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Pavel Lazarev
Pavel Lazarev

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Top JavaScript Spreadsheet Components for Data Management Apps

When developing an enterprise web app, you will probably need to complement it with a spreadsheet table. It is one of the most highly-demanded functions for doing business in digital space. It is not surprising that users, who often have to deal with large amounts of information, love this tool. This instrument helps to cover various aspects of data management that contribute to carefully weighed business decisions.

The internet is full of tips on how to quickly add a basic spreadsheet to a web page, but what if your project requires a mode advanced solution with a wider set of capabilities? Implementing this kind of functionality from scratch can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Therefore, you can consider using commercial JavaScript spreadsheet libraries. They make it much easier to embed a multifunctional Excel-like table into web apps written in pure JavaScript or with popular JS frameworks.

In this article, you have an opportunity to get acquainted with the most noteworthy stand-alone JS spreadsheets and UI widget libraries with this functionality in more detail and choose the right one for your project.

Stand-Alone Spreadsheet Components

First of all, let us go through JS libraries that are primarily intended to contribute to faster integration of a feature-packed spreadsheet into a web app.

DHTMLX Spreadsheet

DHTMLX Spreadsheet is a fully customizable JavaScript spreadsheet component with a convenient API for processing tabular data of any complexity. It has an intuitive Excel-like interface adaptable to touch devices. With this library in your dev stack, you get a lot of features for productive working in spreadsheet tables. Besides common grid operations, you can enable users to freeze rows & columns, lock/unlock cells, create drop-down lists with validation, autofill cells with data, apply text-wrapping, sort columns and data ranges, and much more. A user-friendly toolbar (ribbon) with multiple controls will aid users in formatting and styling specific cells.
DHTMLX Spreadsheet with Data Validation
There is a regularly updated collection of more than 250 built-in functions compatible with Excel and Google Sheets that can be used to manipulate string and numeric data within a cell or range. It is also possible to arrange data in separate worksheets and, when needed, combine data from various sheets into one with the help of cross-referencing via available formulas. DHTMLX Spreadsheet supports a range of predefined number formats with adjustable settings and allows creating custom ones. The spreadsheet interface is also adaptable to various languages. The table navigation is facilitated with a large list of hotkeys. The final version of your document can be converted to Excel format.
spreadsheet based on DHTMLX

All functional benefits of this library are backed up by flexible licensing with affordable prices varying from $599 to $2899. Thus, you can consider DHTMLX Spreadsheet as a product with a good price/quality ratio. Apart from that, you may be interested in reviewing other DHTMLX components for implementing various functionalities required in business apps.
Useful resources: documentation, samples
Free trial version: DHTMLX Spreadsheet

Handsontable

Handsontable is primarily known as a JavaScript grid library for business apps but the decision to include it in this article is not accidental. Although this tool doesn't offer as many text formatting options as Excel, it includes quite a lot of features for manipulating data typical of spreadsheets. The list of the most widely used Handsontable features includes operations on rows & columns (moving, hiding, resizing, freezing), CRUD actions, non-contiguous selection, data validation, export to file, and merging cells. You can also take advantage of more advanced capabilities such as multi-column sorting, data summaries, trimming rows, and nested headers.
Handsontable data grid

With numerous supported cell types such as date, time, dropdown, password, you’ll give users more freedom for working with cell content. To specify the way users will edit data, you can utilize a predefined cell editor or create a custom one. But how does Handsontable address one of the key functions of any business spreadsheet, namely math calculations? To enable users to perform different kinds of calculating operations in your app, you can utilize a separate Formulas plugin based on the HyperFormula calculation engine specifically designed by the Handsontable team. If you have your own ideas on how to make the Handsontable grid tool more effective, you can create custom plugins.

The Handsontable library has a lot of good qualities in terms of functionality that certainly boosts its price. To obtain this tool for web development, you’ll have to fork out from $899 per developer.
Useful resources: documentation, samples
Free trial version: Handsontable

Jspreadsheet PRO

Jspreadsheet PRO (previously known as Jexcel) is an Excel-like spreadsheet plugin notable for its real-time collaboration feature. It offers such essential functionality as text formatting, frozen columns, data filtering, sorting, and searching.
spreadsheet based on Jspreadsheet PRO

Similar to popular spreadsheet software, Jspreadsheet allows utilizing built-in and custom formulas and performing cross-worksheet calculations. The plugin supports several native editors that can be complemented with custom options to enhance the user experience in data editing. Jspreadsheet lacks some of the common built-in features like keyboard navigation, data validation, and value formatting. However, you can put into action third-party extensions or set up your own add-ons to achieve your goals.
spreadsheet based on Jspreadsheet PRO

This JavaScript tool is provided in Base and Premium editions via monthly ($39/$119), yearly ($390/$1,190) subscription or one-time purchase (3699$). The premium edition includes extra features, plugins, extensions, priority tech support, and other goodies.
Useful resources: documentation, samples
Free trial version: Jspreadsheet

SpreadJS

SpreadJS is a multifaceted Excel-inspired solution designed and maintained by GrapeCity to become a strong response to most of modern data handling demands on the web. When exploring its extensive feature-set, it may be hard for many to immediately name any Excel feature that is not supported by this widget.
spreadsheet based on SpreadJS

