Is it 2013 Already?

Looks like it is time for another cycle of updates to our favorite programs/applications.  It was only a couple of months ago that I downloaded and started looking at SQL Server 2012.  Then there was the new PowerPivot 2012 download.  Then a few weeks ago, Microsoft made available the previews of Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and related 2013 downloads.  Maybe Microsoft just wanted to get all of their products out before the end of the Mayan calendar, just in case.

With all these downloads, it is more like information overload.  So I spent some time reinstalling my test laptop with Window 8, SQL Server 2012 and Office 2013.  I had heard that Microsoft Excel 2013 had both PowerPivot and Power View built in.  When I first started Excel 2013 up, I did not see either, but after a short search on the Internet, I found that you have to activate the Add-ins.  Interestingly both PowerPivot and Power View are COM add-ins.

After activating them, I was able to open Excel and see the familiar tab for PowerPivot.  At first Power View still did not appear.  So I loaded an existing workbook that I had been using the PowerPivot 2012.  During the load, it said it had to upgrade the file.  Curious.  I’m going to have to go back and try that again.

After clicking through the ribbons to see what had changed, I ran across an icon in the Insert ribbon named Power View.  Upon clicking on it, it told me that I did not have the most recent version of Silverlight.  Interesting since I was running Windows 8.  Perhaps the install for Office 2013 should include the most recent version of Silverlight.  Obviously it did not.

After installing the latest version of Silverlight and rebooting my system, I was able to click on the icon Power View.  Using the Contoso 2012 data that I have been using in my recent Saturday blogs, I was able to create a couple of different Power View reports and charts, including the popular scatter chart with a time line to see how the information changes over time.

Another thing I noticed is that when I ‘converted’ my Contoso workbook from last Saturday with my KPI examples, I lost the KPI definitions.  The other measure calculations were still in the converted workbook, but I had to rebuild the KPI definitions.  Sounds like a possible bug.  You would think that PowerPivot 2012 downloaded for Excel 2010 would be compatible with Excel’s 2013 PowerPivot.  That is something else I will need to try again to see if I can reproduce it.

Anyway, I’m having too much fun playing with all of these new ‘toys’ to write more now.  Besides, I spent too much time over the weekend watching the Olympics, especially the opening ceremonies.  Awesome!  Just in case the Queen reads my blog I just want to say, ‘Jolly good show!’.  However, I’ll be sure to cover some of the things I find in these new 2013 releases in future blogs.

BTW, I’m writing this in Word 2013 running on Windows 8.  Did I mention that I really miss the Start menu button?  Anyway, c’ya next time.


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