Data Types as a Platform

Excel is the most widely used tool for working with and storing data in the world. We are constantly amazed by the creative ways Excel can be used by you, our customers, to make better business decisions.  

 Until recently, Excel has only had a couple of base types of data you can work with, such as text and numbers. We have been on a multi-year journey to up-level the types of data you can work with natively in Excel, and you may have seen examples of this already. The first was the introduction of the Stocks and Geography “data types.” These linked data types meant for the first time, a single cell in the grid could contain a live, connected, and rich set of information about objects like stocks, currencies, cities, and countries.  

 Last year, we expanded on this vision by allowing customers to work with their own data as a data type. For Power BI customers, Excel will automatically connect to Power BI, and any data you have published will be easily discoverable and flow into Excel as a structured data type from Power BI. If you do not have Power BI, you can still leverage the Power Query technology in Excel to manually connect to dozens of data sources, and specify that you want the data to be structured as a data type through Power Query.  

 Now, we have taken linked data types to a whole new level again and are giving developers the ultimate freedom to build in Excel. Later this month, we are giving you a new JavaScript API in Excel, available in preview. This new API allows developers to create their own custom data types containing images, entities, arrays, formatted number values – backed by their own custom data sources, in addition to allowing for the creation of custom functions which can make use of these new Excel Data Types, both as inputs and outputs. 


Using one simple function that references the identifier you are looking for; you no longer need to decide what dimensions you want up front. 

These more flexible structures give you the ability to organize complex data as objects and expose this data to users in more natural ways, while still providing easy access to the full information users care about for their analysis or reporting.  


with Data Types, all the information related to a given item is stored with it allowing developers the freedom to re-imagine their experiences. This gives you all the data at your fingertips and puts you in control of your analysis so you can do it how you want when you want to.Data Types store all information related to an item, allowing developers to re-imagine their experiences. This allows you to access all data and gives you control over your analysis, so you can do it the way you want, when you want.

Additionally, customers will be able to create their own add-ins, or extend previously existing ones to utilize the power of data types, resulting in a more integrated and next-generation experience within Excel. You can share the power of data types across your entire organizations and create add-ins or solutions which can connect data types to your own service or data. 

with Data Types and custom functions, you can easily alter your query and see even more details than are shown in the immediate analysis. Additionally, rich images can be contained within the image and extracted at the click of a button.With Data Types and Custom Functions, you can modify your query to see more information than what is shown in the immediate analysis. Rich images can be included within the image and extracted by clicking a button.

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