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Rapidly deploying connections for the EPM Add-In for MS Excel

If you are like me, you look for ways to make things easier for the client / customer / end user.  One thing I found that worked was to help the end users create their connections for the EPM Add-In for MS Excel.  While this is process is not normally difficult, it does require time for the end user, particularly if you have a number of connections, and it often leads to questions from the user, during the process….no matter how much you document the process.

Once the EPM Add-In is installed, the following path is created for the user:

C:\Users\[user profile]\AppData\Local\EPMOfficeClient\

In your own installation of the EPM Add-In for MS Excel, create all the connections exactly as you would like the end user to see them.  Then, go to the similar path on your computer as shown above, and copy the Connections.xml file.  Likewise, it is easy to modify the XML file if you find that is quicker/easier than creating the connections via the EPM Add-In for MS Excel.

Have the users install the EPM Add-In for MS Excel, and then go to the similar path as shown above on their machine and copy the Connections.xml file from what you have provided into the path.  They will either need to overwrite, delete, or rename the existing file.

NOTE:  You may need to zip the file to send it to them, in case your email client does not allow sending XML files.

Then, the next time the user logs in to the EPM Add-In for MS Excel, all connections should be populated.

I hope you find this useful. If you have any questions or suggestions to improve this method, please feel free to add your thoughts.

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