Client Tools

DS Panel

It’s Day 0 of the BI Conference, I haven’t even registered and I’m already busy… This morning I went to a presentation by DS Panel (the guys who brought you the Santa Dashboard a few months back). They’ve been around in the Microsoft BI world a long time but for some reason I’d never seen their stuff so I was curious to check it out.
Now the question that I’ve been asking all third-party tool vendors, and which I’m sure all prospective customers are asking too, is why should I buy from you when PerformancePoint is just around the corner? For DS Panel and others about 80% of what they do is what all AS client tools do and certainly what PerformancePoint is going to do, so it’s the details, the unique features and the quality of execution that’s important. DS Panel have a new release of their core dashboarding product, DSP Performance Canvas (see for the press release, for the company home page) and it certainly looks pretty and seems easy to use; their use of AJAX means it’s extremely responsive for a web app too. What caught my eye was their integration with various enterprise search engines, something I blogged about a while ago although I’m a bit more positive about the idea than I was then. They also have a cool solution for dashboarding on mobile devices, which I’ve not seen anyone else do, and where their use of sparklines is really effective; and a few other nice features such as the ability to add annotations to specific slices of data. Overall definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a dashboard application, need easy Sharepoint integration, and can’t wait for PerformancePoint to be released or reach a useable level of maturity.
Hmm, now time for me to go over to the conference centre and register. There will be a lot more blogging to come over the next few days: more product reviews, reports of presentations and maybe even another podcast!

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