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Documentation on Planning the Secure Store Service for SharePoint 2010 and 2013 are Consistent

The Secure Store Service plays an important role in SharePoint 2010 and, possibly, an even more important role in SharePoint 2013. Enterprise businesses working with either version of SharePoint can rely on a consistent set of documentation for this important feature.

Planning documents on the Secure Store Service for SharePoint 2010, and its counterpart for SharePoint 2013 follow precisely the same structure.

The plan for SharePoint 2013 includes a usage scenario for SharePoint Runtime and Windows Azure. Missing is a SharePoint 2013 version of the “Plan Excel Services data sources and external connections (SharePoint Server 2010)”. Instead, a new article, “Data authentication for Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013” has been provided.

Data authentication for Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013 contains a lot of new information. What struck us about this documentation is the list of external applications that the data authentication system supports:

  • “SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)”
  • “SQL Server databases”
  • “and OLE DB and ODBC data sources”

External systems that support the OpenData Connector (ODC) are not included. Any organizations looking to pull data from MySQL or other ODC data sources into Excel Services will have to find an alternate method of storing credentials in the Secure Store Service.

This document specifies data sources and methods of authentication that developers will need when they create connections to external data sources for Excel Services. Where the external data source is SQL Server, developers must explicitly specify the method of authentication from a set of choices.

Neither Access Services, nor the Windows Azure Marketplace are supported as data sources with Excel Services for SharePoint 2013.

This document makes clear that connections to other types of data sources are possible, albeit with the use of connection strings that will need to include the credentials required for system authentication. Developers choosing to hard code connection strings must verify that all transmissions of this information are encrypted.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved