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August 10
PowerPivot's service redirector cannot handle managed paths
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If you're familiar with PowerPivot's default view of a PowerPivot gallery, you will see 2 buttons on the right hand side.  The first button allows you to create what is known as a thin workbook.  The second button takes you the scheduling page.  Today's discussion is around the first button...
 
When you create a new linked workbook, an ODC file is created and passed back to the client.  The ODC file is then used to call into PowerPivot's ServiceRedirector via msolap 10.  The redirector allows the system to serve up the request for the linked workbook.
 
This works like a charm until your site lives under a managed path.  If your site lives under a managed path, the following basically occurs:
  1. An ODC file is created and handed off to the Excel client.
  2. Excel attempts to open the data source by calling into PowerPivot's service redirector.  (steps 1 and 2 are normal)
  3. The service redirector falsely checks the root site of the web app (note: not the root of the site collection) for the existence of the workbook.  This is a big problem!
  4. On failing to existence check, the client is sent an authorization failed notification and, in the case of Excel, a terribly old looking authentication dialog is presented. 
  5. The dialog is called "Multidimensional Connection 10.0" and is designed to prompt the user for credentials. 

Well, at this point in time, you're pretty much done.  No matter what you enter for credentials, you will never be able to go further than that dialog.

The basic problem starts with the call to the redirector.  Even though my workbook may live in a managed path, the call to the service redirector does not reflect that structure. 

For example, if my workbook lives at http://projects.example.com/sites/DepartmentProject1/documents/test.xlsx, where my managed path is /sites, most experienced SharePoint folks would expect the following service redirector call:

http://projects.example.com/sites/DepartmentProject1/_vti_bin/PowerPivot/SecureRedirector.svc

Instead, the call is made to ...

http://projects.example.com/_vti_bin/PowerPivot/SecureRedirector.svc

I've gone through this scenario a few different times and varying levels of detail.  In each test case, I can see that PowerPivot's service redirector is in fact querying the wrong SPWeb during the existence checks.  Instead of looking at /sites/DepartmentProject1 for the target workbook, it looks in the root ("/").  Since the workbook clearly does not live in the root, the check fails.

Best I can tell, there is no way around this problem.  This has fairly large ramifications when planning your topology.  If I figure something out or hear an update, I'll post an update. 

-Maurice

 

Comments

Any update?

Experiencing a similar situation when using PowerPivot file as source for a RDL (SSRS integrated). Can connect to .xlsx file, but get Internal Server 500 error about the PowerPivot/redirector.svc when attempting to run Query Designer
 on 1/9/2012 1:34 PM

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