SharePoint has become a de-facto platform for storing and sharing business data in lists, document libraries etc. But unlike the ease of reporting and running statistics on relational database, SharePoint on its own does not provide such flexibility when it comes to extracting business intelligence. Due to this limitation, often, managers might find themselves spending a lot of time and resource in exporting data to spreadsheet, and performing manual computation and parsing. Some organizations even use specialized data professionals and a dozen different software packages, just to produce simple reports. Worst, if the report doesn’t have the required information, you will have to start over, wasting precious time.

As there is a time and expense involved in getting answers from SharePoint lists, a lot of business intelligence information often goes unused, due to that fact that, SharePoint is designed to store data, and not to help you analyze it.

Mining intelligence and insights from data stored in SharePoint

The AssistMyTeam OLAP tool for SharePoint, is designed to give you a simple and yet powerful tool to configure OLAP cube from your SharePoint lists, and then analyze and create reports straightaway, out of the box. It is perfectly suited to spot new trends and discover unknown problems from your data that are stored in SharePoint lists.

In the OLAP SharePoint Manager tool, you can enter the URL of your SharePoint site (e.g.. http://companyweb/) to show up all the available lists in a hierarchical tree from which you can select a particular SharePoint list to configure for OLAP Cube. Alternatively, you can also enter the URL of the particular SharePoint list (e.g.. http://companyweb/Lists/Tasks/AllItems.aspx) to directly load the available fields in the grid for cube configuration. With either techniques, you can choose which SharePoint fields to include in the cube. You can also set aggregate function for the measure fields or define new derived fields such as a hierarchy or a calculated field.

You can add your own derived OLAP fields such as a composite hierarchical field (e.g.. Project-Task) or a calculated field (e.g.. Total Project Budget), based on existing SharePoint fields. For easy recognition, derived fields are distinctly colored and highlighted (in green).

New OLAP composite dimension – E.g. Project – Task

New OLAP calculated member – E.g. Total Project Budget

Once you have chosen which fields or dimensions to include in the statistic, you can select aggregate functions such as count, distinct count, sum, average, maximum or minimum for those numeric or currency fields, so as to set them as ‘measures’ in the OLAP cube.

When you click the ‘Run Statistics‘ button, it would generate a cube, which will be loaded in the OLAP Statistics tool that consists of the Grid and Chart Views as shown below. This OLAP Client tool, consists of the Grid and Chart Views. On the left is the Cube structure – measures and hierarchies as a tree. The measures are grouped in the set, displayed in the branch. All the rest of the tree nodes are the dimensions that contain hierarchies. You can then drag dimensions (fields) from the cube structure to the pivot areas (Columns and Rows areas), and then select a measure or two from the cube, and drag it to the values area to generate the statistics.

OLAP Grid

The OLAP Client Grid view (above) is comprised of a multi-dimensional table with expandable nodes. These nodes group and display data according to the hierarchies used to define the measures and dimensions upon which the underlying data has been organized. In tandem with the OLAP Chart view, the OLAP Grid view provides an ideal means of clearly conveying data to the user. It is highly navigable and quickly provides detailed information to the user. The speed with which data recall occurs and the strong formatting the grid enforces ensure data is always presentable and easily understandable. Consequently, OLAP Grid views can easily be ported to spreadsheet applications for report compilation purposes.

You can navigate through these dimensions by drilling down, rolling up, or drilling across. You can drill down to access the detailed level of data, or roll up to see the summarized data. You can roll up through the hierarchy levels of dimensions or to specific characteristics or data elements (columns) of the dimensions. You can also drill across dimensions to access the data of interrelated dimensions. In addition, you can set one of these powerful computational functions such as sum, averages, distinct count, maximum, minimum etc. for the measure field.

OLAP Chart

While the Grid view (below) allows working with numbers, chart view allows representing your data graphically. This gives you and your team a unique opportunity to analyze data visually, dealing with charts rather than numbers, which is much easier to perceive. Now it’s easier than ever to spot new trends and discover unknown problems in your data flow. The statistical tool will help you gain an insight into your data and make new discoveries.

Exporting to file

After a particular snapshot of the statistics is achieved, If you need to share or publish the statistical findings, export it to image, PDF, Excel etc, or print it.

