Monday, April 21, 2008

Panorama Analytics gadget for Google Docs supports enterprise data sources

As promised, we released the first enterprise extension for Panorama Analytics for Google Docs in the form of SQL Server Analysis Services support. In the following days we are accepting new users by registration on our web site but in the next couple of weeks this will open up for the masses.

We’ve seen a very large amount of registrations since we announced on Thursday and expect to respond to all our users in the next couple of days. We thank everyone for their patience.
Many have emailed me asking about our plans for the product with Google. Well, we have a long list of systems and platforms we plan to support in the coming months with a goal of making the experience of using Google spreadsheets and other Google applications (such as iGoogle for dashboarding) a very powerful experience. I can’t disclose the exact plans yet but whether you use SAP or a SaaS based solution, you should expect to get some powerful functionality right from within Google Docs.

So why did we start with SQL Server Analysis Services? For two main reasons: (1) we got feedback from our existing customers who wanted to get a powerful extranet, collaborative solution for BI while using their existing BI data infrastructure and (2) it is the most popular data source (outside of spreadsheets themselves) for analysis using Pivot Table functionality.
How will it work? We have two supported scenarios for the SQL AS support.

The first one (which I find very cool) is the .cub file support. These .cub files ( are “offline cube” files that can be created from an existing Analysis Services cube. You can either use Excel to create those files or software that we will provide as a download in the next few days ( ).
These .cub files have always been a very powerful tool with one huge limitation – the file usually was too large to be emailed around with a spreadsheet making the solution of analyzing cubs a task that could only be performed locally without any collaborative capabilities. You basically couldn’t share the spreadsheet you’ve been using with anyone else due to the fact that the data was not inside the spreadsheet. Our new solution solves that problem. Once you upload a cub file and create a Google Spreadsheet pivot on it with our product you can share that view with any number of users who can still perform live analysis on the cub file data. The one limitation of cub files that we cannot fix is the fact that the data in a file is static and does not update from the source data. For that very reason we have scenario two which offers live connectivity to SQL Server Analysis Services cubes.

In this second scenario we will provide live connectivity to SQL Server Analysis Services cubes. Basically, any customer will have the ability to use our product from within Google docs to access a cube that was made accessible to the “cloud”.

Once you try out our product let us know what you think and thank for the tens of thousands of users that have shown so much interest in our new line of solutions with Google.

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