Microsoft confirmed that they are planning to stop development of Performance Point Server (PPS) as a standalone product after Service pack 3. It goes on to say to PPS features will become embedded as Performance Point Services within SharePoint Server. Video announcement (5m:12s).
To be honest, I half expected this announcement from Microsoft regarding their PPS product. I spent some time working with the PPS product and became MCTS certified in PPS. Based on the clients I worked with, PPS didn’t really take off as a standalone BI product. It now looks like PPS itself is set to follow a similar fate as that of ProClarity (a product which I really liked).
So where does this leave organisations that invested in PPS or looking for a Microsoft BI solution? Well, it will still be there in some form or another within SharePoint, so all is not lost. Microsoft have also stated that it will continue to be supported as per their licence agreements with end users. Users of SharePoint Enterprise will now find that Performance Point Services will come bundled for free as part of their licence. This may have the effect of increasing its usage and popularity. So if you were a Microsoft shop using the excellent SharePoint portal and were looking to use PPS, then this is good news.
For those companies looking for a standalone planning application, what else is available? Well, an option from the SAP Business Objects camp is the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation product which integrates the planning software developed by OutlookSoft (purchased by SAP in May 2007).
And for those that are looking for a good data visualisation tool, consider Xclesius.
For more comment about this announcement, take a look at the following blog entries: