Microsoft last week made available a new website called ExcelMashup.com and Chris Webb tweeted me exclaiming:
"Excel Mashup: http://bit.ly/uvvFxy - so, @jamiet, we've got the Excel Services API but no OData unfortunately...?"
If you have followed Chris' blog
and my own of late you may know that the need to easily extract data out of Excel spreadsheets has become a personal crusade of ours lately, for evidence check the following:
In his blog post Chris summarises quite nicely what we would like to see in terms of an API on top of the Excel Web Apps
what I’d like to see is the Excel Web App be able to do the following:
- Consume data from multiple data source types, such as OData, and display that data in a table
- Expose the data in a range or a table as an OData feed
My take on it: I simply want to make data [consumable from/producable into] Excel in a manner that is
A web-based spreadsheet without an easily accessed API amounts to cutting it off from the world of data around it. I do mashups against Google Spreadsheets all the time, and came over here looking to port the work, and make it Web-spreadsheet agnostic.
I'm disappointed. Just give me a credentials system and a REST API. I see the reference to having this in Sharepoint, but is there a lightweight way to do it? With login credentials and a restful API, we woudn't even need client libraries, Sharepoint, or any such software overhead. Just use the language of your choice, and bang against the spreadsheet.
ExcelMashup.com simply does not provide what Mike is after, and that is disappointing.
I decided it would be right and proper to give the above feedback to the team behind ExcelMashup.com so I headed to http://www.excelmashup.com/Content/Forums.html to see this:
Very strange, none of the forums have got anything to do with “Excel Mashup”, instead all but one of them seem related to Sharepoint which, in this context, I have no interest in. Undeterred I headed to the Sharepoint 2010 General Questions and Answers forum where I posted the following:
ExcelMashup.com - Where is the forum?
I was browsing http://www.excelmashup.com/Content/Forums.html to discover where to go to ask questions about excelmashup.com and the forum that I am posting this to seemed the most appropriate. Its still not a forum dedicated to excelmashup.com though - does such a forum exist?
I have lots of questions that I would like to ask about excelmashup.com but I'm not going to waste my time firing off questions to non-relevant forum.
I thought that was pretty fair - they haven't provided a link to a relevant forum so I wanted to know if such a forum existed. Apparently though a Microsoft employee didn't agree with me because the thread has been moved to the Off-Topic Posts (Do Not Post Here) forum. Say what? I post a forum thread related to ExcelMashup.com on a forum that ExcelMashup.com advises me to post on and that thread gets moved to the "F off and stop bothering us" bucket? Are you fricking kidding me? In addition to that facepalm I also sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (as advised at http://www.excelmashup.com/Content/Community.html) saying exactly the same as on my forum thread. That was two days ago and I haven't yet received a reply.
OK, I can accept the fact that ExcelMashup doesn't have any use for me - I have no issue with that. What angers me is that the site has been put out for customers to use and then promptly disregarded. There is no dedicated forum, they're clearly not monitoring the forums that they provide links to, Microsoft support folks clearly have no idea what ExcelMashup is and instead are soft-deleting any forum thread related to it and to top it all the ExcelMashup team aren't bothering to respond to emails sent to the email address that they provide a link to.
I don't know why they didn't just put a logo showing big two-fingered salute on their website instead just to save us all the bother!
UPDATE, 19th December 2011: I have been informed by Cyrielle Simeone in the comments below that ExcelMashup.com has been updated in light of my comments and now has a specific forum for ExcelMashup.com at Microsoft Answers.