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Beginning Excel Services (Programmer to Programmer)

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Given the prominent role Excel plays in today's companies, the need for users to better manage, distribute, and incorporate spreadsheets in larger applications is greater than ever. Written by Microsoft's lead developers of Excel Services, this book shares their insights into the benefits and usage of Excel's new server technology so that you can solve business problems. It walks you through all of the functionality of Excel Services and details how to incorporate it in your solutions.

You'll begin with the basics, learning what Excel Services is for and how it is used. The authors also show you how to deploy an evaluation copy of the server and effectively administer it. You'll delve into the server's architecture and get an in depth understanding of how the server works. You will then find step-by-step guidelines for using the server in each of the scenarios for which it was designed.

What you will learn from this book

  • Methods for publishing a workbook to the server and viewing it in the browser
  • How to use Excel Services to control the workbook distribution

  • Ways to leverage Excel Services for reporting, interacting with data, dashboards, and key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Tips for offloading calculation-intensive workbooks to a server Farm

  • How to develop applications leveraging the Excel Server's web services API

  • How to query data from external databases into Excel Services

  • Techniques for configuring Excel Services to mitigate security threats

This book is for anyone who wants to learn what Excel Services is, what it does, what the benefits are, and how to get started. You should have an understanding of Excel, basic knowledge of Excel 2007, and familiarity with Windows SharePoint Services.

About the Author

Liviu Asnash is a Principal Development Lead at Microsoft, and currently manages the development of Excel Services (which is part of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007). Asnash has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise-level software development. In the past five years, he has worked on Microsoft Office in areas related to Business Intelligence, Excel, and Excel Services. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was the director of Research and Development at Maximal Innovative Intelligence, a software company that developed data visualization tools for Business Intelligence. Before that, he worked for six years on mission-critical server systems based on UNIX and Oracle technologies. Asnash holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science and an M.B.A. degree. He lives in Bellevue, Washington, with his wife and son.

Eran Megiddo is an entrepreneur at heart and is the Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft, responsible for the team that defines the functionality and product road map for Excel Services. Megiddo has been designing and developing data analysis software for more than 14 years. Prior to joining Microsoft, he co-founded Maximal Innovative Intelligence, back home in Israel. Maximal developed data visualization and exploration tools that were eventually acquired by Microsoft. The tools were initially released as Microsoft Data Analyzer and are now part of Microsoft Office Excel 2007. The inspiration for Maximal was in student-assessment software developed at Memad Educational Systems, where Megiddo led the software development and product marketing efforts. He began his professional career as an officer in an elite Israeli Military Intelligence unit. Megiddo enjoys spending his free time traveling and hiking with his wife and two daughters. He is an avid theatergoer, but on most nights, you will find him in the kitchen, where he enjoys cooking for family and friends.

Craig Thomas is a Senior Test Lead who works for Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. For the Office SharePoint Server 2007 release, he is the Release Test Lead for Excel Services. He also leads a team of testers who focus primarily on server performance and reliability. Prior to joining the Office team, he was contributing to shipping Exchange Server 2003 with a focus on leading a test team responsible for the Outlook Web Access component of Exchange. Thomas discovered his technology passions later in life, after an 11-year career as a submariner in the United States Navy. He programmed with C and C++ early on, but now prefers C#, and keeps his coding skills fresh by staying involved with tools development, authoring test automation scripts, and, of course, writing custom solutions for Excel Services.

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