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Microsoft Excel Product Team AMA confirmed for November 6th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

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Community Manager

Howdy, folks!

 

The Microsoft Excel Team is coming back for another AMA on Reddit! Join the Reddit community November 6th at 2 PM Eastern Time (GMT-5:00) at /r/IAmA as the team engages live to answer any questions you may have. We've seen some great feedback presented in the past and the team has taken the community input very seriously. Thanks, and we hope to see you then!

15 Replies

Reddit is the platform where the Excel team has been doing an AMA annually for the last 4 years, and they get a lot of really great feedback through that channel. 

Interesting. Other MSFT teams use it as well? I'm an old dude. I can't deal with the cluttered UI. It sure is popular though. I am always looking for ways to get more info on MSFT products. Good to know this is one of them. Thanks!

Here are my questions:

 

1. Can I trust duration calculations in Excel? Does Excel have concepts of hours, minutes, and seconds except for display?

 

I know in the past, Excel stored date and time values as a decimal number where the integer portion is the number of days since Jan 0, 1900 (I know that Jan 0 doesn't exist, but Excel allowed it) and the decimal portion is a fraction of 24 hours. 

 

2. Does Excel and Power BI use the same analysis services engine version now?  I know some DAX features wouldn't run in Excel but will in Power BI. 

 

3. When will Mac features become more on pare with Excel for Windows (Quick Insights, Data Connectivity options, and Compatibility options)? I run an Excel User Community locally and Mac users are a real pain to work with because a lot of the features don't exist in the product. 

 

4. Will the next version of Excel include the Data connectivity options for the various other vendors built in? Also, do these drivers affect performance? I spent an afternoon searching/visiting other websites for vendors drivers. SAP Drivers were particularly difficult to find. They require S-User or P-User status access drivers. Can you update all the SAP, SAP Hana and Sybase connector windows to point to here:

 

https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/SQLANY/SAP+SQL+Anywhere+Database+Client+Download 

 

5. Will the above driver work with SAP Hana? 

 

6. Which is the fastest way to give to product feedback to Microsoft? I open cases on the forums(TechNet/MSDN), I use the Excel Like/Hate feature in the product, I post on uservoice when I get desperate.

 

7. Will MOS certifications be updated so Mac users can take them? In our user group we use the MOS books but Mac users sit on the sidelines or scream for more attention. I submit errata but I don't know if it's useful and I'm getting really tired of trying to the fastest way to provide meaningful feedback to improve these products.  

 

8. When will we be able to migrate/co-exist our 32-bit models to 64-bit so we can get the gains from Excel x64 (unlimited ram and unlimited virtual memory)? People need to be able to at least view 32 bit spreadsheets in Excel x64. 

 

9. Does Power BI have the duration calculation problems like Excel? 

 

10. When will you assign more talent to update the text for DAX and M references? Some of the functions are not properly documented and don't have a standard layout (About, Arguments, Remarks, and Example(s). If they have nothing to add then they need to say "None" under each heading. This should of been updated before the release of Office 2019. 

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/query-bi/m/power-query-m-function-reference 

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/query-bi/dax/dax-function-reference

 

11. Create more DAX and M References templates and add them here, https://templates.office.com/en-US/Training 

 

12. Why can't I reach out to the Office.com from inside of Excel?

 

Office-Theme1.pngTheme's MenuOffice-Theme2.pngPushed locally no web option

 

 

 

Highlighted

Thanks for the questions! The AMA is not taking place here. It's taking place on Reddit tomorrow at 2PM ET.

 

Are you able to attend and ask your questions there? The Excel product team will be on-call to answer questions at that time and location.

First, why would you schedule an AMA on the 6th. Pure Genius!! I live in a major city an I'm expecting hours to vote. I will not be tapping on my mobile phone either....

 

Second, I'm posting my questions because someone said and personally emailed that if I couldn't make it to post my questions here so they can be answered. 

 

Third, you have a forum and have done AMAs here in the past, why you use horrible reddit...

Sorry, I didn't realize you couldn't attend. Thanks for the context. I will share your questions with the team. 

