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MicroStrategy 8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Integrating Business Reporting & Analysis for Better Business Decisions Every day

MicroStrategy 8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Introduction Upgrading to MicroStrategy 8 Interactive Reporting Accessing SAP BW Accessing Operational Data Sources with Free-Form SQL Predictive Analytics and Data Mining New MicroStrategy 8 Platform and Product Features

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Introduction
1. What is MicroStrategy 8? MicroStrategy 8 is the latest release of the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence (BI) Platform. With the addition of over 2,000 enhancements across the entire platform as well as several exciting new sets of functionality (see question 2 below for details), MicroStrategy 8 sets the gold standard for ease-of-use, comprehensive functionality, scalability, security and lowest total cost of ownership in the business intelligence software industry.

2.

What are the signicant new features are available with MicroStrategy 8?

MicroStrategy 8 provides the following 8 signicant new breakthroughs:

Breakthrough 1 | Redesigned Web Interface Feature: Streamlined Web interface utilizing the latest XHTML technology Benet: Fast, intuitive, simple BI interface for business users

Breakthrough 2 | Fully Interactive Reporting Feature: Drag-n-drop interactivity from any web browser, such as Microsoft IE, Mozilla, Firefox or Netscape, that is completely zero-footprint, using no Java or Active X controls Benet: Industrys richest reporting experience, and business user self-service, inside and outside the rewall, with exibility and security Breakthrough 3 | Seamless Integration of Analytics and Reporting Feature: OLAP features embedded directly in enterprise reports Benet: Seamless user experience to uncover root causes from any enterprise report without prior programming or switching interfaces Breakthrough 4 | WYSIWYG Document Design and Editing Over the Web Feature: First-ever ability for end users to easily design and rene reports over the Web Benet: Radically reducing the time needed to design and deploy new reports

Breakthrough 5 | Direct Access to SAP BW for Reporting and Analysis Feature: Direct access to SAP BW through MDX via OLAP BAPIs Benet: Reporting, analysis, and monitoring of SAP BW content through a high performance, fully managed, zero footprint Web interface, that is fully integrated with all other reporting and analysis Breakthrough 6 | Operational Database Reporting Feature: Access any operational system with MicroStrategys free-form SQL engine Benet: Instant managed reporting against data from operational systems secured, parameterized and personalized; start with small and fast BI implementations, then grow with MicroStrategy to managed enterprise levels Breakthrough 7 | Heterogeneous Data Source Access Feature: Join data from multiple relational and multi-dimensional sources using MicroStrategy Report Services Benet: Combine data from across the enterprise data warehouses, data marts, operational systems, and
MICROSTRATEGY 8 FAQ

SAP BW data sources into a single document Breakthrough 8 | Integrated Predictive Analytics and Forecasting Feature: MicroStrategy data mining services Benet: Put predictive insight into everyday MicroStrategy reports by incorporating advanced forecasting models and predictive models from best-of-breed data mining products

In addition to these major new sets of functionality, MicroStrategy 8 includes over 2,000 enhancements to all products in the MicroStrategy Platform. Please contact your account representative for more details.

Upgrading to MicroStrategy 8
1. How do I get MicroStrategy 8? MicroStrategy 8 is an upgrade for all MicroStrategy customers under maintenance.

2. How does the new functionality in MicroStrategy 8 map to individual MicroStrategy products? The table below shows the major new functionality by MicroStrategy product.

Breakthrough Functionality Redesigned User Interface

Corresponding Products MicroStrategy Web Professional MicroStrategy Web Analyst MicroStrategy Web Reporter MicroStrategy OLAP Services MicroStrategy Report Services

Comments

Feature capabilities increase accordingly with the various editions of MicroStrategy Web.

Fully Interactive Reporting

MicroStrategy Web Professional MicroStrategy Web Analyst MicroStrategy Web Reporter MicroStrategy OLAP Services MicroStrategy Report Services

MicroStrategy OLAP Services and/or MicroStrategy Report Services are not required components for these feature sets, but further enhance the capabilities of MicroStrategy Web.

