Excel is probably Microsoft’s most popular developer tool. With a built-in functional programming language that now supports lambdas and variables, Excel has become a tool that people build businesses around, using it to manage and explore large amounts of data. With spreadsheet-based prediction models running in major banks, it’s not a stretch to say that large chunks of the global economy depend on Excel.
But there’s one big problem with Excel applications: They’re hard to use and certainly hard to build into a modern application. That complex simulation you spent months building might be ideal in a line-of-business application, but it’s a stand-alone application, not designed for use as a service that can be consumed by other code. Instead of automating predictions or analysis, your spreadsheet is still part of a manual workflow.
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