Why can’t I open two workbooks with the same name??

This is a pop-up that’s sparked multi-minute-long rants which always result in a profanity-laden diatribe against seemingly arbitrary rules in general and Microsoft in particular. When I joined the company, it was with a mandate to figure out why this is the case and fix it. I’m happy to report that I’ve determined the answer to…


Loading Excel Add-Ins at Runtime

When automating Excel, the Excel.exe process should be started using the ‘/automation’ switch. This is done automatically when creating a new Microsoft.Interop.Excel.Application object, however if you want to keep track of the Excel processes created you may have to create the Excel process and then get a reference to the application associated with that process….


AppFabric Caching and HPC

I recently published a white paper about how to integrate Windows Server AppFabric Caching with Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 to provide an in-memory cache capable of supporting the data demands of many distributed applications. The  paper walks through the setup and configuration of an AppFabric Caching subsystem, the development of an application leveraging HPC’s Service Oriented…

HPC Services for Excel Video

We’ve put together a really slick video which goes through what the HPC Services for Excel does and why it’s useful. All in less than 5 minutes! The production values are great and it introduces the feature in a way that’s interesting and easy to follow. If you’re even casually interested in how Excel can…

HPC Launches on Wall Street

Several of my HPC colleagues are in NYC this week for the official launch of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, which includes the new HPC Services for Excel among other great new features. Check out the latest and greatest from HPC and Microsoft’s new Technical Computing initiative here.

Instant Search is Easy

Apparently some people thought Google’s new “Instant Search” feature, where searches are performed as you type, was pretty slick. Then they wrote their own using the public Bing APIs. You can play with it at binginstant.com. It’s always funny when features touted as revolutionary turn out to be really simple to throw together.

Excel Workbook Offloading Beta Transition Guide

Excel Workbook Offloading Beta Transition Guide The Beta 2 release of Windows HPC 2008 R2 that was made available this past spring included the first public release of a feature allowing developers to take a computationally intensive workbook, add some VBA code, and run it on a cluster entirely within the workbook. By implementing a…

Excel on HPC Resources

We have a new one-stop shop for all the HPC Services for Excel documentation and training. The Windows HPC and Microsoft Excel Survival Guide has everything from high-level overview and training to how-to guides and code samples. Check it out!

Workbook Offloading Versioning Plan

In Microsoft HPC Server 2008 R2, we offer HPC Services for Excel 2010. As part of this feature, we provide a framework for running Excel workbooks on a cluster through the ExcelClient component. As this is a developer framework which we expect to support in future versions of HPC Server, we have developed a comprehensive…

Testing Access to Excel Workbook

One of the common problems people may run into while offloading a workbook across a cluster is making sure that all the compute nodes can see the workbook. When the workbook is simply inaccessible (not deployed or shared), this is very clear from client error messages. However, if only a subset of the compute nodes…