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I have the following use case:

Two Excel documents are stored in the same folder on a shared drive (a typical SMB Share). The workbooks are linked through a single linked cell. If you open both workbooks in the Excel client application and update the source cell, the destination cell is updated immediately. I would like to copy these workbooks to SharePoint library and maintain the linked cell functionality. There is no need for linked cells to work in Excel services.

In my testing, in SharePoint 2010, if you open both workbooks via HTTP by browsing to the library and selecting "Edit in Excel" from each workbooks context menu the links work because they refer to the relative locations of the workbook. If you open the folder in Explorer View (webdav), then open both workbooks the links are changed to absolute references and they stop updating in real time. The links will only update when you open the workbook. Once the links have been changed to absolute paths, they will not update in real time even if the documents are opened via HTTP.

On SharePoint 2013 the situation appears to change with the presence of One Drive for Business. If the library is included in One Drive, when you click open in Explorer it opens the local copy of the file (ex: %USERPROFILE%\SharePoint\Site - Excel Test\Book1.xlsx) and the links continue to work.

Can others confirm or deny this behavior in their environments? Can someone provide insight into the behavior or point me to a Microsoft resource that documents this behavior? I have seen the articles from Microsoft on Excel Services and Linked Workbooks however; I am opening the documents in the client application, not Excel services.

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After working with Microsoft support for two months, I finally was able to convince them that it was a bug. Typically I've had good luck with Microsoft Support - that was not the case for this incident.

Below is the finding of the test we performed and confirmed at our end.

The issue occurs if we have the below configured scenario in the environment:

  1. Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010.
  2. Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013.

The issue is not seen if we have Office 2010 and SharePoint 2013 configured in the environment. After our test we have confirmed the scenario in our end as a Bug.

Thank you for choosing Microsoft.

Regards.

S###### P######

Microsoft Support Engineer

I actually did further testing with the results listed below. I'm hoping that the Microsoft Product Team will test the bug more thoroughly than the testing performed by the Support Team.

  • Workbooks created in Excel 2010:
    • Excel 2010 SharePoint 2010: Did Not Work
    • Excel 2010 SharePoint 2013: Did Not Work
    • Excel 2013 SharePoint 2010: Did Not Work
    • Excel 2013 SharePoint 2013: Works
  • Workbooks created in Excel 2013:
    • Excel 2010 SharePoint 2010: Did Not Work
    • Excel 2010 SharePoint 2013: Works
    • Excel 2013 SharePoint 2010: Did Not Work
    • Excel 2013 SharePoint 2013: Works

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