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In Depth Information
Who Is Excel Services For?
with the discount that is offered. Using this method, the developer does not need to track every change
in the workbook and update the code. On the flip side, the analyst can update the discount model in
Excel with immediate effect on the running application.
As discussed, Excel Services is designed to be a server from the ground up. Thus, the calling application
can rely on the server being up and workbooks being calculated, even if many requests are entered
simultaneously by different sales representatives asking for quotes.
Offloading Workbook Calculation to Excel Services
A core capability of Excel Services is loading and calculating a workbook on a server. In this first release,
Excel Services does not do much to improve the performance of calculating a single workbook when
compared with the client. But, because the workbook is calculated on the server, solutions can be built
that free up the client computers and by doing that, allow users to continue to work in parallel with the
workbook being calculated.
There is no direct out-of-the-box solution for this use case. It relies on the web services interface and a
custom solution, such as offloading the workbook calculation through a job-submitting process. You, as
a developer, could build a custom interface that enables users to submit a workbook to be calculated by
the server directly from within Excel client. Or, you could build a solution that schedules batch
calculation of workbooks. Chapter 13 of this topic covers the latter example in more detail.
All of these solutions rely on using the web services interface to load and calculate the workbook on the
server. The key to these solutions is that the client machines remain free for other activities. Although in
general calculation, a workbook on the server does not improve the performance of that specific
calculation, there are a number of cases in which it may, such as when all or parts of the workbook are already
in the server cache or external data is retrieved. Chapter 3 examines the architecture and discusses the
various levels of caching and how they affect performance.
The five use cases described are by no means the complete list of potential uses for Excel Services, although
they do represent the key scenarios that Excel Services was designed for in this first version. There are
many other ways to leverage server-side spreadsheet calculation and rendering. When these capabilities
are incorporated with the rest of Office SharePoint Server’s functionality, the uses and solutions that can
be built increase even more.
Who Is Excel Services For?
Excel Services functionality and the Office SharePoint Server are server products. Server products require
some level of IT-supported setup and administration, and they assume multiple users, so this is probably
not a product you will find consumers installing at home. The benefits and scenarios of Excel Services are
geared at primarily medium and large businesses. This can be as part of a point solution for a department
or branch in a larger organization, or a broader solution for an entire enterprise. Excel Services does not
target any specific industry or company type. It also does not target specific workbook applications (such
as sales and marketing analysis, or budgeting). The use cases are many and varied.
So who is Excel Services for? Anyone who uses Excel and is looking to solve the needs described can
benefit from Excel Services. Whether you are looking for an easy way to share workbooks over the web,
or a complete solution for controlling and managing workbook distributions, Excel Services can provide
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