Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Alert -- Updates to Zacks Element Definitions

 Zacks recently made some changes to their quote web page, so some defined elements on smf-elements-6.txt needed to be updated.

New files on the web site: 
Best practice is to exit EXCEL when updating SMF add-in files.

Updated element definitions:

#UsageSourceElementTemplate or NotesUpdated
844SZacksStock Style, ValueSMF-Template-Zacks-Data.xls2020-09-20
845SZacksStock Style, GrowthSMF-Template-Zacks-Data.xls2020-09-20
846SZacksStock Style, MomentumSMF-Template-Zacks-Data.xls2020-09-20
847SZacksStock Style, VGMSMF-Template-Zacks-Data.xls2020-09-20
848SZacksZacks RankSMF-Template-Zacks-Data.xls2020-09-20

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Alert: No further updates to add-in

At list point, it's looking that there will be no further updates to the add-in. Several reasons:

  1. Too many resources have taken actions to prevent something like the add-in from accessing their data. Mostly by having dynamically created web pages with the data sourced from protected API files.
  2. Microsoft is making it more and more difficult to interact with the Internet via VBA. One situation in particular is that the IE object within EXCEL is no longer as functional as it was. And they've let it lapse to the point that a lot of websites don't even recognize it as a browser, so it can no longer be used to log into the site to get subscriber data.
  3. I've reached the point in my life were I'm pretty much a passive investor, so I no longer have much need of the add-in for financial data. These days, I use it more to automate extraction of data from non-financial websites.
  4. My available time and inclination to work on the add-in has decreased significantly in the last year, partially due to my frustration with the first two reasons.
Most of the more recent functions just use the building block functions like RCHGetWebData() and smfGetTagContent(), with the utility functions smfWord() and smfStrExtr(), so those new functions could be replicated in a spreadsheet. In fact, the newer functions generally come out of me making a prototype spreadsheet with those building block functions and then adapting it to a new function that does the same thing directly.

Although I started the add-in about 20 years, it had stand-alone predecessors in one language or another for about 15 years prior to that. So it's been a while...

I'll still be answering questions in the forums, but may obsolete the Yahoo Groups in the near future. It has gotten to be a bit chaotic to moderate since Yahoo abandoned the groups concept. And it would be better to have discussions on groups.io or Google Groups, where the discussions are archived.