We're currently using Panorama Nova View 6.2 in the municipality and we had a presentation of the upcoming version - Panorama Necto. So what's new?
Well, first of all - now there's just one entry point to Panorama, both for the user and the developer. So that's one entry point instead of one for the flash, java, desktop and dashboard. We're still using the desktop environment in Panorama 6.2 and we've come across more than once that things work in the desktop but for some reason don't show on the web. This should put an end to that problem.
Pages in the book and dashboard are now replaced by workboards.
On entry, you can choose one of the next views:
1. My recent workboards - the last workboards you worked on.
2. My favorite workboards - the workboards you liked (by clicking on the relevant button).
3. My relevant workboards - Panorama recommends you look at other workboards according to your likes and the likes people in your team gave to different workboards.
4. My recent discussions - a discussion between different workers of the same team on a certain workboard.
5. My recent subscriptions - in case you subscribed to a certain workboard.
Under "My recent workboards", "My favorite workboards" and "My relevant workboards" you can review workboards in a gallery quite similar to PowerPivot Gallery in SharePoint 2010. Other similarities to SharePoint 2010 also include a "like" button and a commenting option you have for each workboard.
"My recent subscriptions" gives me direct access to private workboards of other users (in case they chose to share those workboards with me and I have permission to the data). No need to send a page to be saved. Instead, you can give your co - worker a direct link and discuss online a workboard you created.
Components can be moved and resized directly on the viewing screen. There's no need to constantly move between a design area and a viewing area to do that. You can maximize and minimize each component on the workboard to either concentrate on it or give other things more space.
Graphs can also be changed on the fly.
Smart Report (the print out version of the view) got redesigned.
You can leave a comment per member in a report or per data cell. (A comment is left only per a specific workboard).
One click insight - a new automatic exception that marks a difference between the current period and the one before it. We can choose the size of the difference we want to check with a slider.
There is also a button to filter just those cells that have a marked exception.
Wherever we see an exception marked from the one click insight we can also click the little red triangle marking it for "cause and effect". That gives four matrixes with 4 suggested causes Panorama suggests as an explanation for that exception.
The social bar - Panorama is bringing the social feel into analysis. You can either choose to look at all the users which are allowed to watch that workboard or just a list of friends. You can then organize a sort of "meeting" online by picking a few people and connecting them to a certain member or cell in the workboard.
The superboard - according to Panorama offers you a screen that shows a "users who viewed this workboard also viewed" with recommended workboards for you and a "similar workboards". A bit like Amazon offers you other products according to the product you just chose.
Navigation control - before, you would have to code to develop a button that would enable you to create a filter for the entire page. Now, panorama offers you a chance to create it with just a few clicks!
A search box enables you to search a specific member without even opening the relevant attribute or dimension.
Like the previous version, this one also enables you to connect to the UDC model (Panorama's connection to a relational data layer) and PowerPivot which was deployed to SharePoint. I understood that Panorama is also working on creating all of this against SQL 11's BISM.
So, a few words to summarize:
I feel that quite a few of the new features have already been presented in SharePoint 2010. So if you do have SharePoint 2010 already installed in your organization or you're about to install it - then that's not an advantage for you.
Still, I really like the fact that components can be moved and resized directly on the viewing screen and the navigation control, making a filter just a matter of a few clicks. Most importantly, I really appreciated that now it's just one environment, for the user and the developer (no more desktop vs. web).
I think the main forte for Panorama is still its OLAP views. If you're using them as a cube viewer then you will most likely also enjoy incorporating them in your Dashboard. Even in SharePoint 2010, you still get pretty static reports and scorecards in PerformancePoint 2010 (though visually beautiful). But if you want the user the ability to play with the data, you're still going to use Panorama.
In a recent convention I went to, most of the attendants were using Panorama Dashboard (the current version) and were pretty satisfied with it. And it's not because they didn't have SharePoint. The new Panorama has a lot to offer and you can choose what of it you'd like to leverage. Though I don't think we'll use in our organization all the capabilities through Panorama and not through SharePoint, I still think we'll be thrilled to use Panorama Necto, so go check out the demos for yourself.