Infommersions $495 Xcelsius Professional Edition 3.0 makes it easy to build interactive graphics applications for PowerPoint andthe Web. Xcelsius creates graphics from Excel or XML data using Macromedias Flash. I found Xcelsius to be an easy-to-use tool that anyone with a handle on Excel should be able to master in short order.
I created interactive graphics by dragging and dropping graphic types and controls, such as bar charts, maps, sliders and dials, onto a blank page. Adding cell values in a properties dialog box connects graphic elements to data points in an Excel spreadsheet. The resulting Flash app let me manipulate data via sliders and dials to see how changing one variable affects another.
Xcelsius exports these applications in Flash and HTML format and makes it easy to publish these applications as PowerPoint slides or to a Web page.
The Professional version allows multiple users to collaborate on a file simultaneously and publish data through live database connectivity. For companies that just need a basic tool for creating applications using static data, the $195 Standard Edition will be a more affordable option.
Demonstration apps can be seen at www.infommersion.com. Palo Alto Software also has an Xcelsius application, at www.bplan.com/bc: Just follow any of the business calculator links.