 
You also have the options to save the pivot settings to file, for accessing the same snapshot in future. If your database is located on a network, you can also save the cube data to file such that you can work offline with the cube, even when the database is not available, or when the network is disconnected.

Benefits

AssistMyTeam OLAP tool for SharePoint provides managers with the unique ability to explore large complex data from your SharePoint and allows displaying in grids, charts and graphs and support most common operations such as pivoting, drill down/slice and dice, filtering etc. With such arrays of information, you and your management team can re-engineer your business processes, reinforce resources and forecast problem areas and exploit all these factors for competitive advantage. With the capability of complex calculations, trend analysis and sophisticated data modeling, and reporting, OLAP tool helps you to identify critical information on your not so obvious data and extract mission critical information and intelligence that will enable better decision – in your business.

To get more info about the tool, you can visit – https://www.assistmyteam.net/OLAPSharePoint/

 

Many organizations have the requirement to store emails data from PST or mailboxes to an external database for varied reasons – for integration with CRM suites, to generate reports or statistics, or simply for redundant backup, archival or audit purposes to mention a few. However, there is no direct way of exporting emails data from Outlook to a database. That is, Outlook’s built-in Import and Export wizard only supports export of Outlook data to excel or a PST file.

Connecting Outlook to database for seamless export

The AssistMyTeam Database Exporter add-in for Microsoft Outlook is designed to overcome this limitation (i.e., the inability of the Outlook’s built-in ‘Import and Export Wizard’ to export data to an external database), by allowing you to export any kind of data, including custom fields, to a database, in a simple click, or even better, on the fly with no intervention from the user. There are 3 ways of exporting Outlook data to an external database:

1. Exporting items of an Outlook folder to a database

To export the contents of an Outlook folder, click the ‘Export to DB’ button as shown below. You will be shown with the ‘Select Fields’ dialog, with which you can opt which form to be used for displaying the available fields.

By default, the first option ‘Retrieve from the first item’ is selected, and what it does is, to probe the first item of the folder and automatically seek out all the available fields, including any number of user defined custom fields. It is recommended that you stick with this option of displaying the fields, unless, you want to retrieve Outlook specific fields only (second option), or want to use a particular custom form out of many defined for that Outlook folder (third option).

2. Exporting items including those in subfolders

By default, when you export the contents of an Outlook folder using the ‘Export to DB’ button, only the items of the current folder is taken into account. Items inside the subfolders (if any) are excluded from the export. Below are a few export options available.

  1. When exporting to database, include all items from subfolders
    When you choose to export the contents of an Outlook folder, enable this option to include items in subfolders of any number of levels. For example, below, the current folder is ‘My Company’. When exporting this to database, if you had checked this option, the contents of the subfolders such as ‘Bookings’, ‘Cases’, ‘Ongoing’, ‘Customers’ etc, will also be exported to the same database.
  2. Export all data from all subfolders to a single table
    Export all the items in the current folder, as well as those in subfolders in the same/single table, using this option. With this, the fields that you had chosen for the current folder will be applied to all the items in the subfolders as well.
  3. Export data of each subfolder to separate table in same database
    Another option is to export items in each of the subfolder to a separate table. This gives more flexibility in configuring the field options of the subfolders to be exported. For example, you can set the same chosen fields as that of the root folder, or use the default form for that subfolder, or even better, probe the first item of the subfolder to seek out the available fields. The latter option comes handy if you have user defined fields available on the folder or the item level.

3. Automation – Monitor Inbox for live export to database

Database Exporter supports real-time monitoring of any number of Outlook folders (can be a public folder or shared mailbox folder too). This will automatically process incoming mails or newly added appointments, tasks or contact items and add the data for the chosen fields to the database, without any intervention from the user. This automation would be particular useful, if you want to maintain a parallel copy or backup of your current Outlook items. This spares you from having to do that laborious work of copying and pasting the data from Outlook to database manually.

Automatic export works by allowing Database Exporter add-in to monitor selected Outlook folders (can be a shared or a public folder too), such that, when new emails are received or new appointments or tasks are added, Database Exporter automatically processes those items in real time and extract relevant data and add them to a pre-configured database. Each folder would have exactly one database each.

