Let’s look at Power View from an IT Architecture point of view. Power View is deployed and accessed within the SharePoint 2010 Enterprise environment. SharePoint Enterprise is a requirement for Power View installation.
We install the Power View feature into SharePoint by installing Reporting Services 2012 in SharePoint mode. This is a service application with this version of the product, so it’s very tightly coupled with SharePoint 2010 once its installed and configured.
We will need a SQL Server 2012 relational instance somewhere in our environment to use for the SSRS service database. This could be an additional instance on the server hosting SharePoint 2010 content databases.
Once we’ve installed Reporting Services we can run and use Power View, but we’ll need a data source for our Power View visualizations. We have a couple choices. The first is to install and use PowerPivot for SharePoint within the SharePoint environment. This also would be a SharePoint service application.
In this case we wouldn’t need any additional components; we’d have a complete server environment at this point. WE would develop those tabular mode databases for Power View using Excel and the SharePoint add-in for Excel and then deploy those to SharePoint by uploading them to a document library.
Whether we use PowerPivot for SharePoint or not, we also could consume tabular models from SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services instances. Analysis Services based tabular models can grow to larger sizes and have additional, advanced features. To understand what those features are, there are several lessons within the Analysis Services (Tabular Mode) section you can view.
Users interact with Power View using a web browser that has the Silverlight 5 plug-in installed. These browsers can be Windows or Mac computers.
Now let’s look at the Power View server requirements. The first is SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, as mentioned. The second is SQL Server 2012. For SQL Server, we can use the Enterprise Edition or BI Edition for production. In non-production we can use the Developer or Evaluation edition.
Power View does require one of these editions. It is not enabled within the Standard or Express versions of SQL Server 2012.
In terms of the SQL Components: if we wanted to install Power View and nothing else, we’d need two components to install on the application server. The first is the Reporting Services in SharePoint mode service application, which is deployed into the SharePoint farm. The second is the relational instance for the Reporting Services service databases.
Both of these components could be installed on the same server to minimize licensing expenses, or they can be distributed onto different servers.
Power View’s client requirements include the following platforms and browsers:
We can use Windows 7, Vista, 2008 or 2008R2. Our end-users will likely use either Windows 7 or Vista. Notice that if your users are using Windows XP, this is not a supported operating system.
On the Mac OSX side, Safari is supported, but Firefox is not.
The most common scenarios will probably be IE9 or IE8 on Windows or Safari 5 on OSX.