Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 5: What Is a Spreadsheet Application?
What Is a Spreadsheet
In This Chapter
● Getting a working definition of a spreadsheet application
● Understanding the difference between a spreadsheet user and a spreadsheet developer
● Classifying spreadsheet users to help you conceptualize the audience for your applications
● Discussing why people use spreadsheets
● Exploring a taxonomy of the basic types of spreadsheets
For the purposes of this topic, a spreadsheet application is a spreadsheet file (or group of related
files) that is designed so that someone other than the developer can perform useful work without
extensive training. According to this definition, most of the spreadsheet files that you’ve
developed probably don’t qualify as spreadsheet applications. You may have dozens or hundreds of
spreadsheet files on your hard drive, but it’s a safe bet that most of them aren’t really designed
for others to use.
A good spreadsheet application has the following characteristics:
h It enables the end user to perform a task that he or she probably would not be able to do
h It provides the appropriate solution to the problem. (A spreadsheet environment isn’t
always the optimal approach.)
h It accomplishes what it is supposed to do. This prerequisite may be obvious, but it’s not
at all uncommon for applications to fail this test.