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Plan Office Web Apps (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products)

Updated: May 21, 2013

This article contains information about planning considerations for deploying Microsoft Office Web Apps on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products. Office Web Apps is the online companion to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft OneNote applications that enables users regardless of their location to access and edit documents. Users can view, share, and work on documents with others online across personal computers, mobile telephones, and the Web.

Information provided in this article is intended for IT Pros planning to use Office Web Apps on SharePoint 2010 Products on-premises in their organizations. Before planning your Office Web Apps solution, it is recommended you first read Office Web Apps overview (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products).

Unless otherwise noted, SharePoint 2010 Products in this article refers to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, which must be installed before you install Office Web Apps.

Caution Caution:

When you install Office Web Apps on server farm, it becomes tightly integrated into SharePoint 2010 Products.

Before you install Office Web Apps on a server farm in a production environment, we strongly recommend that you install Office Web Apps in a test environment and thoroughly evaluate it to ensure that it fully meets your organization's needs. This evaluation should include verifying that you have appropriate licenses to install and run Office Web Apps in a production environment. For more information about Office Web Apps licensing, see How to buy Office 2010 through Volume Licensing (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=220251).

Uninstalling Office Web Apps will result in some downtime for the farm. For more information, see Deactivate or Uninstall Office Web Apps (installed on SharePoint 2010 Products).

In this article:

Software prerequisites

To deploy Office Web Apps on-premises in your organization requires one of the following SharePoint versions:

  • SharePoint Server 2010 Standard edition

  • SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise edition

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010

Office Web Apps cannot be installed on SharePoint trial editions or SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites.

Important Important:

Do not install Office Web Apps on a computer that is configured as a domain controller. Instead, run Office Web Apps and the domain controller on separate computers. If you only have one computer, consider running Office Web Apps and the domain controller configuration as separate virtual machine instances on the single host computer, by using Hyper-V or other virtualization software.

For information about the different versions of SharePoint and how to implement SharePoint in your organization, see Microsoft SharePoint Products (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=189311).

Browser and mobile device support

Users in your organization can use browser-enabled cell phones and mobile devices to read Excel, PowerPoint, and Word documents stored on a SharePoint 2010 Products server running Office Web Apps, if views and content are enabled for mobile access published externally outside a firewall.

When planning your Office Web Apps solution, all client computer Web browsers must meet minimum version requirements.

For a list of supported browsers and mobile devices for Office Web Apps, see Office Web Apps platform comparison overview.

note Note:

To access pages by using mobile devices, the URL is identical to that used by browsers run on client computers. However, this can vary depending on the configuration and presence of Web proxies. Users can click E-mail a Link on the Share & Track tab of the ribbon to receive the address in e-mail on an SMTP service–enabled SharePoint 2010 Products server.

Plan server topology

How you deploy Office Web Apps in your organization will depend largely on how your SharePoint installation is configured. If you will be installing Office Web Apps on an existing SharePoint server farm, it is important to plan, test, and monitor how Office Web Apps will affect other aspects of your SharePoint 2010 Products server performance. When installing Office Web Apps in a server farm, it must be installed on every server in that farm. However, the Office Web Apps services do not have to be activated on every server in the farm.

Some of the information provided in this section was derived from the Estimate performance and capacity requirements for Office Web Apps (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=191156) white paper (OfficeWebAppsCapacityPlanningDoc.docx) available on the Microsoft Download Center. In addition to providing performance and capacity planning information, this white paper provides detailed testing information performed by Microsoft, and additional recommendations and troubleshooting information.

For the purposes of planning an Office Web Apps server configuration, components can be divided among the following tiers:

  • Web front-end   Office Web Apps front-end components run within the SharePoint Web front-end. Office Web Apps front-end components include a series of ASP.NET Web applications that render markup for the browser, and respond to and manage client events (state) that run on the server.

  • Application server   Office Web Apps middle-tier components include the Web application services. These services run within the same context as other SharePoint-related services.

  • Back end   Office Web Apps creates and uses a cache to render documents viewable by the user. The cache exists as a site collection in the SPContentDatabase as part of the SharePoint back end. Cache performance efficiency has a direct effect on rendered page load times.

To determine an optimal deployment depends on the expected user count, how heavy the usage is expected to be, and the type of usage. As a starting point for your deployments, consider the following guidelines:

Application servers and front-end Web servers hardware

Processors

2 Quad-core, 2.33 GHz

RAM

16 GB

Operating system

Windows Server 2008 64-bit

Hard disk space

3 x 146 GB, 15 K SAS (3 RAID 1 disks) Disk 1: Operating system Disk 2: Swap and BLOB cache Disk 3: Logs and temp directory

Number of network adapters

2

Network adapter speed

1 Gigabit/sec

Authentication

NTLM

Load balancer type

Hardware load balancing

For specific information about minimum and recommended system requirements for both front-end Web servers and application servers, see Hardware and software requirements (SharePoint Server 2010).

