Linking two Excel spreadsheets on different computers


Thread Starter

Jim Swarthout


I'm trying to get my IT group to link live excel spreadsheets on several networked xp computers. They report that it cannot be done easily. I've tried to get NetDDE to do the trick on my own but haven't had much success. I was wondering if anyone suggestions on how to get it to work or whether there are superior alternatives. In case it helps, the computers are also running networked Java applications that can be used as conduits if that helps (i.e. so that the only additional link would be a live excel-java app. link).


Chris Deverill

A couple of suggestions:

(a) OPC. This would use an OPC server for each Excel spreadsheet, and then an OPC server-to-server (or interserver) bridge. I've set up such a mechanism on my test system and it works fine - the only thing is that it might require some adjustment of your DCOM settings.
An advantage of this approach is that it uses more or less standard components.

(b) TCP/IP Excel Add-In. The advantages of this would be that it would only require two components (one Excel add-in on each machine), and would not have any issues with DCOM. The down side is that it would involve some software development, as I don't think anything like this currently exists.

Feel free to drop me an email at chris(dot)deverill(at), and I can give you some more details about the OPC setup if you're interested. [replace (dot) and (at) as appropriate in that email address]
You can combine the two ideas that Chris has suggested into one and use the OPC client Excel AddIn ( at each Excel station, then set up some memory tags in a simulation OPC server on one of the workstations to actually exchange the data between the two OPC clients. Contrary to wehat your IT group have told you, this is easily set up, uses off the shelf software and requires absolutely no programming.