A deeper look @ PowerPivot

PowerPivot for Excel

PowerPivot for Excel supports self-service business intelligence in the following ways.

  • Current row-and-column limitations in Excel are removed so that you can import much more data. This goes far beyond 1,000,000 rows!
  • A data relationship layer lets you integrate data from different sources and work with all of the data holistically. You can enter data, copy data from other worksheets, or import data from corporate databases. You can build relationships among the data to analyze it as if it all originated from a single source.
  • Create portable, reusable data. Data stays inside the workbook. You do not need manage external data connections. If you publish, move, copy, or share a workbook, all the data goes with it.
  • PowerPivot data is fully and immediately available to the rest of the workbook. You can switch between Excel and PowerPivot windows to work on the data and its presentation in PivotTables or charts in an interactive fashion. Working on data or on its presentation are not separate tasks. You work on both together in the same Excel environment.

PowerPivot lets users build relationships between completely different data sources and still have all the data held entirely within the workbook.

Try it out:

You can download PowerPivot for Excel here. Note: It requires Office 2010 beta.

 

3 tier diagram of client, middle, backend add-ins

 

PowerPivot for Sharepoint:

“PowerPivot for SharePoint adds services and infrastructure for loading and unloading PowerPivot data”. The PowerPivot System Service tracks usage of PowerPivot workbooks across the app servers on the farm and deals with “setting up new connections to data that is already loaded in memory, and caching or unloading data if it is no longer used or when there is contention for system resources.” It then presents server health and usage data in reports, enabling admins to see how well the system is performing.

Excel Services renders the Presentation layer of a Pivot workbook  while the Analysis Services instances detect, extract and process the Pivot data. Here’s a diagram showing how a query request is processed:

Data processing request diagram

You can see a full overview over on the MSDN site here.

Try it out:

You can download PowerPivot for Sharepoint here. Note: It requires the CTP of SQL 2008 R2  AND Sharepoint 2010 beta.

Installing PowerPivot for Sharepoint

There are a number of pre-requisites and steps to installing the product, and they can all be found here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee210708(SQL.105).aspx

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