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"Unspecified Error" While Connecting to Analysis Server Using Excel from outside of a Windows Domain

Posted on 2004-03-22
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Last Modified: 2008-03-17
I'm getting an "Unspecified Error" when I try authenticate to our Analysis Server using Microsoft Excel Pivot Table Services. It works fine when I am authenitcated within the domain (when I'm at work) but when I am working from home (external of the domain) I cannot connect. I've tried mutliple versions of microsoft excel, as well as making sure MDAC and Pivot Table Services (8,0) are installed correctly.

From what I understand, the only authentication broker available in Analysis service is Active Directory. We tried using domain prefix's on the login (i.e domain\user domain/user and the @ symbol) but no luck so far.

suggestions welcome and thanks in advance.

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Question by:munting_monty
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by:danblake
ID: 10651373
I may be proved wrong (hope so...)-- but I thought that Analysis Services security is provided via the Windows Logon exclusivly (SPID user passed into the system automatically -- so a domain prefix will not work unless logged on externally at home via a VPN to the internal network to authenticate you on the local internal network from home.)

The other route that you may be able to take, (long-winded -- very) is to provide a linked server in SQL-Server and connect to SQL-Server via a Sql-server login and pull the data back from the linked server but this will cause problems with the Excel Pivot Table Services....

Alternativly if the Analysis Services information is stored as ROLAP datasource -- query the SQL-Server database directly where the information is stored with a sql-server login.
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by:munting_monty
ID: 10651518
Thanks for your prompt reply danblake!

Linked server sounds like a good idea, but we only have 1 production server.

We've just tried using local accounts that are not members of the domain, also tried to play with domain accounts being administrator of the sql server, with no luck so far.

Querying the database directly is not an option in our scenario (client must use Excel to connect)

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danblake earned 125 total points
ID: 10653378
Some MDX can be placed within a view structure and passed to the linked server, generating an ouput for Excel to connect to.

This would avoid the need for Windows authenticated accounts from externally, allowing a specific server account / user account to be used to access slices or portions of the analysis services as required with analysis manager.

Somehow you need to provide access to the internal server for the external client -- a good idea would be to establish a VPN or similar secure external network to provide internal authentication.
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