Technical White Paper - 21 Ways to Use Spreadsheets in Your ...

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Jul 14, 2012 (5 years and 4 months ago)

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Technical
White
Paper



















21 Ways to Use Spreadsheets in
Your Java Applications
Spreadsheets are used to present data in an
understandable format, provide intuitive interfaces for
data collection, deliver fast calculations and report and
analyze data from databases and other sources. This
functionality is put to use by businesses of all sizes and
vertical interests.

Similarly, the e.Spreadsheet Engine Actuate Corporation
is implemented in various manners in numerous
industries. But unlike desktop-bound spreadsheet
applications, e.Spreadsheet Engine delivers its
spreadsheet functionality with a powerful spreadsheet
engine and separate GUI spreadsheet interface that can
be embedded in server and client applications through a
robust API that offers a high level of flexibility and
customization.






Actuate Corporation
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Notice
The information in this white paper is proprietary to Actuate Corporation ("Actuate") and may
not be used in any form without the prior consent of Actuate.
© 2005-2006 by Actuate Corporation. All rights reserved.
Actuate Corporation trademarks and registered trademarks:
Actuate, e.Analysis, e.Report, e.Reporting, e.Spreadsheet, Internet Spreadsheet, Live Report
Extension, ReportCast, Report Encyclopedia, Reporting Engines, SmartReports,
Spreadsheets Everywhere, Tidestone and XML reports.
All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.



February 2006





















Actuate Corporation
701 Gateway Boulevard
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Tel: (800) 884-8665
http://www.actuate.com/espreadsheet



Actuate Corporation
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Table of Contents
Introduction.........................................................................................................4

Examples of the e.Spreadsheet Engine’s Usage............................................5

About the e.Spreadsheet Engine......................................................................5

Banking...............................................................................................................6

Analysis and Reporting.................................................................................6

Excel Reporting.............................................................................................6

Insurance.............................................................................................................6

Reporting and Analysis, Data Entry and Validation......................................6

Insurance Rating Automation.......................................................................6

Finance................................................................................................................7

Analysis and Reporting.................................................................................7

Fund Processing...........................................................................................7

Portfolio Management...................................................................................7

Education............................................................................................................7

Data Entry and Validation.............................................................................7

Government........................................................................................................8

Time Card Reporting....................................................................................8

Energy.................................................................................................................8

Billing and Invoicing......................................................................................8

Analysis and Reporting, Cost Estimating.....................................................8

Pharmaceuticals.................................................................................................9

Analysis and Reporting.................................................................................9

Manufacturing.....................................................................................................9

Sales Forecasting.........................................................................................9

Supply Chain Management..........................................................................9

Retail....................................................................................................................9

Inventory/Product Management....................................................................9

Analysis and Reporting...............................................................................10

Securities..........................................................................................................10

Fund Processing.........................................................................................10

Risk Management.......................................................................................10

Stock Trading..............................................................................................10

Software............................................................................................................11

Analysis and Reporting...............................................................................11

Inventory Management...............................................................................11

Conclusion........................................................................................................11



Actuate Corporation
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Introduction
Spreadsheets are used to present data in an understandable format, provide intuitive
interfaces for data collection, deliver fast calculations and report and analyze data from
databases and other sources. This functionality is put to use by businesses of all sizes and
vertical interests.
Similarly, the e.Spreadsheet Engine from Actuate Corporation is implemented in various
manners in numerous industries. But unlike desktop-bound spreadsheet applications,
e.Spreadsheet Engine delivers its spreadsheet functionality with a powerful spreadsheet
engine and separate GUI spreadsheet interface that can be embedded in server and client
applications through a robust API that offers a high level of flexibility and customization.
The e.Spreadsheet Engine appeal is widespread because it is highly compatible with Excel
without any reliance on the Excel application itself. This enables businesses and corporations
to deliver tightly integrated, spreadsheet-driven applications that do not rely on VBA or the
Excel application to be present in their deployment environment. It has also enabled
numerous businesses to save time and money by leveraging recent advances in Java IDEs
and application servers as well as the vast data and knowledge users and developers have
accumulated with Excel spreadsheets over time.











