Posts Tagged 'domain'

PowerPivot Technical Diagram: PowerPivot Client/Server Architecture

Because PowerPivot for Excel and PowerPivot for SharePoint involve many components from SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services, Office 2010, and SharePoint 2010, this poster contains all of the key components that make up PowerPivot in one view. This view includes nearly all of the logical architecture components and illustrates how these componets work together.

Included in this diagram are the components for:

  • PowerPivot for Excel
  • PowerPivot for SharePoint
  • Browser-Based Clients and their connection to PowerPivot
  • Data Import and Data Providers in relation to PowerPivot
  • Analysis Services Clients and their ability to connect to PowerPivot
  • Timer Jobs, Health and Usage Data Collection in relation to PowerPivot

For more information, please go to the reference site: PowerPivot Technical Diagram: PowerPivot Client/Server Architecture


Giving remote users rights to log on to your domain controller

By powerpivotgeek (, on April 7th, 2010

For all of you that are running a combined all-in-1 system, i.e. domain controller, SharePoint and all of PowerPivot (desktop + server), you will notice that if you are trying to debug with non-administrator accounts that you can no longer remote desktop on to your machine. This is because by default only administrators are allowed to remote desktop onto a domain controller. To allow all Remote Desktop users that right:

  1. Click on Start and type “gpedit.msc” into the Start Search box
  2. Navigate to “Computer Configuration – Windows Settings – Security Settings – Local Policies – User rights Assignment”
  3. Click on “Allow log on through Terminal Services”
  4. You will notice that only Administrators are listed. Add “Remote Desktop Users”

Continue reading: Giving remote users rights to log on to your domain controller

Excel Services delegation

By powerpivotgeek (, on December 11th, 2009

I am inspired by a recent post from a colleague about the various issues that can come up with Excel Services delegation (see a Denny Lee’s blog here: and I wanted to take it a bit further (and maybe a bit ‘geekie’-er)

First, why is this a problem? After all, as you can see in Denny’s post, you can see the workbook and you even have a thumbnail for it in the Gallery. What’s up here? The core of the problem is that unless you’ve set the connection to refresh when you first open the workbook, Excel Services uses its pivot cache to construct the pivot table and slicers. It is only if you manually refresh the connection, or click on a slicer, that you make an actual connection to the embedded data. Until then you are just looking at cached information. Until you click on a slicer, you don’t really know if Excel Services is working – so a strong recommendation that I make to any person doing a validating their installation is to “ALWAYS CLICK ON A SLICER” if you want to make sure that your installation is working properly.

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Watch out, your domain might be showing . . .

By powerpivotgeek (, on November 24th, 2009

Several new SharePoint 2010 configuration issues will impacting some PowerPivot sites and I wanted to share them with you. These restrictions are with Excel Services and have to do with the way that Windows authentication is handled, i.e. you have set the Excel Services authentication set to “Windows”, not using Secure Store or “None”. This impacts PowerPivot because Excel Services treats PowerPivot as a data source. The restrictions are not limited to just PowerPivot – they apply across the board for all Excel Services data sources.

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A Peek Inside: Why no cross-farm support?

By powerpivotgeek (, on November 25th, 2009


From time to time, particular from knowledgeable SharePoint users coming up to speed with PowerPivot, I get the question: “PowerPivot have ‘cross-farm’ support”. As you can see from the title of this post, we don’t support it – and in this “A Peek Inside” I hope to explain why.

First, what is SharePoint ‘cross-farm’ support and why is it important. In large, complex SharePoint configurations a common requirement is to specialize servers or farms of servers to specific services. A good example of this approach is to have a separate farm dedicated to Search. Rather than having each end-user farm host its own Search service, the idea is to get better scale through specialization. Content crawling is done remotely; the indexes are kept remotely; and the Search results are calculated remotely. End users connect to the content farms (so-called because that is where the content is stored), but the content farm reaches out to specialized servers/farms for other services. Example of these services is: Search, Personalization, Business Data Catalog, Portal Usage reporting – coming in SharePoint 2010 are lots more . . .

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A Peek Inside: Why are domain accounts needed?

Have you ever had to do something that you knew (you just KNEW) that lots of folks were going to scream – and scream loud – about? This is one of those cases – I can just feel it!

Ok, here goes. There have been several recent newsgroups postings concerning why we require domain accounts to install PowerPivot for SharePoint. Why must the farm account and the various service accounts be domain accounts. This causes lots of heartache for users that want to install demo or evaluation servers because we don’t support a standalone server. Well, we do support standalone, but it a different kind of standalone. Let’s get right into it.

First, let’s compare and contrast this requirement with SharePoint. SharePoint has two types of installations: standalone (which they do NOT support in production) and complete/farm. The standalone installation is for demo and evaluation purposes only. It has uses NETWORK SERVICE as the service account for many of its internal processes. It is right up front that it is NOT expandable into a production system; it has security issues acting across servers; etc. However, it gives you a nice “toy” to play with. Let’s be right up front about it – PowerPivot does not install nor does it support a SharePoint standalone server installation. And, oh while we are on the subject, SharePoint does not support local machine accounts within a farm configuration. In the SharePoint world, once you go to domains – you go all of the way with domains.

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