Create your first HiveLink model

We have a simple spreadsheet you can download and use to create your first HiveLink model by following the steps below.


Step 1: Download and install HiveLink + Expert Tools

Make sure you’ve installed HiveLink + Expert Tools. You will need to be logged in, so sign up if you haven’t already.


Step 2: Download the demo base spreadsheet

Next, download Expert-ExampleManagedInvestmentCo.xlsm. This is a simple example of a spreadsheet containing calculations that we don’t want our users to see – we just want them to be able to enter their inputs and receive their results.

Save the spreadsheet to your computer, then open it in Excel.


Step 3: Start the HiveLink Wizard

With the spreadsheet open in Excel you’re ready to start creating a HiveLink model. First, click Enable Editing so you can make changes.

Enable Spreadsheet Editing

Next, take a moment to explore the spreadsheet. Notice that the Example Managed Investment Co. sheet has inputs on the left and outputs on the right. You can drag the chart over to the left to see the raw numbers beneath. The Calculations sheet contains everything we want to hide from the user.


The HiveLink Wizard helps you create a model consisting of two spreadsheets:

  • an expert spreadsheet that stays on your machine and contains your calculations
  • a lightweight user spreadsheet that you can share with users

To start the process, look for the HiveLink Expert ribbon, then click the HiveLink Wizard button.



Step 4: Configure the expert spreadsheet

After clicking the HiveLink Wizard button you will see the Expert Pane appear on the right. Click on Configure Workbook.


Now you’ll see a checklist for configuring this file as an expert spreadsheet. Select the chart and resize it down out of the way so you can see all of the inputs and outputs on the Example Managed Investment Co. sheet.

Select the two inputs together (D5 to D6) and click Add to inputs. Then, select the output table (M6 to Q16) and click Add to output results. After adding both you can resize the chart back up to fill the Outputs area.


To make things more convenient for users, click on Add “Process Data” button, reposition the button within the blue input area (right-click to start editing it), and change the text to Get Projected Balances.

This button won’t work yet, but it will in the lightweight user spreadsheet you’ll create in the next step.


Now, this expert spreadsheet is almost ready. Click Set results sheet, since we want this sheet to show up when a user gets their results. Then, click Finalize.


Type a name for your model (e.g. Example Managed Investment Co.), click Finalize, then click Yes to confirm.


You will see a configuration dialog once your model has been successfully created: just click OK for now.



Step 5: Configure the user spreadsheet

Switch back to your expert spreadsheet in Excel and you’ll see that the expert pane has changed after finalization. Click on Generate user spreadsheet to get started on the second important part of your HiveLink model.


Click Save to accept the default path. Then, you’re ready to start removing calculations from this lightweight user spreadsheet.

Right-click on the Calculations sheet (it contains all of the sensitive intellectual property in this file), click Delete, then click Delete to confirm.


Next, move the chart aside again, select the output table (M6 to Q16) and press the delete key, before moving the now-blank chart back into place.


Now, save your changes, and that’s it: your user spreadsheet is calculation-free and ready to test.


Step 6: Test the user spreadsheet

First, make sure the HiveLink Data Inbox is still running.

In the user spreadsheet, click on Get Projected Balances. You will see a small window appear with the message, “Getting results”, and a new Excel window may pop up to process your results.

Back in your user spreadsheet the chart will fill with data, almost like magic.


What happened?

  1. Clicking on Get Projected Balances sends your inputs to the HiveLink service for processing.
  2. The HiveLink service sees you’re running the HiveLink Data Inbox and sends a job over.
  3. The HiveLink Data Inbox processes the job using your expert spreadsheet (which stays on your machine) and sends the results back to the user spreadsheet via the HiveLink service.

This time you were both the user and the expert, but in general another user will be able to submit inputs and receive results, while the calculations stay safe on your machine.