Seamless Integration of Analytics and Reporting

MicroStrategy Web Professional MicroStrategy Web Analyst MicroStrategy Web Reporter MicroStrategy OLAP Services MicroStrategy Report Services

WYSIWYG Report Design and Editing Over the Web

MicroStrategy Web Professional MicroStrategy Report Services

MicroStrategy Report Services is needed only for creation and editing of Report Services Documents.

Direct Access to SAP BW for Reporting and Analysis

MicroStrategy Intelligence Server MicroStrategy Architect MicroStrategy Desktop Designer

These reports generated from SAP BW can be viewed through MicroStrategy Web, Narrowcast Server, Ofce, and Desktop. These reports can also be viewed and distributed through MicroStrategy Web, Narrowcast Server, Ofce, and Desktop.

Operational Database Reporting

MicroStrategy Intelligence Server MicroStrategy Desktop Designer

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Heterogeneous Data Source Access

MicroStrategy Intelligence Server MicroStrategy Report Services MicroStrategy Desktop Designer

These reports can also be viewed and distributed through MicroStrategy Web, Narrowcast Server, Ofce, and Desktop.

Integrated Predictive Analytics and Forecasting or Data Mining

MicroStrategy Intelligence Server MicroStrategy Architect MicroStrategy Desktop Designer

These reports can also be viewed through MicroStrategy Web, Narrowcast Server, Ofce, and Desktop. The Predictive models are imported as PMML models created in a third party data mining tools.

3. How do I upgrade my reports to MicroStrategy 8 from my current version? Although MicroStrategy 8 represents a signicant breakthrough in functionality, upgrading existing reports to MicroStrategy 8 is seamless. Since there are no fundamental changes to the metadata, overall architecture or new products, customers can upgrade their projects by simply pointing their existing metadata to the MicroStrategy 8 Intelligence Server.

4. How do I upgrade my customizations to MicroStrategy 8 from MicroStrategy 7.5? MicroStrategy Web and SDK customizations can be easily migrated from MicroStrategy 7.5.x due to the backward compatible nature of the underlying web architecture and parameter driven customization les. Also, MicroStrategy 8s SDK has a utility to facilitate customization upgrades. A small number of customizations may need to be manually converted.

5. What is the performance and scalability impact of upgrading to MicroStrategy 8? MicroStrategy 8 inherits and improves upon all the scalability, caching, scheduling, clustering, security and other enterprise class-IT features of the MicroStrategy 7i platform. In addition, features such as asymmetrical clustering, improved memory management and high throughput document bursting have been added to the platform. Customers should experience comparable performance and scalability levels for existing applications after upgrades. (Exact performance depends upon hardware, usage patterns and other factors). Sizing and performance for new applications follows previously published guidelines.

Interactive Reporting
6. Will my users require retraining to be productive with the redesigned web interface? No. MicroStrategy 8 preserves all existing functionality and workow paradigms from the previous web interface. Existing MicroStrategy users will feel immediately comfortable using the new interface. In addition, new functionality such as one click toolbars, icons, and dialog boxes are intuitively familiar to any user familiar with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

7. Does any of the exciting new interactive reporting functionality require a thick-client web interface or downloads? No. MicroStrategy remains rmly committed to providing all web-based functionality through a zero-footprint thin-client web interface. Through the use of XHTML technologies, functionality is provided across multiple browser platforms (IE, Netscape, Mozilla FireFox) without requiring the use of cookies or code downloads. Also, MicroStrategy 8 uses no Java or ActiveX controls.

8. How can I convert my existing Crystal Reports documents to MicroStrategy 8? MicroStrategy 8 ships with a stand-alone Crystal Converter Utility. This utility can be used to batch convert multiple
MICROSTRATEGY 8 FAQ

Crystal Reports documents into MicroStrategy Report Services Documents. Often, reports have taken days, weeks, perhaps even years to perfect over time with input from business users and IT report designers. This utility is designed to capture most of that value and make it readily available for MicroStrategy Report Services documents. Not all Crystal Reports documents will convert over exactly from Crystal to MicroStrategy; where that is the case, report designers will be required to complete the conversion.

