In this section, we’ll learn about PowerPivot for SharePoint, including the target audience, its architecture, and the workflow for creating PowerPivot solutions. We’ll conclude this section with a review of developer opportunities.
PowerPivot for Excel was introduced in a separate module. PowerPivot for Excel allows users to create BI solutions for personal use, whereas PowerPivot for SharePoint provides the platform for storage and management of workbooks accessible by multiple users.
PowerPivot for SharePoint provides a more scalable architecture to support multi-user access to workbooks by storing the data in a Vertipaq-mode server instance of Analysis Services, in contrast to the in-process local Vertipaq-mode instance used by the PowerPivot for Excel client. (We’ll review the features of Vertipaq mode during the architecture discussion.)
PowerPivot for Sharepoint is a complementary product, rather than a replacement product, for a traditional implementation of Analysis Services. Typically, Analysis Services databases are dependent on a managed data warehouse for which specific rules exist regarding data sources, data quality, and refresh rates. Furthermore, these databases managed by IT. In contrast, PowerPivot for SharePoint is a platform that is established and monitored by IT, but intended to be managed by business users who need to combine corporate data, personal, or third-party data on a one-time or ongoing basis and to share the insights derived from analysis of these data combinations.
IT can monitor usage of workbooks and server health related to workbook processing. For example, a popular workbook that has long-running queries might be a candidate for a traditional Analysis Services implementation for which the database design can be optimized.
PowerPivot for Excel is designed for analysts who need to integrate large volumes of data, possibly from different systems. These users can share the resulting workbooks by storing them in a document library on a SharePoint farm. The consumer of these workbooks are SharePoint users who can take advantage of the site and document management features of SharePoint to view PowerPivot workbooks without requiring the client tools on their desktops. They can also reuse the data in these workbooks by creating other workbooks or reports that use the published PowerPivot workbook as a data source. Although users primarily drive the development and usage of PowerPivot solutions, IT can monitor server activity and impose the necessary controls to keep data secure and server health optimized.
As you can see in this slide, the PowerPivot for SharePoint architecture contains many components. Let’s focus on the key components:
To start, a special instance of Analysis Services is installed on a SharePoint Web front end. This instance of Analysis Services is a VertiPaq engine which uses in-memory data storage. The VertiPaq engine scales for multiple users, processes large PowerPivot data sets quickly, and uses data compression and columnar storage like the client version of VertiPaq mode in the PowerPivot for Excel client. You manage this instance of Analysis Services exclusively in SharePoint Central Administration. Analysis Services loads the workbook data into a cube which it holds in memory until it’s no longer required or until resource contention forces it out of memory. (This instance of Analysis Services does not support traditional OLAP processing modes.) The PowerPivot System Service runs as a service application on SharePoint. It listens for requests for PowerPivot data. When a request is received, it connects to Analysis Services to manage the loading and unloading of PowerPivot data. The PowerPivot system service also manages the content database in SharePoint, monitors server health, and collects usage data. To help speed up access workbook data, PowerPivot maintains a data cache in the Microsoft SQL Server\MSAS10_50.Powerpivot\OLAP\Backup folder. The service unloads this copy of the workbook from memory if no one accesses the workbook in a 48 hour period since the last access, but keeps a copy in the cache. The cache copy is deleted after an additional 72 hours of inactivity. SharePoint stores all PowerPivot workbooks in content databases. Analysis Services retrieves workbooks by using the respective SharePoint URL for each workbook. There is also a PowerPivot Application Database which SharePoint uses to stores configuration settings, connection information, server status, and schedule information for data refresh operations. The PowerPivot Web Service is a middle-tier connection manager implemented as a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Web service that runs on a SharePoint Web front end. It listens on the port assigned to a Web application enabled for PowerPivot, and manages the request-response exchange between client applications and PowerPivot for SharePoint instances in the farm. This is the mechanism at work when you use any XML/A-enabled client application to connect to a PowerPivot workbook. The PowerPivot Gallery is a Web application that has content types for handling PowerPivot workbooks and includes Silverlight-enabled application pages for document libraries which you can use to view published workbooks. The PowerPivot Management Dashboard is a page that displays Web parts for monitoring PowerPivot applications and links to management tasks.
To create a PowerPivot workbook, you follow the a series of steps as shown in this slide. The focus of the current lesson is the activities related to publishing a workbook to SharePoint, including management of the workbook and use of the workbook by other applications.
Typically, SharePoint users access a document by viewing a list of document names in a document library. The PowerPivot Gallery is a special type of document library in a SharePoint site that you use to centrally store PowerPivot workbooks. More specifically, the PowerPivot Gallery is a list of workbooks with visualizations, with skins that can be applied to a document library. For example, you can view a workbook and a thumbnail of the workbook.
The PowerPivot Gallery installs automatically when you install PowerPivot for SharePoint on a new SharePoint farm or when you activate the PowerPivot Integration Site Collection Feature. You can reach this feature from the Site Actions menu of a site collection, in the Site Collection Administration section.
You can publish workbooks to the PowerPivot Gallery directly from Excel using the same procedure that you would publish a non-PowerPivot workbook to Excel Services. Alternatively, you can upload a PowerPivot workbook directly into the gallery. Once you have workbooks added to the PowerPivot Gallery, you can view document thumbnails to locate the desired workbook. The view of the workbook always shows real data.
You can also change the view from the default Gallery view to Theatre or Carousel view.
By publishing workbooks to SharePoint, you can also share the data in other ways by creating a new Excel workbook or creating a new Report Builder report.
