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Is it a good practise to install office (excel) on a server

Posted on 2014-03-19
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Last Modified: 2014-03-20
Hi I am a owner of the windows 2003 server. I have got a request to install excel and adobe on this server. Is it a good practise to allow this install if not why should I not allow this install. I was of the impression that office should not be installed on a server.

Thanks in advance for answering this.
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Question by:ChanderMadhaviGmail
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Expert Comment

by:aboo_s
ID: 39940527
To what end would you install excel on your server?
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by:cwstad2
cwstad2 earned 72 total points
ID: 39940547
the more software you have installed on a server the less secure it is as each product will require patches and updates to close any vulnerabilities. you can install them but please bear this in mind. unless it is essential and there are no alternatives then you can proceed providing they are compatible
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by:s3e3
s3e3 earned 144 total points
ID: 39940551
I have had to install office on servers for several reasons for many years. It's not a big issue however just make sure the server is updated at least 4 times a year to keep up with security patches. Adding these apps just adds to security risks but you can manage the risk by documented and scheduling the updates.
Keep in mind Adobe will have to be updated just as frequently.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 71 total points
ID: 39940572
It is OK to install Adobe and main Office components on a server. But do not install Outlook on a server if Exchange is there. That is not recommended and Exchange is unhappy with it.
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by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 71 total points
ID: 39940627
Well, I'm on the other side of the argument of this.

I don't like consumer software on my servers and put up a good fight when the developers insist that it's the only way.

The latest was for Adobe and Office, just because it was easier to test the output of the ERP directly on the server. To that I made available a test station, connectable via RDP once inside the VPN, where the developers can dump their output and test it.

HTH,
Dan
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by:Sasa Kranjac
Sasa Kranjac earned 71 total points
ID: 39941177
To answer the question directly: it is not a good practice to install Excel on a Server.

Why, what will happen if you install Excel on a server? Nothing. And everything.

It (probably) will not crash a server, both Excel and OS will work but that is not the point. I can't think a reason why install something on a production server that does not belong there. Probably because it is more convenient for someone Excel is there.

Every component (software) that is not absolutely needed, increases server's vulnerability area.

I know of numerous cases where things went smooth for years and disaster eventualy happened - cables, software installations, power lines, macros, viruses, fire, backups, UPS's - all because someone was thinking nothing wrong will happen.

All this sounds a bit paranoid but if you want to be on a safe side and enforce security then do it right, by the book.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 71 total points
ID: 39941184
With the exception of a terminal server/remote desktop server you DO NOT want to install anything unnecessary on the server. Why? The more you install the more security issues you open yourself up to. Is there a reason you can't use excel on your desktop to open the files on the server? That is generally the point...
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Accepted Solution

by:
s3e3 earned 144 total points
ID: 39941200
I think the OP got lots of opinions here.
The bottom line is it can be done, it just depends on the situation.
Maybe it's a small company with limited budget and staff and given limited resources it can be done but with caution.

Bottom line, avoid it IF POSSIBLE. If not it can be done but understand the risks.
Make sure you use AV sofware :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:ChanderMadhaviGmail
ID: 39942587
Thanks for your comments, they were very helpful in making my decision.
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