We continue our journey in configuring our SharePoint 2010 farm and today we shift our focus to one of the many exciting new inclusions in SharePoint 2010, “Office Web Apps”. Office Web Apps was first introduced with SharePoint 2010 and soon after released to the public integrating with Windows Live SkyDrive (currently in beta form) to compete with Google Docs. Office Web Apps is an online version of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote allowing users to access these applications and their respective documents from any Internet connection and most notable web browsers. For those running SharePoint 2010, you can deploy Office Web Apps onto your SharePoint farm providing your users with the same functionality as the online version of Office Web Apps. Deploying Office Web Apps on your SharePoint farms will add the following service applications;
- Word Viewing Service Application
- Excel Calculation Service
- PowerPoint Service Application
Today I will be extending my step by step SharePoint 2010 configuration articles and by the end of this post you will be able to open and edit Office documents from within your web browser without the requirement of having Microsoft Office installed locally. This is a huge productivity gain for those that might be accessing their SharePoint sites from an Airport Kiosk where Office is usually not available.
You will need to download Office Web Apps from the Microsoft Download Site. This download is available to Volume licensing customers or those with TechNet and MSDN subscriptions. Let’s begin by launching the setup.exe and entering our product key;
Accept the licensing terms.
Choose a file location for installation. Ensure you select a drive with adequate free space for your Data partition which stores the Office Web Apps search index files.
Click Install Now
Upon successful installation, you will be greeted with the “Run Configuration Wizard” window. We will immediately run the configuration wizard by leaving the checkbox ticked and clicking close. You can also achieve the same by running PSConfig. Both methods will register the Office Web Apps services.
Click Close to Run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard.
Click Next and click Yes to acknowledging the restart of the IIS, SharePoint Administration and Timer Services.
Click Finish to acknowledge the successful configuration.
You will then receive the below Central Administration screen regarding configuring your SharePoint farm. Because we have been configuring each service application one by one as needed (best practice) we will click cancel and proceed to activate the Office Web Apps services individually.
Provisioning the Office Web Apps Service Applications
Let’s begin by starting the relevant Office Web Apps services located under Central Administration / System Settings / Manage services on server.
Scroll down until you locate all of the Office Web Apps specific services, namely Excel Calculation Services, PowerPoint Service and Word Viewing Service. Click Start for each respective service.
Let’s now navigate to Central Administration / Application Management / Manage service applications.
Click on New / Word View Service
Enter the following details to complete the creation of the Word Viewing Service Application. Ensure that you select “SharePoint Web Services System” from the Use existing application pool option.
Your service application will then proceed with the creation process and will be listed with our previously provisioned service applications.
You can now further provision the “Excel Services Application” and “PowerPoint Service Application” in the same manner following the above steps. Please note that there isn’t a separate service application for OneNote.
Activating Office Web Apps
Depending on where you want the feature activated, you will venture to your Site Collection(s) and activate each one individually or you can utilise PowerShell to activate multiple site collections at once within a single script.
From within your SharePoint Site, click on Site Actions / Site Settings.
Under Site Collection Administration, click on Site Collection Features.
Navigate down the page until you find Office Web Apps and click on Activate.
You should now be able to open a Microsoft Word document from a document library on your SharePoint site and it should launch within the browser by default.
To ensure the best experience possible for your end users, you should install Silverlight. The below warning will be will be displayed if Silverlight is not detected.
By default, your browser will open the document in view mode and it’s only until you click on Edit in Browser that you will receive the Office Web Apps editing toolbar.
Things to note
- Silverlight installed on client computers will enhance the end user experience for Word and PowerPoint Web App and improve speed with regards to page loading. There’s no benefits for Excel or OneNote Web App.
- Installing Office Web Apps will change the default behaviour when opening documents from open in client application to open in browser.
- There is no service application for OneNote.
- Service Application Proxies are utilised to provide location information of a service instance within a farm.
- You can load balance and install Office Web Apps on multiple servers to optimise performance.
- When installing on a SharePoint farm (i.e not a standalone installation), you will need to install Office Web Apps on every server.
- Current list of supported browsers include Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox 3.X, Google Chrome and Safari 4.X.
Office Web Apps (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products) – TechNet http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee855124.aspx