Excel Services Overview

Excel Services is a new server technology included in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. This shared service enables you to load, calculate, and display Excel workbooks on Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Using Excel Services, you can easily reuse and share Excel workbooks on Office SharePoint Server 2007 portals and dashboards. For example, financial analysts, business planners, or engineers can create content in Excel and share it with others by using an Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal and dashboard—without writing custom code. You can control which data is displayed, and you can maintain a single version of your Excel workbook.
There are two primary interfaces for Excel Services:
1) An Excel Web Access Web Part, which enables you to view and interact with a live workbook using a browser .
2) Excel Web Services for programmatic access
Excel Services - Architecture
I would like to explain the architecture at a high level and touch on configuration possibilities. Excel Services is built on the SharePoint products and technologies platform.
There are three core components of Excel Services
1) Excel Calculation Service
2) Excel Web Access
3) Excel Web Service

Here is what each of these components do.
Excel Web Access – This is a web-part in SharePoint that performs the “rendering” (development team speak for “creating the HTML”) of Excel Workbooks on a web page. This is perhaps the most visible component for the end user. For those of you familiar with SharePoint, you can use it like any other web part in SharePoint to create a wide range of web pages.
Excel Web Services – This component provides the programmatic access. It is a web service hosted in SharePoint. You can use methods in this web service to develop applications that incorporate calculations done by Excel Services and to automate the update of Excel spreadsheets.
Excel Calculation Service – This is the component that loads the spreadsheets, calculates them, refreshes external data, and maintains session state for interactivity. This is the heart of Excel Services.
Additionally, there is also a proxy that is used internally to handle the communication between the components on the web front end and the application server in multiple-server configurations. It also handles the load balancing in case there are multiple application servers in your installation.
These three components are divided in two major groups – those that live on a front-end server (which we refer to as a “web front end”), and those that live on a back-end application server. In the simplest of the configurations, all these components could be running on the same machine (we call this a “single box” installation). In a typical production environment with significant number of users, the components on the web front end and the application server would be on different machines. It is possible to scale (up or out) these components independently.


  1. hi Karun,

    This blog is realy heaplful for those who excel services in sharepoint.

  2. I am using this a lot at client - i have a problem with an excel file having print titles set before publishing. I need to do this because files will be opened and printed in excel and i dont want users to have to do anything themselves in excel after opening from sharepoint.

    However I get an error when trying to open file on sharepoint. Seems this is an error in excel services ? Any Ideas on how to solve or if Microsoft are aware of this ?

  3. hi Michael,

    Can you please send the screen shot of error @ hitendersingh@gmail.com