• How Excel Services Is Different from Excel | SharePoint Engine

    For those transitioning into the SharePoint environment, one hurdle is found in shifting from Excel to Excel Services. The primary confusion here arises because the two seem like—and, indeed, in many ways are—identical services. 

    However, the two also work in tandem, and each has its own functionality and user interface. This entry will give a rapid-fire rundown of Excel Services and how it differs from offline versions of Excel.

    How Excel and Excel Services Are the Same

    The element of Excel Services most similar to Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013 is found in Excel Calculation Services (ECS). ECS loads the workbook, maintains sessions, and completes all of the calculations. The calculations and functions found within ECS are identical to those found in Excel, so those who have memorized long lists of useful equations can rest peacefully.

    In many cases (dependent on which version of Excel and SharePoint is being used), the offline version of Excel will continue to serve as the authoring tool while ECS uploads and integrates the workbooks.

    How Excel Services Is Different

    Excel Services then extends beyond the functionality of the offline versions by offering two major sets of web-integrated features. The first is Excel Web Services (EWS), a part of Microsoft’s SharePoint Services offerings. EWS provides an advanced API that allows for custom features, applications, interface options, and more to be built within any given workbook.

    Since these workbooks are likely to be standardized elements across your organization, the implementation of intelligent apps and features can have an immediate and lasting benefit for your organization.

    The second is Excel Web Access (EWA), which is one of the core web parts in Microsoft SharePoint. Using these EWA web parts allows you to display elements of selected workbooks in the user interface and even allows users to edit those workbooks directly. Since the workbooks are marked up with dynamic HTML, the viewing and editing processes remain seamless, stable, and simple.

    Using EWA features helps bring key workbooks into top-of-mind awareness for your staff, which in turn increases user adoption. By combining this increased use with savvy implementation of the display options, you can increase business intelligence at each level of your organization.

    While select features of Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013 may not be compatible with Excel Services, enterprise-relevant features run without a hitch. By using your existing knowledge of Excel along with the SharePoint-integrated features, you can dramatically increase the impact of your workbooks.

    Feel free to contact our sharepoint consulting firms team here.

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