First of all, SpreadJS is known for its powerful calculation engine with a large collection of functions of different types for performing complex computations when preparing various business documents. There are many features that will help you to expand users’ abilities in working with cells. For example, you can add cell buttons, barcodes, apply rich text, rotate text in cells, auto merge cells, and much more. To offer a deeper insight into your spreadsheet data, it is possible to add pivot tables, charts, sparklines, tables. An auxiliary desktop design tool named SpreadJS Designer offers a code-free way to quickly create a complex spreadsheet layout or load your existing Excel .xlsx template files and get down to work with data right away.
spreadsheet based on SpreadJS

Everything seems to be great in SpreadJS but there is one important factor that may discourage you to buy this product. It is about high associated expenditures. The thing is that you’ll have to pay not only for a developer license but also for a hostname deployment license. Such a bundle will cost you at least 1499$ per developer. GrapeCity also provides the Wijmo library that can be used in combination with SpreadJS for building a consistent business app much faster.
Useful resources: documentation, samples
Free trial version: SpreadJS

Webix Spreadsheet

Webix Spreadsheet is a JavaScript UI widget designed to speed up the integration of a multifunctional spreadsheet table into your web project. It is probably one of the most advanced tools included in the Webix UI library. Spreadsheets built with Webix can be equipped with features to which many users have grown accustomed in the desktop Excel. They are built-in math functions, manipulations with rows and columns, sorting and filtering, editing, various types of data, etc.
spreadsheet based on Webix

The widget allows enriching the cell content with sparklines, images, as placeholders. The ability to leave comments in cells will help to avoid any ambiguities. You can also enable such useful functions as cell merging and conditional cells formatting. At times, users may need to focus just on the presented information, that is where the capabilities to hide the headers of rows and columns and greedlines will come in handy. If none of the built-in functions can help you to perform a required operation, it is possible to create a custom one for this purpose. After users finish using the spreadsheet, they export it to PDF/PNG and Excel or activate the printing function to get the hard copy of the table.

If you decide that the Webix Spreadsheet widget is the right tool for your project, then you can consider several licenses with different pricing options floating from $798 to $9,499. Moreover, Webix also offers a pack of UI controls that will be a great addition to the spreadsheet widget.
Useful resources: documentation, samples
Free trial version: Webix Spreadsheet

UI Widget Libraries

In case your search is not limited to a JS spreadsheet component, it will be helpful to take a look at two JavaScript UI widget libraries. In addition to spreadsheet tables, they will help you to deliver some other complex functionalities (grid, tree grid, file manager, calendar, etc.) and avoid any compatibility issues.

Ignite UI Spreadsheet

Ignite UI is a suite of UI components provided by Infragistics for assisting developers in implementing various business-oriented tools, including spreadsheets. The spreadsheet component offers a way to bring an Excel style to working with data into your project. This component is powered by the Infragistics JS Excel library. It allows loading and saving Microsoft Excel documents as well as controlling cell styles, data validations, formula solving, cell values with mixed formatting, and more.
spreadsheet based on Ignite UI

Speaking of capabilities to perform calculations based on the table data, the Ignite UI Spreadsheet provides a set of predefined formulas and supports custom ones. There is a resizable formula bar for clearly presenting formula definitions of any complexity. The component also offers numerous options to specify how users handle and consume the data presented to them. With code manipulations, you can show and hide the gridlines, headings, and the formula bar. Built-in and custom sorting and filtering options will help users to better analyze data. It is also possible to split the table into scrollable panes, zoom content on a web page, and apply conditional formatting.
spreadsheet based on Ignite UI

The Ignite UI library provides native UI components for jQuery, Angular, React, Blazor, and other major frameworks. Those who consider investing in Ignite UI, be ready to spend $1295 per developer.
Useful resources: documentation, samples
Free trial version: Ignite UI Spreadsheet

Syncfusion Spreadsheet

Syncfusion Spreadsheet is a UI control used for organizing and analyzing data in the form of a table with configuration options for customization. It is provided as a part of the Essential JS 2 library to simplify the integration of an editable spreadsheet into your web project. Similar to other Syncfusion controls, it has a modular architecture and a touch-friendly interface.
spreadsheet based on Syncfusion

There are numerous opportunities for formatting cells and numbers. The work with formulas is facilitated with auto recalculation, when dependent cells are edited. Different charts and illustrations help to make tables more visually compelling, while hyperlinks and bookmarks ensure faster access to web links and cell references within the worksheet. The collaborative editing feature makes it possible for several users to simultaneously interact with the table and see any changes made by others at once. Internationalization and localization settings (including RTL mode) will help to translate the interface into any desired language. The spreadsheet appearance is specified with predefined and customizable themes.
spreadsheet based on Syncfusion

Syncfusion Spreadsheet is sold only in a package with other controls included in the Essential JS 2 library, therefore the price starts from 995$ per developer.
Useful resources: documentation, samples
Free trial version: Syncfusion Spreadsheet

Wrapping up

In this article, we’ve explored the most interesting JavaScript Spreadsheet libraries that are currently available on the market. But it is hard to label any of them as a universal solution and recommend it for your application. In my experience, programmers always pay great attention to the accuracy and completeness of the technical documentation, availability of live samples, and pricing options. That is why I provided this information about each product. After identifying libraries that meet your budget and technical requirements, you can put them to test using free trial versions to make a final decision.

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