Bicore is a Dutch software company that develops and delivers the FLIGHTMAP portfolio management solution. FLIGHTMAP is a leading, web-based platform for portfolio management in high-tech, innovation, real estate, and other domains. It is in the market since 2010 and is constantly being updated to reflect progress in portfolio management best practices, as well as data analytics.
We have a small development team that builds new versions of FLIGHTMAP, extending its capability and supporting the user community. The main challenge for our team was to make the best use of our development staff by properly choosing “make-or-buy” for all functionality in the rich FLIGHTMAP environment.
FLIGHTMAP offers strategic portfolio management support. The typical environment in which the portfolio data and analysis are gathered and shared is the Office ecosystem:
- Data is collected, consolidated, and analyzed in spreadsheets
- Intelligence and status reports are available in Word and PDF text documentation
- Discussions and decision support is via slide decks in PowerPoint formal
By bringing consistent source data management, version and access control, and interactive analytics (what-if). The FLIGHTMAP enriches the decision process and increases its efficiency and effectiveness. However, embedding FLIGHTMAP in this process means it must interface conveniently with the existing Office documentation:
- Importing and exporting data from Excel
- Creating PowerPoint and Word reports in addition to the on-screen analytics
In line with the FLIGHTMAP easy to use promise, this functionality should be available to end-users without programming skills for building high-quality Office reports quickly.
Hundreds of users around the world need this reporting support in their FLIGHTMAP environment, so the reliability to cope with their specific Office locale settings must be properly addressed.
We have built a reporting feature into the FLIGHTMAP web application where users can click and point to charts, lists, and other data elements with one click. Then, our software builds the Powerpoint or Word document for them using the right calls to the Aspose.Total for .NET APIS. For the Excel export, users do not even need to point and click: whenever a grid is loaded on-screen, its content can be exported with one click to Excel.
Finding a solution
After some initial investigations, the complexity of the Office document environment was revealed and we decided to look for a proven solution that addresses this for us. We found Aspose.Total for .NET as it was referenced as a top-end solution in various developer forums. The trial license allowed us to test its match with our needs very well, and we found it offers a convenient, well-documented, abstracted API with robust and future-proof implementation.
We have chosen to let one of our developers create and own the reporting module in FLIGHTMAP and the associated Aspose tooling. This turned out to be a useful set-up; the support available allowed us to focus on the FLIGHTMAP added value.
We ended up with a highly robust and maintainable Office interaction capability in FLIGHTMAP.
Our next steps are to keep our reporting up-to-date with the growing functionality in FLIGHTMAP, and extend the series of charts we generate and need to bring to PPT and Word. We rely on Aspose to be the professional interface to Office.
In short, we are more than pleased with the functionality and quality of the Aspose. We have been using Aspose for quite some time now, and we have not run into a single Aspose-related bug. This allows us to focus our constrained development team’s effort on the application functionality instead of the details of interaction with the Office file formats. This point alone makes the product value for money. We, therefore, recommend it to anyone who needs professional Office interaction capability in their .NET applications.
5611 EB Eindhoven, Netherlands