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What Excel Services Is Not
an answer. If you are building a BI portal and dashboards, you can use Excel Services and the rest of the
Office SharePoint Server BI capabilities to do just that. If you are a developer who wants to incorporate
the business logic defined in workbooks directly, Excel Services and the web services API it provides
could be your solution. Whether you are looking to offload calculations to the server or leverage
serverside workbook calculations in any other way, Excel Services can provide the solution.
In addition, if you’re trying to solve server-side Excel problems, Excel Services is for you. For example, if
you are using Office Web Components to try to build BI dashboards authored in Excel, automating
saving workbooks as web pages to broadly distribute them, or automating the client application (Excel.exe)
on a server or set of servers to schedule or batch-calculate and distribute workbooks, then you will
probably find that Excel Services provides a better solution to your needs.
Also, companies that already have or are looking at deploying Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for
other uses (for example, as their corporate portal or document management solution) can gain from the
leveraging of the capabilities of Excel Services that they are already deploying.
The next section looks at some of the key things Excel Services is not, and does not do in this first version.
What Excel Services Is Not
This chapter introduced Excel Services and the core needs that are addressed by this new functionality.
As outlined, the needs for server-side workbook calculations are real and many. In this first release of
Excel Services, a number of these needs are met. But there are many more needs and scenarios for
serverside workbook calculation and management that are not solved by this version of Excel Services. A few
of these are worth calling out to further define what Excel Services is by describing what it is not.
Although the version of Excel Services shipped with Office 2007 does not support functionality listed
here, this may change in future versions.
Following are the top five things Excel Services is not:
Although Excel Services provides full calculation fidelity with the client Excel.exe through
shared calculation code, Excel Services is not the Excel client (Excel.EXE) adapted to run on the
server. It is a new set of services designed from the ground up to run on servers and support
many users, workbooks, and requests.
Excel Services is not a product, nor is it a standalone server. Excel Services functionality is
packaged as part of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It cannot be purchased as a standalone
product from Microsoft.
Excel Services is not a solution for web-based spreadsheet authoring. Excel Services can
calculate and render an existing workbook. It is assumed that the workbooks are authored in the
Excel client, or programmatically.
Excel Services does not support simultaneous, multiuser workbook authoring (such as
budgeting applications). It is primarily designed for read-only access to workbooks in the context of
Excel Services does not support every Excel workbook. Certain Excel features are not supported
by Excel Services (as detailed in Chapter 4).