Released: Twitter Analytics for Excel 2013

Back in 2011, we released a great PowerPivot sample application to query Twitter and analyze tweets within Excel 2010. This was a joint venture between Microsoft and ISV Gold BI partner Extended Results, and the great news is that Extended Results has finished an updated version that now also works in Excel 2013! For all… Read more

Refreshing PowerPivot Data in SharePoint 2013

In SharePoint 2013, Excel Services comes with numerous improvements. One of the most significant for PowerPivot is the ability to refresh data models interactively all the way from the original data sources. Unlike Excel Services in SharePoint 2010, which only queries data models but doesn’t refresh them interactively, Excel Services in SharePoint 2013 first sends… Read more

Poster Download: Microsoft Business Intelligence at a Glance

Over recent months, we had a lot of fun creating a Microsoft BI poster for SQL Pass and SharePoint Conference. As the title suggests, the poster shows the most important technologies in the Microsoft BI stack at a glance, arranged in various layers from the data sources all the way up to the client applications… Read more

Announcing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3)

Last week, we released the public CTP of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1. For most SQL Server components, SP1 is just a collection of patches and bug fixes, but for Business Intelligence scenarios, SP1 is much more than just a service pack. SQL Server 2012 SP1 CTP3 is specifically released to accompany the… Read more

Supporting Multiple PowerPivot Versions

Since the release of SQL Server 2012, users can choose between two different versions of PowerPivot for Excel: SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012. Both PowerPivot versions are free of charge, but the 2012 add-in includes more features than its predecessor and offers several improvements to the user interface, so it’s reasonable to… Read more

Removing VSTO-Based Customizations from a PowerPivot Workbook

This article is a follow-up on a previous blog post titled “How to Build a VSTO-Based PowerPivot Workbook,” which discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of building PowerPivot workbooks by using VSTO. A key VSTO advantage is that you can bring data from virtually any source into PowerPivot even if there is no suitable… Read more

Tips and Tricks: Mapping Data to the World in a PowerPivot Workbook

Last week I came across a stunning PowerPivot solution that visualizes research data on top of a world map, as illustrated in the following screenshot. What’s particularly stunning about this solution is that it works even in the browser despite the fact that Excel Services doesn’t support custom shapes or background images for country objects… Read more

How to Build a VSTO-Based PowerPivot Workbook

Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) is an awesome development suite for building advanced Office solutions, such as Excel applications that go above and beyond default features and capabilities. Even our PowerPivot for Excel add-in is based on VSTO. However, it is important to note that VSTO does not define application programming interfaces (APIs)… Read more

About the Relativity of Large Data Volumes

Some conversations in our team are really priceless. The other day, while working on an article about Analyzing Performance Data in PowerPivot, I was bragging to Ashvini about the fact that I was able to import a 55 GB database with more than 200 million rows of data into a 1 GB PowerPivot workbook, as… Read more

Creating a Stock Ticker View for Performance Data in PowerPivot

My previous blog post “Analyzing Performance Data in PowerPivot” explained how to create a basic PowerPivot solution to display performance counters for individual servers or server roles in a PivotChart. Subsequently, Jesse Harris, Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, suggested expanding this solution by providing a view similar to a stock ticker… Read more