Gotchas on PowerPivot for SharePoint to 2012 RC0

If there is one product in the MS BI stack that is worth upgrading as soon as possible then it is PowerPivot. The 2012 version offers lots of new features such as:

  • Lots of new features:
    • Diagram View (at last)
    • More date intelligence
    • Better sorting
    • Hierarchy support
    • Binary Columns
    • Reporting properties to help PowerView describe data
    • KPI support
    • Perspectives
  • Ability to Import into full BISM Tabular models to take advantage of row security, partitioning and a Visual Studio Professional Developer environment
  • PowerView reports based on PowerPivot

We just replaced our old 2008R2 PowerPivot server with a new SQL 2012 one. Maybe we should have done the upgrade, but it was a new image so we just installed a fresh copy and republished reports.

Minor niggles so far:

  • PowerPivot configuration is much more advanced in 2012 with a new tool to guide you through the creation of service accounts and application pools.
  • The configuration of reporting services integration is COMPLETELY different. it is now configured as a full managed service. You need to RTFM before configuring reporting services integration the first time.
  • if you just upload your old PowerPivot XLSX files (as we did initially), then they will not refresh and you will get this nice error

It looks like there is an “auto upgrade” feature which is super cool as described here

This basically lets you enable PowerPivot to automatically upgrade any document that has a refresh schedule.

All in all I am really looking forward to doing projects in either PowerPivot 2.0 or the new BISM tabular model 😉

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