Data Refresh in Excel Services fails with "SSO has failed with the following error code -2140995579, exception: Error in the application"

I've been playing quite a bit with Excel Services the last few weeks, and ran into a problem around refreshing data in a worksheet stored in Excel Services when I used Single Sign On (SSO) in the ODC.

I also noticed that each time my report failed to refresh data, the error in the subject of this post got dumped into the event log.

I asked for help, then did some digging. Turns out this error is one of those "by design" (or, "by bad design")  issues. Some of you might call it a bug 🙂

In essence, if the account you use for the Shared Services Provider (as in "SharedServices1") is different than your Farm and/or SSO Account identities, you'll get this error. They must all be the same, even though I didn't see this documented anywhere (and to be fair, I haven't spent tons of time looking).

Thanks to Chris Nicholas for his help on this problem!

Comments (1)

  1. Ira Levin says:

    This is the case if Excel Services is set with the Trusted Subsystem access model. The SSP account must be a member of the SSO Admin group (or is the SSO Admin user). This is needed, so that Excel Services can redeem the SSO ticket reserved by the user in the Ewa WebPart. Also, I’m not sure that the WSS Web Application account needs to be the same as the SSP account, though.

    If Excel Services is set with the Delegation access model, then this isn’t necessary, since excel services will use the user identity (impersonating it) to redeem the credentials from SSO.

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