Overview of Excel Services architecture (SharePoint Server 2010)
Published: May 8, 2010
This article describes Excel Services architecture. Excel Services is built on the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 platform. Consequently, Excel Services uses SharePoint Server authentication and authorization.
Excel Services components
Excel Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 can be deployed on a stand-alone SharePoint Server (for evaluation/test environments) or in a SharePoint farm, a typical production environment. Both the SharePoint Server 2010 and Excel Services architecture is designed to meet the deployment needs ranging from a department setup inside an organization to a global enterprise scenario. Excel Services includes three core components:
Excel Calculation Services is the main Excel Services component that loads the spreadsheet and workbook, calculates the spreadsheets, refreshes external data, and maintains session state for interactivity.
Excel Web Access is a Web Part that displays data and charts from Excel workbooks.
Excel Web Services is a Web Service hosted in SharePoint that provides various methods for developers to calculate, set, and extract values from workbooks, and to refresh external data connections.
These three Excel Services components reside either on the Web front end server or on the back end application server. A standard Excel Services production environment that has many users uses two or more Web front end and application servers. A test or development environment typically hosts all Excel Services components on a single server.
The following diagram shows the Excel Services basic 2010 architecture as related to the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products content database and the external data sources.
Performance and scalability
Scalability for an Excel Services production environment can be achieved by adding more memory or higher-powered processors to the servers. Also, more Web front end servers or application servers can be added to the farm to address any instances that relate to server loads and performance. You can run the Excel Calculation Services service on multiple application servers if it is necessary. You can add more Web front end and application servers independently. For example, you can add many Web front end servers and use a single application server or add many applications servers and only deploy one or two Web front end servers.
If you have more large workbooks, or if your workbooks contain many calculations and use lots of external data, then you may want to add more application servers that are running Excel Calculation Services to your farm. If you have basic or simple workbooks and many users view them or the workbooks contain many charts, or on the other hand, if you have dashboards with many workbooks, you might consider adding more Web front end servers to your farm.
The largest Excel Services performance factor depends on the type, size of the workbooks, and external data connections in the workbooks used with Excel Services. See Plan Excel Services authentication (SharePoint Server 2010) for more information about how to configure the Excel Services settings.