Datawatch just announced the availability of Monarch V.9.0 which has the ability to output rich spreadsheet reports on data leveraging SpreadsheetML: http://www.datawatch.com/datawatch/news.asp?display=detail&id=128

This is pretty cool because they take advantage of the 300 pages of spreadsheet function documentation in the OpenXML standard to help create super rich reports. They don't just output the raw data, but also provide rollups leveraging spreadsheet functions.

Here's a list of some of the benefits they get with SpreadsheetML as identified on their website:

  • Enhanced Exporting to Excel – The Monarch V9 new Excel exporting engine runs up to 5X faster than previous versions.
  • Summary Export to Excel – Formulas, outlining and conditional formatting have been implemented for summary export to Excel.
  • Open XML Spreadsheet Support – Monarch V9 can export Excel 2007 OpenXML spreadsheets (xlsx), allowing users to take full advantage of the new functionality and dramatically increased spreadsheet capacity of Excel 2007.
  • Summary Sub-totals and Grand Totals Export to Excel as Formulas – Monarch V9 now exports the values and formulas, allowing users to make revisions to Excel files without worrying about sub-total/grand total errors.
  • Excel Autofilter – Users have the option to automatically invoke the Excel AutoFilter when they open an exported file in Excel.

I'm expecting we'll see more and more data providers leveraging SpreadsheetML to provide much richer reporting than was possible before (and with much less overhead). Rather than doing the calculations themselves, they can just specify the function and the consuming spreadsheet application will perform the calculation. This is also true for things like charts and pivot tables. We've definitely come a long way from the basic CSV file J

-Brian