Each workbook can be assigned a data refresh schedule, so that users won’t need to download the workbook, refresh it, and then upload the newer version to SharePoint. The data refresh process can use server resources. For example, better bandwidth between servers can be a better refresh option than refreshing a workbook on a user’s computer. Each data source in the workbook can be refreshed separately.
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Validate a successful upgrade by testing all components detailed in your system documentation. Be sure to test any customizations in features and solutions, new features, such as visual upgrade, and get plenty of user feedback. It’s quite possible your first attempt will not be 100% successful. Always prepare for the worst and hope for the best by having multiple, reliable backups of all systems and databases. Good planning and testing performed in advance will greatly reduce the chance of a failed upgrade.
Important: Custom site definitions will need to be updated by a developer before migration to SharePoint Server 2010.
As you can see from the previous list, many of the planning issues are addressed using the Pre-upgrade check tool. Many times potential issues that might otherwise be missed, such as custom field types, are reported by the tool. Unlike the process of upgrading to SharePoint Server 2007, upgrading to SharePoint Server 2010 does not require the tool to be ran. However, it is always a good idea to run the pre-upgrade check tool before upgrading.
Tip You can also execute the Test-SPContentDatbase cmdlet against a SharePoint Server 2010 content database. It will verify all server-side customizations are present for site collections contained in the database.
Attended Sessions @ Tech.ed 2010
FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet Sites by Aurielen
Upgrading MOSS 2007 to SharePoint 2010 by Ben Curry
DeepDive on Powerpivot and SharePoint 2010 by Donald
Attempt to cover 3 hours worth of topic in 20 mins :-P
Overview: FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet
Aka - FSIS
UI toolkit comes with FSIS consists of:
Fast Search Designer
Fast Search Business manager
Use rich web controls OOB
Create dynamic search powered web applications
FAST Search for Internet Sites
Aplatform for creating search-driven experiences that …
as content, community &
customer interests change
customers to actions
that drive revenue
Engaging Experiences—Made Easier
FAST Search for Internet Sites is an enabling technology
FSIS vision pillars
Deliver engaging information experiences that drive
FAST Search Designer
• Visually develop, debug, and
ESP 5.3 SP3
FAST Search Business Manager
for IT and Business Managers
• Deploy, start/stop, and monitor flows
• Set triggers that govern which IMS flows
to use on different parts of a page
• Integrated A/B testing
FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet Sites
Demo sites using FSIS
• Introducing PowerPivot for SharePoint
Upgrading to SharePoint Server 2010
Planning and Tools
Database Attach Upgrade
Backup the Farm – Critical Success Point!
Native Farm Backups
Third Party Backups
SQL Server Backups
Operating System Backups
Planning : Document Existing Systems
Databases, Maintenance Plans, Data/Log settings
AAMs and Host Headers, Customizations, SSL Certificates,
Assigned IP Addresses
Shared Services Providers
Network, load balancers, firewalls, VLANs
Host Operating Systems
Planning: Research and Study
Hardware and Software Prerequisites
Supported Upgrade Methods
Business continuity constraints
Have a rollback plan!!
Communicate with Users and Stakeholders
Down time, changes, training, etc.
Document your current systems
Planning : Deploying
Verify your upgrade path is supported
Test in a non-production environment
WITH PRODUCTION CONTENT!
Create and Test a ‘roll back’ plan
Keep your 2007 infrastructure intact!
Use AAMs to roll forward and backwards
Remove unneeded content and customizations
Web and Application Servers
64-bit with at least 4 Cores
80GB System Drive
64-bit with 4-8 Cores
8GB Minimum, 16GB Recommended
80GB System Drive
Operating System and SQL Requirements
Three supported versions of SQL Server:
SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008 with SP1
*CU3 and CU4 not supported, use CU2 or CU5 and later
SQL Server 2005 with SP3 and CU3
Web and Application Servers
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008
* SQL Server 2005 Standard/Enterprise can be on Windows Server
Database Attach Upgrade:
Profile Service Database
Project Service Database
Single Click Install - SQL Migration
Windows Internal Database (WID) ->
SQL Express 2008 + File Stream RBS
Upgrade from earlier than WSS v3
SP2/MOSS 2007 SP2
Direct upgrade from WSS v2/SPS 2003 or
Side by side installation
Stsadm.exe –o preupgradecheck
Read-only tool (does not modify farm)
%COMMONPROGRAMFILES%Microsoft Sharedweb server
SharePoint Server 2007 SP2
Will open report in Internet Explorer
What does it check for?
Shared Services Providers and related database size
Search topology and database sizes
All servers in the farm
Content database sizes
Total number of site collections
Supported upgrade types
Missing Site Definitions, Features, and Assemblies
What does it check for? (cont’d)
Language Packs installed
Alternate Access Mappings
List and Libraries URI and item count
Custom Field types that cannot be upgraded.
You should run this cmdlet before attaching the content
database to a SharePoint Server 2010 Web application
Verifies server-side customizations are present
Not required to upgrade
Scans 2007 SP2 and 2010 databases
Web application + content database ‘pairing’
Verify all pre-reqs
2008 OS Required
Same upgrade methodology as 2007 Service Packs
One server at a time
First server must get a configDB lock before continuing
Always IISReset after complete!
Visual Upgrade Capability
Stay in O12 UI (default) or move to O14 UI
O14 ships O12 Master pages and CSS
UI Preview capability
Farm admin or site admin controlled
Web level setting and OM
Some items not O12 UI compatible:
My site host
PWA site collection
Report Server web parts