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I cannot interact with published Excel workbook

    Question

  • After I published my workbook to PowerBI I had no problems interacting with it if I am logged in into my SharePoint site. But then I created public link to this workbook and noticed that when guests try to interact (click on slicer), then they get error message:

    This workbook contains external data connections or BI features that are not supported.

    Is there a way to publish workbook that could be fully access by guests?

    Here is link to my sample workbook:

    https://t.co/lUmdvYyZ2b


    http://www.ssas-info.com http://powerpivot-info.com

    Saturday, September 21, 2013 11:25 AM

Answers

  • Hi folks,

    We haven't yet turned on sharing models anonymously in any flavor of Web Excel, regardless of whether the content requires a Power BI license or not.  I suspect Vidas is correct in that this is a bug allowing the anonymous user to piggyback on an authenticated user's active session.  We'll be following up on that, thanks!

    To clear up a couple of the other questions:

    Sub-10MB workbooks - these should behave consistently whether working through Power BI Sites or just plain SharePoint Online.

    Supported sizes - Vidas is correct in that we currently require a Power BI license for workbooks over 10MB with models.  The license will currently allow for a maximum file size of 250MB (provided there's no more than 10MB of core workbook content, i.e. the workbook without the model).

    hope that helps,

    Uval

    Sunday, September 22, 2013 7:42 AM
  • Hi Vidas,

    Guests who do not have BI capabilities enabled through the appropriate license will not be able to interact with the data model in your workbook (for instance, by clicking on slicers). You can find a complete list of the interactions supported in SharePoint Online and Power BI in this link.

    Thanks,
    Yael

    Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:32 PM

All replies

  • Hi Vidas,

    Guests who do not have BI capabilities enabled through the appropriate license will not be able to interact with the data model in your workbook (for instance, by clicking on slicers). You can find a complete list of the interactions supported in SharePoint Online and Power BI in this link.

    Thanks,
    Yael

    Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:32 PM
  • Hi all

    This answer didn't make sense to me, and with respect, I don't think that it adequately describes the issue here. I did some testing to prove this out.

    Basic interactivity with data models (slicers, etc) is available in Office 365 without Power BI. On first use of this capability, the model is transferred to the processing engine (Analysis Services). It's this process that I believe is unavailable to anonymous users.

    I initially thought that it was a feature degradation in Power BI (I no longer think this). To test, I took a model that I have in my own Office 365 tenant, and shared it anonymously. The anonymous user was able to interact with the model. I then uploaded it to my Power BI tenant, and opened it as an authenticated user. I was able to interact with the model. I then shared this file anonymously, and the anonymous user WAS ABLE to interact with the model.

    At this point, I edited the model (using an authenticated account) and added a slicer. After saving, I immediately opened it as the anonymous user, and received the error described by Vidas above. Hmmm. OK - I then went back to my own tenant, and edited the model, adding the same slicer. My next step was to access the model as an authenticated user (in a browser) and interact with it. I then logged in as the anonymous user and was able to interact with it.

    OK. them. I then downloaded this copy of the model, and uploaded it to the Power BI tenant with a new name. I shared it with anonymous users, and then accessed it as an anonymous user. I received the error. I then accessed it as an authenticated user, clicked on a slicer and logged off. One more time, I accessed it anonymously, and it worked - the anonymous user was able to interact with the model.

     This tells me that there may be a bug in Office 365 generally that prevents anonymous users from being the first to access a published data model. Once an authenticated user has interacted with it through the browser, anonymous users can as well.

    Vidas - you may wish to try this to see if it helps? I'd be very interested in the results.


    John

    Saturday, September 21, 2013 7:08 PM
  • Hi John,

    Actually I saw too that sometimes guests were able to interact with workbook without any authentication. I took a reply from Yael as expected behavior and what I saw as a bug. But your reply made my think that there is something more.

    I tested again and I cannot get consistent guest ability to interact. Most of the time guest gets error message, but sometimes not. For guest I am using IE InPrivate browsing to make sure it is really guest. But I can confirm that sometimes guest can interact! I considered idea that if authenticated user interacts, then guest can piggy back of the fact that authenticated user already pushed database to ssas azure, but I could not reproduce that consistently.

