Embed live Excel spreadsheets in web pages using our WordPress Plugin
By David Jones
We’ve had a great response to the ipushpull WordPress plugin we released back in August! The plugin lets you display live Excel data in your webpages when you’re using desktop Excel. We weren’t entirely sure what people would do with it and it’s been fascinating to find out the kind of uses it’s being put to. Here’s what some of our customers have been doing:
Monetizing the results of data mining and number crunching (using Excel VBA)
Excel VBA lets you build powerful applications in desktop Excel but they just don’t work in Excel Online. ipushpull lets you retain the power and flexibility of your desktop sheets but also lets you see them updating live on the web. The following customer project is still under wraps so unfortunately we can’t be too specific. As soon as it’s been uncloaked we’ll publish full details!
One of our customers in the travel sector uses custom Excel VBA to pull live data from multiple public APIs into their spreadsheet. They then analyse this raw data with bespoke algorithms, and display the resulting information in an ipushpull-enabled sheet. Each time this sheet updates, our customer’s WordPress website updates too. This derived information is so valuable that they are able to charge their own customers for access to it. Building a standalone app to do all this would be expensive and inflexible – ipushpull makes it easy and it’s extremely good value, of course!
Displaying live data from business-critical systems on the web (ERP and CRM)
Many companies still depend on locally-hosted ERP and CRM systems and are reluctant to migrate to web-hosted alternatives because of the expense, disruption and security risk. These kinds of systems generally don’t have native web capabilities. So how can you access data from them when you’re out of the office? Step forward Excel and ipushpull…
Excel lets you import data from any local database directly into your spreadsheets using an ODBC link. One customer, a lighting manufacturer in Pennsylvania, uses this approach to pull purchase order information from their ERP system into Excel. ipushpull publishes this data to a dashboard which is displayed on a monitor in their workshop, so the team always knows when to expect materials. ipushpull makes it easy to link legacy systems to the web and, because you control the content and layout of what you publish, it’s simple to update when your requirements change.
Password Protected Pricelists
ipushpull pages can be public, so everyone can see them, or private, so they can only be viewed by the people you specify. Another customer, a supplier of motorcycle spares, wants to keep some of his price lists private for his favoured customers only. So he updates this list every day and publishes it to an ipushpull page which is encrypted using a password that he’s shared with those customers.
We’ve built some powerful features into ipushpull:
Use it to display live Excel data on your webpages
You don’t need to save the source spreadsheet to update the data
Your content updates automatically – the reader does not need to refresh the browser to get the latest update
You choose the range of cells that gets displayed
You control the update frequency – every few seconds, every hour, every day