In recent years, organizations have begun embracing the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model as an outsourced approach to integral business components such as spreadsheets and office documents. While there are definite ROI benefits to that approach, the current offerings consist of vertically integrated product stacks controlled by giant internet firms.
The benefits of cloud computing may be clouding the vision of decision makers faced with losing physical control of their data. Extentech is addressing these growing concerns head-on with our release of Sheetster, a pure-Java AJAX spreadsheet document, integration, and mashup platform.
In our ongoing commitment to professional open source, we are also releasing
the Sheetster spreadsheet web application under the AGPL. Having access to the source allows developers to customize and extend the web application and organizations concerned with compliance and privacy can be totally confident that no keyword tracking or other unwanted third-party code is being executed in the browser.
On the server side, Sheetster stores data as XML in the database of your choice, so you always retain total control over your data.
Sheetster is an all-Java spreadsheet application server supporting JSP/Servlets as well as integrated spreadsheet and data services functionality including:
- Advanced server-based spreadsheet automation and functionality
- Customizable Java Swing GUI with Object-Relational Mapper and Visual Query Builder
- An intuitive REST API with JSON/XML/HTML/CSV and of course XLS output
- Sheetster Spreadsheet web application (source included)
- Secure content management system
- ExtenXLS Java Spreadsheet SDK + Cellbinder automation API
The Sheetster Administration Console allows you to:
- Design Relational Data Objects using a Visual Query Designer and Object-Relational Mapper.
- Map Data Objects to spreadsheet templates.
- Output in a variety of formats including JSON, XML, and as Excel-compatible XLS.
Using Sheetster for Integration and Web Services
Not only does the Sheetster REST api allow Extentech to create the high-performance and feature-rich Sheetster web spreadsheet, but by exposing the core functionality of the ExtenXLS SDK as web services, developers can save countless hours by not reproducing formula logic and reports in Java.
For example, you can create a VLOOKUP formula in a web spreadsheet that performs a complex lookup. Automatically, the calculated result of the VLOOKUP is available through a simple REST URL as a web service. Accessing the calculated value from any application via the URL is trivial.
With Sheetster, there is no need to reinvent the wheel with Java or C#, and maintaining the lookup table in a spreadsheet UI could not be more intuitive or simple. Calculated values can be accessed by any application -- including apps written in Ruby, C# or VB.net.
Add the capability to map data from databases and XML feeds to the referenced formula cells, and you can see how powerful using the REST api in your apps can be.
Other uses of the REST api:
- Publish data-mapped spreadsheet cells as Web services, thus leveraging your spreadsheet calculations as a secure formula engine within Web2.0 apps
- Open the doors to a vast array of high ROI use cases where spreadsheet logic and reporting can be rapidly integrated with your applications.
- Engage business users and management in the development process by reusing the business logic that they define in their spreadsheets directly from your application code.
The Sheetster Open Source Web Spreadsheet
Sheetster is tightly integrated with the Sheetster Spreadsheet Server, DataObject Mapping, and ExtenXLS 6. This provides a comprehensive Web2.0 spreadsheet toolkit for developers wishing to integrate spreadsheet functionality and live data grids in their web applications without reinventing the wheel.
During the next few months, we will be introducing three versions of Sheetster:
- Sheetster Collaboration Edition -- Available as a freely redistributable ad supported product.
- ExtenXLS 360 Professional Edition--For Web developers and small businesses -- includes a full year of unlimited phone and email support as well as all upgrades.
- ExtenXLS 360 Enterprise Edition --Get complete access to spreadsheets from Java using the ExtenXLS SDK, and server-side data mapped spreadsheets with an embeddable AJAX charting engine -- includes a full year of unlimited phone and email support as well as all upgrades.
Download the Free Collaboration Edition Now!
Click here for detailed information on the capabilities and features of Sheetster.
As always, we welcome your feedback and thank you for your continued support!
CEO, Extentech Inc.
& The Extentech Development Team