Excel Automation/Interop Issues (C#, VB.NET)

Excel Automation is an option when creating/reading Excel files (XLS, CSV, XLSX) from C# or VB.NET application, but it has many drawbacks.

Issues when using Excel automation (or Excel interop) from .NET are:

  • Requires a license for Microsoft Excel on every client machine.
  • Requires that all client machines have the same version of Microsoft Excel installed.
  • When using automation, Excel is loaded in the background, taking few MB and loading a large number of files and DLLs.
  • Microsoft Excel was designed as UI application and because of that API is very slow. Generating a single worksheet with 200 rows and 100 columns takes 239.4 seconds on our test machine.
  • Microsoft doesn’t recommend using Excel automation (or any Office interop) on the server: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/257757

We are proud that our Excel .NET component is one of the best alternatives for Excel automation (Excel interop).

GemBox.Spreadsheet Free comes free of charge while GemBox.Spreadsheet Professional is a commercial version (licensed per developer). Find more information about supported features.