Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence: Which client technology should you use?

When considering a client-side technology for a business intelligence solution based on Microsoft's SQL Server, Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 platforms, there are many choices including:
- Excel
- Excel uploaded into Excel services
- SharePoint 2010 BI web parts (e.g. charting web part)
- SharePoint 2010 BI list templates (e.g. KPI list templates)
- PerformancePoint/SharePoint 2010 (Dashboard designer with support for KPIs, reports, charts, dashboards, etc)
- Custom ASP.NET web applications
- Custom WinForm applications
- Custom Silverlight applications

What's the right choice? The right choice should be primarily driven by who the different types of users are and how they will use the BI solution for in their day-to-day jobs. That is, you need to think most about what is the right technology that helps a particular group of users successfully complete their tasks.

Other considerations include criteria like desktop requirements for client technology, licensing costs, development, deployment and maintenance costs and governance (e.g. how much of the solution needs to be centrally managed/controlled, how much latitude does the user have in terms in interacting/changing/customizing the solution).

Michael Herman
Solution Architect

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