EBM Software applications connect your data from Catalyst and the data lake directly to your reports in Excel, and they have historically done this by means of Excel macros and macro-enabled files (.xlsm). But with this upgrade, the EBM Excel Add-In will replace the need for VBA macros as they will no longer be necessary. Once installed, your EBM-connected files will work seamlessly and stay working, allowing users to access their data cubes without having to support or maintain VBA macros.
This article contains the following topics:
- Important background
- How to install
- How it works
- Self-service and troubleshooting
- How to uninstall
- Issue elevation to your local IT team
- Issue elevation to EBM Support
- Best practices
The decision to use the EBM Add-In should be a coordinated and conscious decision amongst your team of Catalyst users. A likely reason for switching to the EBM Add-In will be to avoid having to rely on Microsoft Trusted Locations in order to maintain high security hygiene. Since Microsoft is hardening its security protocols of VBA Macros your EBM-connected files will no longer work unless you create Trusted Locations for your files to live on your computer, either locally from user-to-user, or centrally as a local IT policy. Therefore, it's important to understand how the EBM Add-In can help you, why to use it, and what impact it will have on you and your users.
- If you decide to use the EBM Add-In, all of your users will be impacted and must use it too. This is because any new file that's downloaded from Catalyst will assume the local machine has installed the add-in and will not call VBA macros. Therefore any new downloaded EBM file will not work for the end-user until they install the add-in on their local machine.
- Files already downloaded on your machine prior to the add-in will still work and will continue to use VBA macros.
- To update your pre-Add-In legacy files to start using the new add-in, run these files through the Cube Updater after the add-in has been installed on your machine.
How to Install
Important Note: Your EBM account rep will first need to enable this as an option for your website. Once enabled, you'll see the above option in the Analysis tab. Contact Support to ask to have this option enabled for you.
- Once enabled, all Catalyst users will then have the option to install the EBM Excel Add-In to their local machine via the above button.
- It's also possible to ask your local IT team to install this for all users at once. Please contact us to learn more about this as an option.
- In Catalyst, navigate to Analysis > Data Cube Configuration > Excel Add-In Installer.
- Download and install the MSI when prompted. If prompted to quit Excel, choose Yes. It's not necessary to restart your computer.
- If the add-in has been installed but is not readily available in a given Excel instance, it can be enabled by navigating in Excel as follows:
File > Options > Add-ins > Manage ‘COM Add-ins’ > Select Go… > Check EBM Office Bridge.
- If the EBM add-in is not available after following the above methods, contact your local IT team. Your IT team will need to add the user to the appropriate security group (Active Directory Security Group: SW-EBMOfficeBridge-X_X_X).
How it Works
Once you click Excel Add-In Installer the installer is provided as an MSI file that a user can install on their machine. Once it's installed this plugin will show up in Excel in the "Office Add-Ins" list.
This will be detected now when you download or open an EBM-connected file and provide the same functionality as the VBA Macro file.
FYI: Your EBM-connected files will now work in .xlxs format rather than requiring macro-enabled .xlsm file format.
Self-Service and Troubleshooting
If the add-in is already installed and you are experiencing issues:
- Close out of all open excel windows and reopen. Best practice is to close via task manager as follows: Hold Ctrl+Alt+Delete > Select Task Manager > Select Microsoft Excel > Select End-Task.
- Restart computer.
- If the above steps are unsuccessful, you'll want to compare your file to a brand new file you download from Catalyst. To do that, download a new cube file from Catalyst and see if it works. If it does, then your issue is with the old file. Run the old file through the Cube Updater to fix.
- If the above steps are still unsuccessful, you'll want to uninstall/reinstall the add-in.
Confirm the Add-In is Enabled
- Navigate to File > Options > Add-Ins
- Under "Manage" at the bottom, toggle to Disabled Items and select Go.
- If EBMOfficeBridge appears in this list, click Enable.
How to Uninstall the Add-In
- Navigate to Control Panel by clicking the Start Menu in your Taskbar and typing Control Panel.
- In Control Panel under Programs, click Uninstall.
- Locate EBM Office Bridge. Right-Click and select Uninstall.
- When prompted to close all Excel windows, choose Yes. If prompted to restart computer, choose No. Reinstall the add-in.
FYI: If the add-in works in the new file, the issue is specific to the original file. If not, the issue is with the add-in. Proceed to the next section below, informing your local IT team that the issue is with the add-in or specific Excel file.
Local IT Team
- The EBM Support Team can be reached by submitting a ticket here or via email at email@example.com.
- Hours of availability are as follows: 8am - 6pm CT.
- When reaching out to EBM Support, best practice is to also include the primary contacts from your team, such as primary end-users, client admins, and your local IT contact.
- Smaller template file: Reduced from 250KBs to 50KBs.
- Alternative to Trusted Locations: Microsoft now requires files that use VBA macros to be saved in a trusted location for those files to work. The add-in is a more secure way to use these types of files and doesn't require VBA macros.
- More secure design: Add-In's are only maintained on the system where it is installed, no code is persisted in the file itself.
- More stable: Excel Add-In's provide improved stability and are less likely to break.
- Less cumbersome: The EBM Add-In saves users' credentials in a secure and cross-session manner. Previously, VBA macros only stored credentials in the current Excel session and were not maintained past a reboot.
- If you are a first time EBM add-in user, it is recommended to test the Excel add-in for the first time between 8am – 5pm CT to ensure availability of both your local IT support team and EBM Support resources.
- If you are using the legacy Macro version of EBM Catalyst cubes, note that a user cannot have both macro and add-in cubes open concurrently. Both will continue to work independently, but cannot be open at the same time on the same machine.