The spreadsheet paradigm has some unique risks and challenges that are not present in more traditional development technologies. Many of the recent advances in other branches of software development have bypassed spreadsheets and spreadsheet developers.
This paper compares spreadsheets and spreadsheet development to more traditional platforms such as databases and procedural languages. It also considers the fundamental danger introduced in the transition from paper spreadsheets to electronic. Suggestions are made to manage the risks and work around the limitations.
Inter-workbook links create hidden dependencies and make data consistency difficult to assess. Links enable circular references that Excel cannot spot, unless all linked workbooks are open at once.
This example has 34 linked workbooks, 20 of which were found, 14 workbooks missing so unchecked for further links. Over 100 links were found. What are the chances of it being correct?