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Thread: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    domineaux and Guys,

    I too have been the Baler route and found it fantastic in DOS version. I followed it to Visual Baler and had some success, but found I had to use Lotus 123 ver.5 for windows for optimum results.

    Now I do not have the time to be the computer guy, I need to be composing the applications on Excel. My application when printed-out completely is about 35 pages. I have been working on it since '82.

    If anybody can locate a program that will compile an Excel template into a stand-alone sellable program PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I will pay money for it, and probably for someone to manage the porcess for me. That would be Ideal.

    Does anyone know of any company who routinely builds programs from spreadsheets using Windows-friendly "back" programs?

    Thanks for anyone's help.

    David
    Last edited by DAB21; Jan 13th, 2009 at 09:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    I am not very happy with XCell.

    The list price for the pro version is $249 and there is no mention that it is only a license for 1-year. Buried in the lengthy text of the license agreement is the statement that there is a annual renewal fee.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The "ANNOYING TRIAL NAG" is an offensive pop-up and it cannot be switched off. If you want to offer your customers a free trial version of your product they will have to endure a pop-up that takes control of their computer every 7-minutes and there is a count-down timer that prevents them from closing the "ANNOYING TRIAL NAG" pop-up for 10-seconds. We tried it in a focus group and our customers were furious about it.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The activation of the full license version of their software (and any that you produce using their software) is done manually. The customer must find the computer ID and email it. They then have to wait for up to 48 hours to receive the registration key by return email. I only had to wait for 2-hours for the key to unlock XCell but that is a long time in this world of automation. As a user of the software it means that I have to have a person on duty 24/7 to issue registration keys if I don't want customers to suffer the long delays.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The software package gives me control over the wording of the expiration warning and the "ANNOYING TRIAL NAG" message but nothing else. There are several screens that the customer sees where they are told to “contact your vendor” or “Trial version of application has been expired”. I would like to write my own text for those messages but there is no way to do that. There is a button on several messages that says “Mail to author”. I cannot change the message on the button or in the email that the button generates.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The documentation is written in a kind of pigeon English that is sometimes difficult to understand.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The product needs more flexibility for users but the company is defensive about the software and not open to making any changes. When I voiced my opinion about the limitations of the product I got this response:
    <o:p> </o:p>
    “Your complaints seem far-fetched because the realization of features you complained about (as the removing of annoying window from Trial/Demo feature) leads to fatal destroying of the product tasks and goals.”
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The software business is about more than just writing code. Software needs to be adaptable to customer needs and I have found that Xcell is not.
    <o:p> </o:p>

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    I always perk up when I get a notification someone has posted to this old thread.

    It is just world-class amazing to me that someone hasn't created a Baler for Excel.

    The price range should probably be several hundred dollars and have at least these features of the old BalerXE.

    There are just too many instances within a business where you cannot use a full out program like Excel. Computer literacy is still not up to any level of competency we all might have expected.

    The program should require full knowledge of a spreadsheet program like excel to develop applications, but the application itself should have very minimalized programming. Creating dlls and such is too much for this type of application.

    The application is not for programmers. A programmer would just program with a database type development package in lieu of a spreadsheet compiler, but too much of the data would be static.

    It is the enormous flexibility to use dynamic manipulated data very efficiently that makes a spreadsheet compiler worthwhile. The finished program would have a simple gui interface and reporting.
    Last edited by domineaux; Dec 10th, 2009 at 08:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    Could not agree more.

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    I am confused about this thread. What exactly is a Spreadsheet Compiler, and what does it do?

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    The discussion started with a nifty old program called Bailer that was used with Lotus 123. You would create a Lotus 123 spreadsheet model and use Bailer to compile it into a freestanding .exe file. You could send the .exe file to someone with no knowledge of spreadsheets and no copy of 123 and they could open it and plug entries into the unprotected cells to crunch numbers using your original formulas and sheet structure. They could not see your formulas or change anything about the functioning of your spreadsheet.

    Xcell is a modern substitute for Bailer that sits on top of Excel instead of 123. It has the potential to be a big improvement over Bailer because it adds some commercial features like copy protection and free trial versions that would allow you to sell your Excel models but it has some terrible flaws that make it unusable (see my previous post). Also, unlike Bailer, the end user must have Excel running on their computer to in order to open the XCell files.

    Too bad, so sad, Bailer is gone and XCell can't get the job done.

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    Lockxls works well and has an expansive feature set. http://lockxls.com
    XLtoEXE is free and available at: http://cpap.com.br/orlando/XLtoEXEMore.asp?IdC=Help

    Both are workbook compilers but still require excel.

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    Thanks for the suggestions smartsource.

    LockXLS looks VERY promising. They seem to have the exact opposite business attitude of Donex. They are actually eager to hear suggestions and actually make the promise to incorporate any suggested changes in the very next release. What a difference!

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunCam View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions smartsource.

    LockXLS looks VERY promising. They seem to have the exact opposite business attitude of Donex. They are actually eager to hear suggestions and actually make the promise to incorporate any suggested changes in the very next release. What a difference!
    Good to hear... LockXLS support has been outstanding.
    Well documented change logs and their price seems fair for a commercial product. The XLtoEXE has some unique features and is worth taking a look at too.

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    Default Re: Excel Spreadsheet Compiler?

    Hi Domineau and all on this thread

    I was a Baler XE and then Visual Baler user until Baler Software Corporation of Rolling Meadows, IL discontinued business. It was unique in that I could create engineering and financial applications in Lotus and then compile them into totally secure, standalone EXE applications. I could shed the spreadsheet appearance, have my own splash screen, limit user navigation and control the number of menu items that appeared to the user. It was a 16 bit application that had a Windows 98 appearance to the tabs but it did offer 3D functionality as I recall.
    It worked under Windows 2000 as I last recall but I have not tried it under XP. Were it to work, it would still have the Win 98 feel to the menuing.

    A Chicago-based businessman bought up the rights to the application but sold it as a cash cow I believe. They did nothing to invest in nor advance the application. I might even have the name of the guy somewhere, if someone has an interest in buying the rights and developing it.

    There is simply nothing available today that performs as did Baler. It was way ahead of its time. I have seen so many applications that enable one to compile a spreadsheet but losing that spreadsheet feel is not available as far as I know. All these software applications still require the presence of Excel in order to function which is annoying. (Does anyone know if I were to develop an application that uses Excel, would I need to pay MicroSoft royalties should I sell my application?)

    I have found a possible complement but not replacement. Spreadsheet converter at this link.. http://www.spreadsheetconverter.com/...FQ7FsgodDjjSHA

    It will convert the spreadsheet to Java and this could be embedded in an HTML page which I could then compile into a self executable using for example, Webcompiler 3 (I have been using this software for quite a few years). They are at this link.. http://www.x2net.com/webcompiler/index.htm. I plan to test out Spreadsheetconverter shortly and can post results to this thread.

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