Chapter 8

Financial Modeling with Excel Services and Windows Azure

What's In This Chapter?

  • Understanding opportunities for integrating Windows Azure with Office and Office Services in SharePoint 2010
  • Understanding the concepts behind the Windows Azure Table service
  • Extending an Excel financial model to access Windows Azure table data using WCF Data Services
  • Building an ECMAScript Content Editor web part that calls an Azure-hosted WCF service to retrieve Windows Azure table data for use in the financial model under Excel Services

Using Microsoft Excel on the desktop for financial models is a broad practice across all vertical industries and helps enable both daily decision making and analysis for long-range planning. There are two excellent options to enhance financial models to give them greater reach.

First, in many cases, financial models are bound to the desktop — that is, although they can be shared via e-mail or saved to a file share, the models are used only on the desktop in the Excel client application. However, financial models uploaded to SharePoint are unbound from the desktop, enabling users who don't have Excel to experience the power of the model via Excel Services in their browser.

Second, the financial models often contain data connections that generally access on-premises data. With the advent of SQL Azure, the Windows Azure Blob service, and the Windows Azure Table service, cloud-based data sources are also available to these models.

Whether the financial models ...

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