Until our Samuel Johnson(s) (two Erics) have a better Samuel Boswell, this is my attempt to identify the documentation and functions which Eric Baelen and Eric Lescasse have created to aid us in using Excel.
Eric Lescasse says all these tools use the Microsoft Excel.Application Active Object and its huge hierarchy of sub-objects. The difference between the two approaches is that he developed TExcel5 as a stand-alone APL+Win "object". You can use TExcel5 as if it were a standard APL+Win object (Form, Frame, Button, ...) with wi. Basically, Eric Baelen's Excel utilities are similar to methods and properties of the TExcel5 object. Both utilities allow you to pilot Excel from APL and make it do almost everything you want.
Among its many possibilities, Eric Lescasse often uses TExcel5 for preparing sophisticated application reports. When doing so he does not show TExcel5 (i.e. Excel) and the Excel print engine is working in the background without anyone knowing that Excel is doing the formatting and printing for APL. Doing so you can prepare reports from APL, as nice as the best things you could do with Excel.
Here are the papers documentating Eric Baelen's Excel facility as presented in our annual user conferences.
See Eric Lescasse's website for documentation on TExcel5.
Here are Fred Waid's comments.
Utililizing the Excel application from APL has for some years provided an excellent tool for both displaying data and even as an interface to parts of an application in some cases.
Since Microsoft has made the OWC Grid (Office Web Component Grid) available, we can now instantiate Excel as a grid on an APL form. Microsoft has also dramatically enhanced both the display capabilites of Excel in Grid format and the ways you can interact with the user.
For those who do not have Microsoft Office 2000 or later, there is a display only version of the OWC Grid which is freely downloadable from Microsoft. This is similar to the Shockwave player you use to display Flash documents in the browser.
Another great resource with the OWC Grid is the ability to display complex presentation graphics and create them on the fly from data.
We also leverage the OWC Grid by supporting it in our APL+WebComponent product. This means that you can use the OWC Grid in your application, and then publish that application to the web for use in browsers, with all the benefits of Excel incorporated as a Grid in your forms. When someone uses your application in the browser, if they have the OWC Grid, it will just work, if they do not they will be prompted to download the free (display only) version from Microsoft, just as Shockwave is offered for download from Macromedia when a Flash document is included in a web page.
Overall, the new OWC Grid from Microsoft is a valuable tool in your creation of new applications which need Grid features and enhanced graphiing capabilities.
If you are considering creating an application using the OWC Grid, either as a standalone application or to be published to the web, because of their early experience in this area, Lescasse Consulting can be an invaluable partner in creating a successful project.
Also see old text: Nuptuals for the pvPlayer & Excel which includes comments from Davin Church.