Xcelsius- opinions and basic info needed

I am interested in hearing what others think of Xcelsius 2008 .  Ijust dl the trial copy.
I would like to see how difficult it is too build a 'dashboard' that will show our sales person bookings,invoiced amounts and backlog in a graphical manner, month-to-month.

I am hoping that every user would not need this program in order to view the end result?  I am thinking that the program builds an interface, that anyone an run, and the data is pulled from a worksheet or something.

I hope it is easy- some of the demo screenshots I have seen looked really cool!   Thanks for any info!!!
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by6738Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You should have the option to connect through native SQL Server driver or ODBC connection, very similiar to connection options in Crystal Reports / WebI / etc...  Also - just to be clear, this connection and the query against your DB is all setup within Xcelsius (it used to be that QaaWS was a separate add-on).
Your end users will not need the Xcelsius Designer application in order to view the dashboard.  Once you've built the content, you can distribute it to your users via SWF, embedded in an MS Office document, or share via BusinessObjects Enterprise.  

I don't think it's overly complex to create a basic dashboard and incorporate a few analytics.  The help docs included with the product include a tutorial that's actually helpful and should show you the basics.  

What type of datasource are you planning on connecting to?
snyperjAuthor Commented:
I was assuming it would have to be an excel worksheet?  I don't know why...maybe because of the name.
The excel worksheet would be an extract from our business system which is in SQL Server 2005 .  I was planning to create (try to create!) the dashboard, point it to a workbook of data, then distribute the front end (.swf).  I was thinking I would then just periodically update the worksheet (overwrite) on a weekly basis or similar.

Ideally a connection to the backend would be better (odbc?)...I assume that is possible right?  But that would require having the ODBC driver on every user machine I'm assuming?

ahhh...so many questions, so little know-how..  :)
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Better yet - you can connect directly to your SQL Server DB without the need to first take an extract and feed into Excel.  You should also be able to use a native driver, so you won't have the concerns around ODBC.  At a high level, you'd create a query in Xcelsius through something called Query as a Web Service which pulls your data into the workbook that is stored internally within Xcelsius designer, then reference this workbook (which is visible in the Designer) when building your dashboard.  
snyperjAuthor Commented:
how does the "Query as a Web Service"  authenticate with SQL Server?
snyperjAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info!
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