Microsoft today announced that its Excel application programming interface (API) is now generally available, after a preview that began in November.

Using this representational state transfer (REST) API, developers can now send data into Excel spreadsheets, or use Excel’s underlying functionality for their own applications.

“Developers can now access Excel’s powerful calculation engine with instant results,” as the Office Extensibility team wrote in a blog post. “For example, a mortgage calculator can take advantage of the PMT function from Excel — using a simple API call including principal, rate and number of payments. Excel does all the heavy lifting and returns the monthly payment instantly. With more than 300 Excel worksheet functions available, you have full access to the breadth of formula supported by Excel today. Complex business models don’t need to be rebuilt repeatedly; developers can leverage Excel to perform those calculations instantly and retrieve the results with simple API calls.”

Sage and Zapier, among others, are already using the API, according to the blog post.

Setting up a workflow with Zapier to automatically capture new HubSpot contacts on an Excel spreadsheet.

Above: Setting up a workflow with Zapier to automatically capture new HubSpot contacts on an Excel spreadsheet.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has gradually been turning Office into a data-rich development platform. The hub of this strategic effort is the Microsoft Graph. Previously Microsoft has offered developers a way to work with data on Users, Files, Messages, Groups, Events, personal contacts, Mail, Calendar, and Devices, among other types of entities.

Documentation for the Excel REST API is here.