Our development focuses exclusively on Microsoft Excel for Windows and integration with other members of the Microsoft family of applications. (Word, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, Visual Basic, Project Manager, SQL Server, etc.), running on the Microsoft Windows platform*.
Based solely on our own opinions, which are derived from many years of working with Excel; we estimate that roughly 70% to 80% of Excel's total capability resides in the world of spreadsheet automation. This means that users and purchasers of Excel who have no knowledge or understanding of spreadsheet automation are getting only 20% to 30% of the value and power of the package they purchased. Probably, in most cases, they are getting much less.
Even at that level of efficiency, Excel and the Office Suite must be one of the greatest bargains on the planet. Fortunately, you are sharing the cost of its development with most of every other desktop computer user in the world. I think we can conservatively say that if you have MS Office on your desktop, then you have at your complete disposal, a billion-dollar piece of software for which you paid less than $500 US.
An Excel power user who has mastered every Excel menu function, (which is an awesome accomplishment on its own), has reached a proficiency level allowing only 20% to 30% of Excel's total capability to be unleashed. Frankly, this 30 percent capability is an awesome amount of power for many users. Spreadsheet automation unlocks and makes available to you that other 70% to 80%. Technical people with complex analytical tasks can vastly expand their reach using automation. The most amazing thing is that it is done in what looks and feels like, an open, un-controlling and totally rational environment.
In our opinion, Excel and the MS Office environment it operates in, is truly one of the most amazing software applications ever developed. We say this because we know of no other software application that can "out of the box" satisfy the majority of the needs of a 6th grader, and as well as many of the complex needs of a chemical engineer, physical chemist, physicist, biologist, geologist, accountant, economist, marketer, manager, statistician, etc. All these people work simultaneously in the same user friendly, intuitive, and extremely sophisticated data manipulation platform. We are constantly in awe and obviously obsessed with this monumental intellectual achievement.
There is no universally accepted definition for this frequently used term. To many professionals intimately involved with Excel, they would use this phrase to mean all those things required to allow the control of one application by another (OLE automation or ActiveX automation). This would be like Excel controlling Access or Access controlling Outlook. We adhere to the broader definition of spreadsheet automation.
The world of spreadsheet automation begins when any or all the following apply:
All these instances normally share in common the introduction of custom programming code. In many cases automation makes “automatic” those things that a user could make happen by hand. They can be made automatic because Excel can be controlled by custom programming code. The macro recorder allows you to do this with no knowledge of programming. Aside from making automatic those things that you could accomplish as a user, there are several things available via automation that you could never accomplish using the standard Excel interface.
Benefits Of Automation
In general, automation can:
All the features of automation have the capability to do both. The key to the benefit is how you use them. Item 1 can save your company money; Item 2 can empower employees to make your company a market leader.
Most Used Automation Features
The following are representative of the most used automation features:
The Current Environment
It goes without saying, the current hardware and software environment is brimming with new opportunities. It is a very exciting field to work in as a developer and as a user.
There are so many things happening that we have focused in on a few. We think the following are, or soon will be, hot topics surrounding our business:
* true north usa has no direct affiliation with Microsoft Corporation but we recognize their software and operating systems as a premier and pervasive value in today's business world.