I knew that there were differences between Power View in desktop Excel and Power View as run from SharePoint. But I recently felt the impact of this for the first time.
The first confusing point I found was, the Export to Power Point function only works for reports created in Power View in SharePoint Server. If you create a Power View report in Excel you will not be able to export it live into a Power Point deck.
So, having encountered this hiccup, I wanted to try to catalog any other practical differences….
Here are a few that I have run into/heard about:
- Power View in SharePoint Server can create multi-page reports. In Excel, different Power View reports end up on different tabs. This is a subtle difference, but it’s important to consider if you are trying to tell a story or do drilldown across a number of views.
- In Excel, there is connectivity from Power View directly against An Analysis Services DB — either Tabular or Multidimensional. You must use the Data Model (most likely a Power Pivot DB) as a kind of “go-between”. In Power View in SharePoint Server, you can create reports directly against Analysis Services via a BISM Connector.
- With Excel on the desktop, you can manually refresh data from a variety of source, whether or not your workbook contains Power View sheets. In SharePoint Server, you can set workbooks to automatically refresh such data sources. BUT, you CAN’T set automatic refresh on workbooks with Power View sheets in them.
- This is from a page I found in the Office Help files that somewhat clarifies where you can work with Power View as created/stored in which environment:
|Workbook is stored||Host configuration is||Workbook is opened in||Power View sheets are|
|On client computer||—||Excel 2013||Editable and interactive|
|On premises||In SharePoint view mode (SharePoint Server configured to render workbooks by using Excel Services)||Excel Services||Interactive|
|On premises||In Office Web Apps Server view mode (SharePoint Server configured to render workbooks by using Office Web Apps Server)||Excel Online||Not visible|
|In Office 365||SharePoint Online||Excel Online||Interactive|
|On OneDrive||—||Excel Online||Not visible|
So, there’s a good list of differences. And I’m leaving out the whole Power BI for Office 365 angle for the time being.
What it comes down to is that there is not complete compatibility of features across Power View in all situations. So consider what features are important for your situation, and use Power View in the best venue to meet your needs.