Comments on Handling Objects in Spreadsheets

18 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2008

See all articles by Christian P. Fries

Christian P. Fries

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Mathematics; DZ Bank AG

Date Written: August 31, 2008


This note discusses a framework for handling objects of a given object oriented library through spreadsheet functions. We first describe the simple and natural representation of object references through strings (object handles). A small set of spreadsheet functions then allows object instantiation and method invocation. Based on this framework we discuss various aspects, e.g., how to ensure consistent object dependency via the spreadsheet cell dependency tree, how to mimic anonymous objects, and how to implement concurrency (asynchronous worksheet functions).

The concepts discussed here are implemented in an Excel object handler for Java libraries called "Obba", which can be viewed as a reference implementation of the proposed API.

Keywords: Spreadsheet, Object Oriented, Concurrency, Parallel Computing, Multithreadding, Excel, Java

JEL Classification: C63, C88

Suggested Citation

Fries, Christian P., Comments on Handling Objects in Spreadsheets (August 31, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Christian P. Fries (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Mathematics ( email )

Theresienstrasse 39

DZ Bank AG ( email )

60265 Frankfurt am Main

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