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PerformancePoint Planning Admin Console

The first thing I noticed about the PerformancePoint Planning console was the 'in your face' look and feel.  The menu items are big and clunky, headings oversized and the font is generally big and wiry. So, I made a point of finding the theme and style sheet files responsible and pulled out my metaphorical scalpel and got to work. I've not made a huge design impact.  In fact, some would probably not notice as I've gone for the subtle-yet-effective cosmetic surgery.  However, it makes a difference to me and stops me from rolling my eyes every time I see a 28pt sub title! For those interested, the .skin and .css files can be found in the following location on a default installation: c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server\2007\AdminConsole\App_Themes\BizAdmin The two files in question are: - bizadmin.skin and,- BizAdmin.css The updated files for my custom paint job can be downloaded from here

PerformancePoint Resources

There's still (understandably) relatively little information out there about PerformancePoint and what to do if you have an issue but one that I'm guessing gets overlooked is the Connect site itself.  There's a lot of feedback starting to build up so there is a good chance that the issue you've come across has been logged by someone else already and may have a solution. And of course don't forget to give feedback of your own if you find something that doesn't work or you don't like. Update: as Nick Barclay has spotted, the official PPS team blog seems to have fired up again after a period of inactivity.  Well worth keeping an eye on.

CTP3 PerformancePoint Now available

In what will no doubt be a huge cross post of blogs, Ben Tamblyn got there first with the news that the CTP3 of PerformancePoint is now available from the Connect web site. This release is only for the monitoring component - CTP4 will be a Planning release.  There are a couple of hot fixes available for Planning DO make sure you read the upgrade guide in the Documentation download - it's not as simple as just installing the new release over the top.

PerformancePoint Planning Connection Issues

Despite what the name suggests, adding yourself to the Global Administrator Role is not enough to access PerformancePoint server through the PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler. If you only belong to the Global Administrator Role and attempt to connect to the server through the Business Modeler you will receive a permissions error: You need to belong to one of the other Roles (User Administrator, Data Administrator or Modeler) in order to gain access to the server content through the Planning Business Modeler. I find this a little odd as the Global Administrator Role is required to perform certain actions like deleting an application which is unavailable (grayed out) if, for example, you connect as a member of the modeler role only. I guess the reason is that users that are only members of the Global Administrator Role can perform the actions through the web-based Administration Console and do not necessarily need access to the business user targeted business modeler application.

Best BI Blogs

These days if you want to keep up with all the latest news and developments (especially in our small little BI world) you need to follow the blogs of those who are in the know. Here are some of our favourites: An idea or two... SSIS expert Colin Kirkby (and top guy) Cutting edge! Chris Webb's BI Blog MDX Guru! (Thanks for the link Chris :) Christian Wade's Blog A bit quiet recently but still a great archive of posts Darren Gosbell [MVP] - Random Procrastination Australian BI guru and mastermind behind the excellent BIDS Helper Donald Farmer: Doing Data Integration Soft spoken Scot and MS Group program Manager (and fish farmer) some great posts.  Leading the data mining push at MS Establish. Execute. Evolve. Adrian Downes MS BI blog with some great PerformancePoint posts - Adrian co-wrote an excellent BSM book  with Nick Barclay (see below) Hitachi Consulting BI Blog A combined blog from the folks at Hitachi (though mostly Reed Jacobson) Intelligent Insight on PerformancePoint Ben Tamblyn is Solution Channel Development Manager for MS in the UK and has some great insight on what MS are up to in the BPM world JamieMac's Weblog Jamie MacLennan is AS Dev Manager at Microsoft - excellent data mining resource Microsoft Analysis Services Edward Melomed's Blog - The AS Program Manager and one of the original members of the AS team Microsoft Business Intelligence Blog Patrick Husting's blog - some good PerformancePoint posts here. Patrick is another BSM expert Microsoft OLAP by Mosha Pasumansky The one and only.... Molding the Microsoft BI Stack Shameless plug for my business partner Sacha Tomey's excellent BI and .Net Blog Nick Barclay's BI Blog Nick is BSM expert and co author with Adrian Downes (see above) PerformancePoint Server 2007 Troy Scott is posting some of the best PPS blogs at the moment Random thoughts on Microsoft Business Intelligence products Patrice Truong's great SQL BI blog SimonS SQL Server Stuff More general SQL than BI but still a good read SQL BI Marco Russo - his bio is in Italian (but his excellent blog is in English) SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Mr Sutha Thiru - he never sleeps! SSIS Junkie Conchango's Jamie Thomson SSIS - if you haven't heard of him you should give up now! Thoughts of a Freelance Dolphin Trainer Steve Mchugh - A bit different but always entertaining and very knowledgeable ;) The Kirkopedia Kirk Hasselden - Kirk was development manager for SSIS and now focuses on Microsoft's MDM outlook Of course there's plenty more so apologies if I've missed anyone - please let me know and I'll add them. When I have a bit more time I'll add these to a link section on the site