Microsoft Excel And Azure RemoteApps … How About A Full-Featured Version Of Excel On Every Device?

I recently posted here about the opportunities for Access Developers in the Azure RemoteApps technology.  I know that it will cost your clients a bit more than the free ride they have been on with Access (some of them for decades – I know – I have several like that).  But the possibility of a continued life for your Access apps that you have invested so much time and effort into and which despite all the nay-sayers you probably run a huge chunk (if not all) of your business on cannot be ignored.

But there is another shoe to drop and here it comes …

Excel 2013/2016 running on Azure RemoteApps offers everything that Microsoft says they want to get eventually get to with their Office for Windows “thingee” – but it offers it RIGHT NOW !

And this with all the Data capabilities, PowertPivot, PowerQuery, VBA AND “touchy-feely” capability on every kind of device you want be it Apple Macbooks or iPads or IPhones or any Android Device and EVEN on Microsoft Windows phones and tablets (go figure) AND EVEN ON YOUR PC !

I have migrated an Excel model from client Excel which uses Data Connections to fill PowerPivot tables from a SQL Azure Database and I can not only view it but also run Slicers and VBA code in it and refresh my data on any of these devices as well.

Here is a picture of an Excel file running on my MacBook Pro:

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 11.23.30 AM

Keep in mind that this is fully functional including VBA and Data Connections.  It is actually displaying data retrieved from a SQL Azure Database when I click the button in the middle.  Pretty simple but works on my Mac ..

Here’s the same file on my iPhone 4s (yes I’m still going blind using a 4s 🙂 ) … It hasn’t broken yet so I keep using it…

Excel_I4SLiterally the same file … when I switched to my iPhone it disconnected my Mac and took me right to the open Excel file just like in WTS (which RemoteApps bascially is anyway).

One of my BIG worries is that with the release of the “dumbed-down” Windows for Office version of Excel some EVP or “C-level” boss will get sent a file from their office with VBA and data features and other cool stuff that doesn’t exist in the NEW version and all hell will break loose when the file simply won’t work on his iPad or his Windows Phone.  How do you explain this?  How did Microsoft not think that this would become an issue?  that’s what throws me 😦 ..

So in conclusion (although really this is just the beginning) if you want to use Excel on all your devices Azure RemoteApps can deliver a REAL Excel file to you now (with all the “touchy-feely” stuff you really need and VBA and data connectivity too).

Check it out at :


About Biggus Dickus

Dick is a consultant in London, ON Canada who specializes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Development.
This entry was posted in Analysis Services, Business Intelligence, Cloud, Excel, Excel 2013, Microsoft Excel 2013, Office 2013, Office Automation, OLAP, PowerPivot, Spreadsheets, the Cloud, VBA and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Microsoft Excel And Azure RemoteApps … How About A Full-Featured Version Of Excel On Every Device?

  1. Henson Rogers says:

    Hi, Dick. Would you be able to offer some info on the particular Azure options or specs needed to access/use Excel/Access/VBA? In either a testament to my ignorance, or Microsoft’s complexity in regard to Azure (hoping for the latter), it isn’t very obvious what exactly is needed, or the total cost involved. But, the concept is very intriguing.

    Thanks, and I very much enjoy your blog!

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Wow – this could be a game changer for some of my clients – please provide more details as you dig under the covers – thanks for publishing this!!

  3. Do you need to buy the premium option to run excel with macro

    • Biggus Dickus says:

      I assume you mean that one person would be required to buy at least 5 licenses using the Premium option? If so yes … Sucks but cheaper than 20 I guess. 😦

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