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PerformancePoint Security Best Practices In SharePoint 2010 – A Primer

With PerformancePoint Services offered by Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, the objects that get stored in lists and document libraries can be secure when used within a dashboarding / graphical application. This is accomplished by coupling through the Microsoft SharePoint Sever 2010 security model. There are additional products features that can be accessed for customizing that security. PerformancePoint Services are dependent upon the SharePoint Server 201 security model. However, there are special security considerations that need to be evaluated during the planning stages. That should also include how managing that security will take place. All of the security is managed within the SharePoint Sever Central Administration Website. This covers all of the shared resources as well as the user access.

You will find three different methods for source data Authentication with PerformancePoint Services. Custom Data allows for SQL Service Analysis Services to be able to authenticate a user through custom specs. The name of the user is considered a parameter of the custom data field for the connection string. The custom data option is only used for Analysis Service Data. It can be used with both the 2006 and 2008 servers. With Per User Identity authentication each of the users has individual accounts that are used to access all of the data sources. The use of Kerberos Delegation has to be incorporated. There is a domain administrator that configures the Kerberos Delegation between PerformancePoint Services and the data sources. The external data sources have to be within the same domain as the SharePoint Server 2010 farm or a failure will occur. Unattended Service Account are a shared user account that is used for access to all of the different data sources. This type of domain account is low privilege. It is stored in the Secure Store Service. In order to create an unattended service account, there has to be the proper access to the data sources. This is a requirement of the dashboard.

With PerformancePoint Services the data source connections are contained. This occurs with the data content and document libraries that are part of the document lists. The security of the content ensures that users aren’t able to run queries against those data resources when the query objects can’t be trusted. Therefore trusted locations within those libraries and lists are created. The Farm Administrator is able to set all of the locations for the farm to be trusted. They can also choose to identify specific locations to be trusted. The ability to define the locations in the farm that will be secure means that there is a great deal of flexibility. A Farm Administrator no longer has the responsibility of securing the entire farm when it isn’t absolutely necessary to do so. These trusted locations are able to offer additional layers of security. There are restrictions for the query to be executed in regards to various data sources and objects. The document library for a web application can be defined as being trusted. With PerformancePoint Services the configuration of trusted locations and settings are managed through the Central Administrator. The configuration can also be managed through the use of Microsoft PowerShell 2.0. When you are planning the security for PerformancePoint Services, you will need to decide if you want to secure your entire web application or only portions of it. There are often many locations found within a given farm that will be marked as trusted. They use the following hierarchy within the SharePoint Server for the data and data sources:

  • The use of trusted locations are disabled for various locations with data sources or content for the entire farm.
  • The web application contains trust lists and document libraries.
  • There is a collection site for the trust lists and document libraries.
  • Trust lists and document libraries placed in a site.
  • The farm has a trust list or document library in place.

The server will check if trusted locations are enabled when it is doing verifications. When it is enabled the server will check a list of trusted locations at the site collection. It will also look down the hierarchy to verify that all of the content is trusted. When items don’t use a data source they don’t have to be in a trusted location to be accessed. This includes KPI’s, dashboards, icons, and web pages. Trusted data source locations can’t be defined on a list or as a document library.

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