Add Excel as a supported data source type
Backward as it seems, it would support platform-independence.
I'm developing an app right now for the small business where I work that interfaces with a SQL Server ERP to do unsupported processing before reporting. But, using Excel as a buffer means that if they change to an Oracle ERP I won't have to change the code - just create a query in the new ERP to generate the spreadsheet. Moreover, Excel is supported and working fine in the designer - it shouldn't take much to add it for the engine.
This request is one we have received in the past. The reason we do not support Excel as a Datasource is because, in our experience, the lack of enforced structure in the data ends up causing problems in all instances. This leads to a frustrating user experience, and to users, the problem is presented as a Windward issue, not as an Excel data structure and continuity issue. For this reason, our policy on Excel is to not support it as a Datasource. Thank you for your idea, and please submit any other suggestions you have to improve our products.