Make Office 365 more powerful with new Excel API

Laurent Giret

Excel Office 2016

Microsoft has announced today the release of the Excel API for Office 365, which will allow developers to build custom apps that rely on the features of the popular productivity app. The new Excel interface will be accessible through Microsoft Graph, which is the company’s unified Office 365 programming interface that developer can leverage to build apps that leverage the Microsoft cloud.

“The Office developer framework uses modern web development standards, so developers can build smarter apps that operate as part of Office on mobile, web and desktop platforms,” explained the blog post. Microsoft has also detailed a few use cases to give developers some ideas on how to leverage the new Excel API for good use:

• Excel’s calculation engine may power many services which rely on complex calculations: Microsoft gave the example of a mortgage calculator which could easily return the monthly payment by using Excel’s PMT financial function.
• Developers may also leverage Excel’s powerful reporting features to build customized apps to analyze data.
• Any app which integrates with Office 365 could also use Excel as a simple data storage solution, gathering data stored in Excel workbooks.

Two companies are already leveraging the Excel API to improve their offerings: Zapier, a service that makes it easy to automate tasks between web apps uses the API to automatically add data into Excel from other services. Sage, a company that offers enterprise resource planning software, is also using the API to improve its Sage 50 account software with Excel’s reporting and business performance dashboards.

If you want to know how to get started with the Excel API, we invite you to visit Microsoft’s dedicated web site where you’ll find all the information you need plus code samples to help you get started. You can also give your feedback on the API through the UserVoice website, GitHub and Stack Overflow. Let us know in the comments if you think the Excel API is likely to open many opportunities for developers.