Quick tips on Office Web Apps 2013 (WAC) …

I recently had to troubleshoot an Office Web Apps Server 2013 (also called WAC Web Application Companion) installation. And so I share here some “best to know” infos not well or not at all described elsewhere.

1°) There are 2 distinct caches managed by WAC

My customer had a problem with the Excel Web App, which showed regularly the standard error message:

clip_image002

In the Event log, every 5 minutes we got similar events: “Unable to create or access workbook cache at E:\Cache … Excel Services Application is unable to function without a workbook cache”. Please note on this poitn that Office 2010 Web Apps had a timer job running every five minutes which ensured that every SharePoint Web application, on which the Office Web Apps are activated, had an Office Web Apps cache associated with it. Similar task should exist on WAC 2013.

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After several tests, it appears that there are in fact two different caches managed and needed for OWA!

This appears clearly in the parameters list of the New-OfficeWebAppsFarm or Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm cmdlets, there are two caches options:

  • CacheLocation, defaulting to %programdata%\Microsoft\OfficeWebApps\Working\d\
  • RenderingLocalCacheLocation, defaulting to %programdata%\Microsoft\OfficeWebApps\Working\waccache\.

And you can’t put both on the same directory as it will produce the previous problem!

So if you try to put theses caches out of C: drive (which is highly recommended) you should use a command similar to that:

Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -CacheLocation “D:\WACCache\D”                -RenderingLocalCacheLocation “D:\WACCache\R

CacheLocation points to the global disk cache that is used to store rendered image files, whereas Rendering Local Cache is the temporary cache used by the Word and PowerPoint Viewing Services. Strangely enough there is no mention of specific cache for Excel files.

2°) There are 2 types of pages that can be used to embed documents in pages

It is best to remind here that Excel Services is the “old” way to do things and that the Excel Web Access Web part is to be used with Excel Services. With OWA – WAC the right way is to use embed code in your pages to display an OWA document. So you have to add a Content Editor web part and paste in it the embed code you can get on the “Share” menu in Office Online:
imageimage

but for some unclear reasons, Excel Online doesn’t provide such an option Triste

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So the workaround here is to put a Word or a PPT document in the same library and to get the corresponding embed code. It should looks something like that:

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the whole code looks like that :

https://yoursitehere/_layouts/15/fontstyle=background-color:#ffff00WopiFrame/font.aspx?sourcedoc=7ce99258-296b-4f03-acf9-965cf2708096&action=embedview&wdStartOn=1

Here is the main point I want to put the stress on: the embed code generated by default point you to the WopiFrame.aspx page by default. But this page is good for site supporting anonymous users. So randomly you get an error similar to that:

The workaround here is to use the WopiFrame2.aspx page which is designed to work with non-anonymous sites as it is greatly explained on this post: Office Web Apps ‘You don’t have access to this page

Please note that similar random problem can also appear in the search results page (as described here ), without a clear way to solve this issue … Triste

By the way, to know more on WAC you can go to the Wictor Wilen articles on this topic.

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