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Configure Excel Services data refresh by using embedded data connections in SharePoint Server 2013

SharePoint 2013
 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2013-12-18

Summary: Configure Excel Services to use a Secure Store target application for external data refresh.

Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013 supports three methods of using Secure Store Service to connect to external data:

To configure Excel Services data access to use embedded data connections, you use the following process:

  1. Configure a data access account

  2. Create a Secure Store target application

  3. Configure a workbook to use an embedded data connection

You must have an account that can be granted access to the data source to which you want to connect your Excel workbook. This can be a Windows Active Directory account, a SQL Server logon, or other set of credentials as required by your data source. This account will be stored in Secure Store.

Once you have created the account, the next step is to grant that account read access to the required data. (In this article, we use the example of accessing a SQL Server database through an Active Directory account. If you are using a data source other than SQL Server, see the instructions for your data source to create a logon with data-read permissions for the data access account.)

Follow these steps to create a SQL Server logon and grant Read access to the database.

To create a SQL Server logon for the data access account
  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the database engine.

  2. In Object Explorer, expand Security.

  3. Right-click Logins, and then click New Login.

  4. In the Login name box, type the name of the Active Directory account that you created for data access.

  5. In the Select a page section, click User Mapping.

  6. Select the Map check box for the database that you want to provide access to, and then, under Database role membership for: <database>, select the db_datareader check box.

  7. Click OK.

Now that you have created a data access account and granted it access to a data source, the next step is to create a Secure Store target application.

You must create a target application in Secure Store that contains the credentials that you created for data access. This target application can then be specified in data-connected Excel workbooks and will be used by Excel Services when it refreshes data in the workbook.

When you create the target application, you have to specify which users will be authorized to use the credentials stored in Secure Store. You can list users individually, or you can use an Active Directory group. We recommend that you use an Active Directory group for ease of administration.

NoteNote:
The users that you list in the target application do not have direct access to the stored credentials. Instead, Excel Services uses the credentials on their behalf to refresh data in data-connected workbooks that specify this target application.

Use the following procedure to create a Secure Store target application.

To create a target application
  1. On the Central Administration home page, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  2. Click the Secure Store service application.

  3. On the ribbon, click New.

  4. In the Target Application ID box, type a unique identifier for this target application (for example, ExcelServicesDataAccess).

  5. In the Display Name box, type a friendly name or short description.

  6. In the Contact E-mail box, type the e-mail address for a contact for this target application.

  7. In the Target Application Type drop-down list, select Group.

  8. Click Next.

  9. On the Credential Fields page, if you are using Windows credentials, leave the default credential fields. If you are using credentials other than Windows credentials, modify the Field Type drop-down lists to comply with the credentials that you are using. Click Next.

  10. On the Specify the membership settings page:

    • In the Target Application Administrators box, type the account of the user who will administer this target application.

      NoteNote:
      You can specify multiple users or an Active Directory group.
    • In the Members box, type the users to whom you want to grant the ability to refresh data.

      NoteNote:
      You can specify multiple users or an Active Directory group.
  11. Click OK.

Use the following procedure to set the credentials for the target application.

To set the credentials for the target application
  1. On the Secure Store Service Application page, in the Target Application ID column, point to the target application that you just created, click the arrow that appears, and then click Set Credentials.

  2. Type the user name and password of the data access account.

  3. Click OK.

Once you have set the credentials for the target application, the target application is ready to use. The next step is to specify this target application in the Excel Services authentication settings in your data-connected Excel workbook.

You must configure the Excel Services Authentication Settings in the workbook before you publish it to SharePoint Server 2013. Doing so enables the workbook to use a Secure Store target application to refresh data that is rendered using Excel Services. Use the following procedure to configure the authentication settings.

To configure Excel Services authentication settings
  1. In a data-connected Excel workbook, on the Data tab, click Connections.

  2. On the Workbook Connections dialog box, select the data connection that you want to update, and then click Properties.

  3. On the Connection Properties dialog box, on the Definition tab, click Authentication Settings.

  4. On the Excel Services Authentication Settings dialog box, select the Use a stored account option, type the Application ID of the target application in the text box, and then click OK.

    NoteNote:
    If you are using Excel 2010, select the SSS option.
  5. On the Connection Properties dialog box, click OK.

    NoteNote:
    If you see a warning that the link to the external connection file will be removed, click Yes.
  6. On the Workbook Connections dialog box, click Close.

With the target application specified in the Excel Services Authentication Settings, Excel Services uses the credentials associated with that target application to refresh the data in the workbook after you have published it to SharePoint Server 2013.

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