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New Features for Business Intelligence in SQL Server 2012 SP1

SharePoint 2013 stakeholders looking for a Business Intelligence (BI) solution should consider some new improvements Microsoft® has made to SQL Server 2012 SP1.

Jason Himmelstein sums it up nicely about half way through a video tutorial titled PerformancePoint and SQL Server 2012 SP1. SQL Server 2012 SP1 is the engine behind any of the BI application opportunities built on the Microsoft O/S and related applications.

As Jason notes, SQL Server 2012 SP1 was released within 2 weeks of the market debut of SharePoint Server 2013. The new version of this venerable database included ” . . . one fix for always on . . . the rest of the features were all about BI . . . “.

Some of the new capabilities include an opportunity to “interact and view” Reporting Services data from iOS devices. As well, SQL Server 20123 SP1 is critically important to any effort to fully enable Power View 2013. The “SharePoint mode report server”, as its name implies, is built specifically to deliver an optimum experience from the Reporting Services application when used in a SharePoint Server 2013 computing environment. (Though Jason Himmelstein explains administrators need to take special note of the need to disable “native mode” for Reporting Services if they opt to run this “SharePoint mode report server”. The two modes cannot be run simultaneously).

The SP1 version is also useful to get the full benefit of the “scale out” feature for this database.

Administrators also should note this version of SQL Server fully supports “Data Alerts” services.

Finally, the “Excel Renderer and Word Renderer” features are particularly useful to ensure BI stakeholders can obtain the data presentation capabilities they require for reporting to management. In a SharePoint Server 2013 environment these last two features can also be used to repose BI data in document libraries where, as Jason Himmelstein notes, “OData, Power Pivot and Power View” can be made available to BI stakeholders as additional methods of working with their data to build powerful dashboards. From a security perspective this is especially useful as server access no longer need be granted for users to obtain these capabilities.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved