ExcelGrid: A .NET Plug-in for Outsourcing Excel Spreadsheet Workload to Enterprise and Global Grids
IntroductionSpreadsheets are powerful business analysis tools as they are applicable in a wide range of areas including business, science, education, engineering etc. A spreadsheet is readily adaptable for problems that are iterative, recursive, or tabular in conceptual format and enables users to tinker with values of variables, constants, and step size and to explore the tempting "what if?" type of questions in the problem-solving process. Such parameter studies create numerous scenarios for exploration leading to an exponential increase in processing power requirements. These kinds of analyses take several hours or even days of processing time on desktop computers with regular spreadsheet applications. Such large-scale processing requirements can be met by peer-to-peer/desktop/enterprise and global grids , as they allow harnessing computational resources such as desktops, servers, clusters which are distributed geographically. ExcelGrid helps in extending Microsoft Excel from the desktop to enterprise and global grids as they provide the benefits of improved job execution speed and result in getting processing done faster. It provides a front-end to a grid via Excel spreadsheet and performs user-defined computations on enterprise grids created using Alchemi and global grids built using Gridbus coupled with Globus, UNICORE and also Alchemi technologies. It allows users to run jobs on remote computers, using an easy-to-use GUI, and retrieve the results via the standard Excel spreadsheet interface.
- Ability to run parametric-sweep applications composed using Excel, on remote systems
- Simple GUI interface to select / compose jobs, and launch them on the grid.
- Reads input from cells in a spreadsheet
- Ability to monitor running jobs, and retrieve the results back to Excel spreadsheet
- Support for Gridbus broker and Alchemi middleware
- No changes to the spreadsheet or additional programming / macros are needed
- Microsoft .Net Framework v1.1
- Microsoft Excel XP (2002) or higher
To install ExcelGrid, unzip the downloaded file to a directory, and run the setup.exe file found in the setup directory. This launches a standard Windows installer, and provides options to select installation location etc.
The Team Members
- Dr. Rajkumar Buyya (Chief Investigator)
Krishna Nadiminti (Active Developer) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Yi-Feng Chiu
- Nick Teoh
- Akshay Luther
- Srikumar Venugopal
- Krishna Nadiminti, Yi-Feng Chiu, Nick Teoh, Akshay Luther, Srikumar Venugopal, Rajkumar Buyya, A .NET Plug-in for Outsourcing Excel Spreadsheet Workload to Enterprise and Global Grids, Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Advanced Computing and Communication (ADCOM 2004, December 15-18, 2004), Ahmedabad, India.
Download ExcelGrid Software
We are pleased to announce the initial release of ExcelGrid along with source code under the
GPL license. Please click on a link below:
If you would like to become a member of the Gridbus community and want to extend or make use of it, please let us know. We welcome your participation and encourage you to become co-author of future versions of the software.