Spreadsheets are especially useful for geographically dispersed project teams looking to centralize project data like issues tracking, requirements gathering, action items, scheduling and other data capture tasks. Web-based spreadsheets can put all these data intensive tasks online, where project teams can collaborate on the information in a secure environment.
SpreadsheetLIVE Beta from Pagos is a new entry into the web office applications space, currently dominated by Google (s goog), Microsoft (s msft) and Zoho. Pagos is targeting corporate intranets, but also has a hosted version that could be useful for many web workers. Currently, this hosted version is available for free.
SpreadsheetLIVE has an easy-to-use layout that makes creating, uploading and accessing spreadsheets very simple. In my experience, of all the basic office applications, spreadsheets give most trouble to users, so anything an application can do to help the user get started is a bonus.
SpreadsheetLIVE has a reasonably comprehensive set of spreadsheet features, including charts, pivot tables and a function wizard. User and file management includes groups, folders, and organizations. You aren’t going to be running an accounting department with SpreadsheetLIVE, but then you won’t be with Google Docs, Excel Web App, or Zoho Sheet, either. Web-based spreadsheets are great for tracking project information, light accounting like project budget tracking, and other lower-level number crunching tasks. SpreashseetLIVE also has a rather extensive library of spreadsheet templates available.
You can upload your existing spreadsheets into the app — it has a 6 MB file size restriction, which should be big enough to accommodate all but your largest spreadsheets. However, you can only export SpreadSheetLIVE spreadsheets to Excel 2007 (*.xslx) format currently, which could prove limiting to project teams with members using Office 2003. It would be nice to see the final version of the product support *.xls and *csv expert as well, since they are more common formats for spreadsheet data than *.xlsx.
SpreadsheetLIVE is a solid entry to the web office space; it probably has more marketing, rather than technical, challenges ahead of it in getting and maintaining user attention in this very competitive market.
Which online spreadsheet tool do you use?
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Why Microsoft Office Web Is Good for Its Competitors