I have been playing around with Office “12” and SharePoint “v3” and I am quite surprised of how easy it is to view and interact with Excel Spreadsheets in a browser thanks to Excel Services. I needed to build a site and share with my team our content plans for Office “12.” I had an Excel file that I wanted to share so I added an Excel Web Access web part that allows my peers to interact with an Excel 12 Workbook as a Web page. This is way much better than sending around my file by email!
If you have the time, you can build a Web site to display an Excel Spreadsheet. The following are six different approaches you could use to display an Excel Spreadsheet (or at least its contents) on a Web page:
- Web page 1: Save your Excel Spreadsheet as an html file and add an html IFrame to a Web page to embed your Spreadsheet. This option requires Office Web Components.
- Web page 2: Use ADO and the Microsoft Excel Driver.
- Web page 3: You could also databind your Excel Spreadsheet to an ASP.NET datagrid to display the content of your Spreadsheet as a table.
- Web page 4: Copy and paste your Excel Spreadsheet to Visual Studio and it will be rendered as an HTML table. To simple and you will lose functionality such as sorting and filtering).
- Web page 5: Buy a third-party component that will build web pages for you, such as SpreadsheetGear.
- Web page 6: Use an ActiveX control such as DSO Framer Control Object to host Excel inside your Web page.
If you were using a SharePoint site, you would also need to build a web part that displays any Web page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and this would take you longer. Using Excel Services, it took me less than a minute to add and configure a web part that displays an Excel Spreadsheet.
If you want to learn more about Excel Services, don’t miss the opportunity to read David Gainer’s blog. By the way, one of the Excel Spreadsheets that I wanted to share with my team is a growing list of Office “12” bloggers. I wish I could show you all a running Excel Services web part. I can’t run Excel Services in my blog so I went for the Web page 1 approach to share with you my Office “12” bloggers list.