Releasing the Anaplan Add-in for Excel 4.0

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

1000 side-view-of-young-businesswoman-working-on-her-project-picture-id1166371279 (1).jpgThe Anaplan Add-in for Excel is key for many Anaplan users, helping their business processes for reporting and ad-hoc analysis. We’ve made it even easier to take advantage of the Excel Add-in, with a seamless experience from installation to support. Version 4.0 makes it easier for anyone to install and upgrade the Excel Add-in, access the right information at the right time, and work more efficiently.

It's a great tool for a lot of users who are familiar and use the Excel program and complements Anaplan well.

Enhanced User Experience

GIF modes.gif

The first thing many users will notice about the Excel Add-in 4.0 are the new, simplified ribbon icons that make it easier to find the right functionality. The "send and refresh" button for a read/write connection can also be found in the ribbon. These ribbon icons are also accessible across any of the Microsoft Office themes, including Dark Gray, Black, or White.

Simplified Access to the Information Users Need

The new Add-in Help feature allows users to access relevant pages on Community and Anapedia. This allows users to easily find answers to any Excel Add-in questions from our user guide, information page, best practices, or forum. For additional questions, users can receive dedicated Anaplan support using the Email Support button. It's a convenient way to automatically generate an email that contains pre-populated information and a set of questions to answer that will help resolve tickets faster. We are continuously working on enhancements to the Excel Add-in based on critical user feedback, so we’ve made it even easier for users to share their thoughts with us. Use the Feedback button to access a direct link with the product team.

The pre-populated email and the technical information added to the "about" model will greatly facilitate the investigation of the support tickets raised by our customers — Anaplan support analyst

info and support.gif

Upgrade Seamlessly From One Version to Another

We regularly release new versions of the Excel Add-in with new functionalities. We've made it easier to discover new functionalities, upgrade to the next version, and convert existing workbooks to the new version without any downtime. The Excel Add-in 4.0 will be rolled out in phasesfirst via the feedback group, then it will be available for download on Anapedia and finally via the upgrade notification in the add-in itself if you are using 3.1 or above. This will enable model builders to test out the new version first before rolling it out to their other users, in line with this idea. The installation of the Excel Add-in 4.0 is effortless, with a redesigned wizard available in .exe and .msi formats to fit with any company policy. The installer guides users throughout the entire install process and checks that you have all the pre-requisites before installing.Installer.gif

Users can access the Excel Add-in by signing in using SSO or email/password authentication directly as per this idea. This is particularly useful for partners regularly switching between the two authentication methods for multiple customers or for users who may have entered an incorrect URL.

sign in.gif

   

In addition, all existing workbooks will be converted safely to the new Excel Add-in 4.0. From there, users can exchange files with colleagues who use any other 4.x version without any risk of corruption: the files are now compatible with other 4.x versions. The Excel Add-in 4.0 is robust and reliable so users can confidently upgrade to the new version.

conversion.gif

When the next version of the Excel Add-in is available, users will see a red dot in the ribbon. Check out the What’s New section to install it and learn about the new functionalities.

what's new.png

Flexible Connections

Users can easily remap connections from development models or workspaces to production in just a few clicks. This new functionality is based on these three ideas: 1, 2, and 3.

remap.gif


More about the Excel Add-in:

Other Useful Information:

  • To check which version you are currently on, check the “Help” and then “About” section of the Anaplan ribbon in Excel.
  • The pre-requisites have not changed compared to the previous version. We also continue to support the same versions of Windows and Microsoft Office. Learn more about prerequisites and system requirements.
  • If you manually turned off the read/write connections, please contact Anaplan Support before upgrading.
  • Excel Add-in 2.6 and 3.0 have been deprecated. Please upgrade to any of version 3.1 to 3.4 before upgrading to Excel Add-in 4.0 and refer to this page for more information.

Thanks to Anaplan employees, partners, and customers who contributed to these enhancements and provided valuable feedback. As a product team, we are pleased to partner closely with you to shape the Excel Add-in experience.

Did you like this post? Give us some kudos, and tell us in the comments! 

7 Comments
Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

@MagaliP the new look is terrific! Tried downloading it but I still get 3.4. Do you have an ETA on the release? Maybe I missed that above.

Also, will 4.0 allow saved views that use filters to be accessed? Can't wait to give it a try.

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

The Excel Add-in 4.0 will be rolled out in phases to enable model builders to test out the new version first before rolling it out to their other users - to be in the first phase, join our feedback group.

All saved views (apart from subsidiary views) are accessible, whether they are filtered in Anaplan or not. You cannot filter saved views in the add-in (just like custom views in the UX).

 

I hope that helps

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

For saved views with filters, see our discussion on this thread.

Certified Master Anaplanner

It is great that Anaplan keeps innovate and Excel Add-In V4 is a great product, so looking forward to even more improvements in the future. However, in our organisation are dozens of users making use of the add-in and share workbooks, so it became a challenge to align everybody to upgrade at the same time. With the help of our internal IT team (and Anaplan Support to answer technical questions) we have prepared an automated roll-out of the new version to all our users. Converting all workbooks is still a great effort even though the upgrade is automated, the end-user should remember this step every-time they work with an old workbook. While we want to get away from installations and migrations by using Anaplan cloud solutions, the Excel update is a time consuming process and I hope the next Series 5 will be taking this feedback into consideration.

 

Thank you

Manuela Apostol

Anaplan & BI Solutions Architect, Logicor 

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Hi @Manuela_Apostol , thank you so much for your comment.

 

About "in our organisation are dozens of users making use of the add-in and share workbooks, so it became a challenge to align everybody to upgrade at the same time": this is exactly what series 4 is solving: once your users are all on series 4, they can be on any 4 version i.e. not all users need to upgrade to 4.1 at the same time, because 4.x files are compatible with 4.y.

 

The workbook conversion is just between the major series, i.e. from 3.x to 4.y. Once in 4.y, then no conversion is required to go to 4.z. Converting the workbook is a conscious action (it was done in all previous versions in the background) that enables the user to understand that they now use a new add-in series (and that we keep a back-up copy if they want to go back).

Happy to chat further, you can direct message me if you wish.

Certified Master Anaplanner

Thank you @MagaliP . 

 

Let me better explain how Excel Add-In is used in my organization. There are a number of workbooks shared among end-users, which are used periodically to extract info from Anaplan. Also, end-users might have their own workbooks for processing information as they feel comfortable with Excel. Those workbooks are created using Series 3. Besides the Anaplan extract worksheets, same workbook might also contain other worksheets to process the data extracted or just to give it a different layout, but directly referring Anaplan extracts. Therefore, once we upgrade the users to Version 4 they will still want to access all those workbooks created previously in Version 3. As you said, a conscious action to convert them will be needed, which is what I cannot guarantee that all workbooks are being converted, neither I have visibility on what is left unconverted. As a result, users with Version 4 installed on their computers will be trying to access workbooks with Version 3. Here is the real challenge. I am sure this challenge was already experienced by other organization, so would be great to know how others have overcame it.  

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Thanks for the details. I do recognise the challenge with series 3, due to the fact they didn't have file compatibility. My recommendation at this point is to upgrade everyone to series 4, and from there they won't have this issue again with subsequent minor versions. I have sent you a link to schedule a call and see how we can address your particular challenge.

About the Author

Share Article