This page has been robot translated, sorry for typos if any. Original content here.

Excel for mobile

We continue to get acquainted with useful applications for mobile devices that support Java technology. Today, following good progress, let's work closely with the MiniExcel J2ME application , which is notable for not only the consistent functionality of the spreadsheet processor, but also the ability to export data to “big” Excel. But about everything according to the schedule.

Requirements for hardware, cost and installation of the program

For work with a mobile table processor, almost any phone with MIDP 1.0 specifications support, 2.0 is also available with 56 kb of free memory to run the application. Requirements for the characteristics of the display is also not so critical. Of course, on the color screen to see the interface of the program is much nicer, but in the absence of it, monochrome will also come down. By the way, you can view the list of compatible devices on the developer’s website. True, having run through the eyes on the listed models, it is allowed to conclude that the above list is far from complete in the distance (apparently, Simprit web designers do not keep up with the labor achievements of the phone manufacturers). If you plan to save MiniExcel data on a remote server, then you need to take into account a couple of points. First, you must first activate the service of mobile access to the network. Secondly, you need a computer with a dedicated IP address on the Internet and also installed MiniExcel Connection Manager software that performs server functions on the machine. Before installing the server software, make sure that the Java Virtual Machine (Java Runtime Environment) version 1.4 or higher is installed on the computer.

Java Minilet MiniExcel (61 kb) is available in the Downloads section on the developer’s website or via WAP at

The cost of the application is $ 10, but for those who want to experiment before buying, a free thirty-day version of the program is useful.

Owners of BlackBerry communicators are not forgotten either: their own version of MiniExcel is prepared for them. This program is also richer in functionality and more expensive ($ 25).

Tactical and technical characteristics MiniExcel

The list of opportunities inherent in the program is quite impressive, so we confine ourselves to only a modest enumeration of the main functions, after which we gradually move on to some of the features of the keyboard work.

So, in stock at MiniExcel:
• Working with tables containing up to 26 columns (from A up to Z) also 99 lines (from 1 up to 99). The number of cells may vary depending on the number of available memory.
• Perform basic arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, crushing, construction to a power), including support for comparison operations
• Manipulating various types of data
• Support for trigonometric, logical and mathematical functions
• Work with text values, including time and date
• Availability of the clipboard with the ability to copy as individual cells, as well as entire data areas. This blah blah allowed to include the manipulation of columns and rows (insert, delete, change the width of columns)
• Function key support
• Saving data (as separate sheets) in the device’s memory or on an external Internet server
• Microsoft Excel integration also with Intuit's Quicken line of financial programs.

Naturally, all this crowd of operations needs to be managed somehow, and from a tiny telephone keypad, which the developers have equipped with four modes of operation.
The main Browse mode ("Browse") is used to move through cells, rewind pages, and go to the beginning / end of the table. For this mode, the joystick, with which most of the modern phone models are equipped, fits best. Pressing the joystick or the "5" button switches the keyboard into data entry mode.

Different keyboard work modes (screenshots from the developer’s website)

A couple of other modes - F1 and F2 - contain the most frequently used program control functions. Among them: inserting / deleting columns / rows of a table, changing the width of columns, concluding information about free memory, saving documents and working with the clipboard. In the parameters of the program it is allowed to configure the server configuration (address, username / password), change the format of numerical data, pores and dates.

MiniExcel Connection Manager

Let's install the MiniExcel server on your computer. To do this, download the archive (1.6 MB) from the developer’s website and slowly unpack it. As a situation, if the route to the Java interpreter (java.exe) is correctly registered in the PATH environment variables, then it will be enough to launch the application two times with one mouse click to launch the application. Otherwise, manually go to the bin directory of the installed Java machine and also open the server application with the java.exe -jar miniexcel-cm.jar command.
Of the required settings, you should pay attention to the port where the traffic between the customer and the server will also start. In addition, do not forget to look in the User Info menu to edit the list of users who will be allowed access to the manager’s resources. Please note that for the unregistered version only one user is available with the name test and the password password. Finally, click the "Test connection" button to test the Internet connection.

MiniExcel Connection Manager

Manager Settings

Now we take in hand the phone also in the MiniExcel settings (Settings -> Server) we specify the coordinates of our server, including the login / password of the user account. Everything, now at any moment is allowed to save table data on the server side (Options -> Sheet -> Save to server).
Specifically, all data sent to the server is stored as regular XLS files, which are opened by the “mature” Excel program. Thus, it is allowed to copy an Excel file to the server for further work with it from a mobile phone. Unfortunately, the attempt to save the act with Cyrillic on the server was in no way crowned with success (the coding of the font is distorted), but it is allowed to pronounce Russian-language tables without problems.

Summing up

Of course, MiniExcel deserves respect, if only because its developers have managed to combine so many features in such a small application. From the positive sides of this program, let us single out the well-founded functionality, undemanding of phone resources, low cost, and also data export to Excel format. In the cons write only one-sided work with the Cyrillic alphabet.