Microsoft’s Excel API — which has been under a (short) beta as of now — is now available generally. The REST API lets developers access data stored in Excel spreadsheets and use it power up their apps. Oppositely, developers can automatically add data to an Excel spreadsheet with the help of their apps.

Announced first in November last year, the Excel REST API is a part of an overall Microsoft effort to open up Office 365, as a platform to developers. The company had announced plans to do so at its Build conference this year, and is now walking the talk. Like all other Office 365 APIs, Excel API would also be available via Microsoft Graph, the Redmond giant’s unified place to find all of its cloud service API endpoints.

Excel API could do wonders for developers building business apps. Excel and spreadsheets are something which act as oxygen for businesses globally. Corporates literally breathe and exhale data coming out of these spreadsheets, a a direct access to this data to provide more flexibility to the user could impeccably help in scaling up productivity.

Here are a few scenario, which Microsoft says could fins use of the Excel APIs by developers :

Excel as a calculation service

Users love the ease with which they can perform deep and complex calculations within Excel. Developers can now access Excel’s powerful calculation engine with instant results. For example, a mortgage calculator can take advantage of the PMT function from Excel—using a simple API call including principal, rate and number of payments.

Excel does all the heavy lifting and returns the monthly payment instantly. With more than 300 Excel worksheet functions available, you have full access to the breadth of formula supported by Excel today. Complex business models don’t need to be rebuilt repeatedly; developers can leverage Excel to perform those calculations instantly and retrieve the results with simple API calls.

Excel as a reporting service

Today, Microsoft is also giving developers full access to all of Excel’s reporting features—making Excel an online reporting service within Office 365. Imagine any of the reporting scenarios users rely on today pulled into a custom app to create professional charts or analyze large sets of data intelligently, seamlessly blending Excel into those customized experiences.

Excel as a data service

Excel is also a great tool to store and track data. If your information is stored in a workbook, that data is available to any app integrating with Office 365, making its contents available to read from custom solutions and enabling them to use Excel as the data storage.

The API is generally available starting today, and can be accessed via Microsoft Graph, right here.

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