A new kind of spreadsheet…

September 28, 2007

Excel is unavoidable for anyone working in front office trading systems. Front office support teams often bemoan the hassle of supporting myriad sheets, all a spaghetti mixture of various internal and external plugins and trader coded VB. Whole lines of business get built on spreadsheets, and replacing them with robust apps soaks up many developer years.

But spreadsheets will always be on the trading floor, no matter how hard IT may try to eliminate them. The reason is simple: Excel is the traders’ preferred development platform. Yet at the same time, it’s a general purpose tool, quite ill suited for trading apps. I’ve long thought that a determined start up could make a killing by building a better spreadsheet for the trading floor.

Being a long time Pythonista, and just recently dipping my toes in the water with IronPython for desktop etrading apps, I was excited to discover Resolver Systems. The Resolver is an IronPython .Net based spreadsheet that supports injection of Python scripts. I hope the Resolver guys are thinking about multi threading and serverisation as well as integration with existing .Net based Excel addins. Multi threading and server side capability would allow serverisation of trader coded pricing, and support for existing .Net addins would enable Resolver sheets to plug into market data infrastructures etc.

Good luck to the Resolver guys !  I’m very happy to see a promising startup furthering the cause of Python on the trading floor.

4 Responses to “A new kind of spreadsheet…”

  1. There is already a Resolver server version.

    What do you mean by multi-threading? You can already be calculating multiple documents at one time (on the desktop or on the server). Documents are recalculated on their own thread, so even doing a lengthy calculation doesn’t interfere with the user interface experience.

    It is also possible to communicate with Excel (via COM) from inside Resolver – although we haven’t really worked out how best to integrate that into Resolver features.

    As for using .NET libraries with Resolver – already straightforward…

  2. Ramon Says:

    Just use Excel 2007 and see the engine it has behind..

    btw, a determined start up did make a killing and moved on. I also know a few that did the same. But the former are now smashing the markets since whatever that server product was called, by virtue of moving away from spreadsheet solutions.

  3. Giles Says:

    Hi there – if you’re still interested in Resolver One (as the program’s called now), we just went to version 1.0, and you can download it for free for non-commercial use.

    All the best,


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