Actuate Corporation
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Examples of the e.Spreadsheet Engine’s Usage
The chart below indicates a sample of industries where the e.Spreadsheet Engine has been
deployed, in what kind of applications it is being used and the solutions it provides.

About the e.Spreadsheet Engine

The e.Spreadsheet Engine has evolved from an ActiveX component when it was first
delivered in 1993 to a powerful, 100% Pure Java component today that developers use to
embed spreadsheet functionality in projects deployed from J2EE application servers as well
as Java desktop client applications. During its 10 years of existence, more than 40,000
developers and millions of users have used this technology in applications worldwide.
The following pages provide snapshots of 21 real-world deployments since mid-2001and the
industries where they are used. For more information or free trials of the e.Spreadsheet
Engine, please visit http://www.actuate.com/espreadsheet
or contact our Sales Department
at essales@actuate.com
, (800) 884-8665.


Actuate Corporation
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Banking
Analysis and Reporting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides a powerful spreadsheet engine on client and
server
A bank in Boston uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine in an application that performs bond-
spread analytics. The e.Spreadsheet Engine was an ideal choice for the application because
it is written in Java and therefore could not use Excel as an integrated technology. It also
required a spreadsheet engine on the server for calculations and a client-side spreadsheet
engine with a robust interface for its users that could be put into a browser.
Excel Reporting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides a powerful spreadsheet generation engine for
Java based application
A banking institution in San Francisco uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine as part of a Java
based application to deliver reports to their analysts as Excel reports. These internal analysts
leverage these reports to do analysis and determine the credit worthiness of their commercial
clients. Because of their expertise in using Excel, the bank was able to accrue substantial
time savings by delivering rich Excel reports that include the requisite formatting, functions,
pivot tables and passwords all built-in.


Insurance
Reporting and Analysis, Data Entry and Validation
The e.Spreadsheet Engine is used in a multi-tier architecture for calculations and to
generate Excel-based reports
An insurance company in California uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine to manage the data of its
online offerings. The e.Spreadsheet Engine is used to accept data input from within a
browser, generate reports in Excel format for distribution to customers and to perform
calculations relating to insurance ratings and risk analysis.
Insurance Rating Automation
The e.Spreadsheet Engine is used to leverage the Excel expertise of the
organization and automate the ratings process
An insurance company in Florida uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine to automate its ratings
process. The company’s actuaries build and maintain their ratings models within Excel
spreadsheets. Prior to using the e.Spreadsheet Engine, the IT developers would recode this
spreadsheet logic in Java code to provide access to internet users. Each time a change to
the logic was required, the Java code also needed to change, causing substantial downtime.
They have since enabled their Java infrastructure with the e.Spreadsheet Engine allowing
them to leverage existing Excel based models and when a chance is made to the actuarial
spreadsheet, no changes to the Java environment are required.

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Finance
Analysis and Reporting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine compiles and delivers server-side reports to Excel clients
A leading global financial firm based in New York uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine to
generate server side financial reports. Overnight, data from the previous business day’s
activity is collected on the server from numerous sources and compiled into the
e.Spreadsheet Engine for analysis. The results are saved as Excel files and sent by email
through the JavaMail API to numerous managers before they arrive at work every morning.
The managers then use the reports in Excel on their desktops for further analysis and
forecasting.
Fund Processing
The e.Spreadsheet Engine delivers scalable calculations to Sun servers
An investor services company in Colorado uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine as a
calculation engine in an application that provides stock data to its customers through the
Internet. This particular company already had a vast knowledge of spreadsheets but was
looking for a way to leverage its existing Sun server hardware where Excel can’t be used. In
this case, the e.Spreadsheet Engine’s cross-platform spreadsheets are used server-side to
calculate a constant stream of stock data. The results are available at any time to any user
with a browser.
Portfolio Management
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides tabular and graphical data presentation
A financial asset management company uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine spreadsheets
and charts to graphically display the data of its clients’ stock portfolios in real time. The
application supplies a live stock feed to the e.Spreadsheet Engine in real time. The numbers
are displayed in the e.Spreadsheet Engine’s tabular interface on the top half of the screen
while charts display the data graphically in the lower half. The combination gives portfolio
managers up-to-the-minute information on their customer’s investments.
Education
Data Entry and Validation
The e.Spreadsheet Engine is used to deploy custom user interfaces and validate
data input in browsers
A publisher in New York uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine as the basis for an online textbook
that teaches algebra to college students. The e.Spreadsheet Engine is used to present
problems, accept data input and validate answers in users’ browsers. In the application, the
e.Spreadsheet Engine’s graphical spreadsheet interface is modified to resemble the pages of
a regular textbook.

