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I need to find a way to allow users without Excel 2007 to interact with my spreadsheet. The file has some complex macros and VBA code, so it has to be Excel 2007/2010.

The users are offsite. Ideally, I want to send them a URL that links them to the spreadsheet. From there they can view, enter data, and interact with the spreadsheet.

Clarification: One solution would be to set up an Amazon EC2 instance with Windows Server, and install Excel on that, along with my Excel file. I could provide a user with the RDP information. They could then could log in and run the Excel file. Are there any better solutions?

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What does 'the cloud' have to do with your request? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 22 '11 at 17:25
I think by "Cloud" he means server based solution. "Cloud" is the way the hip new kids speak these days. Back in my day we didn't have clouds .. But I did have a onion tied to my belt which was the style back then – Peter M Mar 22 '11 at 18:19
@Peter M: Perhaps, but I didn't want to make assumiptions on age, or requirments based on broad hype-speak. I probably just should have said "Please define your 'cloud'". "And we called nickles bees". :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 22 '11 at 23:24
Just keep in mind that, unfortunately, if you go your EC2 or similar route, you'll need an Excel license for each 'concurrent' user. To enforce this, non-volume license MS Office (OEM or retail, for example) won't install on a server with Terminal Services (RDS) enabled. It should install and work with RDS disabled, using just the standard '2 admin account' RDP. Hopefully that will help more than my now-deleted answer. ;) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 22 '11 at 23:34

Are you opposed to utilizing SharePoint? I haven't used SharePoint super extensively but in my test runs with several projects, I've been able to successfully share Excel documents. Users check out/in documents and can edit the information. SharePoint also integrates nicely in a Windows Domain environment as well.

I'm not sure how you are setup, if you could deploy a SharePoint site from your network and your users may be able to access it via Internet.

There are quite a few ways to go about it.

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That won't help users who don't have Excel, although it may be a great way to deliver content to those that do. – AdamV Mar 22 '11 at 23:15
This was my error - I totally overlooked the part about users WITHOUT Excel... Doh! – RogueSpear00 Mar 23 '11 at 18:46

Executing complex Excel macros / VBA code without having a licensed copy of the proper version of MS Excel exceeds the proprietary nature of MS Office. Possible alternatives include:

  • Citrix (or similar solutions) which require multiple expensive licenses
  • Rewrite using OpenOffice, and suggest all users install OpenOffice
  • Rewrite it as a web or portal application, so users only require a browser
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