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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 signifi cant new features are available with MicroStrategy ?

MicroStrategy provides the following 8 signifi cant new breakthroughs:
Breakthrough 1 | Redesigned Web Interface
• Feature: Streamlined Web interface utilizing the latest XHTML technology
• Benefi t: 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
• Benefi t: Industry’s richest reporting experience, and business user self-service, inside and outside the fi rewall,
with fl exibility and security
Breakthrough 3 | Seamless Integration of Analytics and Reporting
• Feature: OLAP features embedded directly in enterprise reports
• Benefi t: 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 refi ne reports over the Web
• Benefi t: 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 BAPI’s
• Benefi t: 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 MicroStrategy’s free-form SQL engine
• Benefi t: 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
• Benefi t: Combine data from across the enterprise – data warehouses, data marts, operational systems, and
SAP BW data sources – into a single document
Breakthrough 8 | Integrated Predictive Analytics and Forecasting
• Feature: MicroStrategy data mining services
• Benefi t: Put predictive insight into everyday MicroStrategy reports by incorporating advanced
forecasting models and predictive models from best-of-breed data mining products


3. How do I upgrade my reports to MicroStrategy 8 from my current version?

Although MicroStrategy 8 represents a signifi cant 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 fi les. Also, MicroStrategy
8’s 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.



6. Will my users require retraining to be productive with the redesigned web interface?

No. MicroStrategy 8 preserves all existing functionality and workfl ow 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 fi 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
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.


9. How does the MicroStrategy SAP BW connector work?

MicroStrategy 8 Intelligence Server contains a new MDX Generation Engine that accesses SAP BW using SAP’s OLAP
BAPI’s. MicroStrategy automatically imports cube defi nitions 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,
fi ltering, adding derived metrics, and drilling within cubes is available to end users.


10. Has MicroStrategy been certifi ed by SAP?

Yes. MicroStrategy has achieved both the “Powered by NetWeaver” and SAP BW certifi cations from SAP. Details on
the certifi cations can be viewed on SAP’s 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 non-
SAP 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


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 fi 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.


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.


18. What platforms will be supported with this release?

MicroStrategy 8 Intelligence Server is certifi ed to run on Windows 2000, Sun Solaris and IBM AIX. MicroStrategy
Web is certifi ed 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 MicroStrategy’s metadata unique?

MicroStrategy’s 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 defi nition for key business
performance metrics is always consistent.
2. MicroStrategy’s 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 effi ciently and effectively benefi t
from each other’s work.
3. MicroStrategy’s 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 defi nition of M2 changes, everywhere M2 is used, the new
defi nition is automatically applied with no additional steps required. Since M3 is made up of M2, M3 also
changes automatically to assure all calculations are consistent and correct.


20. What type of security does MicroStrategy 8 offer?

MicroStrategy’s 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: BEST IN BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
MicroStrategy 8 applies these security controls according to users, user groups and user roles for precise set up
of security policies. MicroStrategy’s approach to security ensures that administrators have centralized control and
maximum fl exibility in implementing the security required for their users.
1. Privileges control BI functionality by defi ning 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
fl 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 fi lters prevent users from seeing specifi c 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, fi lters, metrics, database mappings, their defi nitions,
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
MicroStrategy Web &
Web Universal
MicroStrategy Offi ce
MicroStrategy Narrowcast Server
MicroStrategy Desktop
MicroStrategy Architect
MicroStrategy Intelligence Server
MicroStrategy Administrator
MicroStrategy SDK
Enhancements
• Redesigned interface for business user
• Undo/Redo capability
• Run Report Services documents
• Page-By and Outline reports
• Large File Export (over 250 MB)
• Burst (PPE) Report Services docs
• Shortcuts to objects
• Graphing enhancements
• Asymmetrical Project Clustering
• Decimal data type support
• Narrowcast Server scripts in Command
manager
• Web Customization Upgrade Utility
• User Manager Sample Application
• Object management and shortcuts
• Enhanced right mouse click menu
• Retain Microsoft document formatting
• Use Excel’s Auto-fi lter & Subtotals
• Optimized user of Intelligence Server clustering
• User delivery notifi cation
• 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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