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Government
Time Card Reporting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides the necessary user interface and reporting
abilities to move a paper-based timecard system to the web
A city government in Wisconsin uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine as a data entry
mechanism and report writer in an online timecard reporting system. The e.Spreadsheet
Engine spreadsheet has been modified to mimic the city’s old paper timecard. This new
eTimecard is deployed in a browser, accepts input from workers and validates their data. On
the back end, the e.Spreadsheet Engine is used to connect to an Oracle database to
generate reports of the submitted hours for payroll clerks. Overall, the city has shaved hours
of work per week and thousands of dollars per month with its new the e.Spreadsheet Engine-
powered system.
Energy
Billing and Invoicing
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides client-side data input and server-side
calculations
A utility company in California uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine as the backbone of a billing
and invoicing system for its largest customers. In this instance, the e.Spreadsheet Engine is
used to calculate the energy bills of its customers by leveraging an existing Excel model that
includes multiple worksheets and hundreds and thousands of calculations. The Excel file is
managed and maintained by the business team while the IT team manages the
infrastructure.
Analysis and Reporting, Cost Estimating
The e.Spreadsheet Engine acts as a report writer, producing volumes of information
in seconds
A petroleum company in Europe uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine in a custom application
that determines the costs of drilling oil wells. Users enter the location of a possible drill site
into the application. The e.Spreadsheet Engine then plugs the values into preformatted
worksheets and performs an analysis of the proposed location including numerous
calculations that take travel, manpower, equipment and other expenses into consideration.
In addition to calculations, the e.Spreadsheet Engine provides users an easy-to-understand
tabular interface for presenting the data as well as providing developers the high-level of
control they require for generating the reports, some of which are 60 pages in length.


Actuate Corporation
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Pharmaceuticals
Analysis and Reporting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine allows for tighter integrated and easier use
A genetic engineering firm in Arizona uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine to embed complex
spreadsheets in a web-based analysis application that helps develop new pharmaceuticals.
Prior to using the e.Spreadsheet Engine, scientists who used the application would waste
large amounts of time stepping outside of its framework and into Excel to compile and
leverage the enormous spreadsheets required in their field. With the e.Spreadsheet Engine,
the application delivers the compiled spreadsheets natively, simplifying the process for the
scientists.
Manufacturing
Sales Forecasting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine enables company to build spreadsheet-based reporting
system without relying on Excel’s presence on desktops
A St. Louis branch of a major computer hardware and software manufacturer uses the
e.Spreadsheet Engine in a sales forecasting application for its regional managers. The
e.Spreadsheet Engine is used for data entry and calculations as well as for reporting sales
forecasts to the company’s headquarters in a spreadsheet format. The whole system runs
without reliance on Excel, which was a requirement because of the proliferation of non-
Windows desktops.
Supply Chain Management
The e.Spreadsheet Engine compiles data and creates Excel files on servers that
users access with browsers
A manufacturer of integrated circuits and processors in Texas uses the e.Spreadsheet
Engine in an intranet application that reports supply chain information to upper management.
The e.Spreadsheet Engine is used to compile data on the server and save it in spreadsheet
format. Upper management can download the data to an Excel file on the local machine
through a browser.
Retail
Inventory / Product Management
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides an understandable interface within a custom
application
An outdoor clothing and home accessory company based in the Northwest uses the
e.Spreadsheet Engine to facilitate data entry and to report inventory levels in a product
allocation application. This application is used in the company’s corporate headquarters to
track and place products into all of its more than 600 retail stores in the US, Canada and
various worldwide locations. Using the e.Spreadsheet Engine, the company is able to provide
its internal users a familiar spreadsheet interface from within the application, thus lowering
training time.

