Data exchange made easy with Microsoft Excel
Would you believe that Excel is already 30(!) years old – and it is still an essential component of many planning processes. This is why users often have a particular wish when developing optimization systems, namely: “We’d like to import data from Excel and export data to Excel”.
Excel has the same appeal to users as the sunset does for the man on the horse in the cigarette ad: The promise of great freedom….
…and this is the start of the project manager’s worries.
Our optimization systems frequently replace Excel tools which users have developed themselves. This is good because the knowledge in these tools is useful. But it is also difficult because users then give up a certain amount of freedom by having a (process-proof) optimization system – e.g. the option to change the planning process or “their” tool at any time. And a project manager shouldn’t under-estimate this longing for freedom!
We have had good experience in coming up with a solution to this dilemma of allowing users to keep their freedom and their Excel link. OPTANO offers essential features:
- All views can be exported to Excel (unless this function has been deacitivated for the mask).
- All views can be imported into Excel (Unless it isn’t switched on)
- Data fields can be exchanged with Excel via the clipboard.
It was a challenge to organize the way to deal with object references and key columns so that the user didn’t confuse object identities and override connections without him realizing it, but we were very pleased with the result.
Autor: Jens Peter Kempkes