Excel Add-in for Table-Valued Functions (Finaquant in Excel)

Excel Add-in for Table-Valued Functions (Finaquant in Excel)

This Excel add-in named Finaquant in Excel that you can install within a minute makes Matrix, Vector and most importantly, Table-Valued Functions of .NET Library Finaquant Cals available for Excel users and programmers.

Table Valued Functions in .NET

Uncommercial: finaquant® protos Commercial: finaquant® calcs
Uncommercial .Net Library with Table Functions
- Non-commercial & free .net library
- Analytical Table Functions with in-memory tables as input and output parameters (like standard formulas in excel)
- Table computations without any sql-based database programming
- A framework for user-defined Table Functions (like user-defined formulas in excel)
- Ability to calculate and store all the table valued parameters of multiple calculation instances in a relational database like MS SQL or MySQL – more info & downloads
Calculation Engine based on Table Functions (.NET)
- All the features and Table Functions of the non-commercial finaquant® protos, plus Calculation Nodes and Networks for enhanced automation, performance and modularity (Calculation Engine)
- Integration of table and matrix computations for applications like scenario analysis, estimations and predictions
- Can be used for applications like Business Analytics & Intelligence, Commission & Performance calculations, Simulations & Optimizations – more info & downloads

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How to Apply a User-Defined Function on Rows of a Table in Excel

Though simple in use, Transform Rows with UDF (User-Defined Function) is one of the most powerful and versatile table functions. With this function you can manipulate every field of a table row as function of all other fields.

A user-defined function (valid C# code) is applied on every row of a table (Row Transformer). User-defined function can contain anything including if statements and other structures, provided that it is a valid C# code. Hence, a user-defined function is more than a user-defined formula.

In order to try the following examples yourself you need to download and install Excel add-in for table-valued functions (Finaquant in Excel).

As an example assume you have cost and margin tables as shown below. You want to obtain a new price table with costs, margins and prices, where:
price = costs x (1 + margin) Continue reading

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Empowering Excel with Table Valued Functions

We are currently working on an Excel add-in named Finaquant in Excel that will make all the Matrix, Vector and most importantly, Table Valued Functions of finaquant libraries available for Excel users and programmers (macro, VBA).

Excel Add-In: Finaquant In Excel

Table Valued Functions will transform your Excel into a Business Intelligence Tool, as Business Intelligence is all about:

  1. Table Valued Functions
  2. Data Visualization (reports, pivot tables, charts..)

Note that the so called OLAP functions (slice-and-dice, aggregate, drill-down etc.) are only a small subset of the table functions available in finaquant libraries.

Typical table calculations like Commission, Performance, Bonus, Financial Planning and Forecasting will become a matter of one-week configuration and testing with the table functions in Excel (rather than expensive software projects) provided that your machine can handle the performance and data size requirements.

Video: Installing and Testing Table Functions in Excel
Video: Installing and Testing Table Functions in Excel

We offer all the related code for the Excel integration (based on NetOffice and Excel DNA) as open-source software to .NET developers. Even though we develop this add-in specifically for the integration of finaquant libraries (Finaquant Protos and Calcs) it can also be used for other integration projects as well due to its general features for excel and .NET integration.

The beta (draft) release of this Excel add-in (Finaquant in Excel) is already available for download (see table below). I recommend Excel users to have a look at the visual User Guide with the examples I selected for getting started.

Installation

Download Description
FinaquantInExcel_beta104.xll Excel add-in (Finaquant in Excel) for Table-Valued Functions, beta release R104, incl. basic matrix functions (digitally signed by Finaquant Analytics GmbH)
IntroToFinaquantInExcel.pdf Introduction to Table-Valued Functions in Excel (add-in), release 30 Oct 2014; a Visual Guide with table function examples and developer notes.
FinaquantInExcelDemo.xls Demo Excel file with a worksheet named Parameters for Getting Started
FinaquantInExcel_beta104.zip Zip package with Excel add-in (xll file), excel file with a sheet named Parameters for Getting Started, and Visual Studio project for developing the add-in (open source)

Prerequisites for installing the Excel add-in:

  1. MS .NET Framework 4.0 (normally comes with Windows operation systems for free)
  2. MS Office Excel 2000 or above

Download and unzip the zip package to your document folder:
Content of zip pack Finaquant in Excel

  1. Open the Excel file FinaquantInExcelDemo.xls with the sheet named Parameters
  2. Go to Developer-tab (normally between View and Team), click on Add-Ins button, browse to the add-in file FinaquantInExcel_beta101.xll and press OK

Installing Excel Add-in Finaquant in Excel Continue reading

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Testing Table Valued Functions with LINQPad

LINQPad is a lightweight software development tool for .net developers that can be installed easily within a minute. LINQPad users may find it practical to test table-valued functions of finaquant’s .net libraries Finaquant Protos or Calcs directly in LINQPad, especially for running queries on input and output tables. This is quite easy as the following steps will illustrate.

Table Functions with LINQPad

How to run demo queries with table functions in LINQPad

Download Description
LINQPad_demo_queries Demo queries (scripts in C# and VB.NET) for finaquant’s table-valued functions

1) Download and install LINQPad
How LINQPad is defined by its developer: Querying is merely a special case of using LINQPad. More generally, LINQPad is a C#/VB/F# scratchpad that instantly executes any expression, statement block or program with rich output formatting and a wealth of features that “just work”.

2) Download and install one of the .net libraries with table-valued functions, Finaquant Protos (free) or Finaquant Calcs (commercial).
All the demo queries (i.e scripts) in LINQPad can be run with both libraries, excluding the Commission Calculation example which requires Finaquant Calcs.

These libraries include high-level methods (of class MatrixTable) with table-valued parameters, as often required in analytics or business intelligence. Continue reading

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Building a Web Service that Receives and Returns Data Tables

As you will see below, it is quite easy to build a web service with the Web API Framework (ASP.NET), which:

  1. receives data tables from a web client as input parameters,
  2. makes some analytical operations on these input tables using table-valued functions,
  3. returns some resultant (output) tables to web client as output parameters.

web service that receive and return data tables

Download Description
WebService_MatrixTable MS Visual Studio 2012 project Web Service (.NET 4.0)
WebClient_MatrixTable MS Visual Studio 2012 project Web Client (.NET 4.0)

Application Examples

As you can imagine, you could implement a variety of data processing services with such a web service which is capable of receiving and returning data tables (of type MatrixTable). Here are some examples: Continue reading

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