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Business Intelligence Portal
For this example, assume that you manage an OLAP database containing the business results of your
organization. You want to provide a number of predefined reports and key performance indicators (KPIs)
that summarize the health of the business. In addition, you want to allow users in various departments to
add their own reports and analysis.
You can deploy a dedicated standalone SharePoint farm that has the OLAP database on the same box
as the WFE and the ECS. If you want to make the information in the OLAP database available to all the
users in your organization, you can use the unattended account (the workbooks will specify None in the
authentication settings). In this case, the unattended account should have low privileges and be allowed
to access only this OLAP database.
If there are security restrictions on the data in the database, use the one hop, one machine configuration
and set the workbook authentication to Windows Authentication.
Publish your predefined reports in a special trusted location. Give only a few trusted authors write
permissions to ensure that the reports representing the state of the business are common and
consistent across the organization. To maintain authenticity, allow only view item rights to this trusted
location to everyone except the authors. Synchronize the cache lifetime settings to the frequency at which
the OLAP database gets updated.
These reports will be exposed through one or more dashboards, which can also contain SharePoint KPIs
based on the same workbooks or directly on the database. You can set up a report on the home page of
the portal, with refresh on open and periodic refresh.
In addition, you can create one or more additional trusted locations to allow other users to publish their
own reports of the data. The DCL will contain the connection information to the OLAP database.
In this chapter, you learned about the Excel Services features related to accessing external data:
Various people are involved in running workbooks with external data on the server: the author,
the power user (who manages connections), the administrator of the server, and the owner of
the external data source. They often have different (and even conflicting) agendas.
DCLs provide central repositories for data connections, making it easy for authors to find
connections and author reports, and allowing central management of connections. Both the Excel
client and Excel Services can use connections for a DCL.
Excel Services has a list of trusted data providers to ensure that only safe drivers are used.
Excel Services supports only a subset of the external data features of Excel: PivotTables and
OLAP formulas.
A large number of security threats are related to accessing external data. Excel Services mitigates
some of them by limiting which workbooks, connections, and data providers it trusts. A trusted
location defines a set of workbooks to be trusted and their settings.
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