Add a new Data Source to an RDL

How To Connect SSRS Report Builder to a PowerPivot Excel file (Sharepoint)

So, you’ve finally got around to setting up that SQL Server 2012 environment and you’re playing about with PowerPivot and SQL Server Analysis Services.  You’ve set up your sharepoint site and you’ve created and uploaded a new spreadsheet using PowerPivot that contains all that tasty cube data.  However, in your haste, you haven’t set up SQL Server Reporting Services Report Builder on the Sharepoint site, so when you open Report Builder on a separate server (or from a local install), and want to connect into your new quasi-cube (via your PowerPivot Excel file), how do you do it?  The Report Builder side of things is not too dissimilar to using a traditional SSAS cube as a Data Source.

The answer, is deceptively simple if you know where to look.

First off, browse to the location of the uploaded Excel PowerPivot file in your Sharepoint site.  Your file will appear in the list something like this:

An Excel PowerPivot file listed in Sharepoint

 From here, you can simply click on any of the named sheets to open it within your browser (as long as you’re using IE of course).

Viewing your PowerPivot Excel sheet in the browser

The URL to open your Excel document directly will be something along the lines of:


If you want to double check this, you can grab the URL from the IE address bar.  The URL will be in a format like:

http://servername:portnumber/_layouts/xlviewer.aspx?id=http%3a%2f%2fservername%3aportnumber%2fSiteName%2fYourExcelDocumentName.xlsx &Range=’WorksheetName’!A1&DefaultItemOpen=1

The part we’re interested in for Reporting Services is the “id” parameter, as this contains the path to our Excel document.  If you grab that out, and decode the URL encoded parts (“%3a” being “:” and “%2f” being “/”), you should have a similar URL to the one mentioned first above.

Add a new Data Source to an RDLSo now that we have the URL for our Excel file, we can use that in Report Builder or SQL Server Developer Tools (formerly BIDS) to create an SSRS data source.  Let’s stick with Report Builder for now, although the steps should be the same in SSDT/BIDS.  Open your report and right-click “Data Sources”, selecting “Add New Data Source” in the context menu.

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