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Using complex Excel as a backend



There are few questions regarding this topic, but haven't found exactly this scenario. Lots of complex Excel models are already present within companies and have a lot of time and IP invested in them. Especially in financial modelling, it is really hard to stop using Excel. However they are quirky for managers, end users etc.


It will be great to have an option to use PowerApps as front-end data input, feed the data into existing excel files and read the output back to the app. I know that there are many complex topics to be addressed, but basically when we do all the data validation on the front-end, I see no huge obstacles in implementing this.


"Replatforming" of complex Excel calculations is not viable, the Powerapps formula language is far more simple.


Is there a roadmap for such functionality or a workaround?





Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

Hi @milos 


I've been developing Excel applications for 8 years and just started into PowerApps last year. What I can say is that an app in PowerApps is a far more user-friendly approach to apply for end- users especially when they are not used to spreadsheets. For the complex calculations, yes Excel probably has way more built-in functions, but I managed to develop my PowerApps with workarounds that you may conveniently search in the Power Apps community forums. One thing to note is since you are talking about financial modelling, that PowerApps has pretty basic built-in charts. You have to know PowerBI to make more complex charts and integrate it in your app.

Hi @Adrian_Celis ,


thanks for the reply. We have implemented many workarounds successfully, but this is really about the niche of complex multi-sheet, formula-heavy excel "apps", where there is no ROI for replatforming. But there is a great advantage for business users to have a better UI on top of those huge files.


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