Socialtext Adds Spreadsheet to Wiki Socialtext Wiki Gets Built-In Spreadsheets

Leading commercial wiki vendor Socialtext has just added spreadsheet support. This is a very interesting development and substantially enhances the value of a wiki. For example:

  • Spreadsheets are used as a convenient tool for many nonfinancial applications, such as simple databases and presentation graphics.
  • Multiple people can work on the same spreadsheet. Among other things, that substantially reduces the number of bugs.
  • Users can get notifications of changes through the standard wiki notifications.
  • Different spreadsheets can be linked.

The capability was developed with Dan Bricklin, co-developer of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet.

This is the only full-function-spreadsheet-in-a-wiki of which we are aware. We hope such capabilities become the norm.

David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Posted August 11, 2008 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    There are several vendors who offer this type of functionality:

    Central Desktop (www.centraldesktop.com) also has Online Spreadsheets, which is built on a wiki platform. Central Desktop has had this functionality for a couple of years.

    Jotspot (acquired by Google), now Google Sites, has online spreadsheets.

    Atlassian’s Confluence wiki product has this type of functionality as well.

  2. dferris
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

    There’s spreadsheet integration and spreadsheet integration. My impression is that the level of integration and seamlessness that Socialtext provides is substantially greater than with other wiki spreadsheets.

  3. Posted August 12, 2008 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Hello David. Thank you for the write up. You are correct when you mention “the level of integration and seamlessness” being the real value. Socialcalc is not just about “adding online spreadsheets to our platform”. The structured format of rows and columns is a very effective way of entering information, but when you combine that with the editing, commenting, tagging, and revision control of wikis, you have a real winner. One of the most amazing things about the integration is that Socialcalc cells can contain wiki markup! That enables you to do things like page includes inside cells! The reverse is also true. A regular wiki page can reference cell values from a spreadsheet. That means teams can work together collaboratively on capturing information, and then a dashboard type page in Socialtext can reference details (like the results column) from the spreadsheet without having to show the entire sheet.

    Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in learning more.

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