Online web spreadsheets – iRows

Online web spreadsheets – iRows

Those of you that actually know me, know that I spend a good bit of time encouraging students to learn Excel. It’s a tool that is almost guaranteed to be on your computer whereever you work, and let’s you do some very powerful things.

For instance, in the Logistics and Supply Chain area (my specialty) you can use Excel to compute inventory levels and reorder points, transportation costs, break even points, and the like. With Solver, you can optimize transportation network flows, evaluate more complex inventory models, and assess various production level alternatives. I also like that VBA is embedded, allowing all sorts of neat and cool tricks (we can talk about those some other time!)

That being said–you are tied either to your computer’s hard drive, or to a thumbdrive for data storage, and you will have to have access to the office suite on every computer you intend to use. That can get quite expensive, if you have several computers at home, for instance.

Now along comes this site. provides you the opportunity to develop spreadsheets online, and store the data online as well. Is it as robust and feature rich as Excel? Apparently not, but hey, that’s for us to request from them later!

The creators of iRows have laid their philosophy out:

* Software should not be installed. Everything should be web based. Well, maybe not 3D games, but most desktop software can and should become web based. * Cool and intuitive software. Software should be easy to use, without a need for a manual. User interfaces should be cool, the cooler the better.

So my questions for you, dear class, are these:

1. Should software migrate to a web-based delivery system?
2. If so, what software would you like to see made available in this way?
3. Would you want to store your data on their server?

I look forward to hearing from you all! (yup…both of you! LOL)