Office Web Apps server topology

Average number of daily unique visitors Average concurrent users Recommended topology

100

10

One front-end Web server, one application server

1000

30

Two front-end Web servers, two application servers

10000

300

Four front-end Web servers, three application servers

For heavy usage of the PowerPoint Broadcast feature, we recommend using a separate server farm. For more information, see Configure Broadcast Slide Show performance (Office Web Apps).

Worksheet action

The Office Web Apps worksheet Office Web Apps Worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=180808) is provided to record your Office Web Apps planning decisions. Use this worksheet to record the number of Web front-end and middle-tier servers that are required.

Plan default open behavior for documents

SharePoint 2010 Products use a default open behavior setting to determine how a document is opened when a user clicks a document in SharePoint. By default, when Office Web Apps is installed, Setup configures SharePoint so that Office documents open in the browser with the associated Office Web application. You can change the default open behavior at the site collection and the document library level before or after Office Web Apps is installed by using Central Administration or by using Windows PowerShell.

For information about how to configure the default open behavior setting in SharePoint, see Configure the default open behavior for browser-enabled documents (Office Web Apps).

Worksheet action

The Office Web Apps worksheet Office Web Apps Worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=180808) is provided to record your Office Web Apps planning decisions. Use this worksheet to record the default open behavior for site collections and libraries.

Plan Office Web Apps feature activation

The Office Web Apps feature can be activated at the SharePoint site collection level. The feature should be activated on every site collection for which you want any of the Web applications to be available. The feature is activated automatically for site collections that are created after Office Web Apps is installed. Typically, you activate the feature on existing site collections during the deployment phase after you run Setup and activate the services; however, in some cases, you can decide to activate the feature later on particular site collections and deactivate it on others. To provide a consistent user experience, we strongly recommend that the feature be activated on all site collections.

If the feature is activated on a site collection, and the default open behavior for browser-enabled documents setting in SharePoint is set to open in browser (that is, the OpenInClient feature is disabled for the site collection), when a user clicks a document in a document library, the document opens in view mode in the browser. After the document is opened in the browser, the user can edit the document in the browser by clicking the Edit in Browser button on the toolbar. If the user clicks the down arrow for a document, the View in Browser and Edit in Browser menu items appear together with either the Edit in Microsoft Word, Edit in Microsoft PowerPoint, Edit in Microsoft Excel, or Edit in Microsoft OneNote menu items.

If the Office Web Apps feature is not activated on a site collection, and the default open behavior for browser-enabled documents setting in SharePoint is set to open in browser, when a user clicks a document in a document library in that site collection, the document opens in view mode in the browser. After the document is opened in the browser, the user can edit the document in the browser by clicking the Edit in Browser button on the toolbar. However, if the user clicks the down arrow for a Word, PowerPoint, or OneNote document, the View in Browser and Edit in Browser menu items do not appear.

For more information about how to activate the Office Web Apps feature on a site collection, see Deploy Office Web Apps (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products) and Activate the Office Web Apps Feature on site collections.

Worksheet action

The Office Web Apps worksheet Office Web Apps Worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=180808) is provided to record your Office Web Apps planning decisions. Use this worksheet to record which site collections will have the Office Web Apps feature activated.

Optimizing performance

The most significant effect on performance is determined by server topology. Provided usage requirements are within server topology guidelines, additional settings may affect performance. You can configure these settings to suit your requirements:

  • You can set the maximum number of worker processes that are permitted to service requests for the Word Viewing service application and the PowerPoint service application. Configuring this setting can allow for a maximum number of service requests without diminishing worker processes from other applications. For more information, see Configure Word Viewing service settings and Configure PowerPoint service application settings.

  • By default, the maximum upload size for a single document in SharePoint is 50 MB. Administrators can increase the Maximum Upload Size setting for the Web application (SharePoint Web application General Settings) to allow for larger documents. To support rendering extremely large Word documents by the Word Web App, you can increase the maximum file rendering time (MaxRenderingLifetimeInSeconds) setting for the Word Viewing service application by using Windows PowerShell. For more information, see Configure Word Viewing service settings.

