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Using Calc as a scheduling tool help

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:35 pm
by Jcentimole
I am a work study student working with a non-profit agency in New Jersey. I have developed a scheduling tool for reserving vehicles on a per month basis through use of a protected and shared excel 2007 workbook. The file is located on the company’s server and the employees can reserve cars available from anywhere with internet access. The actual spreadsheet has thirty-one tabs that represent the days of the month, the columns represent the vehicles and the rows represent the times of the day. The users of the tool add records with their names into the tab for the month of which the vehicle needs to be reserved, and simply use the drag option to make the reservation. The tool contains rules which turn the cells different colors as to the names that are added.
An example of this tool can be found here: https://mcares.webexone.com/default.asp?link= . Click on enter as guest and the Vehicle_Template file is located in the links section. The tool works great and it is a part of the day to day operations of the agency. There are however, a few problems when it comes to the maintenance of this tool. It is very time consuming to add new vehicles to the database and to create new databases for each month of the year, which are frequent operations.

I know the Open Office.otg program is highly customizable.-Is there a way to use the calc program to develop a tool much like the one I have developed. Also is there a way to customize the program to make the editing of locked cells less time consuming.
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Re: Using Calc as a scheduling tool help

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:44 pm
by Villeroy
Forget it. You would have a long and very hard time to implement such a spreadsheet-database app in OOo Calc. IMHO, a spreadsheet is the totally wrong tool for this kind of task and it's the best way to bind yourself to one particular vendor.
This should always be implemented around a database server. Then you may use the stored company data in one or the other office suite, in both suites or any other connectable application.

Re: Using Calc as a scheduling tool help

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:13 pm
by Safway
I second what Villeroy has said--particularly concerning vendor lockin. I also notice in your XLS file that you are hardcoding the file location using file:///zSchedule/Revision/ . . . Hardcoding file locations will also contribute toward a lot of manual maintenance on your files.

Along with Villeroy's suggestion to use a networked database, you have other options. If I understand what you are trying to do, it is simply scheduling out multiple cars over a period of time. You can use scheduling software that works over a network to show multiple cars schedules over the period of the day/month/year. Instead of your scheduling software representing people's schedules it would represent car's schedules. You could then more easily include more relavant metadata in this solution as well.

These are just some other possibilities to help you with the maintenance cost.