Accessing SAP BW
9. How does the MicroStrategy SAP BW connector work? MicroStrategy 8 Intelligence Server contains a new MDX Generation Engine that accesses SAP BW using SAPs OLAP BAPIs. MicroStrategy automatically imports cube denitions into the MicroStrategy metadata to speed development. When users create and execute reports against the SAP BW cubes, MicroStrategy 8 dynamically generates MDX, executes it against SAP BW, and retrieves and formats the result set. All OLAP functionality such as pivoting, ltering, adding derived metrics, and drilling within cubes is available to end users.

10. Has MicroStrategy been certied by SAP? Yes. MicroStrategy has achieved both the Powered by NetWeaver and SAP BW certications from SAP. Details on the certications can be viewed on SAPs website at http://www50.sap.com/softwarepartnerdir/.

11. Will MicroStrategy 8 help improve my SAP BW performance? Yes. MicroStrategy utilizes a sophisticated caching architecture to store results for frequently accessed queries. This ensures that these results are retrieved for the user from the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server without re-execution against SAP BW. In addition to MicroStrategy OLAP services, users can drill within the cache for further OLAP analysis. Scheduling of these caches during non-peak hours improves performance.

12. Can I combine data from multiple SAP BW cubes and instances as well as SAP and non-SAP data onto one document? Yes. Using MicroStrategy Report Services, data from different SAP BW cubes and instances from SAP, and from nonSAP sources can be combined onto one document.

13. Will the end user experience differ for reports from SAP BW and Operational Databases as compared to regular Data Warehouse-based MicroStrategy reports? No. End user interactions and experience for SAP BW based reporting is the same as for regular MicroStrategy reports, as users access data through the same interface and with a single login mechanism. Users have a seamless data consumption experience and may not even know where the data they are accessing is coming from.

Accessing Operational Data Sources with Free-Form SQL


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14. Can I access multiple operational databases from within a single project? Yes. A single MicroStrategy project can create reports accessing data from any available data source across the enterprise. Developers can create these reports by typing SQL into a free-form SQL editor and can even re-use stored procedures, prompting, and security lters to create powerful reporting applications.

15. Does MicroStrategy 8 allow me to combine heterogeneous data sources? Yes. Using MicroStrategy Report Services, data from multiple operational systems, data warehouses, data marts, and SAP BW cubes can be combined onto a single document.

Predictive Analytics and Data Mining


16. What new Data Mining and Predictive Functionality has been added to MicroStrategy 8? MicroStrategy 8 provides exciting new functionality that permits insight from Data Mining and forecasting algorithms to be added to reports. The function library has been expanded to include advanced functions such as multi-variant regression (used for forecasting) as well as the most popular data mining algorithms: neural networks, decision trees and clustering. The predictive models can be imported from a third party data mining tool via PMML (Predictive Modeling Markup Language) and executed within MicroStrategy Intelligence Server.

17. What Data Mining tools are supported with MicroStrategy 8? MicroStrategy 8 can import Data Mining models from any tool that can export models to the PMML format. These include SAS, SPSS, IBM Intelligent Miner and Teradata Miner, among others.

New MicroStrategy 8 Platform and Product Features


18. What platforms will be supported with this release? MicroStrategy 8 Intelligence Server is certied to run on Windows 2000, Sun Solaris and IBM AIX. MicroStrategy Web is certied on a combination of operating systems, Windows, SOLARIS, AIX, and LINUX, and application servers such as Microsoft IIS, IBM Webshpere, SunOne, BEA Weblogic, and Apache/Tomcat.

