Excel services SharePoint is a shared service that allows you to publish Excel workbooks on the SharePoint server. These published workbooks can be managed and secured according to your specific organizational requirements and also shared among different SharePoint server users.
This feature was first introduced in Office SharePoint Server 2007 and is only available in the Enterprise edition of the SharePoint Server 2013.
Excel services is mainly used for scenarios relating to the business intelligence. Excel workbooks can be linked to the external data sources, reports generated, and then the workbook can be distributed to a document library in the SharePoint Server. When you open a workbook from the library, it can be accessed by employing Excel services. The external data connection is maintained and the data is refreshed consistently if needed. This ensures the broad sharing of reports within an organization.
Excel services SharePoint includes Excel calculation services, Excel web services, and Excel web access web part. It ensures easy sharing, securing, and managing through Excel 2013 workbooks in a browser by rendering the following:
- Global settings for workbooks management that include settings for session management, security, memory utilization, load balancing, workbook caches, and external data connections.
- Reliable file location (that allows you to define what document libraries are trusted by Excel services), in conjunction with workbook size, sessions management, calculation pattern, and external data settings of documents located in those places.
- A long list of reliable and trusted data providers for connecting to your data, in addition to having the ability to include your own trustworthy data provider.
- High quality data connection libraries that let you determine which data connection libraries are recommended by Excel services.
- The ability to include your personal user-defined functional assemblies.
Depending upon your demands and requirements, there are different scenarios that can help you make the best use of Excel services:
Users have the ability to save Excel workbooks to a document library to provide other users online access to the workbook. Every time the workbook is accessed by the user, the Excel services loads the workbook, and refreshes the external data if required. A user can communicate with the data by sorting, filtering, and by manipulating the parameters. This gives user an ability to undertake analysis on published workbooks. Moreover, a user does not necessarily have to have Excel installed on the system to access the workbook.
In Excel services SharePoint, browser-based dashboards can be generated by making use of the Excel services, together with Excel web access web part. Also, performance point services can utilize workbooks as a data source.
One of the best features of Excel services is its report building tool. When you publish workbooks to a document library in SharePoint, and make them available via Excel services, you, in turn, make these reports available to others in your organization. Rather than allowing multiple users to have copies of workbooks, the workbooks can be produced, and altered by a reliable user from a central location. The accurate version of the workbook is simpler to find, share, and access from Excel SharePoint server.