Stephen McGibbon's Web Journal

Setting up a demo of Excel interfacing with a HPC cluster using web services

1. If you don’t have it already download and install the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 1.1 Redistributable Package.


2. Download the CTC (Manhattan) Demo files

Unzip the above file. You will find a spreadsheet and a folder containing a dll. Do not open the Excel spreadsheet now.


3. Give full trust to the CTC dll that is accessed by the spreadsheet with these steps: 


i.                    Go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools. 


ii.                  Start  Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Wizards.



iii. Click "Trust an Assembly". 



iv. Select "Make changes to this computer". and Click on Next



v. Click on "Browse...", navigate to Excel_callable_bond.dll which you extracted in step2, and select it. Click on Next. 


vi.  Move the slider to " Full trust " and click Next , then Finish .



You are now ready to run the demo. It works best with a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher.


4. Open the Excel spreadsheet you extracted from the zip file in step 2.



5. Read the Message Box.



6. Press the “Execute” Button on the left hand side. The color-coded cells at the bottom of the spreadsheet provide information about the status of the pricing of each bond. 



7. Each bond is colour coded with the node that is processing it …



and there is a summary of which nodes are processing which bonds and each node’s total …



There is also a dynamic chart of the node’s efficiency



Also displayed is the “speedup” … or the actual CPU time:Elapsed time ratio



8. The completion of all calculations is announced in the message box at the top of the spreadsheet. Once that message appears, you may wish to click on the “Bonds” tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet to see the pricing results.



9. The application can be executed multiple times. Change the number of bonds if desired, by changing the number in the gray box on the left hand side of the spreadsheet. 


10. To exit the demonstration, close the Excel spreadsheet.


11. Click on the Information Tab to understand what’s happening



The Demonstration was created by Shirish Chinchalkar, a research associate at the CTC. I took this picture of him with the demo running over wireless on my tablet at Para’04.