Microsoft Project Online Reporting Options

I've spent couple month without paying too much attention to my blogs - was busy implementing some organizational changes, products portfolio changes and preparing new product launches here at FluentPro Software. From now, I promise that will create couple blog posts every month.

In this post, I will provide high-level overview of existing reporting options for Project Online with some comparison. We will include our products but will try to be objective as much as I can :-) and will provide overview of the existing technologies / platforms.

Technologies are:
- Excel Services
- PowerView
- Power BI
- SSRS
- FluentPro EPM Pulse

If there is another technology - we would be more than happy to include into this comparison.

Comparison chart



Excel Services
Standard reporting feature. You use Excel to get OData Feed and then using Pivot Tables you can transform the data. Great for 90% of tasks, but remaining 10% when you need to present data in some specific way require a lot of work, using hidden sheet, referencing cells etc.
You can buy pre-built reporting packages from several PPM Partners.
Learn more: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-project-online-help/use-excel-2013-to-create-a-new-project-online-report-HA102923779.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA104002027

PowerView
Great and quite easy tool to create interactive dashboards. Great for 90% of tasks, but for remaining 10% it is impossible to present data in some specific format. For example - value of 1 field with some formatting.
Learn more: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-project-online-help/use-excel-2013-to-create-a-new-project-online-report-HA102923779.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA104002027

SSIS + SSRS
Using SSIS users can get ODATA feed and get it to SQL database. This bring ability to create datawarehouse and sync data from Project Online to it. Then you cna use full stack of reporting tools (for example SSRS). Unfortunately, reporting DB structure is not 100% matching OData feeds, so it requires re-working, mapping and other development activities to make Project Server SSRS reports working with this data. At minimum, your are required to create/buy VM with SQL Server, configure SSIS; SSRS in native mode, create DB, deploy and change SSIS packages, and schedule them to run. Then you need to move / change your SSRS reports.
SSRS reports can be embedded into PWA pages but there is still a challenge of double authentication - one for Project Online and one for VM + you need to manage security since VM is internet-facing.
Learn more: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/dn720853(v=office.15).aspx

FluentPro EPM Pulse
Disclaimer: We are subjective here since it is our product and we believe it is a great product.
With EPM Pulse users can build portfolio and project level dashboards using a "drag-and-drop" approach. EPM Pulse is based on "widgets", every widget is a chart that can be added to dashboard to show pre-defined information. IF needed, users can extend system by creating new custom widgets / modifying existing ones and this requires basic SQL knowledge; All widgets are re-usable; being created once can be used on multiple dashboards and moved to other PWAs. EPM Pulse supports rendering of SSRS reports and since we use data schema that is very close to Project Server Reporting DB, it is possible to use same reports from on-premises with only one minor change - adjusting naming of parameters.
Learn more: http://www.fluentpro.com/project-online/apps/epm-pulse-for-project-online/


Power BI
Latest and greatest powerful data visualization platform from Microsoft that can pull data from multiple sources. Supports big volumes of data. Great for creating high-level "picture". Requires additional subscription.
Learn more: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/powerbi/default.aspx


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