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(I’m working on several meaty videos at the moment and you should expect a lot of content to show up in the next few days.  In the meantime I’m gonna post a few quick-hitters to keep things fresh).

I get this question a lot:  “Wow, this PowerPivot stuff is hot, but it’s gonna be forever before I can get my company/customers to upgrade to Office 2010 – they just now finished rolling out 2007!”

Fear not.

Yes, the Excel power users that are designated as PowerPivot authors – they need Excel 2010.  But no one else does.  And even those Excel power users can install 2010 side by side with the corporate standard version of Office.

SharePoint 2010, of course, is required on the server, and typically, servers are faster to upgrade than desktops…  by a lot.  But even on the server, you don’t have to upgrade the entire SharePoint universe – as the Bing case study showed, you can deploy your own departmental PowerPivot server with ease.  (In Darinee’s case, it’s under her desk).

Rob Collie

One of the founding engineers behind Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, and creator of the world’s first cloud Power Pivot service, Rob is one of the foremost authorities on self-service business intelligence and next-generation spreadsheet technology.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. phew we’re asking a lot from the corporate IT department .. I’m trying to work on the IT department from an interested client to even install Excel 2010 (when it arrives) and it takes a lot of persuasion. Since most machines aren’t very suitable for PowerPivot with a slow CPU and < 2 GB ram they also need new machines. A server for themselves I will never get done.

    But at somewhat more free organisation this might be possible.

  2. “But even on the server, you don’t have to upgrade the entire SharePoint universe – as the Bing case study showed, you can deploy your own departmental PowerPivot server with ease. (In Darinee’s case, it’s under her desk).”

    This is a somewhat expensive proposition though. First you need to purchase a SQL Sever license, a SharePoint Server license, then standard CALs + Enterprise CALs. Not to mention the potential cost of setting up all this stuff. A huge effort for the benefit of using PowerPivot data.

    A simpler and cheaper option would have been to set up a server running SQL Server 2008R2 Standard, and have the ability to save PowerPivot data as an “in-memory cube,” but that option isn’t supported in PowerPivot and SQL Server 2008R2.

    It’s a different matter though, if you need the benefits of Excel Services and the other SharePoint BI functionality.

    Hmmm. There’s still another possibility, in the form of SharePoint Online 2010, which now supports SharePoint Enterprise features.

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