 

Reddit is the platform where the Excel team has been doing an AMA annually for the last 4 years, and they get a lot of really great feedback through that channel. 

In the future, I wish you would leave my comments alone. You removed my technical comments and I looked at the AMA this morning and they were not answered so now I have no way to post my questions somewhere else for a resolution...

While the team was unable to answer your questions during the Reddit AMA, they are working on responses to your questions and we’ll post them once available.

Don't even bother. I'm not going to go through 1,000 posts to find them. 

Solution

@George Carlisle: Here are the answers to your questions from the team.


1. Can I trust duration calculations in Excel? Does Excel have concepts of hours, minutes, and seconds except for display? 
I know in the past, Excel stored date and time values as a decimal number where the integer portion is the number of days since Jan 0, 1900 (I know that Jan 0 doesn't exist, but Excel allowed it) and the decimal portion is a fraction of 24 hours. 

 

Answer: There is always the chance of floating point error for exact times for seconds.

 

2. Does Excel and Power BI use the same analysis services engine version now? I know some DAX features wouldn’t run in Excel but will in Power BI.

Answer: No, they do not. It is a couple of versions behind, but we are working on bringing them back together. 

 

3. When will Mac features become more on pare with Excel for Windows (Quick Insights, Data Connectivity options, and Compatibility options)? I run an Excel User Community locally and Mac users are a real pain to work with because a lot of the features don’t exist in the product.

Answer: With the work that we've done in 2018, we can now bring features to Mac and other platforms faster than before. For example, Ideas is now available for Office on Mac insiders, along with Win 32 Insiders. For data connectivity, we are working to improve PowerQuery compatibility, but exact timelines of delivery are to be determined.  For any other compatibility options, it would be great to hear details of what features are the main concern.  We look at customer feedback and UserVoice voting to help us prioritize the remaining feature gaps.

 

4. Will the next version of Excel include the Data connectivity options for the various other vendors built in? Also, do these drivers affect performance? I spent an afternoon searching/visiting other websites for vendors drivers. SAP Drivers were particularly difficult to find. They require S-User or P-User status access drivers. Can you update all the SAP, SAP Hana and Sybase connector windows to point to here:

https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/SQLANY/SAP+SQL+Anywhere+Database+Client+Download

 

Answer: 
The SAP HANA connector in Excel will require presence of SAP HANA ODBC drivers which are not distributed with Excel and require a separate download. I think the main cause for this question is the fact that you may not have a user with access to the SAP Support Portal, which exposes this download. However, this is a non-issue for existing customers using SAP HANA, as they’re familiar with this portal and how to get access to the ODBC driver.

 

5. Will the above driver work with SAP Hana?

 

Answer: Please see the above response to question #4.

 

6. Which is the fastest way to give to product feedback to Microsoft? I open cases on the forums(TechNet/MSDN), I use the Excel Like/Hate feature in the product, I post on Uservoice when I get desperate.

 

Answer: You can send in-app feedback via the smiley/frown buttons, or contact us on UserVoice.

 

7. Will MOS certifications be updated so Mac users can take them? In our user group we use the MOS books but Mac users sit on the sidelines or scream for more attention. I submit errata but I don’t know if it’s useful and I’m getting really tired of trying to the fastest way to provide meaningful feedback to improve these products.

 

Answer: We’ll make sure the team who creates these is aware of the need for Mac to be updated/included. 

 

8. When will we be able to migrate/co-exist our 32-bit models to 64-bit so we can get the gains from Excel x64 (unlimited ram and unlimited virtual memory)? People need to be able to at least view 32 bit spreadsheets in Excel x64. 

 

Answer: This question is a bit unclear. You can upgrade to 64 bit Excel any time. If you have specific files that "only work in 32 bit" or something of that sort, you should file feedback on it.

 

9. Does Power BI have the duration calculation problems like Excel?

 

Answer: Both Excel and PowerBI use the same PQ engine and both are built on the same PP engine (Excel uses an older version number).

