I walked through two PerformancePoint labs with the class in Florida, both of which are available online. Given the time for that day, I was only able to run through the first, Dashboard End to End, all the way and the third, SharePoint List, halfway – -we took a break as soon as we finished with pulling the SharePoint list data into the scorecard, built the KPIs and published.

They are not the easiest to find, so here are the links:

TechNet Virtual Lab: Microsoft Office Performance Point Server 2007 – Dashboard End to End

TechNet Virtual Lab: Microsoft Office Performance Point Server 2007 – Excel Dashboards

TechNet Virtual Lab: Microsoft Office Performance Point Server 2007 – SharePoint List

For these labs to work, the site will prompt you to install the Virtual Server VRMC Advanced control for Internet Explorer.

If you do not want to run these labs online, still sign up for them, download the PDF version of the lab manual from the lab home page, and then run the labs on the BI VPC, links to download this below – the advantage of grabbing this VPC is that there are other PerformancePoint and ProClarity labs on this machine, plus, you get a fully functional demo to play with and modify on your own time:


Virtual PC is required to use this virtual machine. I would recommend downloading Virtual PC 2007 as it is free to use.


Note about the Lab

There is an important design decision that is glossed over in the first lab, Dashboard End to End concerning KPIs. In the first part of the lab, it walks you through using Analysis Services as a source, yet creating KPIs inside PerformancePoint. Our recommendation is that KPIs should belong at the data source level – Analysis Services allows you to build very advanced KPIs, and given that SSAS cubes will most likely be consumed by multiple applications (Excel, SSRS, etc.), then it is important to stick with the consolidated way of displaying key data to your users.

Obviously not all data sources that PPS works with support KPI functionality, so if Excel, SharePoint lists, or a relational database are your source, then you will probably build out the KPI inside Dashboard Designer. Keep in mind though, that when the functionality exists to place it lower in the stack, which also usually means broader application and user audience, then you should do so.

For further reading on using SSAS KPIs inside PPS, reference this post on the PerformancePoint team blog.