Extensive work carried out by Forbury’s software development team during the past 12 months has resulted in a significant performance lift for users of the company’s sophisticated Excel-based models.
The development comes at a time when Microsoft is restricting the way VBA macros contained within downloaded files are handled. Rather than a user getting a prominent warning banner when they open the file, all macros will be turned off by default. Only someone with admin-level access rights will be able to turn them back on.
Microsoft hopes this change will reduce the security issues that have plagued Excel for some time. Attackers can hide malicious code within macros that can then infect an organisation’s systems and cause significant damage and disruption.
Forbury has seen the writing on the wall regarding the future of Excel macros for some time and has had a dedicated team working on a satisfactory alternative. The team has been busy creating a specially designed ‘add-in’ module that works in conjunction with Excel to provide the functionality traditionally delivered by macros.
Removing VBA macros
There are two key benefits that come from moving away from using macros in Excel: better performance and improved security.
Because Excel data files will no longer contain macros, they will open much more quickly on first use. Users will also find it a much smoother experience when navigating to different parts of a sheet or between workbooks.
Security is greatly improved because the macro functionality is now handled in a separate add-in module. This runs in a sandboxed environment with only limited communication with Excel. This means it’s no longer possible for malicious code to be introduced into the Excel file and run on a user’s device.
The new Forbury add-in module is available for download from the Microsoft Office Store. The development team is continuing to work on future versions which will bring even more functionality to the Forbury experience.
Over the years, more features and functionality have progressively been added into Forbury's software. We are continuously thinking of better ways to leverage our property valuation tech for the benefit of our customers. Property professionals using Forbury gain increased accuracy and speed, empowering them to cover more of the market without additional resources and expense.