Microsoft is firmly committed to investing in building and enriching its BI platform technologies and products.
The primary goal of these investments is to fully realize the “BI for the masses” vision by delivering functionally comprehensive and low TCO BI platforms and applications to permeate the benefits of BI across all levels of users in an organization. Figure 1 shows this vision.
The Microsoft BI Stack contains an integrated suite of platform products, technologies, and applications that can be used to implement, deploy, manage, and use rich Business Performance Management features to address the core scenarios listed in the Executive Summary section.
Figure 2 provides an overview of the platform products, technologies, and applications that form the current Microsoft BI stack. The stack consists of the following components:
Data Integration Services: Platform services (SQL Server Integration Services) to support the extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) of data from multiple homogeneous and/or heterogeneous data sources to facilitate consolidated Reporting and Analysis. A Reporting Platform (SQL Server Reporting Services) that consists of services and tools to enable designing, deploying, integrating, and managing reports required to address information analysis requirements. Rich Ad Hoc End-User Reporting and Analysis tools (Microsoft® Office Excel® and SQL report Builder) to facilitate self-service reporting and analysis.
· A Scorecarding, Analytics, and Forecasting/Planning platform (Microsoft® Office PerformancePoint™ Server 2007)
A Portals and Collaboration platform (Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007) to enable Web portals to present, access, and share information.
Microsoft is committed to enhancing the BI stack and enabling richer scenarios in future releases of the platforms and applications.
The product strategy for Reporting and BI in Microsoft Dynamics AX is to integrate tightly with, and take advantage of, the richness, capabilities, and enhancements to the Microsoft BI Stack. Many significant steps have been taken in this direction in the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics AX (Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0), and there is more to come in the future releases. The following sections in this paper on the Business Performance Management features in Microsoft Dynamics AX will highlight the integration points in the current release and summarize related future directions.
Note: This paper will not describe the implementation architecture and details of the products and technologies in the Microsoft BI Stack. The paper will assume general reader familiarity with the Microsoft BI Stack, and will only focus on the related integration points in Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Reporting and BI in Microsoft Dynamics AX
This section describes the features available today in the Microsoft Dynamics AX Reporting and BI framework and planned future directions to address the following Business Performance Management functional scenarios that are core to current generation Business Management systems:
Ad Hoc Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics AX
Ad Hoc Reporting capabilities enable application users to create, view, and save reports that satisfy their individual information analysis requirements. Abstracted tools and services that do not require user knowledge of the underlying database schemas or experience in programming and advanced report authoring are required to enable this scenario. This scenario is also typically referred to as “self service” reporting. The primary goal for Ad Hoc Reporting is to enable application users to locate, select, filter, sort, group data, view, and format the results using predefined layout templates.
Features Available in the Product Today
Note: The features described in this section are supported in the current release (Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0) only when the Dynamics AX database is a SQL Sever 2005 instance.
Model driven integration with SQL Server Report Builder is a new feature in Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 that enables secure Ad Hoc Reporting.
SQL Server Report Builder is a new Ad Hoc Reporting framework and tool introduced in SQL Server Reporting Services 2005 to enable self service end-user reporting. The following webcast provides an overview of SQL Report Builder architecture and the scenarios that it enables. We recommend that you view this webcast if you are not aware of the capabilities and scenarios enabled by SQL Report Builder:
Figure 3 illustrates the integration architecture. This implementation is a prime example of the Microsoft BI stack integration focus of the future direction for Reporting and BI in Microsoft Dynamics AX
www.pargesoft.com Microsoft Dynamics AX / NAV Global Partner