  • You can reduce the resource demands on databases by the Word Viewing service application and the PowerPoint service application by configuring the cache size, expiration period, and cache location. For more information, see Manage the Office Web Apps cache.

For more information about how to monitor performance, see the Estimate performance and capacity requirements for Office Web Apps (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=191156) white paper (OfficeWebAppsCapacityPlanningDoc.docx) available on the Microsoft Download Center.

For more information about performance and capacity planning for SharePoint 2010 Products, see Plan for server farms and environments (SharePoint Server 2010) and Server farm and environment planning (SharePoint Foundation 2010).

Scenarios that require the Office client applications

Office Web Apps are online companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Following is a list of scenarios that cannot be performed in Office Web Apps alone. When you want to use features described in these scenarios, you can use the Office Web Apps command to open the document in the Office client application (Open in Word, Open in Excel, Open in PowerPoint, or Open in OneNote). When you save the document, it is updated in the SharePoint library where it was opened.

Note that most items that cannot be created in Office Web Apps can be displayed in Office Web Apps. For example, comments and tracked changes are visible in Word Web application, but they must be created or edited in the Word client application.

  • Editing documents

    • Protecting documents by using Information Rights Management (IRM).

      IRM is not available in Office Web Apps. If you must protect confidential or sensitive information, use the full Office client applications.

    • Copying formatting inside a document.

      The format painter is not available in Office Web Apps. Reapply formatting manually, or use the Office client applications.

    • Inserting complex shapes or symbols in documents (text boxes and shapes, equations, dates, and times).

      Complex shapes and symbols are not available in the editing interfaces in Office Web Apps. If you have to insert these shapes or symbols, use the Office client applications. Note that you can view these shapes and symbols in Office Web Apps.

    • Looking up synonyms by using a thesaurus or translating words.

      Thesaurus and translation features are not available in Office Web Apps. If you want to use these features, use the Office client applications.

    • Drawing images by using Ink in a OneNote notebook.

      Inking is not available in OneNote Web application. Use the Office client version of OneNote if you want to use Ink. Note that you can still use OneNote Web application to edit other types of content in the notebook.

    • Embedding media or other files into a OneNote notebook.

      If you are using OneNote notebooks as repositories for media or other embedded files, you must use the OneNote client application to access the embedded files. Note that you can still use OneNote Web application to edit other types of content in the notebook.

    • Editing documents and using track changes to mark revisions.

      Tracking changes in a document is not available in Word Web application. Use the Word client application if you want to track specific revisions to a document. Note that you can view tracked changes in Word Web application.

    • Editing Word objects, such as SmartArt or document headers.

      Some objects, such as SmartArt and document headers and footers, are not available for editing in Office Web Apps. Use the Office client applications to edit these objects. Note that you can view these objects in Office Web Apps.

    • Co-authoring in Excel Web App.

      You can co-author in Excel Web App if everyone uses Excel Web App to open a workbook. If anyone uses Excel 2013 or Excel 2010 (the client applications) to open a workbook, co-authoring in Excel Web App will be disabled for that workbook while it is open in the client application.

    • Using macros in Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

      Macros are not enabled in Office Web Apps. Use the Office client applications if you use macros in Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

    • Updating external tables or query tables in Excel.

      You cannot refresh or update data in external tables and queries from Office Web Apps. Use the Office client applications or Excel Services in SharePoint to update the data.

    • Checking the spelling in Excel and PowerPoint documents.

      The spelling checker is available only for Word documents or OneNote notebooks in Office Web Apps. Use the Office client applications to check the spelling in other document types.

  • Mobile devices

    • Editing documents on a mobile device.

      From most smartphone browsers, you can view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents in Office Web Apps. However, you cannot edit documents. For more information about supported browsers, see the Browser and mobile device support section.

    • Viewing OneNote documents on a device that is not a Windows Phone 7 device or an iPhone.

      With OneNote Mobile for Windows Phone 7 and for iPhones, you can view and edit OneNote notebooks. OneNote Mobile is not available on other devices at this time.

Creating documents from inside a SharePoint site

When you create files from inside a SharePoint site by using the browser, Microsoft SharePoint Server uses the Office client applications if they are installed. For more information, see the MSDN blog post Using Office Web Apps to Create New Files (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=207426).

Summary

Information provided in this article can help you when planning an Office Web Apps solution for your organization. The next step in your on-premises Office Web Apps solution is to deploy Office Web Apps on a stand-alone SharePoint 2010 Products server or a SharePoint server farm. For more information, see Deploy Office Web Apps (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products).

Change History

Date Description

May 21, 2013

Updated with information about co-authoring.

May 8, 2010

Initial publication

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