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Excel for mobile

We continue to familiarize ourselves with useful applications for mobile devices that support Java technology. Today, following the good tradition, we will work closely with the MiniExcel J2ME application , which differs not only in the wealthy functionality of the spreadsheet processor, but also in the ability to export data to "large" Excel. But everything is in order.

Requirements for the "hardware", the cost is also the installation of the program

Almost any phone with support for MIDP 1.0, 2.0 specifications and the presence of 56 kb of free memory to run the application is suitable for working with a mobile table processor. Needs for display characteristics are also not so critical. Of course, to see the program interface on a color screen is much nicer, but for lack of it, monochrome will also come down. By the way, you can view the list of compatible devices on the developer's site. However, having run through the eyes on the listed models, it is allowed to conclude that the above list is far from complete (apparently, Simprit web coders do not keep pace with the labor achievements of phone manufacturers). If you plan to save MiniExcel data on a remote server, then you need to consider a couple of points. Firstly, you must first activate the service of mobile access to the Network. Secondly, you will 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.

MiniExcel Java MIDlet (61 kb) is available in the Downloads section of the developer's website or through WAP at http://www.simprit.com/wap.wml.

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

The owners of BlackBerry smartphones are also not forgotten: they have prepared their own version of MiniExcel. This program is also richer in functionality and also at a higher price ($ 25).

The performance characteristics of MiniExcel

The list of features included in the program is quite impressive, so we restrict ourselves to just a modest list of the main functions, after which we will smoothly move on to some features of working with the keyboard.

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.
• Performing basic arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, splitting, building 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
• The presence of the clipboard with the ability to copy as individual cells, as well as entire data areas. Here blah blah allowed to include the manipulation of columns and rows (insert, delete, change the width of the columns)
• Function key support
• Saving data (in separate sheets) in the device’s memory or on an external Internet server
• Integration with Microsoft Excel also with Intuit's Quicken financial product line

Naturally, all of these operations must be somehow managed, and with a tiny telephone keypad, which the developers equipped with four operating modes.
The main Browse mode is used to move through cells, rewind pages, and jump to the beginning / end of a table. For this mode, the joystick, which is equipped with most of the modern phone models, is as well as possible. Pressing the joystick or the "5" button puts the keyboard in data entry mode.

Various keyboard work modes (screenshots from the developer's website)

A couple of other modes - F1 and F2 - contain the most frequently used program management functions. Among them: inserting / deleting columns / rows of a table, changing the width of columns, entering information about free memory, saving documents, and also working with the clipboard. In the program parameters, it is allowed to configure the server configuration (address, username / password of the user), 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 miniexcel-cm.zip archive (1.6 Mb) from the developers website and also unpack it slowly. As the situation, if the path to the Java interpreter (java.exe) is correctly spelled out in the PATH environment variables, then to start the application it will be enough to double-click on it with the mouse. Otherwise, manually go to the bin directory of the installed Java machine and open the server application with the command java.exe -jar miniexcel-cm.jar.
From the required settings, care should be taken to the port through which traffic exchange between the customer and the server will also take place. In addition, do not forget to look at the User Info menu to edit the list of users who will be allowed access to the manager’s resources. Please note that for an unregistered version, only one user is available with the name test and password password. Finally, click the "Test connection" button to test the Internet connection.

MiniExcel Connection Manager

Manager settings

Now we pick up the phone and also in the MiniExcel settings (Settings -> Server) specify the coordinates of our server, including the username / password of the wound user. Everything, now at any moment it is allowed to save tabular data on the server side (Options -> Sheet -> Save to server).
Specifically, all data sent to the server is stored in the form of ordinary XLS files that are opened by the "mature" Excel program. Thus, it is allowed to copy the Excel file to the server for further work with it from a mobile phone. Unfortunately, the attempt to save the act with the Cyrillic alphabet on the server did not succeed (the font encoding is distorted), but speaking Russian-language tables is allowed without problems.

To summarize

Of course, MiniExcel deserves respect, if only because its developers were able to combine so many features in such a small application. Among the positive aspects of this program, we highlight the wealthy functionality, low demands on phone resources, low cost and data export to Excel format. We can only write down the one-way work with the Cyrillic alphabet.