Add ‘Export To Excel’ With Power Query To Your Application

There’s an old joke about “Export to Excel” being the most important feature of any BI tool. In fact, I’d say export to Excel is one of the most important features of any enterprise application of any type. Of course the reason we joke about it is that we know it’s a Bad Thing and the starting point for all kinds of manual, error-prone and time-consuming business processes – but even though we know there are much better ways of achieving whatever it is the user wants to do, they still want to export to Excel.

So wouldn’t be good if you could export to Excel and instead of getting a static copy of the data, you could get a table connected to a Power Query query which in turn connected back to the original data source, so it could be refreshed whenever the user wanted? After all, pretty much everyone nowadays has a version of Excel with Power Query in it (even, with some limitations, Mac users). It’s always been possible to build yourself but technically difficult. Recently, though, I became aware of a JavaScript library developed by the Excel Power Query team called “Connected Workbooks” that makes it extremely easy to do this. You can find out more about it here:

https://www.npmjs.com/package/@microsoft/connected-workbooks

https://github.com/microsoft/connected-workbooks#readme

So if you’re adding export to Excel to your application, or know someone who is, check it out!

2 responses

  1. It takes users years of culture change since the launch of excel in 1992. Let’s hope it would take less years for the ‘new tech’ to be understood and adapted?

  2. Would be great if Microsoft reanimates the power of the Multi-Dimensional Model (MDM). MDM cubes work fabulous with Windows Excel. Too sad that Mac Excel users still not have the ability to connect to MDM cubes. Export to Excel when data resides in MDM cubes would generate very small but powerful files. Missing Mosha Pasumansky and George Spofford who seem to have lost the war against Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari. We need you back!

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