Last year I posted a review of the QueryCell Excel add-in from Oak Focus Software. A few weeks ago, the developer of QueryCell let me know about a new add-in he’s developed called TableCell, a simplified version of QueryCell. Actually it was several weeks ago, sorry Sam – I’ve been a lot slower getting to this than I hoped.
Anyway, TableCell requires beta testers to do beta testing, so if you would like to help out (and get yourself some free trial software) head on over to TableCell and take a look. Basically the idea is to allow users to read from and write to database tables via ODBC. I’ve had a play and it will allow you to do just that, but not a lot more – it’s not a developer tool, it’s more aimed at the user who needs to do simple monitoring and updating without in-depth knowledge of either SQL or the data model in the DB. I see the same strength in the UI that I see in QueryCell, i.e. it’s polished, intuitive and requires minimal effort to get used to. Connecting to a DB is very easy – the one thing I would have liked to see and didn’t was a list of available tables. I know that introspection adds on a bit of overhead but in my view given the audience I see this add-in aimed at it’s probably worth it. It also requires the user to enter the name of the table’s primary key to extract data.
That’s all for now – upcoming posts over the next month include a review of some open data sources, a new Python/Excel hookup, and a brief how-to on XML data sources in Excel, which I’ll be using to build a simple currency converter.