Actuate Corporation
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Analysis and Reporting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine automates a once-tedious task of reporting sales figures
A consultant in New Jersey uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine to automate the process of
reporting sales figures to upper level management. In the past, the consultant’s client, a
national retailer, had hired a clerk to generate 12 sales reports off the company mainframe.
From there, the clerk would sort through the hundred pages of reports and insert specific
information into an Excel spreadsheet, which was then circulated to vice presidents and other
managers. Because of the volume of the data involved, the report was only generated once a
week. To help automate this process, the data was parsed to a database. A trial solution
involving using Excel and COM proved to be too slow, some times taking as much as an hour
to process. The e.Spreadsheet Engine, however, was able to produce the same report in
about two minutes. As a result, the report is now generated once a day.
Securities
Fund Processing
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides embedded spreadsheets and faster calculations
than Excel
A mutual fund company in Boston uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine as a replacement for
Microsoft Excel in an application that processes daily asset valuations for numerous
NASDAQ funds. The e.Spreadsheet Engine’s component architecture allowed for a higher
degree of customization than Excel and the ability to embed the e.Spreadsheet Engine’s
spreadsheet engine increased the application’s processing speed by 30 times.
Risk Management
The e.Spreadsheet Engine enables a back-end Excel application to be used on the
web
A securities processing company in Minneapolis uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine to web-
enable an existing Excel-based application that performs risk management. In this case, the
company’s Excel-powered legacy application could not be made accessible to users on the
web because of bandwidth concerns and because not all the clients had Excel or even
Windows. The e.Spreadsheet Engine, which is cross-platform that can read and write in
Excel file format, is used to deliver Excel files to any user through a browser while passing
the incoming Excel data to the Excel-based application on the back end.
Stock Trading
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides a lightweight, logical interface for displaying
data.
A securities company in Europe uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine to display real-time stock
data to its traders on the floor in a familiar spreadsheet format. The company used the
e.Spreadsheet Engine because its lightweight footprint was a good match for the traders’
hand-held computers, which are limited in memory.

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Software
Analysis and Reporting
The e.Spreadsheet Engine provides an embedded spreadsheet for deployment on
the web
A software company in San Francisco uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine in its web server
traffic analysis application. In this use, the e.Spreadsheet Engine spreadsheets are populated
with thousands of rows of information as users visit a customer’s site. After the data is
collected, the e.Spreadsheet Engine is used to analyze traffic flow patterns and to update
databases with the results. The e.Spreadsheet Engine provided the storage space required
for such an application, yet in the form of an embedded spreadsheet engine that could be
deployed over the web.
Inventory Management
The e.Spreadsheet Engine saves users time and eases maintenance by producing
an integrated system
An information solutions company in Pittsburgh uses the e.Spreadsheet Engine in an
application that manages the inventory of cable television networks. The company was able
to deliver a tightly integrated solution by incorporating the e.Spreadsheet Engine for its
spreadsheet functionality and eliminated the time-consuming data and system problems
associated with many non-integrated systems.
Conclusion
As you can gather from reading the customer examples, the Actuate e.Spreadsheet Engine
can be leveraged in many different ways to automate spreadsheet processes from a Java
environment. If you have questions about how the solution can help you automate any
existing manual Excel based process within our organization, please contact our
e.Spreadsheet Engine Sales Department at (800) 884-8665 or essales@actuate.com
.

FREE 30-Day trial versions, demos, and documentation can be found on our website at
www.actuate.com/espreadsheet
.