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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    4

    Unique IDs, Multiple Users, Small Number of Fields - Best way forward??

    I want to create a database for use by 3 or 4 users (so not many) but they may want to enter information at the same time.

    My database will contain a small number of fields (approx. 5), 1 of which is a unique id that needs to increase by 1 per new entry.

    Now, my idea (and for what its worth I believe that there'll be a better way than what I'm currently planning) is to create a front end in Excel 2010 so that users can "log-in" and clearly enter the required information. When they first open up form in Excel the ID will be the previous value + 1 (in theory the next available ID number), and after filling in the form, the data is submitted into the database.

    If the ID has been used (user 2 may have logged in and submitted an entry whilst user 1 was still thinking about what to type) then it would throw up an error and display the new next available ID that may be used.

    The database itself needs to be reliable and will contain data that will need to be kept for 20-25 years at least. Further points to consider are that it won't be regularly updated (beyond the initial go-live) although users may want to update it at the same time, and probably won't take up that much data - probably in the region of 300 rows.

    The questions I have - can Excel be setup to do this? What database application would it be best to link to?

    Or is there a better, more effective way of doing what I need?? Any help gratefully appreciated...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    I'd guess that Microsoft Access would be a much better choice than Microsoft Excel for this kind of problem. You may need to rethink your paradigm just a bit, since if you let it Access will do a lot of things for you that Excel isn't able to do.

    Pure FYI, but I'd be shocked if any database product survives 20 years without demanding an update. I suppose that it is possible, but I'd be shocked.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    4
    Thanks for the feedback. I would use Access, I have done in the past for other work, but Access is an unsupported product in our business and I doubt that is going to change and for this reason, I'd rather not use it,

    The reason why I was going to build a front end in Excel was because its something that I know the users already have on their machines and are used to using. That said I don't know how I'd get that front end to link to a database table in SQL for example, or what the best products to use are.

    When I was talking about updating, I meant adding data - the database is essentially going to list but I doubt that there is going to be much use beyond the initial go-live. Any updates to the database product probably won't have too great an impact though given the simplicity of table structure though, or at least that's the nave thought process I'm following at the moment.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2004
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    You can certainly use Word, PowerPoint, or Excel to create/host an application to do what you've described. This would be a poor fit compared to Access, but if you are willing to work hard enough it is amazing what you can make work!

    You might want to check out SharePoint if that is supported. SharePoint is the next best fit if Access is not supported.

    I realize that you have to work within the constraints that the firm has laid down, but it galls me that they are willing to make you and the users do that much extra work to avoid supporting a product that they ought to support.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    4
    Our records management team use SharePoint for users to store documents so I know that its certainly used within company, although maybe not to the same scale as Excel.

    I wasn't aware that Sharepoint could be used for databases though. How easy / difficult would it be to set up what I'm looking to do??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    From my perspective, it would be trivial to set up a list manager under SharePoint 2010 or 2012.

    You'll need to find out:
    1. If the powers that be will allow you to use SharePoint
    2. What version of SharePoint the company is using
    3. What features the SharePoint Administrator will permit you to use
    As I am usually a SharePoint admin, I'd allow 15 minutes to set up a list like you've described.

    Depending on how quickly you pick things like this up and the politics and technology within the business, you might need a couple of days, but you'll probably only spend an hour or two actually working on getting the list working.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

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