Saving the Planet with Squirrel365

I was recently in London, UK, at an international Biomass conference. It was attended by organizations both creating and supplying biomass fuels and those consuming them. The main biomass fuel used is compressed wood pellets made from parts of the tree that cannot be used for lumber. The wood comes mainly from managed forests that are regulated and have to grow more than they harvest each year. In addition, many of the power plants using wood pellets pump the CO2 emitted back into the ground resulting in an overall negative carbon emissions for using this fuel.

Almost all the sessions discussed the urgency of the race against time to reduce global carbon emissions and that it could not be solved by governments, economists and industry alone. The current unprecedented rates of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at levels not seen in at least a million years. We all have to jump in to help and do whatever we can to make a difference.

A lot of people made fun of me from switching from plastic straws for my Starbucks to reusable aluminum ones a few years ago and then I switched to a reusable aluminum cup about a year ago and Starbucks rewards me every time I use it. I always use reusable shopping bags at the supermarket, I take short showers, I drive less, I offset the carbon footprint for my flights, I switched to solar, I plant trees. All these things may seem insignificant in the larger context of the worldwide issue, but if enough people did them and shared with others, it could make a difference.

In addition, the more we measure and monitor our contribution and show the difference it is making, the more likely we are to not just continue to do it but improve on it as well.  Just like we measure our health and how many steps we take each day.

I found a very receptive audience to this idea at the Biomass conference who were even more excited about using a no-code tool like Squirrel365 to build their own value calculators and monitors without needing developers. They loved this simple carbon emissions value calculator which took less than 45 minutes to create.

One of the leading wood pellet consulting companies, Future Metrics, was a platinum sponsor at the conference and has built a slew of Value Calculators and Dashboards using Squirrel365 showing the ROI and carbon emissions reduction benefits of using wood pellets – you can see them on their web site at

The reason why Future Metrics and hundreds of others use Squirrel365 is because it is a no-code application development tool that anyone who knows how to use a spreadsheet can use to build amazing data visualizations and applications very quickly (I mean hours rather than days and weeks).

It can be used both by individuals and large organizations and integrates with BusinessObjects in several ways. First it has a direct connector to BusinessObjects so you can pull data from BO queries. Also, using the Custom Elements feature of Web Intelligence, you can embed Squirrel applications and visualizations directly into Webi. This opens up fascinating possibilities like integrating “what if?” scenarios into Webi reports or even write back from Webi to a database.

There will be some great sessions at next month’s IBIS 2023 on Squirrel365 and its integration with BusinessObjects, Tableau and other BI solutions in addition to how it is changing the world with fast application development by business users rather than developers but you should just try it out for yourself.

You can download a free copy at and I challenge you to create a carbon footprint app. of your own and join me in my quest to save the planet.

About pgrill

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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