Silverlight as a Front End to Excel Services
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Silverlight as a Front End to Excel Services



Presented at SharePoint Saturday NYC 2009, this talk demonstrates using Silverlight 2 as a front end for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) Excel Services. Excel Services can host your ...

Presented at SharePoint Saturday NYC 2009, this talk demonstrates using Silverlight 2 as a front end for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) Excel Services. Excel Services can host your business logic and your presentation layer can run on the user's browser using Rich Internet Application (RIA) techniques and web services to communicate back to the server. Because the business logic is written in Excel, the power users can modify the logic and underlying formulas and publish back to MOSS to update the application logic. Read more on my blog at



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    Silverlight as a Front End to Excel Services Silverlight as a Front End to Excel Services Presentation Transcript

    • Silverlight front end to Excel Services
      Talbott Crowell
    • Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform
      .NET in the browser
      Compatible subset of the WPF UI Framework features in the full .NET Framework
      Re-use skills, controls, code and content to build both rich cross browser web applications, as well as rich desktop Windows applications
      Why Silverlight?
    • Excel is a common “language” for business logic
      Power users can update business logic
      They often know it better than the programmers
      Business logic? Anything but logical…
      SharePoint is becoming more and more common
      Why Excel Services?
    • Silverlight 1.0 (Sept 2007)
      JavaScript based
      Silverlight 2.0 (Oct 2008)
      .NET based
      Does not require .NET Framework on client machine
      Silverlight 2.0 GDR 1 (Feb 2009)
      Silverlight Versions
    • Silverlight 2.0 Support
      IE 6 on Windows 2000/XP/2003/Mobile 6
      IE 7/8 on Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008
      Chrome on Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008
      Firefox on Windows
      Firefox on Mac OS 10.4/10.5 Intel
      Safari on Mac Intel and Windows
      Silverlight 1.0 Support
      Firefox on Linux via Mono “Moonlight”
      Firefox on Mac OS 10.4/10.5 PowerPC
      Safari on Mac OS 10.4/10.5 PowerPC
      Silverlight Platforms
    • Silverlight Development
      Silverlight 2.0 Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1
      Visual Studio 2008 SP1 or
      Visual Web Developer Express with SP1
      Supported OS: XP, Vista, or Server 2008
      Expression Blend 2 with SP1
      Deep Zoom Composer
      Silverlight Toolkit
    • WPF UI Framework
      powerful graphics and animation engine
      compatible subset of the WPF UI Framework
      re-use skills, controls, code and content for RIA and Windows applications
      Rich Controls
      form controls (TextBox, CheckBox, RadioButton, etc)
      built-in layout management panels (StackPanel, Grid, Panel, etc)
      common functionality controls (Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar, DatePicker, etc)
      data manipulation controls (DataGrid, ListBox, etc)
      Rich Networking Support
      support for calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS, and standard HTTP services.
      Rich Base Class Library
      collections, IO, generics, threading, globalization, XML, local storage, etc
      HTML DOM/JavaScript integration with .NET code
      LINQ and LINQ to XML library support
      Silverlight 2
    • Silverlight UI
    • Silverlight Demo
      Silverlight UI and code walk through
    • ScottGu’s Blog
      8 Tutorials, First Look at Silverlight 2
      Silverlight Resources
    • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
      Free (as long as you pay for Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008)
      Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
      $$ Standard version
      $$$ Enterprise version
      Your enterprise (or customer’s enterprise) may already have license
      MSDN Premium Subscription gives you dev copies of all this
      What is SharePoint
      Excel Services
    • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS)
      Enterprise Edition
      Excel Services
      Forms Services
      Development environment
      VPC or Virtual Server ideal
      Excel 2007 for publishing Excel sheets
      • Limited version of Excel client
      • No VBA macros, instead use UDF (.NET Assembly)
      • Can’t edit cells directly, instead use a input panel
      • Don’t need Excel client to use or view workbook
      • Browser is all that is needed to view or run a calculation
      • Do need Excel client to publish (can’t author Excel workbook with Excel Services)
      • Secure way to share workbook
      • Without sharing your formulas
      • Single version of the “truth”
      What is Excel Services?
    • Excel Calculation Services
      The "heart" of Excel Services.
      Loads, calculates workbooks, refreshes external data, and maintains session state
      Excel Web Access
      This SharePoint Web Part
      HTML renderings from the results returned by Excel Calculation Services
      Browser based UI and interaction
      Excel Web Services
      Programmatic access to workbooks
      Excel Services Architecture
    • Excel Services Architecture
    • One workbook many users
      Each user has a session instance of the workbook
      The user can make temporary changes to their own copy without affecting others
      Excel Services Session
      • Web reference to:
      • http://host/_vti_bin/ExcelService.asmx
      • Instantiate Proxy
      • service = new ExcelService()
      • Open workbook
      • sessionID = service.OpenWorkbook(url, culture…
      • Read cells
      • service.GetRangeA1(sessionID, sheetName, rangeName…
      • Update cells
      • service.SetRangeA1(sessionID, sheetName, rangeName…
      Excel Web Services
    • Excel Workbook as Business Logic
    • MOSS App Server
      Excel Calculation Service
      Solution Architecture
      MOSS WFE
      Excel Web Services
      Silverlight Application
      Custom Web Service
      Silverlight 2
      SQL Server
      Mac, PC, etc…
    • Excel Services Demo
      Excel Services Session and code walk through
    • Excel Services Resources
      Excel Services Development Roadmap
    • Silverlight is a powerful platform for Rich Internet Applications (RIA) targeted to cross browsers
      Excel Services can leverage business logic created by the business users
      Excel Services allows business users to update business logic in a tool that is very familiar to them
    • Thank you.Questions about Silverlight front end to Excel Services?
      Talbott Crowell