Microsoft adds JavaScript API to Excel. Microsoft unveiled an update to Excel that adds a new JavaScript API to the classic spreadsheet software at its Ignite 2021 conference on Nov 2, 2021. Developers will be able to construct custom data types and methods using this new API.

Over the last few years, Excel has begun to add a variety of new data kinds, first allowing users to draw in stock and geography data from the cloud, then Power BI and Power Query data types, which allow users to deal with their own data. Developers can now go a step further by defining unique data types that are relevant to their businesses.

Microsoft Excel only permitted two types of data, text, and numbers, until recently. Instead of simple strings of text or numbers, cells can now hold far more complicated elements such as content cards, pictures, matrices, arrays, and more.

We have been on a multi-year journey to up-level Excel’s possibilities with data types—first with the introduction of the Stocks and Geography data types and last year with the release of Power BI and Power Query data types, which allow customers to work with their own data as a data type.

Microsoft said in thier blog post.

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Bloomberg uses the new JavaScript API in Excel to bring information to their users
Bloomberg uses the new JavaScript API in Excel to bring information to their users. Image from Microsoft

Microsoft has taken linked data types to a whole new level, allowing developers to design in Excel with complete freedom. A new JavaScript API for Excel will be released in preview later this month. Developers may now create their own unique data types including images, entities, arrays, and formatted number values, all supported by their own custom data source using this new API. It also enables the implementation of custom functions that use the new Excel Data Types as both inputs and outputs.

Microsoft has already partnered with Bloomberg to help them test these new data kinds. These more flexible structures allow you to organize complex data as objects and display it to users in more natural ways, while still allowing users simple access to the entire information they need for analysis or reporting.

Customers will also be able to create new add-ins or enhance current ones to take advantage of the power of data types, resulting in a more integrated and next-generation Excel experience. You can use data types to empower your entire company by developing add-ins or solutions that connect data types to your own service or data.

Microsoft is offering consumers and developers the ultimate power with this new API, allowing them to better organize, access, and work with their data.

Easily analyze data from your organization.
Easily analyze data from your organization. Image from Microsoft

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