OSIsoft: PI DataLink for Excel Services (DLES). v2.2

Uploaded by OSIsoftLearning on 24.05.2011


DataLink for Excel Services.
What we are looking at right now is a
spreadsheet that is sitting on a Web Part page in SharePoint.
This is something that has only been available
recently when Microsoft started shipping with SharePoint 3.0
something called Excel Services.
It's a Web Part that hosts an Excel spreadsheet.
And I can actually build fields in
here where I can go ahead and type in the
name of PI tags for example,
and go out and retrieve fresh information based
on what I'm putting in here-- tag name, start times and end times etc.
So the topic today
is DataLink
for Excel Services.
This is a fairly new feature. As I said, it's
only been supported lately with the
introduction of Office 2007
and SharePoint 3.0
So what it is doing is essentially it is
providing a browser-based access to a spreadsheet.
So this is all done incorporating
spreadsheets into portals and dashboards, it's all done within
Web Part page in SharePoint.
Now you can do this, or one of the reasons
people might want to do this is to limit access to
spreadsheets. It makes people essentially
kind of a captive user.
You don't have to give them the spreadsheet, you can give them a view
of the spreadsheet using the Web Part page.
One of the nice features of this is if you've got a lot of
different copies of something out in production, that's just kind of a
recipe for disaster. You know the so called islands of information
where 4 or 5 different people have different
versions of the same spreadsheet
that all started when somebody a year and a half
ago brought one to a meeting. Well,
you don't have to have these multiple versions of the
truth if you can centrally locate a spreadsheet.
And that's the big benefit of having
Excel Services. Now you can put something
on the web just like SharePoint has all that
great collaboration potential
for all different types
of Web Parts. Now Excel joins that list of
Web Parts as a Web Part that supports Excel. So it basically eliminates
having ambiguity introduced
by different versions of the same information.
And another important advantage
is if you've got some calculations
that take a long time to run on individual
desktops, it's kind of nice to do those
calculations centrally and then give people
access to that. And that's what you would be doing
using Excel Services and then DataLink for Excel Services to
show PI data in that spreadsheet.
Now just to point out, it is brand
new. If you think you haven't seen this before,
you are probably remembering correctly. This
did not come out until Office 2007.
And it is something that is using all the latest
technology from Microsoft. This is implementing Web Services.
So in fact, there is a programmatic element to this.
You can actually write applications against
this, against those Web Services.
I'd like to take a look briefly
at kind of the work flow that you
would see when working with DataLink for Excel Services
or Excel Services in general.
Again, DataLink is the add-in to Excel.
So Microsoft ships the Excel Services and we have an add-in that works with it.
So you would build a spreadsheet using
Excel 2007 or Office 2007.
That's the development environment
for creating this spreadsheet.
Now technically you can if you've got
Office 2003, there is
a compatibility patch that will allow you
to save in the same format as Excel 2007.
You can actually create your spreadsheet that way as well.
You would go ahead and publish that spreadsheet
to a web server. That web server is going to be
what is running the Excel Services. That's going
to be a SharePoint web server.
It's going to have the Web Part that hosts that
Excel spreadsheet. And of course
the users or the recipients of all this great information,
they are going to be browsing using a
thin client, a web browser.
In addition, there is the option
when you are working within that Web Part to
open that into the rich client. So if the user does have
Excel 2007, he can go ahead and open that
back up and interact with it-- drill
down and look at more detail if he wants.
Now in addition, through
Web Services, there are custom applications that can be written.
So if you are any kind of a web developer and you are
familiar with writing .NET applications,
that invoke Web Services remotely,
you can do that using the Excel
Services and thereby getting the DataLink data from PI.