I wanted to share my experience with the new features of Mobile Entrée and how to leverage your existing Microsoft Business Intelligence investments as a starting point to building out the mobile platform. Mike Burger posted earlier regarding Mobile Entrée (found here). He stated the fact that it can integrate with SharePoint and render reports in Excel in the mobile browser. These are very compelling features in trying the solution out. I am impressed with the ability to finally share my Excel documents and reports which can be refreshed from Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services cubes via my phone or smart tablet solution. Now with Mobile Entrée 3.0, we can connect and display data from SQL Server Analysis Services solutions through Performance Point dashboards as well.
The installation is very simple and we will definitely provide more blogs detailing the process. The installation file is very small and the installation takes just a few minutes on our demo instance of SharePoint 2010. There are some follow on steps to enable the content on the site collection and update the license in Central Admin on the site and in our site collection to enable the content. We will go into more detail with the experiences on deploying the content in a later blog.
Once we have the site up and running with Mobile Entrée 3.0 we wanted to deploy our PerformancePoint content in addition to the Excel services reports we already deployed with version 2.3. We selected a PerformancePoint application from Mobile Entrée and pointed to a list with the PerformancePoint content. In any deployment you can point to any list with your content in your existing environment with the following steps and it is a simple 3 step process shown in Figure 1.
- Select a New Mobile Application instance
- Create a PerformancePoint application
- Select the site which contains the PerformancePoint content.
Figure 1: 3 Step process to define the content in your existing environment for PerformancePoint dashboards
In our demo implementation, we also deployed PerformancePoint content from our Health care demos and it is displayed on our external site from our IPhones using Safari browsers. The following browsers are supported according to the BETA notes of the Mobile Entrée 3.0 release:
Safari – Windows/Mac/iOS4+ (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
Android – 2.2+
We authenticated simply using our existing SharePoint credentials.
It is important to emphasize that this is content we didn’t create just for Mobile Entrée. This was content we already had in our environment from existing PerformancePoint development efforts. Mobile Entrée is able to view that content using our currently deployed BI content and view it and share it with folks with mobile capabilities and using their existing SharePoint credentials. I feel this feature allows the user of Mobile Entrée to not have to reinvent the wheel just for deploying Mobile Entrée. We all have our investments in PerformancePoint and can leverage those to a great degree. The task is just defining which content is suited for sharing via the mobile platform and which is suited for more site and drill analysis with other less mobile devices. I think that the fact we don’t have to develop content just for deploying PerformancePoint on Mobile Entrée is an amazing added value to the product and has potential to really allow users to deploy analysis tools to wider user base with existing mobile content in very short time span. In the example below we show screen shot details of an “Average Surgeon time” metric view using the Mobile Entrée 3.0 feature.
In the example above I have my Average Surgeon time which is used to measure a provider’s efficient utilization of time in their particular organization and compare it to their cohorts and allow them to see what their average times are. I can then select another option using the menu control on the top right hand corner using my dashboards in Mobile Entrée. The screen below shows the list of options.
Users are able to turn reports into various formats (i.e. Grid, Bar Chart, etc.) or drill into details defined in our dimensions. In this case I have ability for my users to see all their average surgeon times by various dimensions such as Service date, ICD Procedure, Primary Diagnosis and various other values as in the PerformancePoint desktop device.
The equivalent product in our desktop environment looks like the option below.
The ease of installation and deployment speed with Mobile Entrée 3.0 makes this product a great tool for deploying a mobile Business Intelligence application using Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, Excel and PerformancePoint. The product is in Beta version for now. I will keep more blogs coming as I am enabling more content using the product.