Remember Excel Clippy, the little bugger that popped its head out every time you were required to make an auto format on your Excel file? As controversial as Clippy’s real use was, it had good intentions.
Like Clippy, Spark Assistant is designed to guide you inside your Excel spreadsheets in a helpful (and not annoying) way.
Converts Excel logic into API in seconds!
First, let me introduce you to Coherent Spark, a cloud-based logic engine that helps you convert Excel logic into smart APIs in seconds.
From designing your rate tables to mapping inputs and outputs, you need to take a few steps on your Excel spreadsheet to run it through Spark.
You probably want to review your file every time you make a change, and take a sneak peek at the API without accessing Spark. As brilliantly made as Spark is, it is outside the spectrum of Excel. Spark Assistant is designed to bridge this gap between the two – Excel and Spark.
Spark Assistant is feature-packed!
Spark Assistant is an Excel add-in that you can install via your Office 365 account in a few clicks. Once installed, you will have access to some exciting features such as quick uploading of a spreadsheet when new updates are made, comparing different versions, or even building rate tables with an outlier analysis tool.
Allow team collaborations
Spark Assistant is divided into modes that help different team members use features specifically built for them. For example, a product team building an insurance product with riders can use the Edit mode to map their inputs and outputs, add in solvers, and even run them via Spark Assistant to test for any possible warnings or errors on Spark – all before even uploading your file! And a QA team can use the Test mode to compare an open Excel’s outputs against those on a live API on Spark!
Enable quick uploads
Spark Assistant also offers the ability to upload straight from your Excel file. No one better understands the pain of changing product features on an Excel model after every QA round than us! Don’t worry about logging on to Spark and going through the upload process to update your API. You can simply log in to Spark Assistant and hit the Quick Upload option. All you need to provide is a simple release note for a version upgrade on Spark, and your API is updated.
Easily compare changes
What’s more – to review changes and make sure everything is in place, use the compare feature to understand how your version of a file may differ from someone else’s. As one of our hero features, it allows you to view any new named ranges that have been added, deleted, or changed. You can also assess if any cell has been affected due to a change in any input or output. A summary file can be generated and shared.
Other exciting features include testing APIs quickly and matching outputs from an open Excel file with outputs from the Spark API, checking for upload warnings and errors, reviewing tables to make sure they follow a specific linear trend and finding outliers, etc.
Test against existing test bed
I’ll give you one more – testing against an existing test bed on Spark! Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? If there is a test bed that you’ve already run on Spark and generated results, you can use Spark Assistant to generate a new test result using your open Excel’s outputs for the same set of inputs, and then compare the two test result files. It’s a crossover with our latest testing center that you never expected!
Spark Assistant Excel add-in is completely secure and only allows Spark users to enter, which means nobody who isn’t on your Spark project is allowed to make changes to your files. Only your office admins have access to install it, and you can choose who gets access to the add-in.
Every new feature goes through a strict QA process to make sure your files are protected, and no unintentional malware makes its way through. The intent behind Spark Assistant is to allow users to build error-free files on Spark and make sure their APIs are confusion free!
Spark Assistant is available to all Spark users and can help with configuring your Excel files, uploading them to Spark, reviewing the API as well as making sure the login is ready to be integrated. Version control becomes a lot easier and allows different teams to work together.
Excel is now one step closer to becoming your favorite app with Spark inside it. Get in touch with us to find out more.
Associate Product Manager for Coherent Spark
Sadhana is a Associate Product Manager for Coherent Spark and helps build new features and updates on the platform. She has been a part of the team since it's initiation and owns vital pieces including the Spark Assistant, User Management and others. Apart from being primarily involved with the developers and designers in product development and user onboarding, Sadhana is very hands-on with the release cycle and deployment management processes for Spark and manages User Guide updates and release communications to customers!