The Current Excel Online Problem
Three weeks ago we looked at using Excel Online to deliver your awesome Excel reports to people without them having to know that you made it in Excel.
However, there currently is a problem with Excel Online. The problem is that there are actually different versions of Excel Online. There is a Free version, there is a Business version, and there is an Enterprise version. For more details, checkout this post by Mike Alexander (click here).
I personally do not understand all the differences between the versions or even if these are indeed all the versions of Excel Online. There might be others that I am not even aware of yet. This is the downside of the Microsoft BI strategy at this time. It can be tricky to navigate all of the different options.
So far I have only been able to get Acumatica OData to work with the Enterprise version of Excel Online.
If I’m not using the Enterprise version of Excel Online, then I get the following error when I try to refresh: “This workbook contains external data connections or BI features that are not supported”. For more information on this error, click here.
If you get this error, it means that you don’t have the right version of Excel Online.
The Good News
Office 365 has become a very popular way for companies to handle their email. And, in many cases, you may already have the Enterprise version of Excel Online available to you. If you do, you can follow the steps shown in the video from three weeks ago (click here). If you don’t, fear not, the Office 365 landscape is changing rapidly and it might not be very long until this will be available to all Office 365 users.
Microsoft is making a heavy investment in this area and I expect that things will get simpler as time goes on. For example, just last month Microsoft launched a revamped version of PowerBI.com for building dashboards and it got a lot of hype. One of the key features is that you can now embed Excel Online into your dashboards.
Check with your IT department to see if you already have an Office 365 subscription through your work. It may be that you already have one.
Try Excel Online For Free
If you don’t already have access to the right version of Excel Online through work, you can sign-up for a FREE trial version of Office 365 Enterprise through Office.com.
Adam Saxton (aka “Guy in a Cube”) from Microsoft has a great video on how to do this (click here):