Project Demo Image–Excel Services problem after SP1 upgrade

Excel Services ErrorAnother Update: Thanks to SeaMonkey76 in the MSDN forums pointing out that this issue is fixed in the October 2011 SharePoint CU (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2596582), so get patching :)

Update: A couple of readers have pointed out that this behaviour is is the norm where there isn’t a root site and it’s best practice to implement one. I totally agree and have run into situations where things like InfoPath have ceased to work due to this. The purpose of this post is more for those people that run into this error in the demo image, after an upgrade and can’t figure out why. It took me a little while to track it down, so I just through I would share.

I am posting this in case anyone else runs into a similar problem in Excel Services and to give some search engine index bait.

Following upgrading my IW demo image to SP1 + June CU, I noticed that Excel Services components in the Business Intelligence centre were no longer rendering and consistently showing the loading graphic.

Excel Services - Loading Graphic

On closer inspection, the browser was showing the following error:

Message: Syntax error
Line: 1
Char: 1
Code: 0
URI: http://project.contoso.com/_layouts/EwaStringsHandler.ashx/en-US?rev=V5cXKzVnvQRpcOxdnGD5cQ%3D%3D&flh=4sHCQGJUaMtQCBbbV6EmZw==

Checking the ULS logs showed these error messages:

An internal error occurred.    at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.MossHost.MossHost.Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Host. IEwaHost.IsSecureConnection()     at Microsoft.Office.Excel.WebUI.EwaCUIDataSource.EnsureDocument()     at Microsoft.Web.CommandUI.CUIDataSource.RunQuery(UIQuery query)     at Microsoft.Office.Excel.WebUI.EwaRibbon.QueryRibbonDataSource(CultureInfo uiCulture, String clientID, Boolean denormalizeImareUri)     at Microsoft.Office.Excel.WebUI.EwaStringsHandler.ProcessRequest(HttpContext context)

and

Watson bucket parameters: SharePoint Server 2010, ULSException14, 5f9be61a “excel services application”, 0e00178d “14.0.6029.0”, f5b5c9d6 “microsoft.office.excel.server.mosshost”, 0e001785 “14.0.6021.0”, 4d65e5e7 “wed feb 23 21:00:23 2011”, 000002d3 “000002d3”, MISSING, 4a6d3421 “nullreferenceexception”, 66326e39 “f2n9”

It seems that Excel Services now needs a site collection to be present in the root of the a web application or it will throw the above error. I am not sure when this behaviour changed, but given the IW Demo Image and Project Demo and Evaluation pack does not install a site at http://project.contoso.com it is necessary to create a blank site collection via Central Admin manually.

Once this is done, the Business Intelligence Centre should start to render the Excel Services components once again.

Setting up Excel Services in Project Server 2010

image

Project Server 2010’s reporting and business intelligence story is phenomenal. One of the  most noticeable changes is that the Data Analysis views of previous versions have been deprecated in favour of using Excel Services based reports that interface directly with the cubes.

As part of a default Project Server installation in the beta, a library of templates and sample reports are created within Project Server for use, however they won’t work until you have configured the server correctly. When you click on the report, you will see the following error:

"This workbook is not stored in an Excel Services trusted location. Only workbooks store in Excel Services trusted locations can be opened.  To create an Excel Services trusted location, contact your system administrator"

From looking on the newsgroups and talking to colleagues, it seems this is a bit of an issue. Perhaps there needs to be a configuration wizard to assist here, or some further prompts within GUI to point you at the location to set it up correctly.

Luckily, there are two great resources that provide the steps required to configure the reporting:

· Microsoft Technet – Configure Reporting for Project Server 2010- http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662106(office.14).aspx#section3

· MSProjectExperts.com – Implementing and Administering Microsoft Project Server 2010 sample chapters ebook – http://www.msprojectexperts.com/betainstall/

The latter is a fantastic resource also outlining how to install and configure Project Server 2010.