The values of the line item details always add up to the value in the parent line item.

PerformancePoint Planning Server

Planning Server provides the infrastructure for the planning capabilities of PerformancePoint Planning. Planning Server is built on Microsoft SQL Server 2005 based databases and SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. Planning Server centrally manages data, business metadata, business rules and logic, dimensional views, forms and process control, and security.

Planning Server guarantees a consistent and timely view into a business by using data from multiple existing systems without changing those systems. Business analysts can access the data from Planning Server through Planning Business Modeler. Analysts create model sites, data mappings, and applications, and then define security roles for contributors. Contributors access their assignments through PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel.

You can read more about Planning Server on Microsoft TechNet.

PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler

Planning Business Modeler enables business analysts to create business models that are integrated with business rules and processes, associated data, and the data dimensions that organize the data. You can use these models and their business dimensions to perform complex planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation. Planning Business Modeler runs locally on each user's computer, but all the models and schemas are based in Planning Server.

Use Planning Business Modeler to perform the following tasks:

  • Create customized business models: Build models that reflect the way you manage your business. Each model is uniquely associated with its own multidimensional cube that contains all the data and metadata that are required by the model. Models also contain a unique set of business rules and logic, custom-defined workflow processes, and locally assigned security for those workflow functions.
  • Create business rules from templates, or write your own: Planning Business Modeler includes numerous templates for business rules. You can use these templates to quickly define logic for standard business calculations such as depreciation, variance over specified periods, present value, allocations, and rate of return.
  • Perform currency conversions and consolidations for financial reporting: Planning also supports the management and financial Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAA) consolidation process with multiple currency conversions, inter-company eliminations and reconciliations, and multi-tier allocations.
  • Define data dimensions that reflect your business: Planning Business Modeler automatically defines a collection of frequently used data dimensions when you create an application. In addition, you can define user-specified dimensions that reflect your organization. For example, an Accounts dimension is predefined, but your business might require a Products dimension. Each dimension can contain members, and define hierarchies with member sets.
  • Create process workflows: You can define processes in Planning Business Modeler, and run those processes on the schedules and cycles that you specify. For example, you might define a budget process that creates allocations that are based on a set increase over the previous year, and then create data entry forms that individual unit managers use to input information. Finally, you might assign a set of reviewers to approve and submit the input.

PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel

PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel adds PerformancePoint planning commands and functions to Microsoft Office Excel. You can use it to perform a variety of reporting and data entry tasks. PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel supports report authoring, data entry and submission, and data workflow.

It enables business users to publish live reports from Excel to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, providing consistency of experience for report consumers.

Users can work with PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel when it is connected to Planning Server or offline.

Use PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel to perform the following tasks:

  • Build financial reports or custom reports that are specific to your organization: PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel provides two ways of creating reports. One is to quickly build financial reports by using one of the predefined templates in a step-by-step wizard environment. The other is to build custom reports or ad-hoc reports. You can export reports to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services.
  • Analyze business models: You can retrieve and display data from Planning Server models in a worksheet. You can use the data to pivot, filter, or drill through data in an assignment. You can also format and arrange data as you want in the Excel grid environment. Additionally, you can perform "what-if" calculations to analyze how calculations will appear with different inputs.
  • Enter and submit data: PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel integrates the Planning Server system. This enables you to work with data in Excel and submit data to Planning Server models.
  • Enable collaboration: Through data-entry assignments, users can collaborate by submitting, reviewing, approving, or rejecting data in assignments. While reviewing or editing assignments, users can also add annotations to cells. By using some of the native features in Excel, users can also add charts and calculations to describe the assignment.
  • Run server jobs: You can create and start jobs, which are automated tasks that are performed by the system. After you create a job, you can start it from PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel to accomplish tasks such as running rule sets or sending notifications.

 Note    PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel uses the .NET Framework. SOAP requests are used to access the PerformancePoint Planning Web Service server. PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel also uses ADOMD.NET to query the cubes for PerformancePoint Planning models, for forecasting analysis (what-if analysis), and for offline cube generation.