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Selling the Value of Excel 2013 in Office 365 ProPlus is hard when PowerView doesn't work

Selling the Value of Excel 2013 in Office 365 ProPlus is hard when PowerView doesn't work

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Woody Walton

I tell you this now so that you can learn ahead of time rather than spending a few days (or hours) sweating this one supporting one of your customers.

There are many advantages to Office 365.  One of them is that we have included Office 2013 ProPlus into many of the offerings, but branded as Office 365 ProPlus, as there are a few differences.   At Microsoft we use Office 365 ProPlus just like our customers.  After upgrading (new install) my Surface Pro to Windows 8.1 RTM bits I proceed with the usual “click-to-run” deployment of Office 365 ProPlus and went about my day.

Well the next day I traveled to an offsite meeting and I was asked to pull together some reporting that the TS2 team holds in SharePoint and syncs into Excel.  We use PowerView to visualize the report and when I opened the spreadsheet that had the PowerView and my progress came to a screeching holt!

Symptoms:

  • PowerView Tab was missing in the Ribbon
  • The PowerView Workbook would not render

I immediately checked to see if the com add-ins for PowerView were present.  They were not. Hmmm.  I was puzzled because as part of Excel 2013 these add-ins were sup[posed to be there by default and one should not need to install them.

I then took the following steps with no luck:

  1. Searched online with every possible search Boolean I could think of.
  2. Checked the file path for the DLLs presence.  They were there
  3. Conduct a quick repair of Office  from within the Control Panel.  …nada
  4. Online Repair from Control Panel.  …still nada!

I finally resorted to the thing that none of want to admit.  I contracted the Helpdesk.  They were not helpful, initially.

The weekend passed and the following Monday I got a hold of someone from Office product support that knew the resolution.

KB2805999 COM add-ins are not displayed in the COM Add-Ins dialog box in Excel 2013

As I write this entry, about any search I do on Bing will land me on this KB, so I guess I was an faced with this issue earlier than most.   The heading above is linked to the KB, FYI.  The reason behind the issue is not explained in detail other than the registry keys for the COM add-ins became corrupt somehow, I do not know how common this issue is, but it has not occurred with any of my peers (9 in all) on the same hardware and OS install.

The KB was updated Monday, October 28th, 2013) to include automated “Fix it for Me” options.  Basically the registry keys are wiped and then Excel 2013 rebuilds them and voila,  PowerView (and/or PowerPivot) work again!

Bottom line is you MAY encounter this with a  customer and as it was a big inconvenience to me , I am certain it will not sit well with your customers either.  Nip it in the bud!

I am curious to know if anyone else has encountered this issue.  Please let me know if this comes up with frequency by contacting me through the blog.

Cheers,

Woody

Comments
  • Thanks for the feedback Woody! We looked into this issue and found that enterprises that use the USMT tool to upgrade windows will be affected by this issue. We will have a blog post with details for admins soon.

    Thanks!

    Poornima

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