Excel is often used to conduct data manipulation and calculations which are then used within another software tool. In this example scenario, we will assume the other platform is a CRM system (e.g. Salesforce, MS Dynamics, etc.). Suppose a spreadsheet is being used to perform a complex configuration and pricing calculation using data from the CRM system as inputs. The results must then be saved back to the CRM system.
Ideally, for an efficient and seamless workflow, users would be able to utilize the spreadsheet while operating within the CRM system. However, because Excel is a standalone desktop process, users have to copy information from the CRM system, open a separate window, execute MS Excel and run the spreadsheet, copy and paste input data, then return to the other software tool to copy and paste the resulting output from the spreadsheet – this is clearly a highly inefficient and error-prone process.
In contrast, EASA provides the ability to embed the spreadsheet’s functionality completely within another software environment – in our example above, a CRM system. This means the spreadsheet can be run without ever opening a new window or exiting the CRM system. Furthermore, if all the input values are already defined, EASA can run the spreadsheet transparently – extracting the necessary inputs, running the spreadsheet, and returning the resulting calculations or output and depositing them directly into the original application from where it was activated.
Returning to the example of a quoting tool used in conjunction with a CRM system, the quote can be created automatically using the fields within the CRM tool, and the resulting quote uploaded and logged into the CRM tool. The user never sees the spreadsheet running and never leaves the CRM environment. Alternately, if the application requires additional inputs, an input form can be presented to the user for completion, again without exiting the CRM system.
EASA can consume both REST and SOAP-based APIs, and can itself serve a SOAP interface ready for integration with external systems, with typical functions including accessing up-to-date financial market data, importing customer data from a CRM system, or even leveraging an external Machine Learning model.