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Archive for July, 2009

Dashboards, Data, Sparklines and Excel 2010

Posted by workerthread on July 24, 2009

I’ve been really busy over the past few weeks, so haven’t had much time for new blog posts.  So I thought I would roll up some related news into one post, as all of the information is about Business Intelligence, data and dashboards.

First, if you are interested in how browser-based dashboards can be used to show a company’s financial data, take a look at Microsoft Investor Central.  Here’s a snippet showing what it looks like right now:

MSFinancials

If you visit the page you will see it makes heavy use of Silverlight to let you zoom in on and manipulate the charts.  Thanks to Patrick Husting for the original heads up on this.

And while on the subject of dashboards, can I also recommend this demonstration PerformancePoint site from Richard Lees, which has loads of examples using Analysis Services, data mining techniques and PerformancePoint scorecards.

Last week Microsoft made all sorts of announcements about Office 2010.  I’ve been taking a look at Excel 2010, and in particular the new data presentation options.  It looks like this release will have some worthwhile new Business Intelligence features.  As well as Gemini, which will I believe be available as a separate add-in, this will be the first release which will let you create Sparklines, those little word-sized graphics which I first blogged about in 2007.

Here’s how they look:

xlsparklines2

You can read more about how they work in Excel 2010 over on the Microsoft Excel Team blog here and even more here.

Finally, I’d like to mention the Guardian Newspaper’s Data Store.  This is a fairly unique exercise by a national newspaper to make datasets they have created, frequently to support news stories, publicly available.  Most of these can be accessed as Google spreadsheets, also downloaded.  As well as being interesting datasets in their own right, they are incredibly useful if you want to populate demonstration dashboards, load sample lists, or create training exercises.  You can keep up to date on what they are doing on their blog or on Twitter.

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Posted in Business Intelligence, Microsoft SharePoint, Office, SQL Server | 1 Comment »

Help With Automating iFilter and PDF Indexing Support in SharePoint

Posted by workerthread on July 23, 2009

The most popular post on this blog is still the one about Configuring PDF iFilter for WSS 3.0.  Today I saw a post on Notes for .Net which may help to automate this multi-step process.  What’s more the post says it works with a variety of iFilters including FoxIt and Adobe.

The Notes for .Net team have posted their solution, which adds a new stsadm command, on CodePlex here.  I haven’t tested it myself yet but will do on my next VM build.

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Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, Search | Comments Off on Help With Automating iFilter and PDF Indexing Support in SharePoint