How to port Excel applications to the Web?
January 29, 2011 1:50 PM Subscribe
What would be the best technology to port simple Excel-based applications to the web?
posted by elgilito to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some of my clients would like to create small applications to give to their customers. These apps are simple calculators that take user input and return values and charts. These sorts of apps are typically Excel-based as users are business people who have Excel, and are simple enough to be created by non-programmers: an input grid + reference data tables + formulas and buttons with some minimal VBA. However, it makes sense today to port these apps to the web, making them Excel-free, platform-agnostic and available to anyone with an internet access. It would also ensure that users have always the latest version (the reference data and equations change regularly).
What would be the best technology / framework to port such applications to the web? "Best" means:
- as universal as possible and likely to exist in the long run
- easy to develop and maintain, ideally by non-programmers
- not requiring additional actions from the users, such as (unusual) plug-in downloads or sign-ins
- not requiring license fees to disseminate
One good thing with the Excel apps is that users can create and keep their own data scenarios (just by saving the file). Another is that the underlying equations, reference data or output (chart type for instance) can be modified easily by the app creator. We'd like to keep these features in the web version, though sacrifices can be made.
Ideally, it would be something as easy to use, develop and maintain as the Excel versions, but on-line and platform-independent. Server-side technology would be OK since traffic would be very low. I'll hire professional developers if necessary, but I need some pointers to be able to understand the pros and cons of the various technologies in order to write specifications that make sense.