 

10. When will you assign more talent to update the text for DAX and M references? Some of the functions are not properly documented and don’t have a standard layout (About, Arguments, Remarks, and Example (s). IF they have nothing to add then they need to say “None” under each heading. This should have been updated before the release of Office 2019.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/query-bi/m/power-query-m-function-reference

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/query-bi/dax/dax-function-reference

 

Answer:  DAX reference is manually written. It is updated regularly when new functions are added or existing functions are updated. This reference scores quite high in page views and CSAT. It will not get any additional resources.

 

M reference is a hybrid managed reference, meaning what you see in a reference article is either derived from a resource file that is updated monthly by engineering, or it was written manually. Due to its size of over 700 articles, the current process is untenable. We are currently working on making this a fully managed reference. When that happens, all articles will be derived from the resource file. While this assures all function articles are up to date monthly, it does not assure each function’s reference article will have more information.

 

11. Create more DAX and M References templates and add them here, https://templates.office.com/en-US/Training

 

Answer: Thanks for the suggestion - this is a very cool idea. We’ll consider making some templates to connect to public data sources and show them how we would do it, so people can learn. 

 

12. Why can't I reach out to the Office.com from inside of Excel?

 

Answer: If you go to Office.com in a web browser and sign in, you can get to all the Office apps in their web experiences as well as download the client apps. If the question was actually about providing feedback to the Office team from within Excel, you can do that today by "sending a frown".

Hello Eric,

 

I'm extremely grateful for your efforts on my behalf. Let me just ask some follow-up questions so we can close out this thread. 

 

8. When will we be able to migrate/co-exist our 32-bit models to 64-bit so we can get the gains from Excel x64 (unlimited ram and unlimited virtual memory)? People need to be able to at least view 32 bit spreadsheets in Excel x64. 

 

Answer: This question is a bit unclear. You can upgrade to 64 bit Excel any time. If you have specific files that "only work in 32 bit" or something of that sort, you should file feedback on it.

 

ME: Currently, the x86-x64 versions are incompatible, right? Example, in the past when Office 2016 first came out, I installed the x64 edition but I couldn't view/read files from x86 so I had to go back to x86 Office version. I'm still on that version today.

 

 

10. When will you assign more talent to update the text for DAX and M references? Some of the functions are not properly documented and don’t have a standard layout (About, Arguments, Remarks, and Example (s). IF they have nothing to add then they need to say “None” under each heading. This should have been updated before the release of Office 2019.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/query-bi/m/power-query-m-function-reference

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/query-bi/dax/dax-function-reference

 

Answer:  DAX reference is manually written. It is updated regularly when new functions are added or existing functions are updated. This reference scores quite high in page views and CSAT. It will not get any additional resources.

 

M reference is a hybrid managed reference, meaning what you see in a reference article is either derived from a resource file that is updated monthly by engineering, or it was written manually. Due to its size of over 700 articles, the current process is untenable. We are currently working on making this a fully managed reference. When that happens, all articles will be derived from the resource file. While this assures all function articles are up to date monthly, it does not assure each function’s reference article will have more information.

 

ME: Fine...can you move them to GitHub/docs so we can edit them. If you can at least layout the pages with the sample/template layout (About, Arguments, Remarks, and Example (s) then I'll update them as I work on them. The M references are just garbage and the MS people working on them now don't have the mental capacity to find the errors and update them properly. I can't do brown bags or refer customers there because the documentation is incomplete. This hurts my selling efforts because customers can't solve their own problems and have to come back to me. 

 

12. Why can't I reach out to the Office.com from inside of Excel?

 

Answer: If you go to Office.com in a web browser and sign in, you can get to all the Office apps in their web experiences as well as download the client apps. If the question was actually about providing feedback to the Office team from within Excel, you can do that today by "sending a frown".

 

ME: No, this is not about giving feedback. This is about productivity. I naturally should be able to get extras for Excel INSIDE of Excel. I shouldn't have to leave it to download and them import into the product. This makes no sense. Do I need to post specific examples of what I'm talking about? 

 

 

 

 

 

@saraanajeeb 

 

All of my issues have been addressed in the new Excel 2019 books. The docs/msdn site had technical issues that prevented updating or staff was indolent. 

 

https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/series/series_detail.aspx?st=99016

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