Excel Calculation Services Test

Excel Services is built on the SharePoint products and technologies platform.  There are three core components of Excel Services:

  • Excel Calculation Service
  • Excel Web Access
  • Excel Web Service

excelservicearch

Figure 1 : Excel services architecture

The role of Excel Calculation Service is to load workbooks, calculate them, call custom code (user-defined functions) and refresh external data. It also maintains the session state for interactivity. Excel Calculation Services maintains a session for the duration of interactions with the same workbook by a user or caller. A session is closed when the caller explicitly closes it or when the session times out on the server. Excel Services caches the opened Excel workbooks, calculation states, and external data query results, for improved performance when multiple users access the same set of workbooks.

In order to determine the quality of the user experience with the Excel Calculation Service, it is essential to know how smooth the user-service interaction is, how quickly the service is able to process the requests, and how effectively the service utilizes its caches. The Excel Calculation Services test closely monitors the aforesaid performance parameters, and accurately gauges the health of the service.

Target of the test : A Microsoft SharePoint Server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results each for the Microsoft SharePoint server that is being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameters Description

Test period

This indicates how often should the test be executed.

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured.

Port

The port at which the host server listens.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Requests with errors

Indicates the number of requests to the Excel Calculation Service that are returned with errors per second.

Requests/Sec

Ideally, the value of this measure should be low.

Average number of sessions opened

Indicates the average number of sessions opened per second.

Sessions/Sec

 

Cached charts requested

Indicates the number of charts per second that were provided from a cached image.

Charts/Sec

A high value is generally desired for this measure, as it indicates the existence of a well-tuned cache. Such a cache goes a long way in reducing processing overheads.

Active sessions

Indicates the number of currently active sessions on Excel Calculation Services.

Number

This value is a good indicator of the current workload on the service.

Average processing time for a request

Indicates the average processing time for a request on Excel Calculation Services.

Secs

A high value for this measure or a gradual increase in this value could be indicative of a processing bottleneck on the service.

Average session time

Indicates the average session time.

Secs

 

Current size of memory cache

Indicates the current size of unused items of the excel calculation service manager in bytes.

MB

 

Excel calculation service workbook cache size

Indicates the current size of the Excel Calculation Services workbook cache.

MB

A high value for this measure indicates that the cache is adequately sized. A poorly-sized cache can adversely impact service performance, especially when multiple users try to access the same set of workbooks. 

Rendered charts requested

Indicates the number of chart requests per second.

Charts/Sec

 

Requests received

Indicates the number of requests received per second on Excel Calculation Services.

Received/Sec

 

Active requests

Indicates the number of requests being actively processed on Excel Calculation Services.

Number