Using MySQL database as a Datasource

How to connect to MySQL database from PowerPivot

One of the supported data sources that you can use to connect to your workbooks and create PowerPivot reports is MySQL database. But before creating such connection you need to make sure that the following requirements are fulfilled:

  • Make sure your MySQL server is binded on public IP address and accept traffic from PlexHosted`s SharePoint app server where your site is deployed, on default port 3306 (port 3306 used for demonstration purposes in this case).
  • You have a user that have read only permissions to required databases (root user is used for demonstration purposes in this case) GRANT ALL ON employees.* TO root@11.22.33.44′ IDENTIFIED BY ‘verysecurepassword’; or GRANT ALL ON employees.* TO root@’%’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘verysecurepassword’; (if you have a firewall)
  • Your Desktop machines which are building excel reports must have permissions to connect to your MySQL server using public IP address.
  • The MySQL Connector/ODBC has been installed on the machine from which you are going to connect to MySQL. You can download and install it from [here].
Creating a connection to MySQL database
  1. Open the Excel workbook you would like to connect to the database and go to the PowerPivot tab. In the PowerPivot tab click Manage.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-1
  2. When the PowerPivot for Excel window opened, click on From Other Sources button in the Get External Data section.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-2
  3. Choose Others (OLEDB/ODBC) option.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-3
  4. Type the name for your connection and enter the connection sting using the pattern below:
    Provider=MSDASQL.1;Persist Security Info=True;Extended Properties=”DRIVER={MySQL ODBC 5.3 ANSI Driver};UID=readonlyuser;Server=11.22.33.44;Database=employees;Password=verysecurepassword;Option=3DRIVER={MySQL ODBC 5.3 ANSI Driver}”;Server=11.22.33.44;Database=employees;Option=3;”;
    Where:
    UID=<user with permissions to connect to your database>
    Password=<your user password>
    Server=<your MySQL server public IP address>
    Database=<your database name.
    After entering the connection string click on Test Connection button.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-4 
  5. Click OK in the connection status window.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-5
  6. Click Next.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-6
  7. In the Table Import Wizard choose the option Write a query that will specify the data to import and click Next.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-7 
  8. Enter the query to import the required data from the database and click Validate. Once you query is validated click Finish.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-8
  9. The Table Import Wizard will start importing data from your database to the PowerPivot model. Once the status of the wizard changes to Success click Close.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-9
     
  10. You can see the data imported to the model and can start creating your PowerPivot reports by clicking on the PowerPivot table button.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-10

How to reset a user password in Sharepoint 2013

We would like to show you how to reset a user password in Sharepoint 2013

You need to perform the following steps:

1. To open Active Directory Users and Computers, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools , and then double-click Active Directory Users and Computers.

2. In the console tree, click Users or, click the folder that contains the user account.

AD_Pass_Reset_1
3. In the details pane, right-click the user whose password you want to reset, and then click Reset Password.

AD_Reset_Pass_2
4. Type and confirm the password.

AD_Pass_Reset_3

 

AD_Pass_Reset_4

 

To start using it check our Sharepoint Enterprise Plan (Public Sites Included):

https://plexhosted.com/services/hosted-sharepoint-2013/hosted-sharepoint-enterprise-2013.html

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?

https://plexhosted.com/business-intelligence/multi-tenant-solutions.html

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=http://yourdomain.com/Shared Documents/YourWorkbook.xlsx).
Optional: If you are using a workbook from the PowerPivot Gallery the pointer will be like: (Data Source=http://yourdomain.com/PowerPivot%20Gallery/YourWorkbook.xlsx).
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.

SharePoint 2013 BI and MySQL

SharePoint 2013 BI and MySQL, Multi-Tenant PowerPivot 2013 Hosting, PowerPivot data refresh in SharePoint 2013

 SharePoint 2013 BI and MySQL
SharePoint BI and MySQL
SharePoint 2013 BI and MySQL, Hosted SharePoint 2013 BI, SharePoint and MySQL, Multi-Tenant PowerPivot 2013 Hosting, PowerPivot data refresh in SharePoint 2013, Real time BI

PlexHosted is pleased to announce support for the connectivity of SharePoint hosted workbooks to open source MySQL database server. Now our customers are free to use MySQL as an external data source in their PowerPivot and PowerView reports with our multi-tenant SharePoint 2013 BI service.

PowerPivot data refresh in SharePoint 2013

PlexHosted PowerPivot solutions provide interactive and scheduled data refresh of PowerPivot workbooks from the latest information and data sources. The importance of receiving information in a timely fashion is obvious for business owners, isn`t it?

SharePoint 2013 Business Intelligence and MySQL database server

As always PlexHosted continues to improve the quality and scalability of its services as well as its expertise in the SharePoint Hosting industry. Previously, data refresh from MySQL was available only in dedicated SharePoint environments. Now you can easily connect a workbook to your MySQL database, upload it to your hosted SharePoint site, and have your business critical data always up to date.

