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I've noticed that while Excel Services does support quite a few OLE DB and ODBC connectors, to e.g. SQL server, OLAP, Oracle and so forth, there's no direct connector for SharePoint lists.

PowerPivot, Analysis Services, Reporting Services and such are obvious alternatives - and the best way to move for any substantial data set - but for small and simple lists, it would be fantastic to have a direct connection.

So the question here is: Am I missing something in my assessment? Is there simply no connector in there by default?

I did test with one of the default providers for Excel: Microsoft.Office.List.OLEDB - and that works just fine for the client app, but even after adding that to the Excel Services trust list, the most productive error message (in ULS) I've gotten is along the lines of "Provider Microsoft.Office.List.OLEDB is not supported".

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I am facing the same issue. I have a pivot table connected to a SP list via ODC connection. But it doesn't refresh the data. If I change the item on a list, the pivot table in the web access wp isnt reflecting the changes even after the data connection refresh. –  user2482 Feb 22 '11 at 21:10
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yup this limitation existed in v2007 too, however SharePoint 2010 Enterprise now includes PerformancePoint services and you can use PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer to create reports based on SharePoint lists.

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PerformancePoint (and the other alternatives) work very well in most cases. The limitation itself, however, I find ridiculous. At this point I'm tempted to write a custom OLE DB provider, just to have a lightweight alternative to the enterprise service applications. –  einaros Nov 23 '10 at 11:25
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