I would like to create a web application that steps a user through the building of an economic model, ultimately exportable as a complex multi-worksheet excel with calculations throughout. It would be dynamic, by which I mean earlier answers change the model for later answers. An example would be: step 1 - decide how many cost lines you will manage in the model and give each a name, step 2 to 4 - input details for the three cost lines you identified in step 1. The steps are always the same, the calculations are predefined, and the model elements never change in type, only number. At the tail end, you would run calculations across the model in order to produce reports. You could alternatively call the elements i. assumptions, ii. inputs, and iii. outputs. Users don't really need to interact with a spreadsheet - just simplified input fields or simple tables, with all calculations back end.

I'm also not looking for an online spreadsheet. The objective is to create a user-friendly input process that is a simple, neat web app UI intermediary to the model.

So here's the rub: I know that one answer is simply that this is a complex build assignment for a C++ programmer, meticulously translating a model to database friendliness and then additionally building a solution to export outputs to an excel document.

But is there really no pre-existing solution to building front end applications that directly leverage the capabilities or excel (or a similar spreadsheet solution - google etc.)? Not simply formatting a workbook and placing it on the cloud - but actually separating a native web experience for inputs from a full economic model?

Ignorantly yours, M.

2 Answers 2


Syncfusion Essential XlsIO can be used to pass values into Excel formulas and get calculated values. A web based interface using ASP.NET or similar technology can collect input from the user and then the values can be passed into XlsIO and the calculations can be done.

This sample takes input from the user and outputs an Excel file - integrating formula support from this other sample should help achieve what you need.

The whole suite of controls is available for free (commercial applications also) through the community license program if you qualify (less than 1 million USD in revenue) . The community license is the full product with no limitations or watermarks.

Note: I work for Syncfusion.


Paragraph 3 is correct: This is a programming problem.

You would create the user interface in some programming language. After gathering input and processing, then build or modify your spreadsheet.

For example, use Java and the Vaadin Framework to build UI in a web browser, process inputs in Java on the server side, then use a library such as Apache POI to build the spreadsheet.

You might consider using instead the LibreOffice suite and its API to control the app live in a programming language such as Java. Plus LibreOffice reads and writes the open standard Open Document Format (ODF) format which is legally unencumbered and fully-documented.

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