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Move the Excel book-based-jobs to a Web-enabled system

dbSheetClient, which can upgrade your stand-alone type Excel book-based-jobs into a Web-enabled system, can incorporate Excel sheets you use in daily jobs as UI and store all the data in the database.

Product formation of the Excel version of dbSheetClient

dbSheetClient is composed of the "Development Component," "Server Component," and" Execution Component."

As you may see from the above illustration, dbSheetClient has 3 different versions. Below explains the process for each version.

1. Development Version:
The developer uses Excel to edit the Excel sheet, and edits the Definition File in the Development version. The Definition File is comprised of sets of instructions that apply to the entire dbSheetCient application system.
During development, you can even use Excel charts and graphs created by end users without making any changes to them. The developer can complete the applications with the help of a debug function.

The instructions derived from the Definition File include:

  • the information to specify the Excel book/worksheet and database;
  • the linkage between the database and Excel book;
  • how to manipulate data in the database (by using SQL);
  • how to manipulate data on Excel worksheets (copy/ cut/ paste/ formula/ Macros are available);
  • concurrent access controls to the database from Excel;
    and so on.

2. Server Version:
Once applications are completed, they are uploaded onto the server using Development Component.

3. Execution Version:
A user logs in with their ID and Password, and selects a Project (an application), developed by the Development Component, that they want to execute. Authentication and role based access control are conducted by the Server Component. Once the Project is selected, the Excel Book(s) and the Definition File that correspond to the Project are downloaded to the local client PC. Then, the Runtime Component of the client executes the instructions (Definition File) in close connection with Excel as the instructions are derived from the Definition File by the Runtime Component referring to it. In the execution, when a function of the Server becomes necessary, such as role based control or concurrent access control, the Runtime Component can utilize it by retrieving it via the web service.

Task Types, Buttons, and Menus

Menus and Buttons

The specifics of the application are expressed by the combination of menus and buttons. The left side of the local PC screen is the Menu area, where menu(s) are stationed within, and at the top of the screen there is the Button area, where Buttons sometime appear. This is the basic formation of a dbSheetClient Runtime Component's local PC screen. You may hide or display the menu area and/or the button area and place an object instead in the Excel worksheet, which has the same role of the Buttons. The buttons are assigned to a menu, and when a menu is selected, the buttons are replaced accordingly. Selecting a menu or clicking a button calls for a function or combination of functions of Excel and/or the database by dbSheetClient, such as changing the Excel worksheet to display, loading data to a worksheet from the database, updating data in the database, so on.

dbSheetClient Interface

Task Types

To execute various tasks designated to each menus or button, dbSheetClient implements those tasks using Task Types, which are basic parts that implement the functions assigned to menus and buttons in the Development Component.

The Task Types are grouped into 9 categories:

Each category has got sub-categories, so far we have prepared more than 90 of them.

  1. Database access
  2. Input (to database)
  3. dbSheetClient control
  4. Process control
  5. Excel editing
  6. Excel control
  7. Excel object
  8. File handling
  9. External operation

Sub-categories in each Task Type category

Project Example of dbSheetClient Runtime Component

Excel Worksheet for daily use can be used as UI main table.

dbSheetClient Runtime Component is what end users work on for their jobs. The great advantage of the UI of the Runtime Component is that Excel sheets, which they are very familiar with, can be used as the front screen. Therefore, the new functions that end users have to learn will be minimized and thus the smooth introduction of the system can be achieved.

Example of Project:PSI Plan Management System