As the name suggests R-AddIn is an Add In for Excel (Windows only) that allows functions defined in R code to be accessed from the worksheet without the user having to know anything about R. The user simply selects a range of data and then selects the required function from a menu. Depending on the function various parameters can be adjusted and then the results, once calculated, can be simply copied back to the worksheet.
As well as the ability to run predefined functions the R-AddIn also has easy to use chart builder interface that lets anyone explore their data quickly. The interface uses the popular R chart library ggplot2, and allows charts to be generated interactively.
The idea of R-AddIn is for a flexible data analysis tool inside Excel. Typical add ins either have lots of methods you never use or the ones you want require the data to be in a specific format. To be able to apply new methods requires waiting for the developer to introduce new features. The one thing you can be sure about is that at some point your data will change or you want to try out a new method. R-AddIn allows functions to be modified and added to as required.
Experience in different research and engineering environments shows that many people are interested in looking at data but are not comfortable with the command line interface R, or simply do not have the time to learn another system. Accessing functions in Excel that have been built specifically to handle the data most commonly encountered saves everyone time and avoids mistakes. As all the functions are defined in easily accessible code then there is a record of what method is being used and everyone uses the same method.
R-AddIn is still being developed. If you want to be informed when it is released then sign up to the R-AddIn newsletter.