Microsoft Excel is a familiar application that many companies use for data entry and reporting. However, Excel was originally designed for desktop use, and so it is difficult to share a spreadsheet among several users who are collaborating on a project. Typically, the owner of the spreadsheet places it in a shared folder on a file server so that other team members can retrieve, modify, and update it. While this approach can work, it requires a great deal of diligence to maintain the spreadsheet's integrity; the owner has no way to prevent a user from intentionally or accidentally changing a formula or a key parameter in the spreadsheet, or protect parameters that are based on confidential or highly sensitive data. A work-around is to hide formulas by saving documents in alternate formats, such as JPEG or HTML, which restricts access to formulas but prevents users from interacting with reports and performing simple what-if type scenarios. SharePoint 2007 addresses this issue by introducing Excel Services, a feature that enables spreadsheet collaboration in ways that are much more secure and robust than simple file sharing.
This chapter reviews the following:
How to share information within organizations using Excel
How to access and interact with Excel reports via the browser using Excel Services
What the process is for publishing Excel workbooks to SharePoint
How to create a data connection file and upload it to SharePoint
How to use key performance ...