My client has asked me to look into something, and ive got white noise in my head now!!

They have created several Excel workbooks which contain a massive amount of data (eg lists of documents, lists of accidents etc) a lot of which them link to other workbooks, worksheets and websites. Along with a menu page, sub menu pages and other bits. There are probably 30+ worksheets, and nearly all of them are completely different in layout and function. Oh and that's for one site! so duplicate this 8x to cover the country.

OK so this is basically tabular data with hyperlinks... sort of.

Because this has become so big and clunky they now want to somehow "port" it to a website (I work in ASP.net, and they have in-house servers), and worse still they want to continue to use the old excel system whilst this is being developed, and "sync" the data when it goes live.

I'm at a loss as to if this can even be achieved...

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    Welcome to the club! You have my empathy. Actually, you will just have to re-engineer the spreadsheets into a web-based GUI and re-engineer the data into a SQL database, but worse yet, export the data which should not be too hard, just very manual. I did do something like this for a friend once. I ended up writing a whole web app. There will be a point where you will need to cut them off from the spreadsheet so that you can export the data. It could be in the evening (I assume) so that you do not interrupt work too much. I would make sure you are doing some training/tuning as you go. – closetnoc Jun 30 '15 at 14:45
  • Regarding "Sync"ing - client must not change any structure of worksheets, column headings, etc while you are creating the database. – rlb.usa Jun 30 '15 at 15:54
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    While not within the scope of the question, would like to add that many clients back out as soon as they see a price tag. ; - ) There is always hope you may not have to take up the project at all. – rlb.usa Jun 30 '15 at 15:55
  • @rlb.usa This is so true- it cracked me up!! – closetnoc Jun 30 '15 at 22:26
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    At the risk of answering my own question, It looks like "Sharepoint Excel Services" may be exactly what imlooking for... – Digital Lightcraft Jul 1 '15 at 8:37

It can be achieved, I've seen something like it at work (with interactive maps even), but do warn them that it's tedious, that they'll have to re-upload the whole files with every new update and that the smallest mistake can break the whole site. You may also consider warning them to expect it to cost more, both upfront AND with every bit of functionality added later.

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  • Sorry but -1 for the lack of any useful info... – Digital Lightcraft Jul 1 '15 at 8:26
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    you're welcome, better luck next time :D – Lucian Davidescu Jul 1 '15 at 10:31

I don't like answering my own questions but in this case I feel I have to.

The only feasible way to do this without attempting to completely rewrite excel in html & javascript is to use:

Microsoft Sharepoint Excel Services.


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