Repost from Medium

While Excel has been a very powerful productivity software, a great majority of businesses have been relying on their employees building powerful tools using this platform. With added capabilities VBA/macros have to offer, Excel has been the backbone of several operations within organizations. Serving as a database, a business analytics tool, or simply as a calculator; it’s a crucial component in every field.

With over 700 million users worldwide, Excel has proved its worth to every business. However, as new technologies emerge and the markets demand more, Excel’s limitations started to glare. Even though Microsoft released a mobile version of Office too, those apps don’t have most capabilities of the desktop version. While it adds tons of capabilities to Excel, VBA also has its limitations. A delicate programming language it is, VBA can easily cause problems due to the security settings of your PC. After all, it would be very unwise to run codes from an unknown author on your PC and because of this, VBA may not be for everyone.

Now that mobile devices reached the speeds of a mid-tier computer, we see a drastic drop in PC ownership. Mobiles are dominating the tech market and they don’t seem like passing their crown anytime soon. Even with all its might, the Excel and VBA duo, unfortunately can’t run on mobile devices as effectively. Nor you can produce a professional looking design in Excel that most people expect to see nowadays. It doesn’t matter if you create everything on your PC and try running it on your mobile by other means; macros simply won’t work. In the age of technology, more and more users want to be able to do everything on their mobile phones. Keeping up with this trend plays a vital role in expanding an organization’s reach.

SpreadsheetWEB provides a solution for utilizing the Excel and VBA resources a company has by transforming them into mobile applications using SpreadsheetWEB’s API, as well as basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding. This way, the spreadsheets that took weeks or maybe months to create don’t go to waste and can actually become quite charming websites with little effort.

Users can design their own user interface (UI) by simply adding their HTML, CSS and JavaScript codes into the web application. SpreadsheetWEB handles all the backend operations like formula calculations, macro logic, database operations and presents the end result as a single webpage…

You may have noticed how cumbersome it is to browse a website that wasn’t designed for mobile; the pages may show up differently, not all menus are accessible and some elements don’t even show up. Because of resolution limitations of mobile browsers and the way each of them render pages, it can be a quite challenging task to design a mobile website.

SpreadsheetWEB enables you to use your favorite control library. You can chose from many libraries available in the market like JQuery, KendoUI, YUI to build your entire user interface with a stunning design. You can also use a mobile library like JQuery mobile to design mobile enabled user interfaces with touch support.

Here is a simple unit converter in Excel. It utilizes various worksheet formulas available in Excel for unit conversions. You don’t have to code this logic. It is already built in this Excel model. On one tab contains the logic behind the calculations this application requires and the other provides the user interface (UI). In other applications, the calculations tab may contain sensitive data and we wouldn’t want users to access this page.

The Metric vs US Units tab handles the user interface of the calculator. Users, of course, don’t need to see the calculations or the data behind the scenes. All that matters is the input fields, highlighted in X, and the outputs laid on the tables.

All you have to do is to develop your user interface using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and upload it to SpreadsheetWEB along with your Excel file containing backend calculations logic. You can also design your UI to detect the user’s device and scale the page accordingly. If accessed from a PC, the page will look like this:

When accessed from a mobile device, the website will render differently and scale to provide a better look.

As you can see, the look and feel of both instances are a lot different than what we had in Excel. It’s actually hard to tell that this page originally was a simple spreadsheet. Adding your own HTML, CSS and JavaScript codes to your own applications, it is fairly easy to create webpages from scratch.

Businesses have a tremendous amount of Excel resources and their users have the expertise for using this software. However, due to various limitations, Excel can’t be used on mobile devices as effectively. In today’s world, not having mobile capabilities means falling behind in the competition. SpreadsheetWEB offers a new solution; utilizing their current resources, businesses can create mobile-enabled applications with absolutely stunning user interfaces.