OfficeWriter and the Application Platform

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  • OfficeWriter has two design options: object model and template-based approach


  • 1. OfficeWriter and the Microsoft Application Platform
  • 2. OfficeWriter Overview• End-user and developer tool to create data- driven Excel, Word content• Runs safely on the server• Option to use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) as back-end query engine, scheduler and production engine, serves as export renderer• Template-driven for self-service• Full document object models for developers
  • 3. What’s Important• OW enhances integration between Office, SharePoint, SSRS• It’s all about data  Full fidelity reporting in Excel, SharePoint dashboards  Relational, in-memory, cloud and big data
  • 4. Object Model• Similar to VBA/Visual Studio Tools for Office object models, but without Office dependency• Produces/reads both binary (Office 2003 and earlier) and XML (Office 2007, 2010, “15”) file formats• Runs on server safely, yet still familiar for Office devs• Includes SharePoint integration object
  • 5. The Paradigm• Use Reporting Services as a query engine and scheduler• Design and deliver reports in Excel or Word• Data Markers make it easy to create reports in Excel  Without programming• Work data into content instead of exporting  Without PivotTables
  • 6. Extras• Even support for PivotTables  SSRS Excel Export can’t do that• But SSRS is optional  Support for MS Query and/or coded data binding lets you do everything in Office• Spreadmart mitigation  Allows user to report on data instead of copying it
  • 7. BI Data Sources (via SSRS)
  • 8. Scenarios
  • 9. Data Platform• OW Enhances SQL Server• Not just core product, but numerous components  RDBMS, SSRS, SSAS Multidimensional, SSAS Tabular  DW Appliances (Fast Track, PDW) too• Big Data beyond the Hive add-in  OW can query Hadoop via Hive
  • 10. System Center• Data Warehouse tracks System Center:  Service Manager  Virtual Machine Manager  Configuration Manager  Operations Manager• Use existing reporting infrastructure  SSRS-based• Or query Data Marts, OLAP cubes from scratch  They are just SQL DBs (3) & SSAS cubes (6) More info here
  • 11. Other Operational• BizTalk – Business Activities Monitoring  Primary import database and SSAS cubes• Team Foundation Server  Has data warehouse and cubes• SQL Server Management Studio Standard Reports  Download from here
  • 12. The Developer Story• OW makes Office doc creation easy  Stable on the server  Simpler than OOXML API• Mix and match two models  Templated, with grouping and nesting  Object model• Data binding  Stream an xls/doc in 6 lines of code
  • 13. Web• Generate Office docs on the server• Create a service that streams back the doc• Use object model to work imperatively• Use templates and work declaratively• Mix data access programming with Office content• Data binding too
  • 14. Adding Value to Windows Azure• Runs on Azure VMs• Connects to Azure SQL Database• Can use SSRS or Azure SQL Reporting• Report on Azure Marketplace (via OData)
  • 15. SharePoint
  • 16. Dynamics• Dynamics CRM, AX data exposed through OData endpoints  Access via SSRS• Standard SSRS reports available too  Use their datasets• Dynamics CRM features standard database and OLAP cubes  Query directly or via SSRS