Adatis BI Blogs

SQL 2008 Feature Pack

Not so much a Pack, as a collection of very useful tools, that can be downloaded here: I will be investigating the Reporting Services Integration with MOSS 2007 very soon, but for the time being here is some information on the downloads, that are being called the SQL 2008 feature pack. Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies - pretty much the same as the one for SQL 2005, but with the ability to use the enhanced reporting in 2008. SQL Server Native Client - One DLL, that contains OLEDB and SQL ODBC drivers for close application integration, they allow the development of new application that take advantage of some of the new features in SQL 2008. SQL Server 2005 Backward Compatibility Components - Pretty much what it says on the tin,  Data Transformation Services 2000 runtime (DTS), SQL Distributed Management Objects (SQL-DMO), Decision Support Objects (DSO),  and SQL Virtual Device Interface (SQLVDI) are all supported with this feature pack. SQL Server Data Mining Add-ins for Microsoft Office 2007 - Allows you take advantage of SQL Server 2008 predictive analytics in Excel 2007 and Visio 2007. Table analysis for excel allows you to use simple data mining models on data contained within your spreadsheets.  Data Mining for Visio allows you to render data mining models directly in Visio. All in all pretty good stuff for nothing!

Installing MOSS 2007 on Windows Server 2008

SharePoint Server 2007 RTM or WSS 3.0 will not install on Windows Server 2008 as it requires SP1.  In order to install MOSS 2007 on Windows Server 2008 you will need to install 'MOSS with Service Pack 1' (this includes WSS with Service Pack 1). This is known as a slipstream installation and it contains the original image for MOSS/WSS RTM and the MOSS/WSS SP1 files. The problem is that this 'all in one' slipstream for MOSS was not available for download, however now it seems that this has been released and can be found here: Office SharePoint Server 2007 with SP1 (32 bit) Office SharePoint Server 2007 with SP1 (64 bit) This seems odd as the Install is about 600mb and states that it is a trial, however bear with it, you will need to register for download, and you will find 2 executables  (OfficeServer.exe 295.0 MB and OfficeServerwithSP1.exe 409.2 MB) (What would we do without broadband!). Install the OfficeServerwithSp1 executable. Initially you will be asked to enter your Product Key.  If you have an official product key you can use that, otherwise you should have been sent a trial key. Now you have a SharePoint Server that will install on Windows Server 2008, with no problems at all.  Microsoft have not yet released this as a bundle, or even on MSDN, however I am sure they will do this in time. 

Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2007 Versions

Microsoft versions can be become very confusing, not too long ago I was helping a small client get the correct version of SQL 2005 (There are an astonishing 6 editions, before breaking those editions into licensing methods).  Although not the topic of the article, research into business needs against actual required version can be quite time consuming, and confusing.  Microsoft have helped this with regards to Sharepoint 2007 by supplying a spreadsheet of version comparisons (Download here).  There are 3 versions of Sharepoint 2007, excluding the free bundled WSS 3.0 (a comparison can be found here); these are SharePoint 2007 for Search, Standard and Enterprise.   MOSS 2007 For Search has the core search functionality but not the complete, integrated MOSS 2007 offering. MOSS 2007 for Search indexes common data sources out of the box with security trimmed search results and can be extended to search third-party repositories. It can also provide search functionality for public-facing Internet sites. It delivers search functionality for structured and unstructured data sources, security trimmed search results, search for third-party content sources and repositories, as well as people and expertise search. Standard vs Enterprise comes down to a few extra features (the following is cribbed directly from the Downloadable spreadsheet), which includes all of the Business Intelligence features of SharePoint.  Items Only available in Enterprise: All Business Intelligence Offerings (11 Key Items) - So for us, in our ever growing world of Business Intelligence, means that the enterprise version is the only way forward. All Forms Server Offerings (7 Key Items) - Although these features are implemented in Office Forms Server. Business Data Search - Search data residing in your line of business applications using the Business Data Catalog. Structured content sources as well as LOB application data and reports accessible through web services or ADO.NET can be indexed and retrieved through the Business Data Catalog as search results or into a Sharepoint list Excel Spreadsheet Developer Reuse and Extensibility - Spreadsheets published to SharePoint sites are accessible more securely using Web services. This means that application developers can take advantage of the logic embedded in a spreadsheet by remotely accessing spreadsheets from any platform. Business analysts can modify or update the model without affecting the business application or having to involve an application developer in the process.

