For those of you who are using Windows 7 client, you should be good-to-go already because you already have Desktop Experience installed. But if you are using a Windows Server OS (e.g. Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2), you will need to install it as part of an additional feature via the Server Manager.
Why you ask?
Typically when you upload files to SharePoint (including the PowerPivot Gallery), you will do save-as from Excel and/or use the SharePoint UI to upload the file to the URL http://$servername$/PowerPivot%20Gallery/. But if you want to automate the upload of files, you’ll have to use Powershell or build your own custom code to do so (which admittedly is actually relatively easy to do).
But in case you’re lazy like me, if you have Desktop Experience installed, then you can access the PowerPivot Gallery folder via the UNC path – i.e. in the form of \\$servername$\PowerPivot%20Gallery\. Therefore, if I want to copy a bunch of files from my local computer to the PowerPivot Gallery, I need only to copy / robocopy them via UNC path and type even less code!
By the way, this does show that I’m starting to become more PM’y and perhaps lose my dev roots? Egad!! Don’t worry folks, I’ll start writing some deep technical stuff soon enough… after Dave Wickert corrects my mistakes 😉