If you enable this option ‘Automatically update DB record when Outlook item is updated/changed’, whenever an existing Outlook item on a monitored folder is edited and saved, instantly the changes will also be reflected in the corresponding record in the database. This feature enables you to maintain synchronization between the Outlook items and the records in the database, on the fly, with no manual work.

If the Outlook folder is monitored for auto export and the option ‘Removing database record on item deletion from Outlook’ is checked, a delete button appears in the Database Exporter toolbar that enables you to delete the unnecessary Outlook items and at the same time, remove the corresponding database records automatically.

Benefits

  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook
  • Export the contents of the Outlook folder to a relational database such as MS Access (MDB), Azure SQL, and all versions of SQL Server (including Express editions)
  • Support pre-defined Outlook fields as well as custom fields defined for that folder
  • Choose any customized form defined for that Outlook folder Supports POP, IMAP, Exchange mailbox and Public folders
  • Export all kind of Outlook items – mails, posts, appointments, tasks, journals or contacts
  • Optionally include items from the subfolders in the export, either to a single table or to separate table for each subfolder
  • Supports export of notes (Plain Body or HTML Body of the Outlook item, including task, appointment and contact item).
  • Real-time monitoring of incoming emails/new items of an Outlook folder, and automatically export the data to a database
  • Special MSI installer available for enterprise wide deployment (upon request)
  • Support for Office 2016 and 64 bit Versions
  • Support export to Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server and cloud based Azure SQL

The Database Exporter addin works in your Exchange Public folders or PST just as fine as it does in your Inbox. To get more info about the tool, you can visit – https://www.assistmyteam.net/DatabaseExporter/

 

SharePoint has become the de-facto sharing platform for teams in organizations; storing business and transactional data on lists, document libraries etc. But unlike the ease of reporting and running statistics on relational database, SharePoint on its own does not provide such flexibility when it comes to querying and building reports. Due to this limitation, often, managers might find themselves spending a lot of time and resource in exporting data to spreadsheet and performing manual computation and parsing. Some organizations even use specialized data professionals and a dozen different software packages, just to produce simple reports. Worst, if the report doesn’t have the required information, you will have to start over, wasting precious time.

As there is a time and expense involved in getting answers from SharePoint lists, a lot of business intelligence information often goes unused, due to that fact that, SharePoint is designed to store data, and not to help you analyze it.

Connecting SharePoint to database for seamless export

The AssistMyTeam Database Exporter app for SharePoint is designed to give you a simple and yet powerful tool to let you replicate your SharePoint list data to a relational database for archival or reporting purpose.

In the Database Exporter tool, you can enter the URL of your SharePoint site (e.g.. http://companyweb/) such that it would show up all the available lists in a hierarchical tree from which you can select the particular SharePoint list for replication to relational database. Alternatively, you can also enter the URL of the particular SharePoint list (e.g.. http://companyweb/Lists/Tasks/AllItems.aspx) to directly load the available fields in the grid. With either techniques, you can choose which SharePoint fields to include in the export.

Before you can export a SharePoint list to a relational database, you are required to choose which fields of the list are to be included into the export. You do this by checking the corresponding check-box of the third column ‘Include in Database’. If you want all fields to be included, you can click ‘Select All’ option located at the bottom.

To export the selected SharePoint list with data of chosen field, click ‘Export to Database’. This will pop-up the database option dialog box, where you can choose the database type, name and specify the path and credentials etc.

A snapshot of replicated tables and their corresponding data in MS SQL Server from the SharePoint lists.

Benefits

  • Works with WSS, MOSS, SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365
  • Support almost all data types used in SharePoint list Choose your own fields for inclusion to the database export
  • Supports export to relational Microsoft databases such as Microsoft Access (MDB)Microsoft SQL Server including Express editions, and Microsoft cloud based Azure SQL
  • No SharePoint list view threshold issues (i.e., limit of 5000 items) .
  • Install on any Windows PC or server, virtual or physical, and does not require any changes to SharePoint. Optimized for Office 365 SharePoint Online.

To get more info about the tool, you can visit – https://www.assistmyteam.net/DatabaseExporterSharePoint/

© 2018 bahrurBlog
AssistMyTeam