Microsoft SharePoint 2013. Creating a PowerPivot gallery

Hi, You may be interested to know how to create PivotPivot gallery.

  1. Login to the SharePoint 2013 site as an administrator
  2. Click on the Settings icon and choose Site Settings from the drop-down menu


3.  Navigate to the Site collection features under Site Collection Administration header


4. Make sure that PowerPivot Integration for Site Collections feature is activated. If not, activate this feature



5. Click on the Settings icon and choose Add an app from the menu


6. Choose PowerPivot Gallery app



7. Provide the name for your PowerPivot Gallery and click Create



8. Now you can see that PowerPivot Gallery has been added to your SharePoint site



Integrating SharePoint 2013 sites with external environment

Today we’ll talk about integration between SharePoint 2013 site and external non-SharePoint sites. A lot of our customers would like to provide their users with smooth access to specific documents or BI reports directly from external site bypassing default SharePoint authentication settings.

By default, there is the only way to share your site with external users – “Anonymous access” feature, which will make your SP site public. But this approach is not very good for security reasons. Besides, this option is quite expensive for sites with SharePoint 2013 Server edition.

Our team made some research and finally found an efficient and cost saving solution, we can offer our customers. One of the benefits of our solution is the fact, that our custom code is simple and flexible, you can easily change it to fit your requirements. Another good news are that all initial setup and configuration will be done by our team on our side as a part of our service :)

We offer:
* Ability to show SharePoint content on external site via iFrame
* Ability to access SharePoint sites without login prompt via direct link
* Simple and flexible code that you can use to show only required information
* Ability to implement SSL certificate for SharePoint site
* Custom login form with Form Based Authentication for your SharePoint environment

Interesting, isn’t it?

Now I will show a couple of examples of solution’s behavior.

Bypassing SharePoint authentication:
1. If User Name, Password and Destination URL are sent in URL as parameters, user will be authenticated automatically and redirected to destination URL.
2. If User Name or Password or Destination URL parameters do not exist in URL, user will be redirected to default authentication form.

Showing your SharePoint resources on external portal:
To show part of the site via iframe (i.e. BI reports), just put the following code to your page as iframe window:
<iframe width=”100%” height=”100%” src=”URL-OF-YOUR-REPORT-OR-PAGE” #CustomPart code part#>
You can change the “src” part to show another part of your site.

So, how can you start using this solution?

The minimal requirements are:
* 1 SharePoint 2013 service with PlexHosted.
* 2 SharePoint user accounts
* 1 Dedicated SharePoint Web application
* 1 dedicated IPv4 address
* If you already have a SharePoint 2013 site you can easily migrate it to PlexHosted. This option is free of charge.

If you are interested in this service, please contact us we are online 24/7/365.

Simple tricks for BI site visualization

Some of our clients use their BI sites to develop PowerView reports for more than one user with different permissions.

For example, BI site for company, which has 5 different sales department.
SharePoint BI sites have a good feature, called PowerPivot gallery, which you can use to host your reports. Today we’ll speak about interesting approach, how we can extend its capabilities, using simple “Promoted Links” app.

Imagine the situation.
We have:
1. Single SharePoint 2013 BI site.
2. 5 different departments which should access BI reports only for their department. As example “RegionName Sales Departments”.

The simple solution is to create 5 separate sub-sites and put links to the main site. But if you want to create an illustrative site this is not enough. We can use “Promoted Links” app to make BI site more expressive and focus users directly on the required information to increase their efficiency.

“Promoted Links” app allows you to show links to other location on the page, but the main point is the possibility to assign pictures and description to these links. So the end user will see the nice logo with floating description instead of a strict link.

Let’s start:
1. Open your BI site.
2. Click Settings icon and click add an app, select “Promoted Links” app.
3. Click new item. Here you can specify the Title, the link to preferred logo, and a brief description for the link.

Picture1Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Now the interesting part goes.
Here we can put not only the links to the sub-sites, but direct links to the PowerPivot galleries of the department or even links to the single reports. This is good, because you can show the entire sub-site for the user from the larger department (with bigger amount of data) and show only one needed report for the smaller one.
This is the good way to focus the attention of the end users just on their information.

Also we can use RSDS reports to hide all “excel signs” if necessary. You can read previous post about it.

Let’s proceed and setup links.
4. Create 5 items for 5 departments. In our example they are “RegionName Sales Departments”

Picture2Nice view, isn’t it? I think that this approach will make your BI site more “human friendly” and at the same time more efficient.
5. Now let’s define the “Landing Page”, where we want to show these items. For example, let’s show it on our home page.
Also we can hide this app from the quick launch menu. To do so go to -> list -> List settings -> List name, description and navigation.
6. Open home page and click edit page. Click “Insert”, then “App part”.

Picture37. Select “Promoted Links” app.
8. Set the proper title size etc. for this web part.
9. Click Save, and Stop editing on the upper ribbon.
We’re done, you will see the webpart on your home page.

Picture4The last part is to configure the proper permissions for users and grant them access to their pieces of information. This is something that depends on your company structure.

Hope this article was interesting for you.

How to hide all signs of “MS Excel” on your Business Intelligence reports

Sometimes our clients want to hide all signs of “MS Excel” on their BI reports, or just show the report on the full screen.

How to hide all signs of “MS Excel” from your Business Intelligence reports

The reasons are different, but in most cases they don’t want end users to know, that reports were made in MS Excel application. After some research and practical attempts we’ve found that this is not possible, even using custom code. The good news are that there is a good built-in “workaround” inside a SharePoint, the bad news – this option is not showing on the site by default.

This “workaround” is RSDS (shared data source) connection file. Reports based on the RSDS connections provide all PowerPivot/BI capabilities, but without any signs of “MS Excel”. Today we’ll tell you how to enable the RSDS connections and use them to create reports.

By default the *.Rsds file content type does not appear as a new item dropdown in the Data Connection library. So our first step will be to configure the Data Connection library to include the Report Data Source Content type.
1. Navigate to the document library in which you are going to create your RSDS connection file and Power View report
2. Go to the Library tab and click on Library Settings.
3. Navigate to the Advanced Settings.
4. Choose Yes under Allow management of content types, and click OK.
5. Under the Content Types click on the Add from the existing site content types hyperlink.
6. Choose Report Data Source from the available site content types, click Add and then OK.

So, the first part is over. We’ve enabled the RSDS connections for the Data Connection library. Let’s proceed and create RSDS connection file.

1. Return to your document library, in the Files tab click New Document and choose Report Data Source.
2. Enter the name for your RSDS file and choose Microsoft BI Semantic Model for Power View from the Data Source Type menu.
3. In the Connection String field enter a pointer to the data source in the following format: (Data Source= Documents/YourWorkbook.xlsx).
Optional: If you are using a workbook from the PowerPivot Gallery the pointer will be like: (Data Source=
4. In Credentials leave Windows authentication (integrated) or SharePoint user option selected and click on Test Connection. If connection created successfully, click OK.
5. Now you can see your shared data source (RSDS) connection file.

We’ve successfully enabled and created a first RSDS connection file. So, let’s proceed and create our PowerView report.

1. Return to your document library where RSDS connection file was created.
2. Click on the RSDS connection file to start creation of the Power View report.
3. Customize your report according to your goals.
4. Create your report and click on Save as in the File menu.
5. Now you are prompted to save report to the document library. Provide the name for your report and click Save.
6. Return to the document library and refresh the page. You can see your Power View report created using the shared data source (RSDS) connection file.

That is it. We’ve created a PowerView report with no signs of “MS Excel”, only your beautiful data :)
Hope this post will help you to improve your SharePoint skills.