Posts Tagged sharepoint

Powerpivot Gallery – Snapshot Creation Error – IE9 culprit!

When uploading a PowerPivot model into an existing SharePoint 2010 Powerpivot Gallery, I received the infamous “an error occured while capturing snapshots” error, where the hourglass changes into a disturbing red cross.

Quite odd seeing as I had used this exact library in the past and successfully created snapshots.

Now, there were errors that were quite prevalent in the CTP builds of SharePoint and related to security and underlying services. So, I used this thinking according to Dave Wickert’s blog, And my server passed all of the checkpoints, i.e. everything was setup correctly. I did check the ULS logs, and only found the generic Timeout Expired error.

So, in a move of desperation, I uninstalled Internet Explorer 9 Beta.


And the snapshots started working again!

Another reason not to experiment with IE9 just yet… g


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Excel 2010 – Save & Send to SharePoint Issue

So, I have just finished installing (yet another) BI 2010 Virtual Machine, on Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM.
On this one, I was unable to use Excel’s “Save & Send” feature to publish a workbook to Sharepoint.
When I tried to use the “Browse for a Location” dialog, I would type in the Sharepoint URL, and got a message along the lines of “this application can’t open this location”.
Quite odd.
Turns out that you need the Desktop Experience feature turned on Windows Server 2008 R2 to allow this to work.
Thanks Alan Whitehouse!

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BI Conf 2010 – PowerPivot Management Dashboard

PowerPivot provides a feature in SharePoint Central Admin, where administrators can see the usage history of published PowerPivot workbooks. This PowerPivot Management Dashboard is essentially a custom web part web page that shows a number of views on the current state of the system, including:

  • Infrastructure – Server Health
    • Query Response Times
    • Average CPU Usage
    • Average Memory Usage
    • Activity
    • Performance
  • Workbook Activity – Chart and List
    • This is the killer time based chart showing animated history of workbook activity
  • Data Refresh – Activity and Failures
  • Miscellaneous Reports
    • Essentially a document library that has been exposed through a web part

Generally, this dashboard is quite fixed, both in terms of layout and content.

Elements that cannot currently be updated:

  1. Overall Layout. The “dashboard itself is not written in something like Performance Point, so the layout and content can’t be changed.
  2. The Silverlight Control. Sigh. There are no plans to produce a separate reusable bubble chart control. Bit of a pity, would be great to embed in other dashboards. Maybe next release J

Elements that we can update:

  1. Any of the Excel based workbooks, including the Workbook activity book
    1. These workbooks are in themselves PowerPivot workbooks, which feeds data from the PowerPivot Shared Services Database. (The Usage schema tables)
  2. The Reports document library (bottom right section of the dashboard.)
  3. This is simply a reference to a document library in All Site Content à PowerPivot Management à Instance ID à 1033


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PerformancePoint 2007 – MasterPage “Security” Issue

Interesting bug I ran into this morning…
Basically, when opening a PPM 2007 dashboard, I got a standard Sharepoint Permissions denied web page, allowing me to log on as a different user.
Even though I was site admin!!
So, some background…
I’m in the process of configuring PerformancePoint 2007 + MOSS 2007 Enterprise. (yip, I know 2010 is out, but sometimes we need to work on legacy software!!)
I’m setting up multiple sharepoint web applications on a single IIS server, to cater for a Dev and a QA environment.
So, I had deployed the PerformancePointDefault.master to the /_catalogs/masterpage folder, and when testing as the original site admin, everything was ok.
However, when logging in as a different user (who was also a site admin) I got the Sharepoint Permissions Denied error when trying to open a Dashboard page.
So, it turns out that the PerformancePointDefault.master was in a Pending state in the document library (/_catalogs/masterpage). Meaning that the second user couldn’t see the master page, although he was a site admin. Once Approving and checking in the master page… problem resolved.

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Business Intelligence – ala Microsoft 2010 – Part I

For those that haven’t heard all the news yet … this year is going to see some of the most exciting product launches from Microsoft; particularly in the Business Intelligence space.

Now, Business Intelligence is a far bigger
concept than simply a sexy front end tool, or a super quick ETL tool. Rather it is that sum of the parts that creates a magic whole, and hopefully helps business people grow their businesses.

To support this, the Microsoft Business Intelligence picture includes three main products, all of which are getting new versions in 2010; namely

  • Office 2010
  • Sharepoint 2010
  • SQL Server 2008 R2

I’ve had the opportunity of playing with all of these products in pre-Beta and now in Beta releases, and have seen them improve with each new release. The key new features in each of these products that have got me the most interested include:

  1. Excel Slicers for Pivot Tables
    1. No more horrible unrelated drop down lists in Excel. Slicers really open up your data in an intuitive and ‘touch-ready’ way.
  2. Reporting Services Map Control
    1. Wonderful method to display geographical information, within the context of Reporting Services. No custom code. No messy data connections. Flexible, and very useful.
  3. Master Data Services
    1. One of the features that gets very little attention in the SQL space; but has great potential to help businesses manage their critical business data. No more messy Excel spread sheets, or phone calls to IT to update that mapping table.
  4. Decomposition Tree
    1. Still one of the most powerful visualisations for performing root cause analysis. Available within PerformancePoint Services. (Would love to see it introduced into Excel as well…)
  5. Powerpivot
    1. No Microsoft Business Intelligence blog would be complete without a reference to this wonderful in-memory tool. A plug-in into Excel 2010 as a fully-fledged modelling tool, as well as a Sharepoint feature allowing for online access and sharing. A must have for every financial manager J

These are just a handful of the vast array of features that are coming from Microsoft this year. I would encourage you to download the public betas and start becoming familiar with these products.

Sharepoint 2010 – download

Office 2010 – download

SQL 2008 R2 – download

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SQL PASS: Dashboards in PerformancePoint Services 2010

So, PerformancePoint is slowly but surely growing up into a fully fledged dashboarding environment.

Key new feature that I have seen today is the inclusion of the Sharepoint Connection Framework within PerformancePoint 2010. This basically means that the filters and links between dashboard items are implemented through the Sharepoint glue as apposed to the current custom PerformancePoint 2007 glue.

This opens up a number of new possibilities for filtering dashboards. Including:

  • The ability to automatically tie the current user’s login to the dashboard elements. Meaning that finally dashboards can be “seamlessly” targeted to the current user with no fancy filter logic.
  • Also means that it is possible to link to practically any Sharepoint Web Part as this is a fully supported sharepoint interface.