In this short and functional oriented article, we’ll elaborate on how to integrate with Excel. For sure, Excel is not the “latest and greatest” utility but it still offers a lot of functionality the average entrepreneur will be able to apply and this at a very low cost.
The three scenario’s we’ll cover quickly are:
- Usage of Excel Add-ins (integration out of the box)
- Connecting an Excel to the outside world
- Connecting your web-app with Excel
1. Usage of Excel Add-ins (integration out of the box)
As of Excel 2013, Microsoft started to add so-called add-ins in Excel. Add-ins provide optional features for Microsoft Excel. By default, add-ins are not immediately available in Excel, so you must first install and (in some cases) activate these add-ins so that you can use them. There are add-ins created by Microsoft and add-ins created by third parties. Bing Maps is an example of a popular (and GIS related) add-in.
As of Excel 2016, a complete visualization tool, called 3D Maps, is available. A complete article elaborating on the features of Excel 2016 can be found here.
2. Connecting an Excel to the outside world
Connection an Excel to a CRM, CMS, ERP or other third party system is very straightforward. In the past we already managed the integration of an Excel with Google Maps and with an ERP system and we we would like to emphasize the fact we were able to design and develop our solution within man-days! With regards to Excel integration, we rather refer to features as opposed to projects because of the minimal complexity.
3. Connecting your web-app with Excel
Integrating Java and Excel doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a fairly likely scenario, your web-application is written entirely in Java but you have to generate Excels for your end-user. Fortunately, some reliable Java frameworks (like Jexcel and JXLS) exist and, once again, we are inclined to identify the integration of Java and Excel as a “no-brainer”.
I hope this article has enlightened you a little on how to integrate Java and Excel. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or to recommend amendments.
All the best,
Wim Van den Brande.