Microsoft Excel is getting a whole lot more customization

Microsoft Excel is getting a whole lot more customization

Microsoft is expanding is spreadsheet software with the addition of a new API which will allow developers to create their own custom data types in Excel.

Countless solutions have been built in Excel using just text and numbers but over the course of its multi-year journey, the software giant has expanded the types of data users can work with natively in its software. This began with the introduction of Microsoft’s Stocks and Geography “data types” back in 2018 and these linked data types allow for a single cell in a spreadsheet to contain a live, connected and rich set of information about objects like stocks, currencies, cities and countries.

Last year though, Microsoft expanded on this vision by allowing customers to work with their own data as a data type. As a result, it became possible to automatically connect data from its Power BI business intelligence tool with Excel and this integration made published Power BI data discoverable in Excel as a structured data type.

Now Microsoft is taking linked data types to a whole new level yet again with the introduction of a new JavaScript API in Excel.


Custom Data types

With its new JavaScript API in Excel which will be available in preview later this month, Microsoft is making it possible for developers to create their own custom data types.

These new custom data types can contain images, entities, arrays and formatted number values all backed by their own custom data sources. These new Excel data types can also be used as both inputs and outputs.

Now developers will able to organize complex data as objects and present this data to users in more natural ways while still providing easy access to the full information users require for analysis or reporting according to a new blog post from Microsoft.

Excel users can also create their own add-ins or extend previously existing ones to utilize the power of data types. Custom data types can even be shared across an entire organization and add-ins or other solutions can be created that are capable of connecting data types to a company’s own service or data.

Microsoft’s new Javascript API will be available in public preview when the next version of the Office.JS Preview APIs are deployed near the end of this month. However, to create custom data types, users will need the Office.JS Preview API along with an Insiders Beta build of Excel for Windows or Mac.


Managing your IT landscape so you don’t have to

We are a Cloud services provider, so we understand the apprehension that many feel before making the leap to Cloud computing. We take the reins when conducting your transition, allowing your company to enjoy the advanced opportunities it has to offer. We are proud to provide top quality services to our customers, preventing business disruption that can be caused by tech problems. We can assist you in deciding what approach is best for you, a full transition to Cloud computing and all the positives that come with it, an on-premise managed solution, or a hybrid of the two – whatever the case we will be sure to establish the right solution for you. Alongside our expertise in Cloud computing, our experienced and knowledgeable team at Apogee Solutions perform proactive monitoring of servers and workstations, fixing problems remotely, and dealing with security issues.

Get in contact now and see how – with the right tools, and education around their use – you and your team can take your next step into the future of IT.