(C) 2009 - 2014 by Mourad Louha · All rights reserved

If you are using SkyDrive for storing your Office documents, you have probably already discovered the features for sharing your files with other people. And perhaps you have also read on some blogs how to embed an Excel file to your website. Recently, the Excel Team has created the possibility to interact with an embedded Excel file by using JavaScript.

In this blog post, I will describe how to embed and interact with an Excel file from SkyDrive. For this, I uploaded a web app compatible version of my workbook for my Excel formula translations and then I implemented some JavaScript Code to change values in the embedded file.

The workbook includes five worksheets: “Info” just includes some info’s about me, “Formulas” lists the formulas in the different languages, “Compare” can be used for comparing the formulas in two languages, “Languages” includes the list of available languages and “Resources” allows to select between the three languages German, English and French for the interface of the workbook. My goal was now to allow to the user to select the two languages for comparing the formulas and to switch from one interface language to another.

Learn and explore

Microsoft has recently launched the website “Excel Mashup”, where in addition to learning materials and tutorials you will also find some very interesting code samples. The site also lists the most important links to the MSDN documentation about the JavaScript object model, methods and properties for the Excel Services.

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Yesterday, I translated and published my article how to access to the Technical Preview of the Office Web Apps. Today, I will write about my first impressions of the Excel Web App. If you are not already participant to the Office Web Apps TP, please read the article Office Web Apps Technical Preview where you will find some explanations how to register for and use the TP.

Let’s now have a look at the Excel Web App. First, I login to Windows Live and navigate to SkyDrive as you can see in the following picture. As I’m usually using Windows Live in German, I had to change the language to English. If you don’t know how to change your language, this is also explained in the article mentionned above.

ExcelWeb App

For the current test, I used the Firefox 3.5 Browser. On one hand, I was curious if the Excel Web App will work properly in another browser than the Internet Explorer and on the other hand, Firefox is quite common in Germany. Let’s navigate to the folder „My Documents“. Then we have to click on „New“ and select „Microsoft Excel Workbook“ for creating a new workbook.

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A few days ago, I wrote this article in German, here is now my translation for our english speaking friends. According to the Microsoft Office 2010 Newsgroup and the Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering Blog, the Office Web Apps have been made available and can be tested. Even if they primarly targeted a selected group of users, with a little trick, everyone who has an account on Windows Live can get access to the Office Web Apps.

At this stage, only Excel, Word, Powerpoint and OneNote are available. Actually the functionality is modest, but I think, they are working hard at Microsoft to implement more functions. By the way, according the french blog Backstage 2010, the official names of the apps will be „Excel Web App“, „Word Web App“, „PowerPoint Web App“ and „OneNote Web App“. The suite will be designated „Office Web App“.

Office Web Apps

In the rest of this article I will describe how to get access to the Office Web Apps TP from a German Windows Live account. As you probably know, I am participating in the technical preview of Office 2010. So, for testing if I can get access to the Office Web App from a regular Windows Live account, I created a new one.

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Two days ago (July 1st, 2011), we started our forum for a German speaking audience and unlocked the user registration. We would like to thank to all developers from “Simple Machines” for creating a great forum software which is easy to administer and also already has a pleasant default layout.

Office365 Forum

We have created categories including forums for the Office Web Apps and for the e-Mail, calendar, team and communication features of Office365. A category offers forums for discussions about the administrative tasks in Office365. Another category is provided for collecting tips and tricks, book and website recommendations from our users and for linking to news from Microsoft about Office365.

The next steps will be to create a specific design, of course standards compliant, and to add some interesting features for the forum. I am also preparing the migration to a new provider as the current provider unfortunately does not satisfy my needs.