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Thread: How to make EXCEL easier to use

  1. #1

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    How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Hello, our users are currently using and EXCEL spreadsheet with VBA macros and apparently want something that is easier to use.

    Can you tell me what you would migrate to make things easier to use please?

    Should i consider using a GUI, database, or ect?

    Thanks very much!
    BobK

  2. #2
    Frenzied Member TheBigB's Avatar
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Depends on what you're doing...
    Database could be usefull, but I think a program specified for your type of usage would be the best

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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Moved to General Developer.

    The real key to your question is what development tools do you have available to you?

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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Well we have EXCEL, ACESS and SQLServer right now but, if i can justify it, i can probably get other software if needed. But a concern is if i develop something using Visual Studio or something like that, does that mean i and my users will have to buy additional software for their machines too?

    Thanks all

  5. #5
    Frenzied Member TheBigB's Avatar
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Do you mean like installing Visual Studio? And buying al those liscences? I'm not sure if it's still free, but you can download Visual Studio 2005 Express with liscence...
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/vb/download/

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    Super Moderator RobDog888's Avatar
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    VS 2005 Express is now permenantly free. If you want to automate Excel then VBA is the easiest to use as VS will be much more powerful but with power comes more complications and needed knowledge.
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  7. #7

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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Well after reading some more on this, it sounds like if one uses C# or VB.net, you have to have the .NET framework on your client machines and that sounds like it could get problematic from a cost perspective.

    So because this is going to be a comparison prototype, ie MSN vs Java, i'd like to start off as inexpensively as possilbe just to get a working prototype. I'm now wondering, if i have 3 users in different buildings on the same network, could i build a VB6 client program using Visual Studio, that could access our SQL Server 2000 database, also on the network, and not have to have the .NET framework on each machine?

    Thanks again

  8. #8
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Either way, you will need the .net framework or the vb6 runtime support files. No way around needing some kind of support files.
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    So if i used VB6 i should be able to build a client/server relationship to the SQL Server 2000 database and then have to install some VB6 files on the client machine?

    Thanks!

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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Yup, same as if you do it with .net.

    Also, if you are working with Excel then the users will all need Excel installed on their systems too.
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Ok so let's say i create a GUI for those 3 users, will they have to have any special framework or license on their machine, or would we only need to copy the necessary executable files onto their machine in order for them to access SQL Server over the network?

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
    Super Moderator RobDog888's Avatar
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    To access a database you only need to install MDAC as it contains the support for Data Access Components. No licensing issues here.

    For the VB runtimes or framework, they are freely redistributable.

    If you need Excel to be displayed on the users systems then they will each need a licensed copy of Excel installed on their systems. You can not re-distribute Excel.
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  13. #13

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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Great, really appreciate your excellent help on this!

    Have a great week!

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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    One additional note:

    VB6 (and, I assume VB.net, although I've never done it in .net) can read and write .xls files without having Excel installed on the computer - it just can't display the file using the full Excel program. But you can give your users the ability to read and write worksheets in totally native VB code.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator RobDog888's Avatar
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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Yes, using the .NET PIAs if you have Excel 2002 or 2003 you can get even more functionality and display the GUI.

    In vb6 you can not package the Excel runtimes but in both you can read/write to Excel without displaying Excel.

    Check the link in my signature.
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  16. #16

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    Re: How to make EXCEL easier to use

    Thanks all for your inputs!

    So knowing that the user wants to "keep it fairly simple", let's say i use VB6, mainly to avoid having to buy/load the .NET framework and use ACCESS for the database?

    Since there are going to be 3 or 4 users of the system, we will probably need to put the ACCESS DB on a server, so will ACCESS be able to handle multiple users ok?

    And after using ACCESS for a while, we then decide to scale up to SQL Server 2000, can we then use the same VB6 code without too much tweaking?

    Thanks again for your very helpful thoughts on this!
    BobK

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