Share a SQL Server data connection using Excel Services (SharePoint Server 2013)
Summary: Learn how to use Excel to create and share connections to SQL Server data that people can use to create data models, reports, scorecards, and dashboards.
You can use Excel to create connections to databases such as SQL Server, and then share those connections with others. When you can upload a data connection to an Excel Services trusted data connection library in SharePoint Server 2013, the data connection is available for you and others to use to create data models, reports, scorecards, and dashboards. Depending on the particular data source that is used, people can easily refresh data in Excel Services workbooks so that the most current information is displayed.
Before you begin
Before you begin this task, review the following information about prerequisites:
You must be using Excel 2016 and SharePoint Server 2013.
Excel Services must be configured to include a trusted data connections library and a trusted documents library. Ideally, you'll have a Business Intelligence Center site configured that you can use for your data connections and workbooks. For more information, see Configure a Business Intelligence Center in SharePoint Server 2013.
You must have at least Contribute permissions assigned in SharePoint Server 2013.
You will need information from a SharePoint administrator about how data authentication is configured for the databases your organization uses. This can affect how you connect to different data sources.
If you plan to publish workbooks that contain data models to SharePoint Server 2013, Excel Services must be configured to support data models. For more information, see Configure Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013 Preview.
Step 1: Use Excel to create connections to SQL Server data
You can use Excel to create a connection one or more tables that are stored in SQL Server. This kind of connection is an Office Data Connection (ODC) file that can be used to create reports, scorecards, and dashboards by using applications such as Excel.
To create a SQL Server tabular data connection by using Excel
In Excel, on the Data tab, in the Get External Data group, click From Other Sources, and then select From SQL Server.
The Data Connection Wizard opens.
On the Connect to Database Server page, in the Server name box, specify the name of the server where the SQL Server data that you want to use resides. Do not click Next yet.
In the Log on credentials section, take one of the following steps:
If your organization is using Windows Authentication, choose Use Windows Authentication, and then choose the Next button.
If your organization is using specific user credentials, choose Use the following User Name and Password, specify an appropriate user name and password, and then choose the Next button.
On the Select Database and Table page, in the Select the database that contains the data that you want list, select the database that you want to use. Do not click Next yet.
On the Select Database and Table page, take one of the following steps:
To create a connection that uses a single table, select Connect to a specific table. Select the table that you want to use, and then click Next.
To create a connection that uses more than one table, select both Connect to a specific table and Enable selection of multiple tables. Select the tables that you want to use, click Select Related Tables, and then click Next.
On the Save Data Connection File and Finish page, take the following steps:
In the File Name box, keep or change the default file name.
In the Description box, type a brief description for the data connection.
In the Friendly Name box, keep the default name or type a new name for file.
In the Search Keywords box, type some words or phrases that will help users find the data connection when it is published to SharePoint Server 2013.
Next to Excel Services, click Authentication Settings…, and then take one of the following steps:
If you want this connection to use Windows Authentication or the Effective User Name feature, select Use the authenticated user's account, and then click OK.
If you want this connection to use Secure Store Service, select Use a stored account. In the Application ID box, specify the Secure Store target application ID, and then click OK.
If Excel Services is configured to use the unattended service account, select None, and then click OK.
If you do not know which option to choose, contact a SharePoint administrator.
Click Finish to close the Save Data Connection File and Finish page.
On the Import Data page, click Only Create Connection, and then click OK.
Repeat steps 1-7 until you have created all the data connections that you want.
By default, the data connection is saved in the My Data Sources folder in the Documents library on your computer.
Step 2: Upload data connections to SharePoint Server
After data connections are created, the next step is to upload it to a data connection library. We recommend that you use a Business Intelligence Center site to store and manage business intelligence content, such as data connections.
If you are not using a Business Intelligence Center site, make sure that you use a data connection library that is specified as a trusted location in Excel Services. For more information, see Manage Excel Services trusted data connection libraries (SharePoint Server 2013).
To upload a data connection to SharePoint Server
Open a web browser and navigate to the SharePoint site that contains the data connection library that you want to use.
If you are using a Business Intelligence Center, the website address (URL) resembles http://servername/sites/bicenter.
Click Site Contents to view the lists and libraries that are available for that site.
Click Data Connections to open that library.
Click New Item to open the Add a document dialog box.
Click Browse to open the Choose File to Upload dialog box.
Assuming the data connection is saved in its default location, click Libraries, click Documents, and then double-click My Data Sources.
Select the ODC file that you want to upload, and then click Open.
In the Add a document dialog box, click OK.
A Data Connections form opens.
In the Data Connections form, specify the following settings:
In the Content Type section, confirm that Office Data Connection File is selected.
In the Name box, keep or change the file name of the ODC file.
In the Title box, keep or change the title of the ODC file.
In the Description box, type a description of the data connection.
In the Keywords box, type one or more words or phrases. This information is used by search queries to discover the data connection.
Then click Save.
The data connection is added to the library. Repeat this procedure for each data connection that you want to share.