Cytora provides a growing number of services to enrich and enable the underwriting process.
To reduce the time and cost of implementing the Cytora Property APIs, we provide two Excel-based tools; the Cytora Workbook and the Cytora Excel Add-in.
These tools allow customers to retrieve information on commercial properties directly from within Excel with minimal configuration.
The Cytora Workbook is a standalone Excel Workbook.
It is intended use is for customers who wish to immediately begin using the Cytora Property API with minimal configuration.
A set of Cytora account credentials are required to use the Cytora Workbook.
Contact us to request an account.
The workbook uses Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code to provide its functionality.
You need to enable macros in Microsoft Office to use the functionality.
See this link for further information: Enable or disable macros in Office files
When first using the Workbook, you must supply the username and password for your Cytora credentials.
To do this choose the Cytora menu from the Excel ribbon.
Then select the Manage Credentials button.
The User Account dialog box will appear:
Select the Edit button, type your Cytora credentials, then select Save.
Your credentials will be stored on your computer.
The User Account dialog box does not support copying and pasting of text.
Credentials will need to be typed into the corresponding fields.
With your credentials saved, you can now use the Property API.
There are two buttons in the Cytora sheet in the Cytora Workbook:
Call the Property API
Clear the previous Property API results
Provide an address in the Address Components fields in one or more of the Location rows.
Then select the Get Data button to call the Property API.
The result columns will then be populated with information about the address.
There is a second worksheet in the Cytora Workbook, Cytora Functions.
This sheet provides a demonstration of a set of functions which can be used to call the Property API.
A function is a formula that can be written in a cell, such as VLOOKUP.
The sheet provides a reference for all the available Cytora functions, such as CytoraPropertyFireRiskScore
These functions are intended to be used by a customer to augment their own existing workbooks, or to build their own solutions.
A benefit of using functions to access the Property API is that the API is dynamically invoked when the contents of the cell they refer to changes.
If a customer wishes to incorporate the functions in an existing Workbook, it may be simpler to use the Cytora Excel Add-In, which is covered in the following section.
The Cytora Excel Add-In is an Add-In for Microsoft Excel.
It is intended use is for customers who wish to integrate the Cytora Property API in an existing spreadsheet or build a spreadsheet utilizing the Cytora Property functions.
To install the Cytora Excel Add-In, open either an existing or blank Workbook in Excel.
Navigate to the Developer tab on the Excel ribbon.
Select Excel Add-ins.
In the dialog box which opens, browse to the location of the Cytora Excel Add-In, and select it as an available add-in.
When installed the Cytora menu will appear in the ribbon.
There will be three buttons, Manage Credentials, Add Cytora worksheet, Add Cytora functions worksheet.
The Manage Credentials button functions in the same way as for the Cytora Workbook.
The other two buttons will add the Cytora worksheets to any workbook you have open.
The Add Cytora worksheet button will add the prebuilt worksheet to the active workbook.
The Add Cytora functions worksheet will add the worksheet demonstrating the Cytora Property functions to the active Workbook.
The Cytora Property API is provided as a REST web service.
You will find further explanation of REST services here: What is REST?
The Cytora workbook provides a REST client to the Property API.
When the Get Data button on the Cytora worksheet is selected the workbook will make a call to the Property API, retrieve the data for the address and display it in the workbook.
On the Cytora Functions worksheet, there are custom functions for each attribute available in the Property API.
When the cell referenced by the function is updated, the workbook will dynamically call the Property API, and display the data for the corresponding attribute in the cell where the function is specified.
See this link for more information about custom functions: Create custom functions in Excel
If you want to quickly begin using the Property API as a standalone application, or quickly begin exploring its features, the Cytora Workbook is best suited.
If you want to incorporate the Property API in an existing workbook as a separate worksheet, wish to incorporate particular attributes in from the Property API into an existing workbook, or create a customised workbook using the Property API, then the Cytora Excel Add-In is best suited.
Updated about a year ago