9.2.1 Feature Round Up

MicroStrategy released the latest update to their product suite, version 9.2.1.  This is a Service Pack release to the 9.2 platform and contains lots of fixes, but also a few new key features and rounds off the major announcements they made at MicroStrategy World 2011.  Today, I’ll highlight the big new features, and a few gems I’ve found along the way.

Transaction Services
This is the headliner feature and was a major theme at the annual Las Vegas user conference in January. This closes the loop in MicroStrategy’s vision of the Mobile BI era by providing full service to users to take action on their timely intelligence.  This is more than a simple integration of the classic Writeback SDK plugin sample, it’s a full platform integration that supports a wide range of writeback integration from both Web and Mobile platforms.

Mobile Enhancements
The other big feature for this release and the other major headliner from the Conference are some very welcome Mobile enhancements for iPhone and iPad.  The majority of the enhancements are for increased security in both connection encryption and device storage security, but a few new eye candy features are of course a staple of any iOS release.  New in this version is the Network Map Visualization (think of the Airport example where colored lines show the connected flight paths) and fan favorite Bubble Graphs.  The iPad also sees a new Heat Map Widget and the long awaited (for some) Calendar Widget which makes it’s appearance on the iPad before Web, interestingly enough.  The freshly released Visual Insight Analysis that was added in 9.2 also shows up on the iPad.  In this version, you can only interact with an existing Analysis that was built via Web and full Ad-hoc interaction isn’t supported yet, but it’s still a great step.

Intelligent Cube Sizes
As we’ve grown accustomed to, every release brings better Intelligent Cube performance. This time around we get better support for managing indexes that can cause larger than expected growth in Cubes.  One of my cubes that is my most frequently used went from 114mb to 40mb in size (900k rows x 17 columns).

Deploy Widget as Both DHTML and Flash
You may think that this was already possible because several out of the box Widgets can be configured on a Dashboard for both DHTML and Flash rendering.  This means that if the user toggles between Interactive and Flash modes, the widget will render properly.  Strangely though, if you deployed a custom Widget, you could only do one or the other.  Fortunately, we can now deploy for both targets which increases our design flexibility for Dashboards.

Metric Color Retention on Graphs
You can now set specific colors per metric rather than just position.  This was especially noticeable when using Metric selectors on Graphs on a Dashboard, as changing the selection options would change the colors of the metrics.

Renaming Shortcuts
A fan favorite and personal pet peeve is finally addressed with the ability to rename Shortcuts.  Previously, a Shortcut had to retain the same name as it’s target.

Object Manager Deletion Packages
You can now create an Update Package via Object Manager that contains deletion instructions for objects.  Very handy for keeping Dev and Prod in sync, as I’ve previously discussed.

Bug Fixes
The primary focus of Service Pack releases are bug fixes, and among the usual amount of fixes is a particular critical one introduced in 9.2.  This bug prevented some Flash Dashboards with Panels and Selectors from loading at all, and that thankfully has been repaired.  I also personally ran into a bug in 9.2 that prevented my users from being able to fully authenticate in our environment, and I was very relieved to see that also resolved in this Service Pack.  The combination of those two bugs prevented me from upgrading to 9.2, so I’m very excited to make the jump from 9.0.2 and gain all of the improvements from the 9.2 platform.

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