Real-time Business Intelligence 2013, integration of data from various data sources, analyzing large amounts of information, effective sharing and collaborating with the most recent data, great data visualization, exceptional performance, and customer support available 24/7/365 are among the capabilities available with PlexHosted and its SharePoint 2013 BI services.

Use SharePoint 2013 Business Intelligence with PlexHosted – improve your business!

References:

SharePoint 2013 Business Intelligence Overview
SharePoint 2013 Business Intelligence

SharePoint 2013 BI and MySQL
SharePoint 2013 BI and MySQL, PlexHosted – Hosted PowerPivot Data in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint Hosting. SharePoint 2013 and Yammer – best social tools for your company.

SharePoint 2013 and Yammer – best social tools for your company

SharePoint 2013 Yammer
SharePoint 2013 Yammer
SharePoint 2013 Yammer, Yammer SharePoint 2013, Yammer SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 Yammer, Yammer SharePoint integration, Yammer and SharePoint
Hello,
As you know, the future of big projects is in social collaboration. All large companies try to make communications inside of the organization simple and productive. So, the question is “Which tool should we use for social collaboration – Yammer or SharePoint 2013?” is the one most asked and discussed. Let`s try to understand this question and answer it in this post.

Yammer

Yammer is a private social network for your company. Please see the following list of the main Yammer features:

  • Yammer groups. You can setup a Group for all teams, projects or interests. There are two great features such as Quick Access and Announcements you can use in Groups.
  • Yammer user profiles. Share your knowledge or find the experts you need more easily. Add managers and reports to create a company chat together with your employees. Leader boards display people with the most messages, replied-to messages, and liked messages.
  • Yammer conversations. You can share an update, add documents, post pools and notify other co-workers by looping them into a conversation using @their_name. See who’s online now and start a private discussion with one or more employees.
  • Yammer document collaboration. Share MS Office documents, PDFs, images and videos across team and get feedback from them. Collect notes and view all the edits made to a document. Additionally you can email a file and mark files as official and read-only.
  • Yammer external communication. Great option! You can create a dedicated online workspace to collaborate with business contacts outside of your company and you can easily switch between internal and external networks.
  • Yammer security. Bring the look and feel of your company. Easily manage access to your Yammer network, sync directories, manage and export network data according to company policies. Set password policies and use the session management to see users devices are logged into with possibility to log them out.
  • Yammer Apps. Connect all of your business applications with Yammer.
  • Yammer devices. Access Yammer on Web, Mobile, Desktop.

Read more at Yammer features.

SharePoint 2013

SharePoint is a platform for a social intranet portals collaboration. Please read more about SharePoint 2013 features.

SharePoint 2013 vs Yammer. Microsoft social tools comparison.

Microsoft continues to release updates to both social tools and will continue to innovate no matter which platform you chose and use. As for the question I mentioned above, here is the most popular answer on it:

  • If you have no restrictions, use Yammer.
  • If your organization needs to use a dedicated hosting tool, using SharePoint 2013 social features is the best way to meet it.

Yammer is more flexible for collaboration with external partners or customers. If you want to initiate real-time participation and sharing events, meetings or reviews use Yammer with its out-of-box options. But if you want create an intranet portal with the same templates, structured information and web parts – the best tool for you is SharePoint 2013 with social features. SharePoint content is more structured and there are additional options you can use, like workflows, forms, web parts.

Currently, Microsoft is working on the integration between Yammer and SharePoint. After it is finished you would be able to get all best from these two social tools. But now, let your teams decide which of these social platforms is best to use. Please keep in mind that your team is the best decision maker of technologies for your organization.

PlexHosted has a great option for you! You can integrate Yammer with PlexHosted Dedicated SharePoint servers.

Start with the PlexHosted SharePoint hosting today and improve your business tomorrow!

References:

Yammer features
Dedicated SharePoint tool

SharePoint 2013 and Yammer integration
SharePoint 2013 and Yammer integration

SharePoint Hosting. Data visualization in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013, SharePoint data visualization, SharePoint hosting, data visualization in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint data visualization
SharePoint data visualization
SharePoint 2013, SharePoint data visualization, SharePoint hosting, data visualization in SharePoint 2013
Hello,
Probably you know that SharePoint is a platform that can help you share and organize your company’s reports, documents, etc. But did you know SharePoint can also help you visualize data for your employees.

SharePoint 2013 Power View

You can use PowerView to build and share a dashboard that visualizes your data for your team. You publish the dashboard to your company’s site, so you don’t need to setup any additional security. Please see more details at the following Microsoft video:

Video: Discover – visualize data

PlexHosted’s demo site with PowerView and SharePoint data visualization

Please see PlexHosted’s demo site with PowerView and SharePoint data visualization using the following credentials
URL: http://powerpivot.plexhosted.net
Username: demo@plexhosted.net
Password: p@ssword1

PlexHosted free trial of SharePoint Enterprise with PowerPivot and Power View

Sign up today for a 1-month free trial of SharePoint Enterprise with PowerPivot and Power View data visualization to test all SharePoint business intelligence features for yourself.

