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I heard a rumor today that Microsoft was going to phase out support of FRX Reporter and start pushing Sequel Reporting Services for financial reporting. Any truth to that?
No, this is not true. We (Microsoft) are continuing support of Microsoft FRx, while also introducing a new financial report writer that is based on the functional concepts of Microsoft FRx, called Office PerformancePoint 2007 Management Reporter. Like Microsoft FRx, Management Reporter will work with GL systems of many popular ERP applications, as well as work with Microsoft's new performance management application solution, Office PerformancePoint Server 2007.
Well that's a relief! We have a vast library of FRX reports that we've developed over the last 10 years, and I wasn't looking forward to changing.
what else can you tell us about Office PerformancePoint 2007 Management Reporter?
When will it be out? what will it interface with? is their training available?
I have been testing the Management Reporter for PPS2007 for the past 5 months in CTP version. You can download the CTP version from the MS Connect site. https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=181
I have not had any training and managed to use the help files to quickly produce some complex reports off our PPS POC. I have only tested the interface to PPS but from the entity drop down connector you can connect to the Financial Data Mart 7.0.
With MS writting the integrator from AX to PPS one should not need to go directly to the underlying AX tables.
My wife had a look at it and she says that it looks and feels identical to FRX.
We are a new D-AX user that will be converting GL and AP very soon. We had planned to use FRX for our financial reports. Would you recommend proceeding or should we consider PerformancePoint. We plan to do training on FRX within the next month.
That is a loaded question?? I think that in order to answer this you need to look at what your requirements are in the future. Firstly PPS is a lot more than just a repository for reporting on. Not sure how much you know about it but in short here is the skinny:
MS has bundled the old Business Scorecard Modeler (BSM), ProClarity and developed a framework for Planning. At present PPS is in V1 with the 3 components referred to as Planning, Monitoring and Analytics. PPS leverages the MS platforms of SQL Server, Analysis Server, Office, Sharepoint etc and the list goes on. Putting the monitoring and analytics aside, the planning module allows you to create entity and account hierarchies that are then fed from the underlying ERP system. One uses the planning module to perform the budgeting process and then ultimately you would want to report off this. This is where the Management Reporter comes in. It connects to the PPS web service and allows you to report off the underlying models.
The team at Redmond have developed a wizard driven interface between AX and PPS in order to populate the DB. Although I have seen it I cannot comment. I do know that it is a one way data push.
I really think that you should have a good look at the rich functionality within PPS and then make a decision as to whether you want to spend the money on it or not. In my mind you will have to travel quite far to find this kind of functionality at the price.
If all you want is reporting then just consider FRX. Also remember that Management Report has not yet been released into the wild.
I hope this has helped you.
For those who want to learn more about PPS and Management Reporter etc etc you can check out the forum at:
Management Reporter was set up yesterday so you can get in on the ground.
We are a PerformancePoint Server (PPS) partner, and we have recently tested the AX to PerformancePoint Server connector. It seems to work fine, and it clearly speed up the process for AX customers to get started with PPS. Basically the connector allows you to move your GL dimensions (accounts, departments, etc.) as well as your GL data from AX and over to the PPS Planning database. You then use the admin tool (Bix Modeler) in PPS Planning to create trees, security, etc. Biz Modeler will then generate your OLAP cubes, and you can now do one of several things:
1) Build a budget model in PPS Planning (Excel-based interface for your budget users) and write budgets and forecasts back to the OLAP cube.
2) Point web-parts in PPS dashboards (PPS Monitoring) back to the same cube and then display scorecards and graphics in SharePoint that combines your actual figures from AX with the budgets your created in PPS Planning.
3) You can also use the PPS Analysis tool (also known as ProClarity) on top of your cubes to do more sophisticated ad-hoc reporting/analysis.
Note: The PPS Planning cubes are architected for budgeting/forecasting, and are not always ideal for designing sophisticated PPS Dashboards or for analysis with ProClarity. But, with a little bit of SSIS work, you can easily design your own OLAP cubes from the PPS Planning database (which again can be a mix of your AX actual data and budgets entered with PPS Planning).
Finally, if you are also looking for LIVE reporting on your AX data, there are now several alternativs to FRx. Management Reporter is one alternative and XL Reporter (www.xlreporter.com) is another alternative. The latter is geared towards AX customers that prefer their live financial reporting to take place directly in a Microsoft Excel environment.
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