Book Review: The Rational Guide to Planning with Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007
I have a bad tendency of purchasing technical books and never reading them until I have a problem where I need a technical reference. However, I found myself reading this book cover to cover. I have been using PerformancePoint Server (PPS) 2007 Planning since prior to the software release, going back to May 2007. I have also attended a four day long PPS Boot Camp. Even then, I learned a great deal from this book. I found it easy to read and it covers all the technical topics necessary to implement a PPS solution. Before buying a different book, I would recommend checking to see if it covers all the major aspects of Planning, including topics like Business Rules, PEL (PerformancePoint Expression Language), and Data Integration. Data integration is often forgotten or purposely left out due to its complexity, but authors Adrian Downes and Nick Barclay include an entire chapter dedicated to this subject (43 pages). In addition, once you register the book with the publisher online, there’s a great deal of bonus materials available for download. These materials include many SQL examples for data integration. You can cut down your development time by modifying the SQL they provided. Also included in the bonus materials are four additional chapters to the book.
This book is great if you’re new to PerformancePoint Server Planning or if you’ve been using it for awhile. I’m using it to study for the PPS exam to gain certification. My employer has tasked me with coming up with a PPS curriculum for other consultants to learn PPS. I’m incorporating this book and The Rational Guide to Monitoring and Analyzing with Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 into self study for my peers wanting to learn the software. Both books incorporate a step by step approach that aid in learning.
If you’re not familiar with the Accounting / Finance side of planning, budgeting, and forecasting then you’ll need to go to another source. That would likely be too much information to fit into a compact PPS Planning book. The authors recommend a book by John Tija called Building Financial Models A Guide to Creating and Interpreting Financial Statements. I just ordered this book from Amazon and await its arrival. I’m hoping I will be able to incorporate financial topics learned from this book into my future PerformancePoint Planning applications. I hope to write a review on it on this blog in the future.
In summary, The Rational Guide to Planning with Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 is jammed pack full of good tips for both new and experienced PPS developers and has a good price point. I highly recommend it.