Today’s business applications must deliver timely information that can be analyzed in a variety of business file formats. While file format components aren’t a new concept, the application of them has been best suited to desktop applications that require a lot of memory. GrapeCity is setting a new standard by providing lightweight, high-performance components that operate at the server level so information sharing and distribution can be achieved faster and more reliably.

“GrapeCity has always focused on delivering quality UI components that accelerate data presentation, analysis and visualization,” said Issam Elbaytam, chief software architect at GrapeCity. “Our products enable developers to get data out of information silos so it can be shared with others in an efficient and timely manner.”

Toward that end, GrapeCity is announcing the GrapeCity Documents product line that includes GrapeCity Documents for Excel and GrapeCity Documents for PDF. By the end of the year, similar products will be available for Word. Additional file formats will be supported in the future.

Share information reliably

The hyper-connected modern world isn’t necessarily reflected in the ways enterprise applications behave and business processes flow. In a typical information-sharing scenario, if one person needs a document reviewed, they’ll send a PDF for review or an Excel file that enables the recipient to manipulate the data. Information from different departments or different offices needs to be combined into a master document. To do that, the original documents are sent to a central location where they’re cut and pasted into a master document and then sent out for review and analysis. With GrapeCity Document products, the aggregation of information can occur programmatically at the server level, which saves time and effort and also reduces manual errors.

“We felt this was an area where we could add some value, especially in the up-and-coming .NET Core and cloud environments where high performance and memory efficiency are critical,” said Elbaytam.

GrapeCity Documents for Excel is available now. An interesting feature of GrapeCity Documents for Excel is its ability to generate fast JSON files. The files are basically spreadsheets in JSON format that GrapeCity’s SpreadJS JavaScript product can consume. The capability allows developers to build end-to-end spreadsheet application solutions for budgeting, risk analysis, corporate performance management, and many other business use cases that require data collection from a database, spreadsheet generation, presentation in a browser and editing capabilities in an Excel-like environment. Conversely, the data can be sent back to the server. That way, developers can embed a controlled, Excel-like environment in their applications.

In addition, GrapeCity Documents for Excel enables developers to use spreadsheet functionality as a very lightweight Azure or Lambda function, so instead of writing code to execute on the server, developers can write a spreadsheet as dynamic code that is injected on the server. That approach is ideal for use cases that require dynamic calculations such as sales commissions, payroll, tax and even complex financial models.

“Our Spread and ActiveReports products focused on doing one thing very well. The new Documents product line includes both types of functionality and more,” said Donald Williamson, operation manager, development tools at GrapeCity. “For example, you can have sales reports, all in different formats, coming in from five different places that can be compiled into one master sales report.”

GrapeCity Documents for PDF will be introduced at Microsoft Build. The product generates and distributes PDFs at the server level, including master templates. With it, pieces of information, including charts and graphs, can be merged into a PDF.

“The PDF library includes a comprehensive graphics and text layout, and rendering engine to generate really precise PDF documents,” said Elbaytam. “It also supports TrueType and OpenType fonts and multiple languages, and does all of these things in a fast, memory-efficient way.”

Both GrapeCity Documents products also include a rich barcode library and a data visualization add-on to make business documents as informative as possible. Importantly, the products enable developers to build complete business document management solutions that are stable and performant.

For example, in a benchmark test of 1.5 million randomly generated cells, GrapeCity Documents for Excel was able to generate it in about one second.

“Our components help developers achieve more in less time,” said Elbaytam. “We tackle the difficult problems so our customers can focus on delivering high-quality business solutions on time and on budget.”

Many vendors transfer the burden of customer support to their developer communities to cut costs at the expense of developers who need fast answers to important questions. GrapeCity’s forum is supplemented by a dedicated technical support team that provides personalized services so developers can meet increasing end-user expectations within expected time frames.

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