Over the past 9 years, Analytics Edge has provided a report automation solution in the form of an add-in for Microsoft Excel with connectors for a variety of analytics and advertising services. The technology underlying that solution is old and requires updating, so I am taking this opportunity to rearchitect it to include support for other platforms (both PC and Mac) and spreadsheets (both Excel and Google Sheets).
Analytics Edge products have been (and will continue to be) installed software applications that allow you to get your data direct from the Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and other API servers. This keeps costs low by avoiding expenses associated with managing the servers to process your requests. It also makes it unnecessary to impose any account, query, or usage-based pricing since your computer does all the work. Security, privacy and compliance concerns are minimized since your accounts, queries and data are not sent through an intermediate server located in another country. Analytics Edge provides a solid alternative to expensive Software-As-A-Service offerings without the need to write and maintain code.
New Technology Required for New Products on New Platforms
Over the years, I tried a variety of technical alternatives to expand the platforms for the product, but they turned out to be too slow when compared to the existing Excel add-in solution, and so they were abandoned. With the recent release of Microsoft’s new .NET MAUI technology (and a bit of innovative coding), I am finally in a position to bring some new products to market.
This step has required a massive rewrite of the existing code – over 300,000 lines. You will soon see the first fruits of this effort in the form of new applications for Windows and MacOS targeting Google Sheets. The new products will be functionally (almost) identical to the existing Excel Core Add-in, and maintain backward compatibility with existing Analytics Edge quick queries and macros. They will initially be released with a limited number of connectors, but the rest will follow.
Once all the connectors have been converted, the existing Excel add-in will be upgraded to Version 11, which will share a lot of the new code and connectors. From a timing perspective, expect this to happen around the end of the year or early 2023.
Free Options Coming to an End
Because of the significant effort required, the new generation of products will not offer a Free (Basic) license option, nor will there be a Free Google Analytics connector. Existing installations will continue to work (as licensed) but the old generation of connectors will not be updated for any API changes that occur (after the release of Version 11). For those of you currently using the free options, I plan to offer a low monthly subscription option with the new products to make the transition from free to paid a little more palatable.
That’s Not All
This is just a hint of things to come, but rest assured that backward compatibility is always part of the plan. Analytics Edge will continue to offer simple, spreadsheet-based report automation solutions for individuals, agencies and businesses that are fast, cost-effective and secure.