The Difference Between MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0

It always astounds me what Microsoft are willing to bundle with their software, Analysis Services or SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) with SQL Server for example!  They haven't stopped, they bundle Windows Sharepoint Services with Windows Server 2003, with is basically a fully functional SharePoint Server, however they still have SharePoint Server 2007  as a product.  So what are the differences? At first glance it doesn't appear to be much, however for tight integration into the enterprise, it seems that MOSS 2007 (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) is a must! I will highlight the most interesting bits that MOSS 2007 has over and above WSS 3.0 (Windows Sharepoint Services) : User Profiles support - Allows each user to store profile information Site Manager - Manage Navigation, Security and look and feel with drag an drop functionality Enterprise Search Tools - numerous tools to search Sharepoint Sites and Portals across entire enterprises Business Data Catalog - The Business Data Catalog (BDC) tightly integrates external data, providing access to external data residing within other business applications, and enabling the display of, and interaction with external data Business data search - Search data residing in your business applications using the BDC (See Above) Business Data Web Parts - Used for viewing lists, entities, and related information retrieved through the Business Data Catalog Business document workflow support - Automate document review, approval, signature collection, and issue tracking using workflow applications Retention and auditing policies - Allows customized information management policies to control retention period, expiration, and auditing Browser-based forms - Integration with InfoPath, allows integration on to SharePoint of created forms and surveys. Integrated, flexible spreadsheet publishing - Allows information workers to easily choose what they want to share with others and determine how others can interact with published spreadsheets. Share, manage, and control spreadsheets - Provides access to spreadsheet data and analysis through server-calculated, interactive spreadsheets from a Web browser. Can help to protect any sensitive or proprietary information embedded in documents, such as financial models, and audits their usage. Web-based business intelligence using Excel Services - Allows spreadsheets to be broadly and easily shared. Fully interactive, data-bound spreadsheets including charts, tables, and PivotTable views can be created as part of a portal, dashboard, or business scorecard. Data Connection Libraries - Document Libraries storing ODCs (Office Data Connections), Making one single location for all data connections. Business Data actions -  Easily create actions that open Web pages, display the user interfaces of other business applications, launch InfoPath forms, and perform other common tasks. Integrated business intelligence dashboards - Rich, interactive BI dashboards that assemble and display business information from disparate sources by using built-in Web parts, Excel spreadsheets, Reporting Services, or a collection of business data connectivity Web Parts. Report Center - Provides consistent management of reports, spreadsheets, and data connections. Key performance indicators - A KPI web Part can connect to Analysis Services, Excel Spreadsheets, SharePoint Lists, or manual entered data. Notification service - Improved allowing workflow users to receive emails by default, and improved triggering and filtering Single Sign-On (SSO) - Allows the User to log onto a variety of applications with a single user name and password, therefore integrating back office applications, and helps pre-population with integration to the Profile part of MOSS 2007. Social Networking Part - Connect to Public My Site pages to help establish connections between colleagues with common interests Personal Site Support - Allows Users to create Personal Web Sites   Content syndication - Use RSS feeds to syndicate content managed in a portal site.   This is just a few of the extras you get in MOSS 2007, and I have highlighted those that are more angled to Business Intelligence! As for the cost, you can find that here: (In USD$ I am afraid)  MOSS 2007 sits centre stage in Microsoft's BPIO (Business Productivity Infrastructure Optimisation) vision for the "People Ready Business"... Lets see what it can do!