In the 2007 Microsoft® Office system productivity platform, formerly code-named Office “12,” Microsoft Corp. will expand on its integrated set of programs, servers and services to deliver new capabilities to aid information workers in accomplishing a variety of tasks: accessing information wherever people need to work, better managing personal and team projects, collaborating on content, and controlling the ways that content is shared and used by others. With the speed of business ever increasing, companies must find ways of capturing and analyzing business data efficiently so they can identify business issues in time to act on them. That is why Microsoft believes it is important to create business intelligence (BI) offerings that are not only easy to use but are seamlessly integrated into the tools that information workers use every day — specifically Microsoft Office — to help them access and work with their business information. Following is an overview of Microsoft’s BI offerings that will be delivered with the 2007 release.
Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Excel® has long been a favorite tool for employees who need to analyze information. In the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Excel becomes a powerful BI tool for more securely accessing, analyzing and sharing information from data warehouses and enterprise applications. Improvements include the following:
BI analysis capabilities. Excel 2007 can connect to enterprise data and maintain a persistent connection between those spreadsheets and the back-office data source, enabling not only easy updates to Excel worksheets with the most current information but the ability to drill down within Excel to more detailed levels of information to spot exceptions and trends. New features include complete support for Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 Analysis Services, improved sorting and filtering capabilities, data visualization tools, and enhanced PivotTables and PivotCharts.
Spreadsheet fundamentals. Excel 2007 helps people build professional-quality spreadsheets faster with significantly expanded row and column capacity, faster calculations, improved formula authoring, and new galleries and style templates.
Improved charting and printed output. Excel 2007 utilizes a new charting engine to enable people to create professional-looking charts and graphs. These enhancements, when combined with a vastly improved printing experience, will enable people to share their analysis within high-impact reports.
Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 Products and Technologies
In the 2007 release, the next generation of SharePoint® Products and Technologies expands beyond traditional portal and dashboard offerings to provide interactive BI portals that put live information at users’ fingertips in a centrally managed, easy-to-customize platform that allows them to accomplish the following:
Create and share server-based spreadsheets. New server-side Excel capabilities help organizations maintain “one version of the truth,” providing enhanced security and broad access to spreadsheets with sever-based storage, management, calculation and rendering over the Web. Excel Services also makes it possible to share spreadsheet results with customers and partners without revealing confidential business logic and related financial models.
Set up and manage reports and data portals in no time. Features such as the Report Center Web site provide a consistent end-user portal experience, as well as tools to enable consistent IT administration of reports across the enterprise, which makes it easy to centralize all reports and spreadsheets in one place.
Create dashboards from multiple data sources (without writing code). Users can create rich, interactive BI dashboards using data from Excel spreadsheets, SQL Server Reporting Services reports, business scorecards, Key Performance Indicators and custom parts without writing or developing code.
Easily find and include data from back-end systems in the portal using the Business Data Library.
Build spreadsheet-based applications. The Excel Web Services API allows IT departments to define and modify application business models and logic without writing code by simply connecting their custom applications to calculations and business models defined in Excel.
Find key reports and spreadsheets from any portal page. Improved search and content management capabilities make it easy and intuitive to find, collaborate with and manage information.
Streamline business processes with built-in workflow. By combining Windows® Workflow Foundation capabilities with the ease of use of the 2007 Microsoft Office system applications, companies can bring security to Excel spreadsheets by managing document approval, storage, use and destruction on the server.
Pricing and Availability
The 2007 Microsoft Office system will be available in the second half of 2006. Pricing is yet to be determined.
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