19. How is MicroStrategys metadata unique? MicroStrategys metadata is unique for three key reasons.

1. MicroStrategy uses a single metadata for all BI applications. For example, MicroStrategy 8 does not use separate metadatas to support a scorecard application or a reporting application or an analysis application. Because of that, MicroStrategy truly delivers one version of the truth because the denition for key business performance metrics is always consistent. 2. MicroStrategys metadata controls every aspect of the BI application including mappings to the database, business model abstraction, objects to build reports, even formatting. Everything in the BI application is encapsulated within an object that can be used modularly to create whatever dashboard, report, or analysis is required. This provides a positive network effect in that every developer can efciently and effectively benet from each others work. 3. MicroStrategys metadata is fully object-oriented. That has two important implications. a. Every object is reusable. That means objects can be used to build other objects. A straightforward example is using two business metrics, M1 and M2, to create another unique business metric, M3. b. Change control is automatic. If the business denition of M2 changes, everywhere M2 is used, the new denition is automatically applied with no additional steps required. Since M3 is made up of M2, M3 also
MICROSTRATEGY 8 FAQ

changes automatically to assure all calculations are consistent and correct.

20. What type of security does MicroStrategy 8 offer? MicroStrategys security model governs three fundamental areas of every BI application: (1) access to the BI functionality each user gets, (2) the report objects each user can use, and (3) cell-level data each user can access.

MicroStrategy 8 applies these security controls according to users, user groups and user roles for precise set up of security policies. MicroStrategys approach to security ensures that administrators have centralized control and maximum exibility in implementing the security required for their users.

1. Privileges control BI functionality by dening the types of actions users may perform in the system such as printing, saving, exporting to Excel, drilling, pivoting, sorting, formatting and creating reports. 2. Access Control Lists control the report objects each user see. This is particularly useful in maximizing report exibility. A developer could create one report for thousands of users. That report could contain ten business metrics. Each user would run that report and only see the business metrics he or she has access to. There is no need to build thousands of variants of the same report to serve those users. 3. Security lters prevent users from seeing specic data in the database and/or cells in reports. Automatically applied, they ensure that users only see data they are authorized to view.

21. What type of authentication does MicroStrategy 8 use? MicroStrategy 8 authenticates users using any of the following methods: 1. Standard user name and passwords: Stored in the MicroStrategy metadata and encrypted at 160-bits. 2. Database Pass-through: use user name and password security from the databases. This is very convenient when user communities already exist in database tables. 3. Windows Authentication 4. LDAP or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol systems such as Microsoft Active Directory, Novell, or SunOne 5. Integrated with Single Sign-on products such as Netegrity or Oblix.

22. Can MicroStrategy 8 automatically generate full BI application documentation? Yes. The documentation covers every object such as reports, lters, metrics, database mappings, their denitions, where they are used, and their dependencies with other object every aspect of the BI application. Conveniently, the documentation is in HTML so it can be posted on a website for use by the entire user population. Also, since it is in HTML, users can quickly navigate through it using hypertext links.

23. What are some of the other enhancements to products in the MicroStrategy platform? In addition to the new functionality discussed earlier, the table below lists some additional enhancements made to other MicroStrategy Products.
Product Enhancements Redesigned interface for business user Undo/Redo capability Run Report Services documents Page-By and Outline reports MicroStrategy Narrowcast Server Large File Export (over 250 MB) Burst (PPE) Report Services docs MicroStrategy Desktop MicroStrategy Architect MicroStrategy Intelligence Server Shortcuts to objects Graphing enhancements Asymmetrical Project Clustering Decimal data type support MicroStrategy Administrator Narrowcast Server scripts in Command manager MicroStrategy SDK Web Customization Upgrade Utility User Manager Sample Application Object management and shortcuts Enhanced right mouse click menu Retain Microsoft document formatting Use Excels Auto-lter & Subtotals Optimized user of Intelligence Server clustering User delivery notication Command-line project duplication Find & Replace metric formatting Logical Views using Freeform SQL Vector graphics in PDF documents Enhancements to Enterprise Manager New object support in Object Manager XHTML controls for Web layout changes New APIs and improved documentation

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MicroStrategy Web & Web Universal MicroStrategy Ofce

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