Excel Services is a new shared service of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Excel Services enables Excel workbooks to be loaded, calculated, and rendered on Office SharePoint Server 2007. Excel Services is designed to be a scalable, robust, enterprise-class server that provides feature and calculation fidelity with Microsoft Office Excel 2007.
Using Excel Services, you can easily reuse and share Excel workbooks on portals and dashboards on Office SharePoint Server 2007. For example, financial analysts, business planners, and engineers can create content in Excel and share it with others by using an Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal and dashboard. They can do this without writing custom code. You can control which data is displayed, and you can maintain a single version of the workbook.
There are two primary interfaces for Excel Services:
An Excel Web Access Web Part, which enables you to view and interact with a live workbook by using a browser
Excel Web Services for programmatic access
In addition, you can extend the third component of Excel Services, called Excel Calculation Services, with user-defined functions.
Using Excel Services, you can view live, interactive workbooks with only a browser. This means you can save Excel workbooks and interact with them from within portal sites. You can also interact with workbooks to explore and pivot on data, and you can analyze PivotTable reports and charts by using a browser.
Excel Services supports workbooks that are connected to external data sources. You can embed connection strings to external data sources in the workbook, or you can save them centrally in a Data Connection Library file.
Excel Services also has a Web service. You can use Excel Web Services to load workbooks, set values into cells and ranges, refresh external data connections, calculate worksheets, and extract calculated results such as cell values, the entire calculated workbook, or a snapshot of the workbook.
For more information about snapshots, see How to: Get an Entire Workbook or a Snapshot.
Excel Services supports user-defined functions, which you can use to extend the capabilities of Excel Calculation Services — for example, to implement custom calculation libraries or to read data from Web services and data sources that are not natively supported by Excel Services.
You can find more information about Excel Services in the section titled Creating Custom Solutions with Excel Services.