The BI features in SharePoint 2016 on premises have been unified, enhanced and more scalable. Unlike in SharePoint 2013, where you had to make a choice between Excel Services and Excel Web App, in 2016 you get a single solution providing all Excel web functionality including Self-Service BI. You can Scale-out only the “Office Online Server” farm to enable all Office web applications and BI capabilities. This has limited impact on the main SharePoint Farm from the performance perspective.
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Excel Online now matches all of the new features which its counterpart on the cloud, aka Office 365 provides.
Excel Services are now a part of Excel Online 2016. Excel Online on Office Online Server 2016 (OOS) was formerly known as Office Web Application (WAC) Server.
OOS is now a prerequisite for running Excel Services & Webparts. Without OOS, you will not be able to run (limited) any of the following services:
OOS being a new unified service, provides scalability and performance.
Kerberos Delegation must be configured between SharePoint Server and OOS for Server-Server communication.
In order to leverage the entire MS BI stack, you need to deploy the complete solution based on SQL Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2016 with the Add/On’s provided by SQL Server.
The upgrade product sequence is as follows:
See the Microsoft deployment guide for additional details.
In the next post, I will talk about the new SharePoint 2016 BI features.
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