Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Google Spreadsheets

Category: Google, Showcase

Many have talked about the new Google Spreadsheets, a very rich online spreadhseet system.

Our first impressions are that it is very clean and works as advertised, but isn’t that different from the other online spreadsheet apps (and there are many). However, since it is Google, it will leapfrog a bunch of these.

If you want a simpler excel that you can share, this may be for you.

However, what data will be you be willing to share? Your companies bottom line?

And as Steve says, where is the search?.

It is great to see more and more rich applications look seemless on the web.

Google Spreadsheets

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:07 am

4.1 rating from 41 votes


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Collaborative spreadsheets are the AJAX killer app du jour. You have to believe that an intranet version of this is on the way.

Comment by Dietrich Kappe — June 7, 2006

google sucks!

Comment by sitemaster — June 7, 2006

“However, what data will be you be willing to share? Your companies bottom line?”

You’re not sharing with the world. Your sharing with a select chosen group.

Comment by Hashim — June 7, 2006

The first link is broken.

Comment by Matthew Ratzloff — June 7, 2006

were are the charts?!

Comment by kit — June 7, 2006

Attempting to compete against Excel without Pivot Table functionality is fundamentally problematic. And when I refer to “Pivot Tables” I am not referring to data hosted in worksheets that are local to Excel. I mean the powerful ability to bind to remote data sources via technologies such as ODBC.

In the modern Web era we are increasingly exposed to data via loosely coupled data sources such as many of the Web 2.0 style “points of presence”, and it is this kind of binding via an Ajax based spreadsheet that would genuinely introduce functionality worthy of comparison with Excel with the advantage of data binding in a modern context.

To see what I mean you can take a look at the Ajax based pivot table which is bound to remote DBMS hosted data via a technology (from my company) called “Ajax Database Connectivity” at: (username: demo and password: demo)

You can see a collection of Ajax Database Connectivity demos via the directory browse listing at:

The full story about this use of Ajax and the broader OpenLink Ajax Tookit for Database Centric Ajax apps. is covered on my blog (with some screencasts to boot, with more to come).

Comment by Kingsley Idehen — June 7, 2006

BTW – The demo links work best with Firefox, IE (maybe) and Webkit (instead of current Safari if using Mac OS X)

Comment by Kingsley Idehen — June 7, 2006

The link to my web (aka blog) in my earlier posts contained a typo. The link associated with this post is correct (i.e. )

Sorry for the multiple post :-)

Comment by Kingsley Idehen — June 7, 2006

[…] M (sarcastically): That is a great idea! How long before you think Google takes GIMP and ajaxifies it and releases it? Look it’ll have Photoshop import/export! […]

Pingback by The Woodwork » Blog Archive » Google and the Desktop — June 7, 2006

uses Prototype framework supports formulas and graphs. Woot.

Comment by Mario — June 7, 2006

[…] Ajaxian » Google Spreadsheets: wow! Its like Visicalc in Ajax! So this is progress? […]

Pingback by Ajaxian » Google Spreadsheets at — June 7, 2006

However, what data will be you be willing to share? Your companies bottom line?

But Google spreadsheets is being targeted at the home market (at least at first) – so it’s more about sharing things like “Little League Tables” (as the sneak peak shows) rather than next years budgets for SuperMegaCorp.

All the “but business users won’t want to use this” comments I’ve been seeing everywhre make about as much sense as people saying that “business users won’t want to use gmail” – while there may be business targeted version of spreadsheets in the future, it’s not that way now – just like how when gmail came out it wasn’t for business users and it still isn’t – the “business gmail” is sort of a seperate product. I guess people forget that spreadsheets aren’t just a business tool. My main question about Google Spreadsheets is will it force Microsoft to launch a free “Live Excel” and will that cause Microsoft to canabalize itself?

Comment by Scot — June 8, 2006

Pivot tables are not about dynamic data sources although those can be used. Pivot tables are about summarizing data easily.

Comment by Matthew Musgrove — June 8, 2006

I’m not a big spreadsheets fan, so when I got my invite, I pottered about for a minute or two and lost interest. Yes, it seems to work OK, but spreadsheets aren’t exactly a ‘killer’ app.

I didn’t realise there was so much competition in the arena though. What with Gmail and Google Calendar, I think I’ve reached the threshold for private information I’m willing to share with any one company!

Comment by Gerard @ Interweb World — June 8, 2006

Dan Bricklin and WikiCalc

Trackback by David's blog — June 10, 2006

Is the information on these things private? As in, can Google people read calendars and spreadsheets? Are they excluded the same way those not chosen for sharing are excluded?

Comment by Anna — October 11, 2006

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