2016-02-04 New Spreadsheets have finally exceeded the Old
Sierra Chart discontinued support of Old Spreadsheets after version 1310, but not until version 1358 were the New Spreadsheets of acceptable performance and functionality. So while users were encouraged to use the New Spreadsheets even before v1310, for many this was not possible if their systems were complex or used certain functions or function combinations.
Of particular issue was the use of the INDEX/MATCH function combination. In versions before 1358, performance and operation of this combination was very poor. To establish the extent of the poor performance I built a spreadsheet that provided a severe test using cascading formulas in row 1 referenced by an INDEX/MATCH formula in row 3 of each of 60 columns for 1000 rows. I did this in both the Old Spreadsheets and New Spreadsheets. If I made a change to the pilot cell, it took about 100 times longer in the New Spreadsheets to update the sheet than it did in the Old Spreadsheets. For example, what took 1 second in the Old Spreadsheets took 100 seconds in the New Spreadsheets.
At least one Sierra Chart engineer was aware of this performance issue for months, but my response to a forum post by another user brought it to the forefront. Sierra Chart engineers then worked on it diligently for about 6 weeks and thankfully resolved it in v1358. In fact, the New Spreadsheets performance is now better than the Old Spreadsheets.
In the process of reaching this resolution, Sierra Chart created a new spreadsheet function: GETCORRESPONDINGMATCH. This was their attempt to workaround the use of the INDEX/MATCH function, but now that the performance of INDEX/MATCH has been markedly improved, there is no need for it, IMO. I wonder why they bothered with its creation when all that was needed was optimization of INDEX/MATCH. I will likely never use it, if for no other reason than the name is unnecessarily too long.
Despite some limitations that still exist, I can now recommend using New Spreadsheets over Old Spreadsheets. Since there are other important things that are updated in later versions, you'll want to eventually convert your spreadsheet systems to New Spreadsheets.
2015-04-10 New Spreadsheets vs Old Spreadsheets
Sierra Chart is in the process of eliminating reliance on third-party code so that they are in complete control their program’s functionality. They are calling the new version ‘non-CLR’ (Common Language Runtime). In addition to abandoning Microsoft’s .NET, it includes migrating away from non-standardized data service APIs, and writing their own forum software. As for what impacts topics on this site, the third-party Spreadsheet Gear add-on (which powered the Old Spreadsheets) is expected to be replaced with their own in-house spreadsheet studies by Q2 2015. Until then, both Old Spreadsheets and New Spreadsheets versions are supported.
In my opinion, the New Spreadsheets are still in development, and their use is not recommended for complex systems. There are still some performance and stability issues that need to be resolved.
The New Spreadsheets have diminished functionality compared to Spreadsheet Gear’s. There are fewer available spreadsheet functions, some function differently, and some are renamed from the Excel standard. There is no conditional formatting, no referencing of other spreadsheet files. However, there is some new functionality in other areas, like the ability to detach spreadsheets, and a formula expression tree for debugging. All of this means they are no longer ‘Excel Compatible’.
There is an automatic Old-to-New conversion when upgrading to the ‘New Spreadsheets’ versions. Many studies and systems will directly convert, some will require formula and configuration tweaks, and a few will never be able to convert because of a loss of functionality. Now we must endure the process of converting where we can, and be orphaned where we cannot or do not. I expect to be stuck using the final ‘Old Spreadsheets’ CLR version for months beyond.