Turns spreadsheets into applications.
Two-year-old Sydney-based startup Sumwise has created a programming engine that it said could eliminate the problem of errors in complex spreadsheets.
The Sumwise engine turned a spreadsheet into an application that locked formulas within cells. A user could enter variables into a Sumwise spreadsheet but couldn’t change the formulas themselves, said Sumwise CEO Darren Miller.
“The traditional problem with Excel (is that) things break, so people don’t trust other people’s spreadsheets,” said Miller, who has a background building financial models for the finance industry.
A study by Coopers and Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) found that 91 percent of spreadsheets contained errors, Miller said.
“We’ve built this engine that lets you build these smarter, simpler spreadsheets. Because this is an ‘appified’ spreadsheet there is no way to make a mistake,” Miller said.
The Sumwise engine was still in beta and was not ready for general sale, though it had a handful of applications on its website and was being tested by several companies, Miller said.
The startup was working on improving the processing power of the tool, which was limited to working on spreadsheets of up to 200 rows, said CTO Gary Miller, Darren’s brother.
“All the work is done in the browser, (so) the problems we can resolve can only be a certain physical size,” Gary Miller said.
Darren Miller said the company was creating libraries of spreadsheet applications for specific industries. Sumwise had built six applications for mortgage brokers which were testing their performance.
Darren Miller said spreadsheet users from other industries were welcome to submit requests for applications.
“If you use 10 spreadsheets and keep recreating them, we will turn your spreadsheets into custom applications. They will still function as spreadsheets but they won’t fall down as Excel does,” he said.
The company planned to make libraries available for sale next year.