Microsoft adds business intelligence to Office 12

Microsoft has announced a new product and new features in its forthcoming Microsoft Office 12 software in a bid to make business intelligence “more mainstream” and available on every desktop.

Microsoft has announced a new product and new features in its forthcoming Microsoft Office 12 software in a bid to make business intelligence “more mainstream” and available on every desktop.

The new product, Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005, is a server-based business scorecarding application. It extends the SQL Server platform so that employees throughout an organisation can track key performance indicators using their own personalised scorecards.

The software giant has also announced that Office 12 will see business intelligence functions integrated into Excel and SharePoint. The new version of Excel will let users connect directly to enterprise data, making a persistent connection between their own Excel spreadsheet and the data source.

New server-side Excel capabilities will also be introduced to allow users to view spreadsheets on the server via a web browser or to download them to individual desktops.

The new version of SharePoint will make it a portal for all the business intelligence content and end-user capabilities in SQL Server reporting services and Office 12. It will allow users to build personalised dashboards, bringing together the data they need from several sources.

Lewis Levin, corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s Office business applications group, said, “With this new product and the new Office features, Microsoft will make BI tools accessible to more people and more mainstream within organisations.”

Business Scorecard Manager 2005 will be available from 1 November, at $5,000 (£2,830) for the server, with a client access license of $175 per user. Microsoft’s SQL Server 2005 version will be launched on 7 November.

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