    Also, I believe there are different limitations for workbook size between Office 365 and PowerBI. I believe that Office 365 should work with up to 10MB workbook and PowerBI should work with up to 300MB PowerPivot database sizes. In my case workbook size is about 4MB, so theoretically I do not even need PowerBI. So I created another workbook and did not enable PowerBI, but again results were not consistent.

    So my questions now would be:

    - what happens if my workbook is less than 10MB and I did not enable PowerBI? Will such workbook be treated differently?

    - why sometimes guest can interact with workbook? If you take my workbook and try to click on slicer, then refresh workbook, then click on slicer again, then after multiple times you will get into state where you can interact with workbook. Is that a bug?

    John, thanks again for your tests, but as I said my attempts do not produce consistent results.


    http://www.ssas-info.com http://powerpivot-info.com

    Saturday, September 21, 2013 9:19 PM
  • Hi Vidas

    Going back, I see inconsistency as ell. What's clear is that this has nothing to do with Power BI - it's a core Office 365 issue. I see the same thing in my main O365 tenant.

    It's certainly worth chasing.   

    Cheers


    John

    Sunday, September 22, 2013 12:19 AM
  • Hi folks,

    We haven't yet turned on sharing models anonymously in any flavor of Web Excel, regardless of whether the content requires a Power BI license or not.  I suspect Vidas is correct in that this is a bug allowing the anonymous user to piggyback on an authenticated user's active session.  We'll be following up on that, thanks!

    To clear up a couple of the other questions:

    Sub-10MB workbooks - these should behave consistently whether working through Power BI Sites or just plain SharePoint Online.

    Supported sizes - Vidas is correct in that we currently require a Power BI license for workbooks over 10MB with models.  The license will currently allow for a maximum file size of 250MB (provided there's no more than 10MB of core workbook content, i.e. the workbook without the model).

    hope that helps,

    Uval

    Sunday, September 22, 2013 7:42 AM
  • Hi Uval,

    Thank you very much for your answer. Could you please clarify:

    - If I have a workbook that is less than 10MB in size, should I even bother "Enabling" PowerBI on it? Will enabling will trigger requirement for "PowerBI" license? Lets say my company have 50 users and just 20 have PowerBI license. In theory all company users should be able to access workbooks (with PowerPivot DB inside) less than 10MB and just for workbook larger than 10MB I need PowerBI. Is my understanding correct here? Thanks

    http://www.ssas-info.com
    http://powerpivot-info.com



    Monday, September 23, 2013 12:30 PM
  • Hi Vidas,

    If your only intention is to view the workbook in Web Excel then no, you do not need to "enable" it in Power BI.  "Enabling" for small workbooks is beneficial, though, for other reasons:

    • Showing thumbnails within the Power BI Site view
    • Enabling Power BI Q&A for the workbook
    • Enabling data refresh for on-premises data

    You're correct in that the small workbooks do not require a Power BI license, even if they are "enabled", so other than the above added functionality, there should be no other effects to the enablement. 

    Uval

    Monday, September 30, 2013 8:34 AM
  • Yael - 

    This issue continues to manifest... 

    Scenario:

    1. Upload PowerPivot 2013 workbook *containing slicers* to Sharepoint for Office 365.  File size is 367kb
    2. Create view-only 'guest link' via 'Share' functionality:
    3. Load workbook  via guest link in anonymous browser... confirm anonymous access by observing 'Guest Reader' in upper right corner
    4.  Attempt to interact with workbook / slicers.   First few times slicers work fine.   Repeat 'view-only' sessions with other users usually results in the following error message.   However, the workbook is entirely self contained and contains no external connections, as verified by checking connections in the PowerPivot date model.
    5. After some period of time transpires the slicers will again work upon a reload.
    6. Feels like a contention issue on the backend of Excel Web Services   How do I report a bug?

    Thx and Regards.

    Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:53 PM