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Excel EASAP Design Considerations

When a spreadsheet is incorporated into an EASAP, it is not displayed directly to the end users in the user interface of the EASAP. Instead, the Excel file is opened in Excel in an automated way by EASA on an Excel Server, which is remote from the users. A user’s access to the spreadsheet is controlled by the user interface of the EASAP, which is displayed in a web browser. See the figure below for a diagram of the EASA architecture showing the connection from users’ computers to the EASA Server and on to Excel Servers.

Since the spreadsheet is not rendered directly in the web browser interface of the EASAP, an Author can control how data contained in the spreadsheet is displayed and modified in the user interface. Here are some of the key choices to be made when designing the EASAP’s user interface:

  • Style: Do you wish to replicate the visual appearance of the spreadsheet, or use the EASA web form look?
  • Presentation: Do you wish to maintain the original layout of the workbook using one tab per sheet, or present it differently? It is possible to consolidate sheets on to fewer tabs, or divide them up into more.
  • Visibility: Which areas of the spreadsheet must be visible, and which can remain hidden? You can choose to display only the areas of the spreadsheet that are relevant to end users of the EASAP, without concerns such as hidden sheets.
  • Usability: Do you require any additional features within your EASAP? Once a spreadsheet has been imported, the EASAP can be expanded with any number of user interface items, automated data processing objects and options for custom report generation.