Start with the PlexHosted SharePoint hosting today and improve your business tomorrow!

References:

PlexHosted’s demo site with Power View and SharePoint data visualization
Free trial of SharePoint Enterprise with PowerPivot and Power View data visualization
Video: Discover – visualize data

Data visualization in SharePoint 2013
Data visualization in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 User Password Management in PlexHosted

SharePoint 2013 Change Password, SharePoint 2013 User Password Management, SharePoint 2013 Change Password Feature

SharePoint Change Password
Change Password Feature
SharePoint 2013 Change Password Feature, SharePoint Hosting, SharePoint 2013 Change Password, SharePoint 2013 User Password Management
Hello,
Today we have great news for you. PlexHosted is pleased to announce that a user password change functionality is now available with our multi-tenant SharePoint 2013 services.

SharePoint 2013 User Password Management

SharePoint user passwords are usually managed from the Active Directory with dedicated SharePoint server or using SharePoint’s Administrative Control Panel provided for multi-tenant service. Previously, multi-tenant users had no ability to change their passwords by themselves and this task has required an administrator to get involved. As a result, extra time was spent for managing passwords every day.

SharePoint 2013 Change Password Feature

Now, if an administrator wants to give users the ability to manage their passwords, a SharePoint “Change Password” feature can be enabled for the site collection.
SharePoint 2013 Change Password feature
SharePoint 2013 Change Password feature
PlexHosted’s new password change functionality helps to relieve your administrators from this mundane and time consuming task. Users can now change passwords for themselves directly from the SharePoint site without the need to callwrite admin and request a change. What is more, this new functionality allows keeping passwords even more securely than before.

SharePoint 2013 Change Password Web Part

Take a look at how easily users can change passwords for a SharePoint 2013 site with this feature:

They just need to click Change Password.

SharePoint 2013 Change Password
SharePoint 2013 Change Password

Then type old and new passwords, confirm and click Save.
SharePoint 2013 User Password Management
SharePoint 2013 User Password Management

It is simple and will greatly reduce the time administrators spend every day changing passwords so they can focus on the process of improving your SharePoint sites.

Start with the PlexHosted SharePoint hosting today and improve your business tomorrow!

References:

SharePoint 2013 User Password Management in multi-tenant environment

SharePoint 2013 User Password Management
SharePoint 2013 User Password Management in multi-tenant environment

SharePoint Hosting. Choosing between SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013

SharePoint 2013 Server, SharePoint 2013 Foundation, SharePoint Hosting, SharePoint Hosting 2013

SharePoint 2013 Hosting
SharePoint 2013 Hosting
Choosing between SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Hosting, SharePoint Hosting 2013, SharePoint 2013 Server, SharePoint 2013 Foundation
Hello,
As you probably know, with SharePoint you have two options for installation: SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013. You can read about these two options in my previous posts SharePoint 2013 Foundation edition and SharePoint 2013 Server edition. In this post, I would like to summarize the earlier posts and help you make the right choice between these SharePoint editions.

SharePoint 2013 Editions Short Overview

Let`s take a look at a short SharePoint 2013 editions overview to refresh the key points of these SharePoint editions.

SharePoint 2013 Foundation Overview

Document management and collaboration are the core features with SharePoint 2013 Foundation. With Foundation, end-users can easy create collaboration sites, so it`s a very popular collaborative tool for teams. Users can create a new site based on an existing SharePoint template in just a few seconds without the need for additional code.

SharePoint 2013 Server Overview

The more advanced features for business and team collaboration are included in SharePoint 2013 Server. With SharePoint Server, you can improve business process management, content management and business intelligence for your organization. SharePoint Server is the tool to create, publish and manage content across the intranet, extranet and Internet. Since SharePoint Server integrates easily with Microsoft Office applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook, users can share content more easily using a familiar environment.

SharePoint 2013 Edition Choice

It is common for many organizations to have a SharePoint environment. In many cases, it`s an easy choice to start with SharePoint 2013 Foundation edition and focus only on collaboration tasks. Once your needs become more advanced, you can upgrade SharePoint Foundation to one of the SharePoint Server options. Our company, PlexHosted, offers free migration to PlexHosted SharePoint services as well as upgrade in a SharePoint environment at any time you need it.

Start with the PlexHosted SharePoint hosting today and improve your business tomorrow!

References:

SharePoint Hosting. SharePoint 2013 Server edition
SharePoint Hosting. SharePoint 2013 Foundation edition
PlexHosted SharePoint Hosting

Choosing between SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013
Choosing between SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013