How EASA Eliminates Excel
EASA utilizes a unique (and patented) approach that unlike other web-enabling approaches to Excel, does not rely on any conversion or translating of the spreadsheet – the native Excel file continues to be used, and this means any VBA, macros or add-ins will continue to work perfectly, but without the problematic need for the spreadsheet to be copied or downloaded.
To better understand the solution, let’s first consider how Excel is used conventionally – on end-users’ desktops. It consists of both a “logic engine”, and also a user interface built on top of the engine – so an Excel file contains not only the user inputs and outputs, but also the logic and calculations to generate the outputs. By separating the logic and the user interface, EASA eliminates the need to download or email the entire spreadsheet containing the logic to multiple users’ computers.
Instead, EASA enables the fast creation (with no programming) of a custom user interface with only the inputs and outputs, which link in real-time to a master-version of your Excel file on a secure and proven server. This provides the full functionality of the original Excel spreadsheet, but without the user actually directly “touching” it. Furthermore, the user interface is built as a web app, meaning that it can be accessed and used from any browser (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.), providing vastly superior deployment than physically copying and sending Excel files all over the enterprise.
This approach means everyone is using the same version of the spreadsheet, but cannot see the underlying logic, formulas and calculations, and cannot alter the logic embedded in the spreadsheet. Version control, Intellectual Property and spreadsheet integrity are completely contained. In addition, a local copy of the Excel program is no longer required, and this enables users to use the spreadsheet from any connected device, for example mobile phones and iPads. Reliability is greatly enhanced since mismatches in settings, release versions, service packs, etc. cannot occur ensuring the spreadsheet always works.
Another benefit is no aggregation of multiple spreadsheets is ever necessary, and this greatly reduces error introduction and propagation while making it far easier to conduct analytics on consolidated data. Additionally, EASA also provides a complete audit trail that records usage (who, when and for what) as well as historical runs and data sets.
In short, Excel is transformed into a true collaborative and enterprise tool enabling compliance and regulatory requirements be met and a major reduction of errors and inefficiencies typically associated with spreadsheet chaos.