November 2007 - Posts
Update: Version 1.1 is now available
So the Adatis dev team have been busy!
As I mentioned in a previous post, one of our clients wanted to be able to show a user's active PPS Planning assignments in their Sharepoint Portal in the same way you can see them in the assignments pane within Excel when you have the add-in installed. "No Problem!" we said naively, assuming it wouldn't be too tricky as everything is passed back and forth using the web service. Anyone who has developed .Net Web Parts will know it's a little convoluted, particularly if you want incorporate a decent user interface. Calling the Planning Web Service itself was relatively straight-forward though a couple of things were far from obvious and required work-arounds.
One of the development requirements was that none of the PPS dll's should need to be installed on the server as it is purely a SharePoint box. This made things a little more tricky as there is a bit more going on in the PPS excel add-in than just calling the web service! It also needed to be configurable using the web part property editor as well using allowing users with the PPS Add-in installed to click on the hyperlink and open the assignment in Excel
Anyway a few weeks (a few late nights and a few more grey hairs) later it's ready for a beta release:
There is currently no documentation around the planning web service so we took a good look round the dll's that get installed with PPS using a great freeware product called Reflector and managed to piece together what was going in Excel when you connected to the PPS Server.
If anyone would like to try the web part please drop us an e-mail email@example.com and we'll be happy to send you a copy (with the usual disclaimers in case your server falls over in a heap!) in return for some testing and feedback. We've only had a limited amount of time to test it so any help is much appreciated. Once it's stable we'll put it on our Web site for download.
Thanks to Bully for just a little bit of help with the code ;). Thanks also to Kevin White and Scott Heimendinger at Microsoft for some pointers in the right direction.
Microsoft's first Technology preview of their upcoming MDM product will be available from tomorrow. More details on how to participate can be found in Kirk Hasselden's blog
Rumours are it's all going to be based around SharePoint...
Whilst I try to avoid just blogging about other people's blogs, this one is too important to miss and the more people who can find it the better.
Nick Barclay (who just in case you don't know is the author the upcoming Rational Guide To Monitoring and Analyzing with Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007) has done a definitive post on Data source connection problems in PPS monitoring.
I reckon it's a pretty safe bet that "Why can't I connect to a data source?" will become the most asked question around PPS Monitoring. Nick's post has the answers!
There's lot of info out there about setting up the application pool identity so that you can set up data sources for dashboards (For example). However there seems to be very little about the various roles that are used in the Dashboard Designer and how to set them up.
If you try and connect to the Dashboard designer without appropriate access it will let you open the application and try and create data sources etc but you'll just get an error message like the one below when you try and connect to a server.
Granting Permissions is a bit hidden away if you don't know where to look and you need to be logged as an existing monitoring server administrator to do this:
- Click on the office icon top left and then the Options button.
- On the Server tab of the new window that pops up you'll see a Connect button.
- Enter the server name e.g. http://servername:40000/WebService/PmService.asmx
- Click the Connect button - if you're not an existing Monitoring Server admin (or a local admin on the monitoring box) you'll get an error message here
- If all is well the Server Options and Permissions buttons will get enabled
- Click Permissions and then Add on the next window and you'll see the window at the centre of the image below.
- Enter the user name and select the role you want to put that user in. If you want to put someone in two different roles (e.g. Power Reader and Data Source Manager) just add them twice.
There are four different roles available: Admin. (unsurprisingly) full rights over the server to build dashboards, administer security etc. Members of the (windows) administrator group on the Monitoring server are automatically put in this group. Data Source Manager. Create, delete and publish data sources on the monitoring server. Creator. Create any dashboard element (and delete any that they own - see below). Power Reader. Read-only access to everything.
Finally, there is a further level to the security that allows you to assign any domain user to have rights to a particular dashboard element without them having to be members of any role on the server.
To do this open the element that you wish to amend the permissions for and select the Properties tab. At the bottom you'll see a Permissions section. In here you can add any domain user as an editor or reader.
Don't forget to click publish after you've changed the security for any dashboard element.
Happy Day of the Dead!!