User Tools

Site Tools

Excel EASAP Interface Design Considerations

An EASAP may utilize functionality from an underlying Excel spreadsheet in two very different ways.

  1. An interface for an Excel Client (or EDC) EASAP uses the spreadsheet as the actual user interface to create or modify database case records.
    • A User selects a default new or prior existing case record with a browser
    • A temporary Excel spreadsheet is opened with default or database-derived case data
    • Input values are modified, output values, charts and tables are examined
    • Eventually EASA Ribbon→Save updates the database case record and the temporary spreadsheet is deleted
  2. An interface for an Excel Server EASAP connects live input and output cells in a spreadsheet to User-accessible fields in a web browser.
    • An Author may use the Excel Range Wizard to replicate rectangular regions of a spreadsheet in a browser GUI
    • A User modifies default data or blank fields
    • Output browser fields, charts and tables change in real time
    • A report or other deliverable content is generated

Things an Author should consider

  • Style
    • replicate the visual appearance of the spreadsheet? → EDC or Excel Range Wizard
    • a custom design using a 'web form look'? → Excel Server EASAP and manually add GUI objects in the Builder
  • Presentation
    • maintain the original layout of the workbook, one tab per sheet? → EDC or Excel Range Wizard
    • consolidate sheets on fewer tabs? break a sheet into two tabs? → Excel Range Wizard
  • Visibility
    • hide areas of the spreadsheet? → Excel Range Wizard for visible cells or use hidden sheets with EDC
  • Usability
    • additional features required within an EASAP?
      • with an Excel Server EASAP, once a spreadsheet has been imported in the Builder, more GUI objects, automated data processing objects or custom report options may be added.
      • with EDC features need to be developed, tested and deployed in a new spreadsheet version

Interface for an Excel Client EASAP

An Excel Client EASAP almost exactly replicates the spreadsheet interface adding only the EASA Ribbon to the Excel toolbar.

  • An Author my modify the underlying spreadsheet directly to,
    • make a sheet hidden for a User
    • conceal VBA with password protection
  • An EDC EASAP requires a lightweight browser interface to search-for/select a single case prior to the Excel Client session.
    • a CASE VIEWER GUI object displays an existing set of cases in a table
    • a Child FILTER may give the User an input field to limit the above cases
    • a DATABASE TO EXCEL DESKTOP ACTION will initiate an EDC session with a new or existing case

Interface for an Excel Server EASAP

An Excel Server EASAP gives an Author complete control over the design of the user interface.

A containing LAYOUT PANEL may recreate entire rectangular regions of a spreadsheet with the Excel Range Wizard. Child objects will contain the individual elements which may be modified individually. Objects may be replaced with different objects → in the Builder disable the object, Copy the Style:, Colspan: and Rowspan: fields, create a new object, Paste/CTRL-v each value into the new object's parameter fields.

In some cases Style: or Label Style: will need the following CSS added → width:0px;

  • These GUI objects may be manually added to replicate Excel components
  • LOGICBOX → for checkbox control
  • CHOICE LIST Select Mode:SINGLE SELECT RADIO BUTTON → option control button
  • SLIDER → graphical control over a finite range of values
  • CHOICE LIST → combo box control
  • TEXTAREA → for large text areas, messages, comments, notes, etc…
  • FORM → use instead of VBA form content
  • TABULATED DATA → for results sets or any display-only data
  • DATA TABLE and MODIFY LIST ACTION → for User modifiable data

Page Tools