Projects+BI - A Powerful Business Intelligence Reporting Tool
Projects+ is SAGlobal's Professional Services Automation (PSA) expansion to Microsoft's out of the box PSA functionality.
Projects+BI is a custom Business Intelligence solution available from SAGlobal that sits on top of Projects+ and Projects+BI and is the primary transactional reporting tool for Projects+.
A variety of front end reporting tools can be used with Projects+BI, for example:
- SQL Server Reporting Services
- Excel, and many other 3rd party tools.
Functional Features of Projects+BI
The Projects+BI component reports on the key metrics of the Projects+ solution. The Projects+BI data model is created using a Business Intelligence / Data Warehousing strategy called "Dimensional Modeling", which is an industry standard approach. Projects+BI data model is mature, stable and scalable but also customizable to a client's needs and implementation requirements.
Some examples of key calculated reporting elements in Projects+BI include Revenue, Labor, Expenses, Total Cost, Gross Profit, Committed, Budget, Actual, Timesheets (unposted time), Pending, Remaining, Cumulative Earned Values, Planned Values, Estimate to Complete, Invoiced, Targeted, and many others. Projects+BI also contains measures for Utilization using various buckets such as Billable, Non-Billable, Client, PTO, and Internal among others.
Projects+BI includes various dimensions and attributes against which the above-mentioned measure can be written. These attributes include Project, Project Contract, Customer, Worker, Activity/Work Break Down Structure, Project Categories, Project Types, Project Categories, Parent Projects, Sub Projects and many others.
Projects+ for AX7 comes with several pre-built starter PowerBI Content Packs. The content packs can be easily distributed throughout the organization, are targeted to specific types of users such as Project Managers, Project Accountants, Executives, etc. Content Packs are also highly customizable to a customer's specific requirements.
Technical Aspects of Projects+BI
Projects+BI is available for customers using either AX2012 R3CU8 and higher and those implementing AX7 with Projects+ as a prerequisite for the Projects+BI component.
For AX7 customers the solution is delivered in the cloud. AX7 introduced new BI capabilities enabling customers and partners to build dimensional models. Dimensional Models in AX7 are built using the following components: Aggregate Dimensions and Aggregate Measures compiled into a Data Entity Store accessible for PowerBI reporting. These new components act as replacement for SSAS cubes that were available in previous versions of AX. Complex calculations as referenced above are computed via PowerBI.
In AX2012, the solution is referred to by its legacy name of ProjAXBI. For AX2012 customers the solution is delivered via Microsoft SQL Server technologies such as SQL Server Database Server, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS). A ProjAXBI Data Warehouse is built from data directly pulled from AX and ProjAX (now known as Projects+) and then processed into an SSAS Cube. A cube is a precompiled, precomputed reporting data source that makes reporting on complex calculations quick and easy using a programming language called MDX (Multidimensional Expression Language).