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In the second article I wrote about Excel Services, I discussed the scenarios that we are targeting with this initial release and also a few scenarios that we will not support. Today I wanted to provide further detail on the latter – specifically, the Excel 12 features that will not be supported in our first version of Excel Services. Excel 12 is a feature-rich application, and it was not possible to support every one of Excel 12’s features in our first version of Excel Services. Instead, we focused on the features required by the aforementioned set of scenarios, and also on making sure Excel Services is a server-grade product that will meet customers’ expectations in terms of reliability, scalability and security. Over future versions, we expect to add support for many of the features detailed below as well as future Excel client enhancements; we will use customer feedback to inform which features are most important to tackle next.
What does “support” mean, anyway?Before getting into feature lists, I want to briefly discuss what it means to “support” an Excel 12 feature on Excel Services. There are different ways to look at “support” for Excel 12 features in Excel Services. Here is how the team talks about this area.
With that in mind, let’s review the Excel 12 features that are not supported on Excel Services, starting with features that will prevent a spreadsheet from being loaded by Excel Services.
Excel Spreadsheets that will not load on the first version of Excel Services Spreadsheets that contain one or more of the following features will not load in Excel Services.
Many of you are probably wondering whether there is an easy way to find out whether a spreadsheet contains any of the features in the list above. When you publish a spreadsheet
(Click to enlarge)
The remaining support “types” (viewing files and interacting with files) do not prevent a spreadsheet from being loaded on Excel Services, but instead, will either limit the amount of interactivity or how a specific feature is displayed in Excel Web Access as compared to Excel 12.
Features Not Supported for Display in Excel ServicesSpreadsheets that contain one or more of the following features will load in Excel Services, but the features will not be displayed. (The features won’t be removed from the file however, so the next time you open the file in Excel 12, they will once again be displayed).
Features with Limited Interactive Support
A word on authoring spreadsheets …Spreadsheet authoring is not a scenario that we are targeting with this initial release. To be as clear as possible, here are some examples of what we mean by spreadsheet authoring … these functions will not be supported in this release of Excel Services.
A word on charting …Excel Services will render all charts created in Excel 12 client, however, there may be some minor visual differences when some charts are created by Excel Services depending on how charts are designed. Specifically, some of the fancier new effects that Excel 12 charts will have
A word on extensibility …As noted above, Excel Services does not support or load spreadsheets that contain VBA code. Excel services will support user-defined functions that are written in managed code. Native code add-ins will not be directly supported, although native code functions called by “wrapper” functions can be used. I will describe all this in more detail in a future post sometime this month.
With that, we have largely summarized our investment Excel Services (save for the extensibility post I just mentioned). Starting next week, I will be starting a series of posts on PivotTable improvements in Excel 12.
What about workbooks with defined names referring to formulas that call XLM functions?
Out of curiousity, will some of the more exotic formulas calling INDIRECT work? For example,
which is the common idiom for conditionally summing 3D blocks since SUMIF doesn't (and, per an earlier response from you, won't) support 3D references.
Your list says Query Tables, SharePoint Lists, Web Queries, and Text Queries will not be supported. Just how do you get the external data you have been talking so much about??
Harlan - defined names referring to formulas that call XLM functions will not work because XLM is not supported.
Anything you can do with INDIRECT will work - the function libarry is supported on the server - so your example above should be fine.
Bruce - Out of the box, PivotTables and PivotCharts can be connected to SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Serviecs, Oracle, DB2, and any OLEDB or ODBC data. SQL Server Analysis Services can be accessed using OLAP Formulas (details coming in later posts). Finally, we will be providing a way for users to write UDFs which can be used to get any external datat into a spreadsheet.
Thanks that helps a bit. My intended application is real-time rainfall models which must use web queries for the latest data. I might be able to configure a backdoor workaround with an ODBC connection but a web query is the best way to go. Please consider adding this ASAP.
In the past one could integrate some Excel functionality using the Office Web Components (OWC). Will there be an OWC12, how will it differ from OWC11, and how does it relate to the Excel Services?
Now that the RTM version of SharePoint 2010 and PowerPivot has been released, could you update this post as to whether anything has changed?