What’s New in PerformancePoint Services and SP1?

I know that a lot of people have been anxiously waiting for some meaningful information about what’s coming in Service Pack 1 (SP1) for PPS. The release is scheduled for the end of June, and as Jason mentioned at the end of his kickoff blog, I’m releasing content for the month of June, around the PPS aspects of SP1. Of course, SP1 is an Office 2010 service pack, and the number of updates included for PPS are relatively few when you count them against Office as a whole, but if you’re reading this blog, you obviously care very much about that subset for your favorite dashboarding tool . . . PPS.

I know that you want me to dispense with any small talk about things other than what’s been updated in PPS. But before I do that, I want to let you know what’s in store for the month’s blog. In this post, I’m going to tell you what’s included in the list of SP1 features and fixes. There are actually many more items than what I list here, and many of those things aren’t relevant to the discussion, so I left them out. As a result, I’ve narrowed the list to some of the more relevant and customer-oriented topics. So, without further delay, here is a table listing what the major features and updates include for SP1 and PPS.

Product Area Explanation
Dashboard We fixed an issue that prevented users from exporting or viewing reports or scorecards opened using the Display Report option in a PerformancePoint Content List.
When you deploy a dashboard, we now place the prior version in SharePoint's Recycle Bin.
Server You can now specify a specific web front end URL when connecting to a site collection from Dashboard Designer.
We fixed an issue where users could not render a dashboard as anonymous on an extended web application (e.g. on a different zone) if the default zone web application didn’t allow anonymous access.
We added the ability for PPS to support database failover and the ability for administrators to name the PPS database. Administrators can also specify an empty database for PPS rather than having SharePoint create it during provisioning.
We better handle cache memory consumption, which increases user throughput and reduces server memory use.
We decreased Analysis Services CPU load by up to 37% by adding special logic around schema query calls.
Added event logging for removing trusted locations using cmdlets.
Updated WSDL and DISCO files for the authoring and the decomp tree web services.
Reports Fixed an issue where, if users have a “%” sign in a dimension member name column on a scorecard, the Comments, Show Details, and Analyze in Decomp Tree menu items are not enabled when a user right-clicks a cell.
  Fixed an issue where the decomposition tree web service returns error when a member's name contains single quote.
Fixed an issue where some users experienced an error when clicking on Additional Actions –> Drillthrough in a report.
Fixed an issue where some users always experienced scrollbars, in an Excel Services report, after resizing the report in SharePoint.
Fixed an issue where some users were unable to decomp a scorecard with a connected SharePoint URL (QueryString) filter.
Fixed an issue with a PPS Excel Services report where gradient fill in data bars conditional formatting does not appear in the Excel Services report.
Fixed an issue where the “clear filter” option is disabled for value filters on a bar chart report.
Fixed an issue where, on a scorecard, unchecking a single member in the select members dialog de-selected all of the members, rather than just the one.
Fixed an issue where some customers experienced an unexpected error on a chart with custom MDX when switching the view from the MDX tab back to the design tab.
Fixed an issue with web page report types, where URLs containing spaces and special characters fail to render on a dashboard, but preview fine.
SDK Custom data source providers are now able to use the SecureCredentialProvider class, which allows them to access the unattended service account.
Filters Added cascading filters
Fixed a usability feature where tree filters, with only one root level item, with children, auto expands.
Scorecards Fixed a scorecard annotation issue in dashboard designer where adding a comment link with the same title as a previously added comment link surfaces an error to the user.
Fixed an issue where limiting SharePoint permissions to individual items in a scorecard causes the entire scorecard not to render, or it causes an error to show.
Fixed an issue where scorecards that have an indicator, without an image, fail to export to PowerPoint or to Excel.
Added documentation explaining the need to hold down the shift key when dragging and dropping a dimension over multiple KPI metrics.
Data Sources Fixed an issue where PPS only returned the default view of list items for a SharePoint list data source. In SP1, all of the list’s columns are returned.
Fixed an issue for SharePoint list data sources where updating or modifying the list now invalidates the data source cache.


So, those are the major ones. By far, the COOLEST thing coming in SP1 is the addition of cascading filters. A lot of thought went into the design, making them quite robust and “feature-rich.” They will certainly please users who have been asking for this functionality. Stay tuned for a post about that in the coming weeks.

The rest of the changes coming in SP1 – like fit and finish updates, unicode character handling, minor localization changes, error handling, etc. – are pretty obscure and very likely won’t noticeably affect anyone reading this blog.

In my next post for this month, we’ll be looking closer at some of the features themselves. I feel like the product team has been offline for a while, and we have, but only from blogging. PPS itself is coming along swimmingly!

Kevin Donovan

Program Manager for PerformancePoint Services